March 13, 2013 07:17 PM by Ryan Haidet
Survivor: Caramoan — Fans Vs. Favorites wasn’t really about the rivalry between the two tribes in the latest episode. Instead, it was all about the bad blood between Brandon Hantz and special agent Phillip Sheppard that reached a boiling point. Since last week’s episode aired, promos have been teasing that Brandon was about to explode in a massive meltdown of historic proportions. For months, fans have been chatting in forums about the rumored battle between Brandon and Phillip (even before the season started airing!) — some reports indicating Brandon was booted from the game for physically attacking Phillip. So, how bad was Brandon’s epic meltdown? Did it get physical? We’ve got the details and more inside!
With the Bikal tribe gathered around, Brandon was openly discussing his regrets on leaving his family behind for another extended period of time so he could play the game of Survivor again. He admitted to feeling extremely selfish for taking so much time away from them for himself once again. For that reason, he asked his tribe to vote him out as soon as they go to their next Tribal Council. Later that night, Brandon revealed to Corinne, Andrea and Cochran that he was in a much better place than a few days earlier because he was planning on burning their shelter down and peeing in their food supply. Corinne was pissed (appropriate word right?) that he would even consider pissing in their beans and wanted him out of the game immediately. But, in predictable Brandon fashion, he had a change of heart the next morning and told all of his tribemates that he wasn’t ready to leave. He wanted to stay as long as possible to play the game for his family.
Barbecue Battle Brews Resentment
In a very close challenge, the Favorites won the Reward challenge yet again and and walked away with a load of barbecue supplies, food and drinks. But despite their victory, Brandon was having a really tough time swallowing Phillip’s constant talk about claiming ownership to their victories. So, Brandon spoke his mind and told Phillip he didn’t agree with his attitude. The two had a short verbal spat in the shelter before both guys cooled down and apologized privately. But those apologies held no water as each guy explained in confessional how irritated they were with the other.
“Now Vote Me Out Bitch!”
The next day, Brandon’s bad feelings bubbled back to the top as he let Phillip’s comments stew in his brain. “I don’t need no old, 54-year-old punk bitch telling me, ‘Don’t bite the hand that feeds you,’ he said in confessional. “He doesn’t feed me. I’m a Hantz! I feed me!” Phillip, who clearly was still frustrated with Brandon, went to Andrea and suggested they purposely lose the next challenge so they could cut Brandon loose ASAP — especially since several people felt he was a potential danger. Brandon, who saw the duo talking, approached Andrea and asked what they had been chatting about. Although she didn’t offer much initially, Brandon had an inkling that Phillip was suggesting throwing the challenge, but Andrea denied it.
Moments later, Brandon pulled Phillip aside and said he thought they had squashed their troubles. After Phillip admitted he was having a tough time trusting him, Brandon brought up his hatred of the Stealth-R-Us stuff saying it’s childish bullshit. Brandon added that nobody likes it because the concept of Stealth-R-Us is degrading. He also questioned Phillip and his dictator-like strategies. As tempers flared, Brandon suddenly walked away and rushed back to camp where he snatched up the rice and dumped it all over the ground saying this was reason enough for his tribe to vote him out. As Phillip tried to walk down the shore away from the drama, Brandon heatedly overturned one of their beach chairs and shouted, “I thought you were a secret agent, come get some! … I’m the author of my fate, buddy. I’m the author of my fate. Now vote me out bitch!”
Earlier this season, Brandon criticized his tribemates for voting Francesca out of the game first because he felt like it was a very mean thing for them to do. This is the same guy who turned and decided to punish all of his tribemates by pouring their food on the ground. How is that not mean? I don’t think it was fair for him to do that at all. I wonder what Brandon would have done if the tables were turned and Phillip dumped out all their rations. I’m guessing it probably wouldn’t have gone over very well.
When the tribes arrived for the Immunity challenge, Jeff Probst held a round-robin discussion asking the castaways how they’re holding up in the tough conditions. Obviously, this was Probst’s way of transitioning into the drama swirling around Brandon and Phillip. After a few people talked about the emotional and physical struggles they’ve been dealing with, Brandon spoke up and said he wasn’t doing very well. Trying to explain his story, Brandon asked for permission to step off Gota’s mat so he could address the other tribe. Facing them, Brandon basically begged the Fans not to allow Phillip to go deep in the game. He stressed that they deserve a chance to play the game and he was hopeful Phillip would be their first target. The Fans were confused at what the hell was going on, so Corinne elected to explain the situation on behalf of Bikal. Without any hesitation, Corinne, who was very well-spoken, said they were going to forfeit the challenge so they could voluntarily go to Tribal Council in an effort to boot Brandon. After she mentioned respect between the two tribes, Brandon got fired up and shut Corinne down saying that she — nor the other Favorites — have any respect for the newbies.
Probst, sensing things might turn physical, soon summoned Brandon to come stand by him as the arguing continued. At this point, Brandon erupted with anger in his eyes as he explained his disdain for Phillip’s Stealth-R-Us, saying it made everybody feel like plastic dolls. “You don’t do jack for me, so you ain’t gonna tell me you’re running the game. I took myself out of this game!” Brandon quickly turned to Probst with a “Wooooo!” saying he felt fired up.
Phillip, who had stood in silence throughout the whole ordeal up to this point, was called on to speak as Probst asked for his thoughts. When he began speaking, Phillip did have a few minor stutters, which Brandon verbally mocked. The chat eventually led to Phillip labeling Brandon as a pathetic individual. This is when Probst placed his hands firmly on Brandon’s shoulders to try and calm the situation down and stop him from attacking Phillip.
The standoff continued as Phillip said he never had nasty feelings toward Brandon and suggested that one day he (Brandon) would realize he made a mistake. “You need to grow up,” Phillip said at one point. “Shut up,” Brandon answered before making an old-man joke telling Phillip to “get a little bit younger” having also referred to him as a 100-year-old man. The loudest yelling came when Phillip mentioned something about Brandon’s aunt (I think?) watching his kids (I’m assuming while he’s away in the game). This made Brandon flip his lid. “I’ll come over there and knock your fucking head off!” Brandon shouted with a crazed look in his eyes as Probst squeezed down on his shoulders even tighter. “Don’t bring my kids into this, bitch!”
There was even one point in which Brandon made fun of Phillip’s first time on the show, saying he was laughed at and only made it to the end of the game because Boston Rob carried him there. 100 percent true.
Realizing there was no hope in smoothing things out, Probst announced they were going to hold Tribal Council right there. One at a time each member of Bikal vocally voted against Brandon and sent him out of the game. “I love you, but I know you’re fired up,” Probst said to Brandon. As he walked by the Fans tribe to leave the game, Brandon had some words of advice for the Fans — “Kick their ass,” he said with a smirk on his face. But that wasn’t it. He got one last verbal attack in by shouting, “Phillip, you’re a bitch!”
The interesting thing is that I believe we actually got to see the real Phillip through this drama — not the over-the-top, self-proclaimed special agent with lackluster one-liners. He wasn’t acting goofy anymore. I think Phillip proved his entire game has been an act for attention because he quickly dropped that facade as the Immunity challenge verbal fight unfolded.
Here’s what Brandon had to say in his final words, which aired as the credits rolled: “My exit was nice. It was glorious. I showed them that, hey, this guy’s not just gonna keel over and die. If I’m going down in a battle, I’m gonna throw rocks. In my army, I’m gonna go out ‘Braveheart’ style. I don’t regret none of it because I proved my point. I was the author of my elimination.” He closed out with a sleek spit through his teeth.
Not Fun To Watch
I know there are many fans who have been excited to watch this confrontation play out — hell, I was, too. But after watching it unfold, there was nothing fun or entertaining about it. There was true hatred flowing and that’s not why Survivor is fun. Sure, there are going to be some viewers who thought it was awesome. It’s the reason kids stop in the hallway to cheer on fist-fighting classmates. The drama is thick, intense and, for some, thrilling to watch. This dispute between Brandon and Phillip, however, was so uncomfortable to sit through as a hardcore fan that I was disappointed with the whole scenario. Survivor is supposed to be a thoughtful game of strategies — not deep, intense hate. To put it plain and simple: This was not fun to watch. Not one bit. It was simply a distraction from all the elements I love about the game.
Gota Not Forgotten
Thankfully, this episode didn’t focus solely on the Brandon/Phillip fight. It did show nearly all of the Gota tribe members searching their camp for the hidden Idol. It didn’t take long for Reynold, who had just played his Idol at Tribal Council, to find another one. Seriously, are producers even putting any thought into how they hide these Idols? It’s ridiculous! Anyway, Reynold gloated and giggled after finding the Idol and eventually told Eddie about it because he felt the two of them could go all the way to the end together.
What are your thoughts on Brandon Hantz? Do you think his actions were justified against Phillip? Do you think the producers should have ever let him return to play the game again? Are you happy he’s out of the game? Did you enjoy watching all the arguing? Are you disappointed he didn’t punch Phillip in the face? What’s your take on Reynold finding another hidden Immunity Idol? Who is your favorite castaway at this point in the season? Sound off and leave a comment below!
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Photo Credit: CBS
Topics: CBS Reality TV Shows, Survivor |
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