Friday, March 29, 2013

Survivor Caramoan Episode 7: A Sinking Ship

The recap title totally encapsulates Bikal tribe as of the moment. With Matt gone from last episode, what do you think the tribe's chances are going into the next competition? Slim, indeed. It was pure irony how the tribal re-shuffle ended up especially as with the way the tribe was split it was designed to supposedly produce an even playing field for all folks concerned. But that discussion is over and done with because a new episode comes in albeit a predictable one and at times a bore.

The Bikal tribe return to camp with Corinne stepping out to apologize to the remaining Fans (because there is still clearly a division within this tribe) about the 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.

Hot Pursuit

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.

On the flip side, Malcolm is really stepping up his game this season. He was clearly the leader in that challenge, barking strategy to his tribemates along the way, just like he helped out with the puzzle in last week's challenge. Truly impressive showing! The Gota tribe indulge on all the sweet fix and caffeine as they had a good laugh and were even kissing and hugging each other. Awwww!

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.

At tribal council, the writing's on the wall and both Julia and Mike knew that their heads were on the chopping block - not even a question. Mike said he just wanted to get to the vote and get it over with. Meanwhile, Julia's answer to Jeff's question regarding how she feels about the upcoming vote pretty much summed up why they ended up voting for her over Mike. And with that, Julia has her torch snuffed and leaving only four Fans left in the game. Before the game started, I had high expectations of Julia and thought she would be a strong female player, physically and strategically. But, whether or not it was editing, I did not see game in her and I can pretty much say that I am slightly disappointed. Still, could not be any happier that Mike survived! I think he will be a potent player during the merge!

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


  1. This episode is made for Malcolm - he's in it to win it. I'm just not sure how this alpha male alliance benefits him. It seems and I observe Erik is closer to other favorites, not Malcolm.

  2. Dean - Erik is only closer to them because they know about his blunder, and he has tried to move on from that. No one knows Malcolm. This season filmed while Malcolm's season was airing. The alpha male alliance benefits him in 2 ways. 1, if can get Reynold to play his idol and send home a threat on the fans team, Malcolm doesn't look like the bad guy in it. Reynold will look like the bad guy, thus if he can make it to the end with Malcolm, Malcolm can act like he had nothing to do with whoever gets voted off when Reynold plays the idol. AND, if Malcolm were to give Reynold a second idol, maybe after Corinne is gone, and Reynold uses another one, people will hate him more, just like russell? Then at the same time if Malcolm can solidify himself with the others, so when that endurance challenge dealing with nerves comes up, so they take him to the end, he will be gold.

    I'll say this. I hate Cochran for what he did to his tribe on his original season. For someone who claimed to be a student of the game, and watched every episode, he was ultra lame and dumb on his season. This season, it seems like he actually got to show his intelligence. He ends up saying alot of the things I say, right after I say them. Kudos for him on turning his game around.

    Phillip, makes for great TV. Everytime he talks, I enjoy it. He might be a little loopy, but he's entertaining. He is sort of running a good game, but, i think his plans got screwed by the swap. I'd still take Phillip to the end, no one is going to vote for him, after he opens his mouth at the final tribal.

    Julia, she was dumb. Phillip told her not to talk to anyone about their agreement. She even said that his plan was working for her. But she ruined it. So essentially she got herself voted out. I don't think she was in it to win it anyway. She's already financially established, I think she just wanted the experience.

    In all honesty, with the way the Favorites are playing this game, I don't think the fans have a legitimate chance to win the game. I think that is kind of dumb. I feel like Brandon was correct when he said "You guys deserve a fair chance". Having a few returning players is a good thing, but a whole team of them, with all that previous experience is crazy. They didn't bring any super old/useless castaways back. I think Dawn/Phillip are the oldest, and they aren't bad. So, the game has kinda been stacked towards the favorites since the beginning. And if something like this happens, they need to bring in older survivors, or not survivors that were all dominant in their seasons. Cochran, Dawn, and Franchesqua weren't dominant, but still. I just don't like the idea of THAT many returning players. It kinda feels like the fans have no chance. :(

    1. I'm not rooting for Sherri but it seems she's the luckiest fan of the four remaining.

      One, she belongs in a tribe full of smart individuals who may consider bringing her to Top 5 or Top 4 once they merge.

      Two, since Shamar and Laura were gone, Sherri was just on the side (considering the edit is right). She became a listener and an observer than a talker.

      Third, after the switch, Sherri immediately made an alliance with two of the smartest women who played this game (Andrea & Brenda). You see, based on history, women appear to be better in the social department of the game.

  3. In a word NO. No way did he throw the challenge, the only thing he threw was, well he could not even throw that successfully.
    Who does Phillip really think he is, some macho 54 year old who can take on men half his age, he's playing with himself too much if he is convinced of that.
    And then to come up with this wild story about throwing the challenge, and for what reason. The vote was always going to be either Julia or Michael, if he had a brain he would know that neither had a idol and to him it should not matter who was voted out since Julia betrayed his word and Michael was too cosy with Corinne.
    It is simply laughable that Phillip can tell Cochran with all seriousness and honesty that he threw the challenge.

    Next week is the merge, looking forward to see how things go, will Phillip naturally assign leadership roles once again, will Andrea be drawn to him, I am sure she wants to go to the end with him or will Malcolm take control of his all male alliance. Or will someone please tell Queen Reynold how to play Survivor and don't tell anyone about your idol.
    Great recap once again Bianca.


Thanks for your comment. Looking forward to hearing what you have to say! :)