A Merger, A Mutiny and A Major Strategic Shift – Pdawg on Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains


After 25 days of brutal physical competition, dangerously aggressive challenges and brilliant gamesmanship, the Heroes and Villains left standing in Survivor 20 make it to the all-important merge. This, along with making it to the jury, is a major milestone in the game and signifies a change in strategy as the game shifts from a team-first mentality to a every man/woman for him/herself strategy.

Prior to the merge, Russell, Parvati and Danielle go over their strategy. The plan is to make JT think the girls are in charge and Russell is in danger. Courtney is gone because Parvati played her immunity idol (in addition to Russell playing the one JT gave him) so Courtney was eliminated instead of Parvati. Once JT is on board, the Villains will pick off the Heroes one-by-one on their way to the top-3.

The Villains arrive at the Heroes camp and JT puts the pieces of the puzzle together in his head just as Russell had expected – Parvati must have had an idol as well and played it. JT greets Russell and the two exchange knowing glances. Russell knows JT is hooked. Parvati and Danielle rejoice in the fact that they have an Ace up their sleeve in the form of a hidden immunity idol that nobody else knows about.

The newly formed Yin-Yang (good and bad) Tribe is formed and new, black buffs are handed out. Russell spends a few minutes assuring JT and Rupert that he’s on board with their plan and he even goes as far as to swear on his kids…kind of a Johnny Fairplay move if you ask me. JT is sure Russell is trustworthy as he’s just “a good old country boy” like JT. Sure he is.

Sandra, the only Villain not part of Russell’s alliance, sees her chance to change the game and informs Rupert that Russell is in command and can’t be trusted. Rupert reports back to Candice, Amanda and JT. The four of them concoct a plan to trap Russell in a lie by telling him they’re voting for Parvati and then voting for someone else to see how Russell votes and uses the idols. JT doesn’t like the plan as he’s fallen for Russell’s story in a big way.

In them meantime, Parvati and her old friend Amanda have a reunion on the beach where Parvati shares the fact that she has an idol and Amanda lets her know that the Heroes are gunning for her. Realizing that Amanda is a shrewd player, Parvati begins developing her own plan to use the idol, if necessary, to protect the heroes.

The immunity challenge is a test of strength, mental toughness and perseverance as the players attempt to balance on a tall pole – last one standing wins. In the end, Parvati and Danielle are the final two in the game and Parvati opts to let Danielle gain immunity so they are both safe.

Before Tribal Council JT realizes it is strange that Parvati gave up in the challenge and let Danielle win. He decides to go along with the Heroes’ plan to tell Russell they are voting for Parvati, but vote for Sandra instead to see which way Russell goes. Meanwhile, Russell gives Parvati his idol and tells her to protect herself at Tribal and vote for JT. Parvati goes to Tribal Council with two immunity idols and her closest ally, Danielle, safe.

At Tribal Council Rupert complains about Parvati and Danielle eating too many bananas and Russell admits to spending more time with the Heroes than Villains in an attempt to show JT et al that he is still on board. The players vote and Jeff asks for any immunity idols. Parvati stands up, which brings a smile to JT’s face and proceeds to give her idol to Sandra. Then, to everyone’s surprise, she pulls a second idol out of her bag and gives it to Jerri. Russell, the king of the hidden immunity idol blindside is shocked. “You have some explaining to do,” he tells Parvati. “Secret,” is all she says. And with that bold strategic move by Parvati, JT is eliminated from the game with the five Villain votes.

The Villains clearly have the upper hand for the time being unless Sandra flips now while she can. Her vote means a lot to the Heroes and they may be willing to protect her in order to keep a few Heroes in the game. It will be interested to see how Parvati handles Russell now that he knows she’s been keeping secrets. Russell will not like that and he may decide that she’s too smart/dangerous to keep in the game. For now, all the power rests with Russell, Parvati and in some ways, Sandra. But, don’t underestimate Danielle. She’s played this ‘under the radar’ game before and she could be a surprise member of the final three!

The Scribe Has Spoken…

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