'Survivor: Heroes vs Villains' Recap: Everybody Wants Hidden Immunity
'Survivor: Heroes vs Villains' Recap: Everybody Wants Hidden Immunity
The one thing Survivor always packs: a surprise. Or a bunch of them. Tonight these surprises play a huge part in how things go. Everything just happened at just the right time, and that led to what Jeff called the season's "first official blindside."

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The Dragon Slayer is wounded: Let's begin the recap with the aftermath of the last Tribal Council. Randy is voted out, but Coach feels all the pressure, especially after Sandra virtually called him lazy. That really brought him down. "I did noble things out here and I looked ignoble," he told Tyson, giving us a bromance that we first saw back in Tocantins.

But Coach is inconsolable. He actually wants to go home! The tantrum (if you'd call it that) continued the next morning, with him acting very sulky and oddly funny. Rob followed him and gave him another pep talk, which proves to be effective. "You gotta be weak to be strong," Coach later said, before doing his meditative moves, reminding me of Exile Island.

This challenge is brought to you by Sears: Gratuitous promotion! The tribes get to pick their own reward from a Sears catalog of sorts. The Heroes chose fishing gear and kitchenware, while the Villains chose a tool kit and more shelter-building materials. The challenge: slide through a slippery course, grabbing a numbered ball, and shoot that into a basket. First to four wins.

The Villains take an early lead, surging ahead 3-1. But the Heroes soon catch up, and it all boils down to Colby and Tyson for the final point. Funny, they both struggle with the shooting, but Tyson downs the basket and the Villains win their new shelter. That winning shot was brought to you by Sears.

"Now everybody's getting crazy again":
But just before they could build their shelter, Survivor throws a monkey wrench and sends everyone in a tizzy. Russell finds a piece of paper inside the knife, which turns out to be a (very specific!) clue to an immunity idol hidden on camp. After he regrets not hiding the clue, he looks for it, especially since the rest plan on finding it together and throwing it into the ocean. He's not doing a good job hiding his intentions: he "goes for a walk" but was quickly Sandra-tracked. In an instant, he's got a bigger target on his back.

Things got crazier on the Heroes side, though. They also have a hidden immunity idol, and the clue is in the coffee they won in last week's challenge. Everybody starts searching in different directions, and it's gone crazy. Tom figured he needs the idol to get back into the game. He finds it first, and sneaks it in his sock because everybody else was looking there. Catch is, Amanda saw him. News spreads fast, and the plan seemingly backfires: Tom and Colby are targets.

Finally, that challenge is done: This week's immunity challenge is off the last season. You know, the one with the guy in the ball, guiding blindfolded men through a course and a maze. You know, the same task that saw good Russell pass out and sent home. Jeff simply points this fact out: evil Russell may have done this task, but nobody has finished it.

Russell's experience could've come into play, but he played the blindfolded guy again. Rob was the caller, and he gave the Villains a commanding lead initially. It all boiled down to the maze, with both the Heroes (led by Tom) and the Villains just trying to reach the finish line. I guess a little nudge was all that's needed: the reds won immunity.

Leak after leak after leak: With the loss, Cirie preps her battle plan: split Tom and Colby together. Either they force Tom to flush his immunity idol, or force a tie-break and kick Colby out. She can only hope to have everybody follow her suit, but things are not going her way.

Tom claims he doesn't want to have the hidden immunity idol haunt him, so he forges an alliance with JT, Amanda and James. Their plan is to kick Candice out, since she's been scrambling in the past few days. Amanda leaks that to Cirie, and she freaks out. Why did she align with the bigger threat? "It's a stupid move," she contends. JT leaks Cirie's reaction to Tom and Colby, and they change their plan immediately: three votes for Cirie. With the rest of the tribe still confused over who to vote, it might just work.

Keeping your word no matter what: The pre-vote chat during Tribal Council went two ways. There's Tom, talking about getting voted out because you're on the wrong side, which is what happened to Stephenie. And then there's Rupert's little complicated remark: he wants the tribe to bond and win, but he's made alliances and he wants to keep his word even if the vote doesn't make sense. "That's the most honest and illuminating answer I ever had in our tribals together," Jeff commented.

Tom throws one more monkey wrench before the votes got read out: he's playing the immunity idol. It's a smart move, since there were three votes against him, from Candice, Amanda and Cirie. Two of the last five votes went to Colby. The other three? Cirie. And that, according to Jeff, is what "qualifies as your first blindside."

Next week: Russell continues looking for the hidden idol, Candice flips to Tom's side, and yet another injury. Talk about perfect timing, again.





(Image courtesy of CBS)

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