My take on Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains

My take on Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains

I take credit for having predicted a few pop culture successes.

I picked Jim Carrey after seeing him on (I think) Entertainment Tonight doing “facial impressions”.  This was before he was famous, and it was just a short bit.  The host would say a name, “Bruce Dern!  Clint Eastwood!” and he would just change his face to look like that person. 

I picked Daryl Hannah, based on her performance in Blade Runner.

I also picked Survivor.  I remember that my Significant Other (SO) and I were in a shopping mall, getting something to eat.  I thought it was an interesting concept, and would take off.

I won’t mention this time things where I was wrong.  😉

I’ve watched every season, and this one, honestly, has been one of the best.

There are six people left, but for me, this is about Russell at this point.  He plays himself as evil and a misogynist, but I suspect that’s all just an act.  What I like about him is he really has played outside the box.

My family has always enjoyed making up new rules for games (which my SO, correctly, thinks is funny).  I’d say the best one we did was “hyperspace chess”.  You play on two boards with two sets of pieces.  The middle four squares are “jump squares”.  On a turn, you can move a piece on one of those four squares to the equivalent space on the other board.  If it happens to land on another piece, you take it.  To win, you have to checkmate the other person on both boards.  It creates some very interesting strategy: do you move both of your queens to the same board to try and crush your opponent there?  But if you do that, you are vulnerable on the other board.  Needless to say, there are a lot of draws, but we like that it’s different.

I’m going to rank who I would like to see win…it’s not what I’m predicting, necessarily, but the ones that would make me happiest.  My first choice would be:

Russell has done some brilliant things, in my mind.  If you don’t know the game, one of the things that has happened in more recent series is the use of  “hidden immunity idols”.  You get voted off the island: you’ve probably heard that phrase.  If you have an immunity idol, you can’t get voted off that night.  You can win immunity in a competition (and then everybody knows, of course)…or you can find a hidden immunity idol.  Then, nobody knows you have it (unless you tell them or they figure it out somehow).

People get clues to HIIs in various ways.  They are often confusing, almost poetry. 

Russell, in his first season, simply looked for the HII with no clues.  That’s really outside the box thinking, and it worked!  After all, they have to be in some definable location…something that can be deduced by clue analysis.

LAST SEASON SPOILER ALERT: Russell didn’t win, but a lot of people thought he should have won (including me).  However, that’s part of the fascinating part of the game: ultimately, the people you outlasted (often by pushing them off a cliff when they least expected it…not literally, of course…I just didn’t want to say “under the bus”, which is too much of a cliché) ;), decide whether you get the money or not.  You have to step on people on the way up…and then they have to choose to reward you.

I often think people want someone who beat them to go all the way, so you can say no one could have stopped them.  The team that defeats your team in the playoffs?  You want them to win…it’s much more embarrassing to be beaten by someone who goes on to lose.

 There was no question that Russell had made his own progress in the game, through innovation and deception.  But he didn’t win.


Russell certainly had one big advantage this season.  This is an All Star show, with players from previous seasons…but it happened so quickly after the last one that none of the players had seen him play.  They didn’t know about him finding the idols, and how close he came.   They knew he was a villain, but didn’t know why.

Parvarti is a different story, but probably the other major force at this point.  She played twice before, and won the million dollars once.   She should have been a target right away…most former winners are, because they are seen as a threat.  Nobody should have trusted her not to get past them.

Russell apparently did.  That’s the thing about Parvarti…some men think they are manipulating her, when they aren’t.  It’s fascinating to watch: it’s not that people should think they are likely to “hook up” or form long-lasting relationships (although it has happened).   It’s a game, and you should expect everyone is trying to win…and that means, trying to beat you.  Russell watched the show, I presume he’s watched her seasons.  And yet, he apparently thought she was putty in his hands.  Well, maybe she wasn’t putty to be molded, but clay to form a golem.  That’s not quite right: she was fully formed, but I think some players think that she is dependent on them, when she isn’t.  She also made a great move at one point this season, pulling the rug out from under Russell in a blatant, in your face move.  I would believe she deserves to win if she does, and I think she has played well.  I like Russell’s game play better, but I would think it would be fair for her to beat him.

Rupert is a big guy, both in personality and in size…sort of like Hagrid from Harry Potter come to life.  In his first season (this is his third), he was a fan favorite.  However, I think what made him so popular was his unbridled, mischievous enthusiasm for the game.  I’m not feeling that this time.  It certainly might have something to do with him having broken his toe early on in this game.  That may also have affected him physically.  In his first season, he was a powerhouse…you would want him holding up the ceiling that was falling on you while you crawled to safety…and you believed he would have done it.  This season, he seems a little disgusted by the whole thing.   Yet, he was the only one who really believed Sandra about Russell.  He faked having an HII…that’s worth something.

Jerry was the “original villain” on Survivor, and plays it a bit like Janice Dickinson saying she was the first super model.  I feel like she’s a bit of an underdog on this season, and I do feel that she is really playing the game.  I like her better this time than I have on her two previous appearances.  She’s been more clear-headed than some of the others, and although certainly not the oldest (of the remaining, Rupert is seven years older), but I’ve felt she’s had to fight harder in some of the physical challenges.

Honestly, I don’t like Sandra very much.  I don’t think we’d hang out.  🙂  On the show, she comes across to me as…petulant.  She seems to want to get ahead by messing up other people, not through her own efforts.  I could be wrong, but she doesn’t seem to ever win much…except the entire season!  It’s worth noting that she hasn’t had one single vote cast against her yet this time…and she is the only contestant, I think, where that is true.  People talk about voting her out, but she never seems like a threat.  Still, I don’t much like her strategy, although it clearly works for her.

This season, Colby has just not done well.  We think of him as a strong person, and a noble one…he basically has the rep of having giving away the game to somebody else.  However, he certainly isn’t the physical threat he was before, and just seems…unworthy.  However, I do have to say…if he’s been faking it and now wins all of the immunity challenges, it is the greatest deception ever in the game of Survivor, and then I’m all for him winning.  But unfortunately, I don’t think that’s going to happen.

Well, that would be my preference: I’d rather see Russell win, and I’d be okay with Pavarti winning. 

Feel free to let me know your preferences and/or predictions.  Of course, the slate will be different after tonight.  🙂

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in The Measured Circle blog.


One Response to “My take on Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains”

  1. Russell is wrong about Survivor « The Measured Circle Says:

    […] said in an earlier post that my preference would be for Russell to win Survivor…and that Sandra was down at the […]

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