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"Survivor": Stupid Is As Stupid Does

By admin Published: April 16, 2010

In what's proving a terrific season of "Survivor" in terms of entertainment, was there anything more disheartening . . .

than Russell and Parvati sitting on the beach, laughing over J.T.'s note? Among the truly idiotic "Survivor" moves, the Heroes turning their idol over to Russell (especially in conjunction with Parvati controlling a second one) may be the biggest bonehead move ever. Right up there with the fake idol (it's a stick!) and James getting eliminated while having two of them.

Daniel Fienberg over at HitFix makes a good point when he says that this is a case where Russell benefits from being basically unknown to the other competitors -- they had not seen his season before this competition started and so had no idea what a malicious little weasel he is -- but still: Boston Rob was smart enough to recognize immediately that any newcomer to the group had to have something major going on to be picked; how did that logic elude the usually savvy J.T., Colby and Rupert?

I should say at this point that basic "Survivor" logic says that you never give up immunity. Of course, Russell threw that logic out already in his marvelous tactical switcheroo wiping out Tyson. That, too, depended on someone acting stupid -- in that case, Tyson himself -- but something about dealing with Russell causes people to wipe out brain cells. After all, Russell came out of last week's tribal council with himself and other Villains believing that he still ran the show, even though his voting plan was sidetracked by Sandra, with Coach eliminated while Russell voted for Courtney. (Courtney went home this week.)

I briefly believed that Russell was right when he said that handing him an immunity idol was the same as giving him the million bucks, but I don't entirely believe it. There is the social game, after all, and Russell usually suffers at that. Second, Parvati will turn on him like a scorpion. And Sandra is a much smarter player than Russell has realized, even with the blind side in tribal council a week ago. But whatever happens next, the show is managing to get rid of some of its more entertaining players, like Rob and Coach, and still be terrific to watch.

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