If you thought the premiere episode was crazy, wait until you’ve seen what went down the second episode. If you’re reading this, chances are you have seen episode 2 and it was somewhat not what I had expected it to be. But with Allie being the second one to have her torch snuffed in this game, this tells me that the Fans are in it to play!
The episode opens with the Favorites returning to camp after just having voted off Francesca. The lil’ Hantz, Brandon, is furious! A confrontation ensued between Dawn and Brandon because the latter felt played with the way the vote went. Uhm, aren’t you supposed to be a favorite? He went on a soliloquy about how it was unfair to have kicked off Francesca because she is the nicest woman he’d ever met on Survivor. Well, I got news for you Brandon – this is a game! I thought you’ve learned from your last time out on the show! Apparently not.
And if that’s not enough, he went on a rampage declaring how he plans to sabotage the camp! Once again, he brings up Russell into it.. obviously, he can’t play his own game. He can’t say a word without referencing his infamous uncle. But his conversation with Cochran at the beach the following day strikes me most. Cochran’s read on Brandon’s character was spot on – someone who exhibits sudden pits of rage and then the next moment he’s all nice and friendly as he talks about his kids and family. Cochran even went as far as compare him to that of a murderer. Is this a foreshadowing of sort? I hope not, especially with Brandon declaring he can feel his uncle Russell’s blood running through his veins. His inability to control his rage is actually fun to watch. Now I’m making more sense out of the producers’ decision to bring him back – he makes good TV! But still, Brandon is Brandon’s biggest enemy at this point.
Life at the Fans’ camp aren’t all rosy either. Shamar continues to ruffle feathers for no apparent reason. As I’ve pointed out in the premiere episode recap, the fact that he is a Marine makes his actions even more disappointing. You would’ve figured he will be most useful around camp, not to mention he is the biggest guy out there. I’m not even sure if there is strategy behind that at all – it’s just plain idiocy!
But being annoying and obnoxious has its place in the game. Shamar has found himself being recruited by Sherri into their alliance of six. I’d have to say, Sherri has outdone my expectations of her. She refers to Shamar as her Phillip, which is a move she’d have to give Boston Rob some credit for. It’s smart for Sherri to keep Shamar around because even if he went all the way, no one would respect his game enough to vote for him. But that’s already looking too far ahead… I have a sneaky suspicion that the big, lazy guy will only become more obnoxious.
And speaking of Phillip, he reprised his Stealth R’ Us alliance for this season. He has dubbed them as follows: Andrea the Eliminator, Malcolm the Enforcer, Corinne the Dominatrix, Dawn the True Grit, Cochran the Inteligencia Attache, and of course, he is the self-proclaimed The Specialist. Malcolm had a good laugh about it but played along.Phillip is a nutjob. What else can I say?
This week, we only get one challenge, which is a combined reward and immunity. Personally, I prefer having separate challenges for the reward and immunity. But I guess this is expected with 20 people in the game. At the same time, it makes the challenge even more contested because there is a lot more at stake. As both tribes meet with Jeff, the fans’ reaction after realizing that Francesca was the first vote-off was a combination of shock and astonishment.
As for the challenge itself, I love the first leg because it is a throwback to the same challenge in the China wherein the Zan Hu tribe threw it in order to vote off Aaron following the twist that sent both him and James to the other tribe. Sadly, the second leg was pretty lousy. It seems like the challenge producers have a thing for tossing things into holes or poles lately. A puzzle might’ve been more exciting and… challenging? Nonetheless, the Favorites smoked the fans because the three girls sent to retrieve the rings did not have teamwork and a plan. When I saw that Malcolm was on the last leg again and that he will be head-to-head with Reynold, I felt a knot in my stomach. Malcolm vs Reynold Part III. Thankfully, with the help of Phillip, the Favorites emerged victorious. (And yes, critique me all you want for the bias towards Malcolm. Ha!) The Favorites celebrate their victory as they get the day off from Tribal council while the fans will be down to 9.
The strategy talk at camp was a tale of two alliances on a tug-of-war in the hopes of gaining power within the tribe. Last week, I’ve talked about what a dumb move it was for Reynold, Allie, Eddie, and Hope to alienate the rest of their tribe. As expected, it put a big target on this alliance and the other castaways are contemplating on keeping Shamar to topple this solid foursome. But like Cochran and Dawn were in the middle with last week’s vote at the Favorites’ tribal council, Mike and Matt are contemplating on which side to go with. There are two alliances of four that are counting on their votes to get the majority. Which side will they pick? Even before the tribal council concluded, though, I had a hunch because Allie had an uncharacteristically hefty amount of confessional, most of which she spent talking about Shamar and how he has to go home and it’s “non-negotiable”.
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to his tribemates, Reynold’s search for the hidden immunity idol has come into fruition. But blame his pants for it, Laura spotted a bulge in his pocket and outed him at the tribal council. Well, not literally outed him, it was Jeff who did that. Nonetheless, the cat is out of the bag and Reynold pulled a Malcolm. He threatened his tribe mates by using the idol, which he ended up not playing anyway. But little did he know they were not targeting him because they went after his closest ally – Allie. She was sent packing after the Cool Kids alliance were outnumbered with the votes. That’s what happens when you let your guard down on Survivor!
I was sad to see Allie go because she could’ve been a huge threat in this game – physical, social, and strategic. But it is for this same reason why the rest picked her to go first out of the foursome. And for that, I had to give them props because they are playing with numbers in mind. Still, if the fans can't have unity and camarederie internally, they'll eventually see their numbers dwindle. Next week, should be interesting how big of a threat status that not-so-hidden immunity idol puts on Reynold.
Are you happy with who went home?