'Survivor: Heroes vs Villains': Latest evictee blasts James, Rupert, and those damn puzzles!

The Heroes tribe continued their long painful descent into the abyss on the most recent episode of Survivor. First they lost a player to injury, then they lost two more challenges, and then they lost their freakin’ minds! Even though James hurt his leg so badly that he was basically immobile, the tribe deemed him more valuable in challenges than one of the show’s all-time dominant challenge performers, Tom Westman, voting out the fireman and Palau champ. I spoke to Tom this morning about how it all went wrong, and the ousted contestant pulled no punches in his assessment of his tribemates. [Full interview after the jump.]

How does it feel to be deemed less valuable than a dude who can’t walk?
You know what? I think if James had gotten his head cut off in that challenge they would have brought his head along in a bowling bag and had him vote against me. And that was frustrating actually having to defend myself that I was more of a physical value to the team than the guy who had been sent back into the game wearing a brace.

Did you think J.T. was with you on the vote, or were you skeptical?
It didn’t take us long to realize that J.T. was like, “which way is the wind blowing today?” I knew I had to get Rupert over, too, and I tried to appeal to him flat-out, “Is this really okay with you? Do you realize how you’re going to be portrayed? You’re just getting walked around this game by Amanda Kimmel! Is that okay with you?” And I needed him to make the move, which I think would have redeemed him in a lot of people’s eyes. You know, America loved that guy, and I think he let himself down big this time.

You and Colby were both worried before the game began about being outsiders with all these younger, newer players. Is this what got you in the end?
It is. I didn’t even think it would be as bad as it was. The fact that some of these people had played three times, and knew each other and were friends outside of the game — I think this was all preordained before we ever boarded those helicopters in Samoa. That being said, I like a good fight and it was still kind of fun to try to pick that thing apart. I think I did everything I could, but at the end of the day it was also coming to Candice and Cirie too late. If I could play this game again, instead of Cirie and I coming in with our gloves on and hitting at each other from opposite corners of the ring, we really should have just jumped into each other’s arms and said, “Okay, let’s see how far we can take this.” I should have indentified that, but knowing that Cirie had been in Micronesia and played with Amanda and these people I just lumped her in with that crowd, and she couldn’t convince me that she wasn’t part of a previous alliance. And now I believe that she wasn’t. Too many people warning me about her and too many people warning her about me, and it hurt both of us.

Rupert could have been seen as a natural alliance-mate for you and Colby in that he was also from an older season, and not as tied in with the newer, younger crowd, but it didn’t turn out that way, did it?
And we were both kind of shocked with that. I think part of Rupert’s thing is he immediately targeted Stephenie. He immediately wanted her gone with such a passion, for no apparent reason that we could see. And the only thing I believe is that Rupert wants to be the most popular person on the season and who has had that kind of popularity except Stephenie LaGrossa? I really believe that it was a selfish, get rid of anybody that might get more camera time than me situation, and that was Rupert’s motive in the beginning.

On a social level, how was it around camp with James after his big Tribal Council outburst?
Socially, it was pretty abysmal out there. Thank God Colby was out there so that you had one good guy you could talk with about something besides their previous season. Some of these people, if they weren’t talking about what they did in Pearl Islands or what somebody said in Tocantins, there really wasn’t much to talk to these people about. And they don’t want to hear from you anyway. It’s kind of like “Oh, you’re still here? We didn’t get rid of you yet?” So socially, it couldn’t have been more different that my situation in Palau, which had more of a Kumbaya summer camp feel to it.

Your tribe on Palau never lost one single immunity challenge, so what was it like being on the other side of that?
We were just so wound up and wanted it so bad, and just wanted to explode. James thought it was too many people helping. Oh, maybe we should just all sit around and just stare at the thing like you do until someone tells you what to do. You think that might get it done? I don’t think so. Listen, if you give us 100 puzzles, they’ll beat us every time. And I don’t know if they as a group are better at puzzles or they just have one person who does puzzles very well, and that’s Boston Rob. I’m loving watching him this season. It’s just been a great ride, and single-handedly he’s just thumping us out there with those puzzles. It’s like, okay, enough with the puzzles. I’m surprised with the sumo wrestling that the rule wasn’t to knock somebody in the water and then assemble the Rubik’s Cube!  We just had some spatial issues I guess, or he was that much better than us.

Last question: Who do you think would win in a foot race: one-legged James or Probst’s niece?
I don’t know Probst’s niece, but I’m gonna say that even if she’s a toddler or not even walking yet — that even crawling she could beat James. Now are we talking about James with or without the brace?

With the brace.
Oh, well, he can hobble a little bit with the brace. He couldn’t step without it. I’m still going with Probst’s niece. I’ll tell you what: I’ll bet all my winnings from Palau on that footrace.

To see an exclusive deleted scene (Boston Rob kills a shark!!!) from last night’s episode, as well as a pep talk that Tom recorded for himself before the game to cheer himself up in the event that he was voted off, click on the video below. And for all the Survivor scoop, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss.

[ewbrightcove “71407829001”, “71433065001”, “525”, “365”]

Read the full recap of last night’s Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains

Jeff Probst blogs episode 5 of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains

Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

Comments (108 total) Add your comment
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  • Davis Freeberg

    I can’t help but wonder if voting to keep the tribe strong for challenges really is the best move. Something tells me that it won’t take the villain tribe very long to fracture once they do merge into one. I didn’t like seeing Tom voted out, but can understand their thinking. Unfortunately, things are looking pretty grim for Colby now. I bet if Rupert hadn’t broke his toe, he would have been more open to flipping tribes. It would have been hard to convince him to go after weak members when he’s wounded himself. I’m all for intense challenges, but hope that next season they do less physical contests. I’d much rather see someone voted out than to have them sidelined because of an injury.

    • Ken

      The hero’s are zero’s, not a single one of them have a clue and they all look to James for advice / leadership? This is the guy who got voted off with 2 immunity idols in his pocket on the last night he could use them. Steroids have rotted that mans brain and his ego is bigger than life.

    • jared4ever

      I love that the “heroes” are turning out to be just regular snakes like the villains. I never thought JT was any kind of hero in his season. I always knew he was pretty sleazy and opportunistic. I hope he goes next.

    • Paul

      Broken toe or no broken toe, Rupert is a sheep. I doubt he would’ve changed alliances. It’s frustrating that Rupert, Amanda and James are probably one of the worst strategic players in Survivor, yet they’re still in the game! I guess it goes to show as long as you have numbers, it doesn’t matter how many challenges you win or how strategic you are.

      • Sam

        Rupert was never the sharpest tool in the toolshed, a pretty phrase I picked up when Cirie was talking about Amanda.

      • liz

        Ugh when I watch Rupert now I think, How could I possibly have liked him during his season? He is making such ridiculous choices. JT and Candace were idiots for not voting James. IDIOTS! I hope Colby makes it by some miracle to the merge and he turns on the heros.

  • Al

    Tribal council was like a Monty Python sketch. James had his whole friggin leg splinted up and he was acting like nothing was wrong.

    • Jackie

      LOL – Yeah, it was just a “flesh wound.”

  • Daniel

    Sad to see you go Tom. The ‘heroes’ can go to hell for all that i care.

  • Rika

    QUOTE “I think if James had gotten his head cut off in that challenge they would have brought his head along in a bowling bag and had him vote against me” …. friggin brilliant Tom, so sorry to see you go and I do believe it will bite them in their arses starting next week

    • Maximilian

      *cough* xenophobia *cough*

      • oldrockchick

        to paraphrase The Princess Bride:
        I do not think that means what you think it means.

      • Minnie

        Well played, oldrockchick!

      • GoddessLu

        Excellent oldrockchick. Love PB references and oh so apt.

      • Tiffany

        um, are you just typing random words or something. What??

      • Maximilian

        Without looking up the definition, I’m pretty sure it means fear of those different than you, for example foreigners. It was antagonistic of me to put but at the moment I couldn’t resist.

      • Maximilian

        Google “define:Xenophobia”. I was spot on. And since when is mentioning the decapitation of a person brilliant? Goodness only knows what the reaction had been had the roles been reversed and it had been our muscular friend speaking that way about Tom! Can’t you see that? There’s something wrong with that picture!

      • SurvivorFreak

        I thouht Tom’s quote was brilliant. I don’t see what fear of strangers has to do with it. He was basically implying James could have been on his deathbed and Amanda, Rupert, and J.T. would have still voted Tom out.

      • Walden

        Brilliant? I don’t know. Hilarious? Yes! Tom and James are both Americans, so I don’t know how xenophobia applies. I’m not sure what word is used for being perplexed by the steroid addled dufus that yells and screams about the team losing because of another player being bad luck, or any reason he can come up with that doesn’t include him or his alliance mates. Whatever that word is, it could reasonably apply to Tom in this situation.

      • MB


  • Eric

    I agree with you Davis, but I thought when James had to go out of the challenge that someone from the Villians would have had to sit out too!

    • Maserda

      Or that Colby would come in and play for James. Remember, Colby had to sit out due to the numbers… but letting Colby play would allow the numbers to be even again!

      • D

        That would have been totally unfair. Why should they be able to get someone “fresh” to enter the challenge?

    • GoddessLu

      They haven’t done that in past seasons (even back up the numbers after someone gets pulled) so they were right not to. They made their Colby-less bed (a/k/a Jerri’s bed for all you Season 2 fans). Is it me or is Colby just weird now? Always thought he was a dolt for taking Tina to the final 2 if he wanted to win. DUH.

      • terry

        No, he just thought hisword was worth more than a million dollars. I admired that. Cal him a dolt, but he kept his word to Tina.

      • Sunga

        Well he knew he would’ve beaten Keith for sure, but honestly who among us didn’t think he’d beat Tina as well. In my opinion Tina is among the top 4 worst final tribal council decisions in the history of the game. The other 3 being Jenna over Matthew in the Amazon, Amber over Rob in All-Stars, and Natalie over Russell in Samoa.

      • D

        @Sunga-I disagree with you on all counts. You seem sexist too.

  • Maximilian

    I bet he wishes James had been decapitated, huh. I’m relieved Tom’s gone. Go enjoy your previously won Survivor money and leave some for everybody else.

    • Goober

      You are a total tool.

      • Maximilian

        Well if a tool means having my own opinion of what I feel is what’s really going on psychologically, I’m glad to be one. I just want everyone to get along and I’m getting this strong Puritan sense that I really wish wasn’t around. I live in a major city so I’m well used to civil issues and accepting differences. Here nothing is personal; It’d exhaust one for which it was. Out there (maybe the rural West or South, wherever), goodness only knows and I don’t feel it has been any more obvious than dear Tom, and concurrently Dalton Ross and even resonant a bit within Probst himself! Very discouraging. I enjoy a healthy respect for differences and political correctness! Seldom do Freudian slips lie.

      • Nate

        I agree with you Gober, he really is a tool. This guy’s a joke.

      • Daul

        If you enjot healthy repect for differences, then why the criticism? Its called hypocrosy

    • SurvivorFreak

      You strike me as being overly sensitive and reading things into comments not intended. I could easily read the same “xenophobia” in your own comments if I was looking for it.

  • TorontoTom

    Well…putting together puzzle pieces is an important skill to survive in the wilderness. I hear ya, Tom – could they possibly overdo it with the stupid puzzles or what? Was hoping Colby and you would make it to the merge but unfortunately you’re tribe was full of idiots who all deserve to wind up head first in a bowling bag…

    • MB

      Every immunity challenge the Villains have won included some sort of puzzle. The Villains would have lost every challenge–they were behind on each one–without Boston Rob. He’s beating the Heroes by himself.

  • Caillie

    They started playing the end game way too soon, worrying about alliances on the villain tribe. They forgot that it wouldn’t matter if they couldn’t last long enough to merge.

  • Andrew

    I’m so tired of James and Amanda. I would’ve loved to see a J.T, Colby, Tom, Candice foursome take control of that tribe.

    • Jeff X

      Dude did you not watch or read? TOM IS GONE! Man whats wrong with people

      • kid gib


      • Ken

        What’s wrong is you dropped out of Jr. High School and your reading skills do not go past reading the Sunday comics or your favorite book… See Spot Run! Maybe you should get somebody to read this to you?

      • Paul

        Take a midol.

  • Flora

    Gonna miss you, Tom. One of the few heroes on your tribe.

  • Jermaine

    Tom was useless in the challenges I’m glad the arrogant punk is gone.

    • kid gib

      To many othger dopes to get rid of

    • Fu

      They’ve all been useless in the challenges.

      I just think it’s the wrong combination of people to be on one team. They don’t operate well together and I don’t think the fault belongs to anybody when it comes to the challenges.

      This was a bad idea for a season because I’ve lost a lot of respect for some of these people. A lot of them have gone from Hero to Zero.

    • Goober

      You are a tool.

      • Nate

        I agree with you Goober, he really is a tool. This guy’s a joke.

    • Huh?

      Jermaine has been useless on these message boards. It’s too bad we can’t vote him out.
      Tom was better at challenges than James has been. Their Survivor histories proves that fact.

    • Tim

      my vote is for Jermaine to get the “boot”! I’m sure race has nothing to do with that comment. NOT!

    • kaykaykay

      Shaddap boy . Steroid freak will be gone soon enough. Amanda the brainless twit will join him for some jungle love.

    • teresa

      Arrogant punk? How does that in any way describe Tom?

  • penalty box

    They should call the Heroes Tribe the Idiots Tribe and Ruppert should have been the captain. Tom, Mariano, Tyson, Parvidi, and even Russell play this game on a different level.

    • gp

      Seriously? Tyson?

      • D

        That was a shocker. Maybe replace Tyson with Sandra and they might have had a point.

  • andy

    Jermaine, I am surprised you can spell punk. Tom/Colby/Stephanie were the only “heroes” on their team. Go Villains!

    • Tim

      Your right Andy!! Other than Colby I’m rooting for the villains now!

  • MJ

    I hope James doesn’t have to eave the game for medical reasons because I want to be able to relish in the moment when that stupid clown gets his ass voted out. I love how JT says he had to stick with James for numbers when he and Candace could have joined the solid Colby Tom group. Heroes are embarassing to watch.

    • alex

      it worries me, I had the same type of injury, planted down trying to steal a basketball, and my knee went the other way, broke a small piece off my kneecap…they thought it was just dislocated, but it kept swelling up…his knee is NOT stable, and chances are it will take months to get that back…some NEVER get their knee stable again because it just rubs right off its slot…we will see, but I think james will have to go.

      • D

        As annoying as I have found him this season, I still hope he doesn’t have any permanent damage.

    • Tammy

      Obviously Stephen was making all the decisions for JT last time. I can’t imagine why he couldn’t figure out that it would be better for him and Candice in the long run to align with Tom & Colby. They could have voted out Rupert and Amanda next. I am so tired of the two of them and James!

      • bri

        your comment that Stephen was making the bulk of the decisions is spot on. At least without Stephen, JT has no strategy. At least he was true to Stephen. Out here, by himself, he is a shadow fo before.

      • Olivia

        On his own, J.T. wouldn’t be able to tell you which one was his ass and which one was his elbow on a map of his own body. Without Stephen to do his thinking for him J.T. is nothing more than a kite flying in whatever direction the wind happens to be blowing on any given day.

  • kid gib

    We got to see the stupid look on his face when he had 2 HII in his pocket. Can’t get much dopier looking then that

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