Big Brother 13 2nd runner-up Adam Poch is recapping Survivor Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites for us, focusing on Matt “the Beard” Bischoff – BMX salesman & lead singer of the metal band Moonbow.
Ahhh – the first episode of the season. For Survivor fans – this is like Christmas morning. You run downstairs and rip open the wrapping paper to find all the new toys you got this year. Well, this year your parents were a little cheap, and decided to wrap some old gifts that you loved. That’s right, CBS has decided to yet again bring back returning players. At this point, I do not think we will see an all-new cast again, but hey, it’s their network, their show, they can do what they want. In this installment though – the veteran players are not mixed in with the newbies (yet). I like the idea that the newbies can all work together and start playing the game their way without being influenced directly by the vets.
It is always so awkward watching the first few moments of each season – as the players are being brought in, and not allowed to talk to each other. First impressions are all you have to decide who you like and who you don’t like. Host Jeff Probst welcome’s the 10 newbies and informs them they are playing against 10 of the more memorable players from the past few seasons. Once all 20 of this year’s contestants are on the beach, it’s time to get to the first reward challenge. The reward is pretty important this early in the game – a flint to start fires & 20 lbs of beans. If you are not familiar with Survivor, food is very scarce. They give you a bag of rice – but you have to catch fish (or insects) if you want any protein. So a bag of beans is a HUGE reward this early into the game.
Next, Two vs Two, the tribes had to fight to bring a buoy from one side of the water to their pole. The Fans were off to a good start when Shamar & Julia got the first point vs. Erik & Dawn. The Favorites won the next 2 points – but then round 4 had Matt & Laura vs Cochran & Francesca. On paper this would look like a mismatch as Matt is a way stronger ginger than Cochran. The Favs realized this and decided to have Francesca match up with Matt while Cochran worked on Laura. Matt looked like he was going to get the point until Francesca “woman-handled” him, yes she did drag him down by his hair. What could have been a tie game turned out to be another point for the Favs. Matty – you got beat by a girl… not very metal. But it’s the first challenge and I am sure nerves were still running wild, so I will cut you some slack… this time! The Favs end up winning, sending the Fans back to their beach with nothing to show for themselves.
This is where Survivor gets fun. The first day you need to do a lot to turn a raw beach into your camp. There always seems to be drama with how to set up camp – what’s the most important thing to do first, build a fire, or build a shelter? Matt said it’s more important to get a shelter built and started leading the charge. It seemed like everyone else was on board with this idea as they all started to help… well, everyone but Shamar. As an ex-USMC, you would think he would know how to be a team player, but instead started getting into an argument with Matt. Yep – only a few hours in and the honeymoon is over. Another aspect of Survivor that makes it so much fun to watch – you need to work well within your tribe so you can compete in the challenges together – but at the same time, if your tribe loses the Immunity Challenge, you will have to vote someone out. Shamar being the biggest and one of the strongest of the Fans will be an asset in challenges, but if he has a bad attitude at camp, it will make him tough to deal with. While Matt was still working on the shelter – a few of the people started trying to start a fire by rubbing bamboo together. Once again Shamar was on the sidelines watching – but then got involved and worked with Mike to get the fire started. Matt & him made up for now – but this is a tumultuous relationship to keep our eyes on later in the game.
With the camp now set up – alliances are starting to form. We see the “pretty people” on the Fans side all get together (Allie, Eddie, Hope, and Reynold) in the water joking how it’s high school all over again and they are the cool kids table. Meanwhile back at camp, the other 3 girls (Laura, Sherri, and Julia) and Mike saw what was going on and decided to work together. Mike knows not to put all his eggs in that basket and meets up with Matt to discuss their options. I think this is the best scenario as the two of them could be a great team. No one would suspect the bald gay guy from NY & the rocker from Cincinnati to work together, so they decide to keep their alliance on the DL and decide which way to go if/when they have to go to tribal council. They are smart and know at this early part of the game, it’s a numbers game, and for them to get further – they need to stay with the numbers. But they will be the 2 votes that can sway from one side to the other.
Now it’s time for the Immunity Challenge. Once again two by two – teams had to race up a tower and throw boxes over the side to retrieve sandbags. Once all the boxes were tossed – two members of each tribe had to retrieve the sandbags, and one of those two would have to throw 6 of them into slots on a board. First tribe to get all 6 in won immunity and was safe from tribal council where they would have to vote one of their own out. The two tribes seemed to be running neck & neck through the first 3 levels, with Matt doing a great job climbing up the ladders & getting to the boxes quickly. Ok – you have redeemed yourself a little from the reward challenge! But for the last level, Eddie & Allie fall behind for the Fans and the Favs start throwing the bags onto the board first. The Favs opened up a 3-0 lead before the Fans even got started throwing, but Reynold starts a huge comeback by nailing 4 in his first 6 throws and took the lead. The he got another one, making the score 5-3. He just needed one more – but then Malcolm sank another one to go to 5-4. Reynold got the 6th one and the Fans won immunity! So that means Matt is for sure not going home this week – and we will be following his exploits for at least another week.
Meanwhile over at the Favs beach – scrambling going on as usual after an immunity challenge loss – and in an ironic turn of events – Francesca, who was the 1st person voted out on her first season – was once again the first person voted out. While she may have gotten the best of our rocker Matt in the reward challenge – he got the last laugh and she will not be around to push him around anymore!
Will Matt & Shamar bury the hatchet for good and get along, will Matt & Mike’s secret alliance be revealed, will another girl make Matt look bad in a challenge? Tune in next Wednesday at 8pm on CBS and find out.
The Heavy Metal Teddy Bear has spoken!