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Villains get into a muddy mess on ‘Survivor’

Finally, the Heroes won a game — one-on-one physical confrontations that left the losers in the mud. And when the Villains had to turn on one of their own, they went for the weakest link, the "old man," as Randy described himself. Obvious, maybe smart, but the most boring possible outcome.

It would be have been much more interesting had they decided to vote out Parvati, who not only won "Survivor: Micronesia," but is on the show for a third time and also has a bunch of allies on the other tribe. The Villains seemed to be leaning that direction, and it was going to be a great throwdown, except it never actually happened at Tribal Council.

Earlier, original villain Jerri said, "Parvati is like a virus," and "I just want to punch her in the face." Even colossal windbag Coach seemed to decide that keeping Randy would be the honorable thing to do, and we all know how much Coach likes honor. He said he'd "dare to dream that Randy's going to wake up in this camp tomorrow." Oops.

The Villains were obviously unified about who to get rid of, and are probably being led strategically by one person (Rob?). But beyond that, they were in a disarray.

Even Russell couldn't get the tribe's attention, as much as he tried to play troll under the bridge and rattle them. "They want to play rough? I can play rough," he said, calling himself "King Russell." So he hid the machete and promised that getting rid of it "will cause conflict in this camp." It didn't. Now if he gets rid of Boston Rob's Red Sox hat, as he promised he'd do, that could get ugly.

Fighting dirty The challenge was a repeat from Palau and featured one-on-one face-offs between a member from each tribe. They had had to hold onto a pillowlike object with both hands and try to knock the other person into the mud. There were a lot of great face-offs, and the Heroes dominated.

Tom knocked down Russell, and Coach took out Rupert but broke the rules, so host Jeff Probst demanded a do-over — and got the finger from Coach. Rupert then easily took out Coach, while Cirie had Jerri on the run before pushing her into the mud. JT took out his Tocantins castmate Tyson, who showed he wasn't hurt by hugging JT after climbing out of the mud, and also giving him a kiss on the cheek.

The previews promised James going out of control, but that didn't really happen. He faced off against Randy — way too easy — and even though Jerri told Randy to "fight as dirty as you can," Randy had no chance, and James slammed into him, knocking him backward.

Who's sleeping with who Rob gave future "Survivor" players some advice: "Watch how they sleep at night" and that will tell you "who's aligned with who. ... You don't usually go to sleep next to the guy who you want to vote off."

He explained that the flirty or bed-buddy relationship was a good indicator, and he should know. "I've been there, and I know how powerful that kind of an alliance is," he said, referring to the 2004 alliance on "Survivor: All-Stars" with his now-spouse Amber.

At the Villains camp, that was Parvati and Russell giggling together, and Coach with Jerri. While they may not end up getting engaged on the season finale (let's hope), they are interesting alliances, especially since Parvati may have been told about Russell before the game. She may have an advantage no one else does.

is a writer, TV critic and editor of reality blurred. Follow him on and .

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