Survivor: Caramoan – Fans v FavouritesThu 7:30pm, GO!
Longest week of my LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Last week ended with the hauntingly beautiful decision of the Gota tribe to dispose of one of The Four Who Could Not Count. Reynold is radiating self-righteous indignation and starts ranting about how the tribe needs him desperately for challenges and he HATES EVERYONE but they better NOT try and vote him off because he’ll USE HIS IDOL and EVERYTHING. He wishes that he’d NEVER BEEN BORN. The intense lack of interest from the tribe in his threats is nothing short of hilarious. Eddie is still confused about how four is LESS than six. Reynold tells them that it’s game on, that the game starts NOW. Everyone’s too polite to tell him that actually, the game started about a week ago, but he’s been too busy high-fiving Eddie and flexing to notice. Everyone except Shamar, of course, who starts yelling at him and Eddie joins in and they all yell for a while. Laura wants Shamar to shut up.

Suddenly Shamar has become confused and is screaming at Matt, who had the swing vote, so essentially is to be thanked for keeping him around. Now Shamar’s screaming at everyone. Grievances from the past week are spilling up into a full-blown tantrum. He’s an aggressive fellow and it’s not easy to watch. Laura notes that the novelty of Shamar has gone. Reynold would feel some relief if he wasn’t off sulking in a corner, listening to Paramore and writing in his journal.

The next morning, Reynold has bounced back with the alpha male, all-American jock arrogance we so love to hate. He and Eddie are consoling each other on the beach. It goes a little something like this.

Reynold: Yo buddy. We’re in a tight spot, friendo.

Eddie: Ha, ha, ha.

Reynold: We got our heads chopped off, bro.

Eddie: Ha, ha, ha.

Reynold: It’s like Revenge of the Nerds.

Eddie: Ha, ha, ha.

If I remember my teen movies correctly, Reynold’s hot girlfriend will finally get sick of his boorish insensitivity and will be leaving him for the soulful, intelligent, awkward guy any minute now. (Way to go, Cochran!)

Eddie thinks that’s he’s in more imminent danger than Reynold because Reynold is ‘vital’. Reynold agrees. They both hope Shamar annoys people today. As yet neither of them think it would behove them to attempt to be friendly to the ‘nerds’. Fully-grown men buying into a juvenile social construct of hierarchy is like, so hot. I hope they both get bitten by sharks.

Sherri takes Shamar on a walk to try and gently encourage him to spend the day shutting up. She says she understands “snotty teenage brats”.

Phillip is telling us how phenomenal he is. He plays basketball at the gym back home and totally smashes everyone, men half his age and twice his height. Everyone thinks he should go pro. And like, all the girls have crushes on him, and everyone wants to be his best friend.

An alliance of six contains three pairs; Andrea and Phillip, Dawn and Cochran and by default, Corinne and Malcolm. The latter pair are off looking for the idol. Well, Malcolm is looking, Corinne is just looking at Malcolm looking. She’s only human. Suddenly Malcolm finds it and Corinne jumps into his arms. Again. Only human. Malcolm is very excited to have something powerful in his back pocket, and he doesn’t just mean the powerful gaze of Corinne.

Phillip is being eccentric by sitting with a basket lid on his head. Cochran says that he used to spend the whole week waiting to watch Survivor – no idea what that’s like – and now he gets to watch it while he plays it. It’s a dream come true. Also, he likes the pretty ladies in the bikinis. Cue sleazy, sleazy Cochran face.

Andrea notices Corinne and Malcolm talking intensely and flips her lid. It’s part jealousy, because her special partner in the six is Phillip, but she’s decided she just wants Corinne out. She vents to Cochran who agrees with her, because bikini. Phillip is on board too, because she pretends it was his idea. This is a smart girl. Andrea and Cochran go and ask Brandon if he’d like to be in the majority alliance instead of being next to go. He’s in.

About four seconds later Brandon’s paranoia sets in. He’s pretty sure Andrea’s lying because she can sense that if he KNOWS he’s going next, he’ll pee in the beans and the rice and then burn the shelter down. Classy.

Over in Gota, wistful piano music indicates a personal crisis for Shamar. He turns to Laura and says “My happiness is not worth a million.” He doesn’t want to be the angry black man on Survivor. He just wants to walk. He starts talking about the difficulty he had readjusting to civilian life after two tours in Iraq, battling alcoholism, anger issues. He’s better now, a happy person but the intense social element to Survivor is catapulting him back to the dark, angry place.

Sherri tells him he’ll regret it, then tries to guilt him into staying by telling him that they’ll be down two people if he quits and then they lose a challenge. Brilliant sensitivity for someone trying to objectively assess and address his fragile mental state there, Sherri. It works, Shamar doesn’t want to be disloyal, and he agrees to stay. Reynold finds a way to make it all about him. Love that guy.

It’s challenge time and Bernard Curry starts furiously taking ‘Probst notes’. The tribes must get a heavy chest out of the sea, out of a cage, over a rail and onto a platform. They’re playing for immunity; they’re playing for comfort. Cushions, chairs and the all-important tarp are on the line. Survivors ready: go!

There’s swimming, climbing, untying, dragging, lassoing, pushing, carrying and swearing but the end result of a very close challenge is a win for the Favourites. They carry off their cushion bounty and Probst tells the Fans that all they’re winning is a date with him. They’re ecstatic until they realise he means tribal council.

Back at the grumpy Gota camp and Reynold and Shamar go through the motions of blaming each other for the loss. You’re disgusting. You’re stubborn. I needed goggles. There were two pairs of goggles. I have contact lenses. Etc, etc.

Laura thinks she’s in trouble because she sucked today. She swam slowly. She recognises, however, that of the three cool kids left, the boys will be more help in challenges. Hope hasn’t spoken or even appeared since perhaps the first episode, so it’s a bit of a shock to see her. They’re probably going to vote her out now though, so I probably don’t need to bond with her.

Sherri and Laura are concerned that Reynold will use his idol to save Hope – I don’t think so – and they agree to split the vote between Eddie and Hope to flush out the idol. Matt, Shamar and Michael will vote for Eddie, Laura, Sherri and the other girl whose name I can’t remember will vote for Hope. Shamar points out that he’ll be in the mix with Reynold, Eddie and Hope’s votes as well. Sherri ‘handles’ him.

Shamar and Hope sit in the water and we hear her talk. Shamar is telling her that he’d rather someone else go, that he’d like her to stay. I think because bikini. Shamar suggests her that she could throw the vote if she wanted to, if she was willing to put her vote towards Eddie. Hope promptly goes back and tells what’s-her-name. What’s-her-name is cross that Shamar gave away the plan and dibber dobs on him to Matt and Sherri. JULIA. Her name is Julia, everyone, and she’s a racecar driver. Cool.

Everyone is cut at Shamar and assumes that his lack of secrecy means he’s not voting with them. They clearly have considered the simple truth: bikini. Ahhh, the paranoia. Laura fears for her place in the game and goes to Reynold. She tells him that she thinks she can get Julia to join the two of them, along with Eddie and Hope and get rid of Shamar with five votes. He’s very pleased and repeats the plan assertively so it now seems like his plan.

Tribal council time. Reynold jumps straight in and calls Shamar out for the screaming. Shamar claims scapegoat and calls everyone a liar. Hope calls out Shamar for the conversation they had in the water and it has to be said, completely misrepresents the tone of their conversation. He gets very upset and she starts pulling ‘wow, he’s CRAZY’ face and smiling and going ‘Ohhh okay then…’ in that ultra-infuriating way that mean girls in high schools have perfected over the centuries.  Don’t get me wrong, Shamar is very difficult and often wrong, but there are some real jerks out there.

It’s time to vote.

Reynold doesn’t play the idol.

The first vote is for Shamar. The second is for Hope. The third, Shamar. Hope. 22-2. Shamar. Hope. Eddie. Eddie. Eddie. There is a three-way tie, 3-3-3. This means a revote and we can assume the original plan is in swing, and we’ll be saying goodbye to Hope. First vote for Shamar. Next four for Hope. She’s a goner.

Hope says more words in her exit interview than she did during the game. Eddie finally figures out that 4 is less than 6. Can’t believe that cool kids lunch table thing didn’t pan out.

Next week: screaming, rats and a hurricane, and all before sunrise the next day!

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