'Survivor: Caramoan': The battle of the bulge
As the newbies face their first tribal council, factions form and a surprise idol is revealed
Last week on “Survivor: Caramoan,” 20 castaways were split into to tribes, Gota featuring ten long-time fans of the show, and Bikal, featuring ten returning favorites who’d all made a mark on their previous “Survivor” runs.
The Bikal tribe quickly learned that their collective experience didn’t give them much of an edge, losing the immunity challenge to the newbies – which meant one of the favorites was the first sent packing. And after much squabbling and scrambling, history repeated itself as Francesca Hogi was the first player sent home – a distinction she’d also faced during her original “Redemption Island” season – thanks to a reignited feud with nemesis Phillip.
Now, with 36 long days (and nights) ahead of them, 19 players face the toughest challenge of their lives.
Night 3 at Bikal, Brandon Hantz – nephew of Russell – was letting his tribemates Dawn and Cochran have it for what he considered their shameful act, voting Francesca out first a second time. “That’s the harshest thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” he said. He told Dawn to watch: “Both of you will lose – because of that move.”
Naturally, Dawn cried. “It’s about me and what I stand for,” she told herself. “It doesn’t really matter what Brandon thinks of me. But if he treats other people like that, it’s like pollution.”
Brandon, meanwhile, was “feeling a little revengeful. I’m thinking about going a little Russell Hantz-style on this. I honestly feel my uncle’s blood running through my body right now.” He said that if he was going to go, he was going out with a bang.
Day 4, Gota. The tribe was coming together to build some shelter and gather food. Well, most of them anyway. Shamar was still lazing about, “preserving my hydration,” he said. His rationale: “I could sit in the sun for the next 40 days. Once they see that I don’t really care about the game, then I’m no longer a threat.”
The two younger blondes, Allie and Hope, were discussing just the opposite. They wanted him out. Meanwhile, the older blonde, Sherri, let Shamar know that they had a solid six – with him included. “It’s us six against the couples, the lovers, whatever you want to call them,” she said. “I want Shamar in my back pocket. Shamar is my Phil. I can stroke him, and I can put him back in place.”
Want more "Survivor"? Meet the castaways from "Survivor: Caramoan."
Back at Bikal, Cochran was chatting with Brandon – and Brandon told him that he had thought about sabatoging everything. But then he’d had time to rethink it, and wanted to play it right, for his kids. “The only thing predictable about Brandon, is that he’s going to be unpredictable,” Cochran said. “And that gives me very little solace in this game.” Phillip, meanwhile, decided Brandon was “mid-management,” not quite ready for a leadership role, but perhaps mold-able.
Brandon immediately turned around and took Phillip’s theory to the others, calling Phillip “CEO of the tribe,” and a bully. “He’s starting to Boston Rob us a little bit, and I don’t like that.”
Day 5: Immunity Challenge Time! When Michael learned that Francesca was the first dismissed, he decided “they came to play. They are vicious people, I can tell. No mercy.”
Game on: A raft to a platform in the ocean, then dive in to get rings. Bring the rings back to shore, then play a game of ring toss. First tribe to get three wins immunity – and a reward: a complete fishing kit, with spears, lines, the works. Laura sat out for Gota, and the game began. Favorites got their raft out quickly, while Fans straggled. The Favorites were quick to collect rings, and were headed back to shore with nine before the Fans even got three.
On shore, Malcolm started the ring toss for Favorites, and scored one, then a second before the Fans even got to shore. Reynold started in quick for Fans once he finally got the rings, but Phillip switched off with Michael and finished with a third before Fans could really get in the game. Favorites won immunity and the fishing kit, along with a well-deserved night off. Fans would face their first tribal council.
Back at Bikal, Phillip was expanding his “Stealth R’ Us” operations – by dubbing Malcolm as “the Enforcer.” Malcolm decided that Phillip was “getting ridiculous.” But he could dig it – for a little while. “If it’s Stealth R’ Us for the entire game, though, I’m going to hang myself.”
At Gota, morale was low – and Reynold was already deliberating whom to send home. Shamar was at the top of his list. “Your behavior is not acceptable where I come from,” Reynold told him. “I’m going to vote for you tonight.” Shamar turned it on Reynold, pointing out that he wanted to make the challenge loss all about Shamar so that the heat would be off him and his little alliance.
Bearded Matt decided to throw his vote in Reynold and his foursome to take out Shamar – and he could bring Michael with him. But Michael had already committed to Sherri’s alliance. So Matt tried to convince Sherri that it was to their advantage to vote Shamar – and trick the Reynold foursome into thinking Matt was with them. But Sherri wasn’t buying it. Laura wanted to vote out Allie. “I think she’s the only one out of the four pretty people who’s actually thinking.”
But she wasn’t the only one thinking: Reynold was on the hunt for the hidden immunity idol. And within minutes, he’d found it. “I’m trying to just check myself, be smart about it, not walk back into camp with a giant, stupid grin on my face and a huge bulge in my pocket. But Laura quickly noticed the bulge, and started quietly freaking out. Could he use the idol to save Allie?
Tribal Council Time! The first thing Jeff Probst did was call out the foursome. Was it worrisome for the rest? Not so much. Probst then asked Shamar how things were going for him, given his soldier history. Shamar said he was looking for a leader, but hadn’t found one so far. That’s when Reynold called Shamar out: “To win these challenges, you need to be one cohesive unit,” he said. “I think people get frustrated with Shamar. He just sits in the shelter all day.”
Shamar said he was an outcast, a scapegoat, from day one.
Moving on, Laura said she’d noticed a bulge in someone’s pocket. She was looking directly at Reynold, so there was nothing for him to do except reveal it. He said he’d thought they were one big happy family, that they were voting unanimously. “Then why bring it to tribal council?” Laura asked. To which Reynold replied: “That’s ‘Survivor’ 101. And Jeff, it really is a same, because I’m playing right now to beat the favorites. I have a pocket full of kryptonite.”
Shamar said that Reynold deserved an Academy award for all the drama he was bringing. When Probst called on Sherri to comment, she said she was sticking with her vote.
Time to vote! Reynold didn’t play his immunity idol, instead tucking it back into his pocket. Then Jeff Probst tallied the votes. First vote: Shamar. Second: Shamar. Third: Shamar. Fourth: Shamar. Fifth: Allie. Sixth: Allie. Seventh: Allie. Eighth: Allie. Tied at four each. Ninth: Allie. Tenth: Allie.
Second person voted out of Fans Vs. Favorites: Allie Pohevitz. The foursome is no more.
Probst’s advice: “In order to beat the Favorites, you gotta get it together.”
Allie’s final words: “I had a lot more games to play. It’s just so frustrating, because this is what I wanted. It sucks. I’ve wanted to play this game since I was 11-years-old. I’m mortified beyond words that I’m leaving second. I had such a good time playing this. Ugggh. It sucks.”
"Survivor: Caramoan" airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.