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'Survivor: Caramoan' Recap: Episode 5

Reid Nakamura |
March 13, 2013 | 10:48 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

 Caramoan" (CBS)
Caramoan" (CBS)

This week’s episode of "Survivor: Caramoan" picks up at the Fans’ camp after they voted out Laura and—remarkably—everyone seems pretty calm.  With Shamar out of the game and the “Cool Kids” on the right side of the vote, all the hot heads are sitting pretty this time around. Sherri knows the odds are no longer in her favor, but she seems determined to keep her anger to herself. With the four men chummier than ever, now isn’t the time for the two women to rock the boat.

But Sherri has one last hope: Reynold played his idol, so there’s another one waiting to be found (or accidently stumbled across by a monkey. Because fingers seem to be the only prerequisite for finding one this season). In no time at all the whole tribe is scouring the forest, but the hunt doesn’t last long. Michael puts a curse on the whole process when he says, “As long as Reynold doesn’t find it. I don’t want him to find it.” As mandated by the rules of reality television, Reynold immediately finds his second idol in seven days.

ALSO SEE: 'Survivor: Caramoan' Recap: Episode 4

The reward challenge this week is another one very similar to ones we’ve seen on “Survivor” before. Each tribe has two players keeping baskets suspended in the air. The rest of the tribe tosses coconuts into the baskets, weighing them down. Whichever tribe drops both of their baskets first, loses. Holding the baskets are Matt and Michael for the Fans, and Phillip and Brandon for the Favorites. It’s another nail biter, with Brenda, Reynold, and Malcolm all scoring shot after shot. Sherri, on the other hand, fill’s Laura’s role this week, leading Jeff to call her “completely useless in this challenge.”

Her performance is a shame, because the stakes for this challenge are higher than they’ve ever been. This week, the reward isn’t some lame fishing gear, but real food. The array of meat, vegetables, and wine finally earns the producers the long sought-after gasps from the Survivors. With this reward on the line, everyone is playing to win, but Phillip hangs in the longest. The Favorites get to take home the food, which they are clearly more excited for than they were for the useless tarp.

At their camp, the Favorites are so bored of completely dominating at the challenge that they create their own drama. Brandon has spent the last few days waffling between letting his tribe vote him out and playing the game with a fiery passion. The tension between him and Phillip has been steadily growing for days, and the rest of the tribe is just waiting for him to explode.

And explode he does. Brandon doesn’t like the way Phillip acts like the leader of the tribe, so when he takes credit for their win, Brandon confronts him about it. He tells Phillip that he doesn’t like the way he condescends to everyone and acts like the leader no one asked for. Phillip, completely disconnected from reality, responds by saying, “you don’t slap the gift horse.” He thinks he’s letting Brandon stay in the game. Being the leader of “Stealth ‘R Us,” he decides who stays and who goes. Brandon is not at all satisfied by this answer (Gee, I wonder why) and goes on a rampage.

But before we get to that, let’s take a closer look at Brandon’s argument. When Phillip talks about the favor he did for Brandon by letting him in to his alliance, he says, “Can you drop the ‘Stealth ‘R Us’ thing? It’s like playing with a child. It’s demeaning.” On the spectrum of crazy things Brandon has said, this one falls pretty close to the truth. He goes on to say, “Nobody likes it. Nobody likes their f---ing name. Everybody, actually, doesn’t like you.” Again, Brandon is pretty accurate. We’ve already seen Malcolm note how easily the nicknames—and Phillip himself—could become annoying. So why will Brandon be remembered as the crazy one? That part comes next.

Brandon quickly realizes that he’ll never be able to reason with Phillip, so he throws a tantrum. If he’s going to be voted out, he’s going to give them a reason to vote him out. While not quite living up to his promise to burn and pee on things, Brandon does dump the tribe’s entire supply of rice and beans onto the ground. Somewhere between expletives, he shouts at Phillip, “I’m the author of my fate, buddy.”

And with that, “Survivor” suddenly became “The Real Housewives of Some Beach in the Philippines.” The rest of the episode is dedicated to this feud because the Favorites decide to forfeit the challenge. While sadly trying to pick the rice from the dirt, they agree there’s no need to waste their energy on the challenge when it would be better to just vote Brandon out.

At the challenge (which we may now never get to see), they tell Jeff they’d like to give up immunity, much to the Fans’ delight. For most, the story would end here, but Brandon isn’t satisfied. He continues to rage at Phillip, cursing and threatening to knock his head off. Jeff is worried about the possibility of a fist fight, so he calls Brandon over and awkwardly massages his shoulders. As Brandon threatens to kill Phillip for talking about his children, Jeff clings to him like Adrienne Maloof holding back a mid-meltdown Taylor Armstrong.

After a lot of shouting, Jeff lets the tribe vote out Brandon on the spot and sends him away to cool off. Brandon, who exited on his own (crazy) terms, counts this as a victory, but Phillip is the one still in the game. The rules of “The Real Housewives” state that she who remains calm always wins, no matter who is actually right. So despite having completely warranted grievances, Brandon let his inner crazy take over and Phillip came up smelling like roses. He may be just as crazy, but Phillip didn’t leave the tribe to starve, so he gets to stay.

Next week—when we return to The Philippines from the Jersey Shore—the real game continues and the time for the prophesized tribe swap seems to finally arrive.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Did you think the fight was entertaining or was it a little too "Bad Girls' Club” for your taste? Are you bummed we didn't get an immunity challenge? Is Julia a mute? Do you know who Julia is?

Reach Staff Reporter Reid Nakamura here.



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