And we’re back. This weeks episode picks up right where we left off last week with the favorites returning from their tribal council. Brandon starts spouting off at tribe member Dawn about her siding with Phillips alliance to help vote out Francesca. (This is where we get the honey badger line from. I had to look up honey badger because I thought he meant he was a pot smoking former LSU football player, and I wasn’t sure why he would call himself by that name (here’s who I’m talking about for anyone who’s confused). It turns out a honey badger is an actual animal know for its ferocious nature, and ability to fight off larger predators, so I guess things all make sense now). Brandon goes on to tell Eric he is going to start playing “diirrrty” (and can feel his uncle Russell’s blood flowing through him). Dawn breaks down and cries because Brandon is being mean. (Umm…hasn’t she played this game before, she’s sad people are being mean? Brandon was right she isn’t going to win this time either).
Over at the fans camp we are greeted by Shamar who is resting in the shelter while the rest of the tribe members are out working. (Later we learn Shamar has rested in the shelter for 19 hours straight, a claim he admits to). Apparently this is how you fly under the radar according to Shamar’s logic. By not doing anything his tribe mates will decide he doesn’t care about the game and he won’t be a target to get voted off. The only problem with this logic is that people tend to get upset when you sleep all day while they are out working on “surviving.” Allie says Shamar will have to be voted off at the next tribal council, stating that it is non-negotiable. (Oh, poor Allie, you’re going to be so surprised).
Heading back to the favorites, Brandon tells Cochran he’s had a change of heart and no longer wants to go through with his plans to play the game dirty. Phillip stumbles upon the conversation, and rebuffs Brandon when he says he wants to be told where the vote is going. Phillip says Brandon is “middle management” and that the CEO (Phillip has decided to turn the tribe into a corporation) only gives middle management information on a need to know basis. Brandon returns to tell fellow tribe members that Phillip is a bully who is trying to “Boston Rob them” and that they should try to “cut the head off the snake.”
This week we have a combined immunity/reward challenge. The challenge consists of three tribe members being pulled out to a floating platform where they will dive down and remove wooden poles to release 9 rings. After all the rings have been retrieved the tribe members are pulled back to shore, and three more tribe members have to get a ring to land on the three wooden posts for their team. The favorites dominate the early part of this challenge, as for reasons that are unclear only Sherri tries to recover rings for the fans team for the first several minutes of the challenge. The fans finally figure out to take turns going under to remove poles (after a lot of prompting from Jeff Probst) as the favorites are being pulled back to shore. The favorites land their first two rings before the fans have even reached shore, and end up with immunity and the reward (a full kit of fishing gear).
At the fans camp it’s time to play the blame game. Turns out this is pretty easy as basically everyone wants to blame Shamar. Reynold tells him his behavior is unacceptable and childish, to which Shamar responds “let it be childish then” (good come back). Reynold then tells Shamar he’s going to vote for him when Shamar asks what he’s going to do about his behavior. (Eddie is wearing the classic overconfident in my alliance smile throughout this fight). Reynold and Eddie approach Matt to invite him (and Michael) to the cool kid lunch table (at least for voting purposes). Matt and Michael then go and talk to Sherri and Laura from the ugly people alliance, (as opposed to the pretty people alliance made up of Eddie, Hope, Reynold and Allie) and it is decided that the vote should go for Allie. Does anyone else feel like the hidden idol is not so hidden on these newer seasons of Survivor? Reynold appears to look for about five minutes stating it’s usually under trees before lo and behold, there’s the idol under some tree roots. Reynold is super stoked about finding the idol. Unfortunately, he decided to wear his skinny khakis to play Survivor, and the idol forms a noticable bulge in his pocket which Laura spots before leaving for tribal council.
Time for the fans to head to their first tribal council. During tribal council Laura mentions seeing a bulge in someone’s pocket before they left (the producers were feeling nervous about the shows pg rating). Laura says she won’t saw he she’s talking about, so Jeff helps out by pointing out she’s been staring at Reynold while she was talking. Reynold then comes clean and tells everyone he has found the idol. After admitting he has the idol, and acknowledging it puts a target on his back, Reynold says he’s “going to play it tonight and be done with it.” He then tries to make Laura feel bad for ruining the “idol party” they could have had heading into the merge. Reynold doesn’t end up playing the idol, possibly because Sherri says she is sticking with her vote despite the recent developments. Sherri wasn’t part of the “pretty people” alliance, but the fans were theoretically voting as a family, (against Shamar) so Reynold may have been convinced by Sherri’s statement that his alliance was safe for this week. Matt and Michael end up voting with the outcast alliance, and Allie ends up being the first fan voted out over Shamar by a count of 6-4.
The preview for next weeks episode shows Shamar throwing a fit over people writing his name down at tribal council (no one from his alliance voted for him but apparently this doesn’t matter). (They are probably regretting not voting him out right around now). And on the favorites side Brandon has changed his mind about being nice again, saying he will pee in the rice and beans and burn the shelter to the ground. (I’m sure there’s already rat pee in the rice and beans so that’s not such a big deal, but burning the shelter seems excessive). See you next Thursday to recap if Brandon made good on his threats.