Parvati and J.T. make some bad decisions when the two tribes merge

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Survivor | IMMUNITY SERVICE Good job getting rid of both those immunity idols, Parvati!
Credit: Robert Voets/CBS
S20 E10

Poppycock. I say that word mostly because I enjoy being able to write the last half of it without being censored, but also because the majority of the conversation in last night’s Survivor was pure poppycock. Nonsense. Gobbledygook.

First we had J.T. calling Russell a ”good-old country boy.” (No, he isn’t.) Then we had Russell telling Jeff the merged tribe had decided to call itself ”Yin-Yang,” because it means ”good and evil.” (No, it doesn’t.) And then, to top it all off, the episode ended with the blindsided J.T. telling cameras (complete with my spliced-in reactions): ”People are villains for a reason. [True, J.T. Russell is a villain for lying, Hannibal Lecter is a villain for finding people tasty, and Celine Dion is a villain for covering ”You Shook Me All Night Long.”] Don’t ever trust them. [Because why would you ever trust someone tapped with the ”villain” label? That’s like sniffing dry-erase markers when they’re labeled ”toxic.” It might be tempting, but you still shouldn’t do it.] Worse than that, don’t ever trust women. [Well — wait, what?! Russell was the ultimate reason behind your downfall, not the ladies! Unless one of them gave you one of those prank kaleidoscopes that leaves a black circle around your eye in some footage cut from the episode?]. Ever, ever, ever. [Or was it that $1 million bill attached to a string trick?]”

Either way, I would be willing to forgive all the crazy talk in last night’s episode if not for all the boneheaded gameplay — on both tribes. (The aforementioned trusting of Russell, nonchalantly bowing out of an immunity challenge when you should be acting a teensy bit scared, flushing two idols — including a secret one — at one tribal.) But we’ll get to all those in a bit. Instead, we’ll start from where we left off last week, when we said goodbye to Courtney, which was good because she was about two days away from looking like something that would scare Abbott and Costello in a haunted laboratory. But since Russell had not voted out Parvati — as J.T. asked him to do in the Lisa Frank-approved letter he wrote the villain last week — Russell and his alliance had to do some scrambling. What would they tell him? How would they convince him that he was still calling the shots? Parvati, Russell, and Danielle came up with probably the only smart plan of the episode: Russell would tell J.T. that both he and Parvati played an immunity idol at tribal — because of a revolt in the so-called women’s alliance — and that Russell is officially now siding with the Heroes. The whole thing ended with Parvati saying she was the queen and Russell saying the Heroes were going to be eating out of his hands, which means the Heroes sadly won’t be eating very much because Harfoots have little tiny hands.

NEXT PAGE: Mmmm, bloomin’ onion…

Meanwhile, over at the Heroes camp, the tribe was looking forward to a merge, or some sort of event. ”Give us the merge, give us a challenge, give us anything,” J.T. told cameras. (Like free immunity idols?) Well, production gave them something: a locked chest. But where’s the key? With the Villains, of course! The merge was officially about to take place. Finally!

The Villains approached the Heroes camp carrying the chest, Russell hidden from view. J.T. was worried. Very worried. He saw Parvati, who should have been voted out at the Villains tribal council. But Russell — Oh, Russell, Russell! Where art thou? He couldn’t be gone, could he? But before J.T. could completely break down and scream ”Khhhhaann!” he spotted a pair of stumpy legs in the back of the troupe. Huzzah! Russell has survived after all! The whole thing played kind of like that scene from Forrest Gump where Jenny and Forrest reunite at the Washington Monument, since J.T. is a little challenged in the intelligence department, and you knew the Russell was just going to end up leaving him anyway, no matter how many presidents J.T. moons.

But before Russell and J.T. could begin plotting, the new tribe opened the chest and began their feast, which, sadly for Sandra, did not include any bloomin’ onions. Then it was time to name their new tribe. This is usually one of my favorite parts of each season, because I love watching a survivor ”randomly” come up with a name that means ”peace,” ”courage,” or ”these new buffs don’t fully cover my breasts” in their location’s native tongue. But since this is a cast of all-stars, they’ve gotten a bit lazy in the labeling department. Someone suggested the horrible hybrid name the Hillians, while Rupert suggested they call themselves the Winners or the Fluffy Bunny Rainbow Chocolate Saints. Eventually, they decided on the Yin-Yangs, because, as I mentioned above, they believe it means ”good and evil.” But the yin-yang actually represents two interdependent polar opposites. Oh, if only Coach were still around to explain to them the definition, and tell them how he one time scaled an erupting volcano wearing nothing but a pair of briefs while greedy gremlins chased him in an attempt to spin his Hanes into gold.

Peace and harmony at Yin-Yang didn’t last long. Parvati, for one, felt left out of the conversation, so she decided to go sit in a cabbage patch and complain about it to cameras. Russell took the chance to flex his acting skills, recounting the story of what happened at tribal the night before when he and Parvati both pulled out their idols. Then Russell swore on his children that he was telling the truth, which, for some reason, always seems to ease the minds of people playing a game based completely on lying. But J.T. should know that swearing on your children on Survivor carries no larger meaning than swearing on a jar of Bacconaise. Especially when the person you’re trying to make a deal with is a villain. And we’re not even talking about one of those misunderstood villains, like the Cookie Crisp guy. (He just wants some cookies, people!)

NEXT PAGE: Wake up, J.T.!

Of course, J.T. bought Russell’s act ”hook, line, and sinker.” So much so that he said ”it’s a known fact” that there were no immunity idols left in the game. Rupert, however, was a different story. Recognizing an opportunity to get in good with the Heroes, Sandra approached the tie-dyed one, and told him that Russell and Parvati were running the show. Russell was the kingpin, and Parvati was the second-in-command. (How many more metaphors are they going to come up with to describe the duo? Russell’s the bee king. Parvati is the helper bee. Russell’s the Oprah, Parvati’s the Stedman.)

Rupert smartly began to get suspicious of Russell and someone he calls Poverty. And it didn’t help that Parvati kept on putting bananas in her mouth. (Insert Parvati joke here.) But even when Rupert brought up his hesitations to J.T. — saying, ”He’s on the villain side for a reason” — the Southern boy was unable to cave. While talking to cameras, J.T. even laughed at Rupert’s suspicions: ”Do you believe what Sandra’s telling you? Or do you believe the obvious truth?” Oh, poor, poor J.T. It was kind of like watching that poor sap in high school who’s told his girlfriend is cheating on him with the school quarterback, but he insists it’s not true because his girlfriend wouldn’t lie! Memo to future Survivor players: Intel is intel! Consider all the options, not matter how painful!

So if that was bonehead move No. 1, Parvati made bonehead move No. 2: Telling Amanda that she had an immunity idol. Okay, I know these two are pals, even if they’re feuding over who could make their buffs cover the least amount of skin. And I realize that Parvati would like to have Amanda on her side, if only because she knows if they make it to three, Amanda is likely to blow it once again at final tribal council. But telling Amanda — a player in a different alliance — that she has the immunity idol? What was Parvati thinking? True, she could have been doing this to get the Heroes to write a different name down at tribal, but if she knew she was the target, she could have used her idol on herself, and still have gotten J.T. out of the running. Instead, she shared her secret with Amanda for virtually no reason, leading Amanda to push for Parvati to use the idol — thereby flushing it — at tribal. Ugh.

Either way, the two joined the other Survivors for the challenge, which would grant immunity to the player who could hold onto a pole for the longest amount of time. (Insert Parvati joke here.) The Survivors took their place on the poles — which actually looked more like giant Lincoln Logs — and because Colby and Sandra lack toe strength, they were the first to go. After the sole Hero left in the competition, Candice, dropped out (bonehead move No. 3, even if it had no consequences), it was down to Parvati and Danielle. Since Danielle wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon — she was so attached to her pole, she began to make out with it — Parvati decided to drop. This, my friends, was bonehead move No. 4. For someone that was just as involved in Russell’s plot as he was, I’m not sure I understand why Parvati would give up immunity so nonchalantly in front of a suspicious crew of Heroes. They knew that she knew they were gunning for her — she should have at least pretended to fall, right? Of course, this led to bonehead move No. 5: J.T. not seeing this as a sign that Parvati had a tribal council plan. Again, ugh. J.T., ALL THE EVIDENCE IS IN YOUR LAP. I swear, Russell could walk up to J.T., pull out the immunity idol, say, ”I’m going to give this to Parvati tonight, who will give it to one of our other teammates, thereby voting you out,” and J.T. would still remain under his spell.

NEXT PAGE: Idol chatter

Then tribal came, and instead of talking about trustworthiness and snakes and rats, Yin-Yang began talking about banana wars, which sounds like a new Facebook game I’ll have to block from my news feed. (”John Smith just tripped you with a banana! John Smith wants to trade a banana for explosives!”) Before Jeff started to read the votes, Parvati stood up — and played both her immunity idols. Bonehead move No. 6! Let’s think this through: Parvati had two immunity idols, one of which only Danielle knew about. She pretty much had to use one tonight, yes, to get the Heroes off her back, and to lead Russell into believing she had gotten rid of the one and only idol. And since she knew the Heroes weren’t going to vote for her, because they wanted to flush the idol, she would have to give hers to someone else on her tribe. But to give them both away? I can understand her giving one to Jerri, someone who might prove useful, since Jerri invited herself into the Russell alliance. But why throw an idol away to save Sandra, someone who is so on the outs of her own tribe she’s likely to swap to the Heroes side next week? Heck, even Parvati herself said last week that she would have an easier time keeping Courtney on the Villains side than Sandra. Again, ugh! (But then again, we are talking about Parvati, someone so indifferent when it comes to idols that she told Dalton she neglected to keep one she found in Micronesia.)

Nevertheless, J.T. was booted, his misogyny following right behind him. And Russell was left telling his Lucy, ”You’ve got some splainin’ to do!” And we’ll see Parvati explain — next week, when Dalton will be back to serve your Survivor needs. In the meantime, check out our bonus clip below, as well as Jeff Probst’s blog, which is as sweet as those cute little dimples of his. And be sure to tell us what you thought of the episode below: Did Parvati make the right move? Should she have saved one of her idols? Why does J.T. suddenly hate women? What’s your stance on banana etiquette? Since he knew Parvati was playing the idol, why didn’t Russell vote for Parvati anyway at tribal, so he could continue playing both sides for at least another week? Would you like to eat sushi off of Coach’s bare chest? And is Russell the Mary Ann or Ginger?

[Sorry, video not available]

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SURVIVOR: Island of the Idols

Survivor

Strangers starve themselves on an island for our amusement in the hopes of winning a million dollars, as host Jeff Probst implores them to "DIG DEEP!"

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