‘Survivor: Caramoan’ – Battle of the Bulge

Reynold Survivor Immunity IdolLast week we talked about our disappointment in the casting of Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites 2 Legit to Quit, as the producers seemed to have emphasized loud, dramatic, troublemakers over solid, interesting, sane players. We drew attention back to Survivor: Palau, which featured none of those emotionally unstable, wildcard types and, yet, proved to be perhaps the show’s finest season. Why? Because this show is so good, because it puts ordinary people in such incredible, extraordinary situations, that you don’t need to manufacture drama. If you just let the game play out, let the interpersonal dynamics take over, then you have magical theater. The kind that we actually do get at the end of last episode of Caramoan. However, while the denouement was a pleasant surprise, what the episode mostly did was grant attention to the two most volatile personalities out there, Brandon and Shamar, validating their petulant and borderline-psychotic behavior.

Russell Hantz, for the record, was a fascinating, nuanced character (at least at first). Brandon Hantz, on the other hand, is all the worst parts of his uncle, all id, no strategy. He may have his uncle’s blood, but that doesn’t mean he got his gift for the game, or even his flair for havoc.

Actually , Brandon that’s literally how genetics works. DNA is passed down through generations. Although, what you might be feeling is those leeches sucking out your blood. You should probably get a medic to look at you.

Over on the Goya tribe Shamar continues to alienate his fellow Fans. Which is good news for blond Sandra Bullock Sherri, who is planning to launch of a line of Shamar toys, perfect for fitting in your pocket during overseas travel. However, things take a weird turn when she starts talking about how she combats loneliness on the island.

With a goodnight’s sleep Brandon swings to the opposite end of the emotional spectrum, having a lovely, placid conversation with Cochrane, as the sun kisses them through breaks in the trees and a cool breeze washes their faces in calm. He comes clean, explaining his plan to sabotage camp. Here we present a dramatization of what might have happened had Brandon gone through with his mission of destruction.

Former Federal Agent Fillip is graciously invited over to relaxation central, but, because he’s a robot, his circuits overload and he cannot compute the situation. So instead of enjoying the rays and the feeling of sand between his toes he offers a long-winded, pretty non-sensical analogy of Survivor as a corporation, with FFAF as the CEO. Except in this corporation, entry-level is mid-management, which, really, isn’t all that bad. But that’s not good enough for a “narcist” like Brandon, so takes his daisy dukes and peaces out.

Brandon Hantz Daisy Dukes

We have to admit, this company is not going to succeed if the CEO keeps trying to kill his employees. FILL!

Last week we also expressed our desire for more water challenges, which were utilized so wonderfully in Palau. And so far Fans vs. Favorites 2 Legit to Quit has been answering our prayers, brining us back to the water for a combo reward-immunity challenge. However, we were disappointed to learn that after the aquatics portion of the event was completed, the outcome of the challenge would once again rest on a game of ring toss. At this point you have to suspect if Survivor is in the back pocket of Big Toss and at the whim of the powerful Toss Lobbyists. One cool part of this particular challenge, however, is that they got an awesome guest to go over the rules.

And for the second week in a row the challenge comes down to Malcolm vs. Reynold in a game of toss. Reynold said there ain’t gonna be no rematch, but here they are, the Rocky and Apollo of our time, toe-to-toe. A showdown of epic proportions.

And then they both miss a lot and hand off the rings and Former Federal Agent Fillip secures the win for the Favorites (who, oddly enough, might have been considered underdogs with Reynold tossing for the Fans, who, oddly enough, might have been considered favorites). That’s a wrap on Reynold.

Feeling confident after his big win, FFAF decides to initiate another member into Delusion R Us, Inc., inducting Malcolm as the Enforcer, and granting him full authority to physically attack and debilitate both male and female members of the Goya Tribe. Malcolm, for his part, is just adorable about the whole thing, but Fillip seems pretty serious and it’s kind of terrifying. However, we’ve been fortunate enough to get an exclusive sneak peek into the names of his next recruits:

Spirits aren’t so high at Goya camp (but the threat of violence is just as present), where the finger-pointing begins as soon as the Fans return from the challenge. Eddie identifies their fatal flaw: they failed to decide who was going to be the muscle. As everyone knows, when putting a team together, you gotta have the muscle. It’s at least the Face, the Grease Man, the Tech Expert, the Demo Guy, the Mastermind, the Bankroll and the Muscle. It’s putting a Team Together 101. The Fans, however missed that lesson. Quickly though, Reynold attempts to change the subject and turn the tide against Shamar, calling him out for his lack of work around camp and his general surliness. Shamar, from his headquarters (on his back in the shelter) responds with a classic and airtight argument, “it is what it is.” Check and mate. 

Reynold, however, does not realize that he’s been beaten by a cunning strategist, and believes that BMX Sales Matt will vote with him and the good-looking kids at Tribal Council that night. Still, even with his supreme confidence that Shamar is going home, Reynold decides to search for the Immunity Idol, which is still a thing and it’s baffling that everyone else isn’t doing the same thing. Why? Because IT’S ALWAYS IN A TREE TRUNK IN A VERY OBVIOUS PLACE. Case in point: Reynold finds it – in his own estimation – in three minutes. For a visual analogy, imagine that Ron Burgundy is Reynold and Brian Fontana is the Idol.

But Reynold makes another crucial mistake: not bringing cargo pants. Cargo pants, while sartorially questionable, are a vital piece of equipment on the island for their excellence in concealing Immunity Idols. Ask a guy like Troyzan, a cargo pants devotee, he’ll tell you all about it. Reynold, however, with his tight capris pants puts a target right on his lower torso, and Laura (a dark horse in the game), notices something is amiss in his general crotch area, a very telling bulge. Which we all know means one of two things, either he’s getting too intimate with Allie or he found the Idol.

At Tribal Council, Michael asks the questions on everyone’s mind:

Shamar admits to spending 19 of 24 hours in the shelter and also divulges that he’s completed two tours in Iraq, which goes a long way towards explaining why that war has lasted ten years. Meanwhile, Laura mentions that she saw a bulge in someone’s pants, and then stares directly at Reynold, removing any and all mystery. Thus, it’s all out there, and, in effect, the pressure moves from Shamar to Reynold. Truly, as Reynold notes, the Idol is a pocketful of Kryptonite, and it would take a real Spin Doctor to talk his way out of this one. Unfortunately, Reynold is not yet that skilled, unable to convince BMX Bike Sales Matt to vote against Shamar, his Idol perhaps demonstrating that the pretty young alliance needed to be broken up. So with Reynold’s bulge exposed it was Allie, a pretty blond girl whom we really knew nothing about, whose torch was snuffed. That’s a wrap on Reynold’s hidden Idol and his lady.


Which brings us to our A-B-C of the week, and, really, what else could it be:

Always Be Childish

Thanks to Shamar, the master debater:


And, finally, your cute monkey(s) of the week:

Survivor Caramoan Monkeys

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Filed under Analysis, Century 21 Reality, Tribal Council

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