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Scott D. Pierce: Tyson Apostol pretty much ousts himself

Utahn's bone-headed move gets him voted out of 'Survivor'

Published: Thursday, April 1 2010 12:00 a.m. MDT

Tyson Apostol is now 0-2 on "Survivor." And this time, he not only got voted out but he looked, well, foolish when it happened.

Because he almost single-handedly did it to himself.

To his credit, the Utahn admitted as much in his exit interview on the CBS series.

"Oh, man, I have nobody to blame but myself," Apostol said. "I was the victim of my own stupidity."

When he's right, he's right.

What made it so ridiculous is that Apostol was part of a six-person alliance that had everything set up perfectly to get rid of one member of a three-person alliance on the other side of their nine-member tribe. And if Apostol had just done as he was told by his alliance's leader, he wouldn't have been the sixth person voted out of "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains."

Apostol got caught in the middle of a battle between "Boston" Rob Mariano (the leader of the six-person alliance) and Russell Hantz — who were both determined to oust the other.

Follow this to see just how badly Apostol messed up:

Rob won individual immunity; Russell had a "hidden" immunity idol, which Rob strongly suspected.

Rob convinced his allies that three of them should vote for Russell and three of them should vote for Russell's ally, Parvati. He knew that Russell, Parvati and Danielle would vote for one member of his alliance — probably Tyson.

Rob's reasoning was absolutely sound. If Russell didn't play a hidden immunity idol, it would be a three-way tie (Russell, Parvati and Tyson) and that would require a second vote. Rob's alliance would then vote Russell out.

If Russell did play a hidden immunity idol — either for himself or Parvati — any votes cast for that person would not count. Which would result in a two-way, 3-3 tie. And Rob's alliance would then vote out either Russell or Parvati in the second vote.

Rob had anticipated Russell's every move and had it planned out perfectly. Every member of his alliance played along as planned. Except ...

Russell told Tyson he was going to vote for Parvati. Unbelievably, Tyson believed Russell.

Tyson then voted for Parvati when he was supposed to vote for Russell.

After the votes were cast — per "Survivor" rules — Russell played his hidden immunity idol for Parvati. Meaning any votes cast for her did not count.

When the votes were tallied, it was Parvati four, Tyson three and Russell two. Again, had Tyson just done what he was told, he'd still be in and Russell would have been voted out in the second-round of balloting.

There's no other way to put it. Tyson got suckered by Russell. And the Utahn looked like a dope on national television.

"I wish I would have stuck to the split vote. I would have come out victorious and Russell would have gone home," Apostol said. "What you gonna do? I'm still pretty awesome."

Ah, Tyson. He's still a legend in his own mind.

TICK TICK TICK: That sound you hear is, in all likelihood, the clock running out on Apostol's 15 minutes of fame.

In his previous stint on the show, he finished ninth (out of 16) on "Survivor: Tocantins." In the current season, he finished 15th out of 20.

Perhaps more importantly, Apostol had very little screen time in the six episodes he was on "Heroes vs. Villains."

Tick tick tick ...

STILL A HIT: Sometimes people who don't know what they're talking about send me e-mails or post comments like, "Who cares about 'Survivor'? Is that still on? Nobody watches it."

Well, lots of people watch it. In its 10th year (and 20th season) on the air, it's still a top 20 show that averages about 14 million viewers a week — consistently and convincingly winning its time slot.

Heck, when it aired on Wednesday last week because of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, it won that time slot, too.

No, "Survivor" is not the ratings powerhouse it was a decade ago. But it's still a hit.

And it's still one of the best — and most watchable — reality shows on TV.

e-mail: pierce@desnews.com

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