Fans v. Favorites. Two groups diverge in green jungle. One, freshly scrubbed and shiny. Sprightly and pert. The other, slovenly and wrinkled. Tattered and rumpled with wisdom and age. The first, a group of fawns teetering on new legs. Shaky and trepidatious. Sinking in the powdery sand with wide eyes and giggles. The second, seasoned sages and feathered shamans. Pocketing indigenous fauna. Harvesting fruit and berries to pickle for the rainy season. Two vastly different groups of pioneers brought together by circumstance, happenstance, one last chance. Another 39 days of living deliberately and sucking the marrow out of Reynold, I mean... life. Sucking the marrow out of life. Thoreau went into the woods with purpose and so do our twenty new friends. Their purpose, though different from Thoreau's, is no less significant. Savage wildebeests clawing through the mud for a shortcut to a payday (a flimsy piece of bark with tree rot and a Canadian penny if you're Jeff Kent). Hurling decorum over the edge of a grand structure and watching it smash into a million tiny pieces (400,000 tiny pieces if you're Jeff Kent). That's right, bitches. I'm back. The winter of our discontent has left the building and all that sits in its place is a salad bowl full of blue glitter, a lock of Golden Boy's hair and a brand new package of double AA batteries. Let's recap, shall we?
We open with a chicka. You know the one. The one that slices through the air and careens through the jungle thick. *chicka chicka chicka* Frantic blades emerge from puffy clouds and we hear him, our Dimples (Jeff Probst), "This is the Caramoan Islands. A stunning paradise and dangerous wilderness where the lemur people roam free." Derived from the word lemures meaning "ghosts or spirits", these preternatural poppycocks will serve as our guides during this barbaric sojourn. The answers we seek lie in the inky blackness of their enormous eyes. For what others might miss, the lemur always sees. Nocturnal and cagy. Flitting from branch to branch. Re-hiding Immunity Idols before the castaways arrive at camp, these naughty tricksters just might be the searching hands that grope you in the middle of the night. Or it could be Reynold. *shrugs shoulders* Who knows.
Speaking of Reynold and other names we've never heard before, a gaggle of Fans sits in thoughtful repose atop a rickety raft as a tiny Filipino in a canoe paddles them into shore. Meanwhile, overhead, two Blackhawks whiz hither and thither. Spasmodic white caps topple the raft held together by rubber bands and pipe cleaners. Sand tornadoes dance tarantellas on the beach. This wild fit of folly gives way to a piece of rock. A majestic and towering Prudential rock. Atop it stands a dandy.
Fetching in teal, we see Dimples. At home, my lips drew taut into a thin line as I thought to myself, "Why isn't this an air entry?!?" But then, before the anger could bubble, I squeed (and peed) with glee. Not only can we ask ourselves how Dimples got to the top of that rock in the first place, but he danced for us! You may have missed it, but there was choreography there, my friends. Allow me to break it down.
*left leg jauntily astride the highest peak*
"39 Days... 20 People..."
*right hand sternly juts index finger into the air*
*both hands quickly move to hips*
All the while the Blackhawks glided to a carefully choreographed foxtrot in the background. Blades narrowly missing one another. Dimples digging his heels in for dear life. How did he stay on that rock? How did he not blow away? He's Dimples, dammit!
Inching its way through alligator infested waters, the rickety Raft O'Fans makes its way ashore. Hipster cool in a straw fedora and plaid shirt, Michael casually tosses his satchel over his shoulder as he disembarks the water craft and promptly topples over. Whether it was the weight of his man purse or first day jitters, we'll never know for Michael is no longer with us. Remember how I said those waters were alligator infested? *chomp chomp* Adieu Michael, we hardly knew thee.
Waiting impatiently, Dimples barks, "Come on in! Leave him. Just leave the arm. We'll send a P.A. in later to gather the remains. By the way, Welcome to the Caramoan Islands!" The Fans whoop and cheer with elation. Amongst them is a very excitable blonde Sandra Bullock lookalike formerly known as "Sherri", but to you and I, she will now be called Gracie Lou Freebush. "Freebush" for short.
Dimples then tells the Fans that they will be playing against 10 of their most favorite Survivors. I take issue with the word "Favorite" (*ahem Francopacabana*), but let's not be petty. Let's bring in those crotchety old coots! And in they swoop, the Blackhawks. As they descend in tandem, waves roll ashore knocking down the Fans like bowling pins. Sand swirls into their eyes and nether regions as one by one the Favorites are paraded out:
Cochran, Dawn, Corinne, Mascaroni (Andrea), Erik, Golden Boy (Malcolm), Mowgli (Brenda), Lil Hantz (Brandon), Francheesybread and Phillip Sheppard. For those new to this blog, the nicknames may seem overwhelming at the start, but I'll have you know that Malcolm will only respond to you if you call him "Golden Boy" in real life. The players are their nicknames. The nicknames are the players. It's a Bitchy institution so get used to it. The Favorites tribe will be known as Baklava (Bikal).
As for the Fans, we have: Julia, Shamar, Hope, Eddie, Freebush (Sherri), Michael, Matt, Laura, Reynold and Allie. Their nicknames will develop over time. The Fans tribe will henceforth be known as Goiter (Gota).
So, let's get this show on the road with a Reward Challenge. Two members from each tribe will race to retrieve a ring. They will then work together to get back to the flagpole with the ring in hand. The first tribe member to have one hand on the flagpole and one on the ring scores a point for their tribe. Wanna know what you're playing for? Flint and a 20 pound back of beans. There's definitely a fart joke in there somewhere. Survivors ready, go!
First up is Erik/Dawn and Julia/Shamar. Erik may have 800 lbs of unruly hair atop his head, but the guy can run. And run he does! He runs to the ring and then is promptly run into the ground by the behemoth Shamar. Fans lead 1-0. But not for long as Mascaroni manages to score for the Favorites in the next round. We are now tied.
Rather than go through every... single... round, let's dim the lights and get to the round I know you're all waiting for. Put on some smooth jazz and light a candle or two because next up is Golden Boy/Corinne and Reynold/Allie. Out of the gate the strapping lads race to remove my NuvaRing... I mean, race to get the floaty ringy thingy waiting for them (my NuvaRing). Reynold grabs the ring seconds before Golden Boy can. Golden Boy, with hair cascading down his shoulders and intensity in his eyes, leaps out of the water and tackles Reynold. *fans self* The lads tug back and forth, back and forth, creating waves. Tiny disrobing waves. Tiny naughty horny waves. Waves that have the ability to REMOVE GOLDEN BOY'S SHORTS FROM HIS ASS. *hurls twenties at the TV*
The tussle continues as the two grope and yank. At home, I put the Magic Mike soundtrack on the stereo and giggled into my glass of Chardonnay. Onscreen, Allie leapt on top of Golden Boy under the guise of trying to steal the ring. I know what you're up to, lady. Don't you tell me that grinding against a nekkid Golden Boy is about winning some beans. It's about doing the hibbidy dibbidy is what it is! In the end, nudity is the way to go for our Golden Boy. He should compete naked from here on out. All the time. Not only does he get the point, but he wins the entire match and a bag of beans. FAVORITES WIN REWARD!!! *collapses onto the bed and lights a cigarette*
Over at Goiter, the Fans are getting acquainted with their new home and deciding what to do first. Duck Dynasty (Matt) wants to build a shelter. To him, that's the most important thing right now. And as all bearded fellows with tattoos covering their front and back, Duck is a crackerjack little builder as well as an effective foreman. In a matter of minutes, he has the entire tribe cutting beams, laying brick, installing plumbing and all the rest of it. Well, almost the entire tribe. You see, Shamar wants water and he wants it now. This overgrown Veruca Salt is more of a 12 yr old girl with an attitude problem than he is a former marine. Instead of politely suggesting that a few of them perhaps work on a fire, he lambasts the dumb asses for wasting their time on something the tribe doesn't need. Duck, matter of factly, retorts, "I'm not a fire guy. I'm a shelter guy." No, you're a glorious frog catching specimen who sometimes eats squirrel for breakfast. Please introduce me to your brother Jase when the show is over.
Frustrated and sore from his new boobies coming in, Shamar sits and pouts on the end of the shelter - the SHELTER he'll be happily sleeping in tonight thanks to Duck. The muttering under his breath was bad enough, but then he took to mocking Duck in that way a little kid does when he's trying to make fun of someone, but can't come up with anything more clever than a silly deeper voice. Can I just say that I am SO GLAD that this douche is here on American soil and not fighting for whatever over in the Middle East? I wonder if he was dishonorably discharged for freezing the Captain's bra or putting the Major General's hand in a bowl of warm water as he slept.
Over at Baklava, the scene is very different. These seasoned veterans are already devising strategies and planning alliances. Phillip Sheppard *clicks heels and salutes* has come to the game prepared this time around. Like his father in Iwo Jima in WWII, he has already fashioned a walke talkie out of a banana leaf and some twigs so he can radio both Langley and his spirit animal. In addition, he has dream catchers embedded into the soles of his sneakers. And if you know anything about the great Cherokee Chief, He Who Wears Sagging Panties, then you know that a dreamcatcher can serve as a talisman of strength in addition to a fetching window adornment.
In preparation for one Mr. Phillip Sheppard's return to the game, I've been boning up on my Native American history. In fact, over the break I have acquired my very own Native American name:
Your Native American Name Is: Onawa Tayanita
Your name means: Wide Awake Young Beaver
You can find your very own Native American name HERE. Be sure to share it with us all in the Comments.
So while Phillip Sheppard is hard at work building his Girl Scout Cookie Stand (he's a Girl Scout Senior Ambassador, I'll have you know), Franchipotle is eager to get a group together and ensure her first week's safety. Safely hidden in the trees with Mascaroni and Dawn (and Larry and Lana and Little LouLou - the lemur family), Franchesapeake forms what looks, on the outside, to be an alliance. Only, as quick as it was formed, it gets hijacked by Mascaroni who insists on bringing that bespectacled paradigm of loyalty, Cochran, into the fold. Dawn, too, gets excited by the heat of the moment and suggests Lil Hantz as a fifth. Elbowing Franchiliconcarne to the side, Mascaroni adds Phillip to the shopping list Dawn whipped out of her purse and voila! They have six people now. Francholesterol is in no place to disagree or argue. All homegirl wants is to get through week one. So, for now, she'll happily be in an alliance with Phillip Sheppard - an alliance he is completely unaware of.
And speaking of Phillip Sheppard, Franchucknorris has some fences to mend with the Special Agent. With Phillip busy digging a trench circle around where the shelter will go, Francraigslist gingerly approaches and tries to make nice. It's a disturbing scene of awkward forced giggles and unseemly fidgeting. Phillip Sheppard simply ignores the poor girl while hiding his rock collection into the dirt wall of the trench. He'll camouflage the area with a sign that says "Out Of Order" to keep Nosy Parkers away. But still, the song remains the same. Phillip Sheppard is firm in his stance on Francalifornia - she annoys him. It's as simple as that.
Back at Goiter, the Fans have decided to go ahead and try their hand at making fire, but they're doing it all wrong. Finally! Finally, a chance for Shamar to put away his burn book and step up and be the marine he was meant to be. And wouldn't you know it? When they put their minds to it, the Fans work well together with everyone pitching in. The music swells as they make their fire and even Duck and Shamar manage to hug it out.
Over at Baklava, it is once again The Phillip Sheppard Show (plan on this for as long as he's on the show). Instead of letting us get to see tribe dynamic and what Golden Boy is wearing right this very second, we get Phillip spouting off a list of rules, BR Rules, that he has compiled based on data he received from Boston Rob.
#1 - Get an alliance.
#2 - Get a sub-alliance.
#3 - Get rid of your alliance before they get rid of you.
#4 - Get the cookie money upfront.
#5 - Arm the lemurs with slingshots in case anyone thinks of ignoring "Out Of Order" sign.
I've got to hand it to him. With the lemurs on his side, he can't lose. And with their sophisticated system of clacks and yelps, of which Phillip Sheppard is fluent, they can carry messages from player to player, camp to camp, base camp to the submarine positioned offshore, trench to satellite overhead. The possibilities are limitless.
And so, with swift precision, Phillip puts together an alliance of Corinne (The Dominatrix), Mascaroni (The Eliminator) and Golden Boy (The Fornicator). His plan is to stay in the background and let the others do all the work for him. So naturally, Phillip loafs around camp in his bright pink panties and openly approaches even more people. Dawn, Cochran and that Troll Doll, Erik, are the last 3 to receive their assignments - "Bee in the MeSS HAll at ZeRo DaRK 30. Don't 4Get 2 bRIng yOur COOKie smILES. This messidge wiLL self-DEstruct in 10 secONds." And then 6 lemurs in Girl Scout sashes pooped on the very messages everyone was holding in their hands. Messy, but effective.
Speaking of alliances, the Goiters have an alliance too. They're called the Heathers and it is made up of Eddie, Reynold, Hope and Allie. Reynold thinks it was serendipity that brought them together while Eddie thinks it is just natural for the best looking people to want to hang out with each other. Except for Allie. If you ask Reynold, "She's not the cutest." In fact, "She's not the anything." BUT, she's totally good enough to feel up in the middle of the night and do some booby squishing with. So, with the bamboo floor creaking and the night rats nibbling at their toes, Reynold and Allie rock back and forth in a loving embrace on the first night of Survivor Caramoan. *smacks self in head* Dammit, dammit, dammit. Allie was my early favorite out of the Fans. Look, I'm all for wanton sex on reality shows, but not on Survivor! Not when the castaways smell like the underside of Phillip Sheppard's ball sack.
Back over at Baklava, we finally get to spend some quality time with my favorite ginger from Virginia, Cochran. Bespectacled and spindly, Cochran always brings me great joy. So imagine my delight when my gangly fop now has 2 plump roasted red peppers for tootsies. You see, this sort of thing happens all the time with brainy fellows. They can recite theorems off the top of their heads with ease, but when it comes to knowing that the sun in the sky will scorch fine porcelain skin untouched by the outdoors, they're clueless! But Cochran being Cochran does what he does best, he turn a foible into a strength and delights the ladies with self-deprecating humor.
And this brings us to the big Immunity Challenge. Come on in guys! For today's challenge you will race out in pairs and climb a 4-story tower. Once inside, you will find and hurl 3 crates filled with sandbags over the side of the structure. Once you've smashed your crates, you will race back down and another pair will continue. Once you've smashed all of your crates from all 4 floors, one person will toss the sandbags and try to land them in their designated spots. Survivors ready, go!
For level one, we have Cochran/Phillip and Freebush/Laura. Both race into the structure, hurl their crates and race back down at roughly the same speed. When Franconcubine/Corinne and Michael/Hope burst into the building, the Fans gain a slight lead over the Favorites only to have it wiped away when that mess of curls Erik flies up the ladders. What Erik started, Lil Hantz finished as he widens the lead over the Fans and passes off to Golden Boy for sandbag duty.
With Golden Boy with one sandbag on the board, Reynold starts to toss for the Fans and, unbeknownst to everyone everywhere, there is such a thing as cornhole champion. Unfortunately for Golden Boy, Reynold is that champion as FANS WIN IMMUNITY!!!
Back at Baklava the mood isn't all that depressing. I get a feeling that they're slightly bummed, but these hardened veterans are used to having disappointment in their blood. They've all had their torches snuffed and experienced the humiliation of having their fellow brethren scribble their name down on a piece of parchment. It's part of the game. It'll probably happen again. No biggie. Unless you're name is Francubagoodingjr. If you're name is Francharlizetheron, you are totally flipping out right now and trying not to be the first one voted out for a SECOND time. The problem with Francupofnoodles is that she's kind of annoying. It's not even something specific that I can put my finger on. She's not crazy like Phillip Sheppard and she seems perfectly nice and with good intentions, but ugh. I just can't stand her on this show! Maybe it's her presumption that she's safe. The fact that she feels comfortable to go to everyone and whisper "Phillip" into their ears is a little pompous, no? No offense, but I'd never let someone who essentially hasn't played the game tell me how to vote.
So there sits Franconquistador in a moderately sizable group of people announcing, "Phillip." The look on Cochran's eyes was a mixture of "Thank god!" and "Man, is she screwing up!" You could tell by the way he shifted side to side in his overly roomy khaki pants that Francoconut was doing a bang up job digging her own grave. While this sort of thing serves Cochran well, the awkward nature of it all makes his allergies (and his feet) flare up.
Unfortunately for Franchickencordonbleu, Mascaroni was in that large group listening to her suggest they get rid of Phillip and the tattletale in her is just itching to run and tell The Specialist. Now, I'm not sure what happened to Mascaroni between her last season and this current season, but she's not who she used to be. On camera and off. If you'll remember, I was a big fan of hers back in the day. Well, things change. Seasons change. People change. Anyhow, like I said, Mascaroni is a tattletale and she runs to Phillip to tell him that Francorrugatedcardboard wants him out. My problem with this maneuver is that Mascaroni was the one who initiated the alliance with Francallmemaybe in the first place! She was one of the original architects. It is all very strange to me. Maybe she's trying to make up for being a doe-eyed boy crazy player last time around. Who knows.
Naturally, this is all music to Phillip's ears. Like Machiavelli who said something about killing children and villages and families, Phillip would like nothing more than to do the same thing to Franchaiselounge. There is one thing standing in the way of Phillip's Machiavellian utopia though and that someone is the human mop, Erik. When Phillip was asking Erik to join his army, Erik stared into Phillip's eyes and heard words come out of his mouth that I'm not sure he even said. Then again, when Phillip speaks my eyes tend to glaze over so who knows if he threatened the kid or not. *shrugs shoulders* Long story short, Erik is all bunged up about it and doesn't take kindly to threats. He tells Lil Hantz that he wants Phillip gone, but he is worried that Phillip has the numbers to stay. Lil Hantz generously passes this news onto Francrispyduck who is simultaneously stunned and skeptical that Phillip could actually have an alliance in place.
And this brings us to Tribal Council. Dimples pops the Tribal cherry by asking Lil Hantz if there is a boss back at camp. Lil Hantz replies that they're all Indians with no Chiefs or Chiefs with no Indians. I can't remember, but I do know that Lil Hantz's Native American name is "Shameless One With Three Fingers". So there.
The topic of discussion then turns to Phillip and Franchoppedliver's rivalry. Instantly, Phillip insists that he has always known how to say Franchesqua's name, but we've seen the footage. We've seen it over and over again. Phillip knew how to say her name as much as he's really radioing Central Command with his coconut Sat Phone back at camp. Phillip could say "Francesca" with as much ease as he could dismantle the clam bomb he made back in the South Pacific. When Langley told him to stand down, he said "Aye aye Schmangley, ready to fire!"
So it is indeed a little strange that Phillip Sheppard, Survivor class clown, is actually one of the people calling the shots. Sprinkle in the fact that he heard his name on the wind and you've got a recipe for loose cannon. Fire! Oops. I forgot that Phillip actually has cannons wired and ready to launch.
Let's not beat around the bush any longer. If you've watched the episode 18 times like I have, then you know that every time there was a mention of the "first person voted out", the editors cut to the same face every single time - I wonder if they moonlight on America's Next Top Model - so this is no great mystery. There is no heart in throat anticipation. It is what was meant to be as Francoffeetable is the first person voted out of Survivor Caramoan. I've heard you're lovely in real life so best of luck to you.
So, that's that. What did you think of the first episode of Survivor Caramoan? Is anyone standing out as a favorite for you? How long can Phillip's alliance remain a united front? Is Lil Hantz officially done with the dreaded "Jesus" word? Does Eddie have any idea he has a lisp? Comment it out bitches and have a great day!
Thanks to Rob Beasley and Scott Hudson for my Survivor photos.