Reward Challenge – I love, love, love this reward challenge. And Phillip managed to make a challenge which can be incredible completely pathetic. He’s done a great job in challenges this season – but not this one. This is the Palau challenge where the tribes start out on opposite sides of a long roped off oval in knee-deep water. Each has a 20-lb. sack attached to them, and the whole tribe is linked to each other. The object is to catch the other tribe. If a member decides to quit, they have to give the weight to someone else. Gota sat out Brenda – who spent the challenge doing some fun cheers and “woo” dances. The reward is a coffee show with coffee, cookies, brownies and other pastries.
Phillip decided he was the best on his tribe to do this – and he was wrong. First of all, Bikal had no real chance of winning this challenge. Even so, they needed to try. So, how do they do this? The only chance was surprise. They should have come out sprinting and try to catch Gota off guard. It probably wouldn’t have worked, but at worst; they could have given themselves a bit of a bubble to fend off Gota for longer. Maybe they could have prompted one or more of the Gota members to slip up and mess up. But that wasn’t the strategy. Instead, they chose a different plan. They would walk. Walk. WALK!!! That was the plan. Walk. Needless to say, Gota caught them with only a light jog. Phillip kept saying he was conserving his strength because the women would tire. And, of course, he tired and fell.
Immunity Challenge – Three of them have to paddle an outrigger out into the water, clip it to a mooring, and dive down and free up a statue. Then load it onto the boat and come back to shore. The rest of them have to unload it onto a platform and have one of them toss a grappling hook onto the beach to reel in a ring with a key on it. Next they have to unlock the platform and haul the statue up a ramp. Sherri sits it out. Brenda, Erik and Eddie are on the boat against Dawn, Corinne and Lord Snow. Bikal almost capsizes twice, barely hanging on. Gota gets a little turned around as well, but both arrive at the shore fairly closely matched, with Gota slightly ahead. It was tough hauling the statue on the boat and paddling it back. The strain on Corinne and Dawn’s faces is evident. That was difficult.
Reynold is tossing. Again. He is good at hooking. Maybe Richard Gere will buy him for the weekend. He gets three before Phillip begins. Phil catches up a bit and trails 4-3 before Reynold gets the final one and wins. Watching the challenge – Phillip is trying. His pants are on fire – even the purple underpants.
Tribal Council – Leading up to the vote, Phillip drops Boston Rob’s name again, calling him the best player he had the opportunity to play Survivor with. Ok, comparing him to the rest of that Redemption Island tribe, or the merged tribe, is not really fair. And doesn’t that sentence just insult everyone else sitting around you at that very moment? Corinne looks forward to writing his name down and saying, “This is what Boston Rob would do.” Heh. Although…he didn’t.
Julia is by far the safe, smart vote for the tribe. Corinne pushed back against the 2-2 split vote to account for the idol, but it is, again, the right move. Lord Snow describes his plight as being akin to a cat clinging to a tree for three days. Julia says something about improv, and comfort…I don’t know. For a Survivor player, she is a great race car driver. The vote is tied 3-3, as the fans’ vote for each other. In the revote, Corinne gets to keep her gay and the game is screwed if they have to drive around in a circle at any point coming up.
Treemail Top 10
• A lot of bodily functions in this episode. Julia thought she was going to pee herself after the ZZ Top vote out. Dawn speculated that the reward was going to give Gota a “diarrhea fest.” Coincidentally, Diarrhea Fest won the Battle of the Bands my senior year of high school. Also, I assume there is a diarrhea fest constantly, in all seasons of Survivor. Thank you CBS for NEVER showing any of them.
• Glad to see Cochran getting more attention, and that some of it is finally not based around his awkwardness or weakness in challenges.
• Let’s talk about Brenda for a moment – even if the show never does. This could have been the perfect Brenda episode – and she never spoke in a confessional. She got to cheerlead the team during the Reward Challenge – and she’s a former Miami Dolphin cheerleader. And as a Dolphins fan, I’m doubly appreciative of that. She runs a paddleboard company and the Elimination Challenge had her paddling a boat. And the Show finally remember how hot she is by giving two freeze frame moments – Brenda stretching out her body to clip the boat to the mooring, and a close up of Brenda’s body underwater. Thank you show – and please, more Brenda. Even if it is just her repeating over and over again while tripping on caffeine – “Muffin, Muffin, Muffin.” Her own muffin songs.
• Classic Probst – “If this is a challenge strategy, it’s a strange one….Gota is like a tiger stalking its prey.”
• Dawn regarding Phillip – “He is so arrogant…he sees all of his strengths, and none of his weaknesses.”
• Malcolm crazy on caffeine was even more likable than regular likable Malcolm, but then he had to go and say that all Gota does is “win challenges and party.” Great. He’s been hanging around with Reynold for way too long.
• All Erik gets this week for screen time is him, passed out on coffee house floor stuffed full of muffins still holding the remnants of a donut in his hands.
• Corinne called Phillip a “tubby lunchbox,” which may be the greatest insult ever. And was the title of the episode. He’s also ten pounds of potatoes crammed into a five pound sack. I would be very pleased as a fan of good one-liners to have Corinne, Cochran and Malcolm go pretty far this season.
• Julia was going to be Phillip’s “double agent” come merge time. Of course, she instantly told Dawn her mission. Worst. Double. Agent. Ever. She will never be the new Nicholas Brody. Stick to the car racing – just don’t get yourself in the plot of Cars 2. Even Mater managed the spy business better.
• I never, ever want to know what a Foo Pah is. Or maybe that’s just Julia’s Stealth R Us nickname.
Vote #1– Lord Snow 3 (Julia, Phillip, Cochran), Julia 3 (Lord Snow, Dawn, Corinne).
Revote – Julia 4 (Corinne, Phillip, Cochran, Dawn), Lord Snow 0
Next week – We merge. And the challenge is a gross food challenge.