Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains
Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains is the twentieth season of the American CBS competitive reality television series Survivor. It premiered on February 11, 2010 with a special two-hour episode. It was the show's fourth season to feature contestants from past seasons, after Survivor: All-Stars, Survivor: Guatemala, and Survivor: Micronesia, and was only the second season to feature a cast consisting entirely of returning players, after All-Stars. The season was filmed in Upolu, Samoa.
|Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains|
|Presented by||Jeff Probst|
|No. of days||39|
|No. of castaways||20|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||14|
|Original release||February 11 –|
May 16, 2010
|Filming dates||August 9 –|
September 16, 2009
The twenty contestants were initially divided into two tribes based on their prior reputation in their previous seasons, Heroes and Villains. When ten players remained, the two tribes merged and named their new tribe "Yin Yang." After 39 days, Sandra Diaz-Twine became the first two-time Survivor winner, defeating Parvati Shallow and Russell Hantz with a vote of 6–3–0. Despite receiving zero jury votes, Hantz was voted by fans to win "Sprint Player of the Season" award for the second consecutive season and the $100,000 prize that went with it, earning the fans' vote over runner-up Rupert Boneham. Additionally, Hantz received a nomination in the 2010 Teen Choice Awards for his performance on this season.
According to host and producer Jeff Probst, the production initially selected 50 players from past seasons, narrowing down the list to twenty and keeping one spot open for a possible player from Survivor: Samoa. Some selections were made to match players that production thought would be exciting to see together, according to casting director Lynne Spillman.
Several notable omissions have been directly addressed by Probst, the production team, and former contestants over the years. While Richard Hatch, winner of the original Survivor, was asked to return for this season, he had to apply to leave the country since he was under house arrest at the time; his request was denied by a federal judge in Rhode Island. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly days before filming began, Probst revealed that Cook Islands winner Yul Kwon, Michael Skupin of The Australian Outback, and Terry Deitz of Panama had been considered for the "Heroes" tribe but were ultimately not chosen; Kwon, Skupin, and Deitz returned for Survivor: Winners at War, Survivor: Philippines, and Survivor: Cambodia, respectively. He also said that they had considered having Ozzy Lusth, of Cook Islands and Micronesia, compete for a third time, but had ultimately decided against it; Lusth returned for Survivor: South Pacific three seasons later, and again for Survivor: Game Changers in 2017. Thailand winner Brian Heidik was in talks to participate in this season, however Probst and other producers felt "too repulsed" to include Heidik once again. Probst also revealed that the producers would have liked Elisabeth Hasselbeck from The Australian Outback and Colleen Haskell from Borneo to participate on this season, but knew neither of them would have accepted the offer. Another notable omission was that of Jonny Fairplay, of Pearl Islands and Micronesia, which led Probst to say that Fairplay was a "Survivor quitter" after asking to be voted off first in Micronesia, and quitters are not asked back. Shane Powers of Panama was cut and replaced by Russell Hantz of Survivor: Samoa. However, Jonathan Penner, of Cook Islands and Micronesia, claimed that his spot was revoked in favor of Hantz, but he would later return for Survivor: Philippines. Yau-Man Chan, of Fiji and Micronesia, and Corinne Kaplan of Gabon were asked to return, but had to decline due to work commitments. Kaplan was replaced by Danielle DiLorenzo, and would eventually return for Survivor: Caramoan. Natalie Bolton and Erik Reichenbach, both of Micronesia, were on site as alternates. Reichenbach would return for Survivor: Caramoan. According to episodes of the podcast Talking with T-Bird, Judd Sergeant of Survivor: Guatemala and Shii-Ann Huang, of Thailand and All-Stars, were both in the casting process for this season as well. Randy Bailey said that Ace Gordon of Gabon was close to coming back for this season as a member of the Villains tribe, but he was ultimately not chosen. Coby Archa of Palau said that his castmate from that season, Ian Rosenberger, attended casting finals. Fiji winner Earl Cole was also considered for this season. Jenna Lewis, of Borneo and All-Stars, was considered for the Villains tribe. It was also revealed by Candice Cody that Parvati Shallow was originally supposed to be on the Heroes tribe, and her on the Villains tribe. Sierra Reed of Tocantins was originally going to be a member of the Heroes tribe, but she had to step down because she got engaged to a producer from her season.
There were twenty contestants overall, divided into two tribes, Heroes and Villains. After ten contestants were eliminated, the tribes were combined, or merged, to form one tribe, Yin Yang. Nine contestants made up the jury, who ultimately decided who would win the game, and the $1 million grand prize.
Due to the back-to-back filming of Survivor: Samoa and this season, the other players did not have an opportunity to see Russell Hantz's gameplay in Samoa nor reveal more information about him; however, the players were told by the production crew that Hantz was considered "one of the five most notorious male villains of all time" prior to the start of the game.
|Contestant||Original tribe||Merged tribe||Finish|
|Jessica "Sugar" Kiper
30, Los Angeles, California
|Heroes||1st voted out|
29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Palau & Guatemala
|Heroes||2nd voted out|
50, Austin, Texas
|Villains||3rd voted out|
39, Norwalk, Connecticut
Panama & Micronesia
|Heroes||4th voted out|
45, New York City, New York
|Heroes||5th voted out|
30, Heber City, Utah
|Villains||6th voted out |
32, Lafayette, Louisiana
China & Micronesia
|Heroes||7th voted out|
33, Pensacola, Florida
Marquesas & All-Stars
|Villains||8th voted out|
|Benjamin "Coach" Wade
38, Susanville, California
|Villains||9th voted out|
1st jury member
28, New York City, New York
|Villains||10th voted out|
2nd jury member
|James "J.T." Thomas Jr.
25, Mobile, Alabama
|Heroes||Yin Yang||11th voted out|
3rd jury member
25, Los Angeles, California
China & Micronesia
|Heroes||12th voted out|
4th jury member
26, Washington, D.C.
|Heroes||13th voted out|
5th jury member
28, Los Angeles, California
|Villains||14th voted out|
6th jury member
45, Indianapolis, Indiana
Pearl Islands & All-Stars
|Heroes||15th voted out|
7th jury member
35, Los Angeles, California
The Australian Outback & All-Stars
|Heroes||16th voted out|
8th jury member
38, Los Angeles, California
The Australian Outback & All-Stars
|Villains||17th voted out|
9th jury member
36, Dayton, Texas
26, Los Angeles, California
Cook Islands & Micronesia
35, Fayetteville, North Carolina
Russell Hantz and Rob Mariano returned to compete once again in Survivor: Redemption Island. Hantz would later compete in Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders at an international level. Benjamin "Coach" Wade returned to compete in Survivor: South Pacific. Rupert Boneham, Candice Woodcock, and Tyson Apostol returned for Survivor: Blood vs. Water. Boneham returned with his wife, Laura, who appeared in Heroes vs. Villains as a loved one and they would later compete on The Amazing Race 31 together; Woodcock, now using her husband's surname of Cody, returned with her husband John; and Apostol returned with his girlfriend (now wife), Rachel Foulger. Cirie Fields, James "J.T." Thomas Jr., and Sandra Diaz-Twine returned to compete in the 34th season of the show, Survivor: Game Changers. Diaz-Twine and Mariano returned in Survivor: Island of the Idols to serve as mentors. Diaz-Twine, Shallow, Mariano, and Apostol all returned to compete on Survivor: Winners at War.
The twenty returning castaways were divided into two tribes of ten based on their previous style of gameplay. The Villains dominated the earlier challenges due to Rob's leadership, only going to Tribal Council once in the first 14 days, and the Heroes were quickly whittled down to six members. The Villains tribe was divided into two factions: Rob's alliance of six, and the minority alliance of Russell, Parvati, and Danielle. At their second Tribal Council, Rob's alliance decided to split the vote between Russell and Parvati out of fear of Russell's hidden immunity idol. Rob's right-hand man Tyson, knowing that the minority alliance was voting for him, became uneasy and, following a confrontation from Russell, deviated from the plan, voting for Parvati instead of Russell. This error would prove fatal; Russell played his idol on Parvati, negating the four votes against her, and Tyson was voted out. The Villains lost the next Immunity Challenge and, due to Jerri aligning with Russell and Coach's inability to pick a side, Rob was voted out.
During the challenges after Rob's elimination, the Heroes were led to believe that the women of the tribe were methodically eliminating the men. J.T. found the Heroes' hidden idol, and the Heroes collectively agreed to sneak it to Russell during a challenge, the last male Villain remaining, with hopes that Russell would use it to eliminate Parvati and align with the Heroes at the merge. Instead, Russell shared the idol with Danielle, Jerri, and Parvati, unaware that Parvati and Danielle had also found the Villains' idol. Without Rob, the Villains lost the next two Immunity Challenges, leaving Sandra as the last remaining Villain outside of Russell's alliance of four.
With five Heroes and five Villains remaining, the tribes merged into Yin Yang. Russell crafted a story to explain the fate of the immunity idols, suggesting Parvati had played one against his. The Heroes took Russell's word, though Sandra, through Rupert, tried to warn them of Russell's duplicity. With Danielle winning the first individual immunity, Russell gave Parvati his idol prior to Tribal Council, believing the Heroes would target her. The Heroes became concerned on Russell's story, and changed their vote to target Jerri, believing her unlikely to possess an idol. At the vote, Parvati played both idols for both Jerri and Sandra, negating the Heroes' votes and eliminating J.T. Despite attempts to align with the Villains' majority, Heroes were consistently eliminated. However, after Russell realized that Parvati and Danielle's true loyalty was to each other, Russell betrayed Danielle, working with the remaining two Heroes to vote her out. After this, the final Heroes were eliminated, leaving Sandra, Russell, Parvati, and Jerri as the final four.
Russell, having won final immunity, felt he would have a better chance in the final tribal council against Sandra, who he felt did little in the game, over Jerri, who was the final player voted out. At the Final Tribal Council, Russell was lambasted for his poor social game, jury management, and open backstabbing. Parvati and Sandra both tried to sway the jury in their favor, with Parvati highlighting her social and physical game, as well as her idol play that changed the course of the season. However, Parvati was also lambasted for being extremely close with Russell throughout the entire game. Sandra argued the opposite, saying even though she was weak in challenges, she always interacted with both sides and still was involved in strategy. She also highlighted her loyalty to allies Courtney, Tyson, and Boston Rob, and campaigned for Russell's removal since day one. Parvati received jury votes from all the villains except Courtney, and Sandra received all the Heroes' votes plus Courtney's, making Sandra the first two-time winner in Survivor history.
|No.||Title||Original air date||Reward||Immunity|
|1||"Slay Everyone, Trust No One"||February 11, 2010||Heroes||Villains||Sugar||1st voted out|
|2||"It's Getting the Best of Me"||February 18, 2010||Villains[a]||Stephenie||2nd voted out|
|3||"That Girl is Like a Virus"||February 25, 2010||Heroes[a]||Randy||3rd voted out|
|4||"Tonight, We Make Our Move"||March 4, 2010||Villains||Villains||Cirie||4th voted out|
|5||"Knights of the Round Table"||March 11, 2010||Villains||Villains||Tom||5th voted out|
|6||"Banana Etiquette"||March 24, 2010||Rob[b]||Rob||Tyson||6th voted out|
|Candice||James||7th voted out|
|7||"I'm Not a Good Villain"||April 1, 2010||Heroes||Heroes||Rob||8th voted out|
|8||"Expectations"||April 8, 2010||Heroes||Heroes||Coach||9th voted out|
1st jury member
|9||"Survivor History"||April 15, 2010||Villains||Heroes||Courtney||10th voted out|
2nd jury member
|10||"Going Down in Flames"||April 22, 2010||None[c]||Danielle||J.T.||11th voted out|
3rd jury member
|11||"Jumping Ship"||April 29, 2010||Amanda,
|Jerri||Amanda||12th voted out|
4th jury member
|12||"A Sinking Ship"||May 6, 2010||None||Parvati||Candice||13th voted out|
5th jury member
|Russell||Danielle||14th voted out|
6th jury member
|13||"Loose Lips Sink Ships"||May 13, 2010||Jerri,
|Parvati||Rupert||15th voted out|
7th jury member
|14||"Anything Could Happen"||May 16, 2010||None||Parvati||Colby||16th voted out|
8th jury member
|Russell||Jerri||17th voted out|
9th jury member
- In the case of multiple tribes or castaways who win reward or immunity, they are listed in order of finish, or alphabetically where it was a team effort; where one castaway won and invited others, the invitees are in brackets.
- Combined reward and immunity challenge.
- Each tribe competed separately for individual immunity. The two winners, Rob and Candice, moved on to the final round, where the winner would win reward for their tribe. Rob won the final round, winning reward for the Villains.
- There was no reward challenge due to the tribal merge.
|Rating/share (18-49)||Original air date||US viewers|
|290||1||"Slay Everyone, Trust No One"||8.1/13||4.5/12||February 11, 2010||14.15||#14|
The returning castaways arrived on board four Royal New Zealand Air Force UH-1 Iroquois helicopters. After initial assessments about the tribe division, the contestants launched into a Reward challenge.
During the aggressive challenge, two Heroes were injured. Stephenie dislocated a shoulder, which was fixed, and Rupert broke a toe. Neither injury resulted in evacuation. The Heroes won the challenge, obtaining flint. At both camps, the castaways found fishing gear. Russell made "top two" alliances with both Danielle and Parvati; still, they both questioned his loyalty. Rob was quick to organize the Villains camp and helped them to create fire using a fire saw. At the Heroes camp, Rupert failed to start a fire while wasting much of the flint's magnesium, but Colby, J.T., and Stephenie were successful. Tom also found four wild chickens that he and his tribemates captured to use as food. Loose alliances between castaways that were previously on the same season were made, while Coach and Jerri formed a separate alliance and J.T. formed pacts with James and Tom. During the night, Sugar disrupted her tribemates' sleep with her chatting.
At the Immunity challenge, the Heroes lost a significant lead due to their conflicting puzzle strategies, and the Villains won, earning their flint. Back at the Heroes camp, Sugar targeted Amanda for elimination, but the rest of the tribe wanted Sugar out. Tom brought up voting for Cirie for strategic reasons. Amanda, Candice, and Cirie talked about voting for Stephenie or Tom to break up a potential alliance that rooted from their season in Palau. At Tribal Council, the vote went against Sugar, and she was unanimously voted out.
|291||2||"It's Getting the Best of Me"||6.9/11||3.9/11||February 18, 2010||11.94||#11|
Frustrated from his tribe's lack of work ethic and cooperation regarding their shelter, Rob wandered off into the jungle. Jerri found him collapsed on the jungle floor and called in the Survivor Medical Team, who, as they found nothing to concern them, cleared Rob to continue.
During the combined Reward and Immunity Challenge, the Heroes initially gained a healthy lead but, again, ended up stumbling as they solved the puzzle staircase. Russell felt threatened by Rob's rise in power amongst the Villains tribe and tried to demonstrate his own power by catching a chicken with a spear. James vented to his tribe about their lack of cooperation during the challenge and not following J.T., who had performed the challenge in Tocantins. Having mostly stormed on Stephenie for their loss, he pointed that her doings might have contributed to her original tribe's losing streak in Palau. Meanwhile, the trio of Colby, Stephenie, and Tom tried to convince Candice and Cirie to join them in voting out Amanda, who had previously played with Cirie, Courtney, James, and Parvati during her tenure as a contestant. After a heated Tribal Council, Candice and Cirie decided to join Amanda, James, J.T., and Rupert in voting out Stephenie.
|292||3||"That Girl is Like a Virus"||6.7/10||3.7/10||February 25, 2010||11.60||#14|
James apologized to his tribemates for his behavior at the previous Tribal Council. The next day, the men of the Heroes tribe "bonded" over re-capturing two chickens that had escaped. Meanwhile, at the Villains camp, Coach and Rob warned Russell about his alliance with Parvati and how it could be dangerous. In retaliation, Russell decided to show the two who was in control by hiding the tribe's machete during the night. Randy became frustrated when he seemed to be the only one providing food for his tribe, thrusting the role of the tribe's main provider on him and Rob. Surprised by Candice's strategic gameplay, J.T. planted some distrust in Candice and Cirie's alliance by fabricating a story to Cirie that the former didn't trust her. When Cirie confronted Candice, the latter scrambled to figure out who had made up the lie, which aggravated James.
At the combined Reward and Immunity Challenge, the Heroes destroyed the Villains in an 8–0 blowout win. Discussions over whom to vote out focused on Parvati and Randy: Parvati for being a social threat and having four potential allies on the Heroes tribe, and Randy because he was one of the weaker competitors. At Tribal Council, the vote went against Randy, and he was unanimously sent home.
|293||4||"Tonight, We Make Our Move"||7.2/12||3.8/11||March 4, 2010||12.72||#17|
Coach vented his disappointment to Tyson about being singled out by Sandra at the previous Tribal Council. He considered quitting the game, but Rob assured Coach that his position in the tribe was secure.
After winning the Reward Challenge, the Villains selected tools, twine, and a tarp from the catalog. While unpacking their reward, Russell accidentally discovered a clue to a Hidden Immunity Idol in front of the tribe. After Rob read the clue out loud, Sandra made the point that whoever found it would be voted out next in order to flush out the idol. The rest of the tribe agreed and decided not to go look for the idol. Despite this warning, Russell went out to search, much to the anger of his tribe. At the Heroes camp, Tom discovered their clue in the jar of coffee beans. J.T. read the clue out loud, and several members of the Heroes tribe went looking for the idol. Tom succeeded in finding the idol and slipped it in his shoe. Amanda saw this and notified the others that it was in his possession.
When the Heroes lost the Immunity Challenge, the majority alliance decided to split their votes between Colby and Tom, thus flushing the idol and sending Colby home. Tom reached an agreement with Amanda, James, and J.T. to vote out Candice after offering to give up the idol, but Cirie disagreed and convinced the majority to follow through with the plan to split the vote and flush the idol. J.T. was torn between going with the majority alliance and joining Colby and Tom in voting out Cirie. At Tribal Council, Tom played the Hidden Immunity Idol; therefore, the three votes against him were negated. In the end, J.T. turned on the majority alliance, and Cirie was voted out.
|294||5||"Knights of the Round Table"||7.0/11||3.6/11||March 11, 2010||12.17||#14|
When the Heroes returned to camp after Tribal Council, J.T. explained that his vote against Cirie was for the tribe and not for "personal reasons". However, Amanda and Rupert still questioned J.T.'s loyalties. At the Villains campsite, Russell continued his lone search for the Hidden Immunity Idol and soon found what he was looking for.
Shortly into the Reward Challenge, James went down with an injury to his left knee. After the Villains won the challenge by a score of 2–1, James's knee was braced by the Survivor Medical Team, and he was cleared to continue in the game. While on their reward trip, Russell told both Coach and Parvati that the Hidden Immunity Idol was in his possession, and a potential alliance brewed.
James lead the Heroes to an early lead but they all struggled at the puzzle. Boston Rob then lead the Villains to another immunity win. Before Tribal Council, Rupert gunned for Candice for being the weakest, while Candice wanted to vote out James due to his injury. Meanwhile, J.T. vacillated between voting for James or Tom. At Tribal Council, Candice and J.T. voted against Tom, and he was sent home.
|295||6||"Banana Etiquette"||6.6/11||3.4/11||March 24, 2010||11.15||#15|
Both tribes were surprised when Jeff announced that both tribes would be going to Tribal Council, and that the challenge was individual.
Candice defeated JT to win for the Heroes, and Rob defeated Tyson to win for the Villains. When Candice and Rob battled it out, Rob ultimately won the reward for his tribe. Upon arriving at the Heroes' camp, Colby believed it was his time to go; however, the rest of the tribe members talked about voting out James instead of Colby to keep the tribe stronger. To try to prove he could still be strong to the tribe by speed, he challenged JT to a race. But JT defeated James by much even after running backwards halfway through the race. Another consideration for voting out James was how he was told by Amanda that he hogged all the bananas he could find. Amanda told him that if he gets a banana, he has to get one for everyone else. She called it a "banana etiquette". At the Villains' camp, Rob, assuming that Russell possessed the Hidden Immunity Idol, organized his alliance members to split their votes between Russell and Parvati, so that they would hopefully flush out the idol and remove one of the two. As a strategy to put the numbers against Tyson and not himself, Russell approached Tyson and convinced him to vote for Parvati. Tyson, believing Russell would also vote Parvati, opted to switch his vote to her as well, when, in reality, Russell would be voting for Tyson. At their Tribal Council, Russell presented the Hidden Immunity Idol to Jeff but gave it to Parvati. When she played the idol, the four votes cast against her were negated, thus blindsiding Tyson with a vote of 3–2–0. Afterwards, the Villains enjoyed their reward at the Heroes' Tribal Council, where James castigated Colby for not performing as well in challenges like he used to in Australia. But ultimately, despite stating his desire to continue on the competition, the tribe ultimately agreed that James' knee injury and brutish demeanor were too obvious to ignore, and, in a unanimous vote, he was next to go.
|296||7||"I'm Not a Good Villain"||6.7/12||3.5/13||April 1, 2010||11.26||#11|
Rob was stunned by the results of previous Tribal Council and was suspicious of his alliance's loyalties. With Jerri wavering about her alliance with Rob, Parvati promised Jerri that she would go to the final four with Danielle and Russell.
Sensing that he needed to step up at the challenges to prove to his tribe that voting James off was not a mistake, Colby led the Heroes to a 3–0 win at the Reward Challenge. When the Heroes arrived at the waterfall for their reward, they received a note that there was another Hidden Immunity Idol at their beach. The five Heroes agreed that they would find the idol together and use it against the Villains instead of against each other. At the Villains' camp, Russell told Coach and Jerri that he wanted to take them to the final three. Jerri accepted the offer and aligned herself with Russell, while Coach was skeptical of Russell's promises. Coach was hurt by Jerri's equal loyalties to himself and Russell as he thought he had a greater level of trust and loyalty from Jerri.
At the Immunity Challenge, the Heroes finally won a challenge with a puzzle component. Back at camp, Russell told Rob that either Courtney or Sandra, both of whom were sitting right beside, had to go home next. Rob tried to convince Coach to vote for Russell by appealing to his respect for loyalty, and Coach gave him his word. Russell devised a plan to blindside Rob while talking with Coach, Danielle, and Jerri, and although Coach disagreed, he eventually stated that he was with them 100%. Coach was torn because he didn't want to betray his promise to either Rob or Russell. At the Villains' Tribal Council, the votes were cast; while Coach tried to sit in the middle by voting for Courtney, Jerri joined Russell's alliance thus eliminating Rob.
|297||8||"Expectations"||7.3/12||3.8/12||April 8, 2010||12.38||#13|
At the Heroes campsite, J.T. went off looking for the Hidden Immunity Idol by himself in his own self-interest, even though the tribe had promised earlier to look for it together. Just after he found the idol, Amanda came across him before he could hide it, putting J.T. into a position in which he had to tell the whole tribe about the idol in order to sustain trust. Before the Reward Challenge, the Villains misinterpreted the day's treemail as a hint to an impending merge. In response, they brought all of their equipment to the challenge, only to have Jeff announce that the tribes were not merging. After seeing Rob voted out, the Heroes assumed an all-girl alliance in control—the true power being with Danielle, Parvati, and Russell.
The Heroes continued their winning streak by defeating the Villains at the Reward Challenge. Feeling that they were on the outs with their tribe, Sandra plotted to trick Russell into believing that Coach was gunning for him, in order to save Courtney. Russell, who seemed immediately convinced, conspired with Parvati to vote out Coach, a move they hoped would further strengthen the misconception of an all-girl alliance.
The Heroes extended their winning streak to four at the Immunity Challenge. Russell and Danielle had a heated discussion over whether they should vote out Coach or Courtney, with Russell ultimately voting for Courtney. At Tribal Council, Sandra and Courtney's plan came to fruition, and Coach became the first member of the jury.
|298||9||"Survivor History"||7.1/13||3.8/12||April 15, 2010||12.31||#12|
At the reward challenge, the Heroes continued to believe there was a women's alliance on the Villains tribe due to the departure of Coach and silent signals that Russell made to J.T.
The Villains would go on to win the Reward Challenge. During the feast, Parvati discovered a clue to another Hidden Immunity Idol tucked into her napkin at the dining table. Parvati secretly showed the clue to Danielle in order to strengthen her loyalty to Parvati versus Russell; they successfully found the idol the next morning and kept it secret from the rest of the tribe. Over at the Heroes camp, J.T. shared his plan to give Russell their tribe's Hidden Immunity Idol at the next Immunity Challenge in order to protect him from the next vote and gain his loyalty post-merger, hoping he would use it to eliminate Parvati; Amanda and Candice thought this would be a bad idea but would also keep the idol out of J.T.'s hands and agreed to it.
At the Immunity Challenge, the Heroes dominated throughout and won the challenge. J.T., with Colby's help, successfully gave the idol, wrapped in a letter to explain his reasoning, to Russell during the post-challenge congratulations. Back at the Villains camp, Russell shared the letter and his possession of the idol with Parvati, Danielle, and Jerri, acknowledging the Heroes fell for the woman's alliance plan. Courtney, knowing she was likely to be voted out, attempted to pledge her loyalty to Parvati in an effort to stay in the game; Parvati lobbied her alliance to keep Courtney in the game, but they opted to eliminate her anyway, and Courtney was unanimously sent to the jury.
|299||10||"Going Down in Flames"||7.0/12||3.6/11||April 22, 2010||11.89||#8|
The tree mail on day 25 announced the merge of the tribes, with the Villains moving to the Heroes campsite and enjoying the traditional feast, eventually naming themselves "Yin Yang" in keeping with the theme of "good vs evil". Russell, Parvati, and Danielle conspired to share the same false story to explain Parvati's survival of the previous Tribal Council; that both Russell and Parvarti played opposing hidden immunity idols. Russell maintained the trust the Heroes had with him to eliminate the supposed Villains' "woman's alliance" through its leader, Parvati. However, Sandra was able to pull aside Rupert and explain the truth of the former Tribal Council; Rupert reported this to the other Heroes, and together they decided to test Russell's loyalty by informing him they were voting for Parvati while they would vote off someone else. Parvati secretly told Amanda about her Hidden Immunity Idol in order to get information on who the Heroes were going to vote out.
The challenge came down to Danielle and Parvati but the latter agreed to step down, knowing she still had her Hidden Immunity Idol, giving Danielle the win. Following the challenge, Russell gave Parvati his Hidden Immunity Idol, believing her to be in trouble at the vote. The Heroes decided to make Jerri their target, believing the possibility of Parvati having an idol and would use it if she felt vulnerable. Amanda, following up on her previous conversation with Parvati, told Parvati she would be the target, but Parvati distrusted her statement. At Tribal Council, the Heroes voted for Jerri and the Villains voted for J.T as planned. Before the votes were read, Parvati surprised the whole tribe by giving a Hidden Immunity Idol to both Jerri and Sandra. They both played the idols, negating the five votes cast against Jerri. J.T. was sent to the jury.
|300||11||"Jumping Ship"||7.6/13||4.1/13||April 29, 2010||12.74||#9|
Russell worked on getting Candice to join his alliance as he correctly thought Sandra would flip to the Heroes alliance.
The Reward Challenge was won by the team of Amanda, Colby, and Danielle. While on the reward, Danielle found a clue to a Hidden Immunity Idol in a bowl of popcorn. Amanda grabbed the clue after Danielle tried to hide it. The two women fought over who should have the clue until Colby intervened and said that Danielle should have it since she found it. When the trio returned to camp the next day, Danielle related the story of the fight for the idol clue to her alliance and they set off to find it. Russell found the Hidden Immunity Idol without the girls noticing and hid his discovery from them. In order to secure her loyalty, Russell showed the idol to Candice and told her that they would go to the final three together. Sandra discussed flipping to the Heroes alliance with Colby and Rupert in order to get rid of Russell. Russell told Sandra that one of the Heroes had already flipped to the Villains alliance and warned her about flipping to Heroes alliance, foiling Sandra's plan of flipping to the Heroes.
The Immunity Challenge was won by Jerri. Russell wanted to vote out Amanda and he told Candice to vote for Amanda, which she agreed to. She then told Russell that the Heroes along with Sandra were planning to vote him out. Russell confronted Sandra about what Candice told him, but Sandra denied any switch in alliances. Sandra then confronted Candice about her telling Russell about the Heroes plan and that they had to stick to the plan in order to vote out Russell. The Heroes agreed to vote for Parvati in case Danielle or Russell played a Hidden Immunity Idol. At Tribal Council, Russell played his Hidden Immunity Idol, but no votes against him were cast. Candice flipped to the Villains alliance and Sandra stuck with the Villains, resulting in Amanda being sent to the jury.
|301||12||"A Sinking Ship"||7.7/14||4.1/14||May 6, 2010||13.06||#8|
Back at camp after Tribal Council, Colby and Rupert were upset about Candice's flip to the Villains side, while Jerri was ready to vote her out now that her vote was no longer needed and was worried she would flip back to the Heroes side. Rupert and Russell confronted each other in front of the entire tribe, which made Russell target Rupert for the next Tribal Council. When the castaways arrived for the challenge, Jeff announced that they would be playing for immunity instead of reward. After explaining the challenge, Jeff stated that there would be a twist at the end.
Just as she had done when she last played this challenge during Survivor: Micronesia, Parvati outlasted everybody to win Individual Immunity. The twist was that Jeff read a clue to a Hidden Immunity Idol to the entire tribe. When the castaways returned to camp, everybody went looking for the Hidden Immunity Idol. Sandra found it and hid it from the others. Rupert stuck a rock in his pocket to feign finding the idol. Russell fell for the deception and his alliance plotted a way to get Rupert to play the idol by splitting the vote at the next Tribal Council. Colby and Rupert knew that the Villains alliance would split their vote between Rupert, Colby or Candice, so they agreed to vote for Candice, hoping the Villains would pick her for the split. At Tribal Council, the Villains ultimately chose Candice and split their votes between her and Rupert. According to plan, Rupert and Colby voted for Candice, sending her to the jury.
When the tribe returned to camp, Russell criticized the girls in his alliance that they should have split their votes between Colby and Rupert instead of focusing on Candice.
At the Immunity Challenge, Rupert, Sandra, Russell, Parvati, and Danielle moved on from the first round. Russell, Parvati, and Rupert moved on to the final round. Russell finished his puzzle first to win Individual Immunity. Parvati wanted to vote out Rupert. Russell was concerned that Parvati was more loyal to Danielle than Parvati was to Russell, so he decided to break them up by discussing voting out Parvati with Danielle and telling Parvati that Danielle wanted to vote her out when it came down to five or six remaining. Danielle and Parvati discussed Russell's stories to them and they figured out that Russell was trying to break them up. The two begged Jerri to vote for Rupert to foil Russell's plan. Meanwhile, Russell decided to get Danielle out of the game so that Parvati would stay loyal to him by telling Colby and Rupert that Danielle needed to go out next. Russell threatened Jerri to vote out Danielle by telling Jerri she would be voted out next if Danielle didn't go. At Tribal Council, Danielle and Russell argued over what the other had said to each other. Danielle broke into tears and unintentionally revealed that Jerri was not included in the Final 3 alliance of herself, Parvati and Russell. Russell's plan came together when Jerri switched her vote and Danielle was sent to the jury, becoming the first villain voted out since the merge.
|302||13||"Loose Lips Sink Ships"||7.7/13||4.1/13||May 13, 2010||13.28||#11|
The tree mail on day 34 was a Sprint Palm Pre loaded with videos from family members (Parvati's dad, Mike; Jerri's sister, Jennifer; Russell's wife, Melanie; Colby's brother, Reed; Rupert's wife, Laura; and Sandra's uncle, Fernando) announcing that they had arrived on the island and were looking forward to reuniting with the castaways at the next challenge.
After emotional introductions to the castaway's loved ones, the challenge was won by the team of Jerri and her sister Jennifer. After winning the challenge, Jeff told Jerri that she could pick another castaway and their loved one to go along with them. Jerri chose Parvati and her father Mike. Jerri then asked Jeff if she could take one more pair. Jeff agreed and Jerri picked Sandra and her uncle. Russell was angry that Jerri did not pick him and his wife to join them on the trip. During the trip, Jerri voiced concern that Russell would seek revenge on her for not selecting him for the trip. Parvati and Sandra said they would protect her from any retaliation and that Russell had to vote out either Colby or Rupert in order to stay in the game. Back at camp, Russell was indeed plotting to seek revenge by making an agreement with Colby and Rupert to go to the final three with them. Russell thought he could swing Jerri over to this new alliance and vote out Parvati if she did not win the next Immunity Challenge. During the night of day 35 after the three women returned from their reward, Rupert angered Jerri by making a racket while the rest of the tribe was trying to sleep and she wanted to vote him out next.
Russell's new alliance's plan was spoiled when Parvati won the Immunity Challenge. With his plan spoiled, Russell decided he had to flip back to his original girls alliance and vote out Rupert. Sandra told Rupert that she wanted to vote out Russell. Rupert told this to Russell, and Russell then confronted Sandra in front of Parvati asking if she was with him or against him. Sandra replied that she was against him and then yelled out to Rupert about revealing her plan to Russell. Russell scolded Parvati and Sandra about being dumb when they made fun of him and changed his mind yet again to vote out Sandra. At Tribal Council, the argument between Russell and Sandra was discussed. Before reading the votes, Jeff stated that this is the last time the Hidden Immunity Idol could be played. Though Sandra thought she was safe going in and wouldn't need to play her Hidden Immunity Idol, she decided to play it since she had mixed feelings after the discussion. The Heroes’ votes against Sandra were not counted. The rest were all cast against Rupert and he was sent to the jury.
|303||14||"Anything Could Happen"||7.2/12||Unknown||May 16, 2010||13.46||#9|
Back at camp after Tribal Council, Russell was upset at Sandra's use of the Hidden Immunity Idol and accused Parvati and Sandra of lying to him about Sandra having a Hidden Immunity Idol.
Parvati won the Immunity Challenge by outlasting Colby. After returning from the challenge, Colby gave his "surrender speech" to the Villains and told them they should just enjoy the day and he would not scramble to stay in the game. However, Colby made one final attempt to stay in the game by approaching Russell about voting out Sandra in an effort to defeat Parvati at the next Immunity Challenge. At Tribal Council, the Villains voted out the last of the Heroes, unanimously sending Colby to the jury.
The final four received treemail announcing that they would take the traditional journey honoring the castaways voted out before heading to their final Immunity Challenge.
Russell won the final Immunity Challenge by edging out Parvati and Jerri by mere inches. After the challenge, Russell told Sandra that he was going to take her to the final three as he thought he could beat her at the final vote as she would get maybe only one vote. Parvati disagreed and told Russell that getting rid of Sandra would be best as she would get votes from the jury. At Tribal Council, Jerri was eliminated and became the final member of the jury.
Parvati, Russell, and Sandra celebrated with the traditional Day 39 breakfast. Unknowingly paying homage to something Russell once did, Sandra tossed Russell's hat into the camp fire in an attempt to throw him off his game at Tribal Council. The three burned down the camp and set off for the final Tribal Council. At the final Tribal Council, the jury questioned and lectured the final three on their strategic plays, their perceptions among the jury, what they would have done differently during the game, their loyalties, and how they played the game. The members of the jury made their dislike of Russell and his unlikelihood of receiving votes very clear; the other two finalists used this in their attempts to sway the jury. Parvati told the jury that she used Russell and "kept him as her pet" while Sandra said that she lobbied for Russell's removal since day one.
|304||15||"The Reunion"||5.9/10||Unknown||May 16, 2010||10.65||#22|
|Months later, Sandra was revealed as the season's winner after receiving votes from the five Heroes and Courtney, while Parvati placed second with Coach, Danielle, and Jerri's votes, and Russell placed third after not receiving any votes. The castaways discuss the season with host, Jeff Probst.|
- Tom played a hidden immunity idol on himself, therefore three votes against him were not counted.
- Russell played a hidden immunity idol on Parvati, therefore four votes against her were not counted.
- Parvati played a hidden immunity idol on Jerri, therefore five votes against her were not counted.
- Sandra played a hidden immunity idol on herself, therefore two votes against her were not counted.
Unlike previous seasons where a break in production occurred between seasons, the twentieth season was shot twenty days after Survivor: Samoa was completed, taking advantage of the existing infrastructure from that season. Casting for Heroes vs. Villains was done simultaneously with casting for Survivor: Samoa. Heroes vs. Villains features ten former Survivors known for their acts of integrity and honor, the Heroes, and ten former Survivors known for their deeds of deception and duplicity, the Villains. The cast was officially announced during the 36th People's Choice Awards on January 6, 2010. Jeff Probst, the show's host, stated that while they wanted to do another season where they brought back former players for the show's ten-year anniversary and 20th cycle, they did not want to simply do another All-Stars season. On reflecting on the most popular players, they realized that these players were either seen as liked or despised for those respective seasons, and opted to use that as the theme for this season. While the players were classified as Heroes or Villains, Survivor's creator Mark Burnett did not expect these players to maintain these roles in the game, but rather to do what they need to survive to the end. Rather than the usual slogan "Outwit, Outplay, Outlast", the slogan for this season is "Return, Revenge, Redemption". All challenges in this season were based on challenges used in previous seasons.
Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains was met with universal acclaim, and is generally considered to be one of the show's best seasons. Entertainment Weekly's Survivor columnist Dalton Ross ranked Heroes vs. Villains as the third-best season of the series, only behind Survivor: Borneo and Survivor: Micronesia (both tied for first); he cited such memorable aspects as "the Russell vs. Boston Rob feud...Tyson voting himself off, J.T. giving Russell his immunity idol, and Parvati handing out two immunity idols at one Tribal Council." Ever since 2012, Survivor fan site "Survivor Oz" has consistently ranked Heroes vs. Villains at or near the #1 spot of its annual poll ranking all seasons of the series – it was #1 in 2012, 2013, and 2015, while it was #2 in 2014 (behind Survivor: Cagayan). The Wire and "The Purple Rock Podcast" both also rank Heroes vs. Villains as the greatest season of the series, while Examiner.com ranks it as the second best season behind Survivor: Borneo, and Zap2it ranks it as the 7th-best season. In 2015, former Survivor contestant and podcast host Rob Cesternino's website saw Heroes vs. Villains ranked as the #1 greatest season of the series, both by Cesternino himself and by the website's fan poll. The season was still ranked #1 in 2021 during Cesternino's podcast, Survivor All-Time Top 40 Rankings. In 2020, Inside Survivor ranked this season as the show's second-best out of the first 40 saying that "Heroes vs. Villains works so well despite the theme's silliness because of how so many cast members fully lean into their designated roles, regardless of how accurate they are. It is Survivor at its most theatrical, and everyone comes to Samoa ready to play their parts." Critics considered the season to be a strong contender for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program at the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards, but it was not nominated. Newsweek, IGN, The Hollywood Reporter and Entertainment Weekly all listed this pass up as one of the biggest Emmy snubs for the year.
In the official CBS Watch issue commemorating the 15th anniversary of Survivor, Heroes vs. Villains performed extremely well across all six major polls that were held: It was voted by viewers as the #1 greatest season of the series; Sandra's burning of Russell's hat in the final episode was voted as the #1 most memorable moment, and Parvati handing out two immunity idols in the 10th episode was #8 on the same list (thus making this the only season to have more than one entry in that particular list); five of the top ten contestants voted by viewers as the greatest were in this season (Mariano, Hantz, Shallow, Diaz-Twine, and Fields); the final immunity challenge of the season was voted as the #5 most unforgettable challenge; and in the "most attractive" polls for both males and females, Donaldson ranked second in the male category, while in the female category, Shallow ranked second, Kimmel ranked fourth, and Woodcock ranked sixth (thus tying with Micronesia for the highest amount of entries in the female category). The season was one of only two overall to have more than one #1 entry in any category (claiming #1 in "Top 10 Seasons," "Top 10 Castaways," and "Most Memorable Moments"), the other being Caramoan in both of the "most attractive" categories, and was the only season to have at least one entry in all six of the lists. Thus, with a total of 13 entries across all six polls, Heroes vs. Villains had the absolute highest representation out of any season in the series.
In a 2015 interview, Jeff Probst admitted that, if Borneo is not taken into consideration, then Heroes vs. Villains ties with Cagayan as his personal favorite Survivor season.
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