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Survivor: Caramoan – Ep 2 – Honey Badger Don’t Care

We are back for the second epis…

Awww, hell, Dawn is crying again. I guess we are back on South Pacific. I am sure Ozzy will help her out. What? Oh, no, this isn’t a rerun. OK, so Brandon went crazy and…

Come on, I am sure we are still watching South Pacific. Next thing you know Cochran will be giving a confessional in a weird position. SEE! There he is on some weird rock throne borrowed from the set of the Aquaman movie they made on “Entourage.” This IS South Pacific!

Wait, no, it is Caramoan, because Philip is there and he’s talking about Stealth R Us…

Wait, it can’t be Redemption Island all over again because Boston Rob isn’t there and Andrea isn’t fading into the background of the majority alliance. Um…I’m so confused.

OK, this is a new season. I have confirmation because unlike Gabon and Nicaragua, they have failed to provide ample shots of Brenda’s bikini body or of Corinne making biting comments about her tribesmates. Have any of the favorites actually had any amount of character development (yeah, I know they are real people, but still) since they last played the game? Philip is still weird, Dawn still cries, Brandon is still crazy, and the others have all regressed in the background in the shadow of the huge personalities.

So the Favorites are acting like amateurs, I am sure the Fans will show a deep understanding and knowledge of the game and not make any really stupid beginner mistakes.

Oh, crap.

Sgt. Hulka is fulfilling every unfortunate stereotype this show has ever been accused of employing. He is proud to have spent 19 hours in the shelter one day. Needless to say, the rest of the tribe has had it up to here with him. He is big and loud – his words – and won’t do work around camp. If he is trying to win Survivor, he is failing miserably, because this is not a winning formula. If he is trying to be the latest in a long line of characters that annoy and get carried deep into the game, then he is doing a bang up job. And boy, the argument style of yelling the same thing over and over again and closing with “Shut up” is totally endearing.

That said, despite it all, I am kinda digging Sgt. Hulka. Sue me.

The Lovers Alliance still thinks they are in charge, despite having only four members. Correction – for some reason they think the M&M Boys are going to be on their side. My question – why oh why, would the M&M Boys do that? They are a clear-cut minority in that alliance – why would two dudes link up with two couples? They have a better shot at being in the Alliance of Six with Hulka and the other three women.

Reynold has pulled a Hantz better than Brandon ever will – and this is not the sabotage angle. He has gone off and found an immunity idol with no clues. Good for you, Rey. Boo on you Show for making it too easy again. However, Reynold’s vanity and his tight pants come back to haunt him as he tried to stuff the tiny idol in his pocket. Jeez, how tight were his pants? That was a small medallion on a cloth necklace! And what are you doing wearing skintight pants on Survivor? When will these people learn how to dress properly for this show? And isn’t he a friggin’ Super Fan?!?! Rule #1 – don’t get caught with the idol before you can use it to your benefit.

Kudos to Laura for – um – checking out his bulge as they left for Tribal. And, might I add, that as a progressive, confident-in-his-own-sexuality, heterosexual man, I am already uncomfortable talking so much about the bulge in Reynold’s pants. Just as I am already over talking about Brandon going crazy and threatening to do Russell Hantzian things. Although, if he wants to keep calling himself a honey badger, I am perfectly fine with that. Honey badger don’t care.

Another thing, Fans. When you game plan for a challenge, game plan for the friggin’ challenge! It was not hard to understand that when you get three people to dive in the water to complete a task that you should send three people perfectly capable of diving (See Breasty McImplants last season), and that you actually use them all. The Faves did a fine job of rotating Erik, Andrea and Brenda, while Sherri the Cougar tried to do the whole thing herself and, of course, ran out of breath. The Fans were in a huge hole by the time they got their act together.

So basically, while somewhat entertaining, we had a fairly lazy episode of Survivor. There were a couple of bright spots though – and not just Cochran’s rock chair.

1 – The Cougar has game. And so does Laura, very quietly. Laura and Sherri were the ones to notice the break off Lovers Alliance last week and gathered up the rejected others to form a competing alliance. Laura noticed the aforementioned bulge and acted on it by calling out Reynold at Tribal Council – thus backing him into a bit of a corner. Sherri not only instigated the alliance, but also noticed the value of Hulka as a number and as a source to absorb attention and vitriol. These two could be very dangerous

2 – Stealth R Us. If you didn’t realize it from the previous episode, we have a six-person alliance with the Faves too. Phillip seemingly runs it, but I wonder if we will eventually learn of who is calling the shots behind the scenes. However, he has resurrected the Stealth R Us name from his pairing with Boston Rob and Grant back in S22. This time, The Specialist has doled out names to the other five members of the alliance – and nice to see that Dawn/Cochran are now officially part of the majority this time. We learn their new names in a strange moment as the crew breaks the fourth wall and addresses the camera crew. Let’s hope the boom mike guy doesn’t have a thing for Andrea. The names – Malcolm=The Enforcer, Andrea=The Eliminator, Corinne=The Dominatrix (still awesome), Cochran=Intelligencia Attache (um, ok), and Dawn=True Grit. No eyepatch, I assume. I did love how The Eliminator did a cute little wave at the camera as it panned the group. I hope the Gorilla and the Lion make an appearance this season as well.

3 – Brandon and Erik. How did this happen? How did these two become a duo? Did they link up because they share the moronic distinction of handing over immunity and getting booted after doing so? However, I did love how Erik stood nearby like Beavis as Brandon went the Full Butt-head and started to compare himself to Russell, Rambo and turn the word “dirty” into two separate words. IF they stick around, the Beavis and Butt-head alliance could be fun to watch.

4 – I would like to see a tribal shuffle and the alliance of Brenda, Malcolm, Julia and Hope emerge because I wonder if an alliance formed and never spoke, would it make a sound?

Challenge – Boo! No separate reward challenge! This one takes place at the 19 minute mark in the episode and telegraphed the idol footage, in my opinion. The winning tribe earns immunity and fishing gear. The best part of the challenge…Phillip failing to stick the flag into the sand. Never change, Specialist.

In this challenge, three sit on a raft and are pulled out to an underwater cage by three other people. Once out there, the three dive down and pull out bamboo rods to free up nine rings. They get pulled back and the last three toss them at three poles – the first to three wins the challenge. Beavis/Andrea/Brenda dive against Cougar/Hope/Julia. Butt-head/Corinne/Cochran(!) pull against Hulka/ZZ Top/Eddie. And Malcolm/Phillip/Dawn toss against Reynold/Mike/Allie/.

Highlights – Cougar is great until she runs out of gas. The Faves work like machines. They hold a 9-2 lead in rings before the Fans swap out. Hulka’s well-rested strength helps them catch up somewhat, but by the time they get to the beach Malcolm had already landed two rings. Reynold gets one quickly and you start to wonder if he’s going to catch up to Malcolm once again, but Phillip lands the third one and the Faves go nuts.

Tribal Council – Interestingly, it seems that the Fans view Eddie and Hope as a couple despite the Intense Snuggling Session enjoyed by Reynold and Allie. Hey, as a longtime Yankee fan, how did I miss THIS reference?
Michael makes a baseball reference though (see what I did there?) by comparing their poor strategizing to that of a team leaving their pitcher off the field. Laura called out Rey’s idol and the Fans’ tribe just got interesting. He vowed to play the idol right then and there. Like Malcolm last season – interestingly, a season none of these fans watched – Rey bluffed. Now he is a man with a big target on his back. His big chance remains to convince the M&M Boys to come over to join the remaining three pretty people. Tell them it is better to be part of a Group of Five than a Group of Six. Tell them there is an idol in the mix. Tell them Hulka goes next. Tell them whatever you have to.

If not…pray for a tribal shuffle. Or for Butt-head to come by and pee on somebody.

Treemail Top 10
• If voting out Francesca was one of the harshest things he has ever seen in his life, then Butt-head should consider himself lucky. And, good for Michael for instantly realizing the irony of her first boot repeat.
• Did Cochran really compare Butt-head to a psychopath? Granted, Lil Hantz continues to be volatile, but come on Cochran.
• I don’t recall Boston Rob bringing up anything about telling people on his tribe that they belong in middle management and have opinions that don’t matter at all. And yet, there’s Phillip supposedly following the BR Rules, and doing just that to Butt-head. What I think is scarier…Brandon Hantz managing anyone.
• To his credit though, Lil Hantz’s comparison of The Specialist to the Pink Panther and Inspector Gadget was hysterical and perfectly in character. I’m sure that’s the level of TV viewing he’s enjoyed over the years. He’s the same old Brandon this season, but he doesn’t have Coach there to take the edge off.
• During the Stealth R Us sequence, the very next shot is of a wacky Specialist Dance. Interestingly, Brenda is now in the shot. Was she there for all of that? Or was this a strange edit. I think it was creative editing.
• Eddie upon losing the fishing gear – “Oh well, no fish here anyway.” That’s a great attitude there, Ed.
• Vote For Shamar Day. Do we get off from work for it…because…makes sense, right?
• ZZ Top made a great point which would have worked on some others but not this crew. Vote out Hulka and the M&M Boys and ladies would still lead 5-4. But that forgets about Cougar’s need for having Hulka around.
• Let me just say, that only on this show would Laura not be considered one of the pretty people.
• Reynold wanted to make sure he “checked himself” before Tribal Council re: idol. Presumably, he also checked himself before he wrecked himself.

Votes – Allie 6 (Hulka, Cougar, ZZ Top, Michael, Julia, Laura), Hulka 4 (Allie, Rey, Eddie, Hope)

Next week – More Hulka drama. More Butt-head drama. More aspirin in my house.

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