The Fans have been taking a beating this season on Survivor Caramoan. Last week, they were put in the unfortunate situation of losing two players. It looks like the underdog Fans are going to be picked off one by one, unless they get a miracle. “Persona Non Grata” actually serves up one very unexpected piece of hope.

The New Cool Table?

The guys on the Fans tribe start patting themselves on the back for their marvelous decision to vote out Laura. They’ve now decided it was Laura who was holding them back in challenges, and voting her out will make them indestructible. Wait a minute, I thought Shamar was their kryptonite? Sherri doesn’t join in on the celebration because she reveals the vote off was like getting rid of her daughter. I’m sure that makes her actual daughter feel very secure. Meanwhile, Julia continues to get less camera time than a random walking lizard.

Brandon Breakdown Begins

Over at the Favorites tribe, Brandon performs a one man play of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. He first declares himself selfish by playing this game while his family is left at home. He begs for his tribe to vote him out, which probably was something most of them were excite to do before he gave his permission. Malcolm vocalizes my thoughts by wondering why he even agreed to play this game if he feels he needs to be home. Did Mark Burnett and Jeff Probst jump him, put a bag over his head, and throw him into a van? Before that theory can properly be explored, Brandon then suddenly decides he wants to play for his family and would like it if his tribe doesn’t vote him out. This also ends up being the least crazy thing Brandon does this week.

A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts

It is the classic keep throwing coconuts into a net until the person can’t hold it up anymore challenge. The winning tribe lands a bountiful feast of meat to grill along with some veggies. Matt and Michael hold up nets for the Fans, and the Favorites will have best buddies Phillip and Brandon hold up their nets.

Reynold proves he does have value for his tribe by again being the master of throwing stuff at a target. He is the season 26 throwing stuff champion. His target is Brandon’s net, and he seems to be the main person to quickly fill it up. Brandon ends up being the first to let go, and things actually look hopeful for the Fans. Malcolm then does his best Reynold impersonation by being the major one responsible for filling up Matt’s net and forcing him to let go. 

It comes down to Phillip and Michael, which isn’t the battle of strength I’d ever predict. Phillip has the power of yelling out random words that no one knows while Michael can only fight back by sweating profusely. The Favorites win once again, and it looks like voting off Laura doesn’t magically turn them into an unstoppable force. How shocking.

The Fans’ New Master Plan

The Fan guys return puzzled that they can’t blame Laura for losing. They decide maybe they should come up with a new strategy. This strategy appears to be that everyone wanders into the woods and tries to find the Immunity Idol. Sherri rightfully believes she needs the idol since she has gone from the mastermind to the next candidate on the chopping block. It could have been Julia, but her own tribe isn’t aware that she exists. Michael wants the Idol, because he is afraid Reynold may actually learn how to use it properly if given a second chance. A second chance is exactly what will happen since Reynold finds it, and he promises he won’t blab about it this time. Except the problem was never blabbing, it was trying to hide it in skin tight shorts. 

Brandon Breakdown Escalates

Phillip regales the tribe with the super spy skills that allowed him to win the challenge. Brandon apparently is upset he isn’t being congratulated for dropping his net full of coconuts. Phillip tries to comfort him with his words of wisdom, but Brandon is allergic to wisdom so he freaks out on Phillip. Brandon then shows his crazy eyes and yells enough so his family can hear him back home, while the rest of his tribe makes “please, don’t kill me” faces. Phillip reveals that he isn’t scared, because he is a street fighter, which we all obviously knew by looking at his pink underwear. 

Phillip and Brandon try to work things out, but crazy talking to crazy isn’t how you make peace. Phillip tries his best Boston Rob by assuring Brandon he is fine and safe, but planning to send him packing off Survivor. Phillip actually contemplates throwing the next challenge to get rid of Brandon, because that worked so well in his season. He reveals his plans to Andrea, and she proves to be such a great second in command by immediately ratting him out to Brandon. This is where it gets fun.

In a move that I assume was playing for his family, Brandon dumps all the rice and beans out of their containers, but graciously decides not to pee on them. Brandon then begs for Phillip to vote him out, because he seems to have completely confused himself in how to play this game. Brandon then taunts Phillip, but apparently, not enough to bring out the super street fighter. The general consensus now seems to be to forfeit the challenge, because a raving lunatic doesn’t make life on an island bearable.

Immunity Challenges Look a Lot Like Tribal Council

This challenge has giant boxes and a rampway, and I’m sure it will be the best challenge of all time. We don’t get to see it, because Brandon wants to speak to the Fans. He unleashes a slew of enlightening words, which essentially come down to “Please, don’t let Phillip get to the end.”  This obviously confuses the Fans and Probst, but Corinne clarifies things by announcing their forfeit. Brandon then decides to rip into the rest of his tribe for pretending to care about the Fans, because he can be the only person that really likes them since he is an underdog too. I’m sure the Fans are overjoyed to know Brandon has their backs.

Probst asks Brandon to come over to him, since I think Probst fears the first ever Survivor homicide. Brandon rambles on about how proud he is that he never cried, because again, he doesn’t understand how you actually win this game. He does succeed in making Andrea cry and causes poor Dawn to gasp for air. Brandon then takes his hatred off his entire tribe, and goes back to spewing venom on Phillip. His best insult ends up being “Super Spy Agent 3.0”, which I assume he spent the previous day thinking up. Phillip then tries to verbally dress down Brandon, but makes the mistake of talking about his kids, which causes Brandon to almost shoot fireballs from his eyes. The end result is the Immunity Idol goes to the Fans, and we have the first Tribal Council in Survivor history replacing the planned challenge right on the course.

The conclusion is pretty obvious this time, but Probst still lets Brandon vote for Phillip. The end result isn’t in doubt as the rest of the tribe votes off Brandon. Probst has the sense to have Brandon walk out nowhere near his tribe. Brandon wishes the Fans victory, and with his vote of confidence, how could they possibly lose? Probst then sends off the tribes, but without shouting “Favorites Win”. Poor Reynold just never gets his way, does he?

Next week, we’ll find out if the Fans got any kind of momentum. The preview seems to hint that we may have a tribal swap, which will make things very interesting. How will Phillip survive with his “Stealth R Us” torn apart? Maybe just maybe, a tribal swap means Brenda gets more than just one line next week.

Compete in Fantasy TV: Make your picks on who you think will be going home. Hurry, you have until March 20 at 12pm PST to cast your vote!

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(Image courtesy of CBS)

Chris Spicer

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV