When Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites 2 Legit 2 Quit began just three months ago we bemoaned the ubiquity of loud, boisterous, attention-grabbing personalities like Shamar, Brandon Hantz and Former Federal Agent(?) Fillip. It felt like a season plotted by casting – and by casting just a few controversial, polarizing figures, stunt casting essentially – than a season anchored by appealing, charismatic, engaging characters who we would want to root for, and a season that might rely on shock value and stock reality show antics than good stories, solid gameplay and jaw-dropping twists. Well, we are happy to say that we were wrong. While the pre-merge game was dominated by those big names and big bodies, and while some of our favorite players were eliminated earlier than we would have preferred, after the merge Survivor: Caramoan has delivered great Tribal Council after great Tribal Council, offering some landmark series moments. It was like viewing a Sandra Bullock film back to back to back. Blind Side after Blind Side after Blind Side. And it’s left us with five somewhat unlikely players, none of whom are physically dominant or socially controlling or remarkably devious. Just five players who’ve managed to get to the end, through considerable disadvantages and obstacles, each carving a somewhat different path. It wasn’t what we foresaw for Caramoan, but we’re not complaining.
Cochran, for sure, is the front-runner, having played a smart, strategic, clean game. But Dawn has been right there with Cochran, and she’s made stronger personal bonds, which could play in her favor. Don’t discount Sherri though, who took an entry-level position with Stealth ‘R’ Us when the fans’ alliance fell apart, came in everyday on time, punched her card, worked hard, and is one of the few employees still with the company. Then there’s Eddie, who’s been on the outs from day one, has been to nearly every Tribal Council and was always at risk of going home, and who has made no enemies. Finally, you have Erik, who’s ruffled very few feathers, managed to flip and flop without seeming untrustworthy, and has an excellent chance to sweep the remaining challenges. Really, out of these five, you could make a case that all of them can win the million and it’s going to be interesting…
Well, this was a long time coming, but now that we’ve reached the all-important game-changing merge and oxygen-sucking loudmouths Shamar and Brandon are gone, it seems like a good time – perhaps the only time – to deliver our Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites 2 Legit 2 Quit celebrity look-alikes and player odds (for those Survivors still in the game). Let’s do this a little differently this time around and look at the Favorites then the Fans. We’d tell you to buckle up, but that seems really unnecessary considering you’re probably just sitting on a couch or at a desk or maybe on the subway, and even then it’s the movement of the train and not the content of this article that is most likely to create some turbulence.
Andrea: If we want to talk about people who really learned from Boston Rob (as opposed to Former Federal Agent(?) Fillip), then Andrea might be the one in that discussion. Her acuity for the game is what hurt her last time – and her infatuation with Matt – as Boston Rob respected her ability and intelligence but more importantly recognized her as a threat. There’s no one as cunning as Boston Rob on Caramoan, so Andrea has a shot to put it all together this time, especially now that she’s made the merge with the new powerhouse Goya tribe. However, there’s something in those smokey eyes that tells us that she’s going to play the game a little too hard and a little too paranoid, and that will be her downfall (much like Tara Reid experienced a similar fall. But that was due to the shots of Patrón and required several stitches). 11:1
Before we dig deep into this week’s episode of Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites 2 Legit 2 Quit, we owe you, the loyal reader, an apology. You see, we had gotten so wrapped up in the sad, soul-sucking sagas of Shamar and Brandon that we had forgotten about Former Federal Agent Fillip(?). Specifically, we had forgotten how capable he was of equal soul-sucking, his stewardship of an imaginary corporation (painfully imaginary to everyone else but him) serving to dominate camp life and suffocating other players. We had hoped – erroneously – that the exit of Shamar and Brandon, two divisive but attention grabbing personalities, would open the game up. Instead, it just passed the speaking baton to the equal of three evils. Not that FFAF is complaining, being the singular intolerable, maddening, petulant male personality left only enhances his chances of making it to the end.
However, Fillip has some flaws in his game. Namely, he thinks he’s running some kind of top secret covert operation and explains this to every player he encounters, creating something more akin to a completely obvious overt debacle. But in addition to his delusions of grandeur, FFAF is also incredibly sensitive. He is easily rattled when someone challenges his leadership and integrity, and he demonstrates this trait when the Favorites returned to camp after they evicted Brandon from the house. Wearing the classic tucked in poncho characteristic of all great CEOs, Fillip was so hurt that Brandon said such mean, unprovoked things about him, and no one stood up for poor FFAF. Corinne jumped in too, saying how uncool it was for Brandon to only pick on her and Fill, that she sympathized with Fill’s frustration and anger with the rest of BeKool for not stepping up to the plate. And this made up The Specialist’s mind once and for all: he needs to get rid of Corinne, because her commiseration clearly makes her the biggest threat, for some reason entirely unclear to us. But that’s why he’s The Specialist and we’re just a dude writing a blog and not running a made-up paramilitary organization.
Well, we all saw this coming. We saw this coming back on South Pacific when he accused Mikayla of being an evil temptress, and we saw this coming when he went back and forth and back with his relationship with God and spoke of battles with inner demons. And we saw this coming in episode two of Fans vs. Favorites 2 Legit 2 Quit when, in beautiful night vision, his neck tattoo glistening in the twilight, he threatened to go on a rampage. So no one – no one – should have been surprised when Brandon Hantz finally lost it on Survivor: Caramoan. Which isn’t to say it was predictable, or that it wasn’t riveting, truly unsettling television.
But first, who’s that girl next to Michael and Eddie?!
Oh, right, Julia. That person that exists on the Fans tribe. At this point, she’s our pick to win it all, solely because everyone will keep forgetting that she’s there and no one will ever write her name down. Also, she might be a ghost.
Last 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.
Last 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.
For the last few seasons we’ve become increasingly irritated by the presence of God, or, rather, some players’ insistence that he (or she!) has some influence on the game of Survivor, from Matt justifying his repeated exile to Redemption Island as part of Jesus’s plan to Brandon Hantz invoking the will of the Lord in his quest to purge Mikayla from the game (and maybe the Earth) because of her fictional harlot tendencies. For one season we can deal with these bible thumpers, but as it became a consistent aspect of the game, it became grating, obnoxious even. Sure, God may love Survivor, but as a true fan he would never get involved. When it comes to Survivor, God is agnostic, and if he had a dog in the fight, it wouldn’t be someone from the God Squad, it would be a rough and tumble champion, like Sophie or Lt. Tom Westman. But even if God had a rooting interest, we were sure that he (or she!) had no impact on the game, just like he has nothing to do with Tim Tebow (unless sending him to the Jets is God’s idea of a holy hilarious joke). However, after this week’s Survivor: One World! we’ve changed our mind. Because if that wasn’t divine intervention, if that wasn’t an instance of God reigning down vengeance from above, we don’t know what is.