‘Survivor: Caramoan’ – Hope Floats (But Heavy Wooden Chests Don’t)

Survivor Challenge Wooden ChestLast week’s episode of Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites 2 Legit 2 Quit began with another temper tantrum from Brandon upon returning from Tribal Council. This week, not to be outdone, Brandon’s counterpart on the Fans side, Shamar, sounded off loudly after the vote. We talked in our last post about our uneasiness concerning these two bellicose, volatile players, that their unhinged – and often selfish – behavior would unfairly take center stage, and this happened once again in the latest episode, right off the bat. Here’s how it sounded at Goata camp.

Well, it was like that. Just a little louder, and a little more incoherent. Shamar, to his credit, makes a valid point: why is it that game is only on now that Allie is out, but when Shamar was on the chopping block the tribe was still one big happy family? Good question! Now follow it up with an unintelligible and truly terrifying rant.

After seeing Allie go home the night before, and his alliance weakened, you’d think Reynold would be in a dour mood. But, no, he remains upbeat, as if he still has the numbers, and he casually shrugs off the vote as a case of “Revenge of the Nerds.” Eddie likes that joke.

And now we’re pleased to present our newest game: Where’s Shamar? See if you can spot him:

Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 4.24.56 PM

Did you find him? Pretty hard with that camouflage, right?

What has become the trademark of both Shamar and Brandon is not only are they both lunatics, but they have also have these incredibly soft, sensitive sides, alternating from screaming maniacs to sweet marshmallows. And, as Shamar and Sherri hide out in the woods here, we see that mellower side of Shamar (even if we’re having trouble telling the difference between his arm and a branch), and we realize that he’s not comfortable with the role he’s been cast in, the angry black man. At the very least, he’s grown weary of it. Sherri, we learn, has taken a shine to Shamar not just because she sees a way to manipulate him, but because she gets him.

Sure, that seems like kind of a ridiculous, reductive explanation. HOWEVER, we were able to obtain some surveillance footage from one of Sherri’s most successful franchise locations, and she actually makes a lot of sense.

Pretty harrowing stuff. So that’s why Sherri knows how to get through to Shamar. Like this:

And here we have to offer a big thanks to our loyal viewing companion Phil Gordon, who pointed out that not only does Sherri look like a blonde Sandra Bullock, but with her relationship with Shamar she’s basically Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side. However, unlike Sandra in her Oscar-winning role, we can’t say that Sherri’s motives are entirely altruistic. Yes, she might understand and have empathy for Shamar, but she’s also using him as a human shield, instructing him to be the Demolition Man so all The Heat is on Shamar and she can be on Cruise Control. Every time that Shamar gets Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close with one of his tribemates, when he makes it All About Shamar he puts the target more and more on his shoulders and his chances of making it another 28 Days in this game dwindle, meanwhile Sherri continues to look like Miss Congeniality. She’s offered a Shamar a Proposal that could make him one of the most Infamous players in Survivor history. Unfortunately, the damage might be irreparable, there’s no Love Potion No. 9, or even some Practical Magic, that Shamar can use earn back his tribe’s affection. And, Shamar, mark our words, for Sherri there will be a A Time to Kill, possibly even While You Were Sleeping nineteen out of twenty-four hours, and when that time comes you might just find yourself a victim of a Blind Side. Shamar, sooner or later, you’re going to get The Net.

Life is a lot more serene at BeKool Camp, where Former Federal Agent Fillip is taking advantage of the early mornings to get in his workouts. Apparently, he needs to stay in shape because back home he’s a baller, playing with guys “twice his height,” sprinting to the corner, throwing up jump-shots and “all air baby!” We’ve lucked out again here with another Jumped the Snark scoop, exclusively obtaining footage from one of FFAF’s full-court games:

Meanwhile, Corinne is feeling a little nervous that it’s (her and) Malcolm in the middle of their alliance – with Dawn and Cochran already having played together in South Pacific and Fillip and Andrea on Redemption Island – so she and Malcolm set out to search for the Idol, looking for a little insurance policy. However, Corinne notes that scouring for the Idol without a clue is not going to be an easy task.

Survivor: Caramoan Malcolm & Corinne Look for the Idol

Right. Totally impossible. There’s a million places it could be. For example, it could be in a crevice of the trunk on the first tree they look at. Oh, wait, yeah, that’s exactly where it is. AGAIN. Much like it took Reynold less than three minutes to find his Idol, Malcolm and Corinne find their Idol with basically the minimum of effort. But you know what they say about Immunity Idols: “they’re always in the first place you look.”

Hey Andrea, cool smokey eye look!

Survivor: Caramoan Andrea

While the Cochran feasts on the “Freudian picnic” at Favorites camp, over at Goya Shamar considers quitting the game after six days, which is exactly the kind of thing you want to see out of a trained Marine. But we guess that’s a feather in Survivor‘s hat, it’s more unbearable than suicide bombings. To be fair, we can understand Shamar’s point of view, he’s tired of playing the Angry Black Man. We get it. And that’s, unfortunately, the role that Sherri has cast him in. But, Shamar, you don’t have to quit, you can just stop playing the Angry Black Man. That’s possible too. At the very least you’ll need to give your Two Weeks Notice.

It’s back to the water for the challenge, and while we’re very pleased that the show has amped up the water challenges, we’re somewhat disappointed that the last two episodes have only offered combination Reward/Immunity challenges. We understand that there’s a lot of popular players to follow, so footage is valuable real estate right now, but we’d prefer to see two challenges per episode, not just for the added excitement of an additional competition, but to increase the momentum changes and to see how hard one Tribe contends for, say, fishing supplies versus Immunity. Dalton Ross over at EW also rightly observed that there’s yet to be a puzzle element to any challenge this season, and while we’ve never been a huge advocate of puzzles (especially on Redemption Island when it seemed Boston Rob was served puzzle after puzzle), we do welcome them every once in a while. Like everything, they’re fine in moderation. Except water challenges. We’ll take those in abundance. Let’s just be decadent with that H20.

After the Favorites saunter onto the beach, really kind of acting like arrogant jerks, they return the Idol to Jeff and the game is on. The first part of the challenge requires the tribes to swim out to a cage, climb up and in, untie some knots to open the cage door and then free a very heavy wooden chest. However, things got a little brutal when they reached the top of the cage.

Ouch. Brenda really got nailed on that one.

Once out of the water the Survivors have to push the chest across a track to the finish line. But before they can do that, they must replace missing pieces of track by trying to lasso a hook with a ring attached to a length of rope. So, of course, it basically once again comes down to a game of ring toss, and, of course, it’s Reynold vs. Malcolm Round 3: First Blood Part II. However, neither one has the touch this time, and with the game on the line the rings are in Brandon and Eddie’s hands. Ultimately, it’s Brandon who comes through and wins the day for the Favorites, securing Immunity and lounge chairs of unknown origin (Pier One? West Elm? Home Depot? WE MUST KNOW!). Eddie, here’s some advice for next time:

The Fans resume their usual custom of fighting like children when they return from the challenge, with Shamar complaining about being denied goggles (little does he know, the goggles do nothing).  With Shamar reverting to his cantankerous, truculent behavior (no longer planning to quit the game), Reynold resumes his custom of trying to vote out Shamar.  However, despite his very vocal opposition to Shamar, Reynold remains in good standing with the tribe majority, due to in large part to the fact that he’s, in BMX Bike Sales Matt’s words, “hardcore in the challenges.” Once again, let’s go to the videotape.

No arguments here.

Despite all the rancor Shamar has caused in camp, Sherri maintains her plan of keeping Shamar close, urging him to just stay the course, stay strong and she’ll have his back. She also shows him where he’ll be spending nineteen out of twenty-four hours.

But there might be trouble a-brewing for Shamar and his den mother, as Laura is worried  that they’re going to write her name down that night, due to her lackluster challenge performance. To protect herself, Laura goes to Reynold with the idea of voting out Shamar; Reynold, however, was a little uncertain, responding “I’ll vote Shamar every day, three times a day, whatever it takes. Hell, I’ll even vote Shamar after the game. I’ll vote him every day until the day one of us dies, if that’s what it takes. As a matter of fact, I began a very strict regiment of voting Shamar six weeks before I left for Caramoan. So, yeah, I’m cool with that.” And with that, they’re off to Tribal Council, Reynold’s intentions still murky.

At Tribal Council we learned that not only is Reynold on Shamar’s “No Talk List,” but so is Eddie. But it doesn’t stop there! In yet another Jumped the Snark exclusive, we’ve obtained Shamar’s No Talk List in full:

Shamar's No Talk List

It seems like within every episode in which there’s an Idol in play there’s a discussion about splitting the vote to flush the Idol and then re-voting in case of a tie. However, despite constant discussion, this hardly ever happens. Well, Survivor: Caramoan is starting to show us something – offering unique events just like Palau – as the Goya majority follows through on their plan and the initial vote results in a 3-3-3 tie, Shamar, Eddie and Hope,  which means that not only do they get three medium pizzas for $3 each, but they also revote. With Reynold holding onto the Idol, the older majority could vote as they please, ensuring Shamar another week and bringing it down to Eddie vs. Hope. Eddie, while not as hardcore as Reynold, is needed for challenges. So that means Hope is sunk.


There's No Hope for Hope

Which brings us, finally, to the A-B-C of the week:

Always Be Curling 

Former Federal Agent Fillip Working Out

Going into this week the Favorites look strong and united, while the Fans are fractured  However, it appears as that there’s a medical emergency coming up on the next episode, so keep in mind the Speed at which this game can change, with just a Crash. Survivors, ultimately, are at the mercy of Forces of Nature.

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Filed under Analysis, Century 21 Reality, Crucial Taunt, Lists, Saved by the Bell, The State, Tribal Council

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