Tonight’s episode of Survivor: Caramoan kicked off the second season to include fans against returning favorite players. This season brought Malcolm, Brenda, Cochran, Dawn, Phillip, Erik, Andrea, Brandon, Francesca, and Corrine back for another go at the prize. While the fans came in on a boat and clumsily hopped off onto the beach, the favorites flew in helicopters and landed right next to them. Jeff introduced everyone as they climbed out, and the fans made comments to one another about the returning players. Jeff started them with a challenge right off the bat – each tribe sent one man and woman out to collect a ring out in the water and return it to their flagpole without being stopped by the other team, which could fight them to take away the ring. After some hard-fought battles that included Malcolm losing his shorts, the favorites won 4-1 and received flint and 20 pounds of beans.
The fans, “Gota,” hopped in a boat and headed to their camp, where they were greeted with rice. The group immediately struggled over whether to make fire or build their shelter first, knowing they were almost out of water. Shamar pushed for the fire, as the rest of the group worked on the shelter. Eventually, they were successful and got their fire going.
The favorites, “Bikal,” slowly made their way back to camp. Malcolm worried about making a good impression on the tribe as the new kid on the block. (After all, they shot both seasons back-to-back over the summer, so no one playing against him has seen any of his episodes). Brenda turned to Phillip to ask his plans for the shelter. Francesca hoped being eliminated first during her season would work to her advantage. She immediately gathered with Andrea and Dawn, and the three of them plotted an alliance with Cochran, Brandon, and Phillip. Francesca continued to try to make amends with Phillip, who didn’t have much to say. She was so confident that she said she would eat a rock she found if she were to be voted out first again.
Phillip started to implement his “Boston Rob rules” and enlisted Corrine (“the Dominatrix”), Andrea, and Malcolm before inviting Cochran and Erik into his alliance. Erik was turned off by the idea and didn’t want to work with Phillip.
Over at the fans’ camp, Reynold worked on building his own alliance and immediately went to Allie and Eddie. Later, Eddie and Hope decided that they would work together, since they were “the two best looking people out there.” As the group slept that night, Laura notice Reynold and Allie were doing a lot more than cuddling for warmth. In the morning, the alliance of four made it obvious they were together, so Sherri, Laura, Julia, and Michael agreed upon their own alliance. Michael filled Matt in on that alliance and told him he was open to something else with him as well. Matt hoped they would keep winning challenges and avoid voting anyone out altogether.
Cochran quickly fell victim to the sun and was covered with sunburn all over his body. He hid the pain and kept going to support his new strong, confident persona.
Next up was the first Immunity Challenge. Jeff commented on Cochran’s sunburn, and the group laughed as Cochran told them about the pain. The tribes each sent two people running up a tower one floor at a time in order to collect crates and toss them back down. Once they made it through all four floors, their last two team members had to collect sandbags and toss them into six separate boxes to raise their flag and win immunity. It came down to Malcolm and Reynold neck-in-neck, but Reynold made up a lot of time and filled all six boxes first, leading the fans to victory.
Back at Bikal’s camp, the favorites began to strategize who to vote out first. Francesca and Cochran toyed with the idea of getting rid of Phillip or Corrine. Andrea thought it would be better to go with Phillip over Francesca and told Phillip they should vote her out. Phillip liked the idea of voting her out first a second time. Meanwhile, Brandon and Erik decided to vote Phillip out, so Brandon told Francesca, and they questioned how Phillip could have the numbers. Cochran and Dawn immediately got back in the saddle together and felt they should vote Francesca out. Francesca rounded up her alliance and suggested they split the votes. Brandon was nervous about Andrea, the “pretty girl.” Suddenly, he and Erik felt they got a weird vibe from her and wanted to split the vote a different way.
Going into Tribal Council, it was apparent no one had made up their mind on what to do. Jeff talked to Phillip about his relationship with Francesca, and he revealed he had always known how to pronounce her name, but he wanted to avoid using an expletive and called her “Francesqua” during their season instead. Francesca discussed being voted out first during her last season. Everyone agreed they were nervous for the vote. Andrea said she brings it and challenges and works hard around camp, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Cochran explained that the favorites were already playing the game right off the bat, and that was exciting. After everyone voted, Jeff read off the decision: the first three votes were for Andrea, the next three votes were for Francesca, the next vote was for Andrea, the next two for Francesca, and the last vote was also for Francesca, sending her home first for a second time. (It looks like she will be eating that rock).
Tune into Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites next week Wednesday night on CBS 58 in Milwaukee at 7 p.m. to see if Brandon really starts implementing the Hantz way of playing Survivor – it looks like things are about to take a turn pretty quickly. What did you think of tonight’s premiere? Who were you most excited to see return to the game? Who are you rooting for this season? Leave a comment below!