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Survivor Heroes vs. Villains: Finale, Part 3: Review


Season 20: Week 14

Finale Part 3

Airdate 05/16/2010


The finalists face a final tribal council and each other. Russell, Sandra, Parvati – who will win a million dollars?


Night 38

The final three, weary after 38 days of competition, and probably a little stressed at making the final cut, make their way back to camp. Sandra says she misses her kids and dog and she’s ready to go home. She’s thinking about her husband in Afghanistan with the army. She says she’s tired and going to bed. Russell and Parvati are a little amazed she’s going to leave them alone around the campfire, but as Sandra rightly says, no need to babysit anyone now – it’s every Survivor for him/herself. Sandra interviews that that’s the only reason she’s here – to win another million dollars. So Russell is the only non-million winner left – will that work in his favor? It might, if he were a more sympathetic figure, and if he hadn’t made it clear just how financially well-off he is. Of course he’s mainly made it clear in private interviews with the camera – we’re not sure just how much the other Survivors know about his wealth, or lack of it.

Day 39

The Survivors head out to pick up treemail. Parvati squeals with delight at the fresh fruits and veggies and the bottles of champagne and other drinks waiting for them at the treemail site.

Russell interviews that he’s done it, made it to day 39 once again. He says last time he brought two people he thought were easy to beat to tribal council. Were he a more reflective person he might meditate on how that worked out for him. This time, he says, he brought two people other people don’t like. Parvati, he says, has lots of enemies. Sandra, he says, has done nothing, and the only reason people let her stay in is because she’s easy to beat. He doesn’t mention that each has one once, while he has not.

As the three lie around, logy with fullness after their feast, Russell asks Parvati if she would have voted for him if he’d put her on the jury. She says no, she’d have voted for Sandra. Russell finds that hard to believe, saying he’d have voted for her if it was the other way around. Russell says they played the same game, just he played it a little stronger. Parvati begs to differ. Sandra just lies in the shade and rakes it all in without comment.

As Russell takes a walk down the beach, Sandra and Parvati talk – Sandra saying Russell has no idea what he’s in for, no idea what it’s like going up against a ‘couple of chicks’.

Russell has walked off without his hat, and the imp inside Sandra jumps up and impels her to burn his hat. As soon as she’s voiced the idea she acts on it and tosses the hat in the fire. This is reminiscent of her previous season when, angered that the others in the tribe had voted Rupert out, she said they had no right to all the food Rupert had gathered snorkeling and scattered it all in the jungle. “Screw it,” she interviews,“ that’s payback for all the things he done to me.” She doesn’t think Russell cares about the money, just the title of ‘sole survivor’. “And if that’s what Russell wants, that’s what I’ve gotta make sure Russell doesn’t get.” She says she spent every day wondering how to get rid of Russell, and “…the worse thing of all – those heroes are responsible for their own self destruction.”

Parvati interviews that she’s now played the game of Survivor for 114 days – a record, and that must make her one of the strongest survivors ever. She says she’s ‘embraced her villain.’

Russell returns and asks if anyone has seen his hat. “No,” Sandra says innocently. He looks though his burlap sack of belongings, muttering he’s not going to tribal council without his hat.

Parvati lights a makeshift torch and begins the ritual burning down of the camp. I always wonder what would happen at this point if Jeff walked up and said ‘No, tribal council is tomorrow night.’

Sandra interviews how she had to hustle to stay safe at every tribal council, and never got to hide behind immunity – conveniently forgetting about the idol Parvati handed her in week 10 that could have that kept her in the game, and the one she found herself that saved her from a tie and almost certain elimination in week 13.

The Survivors trek past their burning camp and head for tribal council.

Final Tribal Council

From twenty, three are left. The nine jury members will now pick a winner. The finalists first get a chance to pitch themselves in and opening statement.

Sandra says she’s been scrambling ever since her alliance was wiped out. She tried to oust Russell three times and failed, but somehow survived, tribal council by tribal council.

Russell says he played as hard as he possibly could. He says a lot of Survivors think there’s a lot of luck involved, and sometimes there is, but he got to the end without any luck – apparently just pure strategy. He apologizes if he did anything to offend anyone, but he was just playing the game as hard as he knew how.

Parvati is a little more polished, saying she knew she was up against twenty of the best Survivors, ever. But, she says, she didn’t realize how much of a threat she was perceived to be, so she had to put up a defense, which was where Russell came in, and she ‘kept’ him and played she says the ultimate social game and the ultimate strategic game and the ultimate physical game.

Now the jury gets their chance to torture interrogate address the Survivors.


First up: Colby. He asks Russell if he really believes he got there without any luck. Russell does. Colby says he’s delusional. Colby asks Parvati what strategic moves she made, besides winning challenges. She brings up her double-idol play, which was a master-stroke. Colby wishes all three luck.


Coach characterizes the three as Parvati, “the charmer, and also the manipulator”, Russell “the schemer, and also the liar” and Sandra “the coat tail rider”. Where’s the love, Coach? He uses his time to run down each of their faults in comparison to his own virtues, and never asks a question – sits down without any of them saying a word. “Oh, so this is abuse?”


Amanda asks Sandra how her strategy was better than Russell’s and Parvati’s. Sandra says she wishes her strategy had been better because then Russell wouldn’t be sitting there, but every time she went to a hero, they ran right back to Russell instead of cooperating to get him out. Russell, forgetting who’s supposed to be asking the questions here, asks her “So did that strategy work for you?”, and she admits it didn’t.


Courtney congratulates her three Villains. Especially, she says, “my two Villainesses.” She congratulates Parvati for her challenge prowess, and Sandra for her loyalty. Sandra agrees it’s true, when she picks someone to be loyal to, she’s loyal to the end. It’s a Courtney-Sandra love fest.


JT says the two components of winning Survivor are ‘getting to the end of the game’ and ‘winning the end of the game’, and asks Russell how he thinks he’s doing on that second part. Russell says he seriously believes everybody on the jury is going to respect his game play (the jury sits poker-faced), and he has to stick to what’s going to get him to this point (final tribal council) and hope the jury respects that. To the same question, Parvati says she’s a lot like Sandra, but had to work harder to stay because of the perceived threat she represented. Sandra says she gave 110% in the challenges but she’s not a very physical person (JT mumbles “We know that”). But, she says, she wishes she’d known about his giving the idol to Russell, because if she had, she’d have intercepted it and thrown it right back at him saying “don’t do that!” JT says he’s not out for vengeance and points out he shook Russell’s hand after his ouster.


Danielle congratulates all three. She tells Russell there’s a lack of skill in his jury management, and wants to know if, based on what he’s heard so far, if there’s anything he’d have changed. Russell says he wouldn’t change a thing, and if he hadn’t played like he had, he wouldn’t be there at tribal council. She’s amazed at his answer and tells him “You’re not going to get any votes. Nobody respects the way that you played the game, Russell.” He repeats he wouldn’t change anything and doesn’t regret anything. “That’s too bad.” I must admit, I’m beginning to feel a certain sympathy for Russell, here, it’s beginning to feel a little like elementary school and the outcast being told by the cool kids “Nobody likes you.” Sort of like Jonathan Penner in the ethnic tribe season.


Jerri says she’s “absolutely 100% undecided.” She asks Russell why she was voted out when she thought the plan was to eject Parvati. He says she would have won if she’d been sitting next to him, so strategically he had to vote her out. Good answer, but Parvati jumps in and says he told her it was because he was certain of Jerri’s vote if she were on the jury. Jerri asks Sandra where was the loyalty to her – not that I ever saw them swear loyalty, of course, but Sandra never gets to answer.


Candace says everybody lies on Survivor, but she thinks Russell went too far telling lies “You told dirty lies – lies that you didn’t need to tell.” [Not that she has an example, or anything.] Parvati, she says, played the whole game under Russell’s thumb, like a spouse in an abusive relationship. “I like you, but I can’t support that.” So, Candace is another narcissist, like Coach, who uses all her time to berate, never giving the finalists a chance to respond.


Rupert calls Russell a “manipulative, lying, deceiving person.” Rupert says he wishes he’d talked to Sandra more, but he had been swayed by “what I consider a disgusting human being” (looking at Russell.) Lighten up, Rupe, it’s Survivor. He tells Sandra she deserves a big “thank you” from all the heroes. “Parvati,” he says, “you are a very, very strong player – you may have aligned yourself with… “ he hesitates, not being able to think of a word bad enough, finally settling for an adjective standing in for a noun “terrible”. Parvati protests that nobody else would ally with her.


Jeff thanks the jury and gives them a time to think over their vote. Then he charges them to vote for the winner that they think deserves the million.

Voting time:

Jerri votes. She says “This is absolutely insane. I’m walking up her going Parvati, Sandra, Parvati, Sandra… I’m perplexed.” [I guess she was actually only 67% undecided.] Then she writes down Parvati’s name.

Candace votes for Sandra. “Sandra, in this game the line between Hero and Villain was blurred most of the time. But you work hard, you put family first, and you always stay true to yourself, and that makes you a true hero to me.”

JT votes.

Danielle votes for Parvati. “Hey girl, I’m voting for you. I know everything that you had to go through, dealing with Russell and all, but you are a great player. I thought you deserved to be sitting in the final three.”

Courtney votes for Sandra. “Fist bump, girl.”

Colby votes.

Coach votes for Parvati. “Parvati, I was wrong about you. You are a warrior. And that is why you get my vote.” After he casts his ballot he adds, “King Arthur’s journey… has officially ended.” But I thought he was Sir Lancelot?

Rupert votes for Sandra. “I’m honored that I get to write your name down again and give you a million dollars. Love you.”

Amanda votes.

So… will Russell get a single vote? Jeff goes to count. When he returns, he thanks all the Survivors for being part of a great 20th season, and reminds them they’ll have to wait until they get back to New York to see who won. He walks into the distance with the ballot urn as the final three and the jury exchange grins.

[continued in next blog]


The Final Three Survivors:

FinalistsKnown votes
Parvati Shallow3
Sandra Diaz-Twine3
Russell Hantz0

Survivor Poll

Posted by Cecil on May 28, 2010 9:12 PM
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