Reward Challenge – None. They shuffled. And, again with the eggs filled with paint? Why do the Survivors continue to smash it on their clothes? You need some club soda to get that stain out! Just squash it in your hand. Oh well, at least they don’t have to eat them. At least not yet.
Immunity Challenge – Another strength challenge, although one which contains this season’s first puzzle. The tribes go out two by two to retrieve giant crates, which are rather heavy. They roll them back across a field to a large elevated platform. Once all six were retrieved, they had to build a staircase to the top of the platform – a crate staircase that spelled out fans vs. favorites on the side. That’s the puzzle part – and another challenge seen before on Redemption Island.
It wasn’t close. Erik and Eddie smoke Phillip and Julia on the first leg. Malcolm and Andrea combine to maintain the lead against Dawn and Michael. Reynold and Brenda whip through the challenge and have a huge lead on Matt and Corinne. By the time Erik and Sherri go, they have lapped Cochran and Phillip. Amazingly, Bikal decides to send Phillip back out for back-to-back legs, his third overall, despite being ridiculously behind. Needless to say, he and Michael are nowhere near Malcolm and Eddie. By the time Andrea and Reynold get the last one, Dawn and ZZ Top haven’t even gone on the field to get the final crate.
Phillip was visibly winded and by the time they finished and began to build the puzzle, he and Julia each gave differing instructions and when they finally hauled their first and only crate to the top…it was the one that belonged on the bottom. Gota worked as a machine. It was ugly and it was embarrassing. And for our sake, I hope it stops.
Tribal Council – ZZ Top expresses his fan love for the Faves on his new tribe. It is distinctly possible he has rethought that position. Julia apoke. And that is quite the accomplishment for her. Corinne implied that she would be willing to take Charlie II into the alliance in place of one of the current members. Phillip seemed surprised by this. He should be alarmed – because she means him. Phillips points out loyalty as his main concern, but Corinne and Cochran make it clear that they are afraid of the idol.
The whole episode led us towards a Julia vote out, but in the end, the four Faves elect to gamble on the idol and take out ZZ Top and keep the Silent One.
Treemail Top 10
• We learn in the post-Brandon return to camp that Lil’ Hantz’s tirade was directed at both Phillip and Corinne. That was something oddly edited out of the previous episode. She points out to Erik and Brenda that their former ally screwed them too.
• Corinne was on fire with the quips – She managed to compare Brandon to Mel Gibson and Phillip to a screaming baby on an airplane with diarrhea. And she thinks Phillip needs a “warm glass of shut the hell up.” HA!
• Even if the previews didn’t ruin the surprise of the shuffling, obvious lines like Phillip’s bragging that the fans were worn and beaten and Reynold’s begging for a shifting in the game were a dead giveaway of what was to come.
• Cochran’s “student of the game” assessment of the tribal shift…the game has started anew. Brilliant. Thank you Captain Obvious.
• For someone so incredibly beautiful, Brenda has gotten surprisingly no screen time whatsoever. There is a Buffalo-born friend and reader of this column who is rather upset about this. Make some changes about this injustice, Mark Burnett!
• True to form, Eddie thinks the new Gota is the “young, good-looking tribe.” If this guy doesn’t show up on every dating reality show, and Kardashian-based E! show in existence, I would be stunned.
• Corinne’s attitude changed instantly once Michael joined her tribe. She calls him “her gay.” I have heard that term before, and to be honest, I don’t know how it isn’t a slur. Just think about how that would sound if other groups had their names substituted in place of “gay.” I don’t think Corinne – or the many others who have used it – mean anything by it, but I’m just saying.
• The double take from Dawn when Corinne told her Phillip was trying to recruit Julia for no reason was one of the best you’ll ever see. That should be bottled and sold.
• With the loss of Hulka and ZZ Top, I am losing nicknames. So, maybe I’ll grant a new one. Perhaps it is because I am doing a multi-day marathon of Game of Thrones right now, but I think Michael will now be Lord Snow (his last name is Snow). The north remembers.
• Malcolm lied to Andrea about the idol in a scene that seemed somewhat out of place. I wonder if that will come back to haunt him.
Votes – ZZ Top 4 (Corinne, Cochran, Dawn, Phillip), Julia 2 (ZZ Top, Lord Snow), Dawn 1 (Julia)
Next week – Phillip falls down during one of my favorite challenges, and Malcolm thinks he is about to take control of the game.