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May 10

Survivor 20.12

Spoilers after the jump.

Whoa, this season is extraordinary.

I thought Russell totally made the wrong move and overstepped his bounds when he tried to play off Danielle against Parvati. It totally failed, and he was forced to flat out lie in tribal. But, amazingly, he managed to flip Jeri over and Danielle went home. If he hadn’t pulled that off, he’d be off for sure next week. Even so, he’s in an incredibly precarious position now. His alliance with Parvati is shot – the trust is completely gone – and Sandra doesn’t like him. So now he has to flip over to Rupert and Colby. Rupert was at Russell’s throat this week. So, strange bedfellows. Jeri, however, seems to be on board with Russell, but the girls have the incentive to get her to switch and she strikes me as a bit wishy-washy.

You’d think that Colby and Rupert have to side with Russell because they have no other options (and the preview implies that happens) – but if Russell has pissed off the girls enough, they might try and form an impromptu one-off, cross-alliance, special purpose voting bloc just to get Russell off. But then the two guys would be in the minority again, so it’s not in their interests to do that.

The problem now is that even if Russell gets through to the end, he’s put himself in an unwinnable position with the jury, even though he would have played one of the most incredible games in the history of the show. The Heroes on the jury will just vote for any Hero that makes it through. The Villains on the jury are now going to hate Russell, who they’re already calling a lunatic. Russell’s not a lunatic, he’s just a brilliant tactician and calculated liar, with an ego that always puts him on the verge of overstepping his bounds.

The girls do have the wildcard of Sandra’s hidden immunity, and that could very well be the gamechanger. I could see this happening next week: Russell brings Rupert, Colby and Jeri on board. He convinces them to vote for Sandra or Parvati. Sandra and Parvati vote for Russell. Sandra plays the idol (or gives it to Parvati to play), and Russell goes home. If either Sandra or Parvati wins the immunity challenge, Russell goes home. He’s in trouble, but then again, I’ve thought that before.

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