Survivor recap: The Meltdown Everyone Saw Coming

Brandon Hantz was brought back to create drama, and he certainly delivered. But should he have even been there in the first place?
Ep. 05 | Aired Mar 13, 2013

CALM BEFORE THE STORM Brandon before everything went completely haywire

Monty Brinton/CBS

It is right about this time that Phillip brings up one of the ultimate Survivor taboos — throwing a challenge (which we will get into shortly). He tells Andrea that’s how badly he wants Brandon gone. Andrea, clearly not having much experience dealing with people of an unstable nature, then goes and tells Brandon how mad The Specialist still is. I don’t think she is trying to start trouble here, but boy is that not a smart move if you are trying to foster tribe unity before a challenge. It’s like setting nitro up on a blind date with glycerin. Things are not going to end well.

So Brandon goes to talk to Phillip again. Phillip says he can’t trust him and then it is GAME ON! “Can you drop the Stealth R Us thing?” asks Brandon. “It’s like playing with a child. It’s demeaning, man. I’m not a conqueror, nobody in there is exterminator and exterior. It’s really bulls---. Nobody likes their name. Everybody doesn’t actually like you.” I was so hung up on the fact that there was actually someone in Stealth R Us named The Exterior (is that what Phillip calls his pink undies?) that it took me a minute to fully realize what was happening next.

Next thing you know Brandon is blatantly ignoring his promise to pee on the rice and beans and instead pouring them out on the ground. Honestly, I‘m not sure if this is a well-calculated move by Brandon. We know how Phillip likes his scoop of the crispy, and what’s crispier than rice mixed with grains of sand? While Erik and Dawn scramble to save as much food as possible, Brandon keeps yelling at his adversary: “Come on, bitch! I thought you were a secret agent! Come get some! I’m the author of my fate! Now vote me out, bitch!” This is not the last time Brandon will call himself an author (although a few times it sounds like he may actually be saying “Arthur”). Either way, he’s pretty insistent about it. He’s also insistent on using the word “bitch” a lot, which he is just getting warmed up on.

The Favorites are so scarred by this entire experience that they are actually considering the unthinkable: skipping the challenge and going straight to Tribal Council. I have been very consistent over the years with my thoughts on throwing challenges: It’s idiotic. I hated it when Jonny Fairplay and company did it in the Pearl Islands, I hated it when Ozzy’s tribe did it in the Cook Islands, and I hated it when they did it on Redemption Island. I hated it most of all when those bonehead males on Survivor: One World won the challenge then asked to go Tribal Council instead to vote of Bill Posley. There are so many reasons why it is a bad move: You give up part of your numbers advantage, you give the other tribe hope and momentum, you put yourself one step closer to being voted off. Like I said, I hate it. However…

NEXT: Special challenge-throwing exemption granted!

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