Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and more. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.
The season kicks off as a boat of ten unknown Americans speeds its way through the scenic Caramoan Islands. The group of strangers is too busy sizing each other up to realize that a much greater threat is lurking over the horizon.
Suddenly, their peaceful journey is interrupted by ten of the show’s most recent troublemakers, mistake makers, and bread makers in a pair of “Survivor” branded helicopters!
Meanwhile, Jeff Probst is standing precariously on a huge rock formation. As the two helicopters buzz around his Emmy award-winning head he says something about…
39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog
Let’s take a look at the tribes as they currently stand…
The Bikal Tribe (wearing purple)
Andrea – Entertainment Host and Writer, 23
Brandon – Chemical Disposal, 21
Brenda – Paddleboard Company Owner, 30
Cochran – Harvard Law Student, 25
Corinne – Pharmaceutical Sales, 33
Dawn – English Professor/Power Rankings Champ, 42
Erik – Comic Book Artist, 27
Francesca – Attorney, 38
Malcolm – Bartender, 25
Phillip – Chief Executive Officer of Enter Software Sales, 54
The Gota Tribe (wearing orange)
Allie – Bartender/Nanny, 25
Eddie – Firefighter/EMT, 23
Hope – Recent Graduate of the University of Missouri, 23
Julia – Racecar Driver/Student, 21
Laura – Administrative Officer, 23
Matt – Brand Manager of Two BMX Brands, 38
Michael – Event Planner, 44
Reynold – Sales, 30
Shamar – Iraq War Veteran, 27
Sherri – Fast Food Franchisee, 41
Another Quick Note: I’m going to apologize in advance for all of the times I confuse Hope, Allie, and Laura in this recap. I’m kind of hoping one of them gets voted out tonight to make my life easier.
The fans arrive at the beach and Michael immediately falls into the water. So much for first impressions. J-Pro welcomes them and then calls in the faves.
As the favorites are being introduced, Julia points out that Brenda is very dangerous. However, she doesn’t make the classic Francesca mistake of saying it directly to her face.
Reward Challenge Time: Two members from each tribe will race into the water to retrieve a ring. The first tribe to get the ring to their flag wins a point. First tribe with four points wins fire and twenty pounds of beans.
Fun Fact: Beans are known as a magical fruit. I’m an adult.
Round One: – Julia and Shamar defeated Erik and Dawn: Highlights include Erik being freaked out by how big Shamar is and Dawn dive tackling Julia. Good times.
Round Two: Andrea and Brandon beat Hope and Eddie: Kudos to Brandon for muscling his way to the win. That was an impressive piece of business.
Round Three: Brenda and Phillip got the best of Michael and Sherri: Bam, it was the Specialist’s turn to show some muscle.
Round Four: Cochran and Francesca topped Matt and Laura: Francesca owned that one. Nice to see her taking her second chance by the horns.
Round Five: Corinne and Malcolm got the win over Allie and Reynold: Whoa, that was intense. Malcolm managed to lose his shorts during the battle. So, if his tribe didn’t know much about him going in, they know plenty about him now.
After the break we meet up with the fans as they hit Gota beach. Matt immediately gets to work building a shelter while Shamar is more interested in fire and water. This leads to the first argument of the season. Well, that certainly didn’t take long.
Over at Bikal (which I’m told by Andrea is pronounced “Bi-Kal!” like a bird call) the favorites aren’t wasting any time getting to work. Phillip takes the lead in building the shelter. Apparently having an ocean view in the morning is very important.
The faves also don’t waste any time breaking into alliances. Dawn, Andrea, and Francesca are interested in starting a group with Phillip and Cochran. Francesca even tries to make peace with Phillip. They don’t hug and kiss, but Phillip doesn’t seem opposed to it.
Francesca thinks she’s in good shape as far as the game goes, she even says she’ll eat a rock if she’s voted out first. Oh man, ask Edna Ma how those kinds of proclamations work out.
Back at Gota, Shamar is leading a fire-making brigade. Why it took seven of them standing around, I’ll never know. But, kudos to them for making it happen. Only one of the three tribes had fire before the first immunity challenge in “Philippines.”
With their fire firmly in place, Shamar and Matt decide to make up.
At Bikal, Phillip breaks down his “BR” rules. Those are of course, the “Boston Rob” rules. For a former federal agent, his code names aren’t that hard to crack. Anywho, these rules involve forming an alliance, having an alliance within the alliance, and getting rid of your alliance before it gets rid of you. He doesn’t mention marrying the person who wins the million dollars.
Phillip gets to work recruiting Stealth R Us 2.0. First up, he brings Corinne on board with the codename “Dominatrix.” He also brings in Andrea as “The Eliminator” and Cochran as “The Intelligence Attaché.” Apparently Malcolm and Dawn are a part of this alliance too, but their codenames aren’t known at this point. He tries to bring Erik in as a sleeper alliance member, but Erik doesn’t seem that into it.
Back at Gota, Eddie and Reynold decide to partner up. They also bring in Allie and Hope. Reynold chooses Allie because he thinks she isn’t too good looking, and Eddie chooses Hope because he thinks she’s the best looking. That probably tells you everything you’re going to need to know about those two.
That night, Laura notices that Reynold and Allie are doing some serious cuddling. I might even go so far as to call it “groping.”
The next morning, we learn that Cochran has been charbroiled by the hot Caramoan sun. It’s so bad that he is swollen and has problems moving. This isn’t as funny now that I have to think of his poor mother watching it at home.
At Gota beach, Allie, Hope, Reynold, and Eddie have decided that they’re the cool kids’ lunch table. Eddie even goes so far as to say he doesn’t think they’ll invite anyone else over. That’s an awesome plan until the theater nerds and band geeks decide to vote you guys out.
Laura, Julie, and Sherri decide to align against the cool kids. Michael says he’s with them, but really he’s keeping his options open. He later approaches Matt and tells him that he wants them to work together. They’re like the odd couple.
Immunity Challenge Time: Players will pair up and race up a tower. They’ll find crates and throw them off of the tower to smash them. Then they’ll return and another pair will go. Once all twelve crates are smashed the last pair will gather the sandbags that were in the crates and throw them at targets. First tribe to hit all six targets wins immunity.
Wow, a lot going on here.
The tribes are very even throughout the tower section, but Brandon and Andrea manage to give the favorites a lead at the very end.
Malcolm is shooting for the faves while Reynold will throw for the fans.
By the time the fans start throwing, Malcolm has already hit three targets. But, Reynold catches fire, comes from behind, and wins it!
Politicking around camp starts off with Francesca wanting to get rid of Phillip or Corinne. Andrea, however, isn’t thrilled with how well Francesca has been communicating with her.
Andrea approaches Phillip with this concern and he’s giddy with the idea of voting Francesca out first again. It is kind of funny.
Cochran lets us know that he was worried about Dawn because he screwed her over last time. He thinks teaming with her is a good idea unless she has reinvented herself and it’s “A new Dawn.” Then he laughs at his pun. If he keeps that up Jeff Probst is going to steal his lunch money.
Next thing you know, everyone’s worried that Andrea is playing both sides. Dawn even says that she doesn’t know Andrea that well. However, we all know that’s a fib because they were on a Power Ranking team together. That bond runs deep.
That night at Tribal Council, fire represents life. It’ll do that.
Brandon doesn’t think anyone is going to be done like they were done last time.
Francesca is psyched that Phillip has learned how to pronounce her name. Phillip claims that he always knew how to say it, he was just doing it to mess with her.
Phillip says he’s heard his name tossed around. Everyone admits to some paranoia.
Andrea thinks everyone appreciates how she performs in challenges and how much she works around camp.
Cochran cites Boston Rob’s strategy of touching people on the shoulder to let them know who to vote for as a reason playing with returning players is exciting. Malcolm laughs and touches him on the shoulder.
Voting Time: Francesca votes for Andrea, Andrea votes for Francesca, and the rest of the votes are super secret.
Alright, we’ve got three votes for Andrea, three votes for Francesca, one vote for Andrea, two votes for Francesca, and the first person to be voted out of “Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites” is…Francesca.
Now Francesca has to eat a rock. She’s like Charlie Brown on Halloween.
Verdict: Brandon was wrong. Someone was done the way they were done before. Francesca is like the anti-Sandra.
That being said, we’re off to a hot start. The fans have a little more life than I expected. I look forward to seeing more from them.
Who’s Going to Win? Erik was my pre-game pick, but it looks like he’s on the wrong side of the majority alliance. But, the game is young.