So it's begun: The "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains" heroes are turning into the villains, and the villains into heroes, and that ended in a shouting match at Tribal Council that made us wonder even more who the actual heroes and villains are.
Early on, there was a medical scare courtesy of Boston Rob, who fell unconscious at camp. He had to be treated by medics while host Jeff Probst looked on. He was ultimately determined to be OK, and maybe just had the flu, or "maybe a little bit of crybabyitis," Rob told us.
That's when he realized he needed to stop being the good guy and start being a villain, but that didn't really happen: He ended up being the hero to his tribe during the challenge. From giving directions to hoisting a massive wooden crate up all by himself, he was both the emotional center of the tribe and its de facto leader.
Of course, that annoyed Russell, the self-appointed leader of the Villains tribe, at least in his head, where he probably imagined he'll metaphorically do to Rob what he literally did to a chicken (chased it and ended its life). But for now, the Villains are the two-time victors and have the momentum despite being the dysfunctional group at camp. And it is a dysfunctional camp, with a ragged shelter and a lot of arguments.
Meanwhile, back at Camp Hero Happytimes, the Heroes had chickens and a beautiful shelter, but they also got into major arguments, splintered and started to turn on each other. Getting rid of Sugar was easy, but the next move required alliances, dividing the group. At Tribal Council, Colby said that he was shocked there was a "shift from that team mentality to self-preservation so early."
Stephenie was the victim of that self-preservation: Rupert already was targeting her (she guessed it was because he felt threatened by her popularity), and James went after her after the tribe lost the combined reward/immunity challenge. Because JT, Coach and Tyson had done the same challenge previously in Tocantins — all the challenges this season are recycled, or as "Survivor" likes to call them, "classics" — so JT was supposed to lead the team as they assembled a staircase puzzle made of huge cubes.
But as usual, the Heroes started strong but couldn't come together during the puzzle part of a challenge, and Stephenie's attempts to do something during the challenge drew James' ire. He ranted that they needed to "shut the f--k up and listen to the guy who's done the challenge" and complained, "I ain't never lost this much in my life."
At Tribal Council, he went after Stephenie, trying to turn her success in Palau against her: "You've been on a tribe when you lost your entire team."
James' attack against Stephenie led both Colby and her Palau castmate Tom to defend her. Tom told James he was "bullying people." But in the end, everyone voted with James and Rupert except for Colby and Tom, which means they're probably next in line to go.
Stephenie tried to lecture her tribe on the way out, mocking James' use of the term "ya'll" in the process — "next time ya'll lose a challenge, a little less cursing" — but James told her, "Keep your mouth shut."
But it's James who might want to take his own advice and shut the heck up, because although he's in the majority now, that can change quickly on "Survivor."
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