It's amazing. Four years ago, Cirie was a Florida nurse so out of shape and inept, she nearly became the first contestant kicked off Survivor: Panama - Exile Island. Yet two editions later, she has evolved into a one-woman mastermind able to persuade her tribe mates to do almost anything short of bathing her in the South Pacific. (Maybe they did that too. Hello, deleted scenes!)
This neat party trick almost worked on the March 4 episode of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains.
Cirie used her wiles to strong-arm Rupert, Amanda, James and Candace into voting off either Colby or hidden-immunity-packing Tom. In other words, two of the hardest-working people to play the game. Ever. But thanks to alliance-switcher and fellow good guy JT, the men-in-peril crunched the numbers and figured out a way to oust her. Though Cirie admitted during tribal council that she "always" felt vulnerable, the woman is clearly not going to vie against Meryl Streep in next year's Oscars. Even after 20 seasons, there's still nothing like the dumbfounded and distraught look on someone's face when Probst does his roll call from hell.
While this all made for high-quality drama, it came with a down side. If the villains were defeated, looks like Russell would have been on the chopping block. Boo hoo. Just kidding. His chest-thumping was kind of amusing in Survivor: Samoa. Now? Just annoying. Not to mention unwarranted. What makes this guy think he's earning a Phd in Survivor strategy? Running out to find a hidden immunity idol when your tribe tells you not to = dumb. Not even being able to find it anyway = dumber.
The notion of voting out your strongest players = dumbest of all. But now the Heroes wised up and voted off Cirie, the Texas oil man and the still out-of-shape Florida nurse may soon be sharing their horror stories together, wondering how it all went so wrong.
--By Mara Reinstein for UsMagazine.com