Just in time for this week, it's last week's Uncommon Survivor! These things are definitely harder to crank out when you already know what happened.
Last time on UNCOMMON SURVIVOR: J.T. perpetrated what is sure to be known as the dumbest smart move in Survivor history by flat out handing Russell his hidden immunity idol under the pretense that he was in danger from Queen Parvati. Little did he know that their guesses of a women's alliance were completely wrong. Meanwhile, behind Russell's back, Parvati is hiding an idol from Russell and thinking about securing alliances beyond her bond with him. Courtney was sent home, and not a moment too soon, studies showed that Americans were eating more while watching Survivor because just looking at her made them feel hungry. That's not true.
It's morning at Camp Hero, Day 25. Everyone's hoping J.T.'s plan worked. Amanda and Rupert go check for Tree Mail in hopes of finding news of the Merge. At the post they find a large crate. On the crate is a letter. The letter reads that they cannot open the crate until they have a key and they must prepare for company. The crate looks heavy. If I were Amanda, I'd scream that my top flew off so J.T. or Colby would come running to help carry it instead.
Over at Camp Villain, Parvati and Danielle go to check their Tree Mail. They return with the bathroom key from the gas station. They're all excited about the Merge. The relevant people in the tribe have a strategy meeting, but that doesn't keep Sandra from trying to eavesdrop. She doesn't get very close before she's heard by Danielle. Later, they pack up their stuff and venture off. Parvati tells us that she and Russell are in the King and Queen position. I looked it up, it's not pretty. Only her lady-in-waiting, Danielle, will know about her idol. I wonder what Danielle threw at the T.V. when she saw that. Also, lying to Russell, potentially losing his trust? That hasn't backfired on anyone, before, has it? I can't seem to find a single time in history where a king kills the queen for treason. Strange.
The Villains arrive at the Hero camp and Parvati is leading the pack. J.T. is upset, looking for his long-lost lover, Russell. He finally sees him and he's relieved, surmising that Parvati must have played an idol, too. I would like to watch the season of Survivor that is taking place in J.T.'s head, because it sounds almost as incredible as this one has been.
The survivors open the chest and pull out some snazzy new buffs. Pretty neat and only $22 at the CBS online store. I bet if I bought one and wore it frolfing, curling, competitively eating, or something else uncommon with jbox and mattewverygood, I'd be viciously mocked. Also inside the chest is a pig's head which seems like a heartfelt gift but I'd be a little creeped out if a fully-cooked head of anything came to me in the mail (that I hadn't ordered).
While everyone begins to get settled, the survivors discuss what to name their tribe, which is my second-least favorite thing on the show. I wish they just kept them predetermined because I always find their thought-showers to be so uninspired and I never question the team names at the beginning of the season. Someone suggests they be called the Hillains. It's clever, it's short, it makes sense. Most importantly is not some other language you're mangling. Someone says "Yin-yang" and everyone chatters in support. Jerri says, almost to herself, that they could be the All Villains. This stops the side chatter immediately as Colby asks if that's what she said. She says it again, "We're all Villains." Stunned, Rupert tells us that they're all winners, all-stars, and forgetting his elementary physics, states that they're all positive, too. He wants to know why they have to keep the Villain attitude, but guesses that's what villains do. How is this guy so popular?
More settling in happens and Parvati is sitting all alone, watching Russell talk with Amanda and Candice. She storms off to girl talk with Danielle. What's the matter? She was playing just fine before, off on her lonesome while Russell did all the scheming. Oh, I get it, people aren't looking at her. She's offended.
In the hut, J.T., Rupert, and Russell sit down to catch up. Rupert asks when Parvati played her idol and Russell tells them they both used idols at the same time. He promises them that they can trust him and they can relax, he swears on his kids that they're safe and heads on his way to enjoy a piece of fruit. J.T. tells Rupert that they can trust him because he's a good-old country boy. Oh, young love. J.T. tells us that Russell may be playing him, still having the idol and being the leader of the Lady Villains. Does he believe it? "Not a chance in the world." High-five to the editing team for that one. J.T. and Rupert shake hands, telling themselves they'll be in it 'til the end. I don't get why Rupert is still playing anyway, he's already a winner.
Rupert walks down the beach and meets up with Sandra. "Oh my god, Rupert, listen!" Right then, I don't want to hear another word. She tells him that she's the last member of her alliance and tells him what happened last night at the last vote. Rupert has the truth, but doesn't know what to do with it. He can't think through all that beard.
The next morning, it's breakfast time and the Villains are loving the Heroes' chow. When it's time for second breakfast, Colby and Rupert indignantly mumble under their breath. Rupert, being the awesome Hero that he is, can't wait to get rid of these starving people that are eating too much of his food.
Somehow, all the former Heroes end up walking together and Rupert tries to warn them about what Sandra told him. J.T. quickly shooting him down, defending Russell. Rupert again tries to say that Russell can't be trusted because he was on the Villains tribe. They decide to tell Russell they're voting for someone other than who they actually intend to eliminate as a test. All this strategy talk has Rupert sweating profusely. Gross, it's dripping into his beard. J.T. asks him if he believes Sandra or the "obvious truth." Why did Sandra choose him anyway? Couldn't she have picked someone without a gross Cthulhu beard that doesn't sweat so much when he's trying to tell the truth? J.T. thinks that in the event Sandra's right, it means he's probably going home, but there's not a chance in the world of that happening, right everybody? I mean, AM I RIGHT?
Day 27, at the Merged Tribe camp, Parvati and Amanda sneak away to chat. Amanda tells Parvati that everyone's been gunning for her since Day 1. Amanda says she's trying to get rid of Sandra to keep Parvati. Parvati wants her to promise that she'll tell her who the Heroes are voting for. Then, inexplicably, Parvati confesses to Amanda that she has an idol, to which Amanda asks, "Another one?" Parvati tells her yes, because she's crafty. This changes Amanda's mind, now she really wants to get rid of her. They swear that they trust each other three times each and seal it with a secret handshake. Don't they know? Windmills are where it's at and where it will always be. Then they giggle and run off into the jungle together.
Immunity Challenge Time! Everyone arrives and Jeff asks for their new name: Yin Yang. It's terrible, right? The challenge is standing on notched poles. Jeff signals the start of the challenge and immediately Sandra is shaking. Colby volunteers to step down ahead of her to give her the satisfaction of beating the one who pitied you. They both quit. Rupert is sweating all over the place. The three skinny ladies, Parvati, Candice, and Danielle, all sit daintily with their little mini-marshmellow-sized toes firmly in place. This challenge is built for them. Russell begins to struggle and steps down. Rupert begins to groan as he gently caresses his way down the pole. At just over twenty minutes in, Amanda steps down. J.T. fakes a fall and readjusts but falls out a few minutes later. Jerri struggles and marvels at how Parvati is able to stay up with just one foot on the pole while resting her other one. Jerri complains of dehydration and steps out. After a little over an hour and a half, Candice steps down. This wows Jeff and he asks her if she's sure. She is, she's intimidated by Parvati's cool stance. As soon as she's down, Parvati and Danielle discuss who'll win, and Parvati concedes to Danielle by stepping down. This alerts the Heroes because Parvati quit too quickly for someone who's supposed to be in danger.
Back at camp the plans begin. Colby and J.T. discuss baiting Russell to the wrong target. They want to say they're voting for Parvati and eliminate Sandra instead. Jerri and Sandra bathe together and Jerri tells her that she thinks Russell's done a great job convincing them. Two days after the Merge, it finally hits Sandra that she's stuck with Russell and she may have screwed herself over by talking to Rupert.
Russell presents a gift to Parvati, it's his idol. Her look and tone, that "oh you" are classic. Something tells me it's not the first time she's received a gift from someone she's playing. Then she sneaks off with the camera man to show him both her idols.
As the sun begins to set, Amanda and Parvati sneak off for another secret rendezvous. Parvati wants to know who the Heroes are voting for and Amanda doesn't want to tell the truth. Amanda tells her that she'd better play the idol, that she just has to. Parvati knows it's a lie right away. Amanda tries to pretend that her head hurts from it all.
Tribal Council Time! The jury is brought in. Once again I'm so glad Coach is on the jury. Oh look, he brought a fiber optic floor lamp, too! Nevermind, it's Courtney, who puts up a bro fist in solidarity with Sandra upon seating. Jeff asks Rupert what camp life is like and Rupert can't wait to throw someone under the bus for not following the laws of Banana Etiquette. Danielle tries to stick up for the Villains, but all Donkey Kong ever thinks about is his horde or bananas. Russell doesn't think any of this matters, he wants to play the game. He elaborates that this is a huge vote for everyone because it will decide who the final five will be. J.T. hopes that's the case but he's a little worried because nobody has been talking to him. Jeff asks if this is paranoia and Russell says he talks to J.T. all the time. Jeff asks if that worries Sandra, that Russell's been spending a lot of time with J.T. and she cranks two double-negatives out of the park. Parvati says she's the one that nobody is talking to, leaving Jeff wide open to ask if it's just because she's used to it in life. She thinks it's because everyone think she's a threat and they don't want to associate with her. Parvati knows she's being targeted, but Colby tries to throw her off the trail with the most obvious unlikely excuse. Jeff asks J.T. if there's been any talk of idols and all he knows is that he doesn't have one. Jeff asks Parvati if it was a topic on their side and she says that it was.
Voting time! Russell goes first and writes J.T. down. The next one shown is Parvati's vote, xoxo. Jerri votes for J.T., too. Rupert votes for Jerri and grunts that it will expose Russell as a harp-like string instrument. Candice's vote is for Jerri because she's the last person they'd give an idol to.
Jeff goes to grab the ballot box and Courtney whispers to Coach in the jury box, "If that little troll plays an idol..." but doesn't finish the sentence. Coach is just staring at her with a look that is downright disturbing. Jeff returns and asks if any idols will be played. Parvati opens her magic bag of tricks, citing that she doesn't want to watch bananas ripen without her girls, and hands Sandra an idol. This pleases the Heroes, their plan to flush her idol out has worked. Then she pulls out the other one and hands it to Jerri. The Heroes sit stunned. Russell is surprised, too, but also very happy. Watching the Heroes try to blink away this reality is so fulfilling. Go watch it again, it's great. Jeff begins to read the votes, noting that votes for Jerri and Sandra do not count, which is great because all of the Heroes' votes are read first and count for nothing! The first one that does count has J.T.'s name, after the second one, J.T. begins shaking hands for his imminent departure. The third vote is read and J.T. is eliminated. Russell looks over at Parvati and tells her she has some explaining to do. The Heroes can only sit there, still stunned.
Next week Tonight! Russell loses control of his alliance and Sandra makes her move?