Thursday, March 28, 2013

Survivor: Caramoan - The Foo Pas Fighters - 26.7

Bikal returns to camp after voting Matt out.  Everyone seems genuinely sad to have let him go, especially Michael.  "Matt's been my boy since Day 1, & now I'm totally on my own."  Not totally.  Corinne still wants to work with Michael & says, "Michael's not going home on my watch."  She hangs with Michael in the shelter, while Phillip looks on disapprovingly.

Phillip is frustrated with Corinne fraternizing with the enemy.  Why can't The Dominatrix follow protocol?  Did she not get the memo on the Stealth R Us letterhead?  Who promoted her to Double Agent, & if she is indeed a double agent, why has she not come in for a debriefing with the Specialist yet?  "Unacceptable".

Phillip takes Cochran aside & tells him that he wants Corinne gone.  Maybe even next.  The Intelligence advises against this, as the SRU agents on Gota will not understand how they've lost one of their own, come the merge.  It's Budapest all over again!  Phillip, who is playing the part of a former federal agent, then plays the part of a federal agent.  Hold on to your comm devices - it's about to get meta.

"This is me as a federal agent: I don't trust that woman."

I have to say, I think the Stealth R Us talk would be a great distraction from boredom &/or strategy talk.  I can also see how it would get old really fast, but pretending to be a spy (whether you're on a TV show competing for 1 million dollars, or, say, at a Food & Wine show) just seems fun.

"Copy that." -The Ferreiras, 2011 (Time-travelling agents!)

The next morning, Dawn reads the Treemail describing the next challenge: "The strong must carry the weak", & Cochran's ears perk up.  "That means there's a place in the challenge for me."  He continues in a confessional, "If the success in this challenge depends on the existence of weak people, we got it."  As far as Phillip is concerned, he'll carry the burden of strength as long as it's upper body strength that is required.  "Without being arrogant, I'm almost certain I can win it."  Phillip explains his workout routine to Julia & Michael, then arm wrestles Cochran.

After Phillip both defeats & trains him, Cochran remarks "You're proving your incredible strength."

But do you have a sweet ocean throne for your confessionals?

The Reward Challenge will have all tribe-mates linked together on a rope, each carrying 20lb sand bags. Starting opposite each other on an oval course, the first tribe to catch up to the other wins coffee & sweets.

Malcolm lays out the strategy for Gota - they're stronger, so all they need to do is stay even, & then they can overtake a weary Bikal easily.  And they shall look amazing while doing so.

Phillip insists on leading Bikal because he doesn't want to be stuck behind anyone while he's hauling ass.  It ends up with Julia THE RACE CAR DRIVER at the rear of Bikal when the only thing they had to do was RACE AROUND AN OVAL.  Once the race begins, Phillip quickly tires & Bikal trudges slowly through the water.  In Phillip's defence, he didn't say anything about his lower body strength.  Turns out he needs to add some leg reps into his routine.  With every request to speed up from his tribe, Phillip comes up with an excuse: "The girls will tire", "I think you'll tire more", or simply "No".   Probst, of course, berates Bikal every step of the way.

Unsurprisingly, Gota easily catches Bikal.

Former NFL cheerleader Brenda helped from the sidelines.

Bikal heads out to enjoy their Coffee Shop reward, & like a good Mom, Dawn attempts to make her tribe feel better by assuring them that Gota is just going to end up with diarrhea, & it's a sucky reward anyway.

Alpha Beta Reynold stays true to frat boy form, shouting "Spring Break, no parents!" at the Caramoan Coffee Shop.  He's totes bummed that none of the chicks flashed him, because that has always worked in the past.

Reynold is right at home indulging "in glorious abundance.  This reward is right in my sweet spot.  No pun intended."

OK, I see the car salesman thing now, guys.

Back at Bikal, Phillip is blaming the other tribe's strength for the loss.  Corinne is having none of it, as her confessional explains:  "You tubby lunchbox.  I have yet to see an ab on you, I don't see any pectoral muscles...I mean, he's an amoeba....he's 10 lbs of potatoes in a 5lb sack.  I mean, he's just a mess."  While I think Phillip's in pretty damn good shape for 53, Corinne is always full of the LOLZ.

But is Corinne's assault on Phillip the harshest thing anyone said about a tribe-mate in this episode?  NO.  That title goes to Cochran's description of Julia.  Yes, Cochran.  Cochran's getting his fierce on.  " such a non-entity out here.  I'm tempted to say that she has, like, a vanilla personality, but I feel like that would be doing a great disservice to the flavour of vanilla.  I mean, people actively seek out vanilla-flavoured products.  Children clamour to get a vanilla ice cream cone.  Nobody's clamouring for anything Julia-flavoured."

You best be steppin'.

Can we talk about this Gota-worthy Instagram pic for a minute?  There is much to love about it.  It can be used in a variety of situations:
Attitude: "I ain't got time for that"
Coolness: "...'Sup" 
Confidence: "You're going to choose me. I know it."
Or a "Hold up - do you need to pick up this phone right now?" reminder, which is what I used it for when it was my lock screen for a few days until my son saw it & asked "Where did Dad go?".  I love this photo a lot, & will probably overuse it in the weeks to come.  NOT SORRY.

Malcolm is setting himself up for the merge at Gota.  He knows the 4 Alpha males will be targeted, so he pledges himself & Erik to Alpha Beta.  The Handsome & the Hotness can always use more bros, especially bros with such luxurious hair, so it is on like beer pong.  Reynold asks if Malcolm would tell him if he was ever in danger.  "If you can protect yourself, I'll tell you..."  "I HAVE THE IDOL."  Nicely done.

At Bikal, Dawn is unimpressed with Julia. "She wasn't seeming very aware of the game."  Julia seeks Dawn's advice, & Dawn says she won't tell anyone.  When she inevitably tells Phillip, he calls Julia "an idiot".  "She has managed to commit several foo pas."  While this is hysterical, I have a friend who once ordered quesadillas phonetically, so foo pas is actually not the biggest pronunciation faux pas I've ever heard.

The Immunity Challenge involves rowing, diving, lifting, grapple-hooking, unlocking & pulling.  It's pretty even & uneventful aside from gratuitous Brenda ass-shots, & Gota wins.

Faced with another Tribal Council, Phillip tells Cochran that he threw the challenge.  Does Cochran buy it?

Go home, Phillip. You're drunk.

"It all makes sense.  We had to throw the challenge in order to get rid of one of these Fans, or else we were doomed.  And it's the only reason why Phillip was unable to successfully throw a grappling hook.  I mean, it's complete crap.  You can't make up this level of delusion, & that's what excites me about playing with Phillip.  I think he's actually, at this point, convinced that he threw the challenge...Can you imagine the speech he would have given back at camp had he successfully thrown a grappling hook, the spy's basic tool, at a challenge, & won the challenge for us?  It's absurd."

The decision is made to split the votes between Julia & Michael, with the desired outcome of Julia evaporating into the ether, to be reunited with her personality.  This is what happens, after some pumped-up drama between Corinne & Phillip over casting votes toward Michael.

I don't usually participate in the speculation side of Survivor blogging, but I was so impressed this episode with Cochran's position.  He seems like Phillip's right-hand man, which despite sounding less-than promising, means he'll be keeping tabs on him.  Phillip confided in him several times this episode, each time with Cochran playing along, or talking some sense into him, or arm wrestling with him - whatever was needed.  Phillip & Corinne will be gunning for each other long before anyone goes after Cochran.  When the merge comes, he won't be seen as a threat for challenges, & I'm assuming everyone will want to work with him because ADORABLE.

Insert cheque for $1,000,000 here.

It's still a few weeks away, but with the third season of Game of Thrones premiering this weekend, & their Join the Realm marketing push, I couldn't resist.

The LEGO recap is coming.

Don't forget to like this blog on Facebook to get the first look at the LEGO recap, & follow me on twitter to continue the conversation!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Survivor Caramoan - A Very Metal Survivor - 26.6

The Faves return to their camp after Probst initiated an impromptu Tribal Council at the Immunity Challenge, where Brandon left the game.  They are happy to have him gone, but annoyed that all of this drama happened in front of The Fans, who they assume are feeling motivated & inspired with this shift in momentum.  We will never know, because we don't see any footage of this.  I can only imagine that Reynold & Eddie were taking turns "being" Probst, yelling "The Fans Win Immunity!", rendering all footage useless.

There's really only 1 reason this episode made me smile at all, & that is Corinne, who is finally getting some screen-time.  She points out that Brandon spilled everyone's rice & beans, ruining it even for those he claimed to like.  Phillip is bewildered as to the source of Brandon's hate-on for him.  "I don't believe I ever had one cross word with him."

Bitch, please.

At Gota, Reynold is pleased with himself as he has found Treemail.  He has a knack for these things, don't you know!  He reads the message which indicates a celebration, & Michael shows his excitement by performing Cups from Pitch Perfect.  It is glorious.

Clutch guy Reynold is just hoping for something to shift soon in the game.  The Handsome's velvety voice carries on the Caramoan wind until it tickles Probst's ear.  Your will be done!

The Fans & Faves stand separate for the last time in the game, at least physically.  Matt addresses The Faves & tells them he feels sorry for what they went through with Brandon.  The Beard adds, Sometimes I feel so sorry, I regret this, the hurting of you.  But you make me so unhappy, I'd take my life and leave love with you. I'd kill myself for you, I'd kill you for myself.  The Faves are slightly weirded out at how intense he became, but they'll take it.  Thank you, bearded one!

A crushing of eggs leaves us with 2 new tribes.

New Gota

New Bikal

 A confident Cochran says "The game has started anew."

Indeed, this new swaggier Cochran was on full display as he greeted new tribe-mate (& future showmance partner??) Julia, who is overwhelmed by the PUA skills J-Coch is throwing at her.  Perhaps they will have a similar flirtatious relationship like the short-lived challenge-based one of Cochran & Laura that existed in my head.

Get it, girl.

Probst asks Matt how he feels about being on the new Bikal.  Matt says he's psyched, & The Beard says It all seems so unreal. I'm a man cut in half in this world, left in my misery.  Probst moves on, quickly.  Brenda is also very happy with her tribe, as the new Gota seems to have a lot of muscle.  Probst sends both tribes off with a new flint & a bag of rice, then repeats what Cochran said earlier, but less eloquently.  "This game just started over."

Thank goodness the bromance stayed intact, as Reyndie returns to the Gota camp.

"We are the young, good-looking tribe."

Reyndie is feeling comfortable in the presence of other male hotties, so they reveal everything about their former tribe.  Sherri is in the water with other female hotties, so she also reveals everything.  In Sherri's case, I believe it was a fangirling moment, but with the they even know who Erik is?  They certainly don't know who Malcolm is.  Reynold says, "If you guys want to vote [Sherri] out, we're with you."  Eddie echoes his bro, "Yeah, we don't care."  Well, you kind of should care.

Erik says, "I look at Reynold & I think, kind of, Used Car Salesman.  He's got these baby, beautiful baby blue eyes, & he's talking the talk, but it's not all it seems."

Not trusting any hotties this time around.

Over with the new Bikal tribe, Corinne describes the newest members.  "The new people are Matt, Julia, & then. there's. Michael.  Oh, do I have a special place in my heart for a gay.  If I was a moron & hadn't played this game before, I would turn on my entire alliance just to align with a gay. That's how much I like gays."

How offensive!  How prejudiced!  Shut it, PC Police.  Listen, I am blessed with the same affliction (gaydoration), & it's one of the reasons I wanted, nay, needed to get back into theatre after a 12 year hiatus.  I can measure my most fabulous years by my proximity to gay friends.  It's a real problem.  Now, I've seen some people get on Corinne's case for this (my beloved Penner included), but saying "a gay" isn't offensive, at least when it's dripping with affection, as it is here.  It's like saying "ginger" - intent is everything.  And yes, she says it A LOT throughout the episode, but come on.  We know how edited this show is, & we've all said something clever only to repeat it to different people & how was she to know they'd take every single instance of her speaking of her love for gays & air them all?  Leave her alone, I love her.  I'd go gay for her if I thought that's what she meant. (Is it what you meant, Corinne?  Just say the word.)

Meanwhile, Phillip is assessing Stanford student Julia, whom he calls "Smart, but not college-educated like myself."

Being The Specialist is hard.

Over at Gota, Malcolm & Andrea share what they've learned from The Fans on their tribe.  Malcolm says, "So far, you couldn't ask for more from a really dysfunctional group of people you're gonna join up with."  Andrea asks Malcolm if he has an idol, because she dreamed he did. No!  Malcolm has his Idol in his buff on his wrist, & he proudly states in a confessional, "I'm an accomplished liar when it comes to women."  Young women everywhere are indignant, while Cougars are out buying new push-up bras in record numbers.  No lies are needed on this side of the fence, you strapping young man. Now release The Hair & fetch me another Pinot Grigio.

What have you done?

At Bikal, Michael's resemblance to Damon Lindelof brings a Dharma spider out of hiding.

Phillip tells Corinne he's been sussing out Julia, & Corinne says what we're all thinking.  "He's the worst federal agent I've ever met.  What cases did he crack, like, what was he working on?  And is that the reason our country's in such a mess?"  She later tells an equally WTF-faced Dawn "He needs a warm glass of shut-the-hell-up." 

"What the fuck?"                       "What the fudge?"

Off to the Immunity Challenge, where the new Gota & Bikal will compete against each other in the same challenge that would have been Fans & Favourites last week.  Two at a time, Survivors race to collect huge crates.  When all 6 are collected, they will be used to create a staircase spelling out "Fans vs Favourites."  First tribe to finish wins Immunity.

Gota is the first to start on the puzzle-solving leg, as Bikal sends Phillip out several times in a row, & he is exhausted.  Matt's like, "Come on, Dawn!  We got this!"  But The Beard says, Look at the ground as you choke me up; does it taste like tequila, or failure?  Dawn mouths "help me" to her tribe-mates as they bring the last crate back.  Julia takes the lead for the puzzle-solving, but makes a mistake that costs them the challenge.

Probst awards Immunity with the words "Domination by Gota."  Gota leaves, hoisting the idol, & Dawn is crying as she is close enough to hear what Dimebag The Beard is growling.

Domination consumes you, then calls you a friend. It's a twisted fall - binds are like steel & manipulates the will to be.

Phillip wants Corinne out, but will be patient & wait until the right moment to get rid of her.  The Specialist knows The Fans on their new Bikal tribe are top priority.  Corinne feels the same about Phillip.  "On a scale of, like, 1 to on-an-airplane-next-to-a-baby-annoying, he is on-an-airplane-next-to-a-baby-annoying & the baby has diarrhea."  Thank you, CBS, for finally giving us some Corinne.

Phillip & The Beard are in hanging in the shelter, & The Beard just wants to make it to the merge with a strong tribe.  I'm just a man, like you - a man that stands his ground with strength.  Phillip says "We're gonna vote out The Girl."  Poor Julia.  Even her tribe-mates don't know her name.  Phillip sees Matt & Michael as better assets to have moving forward.  The Beard agrees: It's a safe assumption that you'd want to save me now. But I'll never face castration, for your sacred sow is left slaughtered.

Phillip is like, FINALLY, a guy who gets my flair for the dramatic! It's been 15 minutes, so let's talk StealthRUs!  The Specialist tells M&M that they'll be given an assignment by a Jr Team member or something, & it will be a test.  M&M struggle to keep a straight face as they report for duty with the former federal agent.  Can't you see I'm easily bothered by persistence? One step from lashing out at you. You want in to get under my skin & call yourself a friend?  In a confessional, The Beard asks, What's behind the badge?  But he knows Phillip's whole deal, so if he has to kiss his ass to stay in the game, he'll do it.

I serve too many masters.

The 3 Fans on Bikal discuss their options in the woods.  The Girl says "The best scenario would be that they want to vote for one of their people, & that they would bring us in, & say 'we want your vote to get rid of this person'."  I so badly want to mock her for saying something so obvious, but I just feel awful because this is the most we've heard from her this far.

Michael suggests they all vote for Cochran (!!), but Julia may have been charmed by the sweater vest, so she suggests Dawn.  Who needs a Mom trying to scope your macking skillz, amIright?  That seems to be enough for M&M to convince Julia that it's a foolproof plan, except that there's only 3 of them, & nobody mentioned trying to sway a Fave, so what gives, Stanford girl?  Matt says "As long as it's not me."  High noon, your doom.

Cochran wants to vote off Julia, crushing my showmance dreams, but notes that Matt & Michael are openly very close with each other, & like any Survivor power couple, they must be separated.

Forget Julia - I'm officially a Cochran + Ocean Throne shipper.

Corinne would rather keep Matt over Julia. "She's really boring...& she really is the one that cost us the challenge...Julia hasn't said 2 words to me. She genuinely does not contribute anything except a nasally voice."  Nobody thinks Matt has an idol, as he keeps telling them I can't hide.  They're off to Tribal, & The Beard comments as he ignites his torch: I am the burning inferno. I am the flame thrower.  Corinne quickly makes up her mind.

At Tribal Council, Matt says he couldn't be happier with this group of people (this is where I discover that there is no such thing as a happy Pantera song.)  Corinne says the decision has been hard, Phillip says his decision will be based on loyalty, & Cochran says the other tribe is "the Bold & Beautiful group", so I guess we know which tribe Shamar would have ended up on, had he still been in the game.

Time to vote, & The Beard votes for Julia, saying Rise above the lies. Morals on a backwards globe, a sin to you - for me it's hope.  Nobody plays an idol, & votes are read.  Two votes for The Girl, one for Dawn, & NOOOOOOO - Matt is voted out.

The Beard turns to the tribe & says, Look at me now. I'm broken. Inherit my life - I'm broken. One day we all will die; a cliched fact of life. Force fed to make us heed. Inbred to sponge our bleed. Every warning, a leaking rubber, a poison apple for mingled blood. Too young for ones, delusion the lifestyle cost. Venereal Mother embrace the loss. That's how. Look at you now. You're broken. Inherit your life.  He walks out to stunned silence.

So, we say goodbye to an early favourite amongst The Fans...but he will make an appearance in my Lego recap in a few weeks, because my Lego Matt is too perfect to sit it out.  Thanks, Matt, for being awesome.  My son loved you, & you inspired me to try out a ginger beard of my own, & it won me a signed buff from Probst.

#teambeard forever

There were lyrics from 13 Pantera songs in this recap.  Metal points to anyone who can list them WITHOUT googling.  I realize I have no way of knowing if you googled them or not, but Dimebag Darrell is watching from beyond the grave, & he will know.  You don't want to disappoint Dimebag.
Let me know below in the comments, on Facebook, or on twitter.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Survivor: Caramoan - The Grey - 26.5


"There is no grey.  It's black or white, period." 

- Brandon Hantz, Survivor: South Pacific

Well.  CBS promoted the hell out of this episode, & it certainly was something to watch.  Something to make us feel uncomfortable & sad.  And isn't that why we love Survivor?  It's not?  Oh.

Before the episode I had to figure out which beer should accompany it, & I had 2 apt choices.

For we saw it coming, & it was so.

The episode opens with Reynold's go-to move: a speech after a Tribal Council.  The Fans have just voted out Laura, & he is explaining to his tribe all the ways in which he thinks that was a great decision.  Not least of all because it kept him & Eddie around.  Who cares if his Idol was flushed out?

I didn't want that idol anyway.  Stupid idol.

Sherri is having a harder time after losing her goat, Shamar, & then voting out her closest ally, Laura.  "They were all going to vote for her no matter what."  Reynold is still camp cheerleader, but Matt looks into his wizard's orb, & the palentir shows him that Reynold is full of shit.

Over at The Faves - can we talk about Bikal's sweet fire set-up for a second?

They have a neat little enclosure next to the shelter so they have seating all around...bring out the scotch & cigars, please.  This is kick-ass.  Brandon is totes bringing the party down as he talks about missing his kids.  I get it, I'd miss my kid, too - but it's a month, Brandon.  They'll get over it.  I recently mentioned to my husband that we would be awesome in The Amazing Race Canada, & maybe we should apply (despite being terrified of anything involving heights, & really not liking traveling by plane or anything to do with water.  But I promise we're adorable, & you'd love us).  He said he wouldn't be able to leave our son for so long.  While my heart swelled, knowing that I have an amazing partner in life, I was all Really?  I could.  I love my kid a ton, but yeah...I could leave him for a few weeks easy (nobody tell him I said that, kthnx).  Brandon, however, has decided that if The Faves go to Tribal, he is volunteering to leave.

"He's a loose cannon...torn between following whatever crazy religious beliefs he has, and...he inherently, in his bloodline, is a devious jerk." 

- Sophie Clarke, Survivor: South Pacific

Brandon discloses that he was about to burn down the shelter & piss in the beans & rice, & he apologizes for having those thoughts.  Corinne says, "I want him off my camp immediately....clearly he's spinning out of control.  It's just a matter of time, & it's a matter of, like, what does that mean for everyone around him?"  In the morning, Brandon reverses his decision & is ready to play the game.  "You're gonna see the most intense Brandon you've seen thus far."

Off to the Reward Challenge, where 2 members of each tribe will hold ropes attached to enormous nets.  Members of the other tribe play coconut basketball, making the nets heavy.  The last person still holding on to their net wins reward for their tribe, which is a BBQ feast with all the fixin's.

The Fans decide to put Matt & Michael on net-holding duty.  I'm not saying they're not strong, & YES, WE GET IT, REYNOLD CAN THROW THINGS, but I think it's weird that they didn't choose to put Reynold & Eddie on the nets.  Eddie's a firefighter, for Probst's sake.

I also commented to my husband that the net people should have wrapped the rope around their hands, but then I was reminded of the recent tug-of-war finger amputations, & thought better of it.

Phillip is the last one still holding on, & again, he wins it for The Favourites.  It's pretty heartbreaking to see The Fans react to The Faves celebrating, as they leave with all the food & wine.  Back at camp, Sherri is struggling to keep her mouth shut - her tribe kept the muscle & it didn't pay off in the challenge.  She is on the hunt for the Hidden Immunity Idol, now back in play.  So is everyone else.  We see them searching for the Idol from a higher perspective, through branches.

There's only one explanation for this:

My eternal gratitude to @robstaboobuzzer for this image.

Everyone's hunting for the idol under the watchful (bug)eyes of the Tarsier cameraman, new to the Survivor crew.  Michael just doesn't want Reynold to find it again, because no fair, amiright?


Reynold tells the Tarsier cameraman, "I might as well keep playing them if I can keep finding them!"

I totes am winning the Idol Hunt part of the game.  Bring it, Easter.

He's not telling anyone he has it this time.  Well, there is 1 exception because "Eddie's my boy, to the end."  The Alpha Betas have built the bromance Survivor has been waiting for.  The Handsome & The Hotness, together as one Superbro.


 "This is a constant battle for me, everyday: good/evil, good/evil, good/evil." 

- Brandon Hantz, Survivor: South Pacific

Over at The Faves' camp, Brandon is BBQing, but looking very sullen.  Andrea notes that he's going through these mood swings while they've been on a winning streak.  "I don't even know if, if he won a million dollars, if he would ever get right in his head."  I think we can safely say that Brandon's moods are not in response to anything, really - it's not because of crappy weather or feeling defeated like The Fans are - it's more like he's triggered by everything.  He is going through something, & it's the reason he was brought back.  I can't say anything about this awful situation better than Andy Baker's take on it, so please read his recent post

From Brandon's perspective, Phillip is claiming that he won the challenge by himself.  Brandon is aggravated by this, tries to pick a fight, & Phillip walks away.  Malcolm comments, "Phillip didn't do anything out of the ordinary, but he caught Brandon in one of his downward swings."  Phillip acts tough to the Tarsier cameraman, & a crab echoes his "Come at me, bro" bravado.

When Brandon & Phillip have another conversation, it's quite calm.  Phillip tells Brandon he can trust him, Brandon questions him, but ultimately apologizes.  Phillip was just calming him down, though, & declares, "In my book, [Brandon]'s persona non grata."

The Fans are wet & miserable.  Michael says, "Camp life at Gota has been a long strand of hell. We're failing on all levels of Survivor."  Not all levels.

"I feel like, one guy - a 19 year old high school dropout, who's advertised that he's crazy - gets to dictate to me the direction of my own destiny here?" 

- Edna Ma, Survivor: South Pacific


It seems Brandon has been stewing over Phillip all night, & wakes up with a renewed anger.  Phillip is considering throwing the challenge - something he'd never considered before.  "It is a degree of compassion for him, as well as it is potentially a game-saver for us."  Brandon finds out that Phillip may, in fact, want him out despite his earlier assurances, & takes him aside again.  Phillip begins his ridiculousness, & Brandon calls him on it.  YAY BRANDON.  "Can you drop the StealthRUs thing?  It's like playing with a's demeaning, man...I'm not The Conqueror, nobody in there is The Exterminator or The Exterior.  Like, it's really bullshit."  Brandon seems completely in control here, he's listening to Phillip, he's responding calmly, & not getting worked up.  In a split second, that changes.  Phillip says, Well, if nobody likes me, I guess they'll vote me out instead of you.  Brandon says, "Well, let me give you a reason to vote me out."

Brandon marches over to the shelter, & the moment CBS has been hyping has arrived: Brandon dumps the tribe's rice & beans on the ground to the horrified cries of his tribemates.  Dawn tells him to breathe, & he paces back & forth.  Phillip is long gone down the beach, & Brandon screams (among other things), "I am the author of my fate!"  The rest of the tribe tries to save whatever food they can, & discuss their options, of which there are not many.

"If you're with him, you know that he's not gonna turn on you, but you're also afraid that he's gonna spill the apple cart." 

- Coach, Survivor: South Pacific 


Before the Immunity Challenge, Corrine tells Probst that the tribe wants to forfeit & go to Tribal Council.  Brandon gives The Fans some insight into life at Bikal, & Probst eventually calls him over to stand beside him.  The next 10 minutes are hard to watch, & hard to recap for that reason.  Like many people, I feel badly for Brandon.  I don't think this is someone to laugh at & mock.  This is someone unstable, & like I said 2 weeks ago, it is uncomfortable to watch.

"I don't think very many people are proud of me" 

- Brandon Hantz, Survivor: South Pacific

Brandon speaks of how his first season of Survivor affected him negatively, & how he didn't want to play the same game this time around.  An argument escalates between Brandon & Phillip, causing Probst to call Brandon back towards him, & he proceeds to give Brandon the most intense massage ever given to anyone.

Throughout all of this, Andrea is crying, & Dawn is visibly taking deep breaths. Andrea says it's hard for her to watch because she's gotten close to Brandon, & Dawn just straight up wants to be anywhere but in the middle of this mess.  Probst says all the right things, showing concern, but there's a twinkle in his eye - Probst's, not Brandon's - that indicates he is absolutely delighted with the drama unfolding in this manner.

He brings up Russell (of course), & Brandon says he has come to the conclusion that speaking his mind is a Hantz thing, & he's proud of that.  Now, it's possible that Brandon just wanted to leave, & thought what would make Uncle Russell proud?  I think Brandon's a nice guy, struggling to find where he fits in a family that values outrageous behaviour.

Probst confirms with the rest of The Faves that they want to forfeit the challenge, & he instructs Erik to hand the Immunity Idol over to The Fans.  Reynold takes the opportunity to crack a joke that is so badly timed it's not even funny - it's just wildly inappropriate.  Hey Jeff, can you do that thing where you yell 'The Fans win Immunity!' & we pretend like we actually did something to deserve this, aside from stand by while another human being has a mental health crisis right in front of us?  That would be amazeballs, bro.

Maybe later?

To give him the benefit of the doubt, there's a possibility that to him & the rest of the Fans, it was just a Hantz wanting attention & acting up.  Maybe.  Probst goes for added instant-drama by declaring it Tribal Council time right there on the challenge field.  Everyone just names who they're voting for, & aside from Brandon's 1 vote for Phillip, everyone confirms that Brandon needs to leave.  Dawn can't even say his name without crying & that's enough to set me over the edge.  It makes me think of this comic which I've seen circulating recently:

Probst sends Brandon around the back of the structure that was intended to be used in the challenge, & I guess we're lucky Probst didn't parade Brandon around like this:

Again, thanks to @robstaboobuzzer.

Now that this has happened, I hope this season can get back to what Survivor does best: outwitting, outplaying & outlasting.  And can we PLEASE get Cochran back in his ocean throne?

UPDATE: Max Dawson livestreamed his final class at Northwestern today, which had a visit from Mike Skupin.  It's now available to watch on YouTube, & there are a lot of great stories (mostly to do with poop), but also great insight about Brandon & reality TV in general.  It's a must-watch.

So, what do you think?  Do you feel for Brandon like I do?  Do you think he was a victim or just playing the part of Hantz?  Let me know your thoughts, below in the comments, on Facebook, or on twitter.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Survivor: Caramoan - Alpha Betas - 26.4

First of all, it finally arrived today, & I just want to say it was worth it.  Thanks for the inspiration, Matt - now I know what to do the next time I want to see a horrified look on my husband's face &/or receive a buff from Probst.


After the loss of Hope, the Alpha Betas are pissed off.  The nerds have almost kicked them out of the frat house completely, & they aren't taking it well.  Sherri defends her alliance like a Mama Bear, but Eddie is in mourning.  "We got rid of Hope tonight because she was the prettiest one here, & she was a threat to everybody because of that."  Eddie's mind is reeling: A hot (but not as hot as me - that's just the way it is) Filipino huntsman is probably on his way to present Sherri with Hope's heart right now.

Over at The Faves, The Specialist thinks himself a great leader, & is taking tips from what Napoleon did at the Battle of Waterloo.  Fun fact: I have visited the site of that battle, & I know (as do you, probably) that Waterloo is where Napoleon was defeated.  I guess he was too busy giving out names like "True Grit" & "The Enforcer" to his troops.
@robstaboobuzzer, thanks for this.

Our Napoleonic Specialist decides to give out names to everybody, to keep them happy.  It makes sense, especially since this alliance is parading about with their nicknames & cooling lid-hats, but there are 2 problems: Brandon can see through this plan (BRANDON!!), & Andrea doesn't feel special anymore.  "So, what, are we gonna give Brenda a name?  I mean, seriously."  She feels as betrayed as if Shemar Moore had made promises he couldn't keep.

Brandon actually impressed me in this moment with Phillip, because his excitement during the naming ceremony seemed genuine.  Boy's got some acting skillz.  "Phillip is supposed to be able to discern who's lying to him.  I'm lying to him - this agent sucks bag!"  Phillip names Brandon "The Conqueror", Erik "The Silent One" (I guess the editors ran with this one), & Brenda "Serenity".

Could Phillip be a browncoat?

Off to the Reward Challenge, where 2 people from each tribe have to be moved from platform to platform over water using square planks that must be untied.  The whole tribe then has to swim out to a taller platform, where they must all be on or above the top section.  The first tribe to do this wins a visit from a local bushman who will help them around camp, & prepare a meal with all the fixin's.

The Favourites make it out to the tall platform first, but The Fans are not far behind - it really comes down to the different strategies used.  The Faves all stand together while The Fans have Shamar curled up with everyone standing on him.

This doesn't leave much room on the platform for anyone else, & Matt never finds a spot to stand on.  The Faves win, although Shamar, at the bottom of the pile, doesn't seem to realize this.

The fine work of @robstaboobuzzer again.

His misinformed victory-gloating is shut down pretty quickly & Shamar Smash is activated as he splashes the water in a comically dramatic gesture.

Reynold blames the loss on Laura, & wants to vote her out, as she's the weakest.  Yes, she was very hesitant on the planks, but it really came down to the strategy, & the fact that one of their tribe members is way bigger than anyone on the Faves.  They were never going to win this challenge.

The Faves get their visit from Tata, who Dawn calls a "Filipino Jesus", & Malcolm calls a "Filipino Gollum".

Tata shows them how to cook rice in bamboo, cleans up their shelter, & makes them a delicious dinner.  Cochran says, "We got a sense of how he functions.  And the way he functions is basically saying enigmatic little things that nobody understands."  Tata then dances with the ladies, prompting Cochran to say the words "bump & grind", endearing Cochran to me even more.  You just can't get cuter.

Someone else I find myself adoring is Michael, who is charming while complaining. "The Favourites have everything - they've won every Reward, so they have this bounty of stuff back at their camp.  I mean...sons of bitches!"

Shamar is not quite so charming.  After the Reward Challenge, he's right back to lying in the shelter, demanding that Sherri bring him rice.  Even Sherri is fed up at this point, but she brings him the rice anyway.  Shamar starts complaining about his eye, & while everyone dismisses it as Shamar being Shamar, the medical team has to be brought in.  After an examination I can't watch because gross, they determine he has to be pulled from the game.  Probst tries to dig in for some tears, & asks, "Do you feel, in some way, even though it's not your fault, that you're letting your tribe down?"  Probst is rewarded with the largest fucking tear in the history of the world.

Take that, Meehan.

Shamar leaves to pretty monotone "Sorry, Shamar"s, & The Fans head to an Immunity Challenge which involves swimming, climbing, smashing, unlocking & throwing.

Matt does so well that Sideshow has already made an exclusive statue of his performance.

Despite The Fans' best efforts, The Faves get to the last stage well in advance.  Reynold does a kick-ass job of catching up, but it's not quite enough. Phillip wins it for The Faves & is greeted with cries of "You ARE The Specialist!"

The Hotness & The Handsome know they're the next to go unless they can change some minds.  Reynold knows this because they're on the outside as the only Cool Kids left.  Eddie thinks it's because they're now the 2 best-looking people on the tribe.  That's just the way it is.  Reynold sees Matt & Michael splinter off, & he thinks they're off plotting the Alpha Beta's demise.  Unbeknownst to Reynold, Matt is trying to convince Michael that the smartest move is to get rid of Laura.  Michael is taken aback, as he assumed his alliance would stay strong, & not leave Mr. Awesome with the idol.

Mr. Awesome

Matt tells Reynold, "I'm no dumbass" - he knows they need Reynold for the challenges.  Matt says Laura "was breathing heavy after trying to unlock locks."  Aw, come on, guys!  She never proclaimed herself to be in decent shape, & you never know when a puzzle challenge could pop up. 

At Tribal Council, the Alpha Betas campaign for physical strength.  Laura says Sure, I'm the weakest - but if "numbers were jumbled over the next couple of days, & we all ended up on different tribes...are Eddie & Reynold going to be as loyal as our alliance right now, or are they going to be more willing to jump ship?"  Eddie offers strength AND loyalty, saying that if he is kept, "I'm gonna feel a lot differently about this tribe than I do right now".

Time to vote, & Reynold plays his Hidden Immunity Idol.  Turns out he didn't need to - the third YBB in a row is voted out, this time unanimously.

While I agree that at this point the tribe has to start winning challenges, I don't know if this was the right decision.  Shamar's evacuation really sucks - I don't think he would have been a big help in the Challenge, but it was clear The Fans were finally ready to let him go, & it would have been an easy vote.  I liked Laura a lot & wish I had seen more of her.

I'm always up for Survivor conversations, so don't forget to "Like" this blog on Facebook, & follow me on twitter: @MomofKai