Survivor recap: A Specialist at Losing

Phillip Sheppard says he only loses challenges when he tries to lose. But why would he want to do that?
Ep. 07 | Aired Mar 27, 2013

WALK THIS WAY Hey, check out John Cochran going shirtless!

Monty Brinton/CBS

At the reward, Reynold and Malcolm compete in their own private bonus challenge to see who can get more over-caffeinated as they high five and kiss everyone in sight. (Tata the bushman is going to be soooooo bummed he missed this. Right up his alley.) But Malcolm is also concerned that he will be targeted as an athletic male after the merge so he comes up with a backup plan to get an athlete alliance together with Reynold, Eddie, and Erik. Down in numbers, Reynold eagerly accepts and immediately tells Malcolm he has a hidden immunity idol. Hey, we said “athlete alliance” not  “brainiac alliance”.

Over on Bikal, Phillip is trying to figure out whether that was a reward or immunity challenge they just participated in while Cochran must listen to Corinne bitch about how much she hates Phillip. Cochran wants to maintain the Favorites’ peace, especially because Julia is…So. Damn. Boring. “Julia, on the other hand, is such a non-entity out here,” says Johnny C. “I’m tempted to say she has a vanilla personality, but I feel like that would be doing a great disservice to the flavor vanilla. I mean, people actively seek out vanilla-flavored products. Children clamor to get a vanilla ice cream cone. Nobody is clamoring for anything Julia-flavored.”  With apologies to Corinne and the flurry of incredible one-liners she busted out last week, that has to be the best confessional quote of the entire season, if for no other reason than it reminds me of Vanilla Ice’s hilarious ganja-rap phase. (Unlike all of Vanilla Ice’s other phases, which should be taken completely seriously at all times.)

Phillip is trying to break through that impenetrable wall of boredom to make Julia his first-ever “double agent.” Only one problem: Julia then goes and tells Dawn all about her chat with Phillip, and Dawn relays that info straight back to The Specialist, who now says that Vanilla Sky “has managed to commit several foo-pas in terms of Survivor play.” (You mean like Fransesqua?)

Hey, I got an idea: Let’s go watch Reynold throw some more stuff at the immunity challenge! He loves throwing stuff. And he’s so good at it! While at this point I would say that this season as a whole has not lived up to the massive hype that Jeff Probst heaped upon it, the challenges this go round have been INCREDIBLE. I can’t remember the last time contestants were in the water this much. I absolutely love it. It’s another doozy here. Simple, yet exciting to watch. Three members of each tribe must paddle out into the ocean, dive down to untie a statue, paddle said statue back to the beach and place it at the base of the tower. Then someone among the other three people who did not paddle must use a grappling hook to get five keys that must then be used to unlock a tower and raise the statue to the top.

We all know Gota is going to win, but big props to Dawn, Michael, and Corinne for staying as close to Erik, Eddie, and actual paddleboard company owner Brenda as could be expected. And this leg of the race also provides us with our official Someone Please Make a GIF of Dawn Clip of the Week as the Mormon bread baker extraordinaire magically morphs into Spazzy McGee as she attempts to jump out of the boat into the water. (Seriously, first person to send me a GIF of that awkward plunge wins a public shout out on Twitter. My good pal Janae and I thank you in advance from the bottom of our hearts.)

NEXT: When in doubt, talk about Boston Rob!

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