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

All that said, I am going to do something absolutely shocking and support the Favorites’ move to accept defeat here. Sometimes there are exceptions to the rule, and this appears to be one of those times. When you have a person living amongst you sabotaging your daily life by tossing out your food onto the ground, that is not good. And remember that we are only seeing snippets of what living with Brandon is like. Imagine having to deal with that 24 hours a day. It must be completely exhausting, and possibly dangerous. This could be one of those few scenarios where everybody wins by cutting Brandon loose — the Faves for getting some peace of mind around camp, the Fans for actually not losing something for once, and Brandon for getting the hell out of what was clearly a toxic situation for him.

So we’re off to an immunity challenge that we can already tell is not going to played. But the fireworks are not over. Not even close. “Brandon, how you doing?” asks Probst. What happens next is a bit confusing. Basically, Brandon asks to address the other tribe and tells them that he is their second chance in the game, and to not let Phillip get to the end. Corinne then explains that they are forfeiting the challenge, leading to the first of many incredible Eliza Orlins impersonations from Reynold, whose open-mouthed look of shocked disbelief would fit right in on any jury.

Then, for some reason, Brandon seems to take issue with Corinne’s statement, because all of a sudden he is yelling “bulls---“ (and I don’t mean “bullspit”). The guy is getting seriously riled up, so Probst does a very smart thing and has Brandon walk over to a “neutral spot” next to him. Whether this is done out of genuine concern for the player or just so the host can show off his awesome massaging skills is open to debate, but had he not done that, chances are things could have gotten physical.

But even the calming hands of Probst can not settle down Lil Hantz, who keeps hitting on his major themes: “I feed myself, bitch!” “I took myself out of this game!” and “Shut your mouth!” Things reach a boiling point when Phillip talks about how Brandon treats his elders, including his aunt who is watching his kids back home. “You bring my kids into this?” Brandon yells back. “I’ll come over there and knock your f---ing head off!” Bring my kids into this, bitch!” As Brandon’s temperature rises, so does the intensity of Probst’s neck and shoulder massage as the host goes in for some serious deep tissue action. Seriously, did you watch that guy go to work? He even stopped talking at one point to devote his full attention to the rub down. Is it just me or is Probst doing a lot of rubbing of contestants lately? Last season, Dana was on the receiving end of a big rub after being medically evacuated, and now Brandon got a “hands-on” experience as well. Watch out, Cochran! You may get lucky out there after all!

NEXT: When is a Tribal Council not a Tribal Council?

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