Survivor: Heroes vs Villains – Episode 11

A hero joins the dark side.

Survivor: Heroes vs. VillainsBlog: Episode 11
12th Elimination: Amanda


It’s the time of the Survivor season that I dread the most – the episode where my “pick” gets sent packing.  Amanda managed to make it a ridiculous 100+ days without ever having her torch snuffed, but ultimately, Russell and stupidity did her in. 

Never underestimate the power of stupidity in this game.

As I mentioned in my previous post, last week wasn’t the true “make or break” episode for either team.  Generally, when you merge at 5-5, it’s the biggest vote of the season.  However, the fact that JT was voted off did very little to shift the power in the game.  This episode was where the money was at, as Sandra was a total free-agent and would be the deciding vote that put one of the teams up 5-4.

At this point, I really liked the Heroes chances to take over the game.  Sandra was clearly on the outs with the Villains and she hates Russell.  She should’ve been an easy person to turn, and it turns out that she was.  She was completely gung-ho to take out Russell.  It should’ve been a piece of cake. 

And here’s where I hand it to Russell, for pulling yet another brilliant move and making it harder and harder for anyone to argue against him as the best Survivor ever.  Knowing that Sandra was at risk to flip, he managed to intimidate Candice into stabbing her fellow Heroes in the back and siding with the devil. It was truly the perfect play, because with Candice on the fence, it really hindered Sandra’s ability to flip as well.  If Candice voted with Russell and Sandra flipped to the Heroes, suddenly Sandra would find herself down 3-5 instead of up 6-2. 

Ultimately, the best play on Sandra’s part was to have a heart to heart with Candice and make their move together.  As long as they stayed on the same page, they would be guaranteed to have the numbers.  At this point, I thought Russell’s plan was foiled.  However, he had managed to intimidate Candice enough, that she completely threw all logic out the window and sided with the Villains.  Thus the “stupidity” that I referred to earlier.

Which of the following scenarios would you rather find yourself in?

#1 – You flip to the opposite tribe where you’re the total odd person out.  Sure, they might tell you that you’re “Final Three” material, but you have to know that you’ll likely be the first person picked off when it gets to the Final Six.  You’re basically throwing yourself at the mercy of the other tribe as you’ve severed your ability to make decisions to control the game.  You just have to pray that the most notorious liar the game has ever seen is telling you the truth.

#2 – You stand firm with your alliance.  You knock out a major threat on the other tribe.  You end up ahead 5-3 in numbers.  You have the ability to call the shots in the game, and chances are, with the squeaky clean popular people on your tribe, you just may be the person that everyone wants to bring with them to the final.  There’s a 1 in 3 chance that the person you’re going to vote out has the hidden immunity idol and your plan will blow up in your face, but in that case you’d still be tied 4-4.  There’s a 2 in 3 chance that they won’t have the idol and you’re golden. 

Candice chose option #1.  Candice is stupid.

So that’s the decision that did Amanda in.  You can strategize the perfect game plan, but if that one idiot on your tribe doesn’t “get it”, it’s all for naught.  That’s not to say that Amanda played an amazing game this season, though.  This was, by far, her weakest performance overall.  Early on, Tom basically offered her and JT his hidden immunity idol and they didn’t take it.  That move ultimately took Cirie out of the game, and, trust me, the Heroes tribe could have certainly used her brain-power this season.  Also, it flabbergasts me that she even allowed JT to entertain the idea of passing off his immunity idol to RUSSELL.  Then there was her talk with Parvati the week before where she practically telegraphed the Heroes voting strategy, allowing them to play their idols perfectly and knock off JT.  This past week, she had the clue to the location of the immunity idol in her hand, and she didn’t read it. 

The game is outwit, outplay, outlast.  I can’t say Amanda did any of those too well this time around.  In the two final tribal councils that she participated in, she got overly emotional and cost herself the million.  I really thought she had learned from those experiences, and thus I backed her as my “pick”.  It turns out that I was horribly wrong, as time and time again she had the opportunity to take control of the game with a strong, cut-throat move and, instead, played it mild. When you’re competing against the Boston Robs and Russells of this game, there’s simply no room for that level of weakness.  Had she stepped up to the plate and bold in any of those situations, she may still be in the game and on her way to a third final. 

Now the only thing left for me to do is root for Russell…

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.