Season 26: Episode 6 - Operation Thunder Dome
Posted on Mar 21, 2013 12:00am

It’s day 13 and the Bikal tribe is returning from just having voted out Brandon at the unexpected Tribal Council. The Bikal tribe is upset that Brandon aired his negative feelings about his tribe in front of the Gota tribe. Malcolm, Erik and Andrea are worried that Gota may now gain momentum and feel confident that they can beat the “dysfunctional” Bikal tribe that Brandon described. Phillip says, “He did some severe damage to myself.” Corinne feels Brandon hurt her reputation in the eyes of the Gota tribe also. Corinne points out that Brandon hurt everyone in the Bikal tribe because he destroyed their beans and rice. Phillip reveals, “I feel sorry for Brandon and let me tell you, what was going on with that guy, it takes a professional. Even the specialist can’t tell you what’s going on with him.” Dawn feels bad that Brandon picked on Phillip and Corinne in front of everyone. Corinne admits, “I didn’t really care for the fact that nobody jumped in to save Phillip or I.” Phillip tries to encourage his tribe and reminds them that they are the better and stronger tribe, so it is likely that one of them will win SURVIVOR. Everyone admits that things feel better around camp without Brandon. Cochran comments, “It’s comforting to know that Brandon was able to successfully fly over the cuckoo’s nest and now we’re just left with Phillip.” Phillip refocuses his attention on getting Corinne out of the game.

The next morning at the Gota camp, Reynold and Matt bring back tree mail. Matt hopes that it will be a reward challenge. where they can win some tasty food. Reynold feels that he and Eddie are the next to go at Gota. He reveals, “So, I’m just going to go out and win challenges, eat rice, and hopefully survive long enough that something shifts in the game.” Gota leaves camp for the challenge.

The Gota and Bikal tribes arrive on their mats. Jeff Probst, the host, asks Gota how they feel after seeing Brandon leave the game. Michael admits that it gave Gota a rare chance to talk about something positive for them. Matt feels bad for Phillip and the Bikal tribe because of what Brandon said about them and did to their food supply. Phillip admits that camp life has been more harmonious since Brandon left the game. Just as both tribes are feeling better about their tribe unity, Jeff instructs them to drop their buffs, because they are switching tribes. He then passes around bowls of eggs and has each person chooses one. Everybody smashes their egg to release a color that identifies their new tribe. Everybody with purple is on the new Bikal tribe, while everyone with orange is on the new Gota tribe. The new Gota tribe consists of Eddie, Reynold, Andrea, Malcolm, Sherri, Erik and Brenda. The new Bikal tribe consists of Corinne, Phillip, Michael, Matt, Cochran, Dawn and Julia. Each tribe gets new buffs from Jeff. Cochran declares, “The game just started anew.” Brenda is happy that her team has the majority of the strong people. Jeff gives each tribe a bag of rice and a new flint. As the new tribes are heading to their camps, Reynold admits, “Now it’s like a whole new life, a whole new chance, a whole new game. I means it day one for Eddie and me.”

The original Gota (Fan) tribe members welcome their new Gota (Favorite) tribe members to the Gota camp. They all feel good about their tribe’s chances to dominate at future challenges. Eddie is happy with his new tribe. Although the four Fans outnumber the three Favorites, Eddie doesn’t think that his tribe will be losing any immunity challenges soon and therefore going to Tribal Council. Eddie admits, “I think my chances of going further in this game significantly increased.” While the guys are trying to start the fire, Reynold tells Erik and Malcolm that Sherri and her alliance have been trying to vote out him and Eddie. He recommends that they vote out Sherri next. Erik is suspicious of Reynold and Eddie so quickly throwing Sherri under the bus. Erik reveals, “To me that immediately raises red flags. I look at Reynold and I think kind of used car salesman.” Meanwhile, Sherri is down the beach bathing in the ocean with Andrea and Brenda. She cautions them against Reynold. Sherri reveals that Reynold had played an idol at prior Tribal Council and has been out looking for another one. Andrea is happy to get the dirt on the old Gota tribe. She reveals, “She kind of spoiled everything about their tribe which is good news for us, because we’re still thinking along the lines of Favorites versus Fans.”

Over at the Bikal camp, Dawn and the other Favorites give the Fans a tour of their new camp. Corinne is excited about having Michael, who is gay, be part of her tribe. She reveals, “If I wasn’t a moron and hadn’t played this game before, I would turn on my entire alliance just to align with a gay. That’s how much I like gays.” Phillip works on starting a fire with Julia’s help. While he has some time alone with Julia, Phillip tries to get her to make a big move and flip to the Favorite’s alliance. He feels she is young and impressionable. Phillip admits, “I just wanted to plant the seeds with her, because it will probably be easier to get her trust than the two men.” Julia is pleased that Phillip has made her the offer, since she knows that the Fans are in the minority on the new Bikal tribe. Phillip gives Julia time to think about his offer and asks her not to mention it to others.

Back at the Gota camp, Andrea and Malcolm head to the water well to fill each other in on their conversations around camp. They are amazed at how freely Reynold, Eddie and Sherri are revealing their past alliances and conflicts on the old Gota tribe. Both Andrea and Malcolm are pleased that Sherri, Eddie and Reynold don’t get along and therefore won’t work together to overthrow the Favorites. Malcolm comments, “So far you couldn’t ask for more from a really dysfunctional group of people you’re going to join up with.” Andrea then tells Malcolm that she dreamed that he had an idol and asks him if he has one. Malcolm is amused by the dream and swears to her that he doesn’t have one. Malcolm admits, “She’s a smart girl, but I’m an accomplished liar when it comes to women, so maybe I pulled it off.”

Julia checks in with Michael at the Bikal camp. He tells Julia that he is happy with the camp itself and so far the people seem very nice. Meanwhile, Phillip meets with Corinne to tell her about his conversation with Julia and how he encouraged her to join their alliance. Corinne listens, but tells Phillip that they do not need anyone to flip. Corinne vents, “He’s the worse Federal agent I’ve ever met.” She is so frustrated with Phillip. Corinne finds Dawn and tells her about Phillip’s conversation with Julia. Dawn is shocked and is just glad that Phillip is on their side.

The new Gota and Bikal tribes arrive on their mats. Jeff explains the rules of the immunity challenge. Two members of each tribe will race to roll a large tribe colored crate back to the start, then the next two go. Once each tribe has collected all six crates, they will use them to build a staircase that spells “Fans vs. Favorites.” The first tribe to finish wins immunity and is safe from the vote. The losers will go to Tribal Council where somebody will be sent home. The first pair out for the Bikal tribe consists of Phillip and Julia. The first pair out for Gota is Erik and Eddie. Erik and Eddie work well together and get their crate back well before Phillip and Julia. So Gota takes the early lead. Next team out for Gota is Malcolm and Andrea. They arrive at their crate and start rolling it back before Dawn and Michael head out next for Bikal. Malcolm and Andrea are able to increase the Gota lead. Reynold and Brenda head out next for Gota, before Dawn and Michael arrive back at the Bikal start. Next out to retrieve the third crate for Bikal is Matt and Corinne. Reynold and Brenda are still in the lead and return the Gota third crate. Erik and Sherri are on the course next for Gota’s fourth crate. Gota is still in the lead. Malcolm and Eddie head out next for Gota when Erik and Sherri return. They are working on the fifth Gota crate while Philip and Cochran are working on only the fourth crate for Bikal. Malcolm and Eddie increase Gota’s lead on Bikal as Cochran and Phillip slow down. To make it worse, Phillip just gets back and is requested to go out next with Michael to retrieve Bikal’s fifth crate. Phillip is exhausted and not happy to be going out again. Meanwhile, Reynold and Sherri return the sixth and final crate for Gota allowing them to start working on their puzzle. Bikal still has two crates to get across the finish line. Gota has a big advantage in the challenge now. The crates are very heavy and this give them extra time to move them into position to solve the puzzle. Dawn and Matt retrieve the sixth and final crate for Bikal. By the time they return, Gota has placed two of their six crates into the staircase puzzle. Julia points out the Bikal crate that needs to go to the top. Malcolm is calling the shots for the Gota tribe. Phillip starts yelling at Julia asking exactly where the first piece goes. Bikal is taking too much time trying to decide what to do. Meanwhile Gota places their fourth and fifth crates. Bikal finally places their first crate at the top of the staircase and then they realize that it is in the wrong position. It’s too late though. Gota solves the crate puzzle and wins immunity for their tribe. Jeff comments, “That was pathetic.” Bikal gladly accepts the immunity idol and heads back to camp. Phillip is unhappy with Corinne’s performance in the challenge, but know he has to wait until the Fans are voted out of his tribe to get rid of her.

Phillip gives his Bikal tribe a pep talk as they return to camp after the immunity challenge loss. He assures them that everyone did their best but the other tribe just had more strength them. Corinne does not find Phillip’s speech inspiring and is just annoyed by it. She admits, “It’s very frustrating, but there is little I can do about it, because as annoying as he is, he’ll vote with me.” Later Matt checks in with Phillip to see whom he is voting for tonight. Phillip says he is voting for Julia. Matt agrees to vote for Julia tonight too, since he wants to have a better chance to win future challenges. Michael joins the two of them and finds out that the vote is for Julia. Phillip then talks to Michael and Matt about Stealth R Us. He tells them to follow directions from others unless he tells them otherwise. Matt admits, “Hearing Phillip talk about all this Stealth R Us and all this stuff, it made me want to bust out laughing.” Matt is willing to do what Phillip says though, since it may help him get further in the game. Phillip promises Matt and Michael membership to Stealth R Us, if they follow his orders. Next, Matt and Malcolm head to the jungle to gather wood. They discuss what they are going to tell Julia. Julia joins them and recommends that they vote for Dawn. Matt and Michael tell Julia that they will vote for Dawn too. Matt reveals, “I’m definitely not writing Dawn’s name down. I’m writing Julia with a capital J.” He is just glad that he will not be going home tonight. Corinne and Cochran then track down Michael and Matt to find out whom they are going to vote for tonight. Michael is willing to vote whomever they recommend. Corinne is hesitant to reveal that information in case one of them has a hidden immunity idol. Matt assures her that he does not have an idol. Cochran is leaning towards voting out Julia tonight, but he does worry about leaving Matt and Michael in the game, since they seem to be close allies. He knows that a power couple is a dangerous thing. Cochran is pretty sure that Matt does not have an idol, because he is so desperate to stay in the game. He admits, “For now, it seems like it’s between Matt and Julia.” Before heading out to Tribal Council, Phillip, Corinne, Dawn and Cochran meet on the beach to confirm their vote. Corinne feels they should vote for whomever is least likely to have a hidden immunity idol. Dawn and Cochran feel pretty sure that Matt does not have an idol. Phillip prefers that Julia be voted out, because he feels that Matt and Michael can be talked into joining the Favorites alliance. Corinne reveals, “I am undecided.” She likes Matt and find Julia boring, but she knows that these things are not what’s important in determining whom to vote for tonight.

As a big SURVIVOR fan, Matt admits that he is happy to be on a tribe with SURVIVOR favorites: Phillip, Dawn, Cochran and Corinne. Michael feels confident that one of the Fans will go home tonight though, since the Favorites outnumber the Fans four to three. Corinne admits that one of the Fans will go home tonight which isn’t really fair, but it is part of the game. Phillip is basing his vote on loyalty, obedience and being able to perform at challenges. Corinne is worried that one of the Fans has a hidden immunity idol. Matt assures everyone that he does not have the idol and does not know who has it. Phillip points out that the vote is based on who they think may have the idol. He says, “So, if you have it, you’re going to play it. If you don’t you’ll probably be going home.” The Bikal tribe votes. Before revealing the votes, Jeff asks if anyone would like to play a hidden immunity idol. No one does. Jeff then reveals all seven votes. Dawn receives one vote, Julia receives two votes and Matt receives four votes. So, Matt Bischoff, the 38 year-old BMX bike salesman, from Cincinnati, OH, becomes the seventh person to be voted out of SURVIVOR: CARAMOAN FANS VS FAVORITES 2.