Revenge of the non-nerds: Survivor Caramoan Fans vs. Favorites II March 20 2013 recap

21 Mar

With no tribal council to come home from, this is the rare episode that opens up in daylight, as the Favorites discuss Brandon’s meltdown from the previous episode. I couldn’t help but notice that Phillip’s shirt bears a strong resemblance to the one worn by James Bama’s rendition of Doc Savage.

After some uneventful preliminaries the tribes are called together and Jeff Probst announces a reshuffling. It’s probably a good idea at this point, but you might disagree when you see how the tribes came out. Here’s the new lineup which was chosen at random by passing out eggs containing different-colored dyes:

Orange tribe: Eddie, Reynold, Andrea, Malcolm, Sherri, Erik, Brenda

Purple tribe: Phillip, Corinne, Mike, Cochran, Matt, Dawn, Julia.

You might recall Eddie and Reynold started the game by deciding to form an “all-good-looking” alliance with Ally and Hope, which didn’t go so well. But look who’s in their tribe now: the likes of Andrea, Brenda and Malcolm. Re-tap the keg dude, the party’s back on!

Both tribes are now weighted 4-3 for the Favorites. Both retire to their respective camps, and Sherri wastes no time going swimming with Brenda and Andrea and campaigning against Reynold and Eddie, while the dudes do the same in reverse with Malcolm and Erik.

It’s different at the purple tribe. Here, the Fans are trying harder to fit in rather than going on the warpath. Now, a word about Michael. In previous blog entries this season I had cautiously characterized the event planner as being “presumably” gay. Corinne cuts right to the chase however: “Oh, do I have a special place in my heart for a gay. If I wasn’t a moron and 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.” Hey Corinne, Richard Hatch is gay, would you turn on your whole alliance to align with him? Kind of a silly comment. Also Corinne, I think you meant “if I were a moron.” I think she needs to get with Cochran for some instruction on how to deliver pre-planned one-liners to the camera.

Meanwhile, Phillip is giving a recruiting pitch to Julia, which makes him the first person who has paid any attention to Julia at all this season, including the producers and all the people watching at home! She seems as surprised as anyone to be spoken to. Also, we see that her profession is “race car driver.”

Back to the orange tribe: Andrea tells Malcolm she dreamt he had the idol, which of course he does but denies it. He says to the camera “I’m an accomplished liar when it comes to women.”

All in all, it was nice to see both tribes being on the same show now, as opposed to only the Fans having to play the game while the Favorites enjoyed a lighthearted “Gilligan’s Island”-like first few episodes.

After a lingering shot of an incredibly gross spider, it’s time for the immunity challenge which involves having to continually flip some heavy blocks over to a wall, then stack and order them so the art on the sides spells out a message. This was done before, on one of the Boston Rob seasons. Hmmm, I think I have now officially mentioned Boston Rob in every recap this year. Well heck, Sports Illustrated just devoted a whole issue to Michael Jordan who’s been retired much longer than Boston Rob has.

Anyway, this challenge shows that we still have two mismatched tribes in this game, just different ones. The orange tribe wins in a blowout. They’re just way more athletic. Plus we have to see a shot of Cochran running. I’ve seen some unathletic, awkward runners in my day but I think he just went to the top of the list.

The losing purple tribe gets back to camp and there’s a long pep talk by Phillip, who has gotten way too big a share of the screen time this episode. Later he talks to Matt and Mike, though without a clear offer of a middle management position in Stealth ‘R Us … after all, the last guy he offered one to, Brandon, did a pretty poor job of fitting in with the corporate culture. Matt and Mike heartily agree with everything Phillip says though it’s not really clear what he’s saying.

Matt and Michael are among the big losers in the tribe shakeup. When they were among Fans they were the key swing votes everyone wanted to recruit, but the Favorites who are much wiser in the ways of Survivor see a strong duo that should be broken up if at all possible. Cochran and Dawn want to vote out one of the two guys, with Matt the preferred choice since they’re more sure he doesn’t have a hidden immunity idol. However, Phillip and Corinne both think Julia, who did poorly in the challenge, should be the one to go. It’s funny that Phillip and Corinne, each of whom has spent the whole episode telling the camera that the other one should be sent home, are in agreement on game strategy. Though Corinne says one of the reasons is that Julia is “really boring.” (You would almost think producer Mark Burnett had slipped Corinne a note before this episode saying “Corinne, we cast you as a designated and self-proclaimed bitch. I need you to start doing your thing.”)

We go to tribal council, and Matt is one of the first to be called on. The BMX biker whose voice reminds me of Jeff Bridges (and whose grooming is even scruffier than that of Bridges’ characters, which is really saying something) is asked what the new tribe is like for a longtime fan. With a straight face, he says that Dawn, Cochran, Phillip and Corinne were all among his favorites as a viewer. Nice try dude, nice lie dude, but he’s still the one voted out. Matt was a good player and could have been a contender to go all the way, but someone always gets a raw deal when there’s a tribe switch and this season he was the one.

Contender list: 1) Malcolm, 2) Michael, 3) Dawn, 4) Andrea, 5) Brenda, 6) Reynold, 7) Sherri, 8) Eddie

No-chance list: Phillip, Corinne, Cochran, Julia, Erik

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