Survivor Review: Dumbest Survivor Ever!

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Cue Michael Buffer...

Ding Ding Ding!  Tonight…we are going to witness the most anticipated match in the history of Survivor …for the title of…Dumbest Survivor Everrrrrrrrrrr!  Are you ready?  Survivor fans, arrrrrrrrrrrre you ready?  For the few in attendance and the millions watching around the world, from the island of Samoa, let’s get ready to rumbllllllllllllle!

In this corner, from Survivor: Micronesia, with a guaranteed one-in-four shot to win one million dollars, he gave the immunity idol to the alliance positioned against him and was subsequently voted out.  Standing 6’2” and 150lbs, the four-time defending Dumbest Survivor Everrrrrrr, Erik Reichenbach!

In this corner, the challenger, from Survivor: Tocantins and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, he gave his hidden immunity idol to a member of the opposing tribe, the villainous Russell Hantz.  Standing 6’1” and weighing in at 165lbs, the winner of Survivor: Tocantins, James “JT” Thomas, Juuuuniorrrrrr!

JT Survivor: Tocantins

Unbelievable.  This week's episode was like watching a train wreck, in one-hour slow motion.  You knew what was coming, but you couldn't stop it.  Incredibly painful to watch. What else is there to say at JT’s stupidity?  The Heroes dubbed their move “Survivor History” and the producers named the episode as much, but to poke fun at JT’s boneheaded play, not honor it. 

As much as JT is being skewered this morning, it’s the entire moronic Heroes tribe who's at fault.  Except for a half-hearted effort from Amanda to bring everyone back to their sense, Rupert, Colby and Candice were all on board with JT’s ridiculous plan to give Russell their hidden immunity idol so he could save himself from the phantom woman’s alliance.  How was Amanda the only one to recognize that it is entirely possible that the Heroes really have no idea what is going on at the Villains camp?

I blame Rupert.  He’s been brutal to watch and I don’t think I’m the only one who tires of his over-the-top, super-Hero-yet-pirate routine.  He was the one who blurted out two weeks ago after Rob was voted off that there’s clearly a woman’s alliance going on over at the Villains tribe and the other Heroes followed along with his flawed logic like lemmings being led to their death.

(Great stuff from the now late-Courtney imitating Rupert ridiculous antics at the reward.  Too bad she was overshadowed by Russell and Rob on her tribe.)

When the Heroes were debating between voting off James or Tom one week and then James or Colby the next week, they really should have been thinking about getting rid of Rupert.  If James or Tom were still around, they would have put an end to JT’s non-sense this week.  Tom is as level headed as they come and would have thwarted JT’s ignorance from infecting the tribe.  James may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but as a former Dumbest Survivor Ever, he now knows a bad move when he sees one.

Just when it looked like the Heroes were back in control of the game, they yet again make a mess of things and literally hand control of the game over to the Villains.  The only thing that can save the Heroes now is if the tribes do not merge next week with just ten players remaining in the game. 

Kudos to Russell for hamming up the phantom all-woman’s alliance as much as possible.  Certainly he couldn’t have predicted a result like this (and really, who could?), but I’m not sure it works without Russell’s salesmanship.  All he was looking for was some inside information from the Heroes when the tribes merged so they could blindside someone and get the advantage on their side.  JT decided that was not a big enough of handicap to play against, but giving Russell the hidden immunity idol would level the playing field. 

Villains Debate

What will be interesting going forward is seeing how Russell plays off the fact that Courtney was the one sent home, not Parvati as JTs absurd note specifically instructed Russell to vote for.  One would hope that the Heroes will recognize, upon seeing Parvati still around and Courtney gone, that something is clearly up. 

Hopefully they realize they made the largest mistake in Survivor history.  To date, however, they’ve shown a propensity to be thick headed when the situation before them is obvious and do the wrong thing.  Additionally, Russell has been a master manipulator when it comes to spinning some sort of lie to get what he needs (see another challenger to the Dumbest Survivor Ever title, Tyson Apostal), so I lack any confidence that they’ll recognize their mistake and act appropriately.

Outside of the Heroes coming to their senses, unlikely, the other potential fly in Russell’s ointment is Sandra.  Certainly she has to recognize that she’s on the outside, looking in at Russell’s female harem alliance and has no shot at getting to the finals unless she flips.  This certainly seems reasonable, but so would informing the Heroes at the challenges that there is not an all-female alliance and Russell is running the show. 

To my continued surprise, neither Courtney nor Sandra did this when Rupert was running his mouth.  Perhaps this speaks to their perception that the Villains will stay together at the merge and use the Heroes ignorance to everyone’s advantage.  Still, imagine if they had?  Now that we know the depths of JT’s naivety, perhaps he would have given Sandra or Courtney the hidden immunity idol and they could have used it to vote off Russell this week.  That would have actually been a smart move and we’d be lauding JT as a true Hero this week, instead of a buffoon. 

Courtney and Sandra Contemplate

Getting back to normalcy, the move to vote off Courtney instead of Sandra only speaks to Sandra’s expertise when it comes to playing this game.  She has the misdirection game of Survivor down to a T.  Russell says a number of times before tribal council that he doesn’t trust Sandra or Courtney, but finds Courtney less trustworthy.  This is after Courtney swears allegiance to Parvati (just like the queen she claims to be!) and their alliance when the merge comes.  I suspect Russell feels that the “information” Sandra gave him last week about Coach makes him feel like he can trust Sandra more over Courtney.  How ironic!

While JT’s dethroning of Erik as the Dumbest Survivor Ever (too bad James isn’t on the jury, huh?) likely tipped the scales heavily in favor of the Villains, did their decision to keep Sandra over Courtney level the playing field a little bit?  Here’s what else is on our mind heading into a possible merge:

  1. How will Russell continue to play up the all-female alliance if there’s a merge?
  2. Will the Heroes recognize their colossal mistake?
  3. Which tribe has the upper hand, Heroes or Villains?
  4. Will Sandra flip?
  5. Who’s the favorite: Parvati/Danielle or Russell?

Who's the Dumbest Survivor Ever?

Survivor History Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (6 Votes)
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Survivor Season 20 Episode 9 Quotes

I kind of want to see [Russell] squirm a little bit.


The next immunity challenge guarantees us the finals.