Shamar infuriates his tribe by only exerting himself when it coms to arguing with others

By Dalton Ross
February 27, 2015 at 11:23 PM EST
Monty Brinton/CBS
S26 E2
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Wow, another intense, confrontational episode of the unwieldy titled Survivor: Caramoan — Fans Vs. Favorites. Let’s get right to it! On second thought…that sounds like a lot of work. You know, typing and stuff. I actually think it makes more sense for me to stay in the shade of my homemade pillow fort and conserve my energy instead. And believe you me, I can stay in this pillow fort for the next 40 days if I want! Or at least 19 out of 24 hours for the next 40 days. (The wife would make me come out for showers, meal time, and to scoop the cat litter.) What, you say I have an obligation to readers to suck it up and get the recap done? You say I’m not puling my weight? You say that pillow forts are childish? WELL, LET IT BE CHILDISH! LET IT BE CHILDISH! LET IT BE CHILDISH! LET IT BE CHILDISH! LET IT BE CHILDISH! (I could keep repeating that all day. Or at least for the next 19 hours.)

Another reason for me not to get out of my pillow fort? Dehydration. My man Shamar is onto something with this. After all, in addition to the taxing exercise of striking a keyboard with my fingers repeatedly, there is the inevitable dehydration that comes with the downing of several beers in the process. I mean, why risk it, right? It’s just safer to stay in here, assuming the almost complete lack of oxygen doesn’t get me, that is. Wait, is that Brandon Hantz out there threatening to pee all over my pillow fort?!? Ugh! Fine! I’ll come out. But I haven’t even had a chance to yell “SHUT UP!” at anyone yet. Lame. Okay, fine, let’s recap this beyotch!

We begin with the Favorites returning from Tribal Council where they cemented their status as the meanest people on planet Earth by sending Francesca home first for the second time. “That’s the harshest thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” says Brandon. Dawn tells Brandon not to be mad, but he passed mad a long time ago. “I’m being vicious,” he informs her. “I’m a mother—-ing honey badger, dude.” Dawn reacts the exact way she promised me she would not react — by crying. Tear-free season, Dawn? LIAR! If you were wearing pants right now they would be on fire! (Which, come to think of it, could work out okay if you could tear them off quick enough and add to the campfire for boiling water and stuff.)

But Brandon isn’t done by a longshot. “I’m feeling vengeful,” he tells his fellow immunity-give-awayer, Erik. “I’m thinking of going Russell Hantz style on these mother—-ers right now!” (It’s unclear if “going Russell Hantz style” includes enduring shaving rashes under both armpits and sending out lots of drunken, profane tweets at all hours of the night.) “I honestly feel my uncle’s blood running through my body right now,” he continues. “It’s like the wave.” With this, Lil’ Hantz all of sudden morphs into Shabba Doo, turning the island into his own private Electric Boogaloo as he does a breakdancing wave motion beginning with his right hand, proceeding through his chest, and ending with his left arm. It’s actually a pretty decent move. I mean, I wouldn’t give him a solo dance with a broom outside of a convenience store just yet, but can you imagine, say, Cochran trying to bust that out? Although, in Cochran’s defense, he does already have the collar portion of the infamous Turbo dance on lockdown. He also has some pretty pimped out coral rock throne action going on as he delivers a confessional talking about how dangerous Brandon is in his unpredictability. How dangerous? Well, Cochran compares him to a “murderer”, so there you have it.

NEXT: Another challenge with Malcolm and Reynold throwing things

Thankfully, Brandon has calmed down by the next day. At least until Phillip goes and refers to him as “middle-management” to his face. (He also refers to him as “narcisstic” behind his back, and no, that is not a typo. More dry mouth perhaps?) I’d have to go back and reread The B.R. Rules, but I don’t remember one of them being “Make sure to tell people on your tribe how insignificant and unimportant they are.” Forget for a second that Brandon being a manager of any sort — middle, lower, or upper — is mildly frightening. You don’t tell the dude that. Needless to say, Lil’ Hantz is a lil’ pissed. “You don’t want to fight with me, Special Agent Pink Panther! Inspector Gadget thought he could pull out his special tricks!” Now, hold on a second, Brandon. Honestly, your odds in a fight against either the Pink Panther or Inspector Gadget are most likely slim-to-none. Their track records speak for themselves. But now you want to take on both of them at once? That’s pure tomfoolery. You don’t have a chance. Choose your battles, man. And stop picking on cartoon characters!

Meanwhile, over on the Fans tribe, Shamar is busy bragging about how little he is doing. Interesting strategy! Although might it work getting him further in the game, even as others complain about him? “I want Shamar to keep annoying people because Shamar is my Phillip,” says Sherri. Tricky strategy, even if it worked for Boston Rob. Obviously, if you can carry that person to the end, the votes will come easy. But if that person helps tear your tribe apart in the process and you therefore go into the merge down in numbers, then you may not have a chance to make it to the end anyway. But there’s no doubt that Shamar is a key piece to the puzzle in getting rid of the Flirty Foursome now, so protect him Sherri must.

Challenge time! This week’s challenge is a reward/immunity combo, and the rules are simple: Do your best to avoid being hit by Phillip’s falling tribe flag. (Sorry, Corinne! You’re out!) Actually, it’s even better than that because we are heading back into — and under — water. Three people on each tribe will race to a raft, which three other people will then pull via rope out to a platform. The three raft folk then must dive underwater and pull out bamboo sticks which will release 9 rings that must be collected and brought back to shore. Finally, the three remaining members of each tribe will attempt to toss those rings onto posts. First team to get 3 rings on posts wins immunity and fishing gear.

And the Favorites win! Wait, they haven’t even started the challenge yet. How do I know they win, then? Because they are showing Shamar before the challenge arguing with the his tribe about his role and the fact nobody is listening to him. If the Fans were to win, this would not be an issue and therefore would not be shown. The fact they are showing it means one thing: they are about to lose. And lose they do. They are even unable to overcome several hilarious shots of Cochran pulling rope about as unathletically as one can look pulling rope. The big problem occurs when Sherri does not switch out in the diving portion, while the Faves of Erik, Brenda, and Andrea switch early and often. Not even Reynold’s Jordanesque tossing ability can stop the Faves from celebrating and yelling “The Specialist!” as Phillip scores the final point. (Speaking of which: curious that Malcolm was once again on throwing duty even after his failure in the last challenge. Is this guy ever going to get a chance to use his strength?)

NEXT: Hey, let’s all stare at Reynold’s crotch!

The celebration continues for the Favorites back at the beach in a really weird un-Survivor like scene. The general rule for contestants on Survivor is to not address the camera at all unless they are taking part in a one-on-one confessional interview. So when they are on the beach, they are instructed to go about their business and talk to each other, but only acknowledge the camera’s existence when in a designated interview session which serves as narration for the show. The point of this is to at least give the illusion that there is no interference from outside elements as the players live amongst each other. Essentially, the goal of production is to make you, the viewer, forget that the cameras exist. You’re just there eavesdropping on the conversations taking place.

Yet here we have a scene that goes completely against that prime directive, as Phillip blatantly addresses the camera and goes down the line of alliance-members, telling us about all their Stealth-R-Us nicknames: The Intelligence Attaché (Cochran) The Enforcer (Malcolm), The Eliminator (Andrea), The Dominatrix (Corinne), and True Grit (Dawn). As he does this, many of the so dubbed agents make goofy faces at the camera while they are introduced. It is mildly funny, to be sure, but also just feels odd because it is so un-Survivor like in the way they are all clearly addressing and playing up to the camera. This breaking down of TVs proverbial fourth wall caught me a bit of-guard. And, more than likely, I am the only one who even noticed or cared about it, so I’ll move on.

Over on the Fans tribe, the inevitable backlash to the failed challenge preparations has already begun. “Your behavior is not acceptable where I come from,” Reynold tells Shamar. That comment might have more merit if Reynold did come from a place where four person alliances in a group of 10 were considered powerful. In any event, Reynold keeps calling Shamar unacceptable and Sharmar keeps yelling “Let it be childish” over and over. Repeating phrases over and over seems to be Shamar’s big go-to move. Even the semi-famous You Tube video of him yelling at police officers is basically him merely alternating between “There is no honor in this!” and “How do you do this to people?” ad nauseum. A bit repetitive, that guy.

While Matt tries to decide which alliance to stick with, Laura makes a motion to oust Allie because she’s “the only one of the four pretty people that’s really thinking.” Or is she? Reynold realizes now might be a good time to go hunting for a hidden immunity idol, and he does not need to hunt for long, finding the HII. But the last thing Reynold wants to do is  — ahem — show off his package. “I’m trying to just check myself, be smart about it, not walk back to camp with some giant, stupid grin on my face and a huge bulge in my pocket.” Well, easier said than done for some of us, Reynold. Just sayin’.

But it turns out Reynold’s concern is valid, because apparently, Laura can’t stop staring at his enormous package. “Right before we’re about to leave for Tribal Council, I see a bulge in Reynold’s pocket,” Laura tells us. “And it seemed like there was definitely something in it.” Oh, there’s something in it all right, Laura. [Cue seventies bass-heavy porn music.] So as the tribe heads to Tribal Council, many questions abound. Will Matt and Michael join the hotties or the notties? Will the notties vote for Allie or Reynold? Will Reynold use, pass, or hold on to the idol? And will Shamar agree to vacate the shelter premises for a few hours to attend Tribal Council or would that be too dehydrating?

At Tribal, everyone talks openly about the Flirty Foursome and the fact that…. Hold on a second. WHO THE HELL IS THAT?!? There is some brunette woman I swear we’ve never seen before sitting here at Tribal Council. Where did she come from? Can the Intelligence Attaché please get me a file on this woman, pronto? Oh, here it is. Thanks, Intelligence Attaché. Tell The Specialist that The Analyst is on the case, Okay, let’s see here. This says her name is Julia…and, well, we don’t know anything else about her because she has yet to open her mouth. Hmmm…. Known accomplices include operatives in Nicaragua (Code Name: Purple Kelly), Samoa (Code Names: Boring Brett, Little Leif, and Cowboy Rick) and — what’s this? — she has another advance operative already working right here in the Philippines (Code Name: Carter Spikoli). Looks like we’ll have to keep an eye on her…as opposed to an ear, since she’s not likely to say anything anytime soon.

NEXT: My (better-late-than-never) picks to win it all!

Talk next turns to Shamar. Reynold and Eddie say the problem is that he never does anything. Shamar says the problem is that he’s big and loud. Guess what, guys? You’re all right! Before voting, Laura talks about the bulge in Reynold’s pocket — and I really am trying my best to keep this clean, people — so Mr. Giant Package whips it out and says, “I’m going to play it tonight and be done with it.” At this point, everyone should immediately change their votes to Reynold because this is clearly a bluff of Malcolm Frebergian proportions. People that say they are going to use their idol never do.

They don’t change their votes, Reynold predictably pockets the idol — just check out that bulge! — and Allie is sent home, which I suppose in Reynold’s eyes is what she gets for being “not the cutest.” (She brought this on herself!) That’s too bad. According to Laura, Allie may have been an interesting player. She just went with the wrong group with the wrong numbers.

Speaking of numbers, I have been out of my pillow fort for way too long. I can feel the dehydration coming on! But before I go, in all my excitement last week I forgot to make my always anticipated — and almost always inaccurate — episode 1 pick to win it all, so I will reveal it now based on what I saw last week (no cheating with episode 2 stuff here). In the last Fans vs. Favorites I picked one Fan (Alexis) and one Fave (Cirie). Not bad. Alexis got 6th and Cirie got 3rd and would have actually won the damn thing had the show not switched back to a final 2 due to all the non-scheduled exists (James, Penner, Kathy).

In keeping with that tradition, I picked one from each tribe this season as well. For the Faves, I wanted to pick a player that was both under the radar and not crazy (a difficult combo with this group). That left me choosing between Andrea and Dawn. I liked that Andrea came out a lot less passive than last time, but thought playing both sides against each other so early was a bit dangerous. So Dawn it is. (But enough with the crying, woman!) The Fans were much tougher because almost everything we saw of them last week was the Flirty Foursome and I sure as hell was not picking one of them. Had I had the benefit of this week’s episode, I would have seen that Sherri and Laura could be running the show. But I didn’t, and liked the way Michael and Matt were carefully considering their options last week. So I picked Michael, and feel reasonably good about the decision. So there you have it: Dawn and Michael. Do me proud, you two!

Good news! Jeff Probst once again breaks down last night’s episode in our exclusive Q&A, so be sure to read what the host with the most has to say. Also, we have your exclusive deleted scene waiting for you in the video player below. And we’ll be talking to Allie on this week’s edition of the InsideTV Podcast, so look forward to that. And if you want more Survivor news and views delivered straight to your virtual doorstep, follow me on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

Now it’s your turn. Are you Team Reynold? Team Shamar? Or Team Neither? Rooting for the Fans or the Faves? And do you want to see Brandon go all Russell Hantz on the tribe? Hit the message boards to let us know and I’ll be back next week with another scoop of the crispy!

Jeff Probst leads adventures in the ultimate (and original) reality series.
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