After last week where we witnessed perhaps the dumbest Survivor move in a long time, this week we saw perhaps the greatest. SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't seen last night's Survivor yet, stop reading.
Last week, J.T. attempted to get the edge on the Villains by giving his immunity idol to Russell, figuring Russell was on the outs of an all-girl alliance. J.T. recommended the Villains take out Parvati. (Everyone seems to think Parvati is a huge threat and they want her gone. She has, after all, already won a Survivor All-Stars.) Of course, that move was not smart because Russell was actually in control of the alliance. (As Rachel pointed out, Steven is sitting at home saying, "see, I told you I was the brains behind my alliance with J.T.")
This week we got the much anticipated merge, with the added bonus that the two sides were equal with five each. So this is the big vote. Whoever goes home, the other side has the majority and can "easily" reach the final five. So this is why Pavarti's move was so brilliant.
She already knows that the Heroes think there is an all-girl alliance among the Villains and that they have "flipped" Russell. So there's a pretty good bet that Russell is safe from the first vote by the merged tribe. So she tells Amanda she has an idol and Amanda tells her she better play it. Here's the big move. They made a big deal last week about how Amanda has played over 100 days of Survivor and Parvati is like one day behind. So they're the top two players ever, at least by that stat. Parvati's instinct tells her Amanda is not being entirely truthful so she sets out to protect her ENTIRE TRIBE. First, she gets a second idol from Russell, who assumes she's going to be voted out by the Heroes because they already wanted Parvati out. And he assumes the Heroes think he and Parvati already think they played whatever idol they had (because he told them that).
Then, and here is where the brilliance of the plan starts to show, Parvati and Danielle outlasted everyone on the immunity challenge. So what does Parvati do knowing that she's going to be voted out? She concedes the challenge so that Danielle will have immunity. So Russell and Danielle are now safe. And what do the Heroes do? They fall for Parvati's move and start to think that maybe Parvati does have an idol (as told to them by Sandra). So the Heroes decide for sure, say Parvati, vote Jerri. This plays right into Parvati's plans.
At tribal, she gives the two immunities to Jerri and Sandra, leaving her entire tribe, except for her, safe from the vote. Here is where she had to rely on her instinct about Amanda, which of course was correct, and take a risk. It paid off handsomely, because the Heroes went for Jerri and the Villains all voted for J.T. Brilliant.
So the Villains will coast to the final five, right? Don't count on it. This has been a great season of Survivor and I expect it will only get better. Jerri seems a sure bet to follow Parvati anywhere after last night. But Sandra still has it in for Russell. Maybe we will see that all-girl alliance after all. (And when I say "we" I mean everyone but J.T.) And Russell has to be angry that Parvati played his idol without telling him her plan. Russell likes to be in control and he lost that control last night. His ego won't let him see the brilliance of the plan and the net result. He'll be gunning for Parvati. But so what, they've been gunning for Parvati since the opening credits first ran and she still there.
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