Actually, with JT's complicity, they were dead in the water regardless. Even if they all decided to vote for Coby, JT simply would have told Tom to give Colby the idol. Just like Dreamz did to the 4 Horse's Patutes. The only way any of it could have worked is if they kept JT in the dark, and no one even considered that.
I have not been a fan of Rupert's this whole season, but I agree with Jeff that Rupert's comment in TC was one of the more honest we've heard. When Rupert refused to break his word, he actually looked like a hero for the first time this season.
I'd like to point out a couple other things about that exchange however.
1) As I have said about 10 times already, the Heroes are not getting beat due to strength. Colby had a hand in the RC loss and Tom was instrumental in the IC loss. Therefore, JP going on and on about the idiocy of booting the strong didn't apply to their situation. Is it possible JP and production simply don't want the stronger tribemembers being booted early? Is it possible production WANTS the challenges to mean something? You have to admit there has been a trend of JP complaining in TC about this very thing for the last so many seasons now.
2) JP said "Outlast, outwit, outplay" and got into Rupert like him keeping his word and having a sense of integrity was counterintuitive. They are not. One can outwit and outplay with integrity. JT didn't outwit Cirie because he lied or deceived her. He outwitted her by realizing that Tom and Colby are more likely to keep their word than her, and by realizing that like Tom, Cirie would look to get rid of JT as soon as it was expedient. If she wanted to get rid of Tom because as she said, he was "charismatic, athletic and has already won this game once," then how long before she wants JT gone? JT recognized Cirie as a greater threat than Tom, especially when she showed to have more influence over Amanda and James than JT had. CIrie never recognized JT as such, and that is how JT outwitted her. JT outplayed her by taking advantage of their 3-3 vote strategy to turn the tables.
Now, I'm not saying JT has played this season with integrity. I'm just pointing out that his lack of integrity had nothing to do with outplaying Cirie.