By Jeff Probst
Updated March 25, 2010 at 12:12 PM EDT

Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBSThe Boston Rob vs. Russell showdown continues!

Russell: He’s threatening Russell Hantz. When do you that, you go.

Rob: He’s not playing with the amateurs anymore. Playing with the big boys now.

Rob: I’m just telling you watch your back.

Russell: Same thing for you man, watch your back.

Russell: Boston Rob says it’s better to play with me than against me. Oh, really? I believe I’m gonna get him to eat those words.

And last night, I think Rob was served an appetizer.

More on that later.


Physically, Boston Rob continues to dominate this game. I don’t think there is anybody left that can beat him at any of the challenges. Like him or hate him, you cannot deny that if you’re in a fox hole, B-Rob would not be a bad guy to have in there with you. Part McGuyver, part Pete Rose — in my book, he’s money.

And for all of you who are saying “Nah nah nah nah nah nah! Look at how well James did, he did better than Colby in the challenge! The Heroes were right to keep him in the game!!” Well, you’re right. He did beat Colby, and so did Rupert, and in response, James had some funny comments that I’m sure were tough for Colby to hear:

At camp…

James: You, the great Colby. So if you turn it on and start winning, we’ll be alright. But if it’s the old sleepy ass Colby that gets beat by a fat man and a cripple. That ain’t right.

Then in interview…

James: Colby doesn’t want to be here. There’s no way that’s the Colby of old, one of the baddest competitors ever. He has not done anything. He has almost brought me to tears. It’s like my Superman sucks. All his muscles are gone so it’s very disappointing to see a grown man give up like that.

Then at tribal council…

James: You got slammed by the Dragon Slayer. …[You] got beat by a cripple and a fat dude on the obstacle course. It’s like finding out Superman was in a big girdle. You seem them muscles and you get up close and it’s nothing but a fat suit.

To his credit, Colby accepted it as a valid criticism. He’s not having a great season.


Who needs a challenge department? Who needs a host? The Hero tribe provided more drama and more humor than any challenge we’ve done thus far this season when they created their own Survivor Challenge: The Hero Olympics.

James taking on J.T.? Get out. That’s good television. The only person missing was my niece! She would have taken second for sure!

It was one of the craziest things I’d ever seen. James trying to out run J.T. with a splint on his leg. Remember, I do not stay out on the beach, so the first time I saw this footage was watching an early cut of this episode. It was awesome.

I have to give James major credit. That guy does not back down from any challenge. Going up against J.T. with a bum leg was ballsy. And I’ll admit, I was surprised how fast James was, given his bad leg. Maybe I was wrong, maybe my niece wouldn’t have beat him. But let’s be clear… I would have.

It also made me respect the Heroes just a little bit, something that has been hard for me to do of late. It gave me hope that maybe, just maybe they’re starting to get a clue.

The entire speech about banana etiquette from Amanda to James was yet another in a season filled with scenes that you would swear are scripted. I think Survivor should be nominated for an Emmy for Best Writing, and the award should go to the Heroes vs. Villains cast. If you could write this kind of a show every week, you would have a big house in the Hollywood Hills with a pool, a few really cool cars, a man servant, a full-time maid, a well-stocked wine bar, a movie theatre in your basement, and an incredible view of the city. In short, you’d be living like Ryan Seacrest.

Fortunately, we don’t have to write anything, our group of Survivors do it for us.

Okay, back to the showdown. This was one of the greatest Pre-Tribal and Tribal Councils we’ve had in the history of our show. So much was going on, so much was at stake. This was truly a royal battle.


Going into tribal council, Boston Rob laid out a strategy for his alliance that was 100 percent fool proof. 100 percent. B-Rob is a very smart and strategic player. He was absolutely right. Even if nobody played the idol, so long as everybody voted as laid out by Rob, (three votes Parvati, three votes Russell) then their alliance would stay intact — at worst Russell, Parvati, and Tyson would be tied with 3 votes each. They would re-vote, Rob’s alliance would most likely target Russell, he would have been voted out.

But Rob was also prepared for an idol to be played, and if so, then Parvati’s votes would not count, and Russell and Tyson would have been tied at three votes each. We’d re-vote and Russell would be voted out. He had it wired. Russell was going home. Russell should have gone home.

But this is Survivor and that means anything can happen. And what happened last night was…


The short, stubby, tooth-missin’ garden gnome did it again! Unbelievable. UN-B-LEEVE-ABLE. I still cannot believe he pulled it off. There were two HUGE elements at play:

1. It was a very inspired move to try to convince Tyson that he was safe at the vote because Russell was turning on Parvati — therefore Tyson didn’t need to worry about voting for Russell. He could just change his vote to Parvati since his vote didn’t really matter. The thing is Tyson didn’t have to change his vote. He could have gotten the same result and still kept himself safe by voting for Russell. The smarter move would have been to say, “Fine Russell, I dig that you’re ready to vote out Parvati. I’m gonna keep with my plan to vote for you just so I don’t alert anybody but I’m with you, and Parvati is going home.” Tyson could have gotten the same result without risking anything. Tyson simply lost his mind and forgot what he was doing… because Russell put that damn Russell seed in his head!

2. Russell giving the idol to Parvati was the biggest risk he’s taken in either of his two seasons. He went for broke and it worked.

You can write all the comments you want about how much you hate Russell. I don’t care. I won’t respond. That dude just made a major game-changing, momentum-switching move — and it worked. That’s what legends are made from – big bold moves.


Tyson now joins James and Eric in the small section in the back of the Survivor Hall of Fame reserved for DUMBEST MOVES EVER. Tyson! We passed up Shane to bring you back… we had such high hopes for you. What were you thinking?! It’s one thing to be voted out with two immunity idols in your pocket like James did in China. It’s another thing to give up an immunity idol at tribal council like Eric did in Fans vs. Favorites. But Tyson, you changed your vote when there was nothing to be gained and in doing so you voted yourself out! We’ll take a poll, but I think that might be him at the top of the list. Remember, he gained nothing by changing his vote. It was just a tragic, game-ending muck up.


It’s one of the greatest showdowns we’ve ever had and one of the most interesting stories of the season. Russell and Boston Rob. Two heavyweights duking it out on the beaches of Samoa.

Tonight, Russell took the upper hand. I loved how happy he was with himself, on the beach slapping his thighs with joy. And Rob’s face of confusion as he heard the votes being read was something we’re not used to seeing. I wonder how long it took him to figure out what happened.

And Russell is absolutely smitten with Parvati. The handing over of the idol from Russell to Parvati was the Survivor version of foreplay. I even got a bit turned on watching it, over and over and over. Think I’m crazy? Go back and take a look again. It’s foreplay. As she takes the idol, Parvati gives him a look that says, “You will most definitely get some tonight.” Of course we all know he won’t, but I think he thinks he will. That’s what I mean when I say Parvati is deadly. Even when you’re not into her, she turns on that charm and next thing you know you’re giving her your… idol.

These are our best players and they are giving us a tremendous season. The strategy is as intense as it has ever been — and we’re still just getting started.

Oh yes, the Heroes finally made a good move and voted out James.

See ya next week! We’re back on Thursdays again – from here till the end! Our finale is in NYC on May 16. Mark it down.

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