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Survivor: Caramoan – Ep 4 – The Filipino Gollum

The Shamar Show. You were cancelled before your time. Just like Firefly. And Freaks and Geeks. And The Chevy Chase Show. Oh, ok, maybe not that last one.

Actually, now that I think about it, yeah, The Shamar Show was just as horrible as the Chevy Chase Show. But at least it is over.

Nothing against Sgt. Hulka – his service is amazing, and I am sure he’s a nice guy outside of the game, but boy, it was incredibly tiring to watch Hulka fight with his tribe. I don’t think I could have made it much long with that kind of crazy – because, goodness knows, there is more than enough crazy going on already. And based on the coming attractions…there’s an insane amount of Hantzian crazy coming next week.

Hulka was a horrible Survivor player. The funny thing is – he really looked on paper like he was going to be a very good Survivor player. Not sure what happened, but boy, what a disappointment. And, not to belittle his injury – because it looked legit – but he didn’t even go out in a bad-ass Skupin Falls In The Fire way. In fact, this ranks up there with James’ punctured finger back in the original FvF. Interestingly, we have the two FvF racking up the injuries – three hurt and one almost insane. Let’s see how many more similarities the two seasons have – if we have an all-Faves finale, then we may have a trend.

But, Hulka’s removal from the game due to his scratched cornea (ouch) put the Fans in a must win situation for the Elimination Challenge. As correctly mentioned last week by Cougar, if Hulka quit, it could lead to them losing two players in rapid succession and a bad numbers deficit. He chose not to quit then, but couldn’t avoid it this time. And might I add…I did NOT enjoy the eye touching that Survivor Medical had to do with him. I still have the heebie jeebies from that. Even if there was some sort of magical, Snape-brewed orange potion used to check for the eye injury.

The Fans were experiencing some serious Boy Who Cried Wolf Syndrome as Hulka lounged and complained. Michael said that Hulka couldn’t find his “happy place,” but who can? Reynold thought he was an effin’ Marine, he should be tougher. At least later on when it became clear that Hulka was not faking it, Rey had a mea culpa. Of course, he did also call him lazy and disrespectful…so, that apology sucked.

Bye bye Hulka. You made it through two tours of duty in Iraq without getting hurt, but one week on Survivor put you in the hospital. That’s messed up.

So, the Fans have to win the Elimination Challenge or they will fall into a 9-6 numbers hole. Even with a tribal shuffle, that could potentially leave them in the minority on both tribes. We have yet another puzzle-free challenge – and another water-based one. The challenge had five Survivors climb over a tile bridge in the water – often leading to some epic falling down – and eventually swimming out to a big platform. Once there, they leap with a small Quidditch bat and smash a tile dangling above. That frees up a key, which they retrieve and bring back. Once all five have done it, the other two have to find the three keys that work on a locked trunk. They then take out balls and have to knock over a bunch of blocks. The Faves sit out Dawn and Corinne. The challenge is basically won in the first moments. Cougar and Erik are the first two swimmers – with Erik continuing to prove his status as Ozzy-lite on water challenges. Meanwhile, Cougar misses the tile and has to climb back on and go again. Brandon’s second leg is just as good, and ZZ Top is unable to make up much ground. On the third leg, Brenda essentially laps the Fans and finishes – despite a huge fall – at the same time as ZZ Top. Eddie finally does a good job on a challenge and cuts into Andrea’s lead a bit. Julia’s fourth leg is going on as Malcolm gets the final key. Phillip and Cochran open the locks as Michael ends the last leg.

Essentially, Phillip and Reynold are the only one throwing. Cochran and Laura only opened locks – and not even that well. Phil has a huge lead before Rey throws a single toss. And, once again, Phillip is the key to a challenge. Anyone see Phil as being the challenge monster in a season with Erik, Malcolm, and a bunch of big fans? Rey makes a nice comeback, but Phil hits some clutch final shots – along with a fairly impressive pitching motion – and wins it. The Fans are in trouble.

The vote preparation led to an existential Survivor debate – Loyalty vs. Physicality. On the bright side, no matter what, Reynold’s idol was about to get flushed. He’d be crazy not to play it at this point. Clearly, the two young guys are in trouble – especially the idol-less Eddie. However, they get an unexpected savior in the form of ZZ Top. He’s had enough of losing challenges and thinks they need to keep the dudes. That presents the power Fan alliance with a choice – alliance or the strong guys. Laura points out the main point for keeping her instead of Eddie – in the likelihood of a tribal shift…the guys are more likely to bolt. This is classic Survivor tribe management – don’t clash too badly with the minority because they will abandon you at the first chance. Ask Galu about this – we call it the Shambo Factor.

Might I add…they ain’t actually tearing it up with Meathead and Pretty Boy. They’d probably be much better off staying together and hoping for better days coming up. At this point, the situation is very volatile. The Cougar/Julia/ZZ Top/Michael alliance could easily dissolve and turn into an all-male alliance. But they choose to go with boys – something the amount of Laura highlights shown in the “previously on Survivor” section gave away.

In fact, now that I think about it. Can anyone anticipate where any of the alliances are going? We have the Fan situation, as mentioned, and the Stealth R Us Alliance in the Faves tribe. Or, in other words…the entire Faves Tribe. The alliance of Phil/Cochran/Dawn/Malcolm/Corinne/Andrea was in clear control of the tribe – but now Phillip went ahead and added the other three into the group. This is now an alliance of nine. This is the strangest alliance in history. Who’s in power?!?

What the hell is going on this season, anyway? The next thing you know, one of them is going to go batshit crazy and tear down the joint.

Oh wait…

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