Welcome to my weekly Survivor 26 Caramoan Fans vs. Favorites recap. I will be focusing on Matt “the Beard” Bischoff – BMX salesman & lead singer of the metal band Moonbow. When we last left our Ginger Metal Warrior, he had just “picked a side” and voted out Allie from the Cool Kids Table (CKT) instead of hothead Shamar.
The episode opened with the fans returning to camp after voting out their first member. It should be a nice quiet evening right? WRONG – fireworks broke out right away and of course in the middle of it all was Shamar. He got into it with anyone who tried to talk to him, even went off on Matt. Umm, hey Shamar, you do realize that Matt was the reason you stayed right? Matt could have easily gone over and voted with the CKT alliance forcing a 5-5 vote and who knows what could have happened next. Matt was trying to explain himself to Shamar about some of the things brought up at tribal council, but Shamar wouldn’t even let him finish a thought. Trust me, I know how frustrating it is trying to be rational with someone who is irrational. It just drives you crazy – while they are already crazy. You are not going to get your point across, so stop trying.
Back at the Fans camp the next day – Shamar realized he was not happy with the way he has been behaving – and told the tribe how he had a hard time dealing with the world once he got back from his first tour of duty in Iraq. He contemplates quitting the game, but Sherri, the “tribe mom” convinces him to stick around at least until after the Immunity Challenge. She feels they need him in the challenge, and if he quits now, and the tribe loses, then they will be down 2 people. This early in the game, you need as many people in your tribe & especially strong physical players (foreshadowing!) to win the challenges vs. the other tribe.
Let’s move right to the Immunity Challenge. This week, the whole tribe had to swim out to a cage in the middle of the water and release an opening at the bottom – where they had to get a trunk out and swim it back to shore. Once there, they had to get it onto a track and slide it to the end. BUT – parts of the track were slid forward, so they had to use a rope with a ring attached to it to grab each segment and pull it into the gap so they can slide the trunk along.
Matt and the fans had an early lead – but then Laura, instead of channeling her inner Michael Phelps the Olympian, seemed to channel Michael Phelps the stoner and struggled to get to the cage. Matt should have had her grab onto his beard/dread-lock (I am still trying to come up with a nickname for that thing – Redlock of Doom maybe??). Finally she got there with help from Reynold, and the tribe worked on releasing the gate. Of course – more drama with Shamar who can’t see underwater and needed the goggles that the team had. No one gave them to Shamar and he complained and whined, but nevertheless the fans still got their gate opened first – and were doing a great job getting their trunk to the shore. That is, until they got it right to the edge of the water, and then they started to struggle. The Favorites caught right up and were pretty much neck & neck once they got to the track. The tribes traded the lead back and forth until it got the 3rd piece of track they had to hook and slide into place. Eddie from the Fans just could not get it, and the Favorites finished first, winning their 2nd straight Immunity Challenge. They also won a reward of some chairs, pillows, a blanket, and most important, a tarp. The Fans, well, they won a date with Jeff Probst.
Back at camp – the scurrying, complaining, arguing ensued all over again – and no shock to anyone Shamar was one of the people being mentioned to be voted out. At this point, why didn’t he follow through on his threat to quit? Oh that’s right – he has shown again, he is all talk! With the numbers 6 to 3 – the “Revenge of the Nerds” alliance (as Reynold refer to them) hatched a plan. The three guys would vote for Eddie, the three girls would vote for Hope – knowing the three CKT people would be voting for Shamar. If the votes fell 3-3-3, then it goes to a revote. The 3 people receiving votes cannot vote – and the rest of the tribe can only vote for one of the three. Then the five RotN can focus on one person, and get rid of them. As Hannibal Smith from the A-Team said, I love it when a plan comes together.
Remember – this is Survivor and plans never seem to go smooth. Shamar, pretty much guaranteed safety at this poins, decided to run his mouth to Hope about the plan, making his own alliance start questioning his loyalty. But after a lot of speculation, creative editing, and Shamar getting into it with everyone at Tribal Council again (including Matt) – they went with the plan – and Hope was sent packing.
OK – I know this is supposed to be all about Matt, but sadly at this point in the game, unless you are making waves – you are not going to get much airtime. Hell, there are people on the Favorites side that we have never even heard from (Brenda). So I will say Matt seems to be in a pretty good spot right now. He has been busting his ass at camp & in the challenges. Even though he was a little flip-floppy before the first vote, the motto of Survivor is Outwit, Outplay, & Outlast. Matt has done a good job so far keeping the target off his back. Eddie & Reynold do not seem like they are gunning for him (always good to have a bigger target in front of you), so expect more updates each week as he continues to fight for the million dollars and the title of Sole Survivor.