Survivor: Caramoan (Fans vs. Favorites)

As was discussed at the tail end of the last season’s thread, Caramoan is another Fans vs. “Favorites”. Favorites of the Producers of Survivor, not necessarily favorites of fans. Returnees for those who forget from the previous thread (raises hand):

Andrea Boehlke (Redemption): I seem to recall she wasn’t as half as clever as she thought she was.
John Cochran (South Pacific): Dubbed “Dweeb” by me. His self-deprecating act got old fast.
Malcolm Freberg (Philippines): Malcolm specifically notes that the other competitors did not have a chance to see the Philippines season, similar to the Russell Hantz situation from the previous Fans vs. Faves.
Brandon Hantz (South Pacific): And speaking of a Hantz, it’s the self-destruct drama queen. Why oh why did they bring this ship-wreck back? Beyond ratings…
Francesca Hogi (Redemption): The One-and-Out returnee - she looked she might be interesting on Redemption, but got ousted immediately. And she is none too fond of one of the other returnees (see the last entry).
Corinne Kaplan (Gabon): Jeff Probst has already said in a Caramoan preview floating about on cable that he believes (as of early in the Caramoan season) that Corinne is a villain who couldn’t win, but could have a big effect on the outcome. Bold prediction!
Brenda Lowe (Nicaragua): The cute but sometimes coldly imperious schemer who may have been the best player that season. Looking forward to her return.
Dawn Meehan (South Pacific): She kind of blundered about in a good-natured way but ultimately got tangled up with the whole Dweeb blunder.
[B]Erik Reichenbach /B: Here, have my Immunity Idol…wait, you voted me off? Either the greatest shot at true redemption or a second chance to make the most colossal blunder ever. He intends to play up the “none to bright” angle and try an catch people off-guard, but I’m not convinced he has to “play” at it to achieve his goal. (ooooooooooo!)
Phillip Sheppard (Redemption): Captain Underpants! And yes, he intends to bring a different but provocative item of clothing.

As I said, there’s a preview show floating about on cable somewhere - Jeff makes numerous insightful comments. 90 minute first episode coming next week on the 13th (counts on fingers, this coming Wednesday).

Andrea, and Brenda are easy on the eyes. But I’m not sure that makes up for Captain Underpants.

It’s the tag team of it’s all about me of Drama Queen (Brandon) and Captain Underpants (Phillip) that gets to me. Yeah, the producers like characters and villains, but I found these two were simply grating. I’m curious how quickly Drama Queen will get a creepy stalker fixation on Brenda. On the other hand, Brenda has decided she will flirt with anyone to get where she wants (coldly arrogant having gotten her into trouble last time), so that may actually work out to an interesting train wreck.

I hope creepy stalker Hantz doesn’t show up and he’s managed to get himself straightened away a bit. Which reminds me, if anybody should be given a second shot on Survivor, it’s Mikayla. It’s hard to play the game when you’re being targetted by a fixated stalker.

New season starts tonight.

Close to the Pole

Here’s poor Malcolm, mooning everyone with his trunks half off, Corinne is grabbing him about the waist, and Jeff says she is close to the pole?!? Somebody post the pic of Fry with his eyes narrowed, please!

Drama Queen was reasonably subdued, but Captain Underpants was his usual obnoxious self. How this guy lasts it by any vote I’ll never quite understand. Well, I do understand Boston Rob keeping his around as a distraction and as someone that he could stomp in the finals, but still!

Dawn of the Dweeb going with the sneaky Andrea is kind of surprising. One would think that Dweeb would trust Francesca more, but then, Dweeb can talk himself into anything. At least he can plead sunstroke this time. And dude, you know you’re going to be out in the tropical sun, showing up paler than Dracula on a moonless night is the kind of Dweeby self-torture one would have hoped you outgrew.

Kind of surprised that Brenda got caught out on the losing side, and a bit surprised that Andrea, while getting busted for the sneak she is, escaped unscathed (if a little shaken). But any alliance with Phillip on it will inherently want to devour itself in the end. He’s simply poison.

Alas for poor Francesca. It was laughable as always that Phillip was out making plans and deal and threats and criticized Francesca for having exactly the right idea.

Over on the nOOb tribe, it was Cochrane’s Nightmare all over again, the vain and self-absorbed beautiful people who’s love for each other is only exceeded by their love for themselves. Hey, let’s lounge together and snuggle and snog and revel in our beautifulness right in front of everyone. Can you guys count - you are basically advertising to six other people that the four of you are in a mutual admiration society. Six. More than four. Hmmmmmm, sure that’s wise to be that transparent? After all, it ain’t high school - it’s a million dollar contest.

As to the Marine, way too much drama when all he needed to do was ask maybe three people help him make fire. I don’t know why the noobs always seem to think it has to be one thing or the other. A little division of labor without having to be the center of attention. Cochrane was right in that regard - the Favs had been through all the nonsense before and got down to business.

My money right now is on the Marine. Anyone who has the entire Necronomicon tattooed on his body is someone not to be messed with.

I really didn’t need to see Secret Agent Man’s underwear again.

When the first Tribal has that kind of scrambling and scheming and that narrow a margin in the votes, you know it’s going to be a good season.

Mr. Marine seems to have some fatal character flaws - picking a fight for no good reason and then going into an act so he can “be the hero” is someone just asking to get blindsided. Yes, getting the teamwork was good, but getting to that point was a catastrophe. Certainly recoverable if he drops the attitude, but begging to get voted off otherwise.

On the plus side for him, the Beautiful People asked him to pass the paintbrush so that they could paint an even bigger target on themselves than he did. It’s early, it’s in flux, so who knows how it will shake out for the noobs in the long run.

It was a great first vote. It will be better if things remain in flux rather than one dominant alliance immediately obliterating a smaller one. I suspect they will, but the preview for next week didn’t seem to indicate that with the combustible Drama Queen (Hantz) considering going subversive like his formerly anti-role model uncle, Russell. Which should be a lot more entertaining than the creepy stalker version of himself.

I like how one couple has already managed to break one of the cardinal strategic rules of Survivor: No canoodling!

They should know better if they are actual fans.

I know it’s early but Hantz came off as way more sane last night. 'Just the way he talked to his team mates and the talking head cameras seemed, well, like a normal person.

Is that a hidden immunity idol in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?

He doesn’t wanna give it away by a bulge in his pocket and has…a bulge in his pocket? Does this tell you that he is a complete klutz, or simply that women check out your bulge?

On that happy note, it was a runaway competition to see who could paint the biggest target on their own back. Sham-wow-mar Guy seems bent on being a more obnoxious moron than Captain Underpants and Drama Queen combined. Think he was much of a barracks bully in the military or what? He gets called out for being a lazy loudmouth, and its all sneering, intimidation and raging.

But the Beautiful People also didn’t get it. Sham-Wow may be obnoxious and unbearable, but he isn’t really a threat to get a million dollars as it stands. They are. A Gang of Four out the gate is either gonna have everyone else scurrying around like cockroaches hoping they are the last to get picked off, or they or gonna nip the threat in the bud. Sherri showed some sneaky logic in wanting to keep Shamar around as a disruptive element that she (thinks she) can control. Like Boston Rob, she has found her Phillip. She is definitely one to watch.

Over on the returnees, Captain Underpants and Psycho-Boy (or Drama Queen if you prefer) show why they are “favorites” - they are so loony that the Survivor producers figure they make things interesting. Brandon couldn’t quit seem to keep track of who he was going after…Dawn! Freak-out! No, wait, Phillip! No, wait, just go nutz and pee in everything and hatch moronic plots against the captain (or are you all too young to remember Mister Roberts references). And Phillip seems to think he is clever and can get away with being a loon without Boston Rob keeping him around as his pet lightning rod. Well, who knows - maybe people will go along with it if it suits their goals or Brandon makes himself an even bigger target. Though honestly, I think Brandon is a blow-hard - he’ll talk big one minute, and be crying the next.

Ha ha ha! So much for that.

Brandon, in his last appearance seemed to be self-conflicted, and really an unstable person flipping back and forth over what he should do. It appears that this hasn’t changed. The only difference is that he isn’t obsessing over a woman who may or may not be an evil temptress.

Mr. Lazy Marine seems to be trying to be the most annoying person in camp. That seems to a good strategy for going deep into the game but not winning. It’s a common tactic to take unlikeable people to the final with you, and he certainly is doing his best to be unlikeable. Perhaps his aim is to just get more money without winning.

The cool kids realized that they had become the cool kids last week, and even laughed about how they just naturally formed together. If they worked hard to try to beef up their numbers, it didn’t come across in what we were shown (and the producers do omit stuff to play up drama). But ultimately, it’s quite clear that they are close-knit foursome and it was their undoing.

The Beautiful People did have a conversation with Beard-Guy and Hat-Guy (or Beard-Guy relayed it on to Hat-Guy, I forget) where Shamar was agreed upon as Public Enemy Number One. So they did try to at least cover that base for this vote, though I don’t recall anything more substantial than that. On the flip side in Shamar’s favor, he was the only person keeping them in that last challenge when he was single-handedly making their raft fly through the water. It’s one of those things you often see - you may have a better chance at overall survival with a particular individual, but life is so miserable with them around, everyone would prefer to take their chances long term without them.

The kid is just too volatile for his own good, but it makes for better theater when it isn’t quite so creepy-stalker.

Beard-guy relayed it to Hat-guy as I recall. And that’s why I wonder if the producers didn’t cut stuff out which showed more active campaigning on the part of the foursome. As for lazy marine, he’s probably somebody you want to keep around for the early challenges which often have a component of pysical strength. The only reason the fans even remotely had a chance in the challenge was due to the efforts of Shamar. They were slow to untie the raft. It was painful watching them try to release the rings. The first girl in didn’t seem to be getting it done but wouldn’t come out of the water. Was there some rule that a ring had to be released before a switchout?

Switchouts are invariably at the discretion of the participants. I imagine the only rule was that one person was in the water at a time. But that’s where the fans lost it, just painfully slow on that stage.