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

Gota sits Sherri out of the challenge, but they might as well have sat Malcolm and Andrea as well since best-thrower-in-the-history-of-throwing Reynold does all the grappling hook tossing. That’s how dominant Gota is right now: Malcolm can sit and watch pretty much the entire challenge without lifting a finger. Throwing for Bikal is Phillip who actually closes the gap to 4-3 key rings at one point before clearly realizing that he did not want to win and letting Reynold and Gota cruise to the victory. Because if Philip had wanted to win, he would have won. Oh, make no mistake about that. Clearly he threw it for the obvious strategic advantage such a loss would bring. That advantage being…uh, well, you know…stuff.

For some crazy reason, Cochran has a hard time believing Phillip’s story about purposefully losing: “It’s complete crap. You can’t make up this level of delusion, and that’s what excites me about playing with Phillip. I think he actually at this point is convinced he threw the challenge.” You mean, because he did?

The Favorites now have to decide whom to vote off: Julia or Michael. Everyone agrees to split the votes in case someone has the idol. Everyone except Corinne, that is, who does not want to do that to “my gay.” This flusters Phillip, and when Phillip gets flustered he starts repeating Boston Rob’s name over and over. Says the Gorilion: “I played with the strongest player that I’ve ever had the opportunity to play with,” which sounds less impressive when you consider that he is only stacking Boston Rob up against people like Natalie Tenerelli and Ralph Kiser. That, my friends, is the definition of grading on a curve.

At Tribal Council, Phillip tells Probst how Corinne and he have disagreements on the best way to get to the same point, Corinne comments that while “I think it's neat that he’s gay,” her love for Michael’s sexual orientation has been overblown, and Julia says something about wanting to play one way but playing another instead and that…Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Whoops! Sorry. I honestly started to fall asleep the exact second Julia started talking. Who knows? Maybe she’s been talking all season and I just slept through it all. Forget about Ambien and Lunesta; just record Julia talking about pretty much anything and you’ll sleep like a freakin’ baby. OH, WAIT! I GOT IT! THAT’S HER STEALTH “R” US NCKNAME: THE SLEEPER AGENT! BAM!

Anyhoo, the fans do split the votes, making it a 3-3 tie (as self-preservation kicks in and Michael and Julia vote for each other), and Julia is indeed booted on the revote. I feel bad for saying how boring Julia was, but when I say boring I mean “TV boring,” which just means she wasn’t good at narrating the action or explaining what was happening and why it was happening. It’s the same reason we never heard from Brett, Rick, Purple Kelly, Leif, or Carter. All nice people. Just not very exciting to watch on television. And surprisingly, I’m actually excited to chat with Julia for the InsideTV Podcast on Thursday to find out everything about her we did not see, as well as how she feels about being so marginalized in the edit.

But before then, you can check out our weekly Q&A with Jeffrey Probst as well as an exclusive deleted scene from last night’s episode in the video player below. And for more Survivor scoop delivered right to you, follow me on Twitter @DaltonRoss. Now it’s your turn. Sorry to see Whatshername go? Impressed by Phillip’s arm wrestling technique? Think the Favorites will align back together at next week’s merge? Hit the message boards to let us know and I’ll be back next week with another scoop of the crispy!

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