Brandon's meltdown last week, I feared it will cast a dark shadow over Bikal (the Favorites tribe) and rattle the remaining castaways until the Fans would sneak up behind them to stage a huge comeback. But that is thinking too far ahead, though. The Favorites return to camp and discuss the aftermath of Brandon's tirade. Surprisingly, they appear to have a positive outlook. Even Dawn said it out loud that at least it was a "unified vote". It seemed to only further cement the strong tribe that they already are and not let the remaining six over at the Fans' tribe use this as an opportunity to shift the momentum.
Only a few minutes into the episode, Corinne was ranting about how Brandon singled her out, and Phillip, throughout his tirade. While attempting to wrap her head around the hate that Brandon has towards her, she complained that Dawn did not even said a word to defend her and Phillip in front of all the Fans. I'm still trying to guess, too, how it became Dawn's responsibility to defend her. For now, though, they swore to keep the tribal unity and kick the other tribe until they are down and out.
Meanwhile, the mood at the Fans' camp was sullen. Matt read the treemail indicating that they are heading over to the next reward challenge with a promise of a feast. But as it turns out, the feast did not happen as the tribes were switched instead. Everyone had to dig into a bag of egg at random and they will be assigned to the tribe as per represented by the color of egg they had. The result of the tribal mix-up seemed very odd, though. It was lopsided, to say the least, with Eddie, Reynold, Malcolm, Erik, Andrea, Brenda, and Sherri over at the new Gota tribe. Meanwhile, Matt, Mike, and Julia joined the remainder of the former Favorites tribe. Even Brenda agreed that they do have the advantage.
Typical Eddie goes on his rant, once again, about how they have the young, good looking people on their tribe. When will he stop? Nonetheless, the "bold and beautiful" tribe (according to Cochran) claimed they can't lose a challenge because they have the strong and athletic tribemates at Gota. Reynold could not have been more excited about the tribal shuffle. He was earlier seen giving a confessional asking for the game to shift because nothing is shifting in his old Gota camp. Wish granted right there. This feels like Day 1 for him and Eddie and they could not have waited longer to throw Sherri under the bus. Malcolm and Erik are in heaven about the idea that the former Fans' tribe members were spilling the beans to them without them even trying. Same goes for Sherri at the beach. She basically sold Reynold to the Favorites and even told them about playing his idol.
Malcolm, on the other hand, does a magnificent job of keeping his idol on the down low. Andrea told him about her dream that he had the idol, to which he vehemently denied. But he does it so casually that no one would've even suspected him of lying because he proudly claimed he is an "accomplished liar when it comes to women". What a charmer! They went on to map out their plan to split the votes in order to flush an idol, if either of the former Gota tribe members had it.
The immunity challenge was another classic - we've had several re-hash of the previous challenges this season. Thankfully, the puzzle element is finally back! Judging by the dynamics of this challenge, it was clear to see that Gota had a huge advantage as the crates were huge and heavy so it required brawns to tackle the first leg of the challenge. Gota did not mess around with Eddie and Erik setting a huge lead for the team, whereas Julia and Phillip struggled right off the bat. With each leg, Gota increased their lead and Malcolm's leadership at the puzzle portion proved to be the nail in the coffin. A clear breakdown in communication further ruined Bikal's slight chance of catching up.
Always the one quick to jump into the center of the conversation, Phillip gave some pep talk to the tribe upon return from the immunity challenge. But it wasn't long until they break up into groups trying to decide how they are going to approach this coming vote at the tribal council. Phillip approached both Matt and Mike wherein he told them about his Stealth 'R Us crew. He just wouldn't let up, would he? Matt basically voiced out my thoughts after Phillip briefed him of his mission, which (according to Phillip) also serves as his "test" if he is worthy enough to be inducted into the Stealth 'R Us alliance. He had a hard time keeping a straight face as I did containing my laughter listening to Phillip's antics. This guy is pure gold. Crazy, but pure gold.
This was a total blindside, not just for Matt, but for me as well. Kudos to the editors for playing us along!
Did you think this was a smart move for the new Bikal, especially since they are already at a disadvantage when it comes to challenge strength? Be sure to share your comments so we can discuss.
Disclaimer: Photos credit to CBS