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

Anyhoo, Probst has Erik hand the immunity idol over to the Fans and then hosts an impromptu Tribal Council right then and there, having the Favorites each say their vote out loud. Of course, Dawn cries during hers, breaking her tear-free season pledge for approximately the 12,374th time, and Brandon is officially out of the game. So I guess he did not technically quit. Nor was he technically pulled from the game. But it kind of feels like both of those things happened anyway, especially without a torch snuffing or a “Tribe has spoken” send-off. (The only other impromptu Tribal Council at a challenge I can recall off the top of my head is when Ian made Tom promise not to bring him to the finals on Survivor: Palau.) After one last shoulder squeeze, Probst sends Brandon to exit back behind the challenge, which he does while calling Phillip a bitch in case he did not hear him the first couple of hundred times.

And this sad, sad chapter in Survivor history is finally over. “I don’t regret none of that because I proved my point. I was the author of my elimination,” says Brandon after the preview for next week (which seems to indicate a tribe shake-up is coming). It being 10 months later, I’ll be curious to hear how he feels about the entire situation now that he has had a chance to get some distance and reflect upon it. And you can hear that for yourselves when I chat with Lil Hantz on Thursday’s edition of the InsideTV Podcast. I also asked Probst in this week’s Q&A all about the re-casting of Brandon, his meltdown, and how the show handled it both before, during, and after the incident, and that is a must read for everybody. Want to know how Phillip felt about Brandon leaving the game? Find out in the exclusive deleted scene in the video player below. And, as always, you can get more Survivor scoop delivered right to your virtual doorstep by following me on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

Now it’s your turn. Was it irresponsible of producers to bring Brandon back on the show after what happened last time? How do you feel Probst handled the situation at the challenge? Do you agree with the Favorites’ decision to hand the challenge over to the Fans? And do you want a Tribe shake-up next week? A lot of big debates brewing, so have at it, and I’ll be back next week with another scoop of the crispy.

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