‘Survivor: Caramoan’ – Vanilla Gorilla

Previously on Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites 2 Legit 2 Quit we found out that Corinne has a truly curious and rather unsettling affection (affectation?) for gays. Well, it seems that everyone is letting all their skeletons out of the closet now, as this person who is apparently named Julia has decided she wants to pretend she has some semblance of a personality and reveal something very private and kind of gross.

Survivor Caramoan Julia Peed Herself

TMI, Ju…damn, forgot her name.

Michael is taking the loss of his partner in crime (the crime being losing every Immunity Challenge) BMX Bike Sales Matt surprisingly well. In fact, he’s single and ready to mingle. And he’s in luck! Corinne is more than eager to envelop Michael and keep him close to her bosom, Mama Corinne keeping him safe in this game as long as she can. Good thing she’s been quiet about her love of gays or else someone in her alliance might start to grow suspicious. Way to play it close to the blue bikini top!

In case you’ve missed every episode so far, Former Federal Agent(?) Fillip is in phenomenal shape. The guy is a freak of nature. Unbeatable in anything that emphasizes upper body strength, which, as we know, is every Survivor challenge ever. He’s so strong that he can even beat a physical specimen like John Cochran at arm wrestling. JOHN COCHRAN! A pasty yet sunburnt indoor kid who could serve as Captain America’s “before” photo; someone who is probably half Fillip’s size (which means that if Cochran played basketball at Fill’s gym then he’d be balling against guys four times his size. Wow!). So how could FFAF defeat the Hulk-like Cochran (Hulk-like in so far as he’s probably really good at physics)? Well, he’s got a can’t-lose technique.

If you feel like turning the page back to our very first recap of Survivor: Caramoan (and, really, why wouldn’t you feel that way?), you might recall that we spoke at length about having just rewatched Survivor: Palau and what made that season arguably (and we argued for it) the best cycle in Survivor’s illustrious thirteen year history. One of the elements we noted that contributed to Palau’s brilliance was the frequent use of water-based challenges. And, so far, Caramoan has taken this suggestion to heart, featuring something at the Philippines Aquatic Center almost every episode. However, not every water challenge has to imply swimming, like the “beach run” featured in episode three of Palau, in which the members of each respective tribe were clipped to one another and had to circle a track set up along the shoreline while each carrying a 20lb sandbag. It’s basically game of tag, but it’s one of the most physically demanding challenges Survivor has ever offered, a boot-camp caliber test of endurance disguised as a simple game of Ring Around the Rosie. [And not only is it a testament to sometimes less is more, this specific challenge took on extra significance on Palau, as it represented the turning point of the season. With Ulong’s Jeff Wilson opting out immediately, due to his busted ankle, it was only a matter of time until Tom Westman led his Koror Tribe to victory. It truly started the decimation of Ulong, as they lost all but one challenge the rest of the way, and it began the legend of Lt. Tom Westman, whom, after this challenge, Bobby Jon honorably and accurately lauds at “more than a man.”]

So imagine our pleasure upon seeing this challenge brought to Caramoan on the latest episode, showing once again that this season is following our Palau playbook. However, even with Jeff bowing out with his bum ankle and leaving his tribe severely handicapped on Palau, the two tribes we have now represent an even greater mismatch. And, unfortunately for Fillip, upper-body strength offers no advantage in this one. So while Fillip commands the lead, he proves to be a poor choice to serve at the vanguard, as it turns out that running is not something that the Specialist specializes in. But, then again, maybe he heard the lifeguard barking at him and was trying to keep the roughhousing to a minimumWhat a shame too, because Fill had such an illustrious track career in college (just kidding, he didn’t go to college. Or did he? That’s exactly what a Former Federal Agent(?) would want us to think). So sad to see him now:

Really, though, it was only a matter of time before the far superior Goya tribe overtook the staggering BeKool contingent, especially with Fillip dragging them down by calling a game of Red Light, Green Light that was more like Red Light, Red Light (seriously, even Cochran was holding his own). Less learned gym rats, you can’t ignore your legs. Stop working out those glamour muscles! Take a cue from Brenda! 

Survivor Brenda Wiggling

So even taking it pretty slow and steady, Erik soon tackles Fillip and the Goya tribe wins  reward of a trip to Café Survivor! But it’s cool, says Dawn, because they’re just going to get sick eating all that delicious food with its overrated calories and protein and energy and desperately need sustenance. NO THANK YOU. Floor rice and beans for me, please.

The Goya tribe didn’t mind though, demonstrating the biggest caffeine high since Michael Skupin got drunk off two orange sodas. It was awesome, coffee, cookies, croissants, chicks just making out. It was like The Real World: Caramoan. But guys! Erik is a diabetic! Uh oh.Survivor Caromoan Erik Napping

But just so BeKool doesn’t feel left out, Corinne graciously picks up some sweets on her way back.

Corinne then points out that Fillip didn’t need to win the reward, because he’s already a tubby lunchbox (did she even see the way he dominated Cochran in that super intense arm wrestling competition?). It’s almost as if she doesn’t think that Fillip is in phenomenal shape.


We have to give ourselves a little pat on the back here, because our noticing that Julia is pretty much unnoticeable has not gone unnoticed, as Cochran also finds her to be a complete zero, a void. We’d try to illustrate further, but Cochran explains it better than we ever could:

Truly his finest hour. And he’s right, Fillip has taken a shine to Julia; it’s like he’s Haley Joel Osment and she’s dead people, only he can see her. Or at least he’s the only one who has any interest in her, as he’s taken her by his side, training her at the foot of his throne. Although, we have to admit, his methods are a little unorthodox, if extremely off-putting  Not sure that’s what they teach in whatever dubious federal agency Fillip thinks he once belonged to.

Still riding their caffeine high, Malcolm and Reynold, the two tossing talents, chill out in the water and discuss their mutual interests. Seeing the synergistic potential of combining their tossing abilities, let alone their Immunity Idols, they strike a deal and form some kind of Nutty Cuckoo Super Alliance. Alone they’re nearly unbeatable. Together, they just might be unstoppable.

And they seal the deal the only way they know how, consummating the alliance and creating an indomitable Team Bro.

Malcolm & Reynold Shake

Although, we’re disappointed that Malcolm didn’t instead attempt make a deal with Eddie, if only to show his appreciation for early-UPN programming.

And just as that girl whose name we can’t remember seems to have earned Fillip’s trust, he turns on her, unfairly judging her for, what we admit is, a rather unattractive and unfortunate physical feature.

Disgusted with Julia, Fillip and the rest of the Survivors head to the Immunity Challenge, where each tribe needs to choose three players to paddle out in the water to retrieve a large, heavy statue. Wonder who Corinne will choose to go with her on the boat. Just kidding, it’s Michael, of course. Unfortunately, despite the all-star paddling trio of Corinne, Michael and Dawn, things don’t go too well for BeKool:

But, miraculously, they turn things around and nearly catch up at the second segment of the challenge, which is, you guessed it, a toss. Gone are the salad days of Survivor when challenges were sponsored by reputable organizations like Home Depot, Sprite, Pontiac, and a shitty Jack Black movie, and what we have now are the tossed salad days, with the Big Toss syndicate clearly pulling all the strings on Caramoan. And just as sure as this challenge came down to a game of toss – in this instance tossing a grappling hook to snare key rings – the challenge comes down to Reynold vs. Fillip. Let’s take a look at Reynold in action:

Clearly there’s no beating that guy, he’s Batman for Pete’s sake, and it’s another victory for the new and greatly improved Goya tribe.

Of course, Reynold is good, but he’s not that good, right? Good enough to beat The Specialist in a head to head grappling hook challenge, the grappling hook being any decent federal agent’s number one federal agent tool? C’mon, don’t be so naive. So the only logical explanation is that Fillip, the big gorilla, decided to be a prideful lion or a snake in the grass or a spiteful hummingbird or something, throwing the challenge for reasons that remain unclear to us (obviously because haven’t had his level of advanced training). But Cochran totally gets it.

And best actor Emmy goes to…well, not Cochran because he can barely keep it together. But it’s enough to placate Fillip, which is basically could be the motto for the entire season.

Another motto for this season might be “The Ghost of Boston Rob,” as his legacy has been felt through the game, with FFAF fashioning his whole strategy around the past success and mastery of Boston Rob. Which is why Corinne’s resistance to splitting the vote between Julia and Michael and casting a vote for the gay gets Fillip so riled up. He’s played with Boston Rob, and that’s not how Rob would do it, and that’s not how Fillip Sheppard will do it. However, Fillip’s adoration and respect of Boston Rob reminds us of some famous things that were said about another New England prince.


And then Fill goes on and on about what “BR” would do. And we’re really not sure how this would help Fillip or anyone else in his alliance.

With the tribe – and Stealth ‘R’ Us – starting to come apart, Fillip does what Boston Rob would do in this situation: go to Tribal Council as scheduled by the producers. Clearly, it’s down to Michael and the other one, but we realize here that Michael has been one step ahead the whole time, and Probst would have known too, if he only paid more attention to his past questions.

But for all of Corinne’s bellyaching about saving the gay and Fillip’s whining about the Boston Rob way, there really wasn’t too much drama here, because the alliance is going to stay strong, even if it’s starting to fracture, and it’s a question about who’s going first, Michael or the alleged other person, when not if. There was no threat of a blind side here. However, the show continued, once again, to follow the primer for greatness set forth by Palau (Tom Westman’s Art of War), by mixing things up once more with yet another tie. Usually, despite all the talk of splitting the votes and then re-voting, the tally does not end in a deadlock, but this is the second time this season that such a situation has arose, and it’s exciting and different – much like many of the moments on Palau – even though the eventual outcome is likely not very significant in the long run.

Let’s re-vote. Fillip, you’re up first.

Former Federal Agent Fillip & PenIn his defense, a pen is not standard issue federal agent gear, so it’s understandable that FFAF had some trouble operating it.

Jeff tallies the votes and…is confused. “Is there a Julia here? Julia? Anyone know a Julia? Maybe it’s a soft J? Julia? Or are these ‘o’s? Julio? Is there a Julio here? Am I reading this correctly? Oh, right! Julia! Of course. I’m sorry, Julia, totally forgot you existed. Julia, you’re out. Get the fuck out of here.”


Goodbye, Julia.

Image not available Julia Survivor

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

Always Be Comatose 

You know, cause of that girl. The quiet one. Ah, what’s her name…Jermia? June? Julia! Yeah, that one.

Next episode: The merge! (thanks for the spoiler, CBS promo dept) Can Corinne keep her gay safe and looking fabulous? Will Stealth ‘R’ Us reorganize or go bankrupt? Will they regret keeping Michael and not…yep, already forget her name again.

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Filed under Analysis, Century 21 Reality, Count Bleh, Golden Girls, Tribal Council, What? Too fabulous?, Winterfallen

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