The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Phillips: Survivor Caramoan February 20 2013 recap

23 Feb

First of all I have to say that Survivor is the best show on TV by a wide margin. The visuals are more spectacular than ever. And I don’t just mean the always-great nature shots, like this season’s two shows which have both captured an unidentified little beast hopping from tree to tree.  All the visuals are great, the music is great, and this has the makings of a strong season. I was just watching a couple of episodes of Survivor: Amazon concurrently, and comparing those episodes of 10 years ago to now is the difference between watching a musical on Broadway and then going to watch a high school put on the same show.

The casting of this season has also been a hit, including a guy I didn’t really want to see again, namely Phillip. The previous episode featured Phillip listing his “B.R. Rules” (named for “Boston Rob” Mariano): 1) Form an alliance, 2) form an alliance within your alliance, 3) get rid of your alliance before it gets rid of you. In this episode, Brandon Hantz wants to check out where he stands with Philip, and the answer is “Trust or not trust fully? Don’t have enough data yet. I think I’m gonna pause.” Then he tells Brandon “the CEO don’t call in mid-management unless he’s got somethin’ he wanna tell him” Classic. Also, while other reality shows have named their alliances (like “Chilltown” on Big Brother), there hasn’t been much (or any?) of that on Survivor, but Phillip does have a name for his alliance: “Stealth ‘R Us Inc.”

Brandon later tells the others about Phillip: “I think he’s starting to Boston-Rob us a little bit,” but just minutes before Brandon had himself evoked a different ghost of Survivors past: “I’m thinking of going Russell Hantz-style on these [bleeps], man.”

With all of these big personalities it’s tough for the Fans to get too much camera time, but we see that Sherri (who has a “Real Housewives” look about her but is supposedly only 41) is thinking ahead. As Shamar the 300-pound former Marine continues to get on everyone’s nerves, Sherri says to the camera “Shamar is my Phillip,” meaning someone ideal to ally with to the very end because he won’t get any jury votes.

Time for a combined immunity and reward challenge that begins with three on each tribe riding a raft out to a floating platform and then having to dive to release rings. This brings me to one of the few things that was better on previous seasons: there used to be many more underwater challenges. I miss these a lot! The fact that the Favorites’ division of labor means many shots of Brenda and Andrea’s bikini-clad bodies frankly did not hurt the entertainment value here. It comes down to a ring toss at the end with Malcolm going against Reynold (a rematch of last episode), but then Phillip steps in for Malcolm and seals the win for the Favorites.

Back at camp there’s much criticism of lazy bum Shamar (Marines the world over must be cringing at this guy), but Sherri’s group needs Shamar’s vote to have the numbers against Reynold, Eddie, Allie and Hope (“the pretty people” as one girl designates them). Meanwhile Reynold is smart enough to go looking for a hidden immunity idol even though nobody has told him that there is one in the game. He finds it and keeps a pokerface, though Laura mentions at Tribal Council that she sees a bulge in his pocket. With not much to lose, Reynold shows it around and announces that he’s playing it, but wisely doesn’t, and Allie is sent home over Shamar by a vote of 6-4.

Contender list: 1) Malcolm, 2) Michael, 3) Matt, 4) Andrea, 5) Sherri, 6) Reynold, 7) Brenda

Not sure yet: Corinne, Dawn, Erik, Cochran, Laura, Hope, Eddie, Julia

No-chance list: Brandon, Phillip, Shamar

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