Survivor 20, Episode 3 : That Girl is Like a Virus

Finally we see a bit of what’s going on at Villains camp, and it’s not pretty -and quite messy. But I guess except for the shelter we can say the same about the Heroes, even if some think the storm has passed after last week.
Heroes
OK, the atmosphere at camp seems a bit better, winning the challenge definitely helped improving the mood. But this is all but temporary, I think we can be pretty sure of that.
Amanda Kimmel
It hadn’t struck me before, but I realized that Amanda was quite skinny in the challenge. Is that just me, or has she lost a lot of weight (not since last week, but since Micronesia)? Maybe she’s not as strong as she used to be. Apart from that not much either. If I trust the editing, she seems pretty under the radar now that she’s in the majority. Still, if the heroes go to tribal council again soon, they know they can’t afford to lose Tom and Colby yet, so she should be careful. Although I don’t see any of her friends targeting her anytime soon. But really, they should, if she gets the opportunity to reunite with Parvati, it’ll be Micronesia 2.0 as Randy said, and more on that in Parvati’s paragraph.
Candice Woodcock
Interesting development what has just happened with Candice, Cirie and JT. When Candice aligned with Cirie (and consequently with the majority) it seemed that Cirie was on the outs and needed help. But what I suspected then, I’m almost sure now. Cirie has been with Amanda, James and JT all along and was pretending to be on the outs to lure Candice and/or to manipulate Tom, Colby and Stephenie, almost as  a spy. And now, it’s working against Candice, as it made her feel like she could confide to JT about her mistrust of Cirie, and it’s gonna come back to bite her in the ass very soon. What’s odd though, is that when she learns that there’s word out there that she said that about Cirie, she had totally forgotten that she actually said it to JT, and that he’s the one that gave her out.
I’m sure if it’s going to hurt Candice or JT in the near future, but that scene was not random, it will have further development in the near future.
Cirie Fields
As I just mentioned, I’m now convinced that Cirie was never on the outs and that her alliance with JT, Amanda and James is solid, although I’m surprised how easily she got manipulated by JT when he told her what Candice had told him about not trusting Cirie. Because, Cirie being Cirie, it’s true that she cannot be trusted and JT knows it, and he felt threatened by a possible strong sub-alliance between Cirie and Candice. Seeing Cirie’s reaction, that sub-alliance seems not only gone, but Cirie may decide to oust Candice at the next vote. Except that she wouldn’t have decided anything, it’s JT that would have used her.
Colby Donaldson
It took three times playing this game for Colby to realize that playing Survivor is about being strategic, devious, having alliances and voting people according to how it’s gonna get you further in the game, and not about being noble, athletic and nice. And it took Tom to tell him that to finally figure it out. Better late than never I guess. Will he start playing strategically though? Of course not. He’ll be kept a round a little while and then dumped when he won’t be needed anymore. I don’t think he’s even perceived as a threat by anyone anymore.
James Clement
What’s wrong with James? I understand that he was very frustrated by losing challenges, and then excited by winning that one, but his behavior with Randy was totally uncalled for. What happened to him? I think Tyson implied it the best: steroids happened to him. People should realize that using steroid doesn’t only make your muscles bigger, it also makes you go insane, this is why they should only be used under medical supervision and definitely not to make you stronger while playing Survivor. Sad… He’s lucky he has a strong alliance, but he shouldn’t fool himselgf, he too will be ditched as soon as he’s not needed anymore.
James “J.T.” Thomas, Jr
Ok this is an All-star edition, the survivors know each other this time, and they know how other people played. Why hasn’t anybody realize what was JT’s strategy the previous time is a surprise to me. Yes, he was extremely devious in Tocantins, he’s the proof that one can be nice ans appreciated and still extremely manipulative. And he’s doing it all over again. His little talk with Candice and then with Cirie basically signed Candice’s death warrant for the next vote. Also, I’m pretty much sure that JT has a surprise coming, but more on that in somebody else’s paragraph.
Rupert Boneham
I was not very nice to Rupert last week, but this week I feel bad for him (and yes, I’m fully aware it’s the editing that’s manipulating the viewer’s emotions). I feel bad because while I’m pretty much sure he hasn’t changed much as a human being over the years (although celebrity must have inflated his ego no doubt), but he’s more and more ridiculous as a character. I guess on the one hand the novelty has worn off, and on the other hand, he really needs a reality check about what’s going on in the game, and that the other contestants are not like the kids he’s taking care of. Yes, he was right when he said that the tribe has to feel united again, but let’s be serious, it’s not the little chicken hunt that bonded the tribe. Yes they look united right now, because last week’s tensions have calmed down a bit (after every adrenaline rush, there’s an endomorphine wave) and winning the challenge helped. A challenged that didn’t require any thinking nor teamwork, is that the reason why it was so easily won by the Heroes? I think so.
Rupert seems allied with JT, James, Amanda and Cirie, but I really don’t know how strong that alliance is. I doubt he’ll ever think about betraying them, but there are at least three of his four allies that could betray him in a heartbeat. Is he aware of that?
Tom Westman
It’s interesting to see Tom being at the bottom of the pecking order. Not a spot he’s used to, not in Survivor, not in life either I suspect. I can’t wait to see what he’ll do with this. Is he gonna play strategically as he told to Colby? Is it too late for this? Can he do anything? And most important: can he drop that “I’m a super hero” and I’ll constantly tell people what’s the right thing to do” attitude that really annoys me and makes me not like him?

The different teams and alliances:
-Amanda, Cirie, James, JT, Rupert.
-Tom, Colby.
-Candice.

Villains
Finally the Villains got some air time and went to tribal council. I’m still fascinated by this tribe. It’s actually a rather weak tribe and most if not all of them play as if they were in the second half of the game already, post-merge. They’d better win as many challenges as possible if they want to survive the actual merge. Although I have the feeling that they’ll enter into the merge weakened, but then they’ll be able to manipulate the remaining heroes and we’ll have villains in the final two or three (although I’d love to have one hero and one villain in the final two, I doubt that will happen).
Benjamin “Coach” Wade
Last week I was afraid that Coach’s antics were gone, but luckily he was back this week. During the challenge, him posing for the camera and not listening to Probst telling him that he has to do the fight over: priceless. Him quoting Martin Luther King and swearing he’d stick with Randy no matter what only to vote against him minutes later: priceless. He’s such a clown. I also like how he has no self-confidence (poseurs like him usually don’t) and how that was exposed during tribal council when he freaked out to have been mentioned by Sandra, as if that mere mention was going to have him booted out.
That being said, even if he’s as delusional as ever about himself, he seems to have a pretty good understanding about what’s going in the dynamics of the tribe this time around. Will he be able to put this into good use? I’m not too sure.
One thing that intrigues me if the little “4” he wrote on his vote and why did he say it was important?
Courtney Yates
I worry about Courtney. I’m not totally sure she has found people to rely on and ally with in this tribe. And that could mean she’ll be one of the next to go. Sure she’s not a threat, but Randy was not either, and if the tribe keeps on losing challenges because of their physical weakness she won’t be able to survive that next vote. Which is pretty sad as she’s such an amazing character. Now, if she really has the “Cassandra edit”, there could be a switcheroo coming up after all, she told James he sould be on the Villains tribe (I guess she also said that because she’s friends with him), and actually, is she part of a “China/Micronesia alliance” as Randy suspected? I’m not too sure, but in any case, she has to survive until the merge, and I don’t think she can on this tribe (a switch could be highly beneficial for her though), unless she’s allied with somebody and it’s just not obvious yet (more on that in a few paragraphs).
Danielle DiLorenzo
Danielle is totally under the radar so far. We know she has an alliance with Russel and that’s pretty much it. I’m really not sure what we can think of that and of her. It almost feels like she’s not playing the game, which I’m pretty sure she is. I guess that as the Villains haven’t had too much camera time on the one hand, and the team being full of strong characters on the other, Danielle is bound to be on the background until something happens to her.
Jerri Manthey
Is that me or is Jerri more and more likable? She has behaved normally so far, even smartly at times. Has she become wiser? It seems so when we see the way she assesses situations and all. And if there’s one person that is not under Parvati’s spell, that’s her. But unfortunately she doesn’t have the numbers, because does she have any ally other than Coach? What’s her future in the game? Right now, I’m not too sure, but if everybody keeps on not targeting Parvati, Jerri may go soon.
Parvati Shallow
That’s it, Parvati has her game on. It’s amazing how everybody has been talking about getting rid of her since before the beginning of the game, and yet, nobody voted against her. Because this is Parvati, everyobdy knows how much a threat she is, but everybody falls for her and nobody wants to go against her. If they don’t change that very soon, whet they’re predicting is gonna happen: she’s gonna join with the previous Micronesia contestants and it’s gonna be Micronesia 2.0. But actually, I don’t see that happening for the simple reason that it’s just too obvious, and that the Villain Tribe is full of smart people. She will be targeted very soon.
Randy Bailey (voted out)
I’m sad Randy had to go, but I don’t see how he could have survive that tribe, everybody knew it, himself included. It’s sad, because I really liked him, but there was no way he was gonna last, he couldn’t bond with most of the tribe, especially the girls. What’s strange is that in the voting commentaries, everyone said they were sad to see him go as if everyone of them voted against Randy not too appear on the outs. But who was the person that masterminded his ousting then?
Rob “Boston Rob” Mariano
He’s doing something interesting right now, he’s almost being under the radar. Not really of course, and lot of it has to do with the editing as he orchestrated Randy’s ousting with Russell. Still, he has no obvious alliance right now, and he doesn’t seem to be doing anything special. But of course he has an alliance, to find out who, let’s just follow his own advice and see who’s cuddling with whom at night and also who is hanging out with whom, as well as who Rob is talking about the most in his confessionals (that’ll be those not allied with him) and we realize that the people with see the most around Rob are Tyson, Courtney and Sandra.
Russell Hantz
I’m strangely both annoyed and interested by the fact that Russell is using exactly the same tricks than he did last season. Make multiple conflicting secret alliances. Check. Makes the camp into a mess. Check. I’m annoying because it feels like a remake from a viewer’s perspective, interested because I want to know if it can work twice. Especially because there’s a huge difference this time around, the Villains are not your usual contestants when half of them are clueless about what’s going on (like in Samoa). Hiding the machette will sure stir up shit at camp (and it did, see the “secret scene” that has been edited out but is available on youtube) but is it a smart move as it’s really gonna affect and weaken the tribe, way more than what he did in Samoa. Also, in Samoa he was in perfect shape, remember how he didn’t seem to care about the rain, not sleeping and all? This time he’s just fresh out of Season 19, and I’m sure he’s still a bit weak from it, you don’t get back to your normal self in a month after spending 39 days out there. Also, he thinks he’s using Parvati, but he has to make sure she’s not using him, and right now, it’s still not sure who is using who.
Sandra Diaz-Twine
She’s back to her old strategy of “anybody as long as it ain’t me” which worked so well the first time around, but which makes her not that interesting in the end. But despite what she says, it really looks like she has an alliance with Rob (and Courtney and Tyson), but I really don’t feel this alliance will hold.
Tyson Apostol
OK, I really don’t like the fact that we barely see Tyson this season. Is he really quiter? Or are most of his things edited out? Why? One very interesting thing though was the challenge when he squared off with JT. Did you see in the end, when the hugged to congratulate each other? Tyson said something to JT’s ear. Because while everyone is talking about Parvati’s friends on the other side, they’re forgetting that Tyson also has a friend on the other side, and that’s JT. Man, I really hope they get reunited (that is that none of them is a premerge boot) and that can kick ass and be awesome together and go to the end together. I know it’s unlikely to happen, but that would be very cool.
Alliances:
-Parvati, Russell.
-Danielle, Russell.
-Coach, Jerri.
-Rob, Courtney, Tyson, Sandra
Next Week:
I’m very curious about Coach’s apparent meltdown. Not only because he will confide to Tyson (and that it will mean more Tyson screen time). And finally the hidden immunity idols are coming into play. First I was surprised that we didn’t see Russell looking for it yet, but I’m sure he has, in one of Courtney confessional on cbs.com when she mentions the men of her tribe she almost forgets Russell and says that she almost forgot about him because he’s always running around in the jungle. Obviously he hasn’t found it yet. Actually I assume that they haven’t been planted yet, and the production must have done it right then, sometimes bewteen episode 3 and 4, during a challenge for example.
Next person voted out:
If the Heroes go, Candice seems like she’s a goner (even if Tom and Colby are in the minority, they’re still very valuable to the tribe as far as winning challenges go).
If the Villains go, it would be smart to vote Parvati out, but I feel it won’t happen. Who then? I’m really not sure, although I’m worried for Courtney, unless Parvati manages to get Jerri out.

Merge prediction:
At this point I see: Amanda, JT, Cirie, Rupert and one of the guys for the Heroes, and Rob, Courtney, Tyson, Sandra, Russell, Danielle, Parvati for the Villains.

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