Survivor Heroes vs Villains Finale: “The Winner Is….”

Previously on Survivor, Rupert finally got his scraggly lice infested beard voted out. That leaves Colby Donaldson as the lone hero… but he has been anything but heroic this season. On the Villains side, Parvati, Sandra, and Russell are fighting tooth and nail to win it. Jerri on the other hand is playing the quiet game. Can she slide into the finals? Will Parvati and Russell turn on each other? Can Sandra lip her way to another million? Can Colby win a challenge? Stay tuned!

We start off this week with the final five celebrating another successful tribal council. Well… “celebrating” might be the wrong word. They’re actually fighting. Gotta love the Villains. Russell is pissed at Sandra for keeping her idol a secret and he’s accusing her of wasting it. Then he starts accusing Parvati of lying. Russell has totally lost his mind. He has no perspective on the game. He thinks he’s the only one that is allowed to make moves. Ultimately, Sandra and Parvati just shrug it off and mock him a bit more. He must HATE watching these episodes and these women belittling him. I love it. Parvati says she could care less if Russell is running around stomping his feet like a two year old child.

Colby loves it too. His only hope is an immunity win or a total villain implosion. And Russell’s temper is playing into Colby’s corner. Russell’s sights are now set on Parvati because she’s too much of a competitor and threat. He thinks it’s time to get rid of her. Russell secretly hopes that Colby wins immunity so the choice is made for him. If he can get rid of Parvati, the jury has to give him the million because Sandra and Jerri don’t deserve it. He certainly hasn’t lost any of his end-game arrogance from Samoa.

At the immunity challenge, the castaways compete in a dish stacking competition we first saw in China. They have to place plates and bowls of different sizes on a small wobbly platform. One hand to place the dishes, one hand to hold the rod steady. This looks like a must win for Parvati and Colby. Sandra, of course, is the first one out. Surprisingly Colby doesn’t fall right after her. LOLs. Jerri is the second one out of the challenge. Then Russell. Wow. So it’s down to the people who need it most. DRAMA! My money’s on Parvati. She has been soooo solid. Yep! Parvati wins it! Colby’s plates crashed. Looks like his days are numbered. Jerri’s annoyed. She REALLY wanted Parvati gone.

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Back at camp, Colby pretty much lays down for the villains to walk all over him. He gives a speech about how he knows he’s next and he’s not going to try and campaign. They all hug it out. But when the girls wander off, Colby goes to Russell with one last pitch. Vote out Sandra so there’s a better shot of beating Parvati in the final immunity. Are you kidding me Colby? That’s the best you got? You haven’t won an individual immunity challenge all season! You’re not going to win the next one. Russell would be crazy to drag you in front of the jury.

At Tribal Council, Jeff immediately asks Colby about his chances as the last Hero. Colby says he’s disappointed in his performance and credits Parvati for her skills. He tells Jeff that Parvati would have probably been going home had he won immunity. That’s the first time Parvati has heard it said out loud. She’s not exactly happy about it. Despite his pitch, Colby is gone. The four villains sent him packing.

When the final four get back to camp, they celebrate their villainous clean sweep. But the good mood doesn’t last long. Thoughts immediately turn to the next immunity challenge. Jerri is working hard to pump Russell up so one of them can win and then take out Parvati. On the way to the final challenge they participate in the traditional fallen comrades walk. They stop at each castaway’s torch, collect their moniker, and say a few words. The fallen Survivors then give us little voiceovers about what the game meant to them. Sugar, Stephenie, Randy, Cirie, Tom, James, Tyson, Rob, Coach, Courtney, JT, Amanda, Candice, Danielle, Rupert, and Colby. At the end, the final four set them all on fire. Jerri got to do the honours and actually set the pile ablaze. I thought that was cool because, of the four, she is the only one not to have walked the fallen comrade walk before.

For the final immunity challenge, the four have to race through a maze blindfolded and collect four different necklaces. Their only help are sporadic guide posts that point them in the right direction… if they can feel the symbols correctly. This was INSANE. Like seriously insane. I was jumping out of my seat. It came down to Parvati, Jerri, and Russell. All three of them had their necklaces and were all trying to make their way to the exit. They were literally on top of each other as Russell BARELY got his hands on the necklace first. DAMN! It was soooo close. Jeff said it was the most exciting finish to any challenge. Ever. I’m annoyed that Russell won it, because that means he’s pretty much in control.

Back at camp, the scramble begins. Jerri thinks it’s clear cut. Parvati goes home. Sandra doesn’t really care. She tells Russell she’ll vote anyone out. Parvati tells Russell he should be loyal to her and show the jury that he was at least loyal to one person. She warns him about the votes Jerri and Sandra could get from the jury. Russell, who is so arrogantly blind when it comes to the jury, doesn’t believe Sandra will get any votes except Courtney’s. There’s no way he’s voting her out. Parvati tries to convince Russell that it’s a mistake to keep Sandra. Parvati says she will instantly get Courtney’s, Candice’s, and Amanda’s votes. Russell just doesn’t buy it. He refuses to follow Parvati’s logic.

At the second Tribal Council, it’s clear that they’re all already vying for jury votes. Well… Parvati and Sandra are. Russell still doesn’t understand the jury element of this game. He’s still burning bridges by being an ass. Parvati says she feels vulnerable. Jerri even calls her the biggest threat to win it. Parvati counters that Russell should show that he can actually be loyal by keeping her. Parvati says she deserves Russell’s protection because she has been protecting him the whole time. He gets his knickers in a twist about that one. He is NOT impressed that Parvati thinks she is his equal. He even challenges her on it. What an idiot. Parvati doesn’t back down. She looks him right in the eye and says, “we’ve been protecting each other”. He’s annoyed.

They vote. By a vote of 3 to 1… Jerri is the last member of the jury. She’s shocked. She tells Russell he has some explaining to do.

So there we are… the final three are Parvati, Sandra, and Russell. I love it. I think they all deserve to be there… in their own ways. I hate Russell, but I am going to LOVE watching the girls hand his ass to him on a bronze platter. I really don’t think he has any shot against these two. He plays a great hard game to get to the end, but he doesn’t play the jury. He refuses to acknowledge the social aspect of this game.

As the final three get ready to face their jurors, we get some good confessional time. Sandra tells us about her husband who is fighting the war in Afghanistan. She says she came for one reason… to win a million. She hustles. It’s her game. She was on her own after her alliance was voted out and she tried to get the Heroes to vote out Russell time after time. Russell boasts that he’s done it twice in a row. Day 39 in back to back seasons. Russell thinks he has a shot because he’s “bringing” people to the final that others don’t like. Parvati has enemies and Sandra “did nothing”. Parvati tells us she deserves to win because she has proved herself to be one of the best players to ever play. She has been on Survivor for 114 days. She has been a physical and strategic threat and survived everyone trying to vote her off. Sandra and Parvati then have a giggle session over Russell’s misplaced arrogance. Tee hee hee.

Then… THEN… OMG… I AM DYING. Sandra decides to throw is hat into the fire so he has to go to tribal with his bald ass head. I ADORE THIS. It all comes full circle. Russell burned Jaison’s socks back in Samoa and now Sandra is burning his precious hat JUST to get under his skin and expose one of his weaknesses… his ego and pride. The girls giggle and I rewind about 14 times to giggle with them.

At the final Tribal Council, Sandra made her pitch first. She’s been “sole surviving” since her alliance got wiped out and she did her best to get the Heroes to work with her to vote out Russell. It’s their fault they didn’t listen to her. Russell then makes one of his biggest mistakes ever. He says luck had NOTHING to do with his ability to get to the final three. Uh oh. Anyone who has ever watched Survivor should know that is the LAST thing the jury wants to here. Luck is a big part of the game and they want people to be able to admit that. Russell says he played the game hard and made big moves. That’s what the game is about. Parvati’s pitch focuses on her all-around play. Social, strategic and physical. She notes that she was on everyone’s hit list from day one but survived. Much to Russell’s dismay, Parvati says Russell was her “line of defence”. He was her pet dragon. HAHAHAHA. He’s pissed.

Colby is the first juror to get a shot at the finalists. He berates Russell for the comments about luck. He calls Russell “delusional”. He calls Parvati impressive at challenges, but wants to know more about her strategic game play. She talks about the time she took the risk to hand idols to Jerri and Sandra. Coach then pontificates for a while. He calls Russell a “little man”. He wanted Russell to admit that he crossed too many lines. He then tells Sandra she was useless. To Parvati, he calls her a warrior.

Amanda is next. She asks Sandra to explain how her strategy was better than Parvati and Russell’s. Sandra says she wishes it had been better because then Russell wouldn’t be there! Courtney then congratulates the three of them. She says she’s really proud of her two “villainesses”. She gives Sandra the opportunity to explain how fiercely loyal she can be. JT is next. He tries to explain to Russell the difference between strategy to get to the end of the game and strategy to win the game. Russell believes people will respect his game play. Parvati then tries to explain why she deserves to win more than Sandra. Parv can sense that it has become a two woman show. Russell is down for the count with this jury.

Danielle then congratulates the three of them as well. She picks up where JT left off and criticizes Russell’s “jury management” skill. She asks him if he would change anything about his game given the feedback he is getting. His answer… no. He doesn’t regret a thing. Danielle tells him that he’s not going to get any votes because no one respects the way he played the game.

Jerri then tells the final three she is undecided. She wants Russell to explain why he voted her out. He says it would be a bad move to take Jerri because her hands were too clean. Then Parvati jumps in with a complete assassination of Russell. The reason he voted her off is because he wanted Jerri on the jury. He was 100 per cent sure Jerri would vote for him. Jerri’s eyes just about pop out of her head. She is not impressed with that. Hahaha. There goes Russell’s only vote.

Candice then steps up the rapid fire on Russell. She says lying is one thing, but Russell went too far. He told dirty lies, lies that he didn’t need to tell. Damn right Candice. That is the first smart thing you’ve said all season! And then sadly for Parvati, Russell’s stain spreads to her. Candice doesn’t like that she stayed with him the whole time. Rupert then carries on with a similar path. He says Russell took the easy way out… that he’s disgusting. He regrets that he didn’t listen to Sandra and thanks her. Rupert is also choked at Parvati for sticking with Russell. Parvati tries to explain that Russell was her only option. Rupert comes back to say that both Sandra and Parvati deserve it. Wow. This is going to be close.

They vote. Jerri votes for Parvati. She was totally torn. Candice votes for Sandra and rewards her for staying true to herself. We don’t see JT’s vote. Danielle votes for Parvati and calls her a great player. Courtney votes for Sandra with a fist pump. We don’t see Colby’s vote. Coach votes for Parvati and calls her a warrior. Rupert votes for Sandra and says he’s honoured to do it for the second time. We don’t see Amanda’s vote.

And then suddenly, magically, Jeff walks off the Tribal Council set and onto the stage in New York in front of a live audience. He thanks the cast for one of the best season’s ever. Then, he reads the votes. For the first time, it’s going to be a two-time winner. Parvati or Sandra? It’s SANDRA! She wins it!!!

I’m totally okay with that. I REALLY wanted Parvati to win and I thought she deserved it more, but Sandra played a good game. She’s not the aggressive move maker… but she is sneaky, crafty, resilient, and flexible. Hers may not be the most exciting strategy, but it has brought her two wins. You cannot deny that!

During the reunion, Russell was once again unbearable. He just doesn’t get it. He trashed Sandra’s game play all night and refused to shut up. He is so panicky and breathless. He wishes America could vote… that way he would win. But that is Russell’s fatal flaw. He doesn’t understand the human aspect of Survivor. You have to make moves, vote people out, but find a way to earn their respect while doing it. Parvati and Sandra succeeded at that. He failed for the second time in a row. He is a bold player, but he crosses too many lines.

Russell did get a little bit of revenge. He won the fan vote and got 100,000 bucks. Thankfully… he beat Rupert who I hate even more.

Thank you Survivor! That was an AWESOME season. It will be interesting to see if Survivor 21 in Nicaragua can come close to it.

  • Robyn

    SO GOOD! I saw an interview with Mark Burnett back when he was doing Eco Challenge and he talked about an idea he had for a show where you put 18 people on an island with no food, shelter, or fire. He called it the “greatest human experiment”. I guess no one had that conversation with Russell because he’s missing the “human” part (which proves he’s actually a troll) and that cost him $2 million.
    I wanted Parv to win too but I’m ok with Sandra… her type of game playing has always been underestimated. Happy for her.

  • Adam A.

    Russel was just a big bully the whole time, and it wasn’t parvati that was acting like she was part of an abusive relationship, it was totally Jerri. Russel bullied her every chance he got. And Sandra was right in saying she tried many times to help people get rid of Russel but no one wanted to help. Over-all one of the best seasons of survivor ever

  • Dan

    I was really happy with the outcome! Sandra stood up against Russell, which I think was the best part of the whole reunion show.

    Nice recap Rich!

  • I was hoping for Parvati too, but was totally okay with Sandra as well.

  • Anthony

    I second the compliment on the recap.

    Awesome Rich…. not to mention we basically see eye-to-eye on almost every point. My Survivor doppelganger!

    Except for the fact that I do agree that this was one of the best seasons I’ve seen.

  • jay

    wow..indeed one of the best seasons of survivor…..really want parvati to win…but im ok with SANDRA..she really played a better game..silent killer…hahahahahaha