After a week off, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains returned with ousters on both the Villains and the Heroes tribe. On the Villains team, Russell Hantz returned to his Samoa glory days when he pulled out a hidden immunity idol after getting a warning from "Boston Rob" Mariano. However, Russell floored his tribe mates when he opted against using the idol to save himself, instead saving ally Parvati Shallow. The move could have cost Russell his spot on the island, but the big move sent rival Tyson Apostol home instead. The 30-year-old spoke with TVGuide.com about why he blames himself for being blind-sided, who he wishes he had voted for instead, and how far he thinks his teammates will make it.
TVGuide.com: What was the vibe at tribal council when Russell gave the immunity idol to Parvati?
Tyson Apostol: I knew I was screwed at that point. I was like, "Ah crap. Play it cool, Tyson. Play it cool." ... I knew had it. Coach told me he had it and he had told Coach so it wasn't a surprise. It was 100 percent sure. The surprise was that he stood up, panicked and then gave it to Parvati.
TVGuide.com: Is it hard to leave the game in a blind side like that?
Tyson: I guess I get credit for taking out the smartest and strongest player in Survivor history: myself. I am the only one smart enough or strong enough to do that. In that respect, it is kind of a bummer that I did that to myself but in the same respect, I can't be mad at anybody so I'm not going to be bitter and write a blog about it for the rest of my life, which is what many Survivors have done.
TVGuide.com: What do you mean you did it to yourself? What was the one thing you could have changed?
Tyson: I should have just stuck with the original plan instead of switching my vote ... I was supposed to vote for Russell but I switched to Parvati because I wanted Parvati gone more than Russell. I had actually told Russell, "We're voting three-three on you. So you need to either play the idol or vote Parvati yourself so that she's gone." Because I knew with Russell's alliance gone, he would have nowhere to go but to me. At the last moment I thought, well, if Danielle and Parvati are smart, they're going to vote Russell to save themselves and then Russell [will play the idol] ... I felt like I had more of a connection with Russell maybe than with Parvati or Danielle. I didn't tell anybody I was voting that way. There wasn't a single person in the world who knew I was going to switch my vote.
TVGuide.com: Was there anything else you wish you would have changed or you could have changed that would have allowed you to stay?
Tyson: The other thing is that we could have done was gotten four people and voted against Danielle because nobody would have assumed that we'd go for Danielle like that. All I would have to do is vote the way I told everyone I was going to vote and that would have been enough.
TVGuide.com: You said this play will make help Russell get respect in the tribe but is there a chance this will put a bigger target on his back?
Tyson: It could work both ways. I think him giving the whole speech about being honorable and learning it from Coach would probably win Coach over a little bit, but everyone else might want him gone more now.
TVGuide.com: You're a very strong player so how will the tribe feel your absence?
Tyson: I think pretty much at each challenge, it was me or Rob that was winning it for them. To put everything on Rob is a big chore. Rob and I are definitely the stand-out performers so for them to lose something like that is definitely going to take its toll, I imagine.
TVGuide.com: Which teammate surprised you the most on the Villains' tribe?
Tyson: I was most surprised about Rob and I think most people would probably say that, except Russell, who obviously hates Rob to the core and madly jealous of him. When I watched Rob's seasons, I really thought this guy needs to go early, he and I are going to clash and it's not going to be good. Meeting him in person, I was like, this guy's actually really cool. I think he shocked a lot of people ... I know that all he wants to do here is win, whether it's the challenge or the money and I can support that.
TVGuide.com: Which of your teammates do you think has the best chance of winning?
Tyson: The alliance that I was in still has the numbers, but I was kind of the glue that was holding it all together. So if they can hold it together, I think they'll go far because there's still five of them as opposed to three [in Russell's alliance]. I was holding two portions of it together and if it falls apart, anything can happen. If Rob can get to the finals, I think that nobody left in the game can beat him in a tribal council. I think he's got the numbers and he has people that like him enough and even people that aren't in his alliance probably would vote for him in a final tribal council ... The game is so unpredictable that you never know. I can tell you who can't win the game. I would say Rupert would have a very hard time winning the game and Russell would be virtually impossible. Danielle and Parvati would have a very tough time winning the game in a tribal council.