‘Survivor: Caramoan’ Episode Recap: The Battle of the Bulge


"Survivor: Caramoan" (CBS)

Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Michael Skupin. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

Set Your DVR to Record “Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites”

Last Week: Phillip put together Stealth R Us Too, Malcolm gave everyone an X-rated view, Reynold and Allie shared an amorous rendezvous, while poor Francesca experienced some heartbreaking deja-vu…

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Let’s take a look at the tribes as they currently stand…

The Bikal Tribe (wearing purple)
Andrea – Entertainment Host and Writer, 23
Brandon – Chemical Disposal, 21
Brenda – Paddleboard Company Owner, 30
Cochran – Harvard Law Student, 25
Corinne – Pharmaceutical Sales, 33
Dawn – English Professor/Power Rankings Champ, 42
Erik – Comic Book Artist, 27
Malcolm – Bartender, 25
Phillip – Chief Executive Officer of Enter Software Sales, 54

The Gota Tribe (wearing orange)
Allie – Bartender/Nanny, 25
Eddie – Firefighter/EMT, 23
Hope – Recent Graduate of the University of Missouri, 23
Julia – Racecar Driver/Student, 21
Laura – Administrative Officer, 23
Matt – Brand Manager of Two BMX Brands, 38
Michael – Event Planner, 44
Reynold – Sales, 30
Shamar – Iraq War Veteran, 27
Sherri – Fast Food Franchisee, 41

We meet up with the Bikalians after Tribal Council and Lil’ Hantz is getting ready to throw a big fit. Dawn tries to state her case, but he isn’t having any of it. Smartly, Dawn removes herself from the situation and has a bit of a cry. It’s OK, that’s her thing. She’ll feed off of those tears and use them to dominate a strength challenge later.

Later, Brandon pulls Erik aside and tells him that he’s feeling “revengeful” and is going to unleash his inner Russell. He then proceeds to do a break-dance wave. No, I’m not kidding.

The next morning at Gota beach, we learn that Shamar isn’t doing any work around camp. Oh, he’s one of those lazy Marines you never hear about. Allie thinks he needs to be sent home if they go to Tribal.

Later, Sherri brings Shamar into her alliance with Matt, Michael, Laura, and Julia. Oh man, the cool kids might get an early dismissal. Sherri later tells us that she wants to keep Shamar around because he’s her Phillip. Nice…look out for Boston Sherri.

Back at Bikal, Cochran is trying to make peace with Brandon. Brandon admits that he was going to destroy the camp, but  he doesn’t want to be known as a quitter. Cochran is disturbed by how quickly Brandon goes from rage to tenderness.

Brandon talks to Phillip about joining up with Stealth R Us Too. Phillip says he might be willing to bring him in as middle management. I would have gone with “Junior Partner.” At any rate, Brandon isn’t thrilled with his starting salary and immediately tries to turn the rest of the tribe against Phillip. Oof…how do you decide between those two? It’s like being stuck between a rock and an insane place.

Immunity Challenge Time: Really? This seems early.

Before the challenge gets underway, the Fans admit that they feel terrible for poor Francesca. Then, Phillip drops the Bikal flag and almost impales Corinne.

OK, three members from each tribe will swim out to a raft. Three other tribe members will pull the raft toward a platform. Once they’re at the platform they’ll dive down and release rings from a cage. When they have all nine rings they’ll return to shore and play some ring toss. First tribe to get three rings onto their posts wins immunity and fishing gear.

Laura will sit out for Gota. During the pre-game strategy discussion, Shamar’s woobie is hurt when people turn down his ideas. Seriously.

Brenda, Erik, and Andrea will be the raft team for Bikal, while Sherri, Julia, and Hope will go for Gota. Both tribes get to the platform quickly, but the Fans are having some serious trouble releasing their rings. The Faves get all of theirs rings back to the shore and start throwing before the Fans are even able to retrieve all of theirs.

Malcolm hits the first two shots and Phillip hits the third to bring home a win for the Favorites.

After the challenge, Phillip finally unveils Malcolm and Dawn’s nicknames. Apparently Malcolm is “The Enforcer” and Dawn is “True Grit.” Honestly, anything’s better than Fabio and Purple Kelly.

Meanwhile, the mood is somber over at Gota. During a post-challenge pow-wow, Reynold calls out Shamar because of his attitude. This goes about as well as you’d imagine. It ends with Eddie and Reynold walking off while Shamar yells at them.

Politicking around Gota is coming down to Shamar vs. Allie. It seems like Matt and Michael are going to be the swing votes. However, Matt wants to vote out Shamar because they’d still have a five-to-four advantage over the cool kids.

Realizing that he’s in some serious danger, Reynold starts hunting around for the immunity idol. Sure enough, he finds it almost immediately. C’mon “Survivor” production team, what happened to hard-to-find idols?

Before they head off to Tribal, Laura notices that Reynold has an idol-shaped bulge in his pocket. I’ve been doing this for years and I still giggle whenever someone talks about bulges in people’s pants. I’m not an adult.

That night at Tribal Council, Michael calls out the cool kids as an alliance. The Plastics do their best to play it off as more of a book club, except without books and they all vote together.

Shamar admits that he isn’t used to a situation that doesn’t have a military hierarchy.

Reynold thinks the tribe is frustrated with Shamar because he critiques people but doesn’t do any work.

Eddie claims that Shamar was in the hut for nineteen hours the previous day. Shamar admits it. He thinks he’s a scapegoat because he’s big and loud.

Before the vote, Laura lets everyone know that somebody has the immunity idol. She doesn’t say who has it, but Probst points out that she’s staring at Reynold.

Reynold immediately confesses. Meanwhile, I immediately wonder if Reynold or Shamar have ever seen this show before.

Reynold says he wasn’t going to play the idol because he thought everyone was voting for Shamar. However, now that it’s out he’s going to play it. Sure you are, Reynold.

Voting Time: Eddie votes for Shamar, Sherri votes for Allie, and the rest of the votes aren’t shown.

JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play an idol, Reynold doesn’t. We’ve got four votes for Shamar, five votes for Allie, and the second person to be voted out of “Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites” is…Allie.

Verdict: Nice to see the Fans finally playing, too bad they aren’t playing well. Don’t get me wrong, Sherri, Laura, and Michael could do well, but the rest left me scratching my head.

I had high hopes for Allie too. But, as a fan she should know that showmances will earn you a quick ticket home.

Who’s Going to Win? A Favorite. A Favorite is going to win. It’ll happen when a Fan trades their immunity necklace for a handful of magic beans.

Power Rankings Update: Michael Skupin’s first attempt at the Power Rankings didn’t go well. But at least nobody got hurt. He had Allie in spot eight while I had her in spot nineteen. The current score is now Team Skupin 8, Team Holmes 19.

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