Matt vote. However, Mike brushed it off saying there was no reason to explain the vote and with Julia confessing that she nearly wet herself. That's probably the only thing she has said this whole season that made me took notice. Moving on... Mike and Corinne had this talk at the shelter about possibly working together come merge time and that Corinne insisted that Mike won't be going home under her watch. Of course, the special agent in Phillip kicks in and he started to became wary of Corinne and her non-disclosure of their conversation. He even pulled Cochran aside to tell him that he's considering getting rid of Corinne, to which Cochran argued against, especially not on the next potential vote. He raised a valid argument to Phillip about looking like traitors to their own alliance, should they end up getting rid of Corinne, and what its repercussion would be as far as their trust to their old alliance mates are concerned. Look here, Cochran talking about loyalty to his alliance. This conversation right here sets up the stage for an episode filled with confessionals that cement Cochran's status as one of the smarter players this season, or in recent memory.
Before we even get to see what went on over at Gota camp (obviously none too exciting because that tribe is currently having Spring break at the Caramoan Islands with all the young and hot castaways), the Bikal tribe receives tree mail indicating a reward challenge. The tribe contemplates what the reward challenge would be like but with the note emphasizing on strength, the tribe becomes leery about their chances going on. And in Phillip's usual bravado, Corinne looked flabbergasted when Phillip claimed he was the strongest man on the island. God, that look in Corinne's face as her jaw almost fell to the ground - priceless! If that's not enough, Phillip went on an arm wrestling match against (who else?) Cochran. He was cocky enough to challenge Cochran to put his entire weight on his forearm and when the poor guy couldn't even beat him, Phillip showed off a cocky yet contained smile. Oh Cochran was happy to oblige, even at his expense, just so Phillip could stroke his own ego.
The reward challenge is another re-do of a Survivor classic. This is one of my favorite challenges of all time and I loved it the moment it was first run on Survivor Palau. This particular challenge tests strength, endurance, and teamwork.
I could not contain my laughter when Phillip was strategizing with his tribemates. He volunteered himself to be at the front because, according to him, he will be dragging the girls along when he's coming from behind whereas him on the front will enable him to pull the rest of the tribe along. Unfortunately, that is not what happened! He ended up slowing the entire team down because he was on the front and he was the slowest. He probably walked the entire length of the course. And the moment he stops to take a deep breath or is incapable to run, he somehow manages to blame it on the girls. If I remember correctly, none of the girls complained! Even Corinne held the freaking 40 pounds when Dawn opted out of the challenge! And Dawn, please don't be afraid to call him arrogant - it was totally called for. Apparently, he likes to declare his strengths but none of his weaknesses.
But his prowess extends far beyond the physical performance in challenges, though. If Malcolm learned anything from his last stint on Survivor, it's 1) hiding your immunity idol so no one accidentally stumbles into them, and 2) bringing in other equally threatening players so you won't be the first target. In his current tribe of Gota, there are three other guys who might be perceived as physical threats going into the merge. Hence, Malcolm proposes to Reynold about teaming up together, to which the latter willingly obliged like a teenage girl talking to her crush. If shaking on it wasn't enough, Reynold confesses to Malcolm that he has Gota's immunity idol.
I had to cringe when I heard Reynold's confessional that if he's wrong about this alliance, this could be the nail in his coffin. Oops! Well played, there, Malcolm. This makes him the only player in this game to know where the two idols are, and one is in his pocket - safe and sound - and with no intention of telling anyone! I just hope he doesn't get too cocky about how the chips are falling his way right now.
To Throw or Not?
That subheading is a poor attempt at pun, I'm sorry. This was another potentially exciting challenge that any tribe could've ended up winning. To be honest, I think that was one challenge that Bikal could've one, especially with how they performed during the first half. But as the anticlimactic finish featured another ring toss competition, the excitement quickly fizzled out.
Reynold had a decent lead going into the ring toss round. But Phillip caught up to him to a point that he was about one ring behind. But when Reynold got the final ring, it was clear by then that Bikal will make a return to tribal council.
True to Phillip's character, he pulled Cochran aside after the challenge to make a 'confession'. To be honest, I would not have anticipated what he did there! Cochran echoed my opinion in that I do not believe that Phillip threw that immunity challenge. He fought to get all of those rings even when Reynold was about a couple of rings ahead of him. When he could not complete the task, to which he probably stepped on to do, he made a grand stand about throwing the challenge. And then Cochran quipped about the speech that Phillip would've made had he successfully hooked all of those rings and won the challenge for them. Geez. This man never fails at anything, does he?
To cut to the chase... it was either Julia or Mike. Corinne was trying too damn hard to play it down low but you can tell that she was campaigning to keep Mike. This caused a slight rift between the four Favorites at Bikal because they could not seem to reach consensus as to how the votes will be played. Phillip even had to disown Corinne saying that the core alliance at that tribe was him, Dawn, and Cochran. Oooh, sneaky play. What got me confused here is why they are still concerned about an idol to the point that they had to split the votes.
Next week, the gross food challenge is back! If the look on the castaways' faces and the looming merge isn't enough tease, what is? Share your thoughts below so we can discuss!
Disclaimer: Photos credit to CBS and Survivor Seasons