Survivor recap: No Love Lost

A decision at the loved ones challenge puts a plan in motion to send the winner packing — complete with plenty of emotional baggage. Plus: Where does this season rank when compared to all the others?
Ep. 13 | Aired May 8, 2013

HUGGING IT OUT Brenda’s fatal flaw was winning the loved ones challenge in the first place


Perhaps trying to escape from Eddie’s pervy clutches, Erik does his best Ozzy Lusth impersonation and attempts to climb a tree to retrieve coconuts that he claims are laughing at him. (Not true! They’re actually laughing at Eddie. Everyone laughs at Eddie!) This attempt fails spectacularly as Erik eventually retreats to solid ground, if not a solid mental state.

And just in time for Tree Mail from Sprint! The Sprint phone can mean only one thing and that is…Owwwww! Sorry, I just got tackled by Dawn with a super aggressive hug of excitement. Anyway, as I was saying, the Sprint treeeezkisiuhiuhiudniqd makdkjdkj…Crap! Now Dawn is crying tears of joy all over my laptop and causing the damn thing to short circuit. Get it together, woman. Here’s a tissue. On second thought, here’s a whole box of tissue. That should hold you…for five minutes.

Anyway, everyone watches videos from their loved ones, my favorite naturally being from InsideTV Momcast star Arlene, who — clearly on orders from producers — awkwardly refers to her son as “Cochran” in the video instead of his actual first name. I mean, I don’t call my kids Ross and Ross. Because that would be stupid.  And I would sound stupid saying it. But I love Arlene, especially when she uses her time on her video message to tell her son that she hopes he’s been using lots of sunscreen. (He hasn’t, Arlene! Why does he have to be such a rebel all the time, that son of yours? Little Johnny likes living on the edge!)

So the players then make their way to the reward challenge, and we know what happens next, as the loved ones come running out one by one. First up is Brenda’s dad Raymond. A teary Brenda thanks him for the incredible advice he gave her before she left that she has been following to the letter. Just one problem: Brenda’s father clearly has no clue what advice she is talking about. Hmmm, what was it again? Don’t win the loved ones challenge? No. Try to get more than one confessional interview per month? Nope. Don’t talk to Dawn? Don’t think so. Oh, right! Be humble!

Apparently, the display of father-daughter love is so overwhelming that Jeff Probst can’t control himself and now he starts crying. “Brenda, I just broke! 26 seasons, I've never cried at a loved one. You got me!” Really? This is the one that broke Probst? I mean, it was sweet. It was tender. But I wouldn’t call it the most emotional moment in the history of loved ones visits, especially considering the dad was pretty clueless about pretty much the entire content of the conversation. Geez, Probst, you didn’t even cry when Jonny Fairplay’s grandmother died and now this?

Then the rest of the loved ones come out. Erik and his brother Richard start grabbing each other’s bellies, Cochran apologizes to Arlene for smelling, Eddie’s dad tells the Amigo that “You’re the hairiest man alive,” and I’ll give you one guess as to what Dawn does. (Hint: It’s what she’s best at.) Probst then explains that the pairs are going to spin around in circles while unscrewing three rails which they will then set up and throw bolos on to. First couple to land three bolos wins. And what do they win? The winner gets to go back to camp with his or her loved one to enjoy a floating backyard barbeque.

NEXT: Dawn provides a spitting image

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