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Survivor recap: Take My Immunity Idol, Please!

Russell can’t believe his good fortune, as J.T. and the Heroes make one of the stupidest moves in Survivor history

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JT Thomas Jr
Robert Voets/CBS


TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Jeff Probst
Current Status:
In Season

There is so much to dig into with this episode of Survivor: Heroes vs Villains. I could kick-start a meaty discussion on the merits of Outback Steakhouse, but I feel such a column could only be written by number one Outback Steakhouse fan Sandra Diaz-Twine, who not only ate there twice a week with her husband but also birthed her first born in the kitchen and later christened the child over potato skins and pints of Foster’s Lager. I could poke fun at Rupert for taking the Heroes thing a little too seriously by walking around with a dorky green cape. I could wax poetic about the hidden immunity idol clue not being the first thing to get into both Parvati’s underwear and Danielle’s cleavage. Or I could announce the launch of my new business venture: a fashion line of affordable robes created from the mind of Benjamin ”Coach” Wade and titled ConfucNietzscheZu. (Perhaps you saw him at Tribal Council modeling our logo while in a pseudo Buddhist Monk pose with his legs crossed and praying. Retail price: $19.99, or wherever dignity is sold.)

But I’m not going to write about any of that. Instead we’re gonna do something a bit different this week. We’re going to examine where J.T. giving Russell the Heroes’ hidden immunity ranks on the list of dumbest Survivor moves ever. To do so, we have to start by looking at the generally accepted five stupidest moves ever before this happened. Let’s count it down.

5. James getting voted out while sitting on two hidden immunity idols (China)

I chalk this one up to overconfidence more than stupidity. Don’t get me wrong, allowing yourself to be voted off while holding a pair of idols is a case of dumb and dumber, but it was also merely a more spectacular version of a common Survivor mistake: getting too comfortable. James didn’t go out of his way too actively be an idiot, so I simply have to deduct a few points on the Moron-o-Meter and put his lackadaisical use of the hidden immunity idols in the number five spot.

4. Colby bringing Tina to the finals instead of sad sack chef Keith (Australian Outback)

Colby insists to this day that he has no regrets bringing Tina to the finals and that he would do the same thing if presented with a similar choice again. He’s lying, of course. On both counts. Colby’s fatal flaw with this asinine decision, however, was his misreading of the jury. He didn’t think he was handing over a million dollars when he brought Tina. He thought he would beat her. Sure, he knew it would be closer, but he assumed he would win. Colby figured he could be both the hero (by selecting the most worthy adversary) and the winner. He thought wrong. But I still maintain that even stupider than his decision to bring Tina was his frighteningly overenthusiastic reaction upon learning that he had lost. Dude, who gets that excited to lose, except maybe the Washington Generals because they get paid to get their asses kicked by the Harlem Globetrotters? You on the other hand, just gave away $900,000. Stop acting so psyched.

NEXT: Dumb and dumber