Survivor: Caramoan – Fans v Favourites – Thu 7:30pm, GO!
Last week we saw the tribes reshuffled into what Cochrane hilariously termed the ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’ and… well, everyone else. Phillip promised about 17 more people that they could be in Stealth’R’Us and we waved goodbye to Beardy Matt.

Back at camp, Michael misses Matt. Corinne keeps telling us how much she likes playing with ‘the gays’ and is planning to swap someone in her alliance for Michael.

Phillip super hates Corinne and tells Cochrane he wants her out before the merge. Cochrane calmly tells Phillip that it’s perhaps not the best idea. Phillip tells him, “As a federal agent, I don’t trust her.” Cochrane almost manages not to laugh.

Bikal are a touch worried about the challenge, which apparently will require strength. Given that they are the Danny DeVito twin, this is a reasonable concern. Phillip reckons that he can’t be beaten in anything that uses upper body strength. No man can beat him. Phillip only does power lifting. To prove how easily he will wipe the floor with say, Eddie, Reynold or Malcolm, he arm-wrestles Cochrane. He overpowers Cochrane easily (much as your average five-year-old girl would) and is inexplicably elated by his victory. Cochrane is bemused.

It’s time for a reward challenge. Each tribe will be tethered together and each tribe member will be carrying a bag weighing 20 pounds. The tribes will attempt to catch each, moving in one direction around a rectangular course in the water. At any time, a tribe member can opt out and untether themselves, but must pass their weighted bag to another tribe member. Bikal will win easily, because everyone can just opt out immediately and all give their bags to Phillip and his extraordinary upper body. Right, Phil?

The reward is coffee, cookies, brownies and croissants, which everyone wants.

The tribes discuss strategy. Gota discuss distributing their strength evenly for endurance and gaining slowly on Bikal. Phillip tells Bikal that he’ll be in front carrying the most weight because he doesn’t want to be stuck behind them, the slow, pointless fools.

The challenge starts fairly slowly. Gota starts to gain slowly early on. Phillip breaks into a jog a few times, before repeatedly telling his tribe to walk, saying that the girls will tire. The rest of the tribe wants to run. He says no. Jeff thinks placing the oldest Survivor in the lead is an interesting strategy. I think putting the stupidest Survivor in the lead is an interesting strategy. Gota has gained about a quarter of the course and is beginning to pick up the pace. Everyone in Bikal wants to start running but Phillip keeps jogging a few steps and then stopping, telling them they’ll tire. His brilliant strategy will see them lose the challenge without even trying, but at least they won’t be too tired. Finally he agrees to run, for about a metre, before admitting that he can’t run, as all the slow walking has exhausted him. Gota has gained half the course and is coming up quickly. Everyone in Bikal is trying to run but Phillip keeps saying that he can’t run. OPT OUT, YOU FOOL. Dawn opts out, giving Corinne her bag. Gota sprints around a corner, taking another quarter. Cochrane and Julia quickly drop out, leaving Corinne with 60 pounds of weight. Phillip promptly falls down and his shorts fall off. Andrea falls down but it barely matters, Bikal’s “let’s listen to Phillip and walk the whole way,” approach has failed and Gota wins very easily, tagging Phillip as he struggles back to his feet.

Dawn tries to cheer up her loser tribe by saying the reward was a diarrhoea fest. Also a good description for their performance. Pathetic.

Gota travels to a pretty scrap of beach for their coffee/baked goods extravaganza. Everyone is dizzy on sugar and caffeine. Malcolm goes around kissing everyone – lucky jerks – while Reynold expresses his typical level of maturity by yelling ‘Spring Break!’ Erik has a little nap with a smile on his face and a cookie clutched to his heart.

Back at Bikal, Phillip has started explaining why the loss wasn’t his fault. Once the tribes were lined up, it was obvious that Gota’s legs were going to beat them. They had youth, strength – losing was only a matter of time. Everyone murmurs agreement, because apparently PACIFYING PHILLIP IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN BEING GOOD AT THINGS. Corinne is really sick of Phillip – not enough to actually take control of the game away from him, mind – and calls him a ‘tubby lunchbox’. She and Cochrane have a whinge together in the bush about Phillip. However Cochrane is hesitant to vote off any Favourites before Fans.

Cochrane starts telling us about Julia. “Julia is such a non-entity out here. I’m tempted to say she has a vanilla personality, but I feel like that that would be doing a great disservice to the flavour vanilla. People actively seek out vanilla flavoured products. Children clamour to get a vanilla ice-cream cone. No one is clamouring for anything Julia-flavoured… except for Phillip.”


Ohhhhh I love me some Cochrane.

Phillip is telling Julia that he’s going to make her a double agent, come the merge. She accepts this without the slightest trace of interest. Phillip is proud of his strategic genius. Julia thinks they should probably vote him out.

Malcolm knows that no one will take him to the end so he decides to try and unite the forces of the four Alpha guys – Reynold, Eddie, Erik and himself. He doesn’t equate it to any kind of schoolyard superiority, but Reynold decides he’s on board anyway. Malcolm isn’t totally sure that he can trust Reynold, until Reynold offers that he has an immunity idol. Malcolm, who also has an idol, thinks this is unnecessary information and it proves Reynold can be trusted. Accordingly, Malcolm does not tell Reynold about his idol.

Over at Bikal, Dawn is talking to Julia. Julia tells Dawn that Phillip has offered to come on board but she feels bullied. Julia also says that she’s not sure why everyone isn’t wanting to vote Phillip off, but she’s willing to go along with anything that will keep her in the game. Dawn is a good-hearted Christian woman and reassures Julia that she won’t tell a soul what she has said. Four seconds later, Dawn runs up to Phillip and hisses to him what Julia has confided, effectively eliminating Julia’s chances to continue with the majority. Dawn is one of those special people who gets to act like a real cow but still be universally known as the Nice Lady who Never Does Anything Wrong.

Time for the immunity challenge! Tribes will paddle out into the ocean and dive down to retrieve a statue. Remaining tribe members will then use a grappling hook to retrieve keys. The keys unlock something – I wasn’t really listening – and then you hoist up a statue and boom, Bikal goes to Tribal Council. I mean, whichever team loses goes to Tribal.

Gota gets to an early lead, while Bikal nearly tips over their canoe. Gota steers off course and Bikal catches up. Everyone starts diving for their statues. Gota gets theirs, closely followed by Bikal. Everyone starts paddling back, and Bikal nearly tip over again. Gota hit the beach first and start going for their keys. Bikal follows Reynold and Phillip are tossing the hooks for their keys. Reynold gets the first three, with his consistently amazing throwing skills. Phillip gets one, Reynold gets his fourth. Phillip gets the next two. Reynold is slowly drawing in the final key. Phillip is tossing for the final key but Gota has their keys, unlocks – something – and hoist their statue for another convincing win.

Danny DeVito is off to Tribal. Luckily, as far as dead weight goes, they’re spoiled for choice. Dawn, Phillip and Julia are all a mixture of pointless and annoying, followed by the less-useless but still-vaguely-annoying Michael and Corinne. Can Cochrane just vote them all out?

Back at camp, Phillip is having a bit of a sulk. He then pulls Cochrane aside and hisses that he has a confession. He could have won the challenge today – but he didn’t want to. Just like he could hook up with any of the ladies any time he likes – he just doesn’t want to. He single-handedly threw the challenge because he realised that Julia needed to go immediately. Luckily for Phillip, it is glaringly obvious that this is yet another crazy person’s fragile delusion of grandeur in the face of failure, or I’m pretty sure his tribe would BEAT HIM TO DEATH for throwing a challenge without consulting anyone. The ARROGANCE of that man. Cochrane ALMOST manages not to laugh as Phillip explains that he was bad at the grappling hook on purpose and how he’s a lion warrior and blah, blah, blah…

Dawn, Phillip and Cochrane want to split the Favourites’ four votes between the two remaining Fans to flush out any idols, but Corinne is flatly refusing to. She wants Michael to work with them long term and she feels like giving him two votes will make him feel unsafe. Phillip is understandably frustrated – they don’t need Michael for the numbers, and he doesn’t want to have to humour him because Corinne has decided that he is her pet. She doesn’t understand why the rest of her alliance isn’t backing her up. Maybe because she hasn’t thought about when they lose the next immunity challenge and if the alliance is working together, Michael will absolutely have to go home next.

Phillip decides to try and pull a ‘Boston Rob’ and send a message by voting off Michael tonight. (Gee, didn’t he lose the challenge specifically to get out Julia?) Corinne is upset to hear about this new plan and they bicker. Phillip refuses to discuss it with her and sends her off while he talks to Dawn and Cochrane.

It’s time for Tribal. Probst gets to it and begins to ask about tension within the tribe. Everyone seems to agree that the Fans are going to go first. Phillip points out that he and Corinne have the same goal, but different processes. That’s surprisingly diplomatic. Probst asks about the challenge – great start, disappointing end. He asks Phillip about being again placing himself into the final ‘hero’ mode. Everyone in the world holds their breath, hoping he’ll repeat the insanity that was “I-threw-the-challenge”. Phillip disagrees that he was the hero but agrees that he lost the challenge. Probst pushes the point and Cochrane begins to smile. Phillip doesn’t seem to be taking the bait, claiming that carrying the statue single-handedly tired him out for throwing the rope.

Time to vote!

How cool is Probst?

No one plays an immunity idol because they’re both over at the winner’s camp. Michael and Julia get three votes each which means a tie, and a revote for Cochrane, Dawn, Corinne and Phillip. Julia gets all the votes and leaves without incident.

Next week: it’s merge time! Pretty sure every single person in the game has been initiated at some point into Stealth’R’Us, so Phillip will have fun sorting that out. There’s also an eating challenge for the first time in quite a few seasons, which promises plenty of gagging, spewing and crying.

SIX SLEEPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!