In isolation, last night’s Survivor Caramoan would have been a thoroughly entertaining episode of the show: strong challenges, wonderful schedenfreude, multiple foopahs, and a tie vote.
But placing it up against the episodes that have come earlier, the episode was revealed to just be a repeat of the same things, in the same way that this season is a repeat of the same things with the returnees. In both cases, it’s especially about Phillip, and that’s too bad.
He may be playing the game in his own way, and may be a nice guy, but watching him brag about his strength and then collapse under the weight of his own bad strategy is no longer even fun because it’s so obvious and just keeps happening again and again. And it uses up time that could be spent on getting to know people, like the extra who was voted off last night.
Tangential reminder: Jeff Probst seriously thinks this season is better than last fall’s epic, amazing season.
The reward challenge was a classic Survivor challenge in ever sense: besides being a repeat, it was the perfect combination of physical and mental. Too bad there was none of either on Bikal. Dawn tried to make her tribe feel better about their loss by saying the reward would just be “a diarrhea fest,” and she should know, since that’s all camp life is at Bikal: verbal diarrhea.
When the weaker tribe lost the immunity challenge, Phillip insisted to Cochran that he’d thrown the challenge. Cochran told us in an interview, “You can’t make up this level of delusion, and that’s what excites me about playing with Phillip.”
I can understand why it’s exciting for Cochran, in the same way it’d be exciting to race a baby in a 5K. But the opposite is true for me, having been subjected to this for two seasons now.
Judging by the preview, which revealed that next week will bring both the merge and the return of the gross eating challenge, there is awareness that this season has fallen into a rut, and the preview is like a promise: it’ll change, soon!
But actually, it probably won’t, at least not for a while. Last week, the producers orchestrated a tribe swap that guaranteed the favorites will maintain their power, and now that the alleged fans are down two more players, is there any chance in hell any favorite will do anything to risk their easy march to the end?