Season 26: Episode 5 - Persona Non Grata
Posted on Mar 14, 2013 12:00am

The Gota tribe gathers around the fire on night 10 discussing why they voted out Laura earlier at Tribal Council. Matt, Reynold, Michael, and Eddie agree that Laura needed to go because she did not help them win challenges. They hope that getting rid of their weakest player will be a turning point for the tribe, resulting in rewards and immunity. Sherri is not happy that Laura is gone. She reveals, “I didn’t want to write her name down, but I had to go with the tribe because they were all going to vote for her no matter what.” Reynold tells his tribe that he is glad that he aired his feelings and played his hidden immunity idol so it will no longer divide the tribe. He admits, “I’m still not trusting anybody fully.” Matt is glad that Reynold played his idol at Tribal Council. He explains, “Now it’s just kind of out here on the island somewhere for someone else to find.” Michael worries that Reynold will find the hidden immunity idol again, which could get him really far in the game. He sees Reynold as a dangerous player because he is good at challenges and valuable around camp. Michael comments, “I don’t want him pulling through and figuring this thing out and getting himself too far at my expense.”

Over at the Bikal camp, Brandon opens up about missing home and feeling miserable. He reveals, “I started thinking about my family, my wife, and my kids and how much they needed me at home.” He mentions feeling selfish for leaving them to play SURVIVOR. Brandon volunteers to be the next one voted out at Tribal Council. Malcolm sympathizes with Brandon, but he also considers how losing Brandon would weaken their tribe. He comments, “This has repercussions outside of just the Hantz family.” Malcolm wishes that Brandon had thought it all out before committing to play SURVIVOR. Later, Brandon admits to Corinne, Cochran, and Andrea that he had considered burning down the camp and destroying the beans and rice. He apologizes for even thinking about it. His tribe mates are relieved that he didn’t go through with it. Corinne comments, “I want him off my camp immediately. He’s loco.” She worries that if Brandon thought about doing these things once, he may actually do them if he gets upset again. The next morning, Brandon calls a tribe meeting. He tells them that he thought things over during the night and now wants to stay in the game and play for the benefit of his family. Brandon admits, “Instead of leaving, I’m going to go out there and I’m going to play. You’re going to see the most intense Brandon you’ve seen thus far.”

The Gota and Bikal tribes arrive on their mats. Jeff Probst, the host, explains the rules of the reward challenge. Two members of each tribe will hold onto a rope that is attached to a net, while members of the other tribe attempt to shoot coconuts into that net. The more coconuts in the net, the heavier it will be for the opposing tribe to maintain their grasp. The last tribe member holding on to their net wins reward for their tribe. The winning tribe will return to camp with a wide variety of barbeque supplies including steak, vegetables, sausage, bread, condiments, and wine. The Favorites have three extra members, so Andrea, Dawn, and Erik sit out. Brandon and Phillip hold nets for the Favorites. Michael and Matt do so for the Fans. Reynold is the first to land a coconut in the Favorites’ net, making Brandon’s task a little bit tougher. Brenda scores the next coconut into Michael’s net. Sherri, Malcolm, Corinne, and Julia successfully land coconuts next. Phillip starts shouting to try and distract his opponents. Reynold picks on Brandon and shoots all of his coconuts into his net trying to get him to drop it. Brandon struggles to keep hold of the rope holding his heavy net up. The Favorites target Matt. Sherri grows tired and begins to miss her attempts. Jeff comments, “Sherri is worthless in this challenge.” Brandon is the first one to drop his net, and Phillip is the only player from the Favorites left. Malcolm loads Matt’s net up with coconuts and eventually he too loses his grip. Now, Michael is the only one fighting for the Fans against Phillip. Phillip is still yelling at his opponents, assuring them that he can last all day. Michael starts to shake as he tries to keep hold. Phillip adjusts his rope to keep control of the weight, and in the end, he outlasts Michael. The Favorites once again win, taking home the barbeque reward.

The Gota tribe is disappointed to have lost another challenge. Sherri vents, “It is so hard to keep my mouth shut right now.” She did not want to get rid of Laura in the first place, but her tribe assured her they would do better in challenges without her. Sherri feels losing this reward challenge proves them wrong. Her plan is to look out for herself and find the hidden immunity idol, which is now likely hidden back at camp. The rest of her tribe has the same idea so they all spread out and begin searching. Matt reveals, “I definitely want to find the idol, and if I find the idol, I’m not telling anybody in this tribe.” Michael and Julia also actively search among the rocks and trees in the vast jungle around the Gota camp. Reynold searches as well and is once again the one who finds it. He admits, “I don’t want the majority alliance to know that I have the idol.” He doesn’t want them to try and flush it out and target him at the next Tribal Council so he hides it in his bag and joins Eddie in the shelter. Eddie is his ally, so Reynold shares the good news with him. Eddie is amazed that Reynold found it so quickly and comments, “You can’t get any luckier than that.” Eddie laughs while watching Sherri continue her search.

Over at the Bikal camp, the Favorites enjoy their barbeque feast. Andrea notices that Brandon is the one person who doesn’t seem happy. He has a serious look on his face as he cooks the barbeque, while the rest of his tribe is smiling and reveling in their recent victory. Meanwhile, Phillip boasts about his performance in the challenge. Brandon vents, “Phillip Sheppard, the dumb ass spy agent, whatever you want to call him, thinks he won the challenge and it’s really, really, really pissing me off.” As the rain collects on the tarp over Bikal’s shelter, Brenda asks Phillip if they are going to fix it. Phillip wants to save his energy for future challenges, so he tells her to leave it alone. Brandon does not like the way Phillip talked to Brenda. He accuses Phillip of acting like the dictator in the tribe. Phillip senses Brandon’s agitation, so he walks away. The rest of the tribe quiets, feeling uneasy about Brandon’s behavior. Corinne comments, “I think we can all agree that Brandon is definitely unstable and unpredictable.” Malcolm worries about Brandon, not sure how much longer he will provide the tribe any value. Phillip is down by the beach chopping wood. He vents, “I’m not going to have some young punk tell me to shut up.” Phillip wants Brandon out of the game. Later, Brandon goes over to talk to Phillip. Phillip reminds him that he promised Brandon that he would get further in the game than he did in his prior season if he cooperated with the alliance. Brandon doesn’t like the fact that Phillip feels he is the one determining when people will go. Brandon admits, “As long as I can keep myself under control, I’ll be good. But, by damn, that might be a really tough thing to do.” Brandon then apologizes to Phillip and shakes his hand. Phillip plays along but still aims to eliminate Brandon as soon as he can.

On day 13, the Gota tribe is in their shelter trying to rest and escape the rain. Matt reveals, “I’ve been wet for like two days straight and my feet just look like a dead person’s feet.” Michael tries to encourage his tribe to work on projects, which will make their life better rather than just sitting in the shelter feeling miserable. Michael admits, “We’re failing on all levels of SURVIVOR.” Eddie has a head cold and is without any dry clothes. The rain and wind dampens their fire, so they can’t boil water or cook food. Matt comments, “I wish something good would happen to our tribe.” BRANDON BOILS OVER The rain continues over at the Bikal camp, but the Favorites tribe does a better job staying warm and dry. Brandon restarts the fire in the shelter. He wishes that Phillip would recognize and appreciate the cooking and fire-tending that he does around camp. Brandon admits, “This Phillip and Brandon rivalry is getting to me.” Cochran brings tree mail into camp and reads it to the tribe. It tells them that an immunity challenge will happen that day. Phillip wants Brandon out so badly that he considers throwing this next immunity challenge, going against his competitive nature. He explains, “In this instance the good outweighs the bad.” Andrea checks in with Phillip, and she is shocked to hear his plan to throw the challenge in order to vote Brandon off. After Phillip leaves, Brandon talks to Andrea and figures out the plan without her even having to admit it. He is upset that Phillip still guns for him after he apologized. Brandon decides to confront Phillip. Phillip admits to Brandon that he doesn’t trust him and reminds him that trust is essential to being a part of Stealth R Us. Brandon tells Phillip that Stealth R Us is stupid and no one respects him. Tempers flare and Brandon walks away saying, “Well let me give you a reason to vote me out.” He then dumps out the tribe’s rice and beans onto the ground. The rest of the tribe yells at Brandon to stop. Brandon then tries to provoke Phillip. Phillip does not take the bait and leaves camp instead. The rest of the Bikal tribe sits shocked, angry, and saddened by Brandon’s actions. While Brandon continues to yell at Phillip, the rest of Bikal tries to salvage what food they can before the rain spoils it. Dawn tries to calm Brandon. Brandon yells after Phillip, “I’m the author of my fate. Now vote me out bitch.” Andrea starts to cry, while Corinne recommends that they forfeit the challenge and go to Tribal Council. Dawn comments, “We’re trying to decide, is he in a place at all where we can still play with him or forfeit the challenge and give immunity away, which you never do in this game.”

The Gota and Bikal tribes arrive on their mats. The Gota (Favorites) tribe admits that life has been rough because of the weather. Cochran points out that a harsh environment and fatigue will aggravate people’s moods. Brandon admits that things are not going well for him and that he and Phillip are not getting along. He then gets the okay from Jeff to talk to the Gota tribe. Brandon tells them that he is giving them a second chance tonight. He requests that they not let Phillip get far in the game. Reynold is confused and asks Brandon, “Where are you going?” Before Brandon can answer, Corinne announces that the Favorites are going to forfeit the challenge so that they can go to Tribal Council tonight and hash out the conflict within their tribe. The Fans are both shocked and excited to hear this. Before Corinne can finish, Brandon interrupts her and tells the Fans not to trust the Favorites. Brandon tells the Fans, “This is your first time playing and you deserve a chance and it’s a fair chance.” Brandon then proceeds to strongly criticize Phillip and his “childish” Stealth R Us organization and how he wants to run everything. The Bikal tribe grows upset with what they witness. Jeff calms Brandon. Brandon admits that he wanted to play the game differently this time, not getting bullied or being made to cry. Brandon criticizes his tribe for being selfish. Andrea starts to cry and explains that she has grown close to Brandon and is upset with all the fighting between him and Phillip. Phillip quickly responds, “I said nothing to Brandon.” Brandon tells him to shut up. The Fans tribe is amazed to see the unrest on the other team. Brandon then tells the Fans tribe that he dumped the Favorites’ rice and beans to try and even up the game, since the Fans were not eating well. Phillip points out that he has had no bad feelings against Brandon and is unsure why Brandon is so upset. Jeff confirms with the Favorites that they want to forfeit the challenge. Erik gives the immunity idol to the Fans. Jeff then tells everyone that they will have Tribal Council immediately at the challenge site and start to the vote. The Fans stay to watch. The Bikal (Favorites) tribe then verbally casts their votes. Brandon votes for Phillip but the rest of the tribe votes for him. Brandon Hantz, the 21 year-old previously on SURVIVOR: SOUTH PACIFIC, becomes the sixth person to be voted out of SURVIVOR: CARAMOAN FANS VS FAVORITES 2.