Season 26: Episode 7 - Tubby Lunchbox
Posted on Mar 28, 2013 12:00am

It’s night 16 and the Bikal tribe is back at camp after having voted Matt off their tribe at Tribal Council. The Favorites apologize to Michael and Julia for the vote since Matt was their fellow Fan. Michael admits, “Tribal Council sucked. Matt’s been my boy since day one, and now I’m totally on my own.” Michael hopes to make friends with the Favorites and become a trusted member of their alliance. Later, Corinne checks with Michael, assuring him that she is on his side. Corinne reveals, “Michael is not going home on my watch.” She wants Phillip to go but mentions that it’s too soon in the game to make that move. She vows to be patient. Phillip notices that Corinne is talking to Michael. He says that he doesn’t trust Corinne because she doesn’t tell him what she learns during her conversations with the Fans. Phillip then takes Cochran aside and tells him that he wants Corinne gone as soon as possible. Cochran warns him that the Favorites on the Gota tribe will not trust them if they get rid of one of their own before the merge. Phillip says, “If I cannot get rid of Corinne then her new gay friend, as she says, will be the one who goes home next.”

The next morning, Dawn and Phillip bring tree mail to the Bikal camp. Inside, a letter states, “The strong must bear the weak, if you hope to compete.” Cochran hopes that the challenge will cater to weaker castaways since his tribe is not as strong as Gota. Phillip quickly points out that he lifts weights and has a lot of upper body strength. He tells his tribe, “Without being arrogant, I’m almost certain I can win it.” In an effort to prove his strength, Phillip challenges Cochran to an arm wrestling match. He quickly beats Cochran and then tells him to use his whole body weight to try and get his arm down. Cochran admits, “I put a significant portion of my weight on his forearm, and he managed to keep it off the ground.” Phillip is proud of his victory and feels confident in his abilities. He boasts, “I may be old, but I still have game.”

The Gota and Bikal tribes arrive on their mats. Jeff Probst, the host, explains the rules of the challenge. Each castaway will wear a belt connected to the same rope, forming a chain for their tribe all moving together. In addition, they will each carry a twenty-pound sandbag. Starting on opposite sides of an oval course, they will race to catch the other tribe. If they get tired, they can opt out, but they must give their weight to someone else on their tribe still on the course. The first tribe to catch the other tribe wins reward. The reward is a trip to another island, where they will be able to enjoy coffee and pastries. Gota sits Brenda out of the challenge since they have an extra person. Phillip puts himself in the first position for the Bikal tribe, and they take off sprinting. The Gota tribe has Erik in front, beginning at a normal pace. Malcolm assures his Gota tribe that Bikal is not going to be able to keep up their quick pace. Phillip slows his tribe down to a walk. After a short time, Gota starts to catch up to Bikal. Phillip commands his tribe to sprint again, but after he tires, he decides to slow back down to a walk. Jeff points out that Bikal put Phillip, their oldest member in front, while Gota put Erik, one of their strongest members in front. Gota continues to gain ground on Bikal. Brenda cheers Gota on from the sidelines. The other members of Bikal encourage Phillip to run. He tries and says, “I can’t run. I’m tired.” Gota gets closer and closer to Bikal. Dawn tires and opts out of the challenge. She passes her twenty-pound bag to Corinne. Gota then gets to the curve of the course and starts to run towards Bikal. Dawn warns them that Gota is getting closer. Gota continues to run as Cochran and Julia opt out for Bikal. Corinne winds up carrying sixty pounds of sand. Andrea falls, which stops Gota from running. Phillip then tries to run for the Bikal tribe, but he also falls. Erik then catches Phillip, who is now at the back of the Bikal tribe and taps him out. Gota wins the challenge and the coffee and pastry reward. Bikal is very upset at the loss. Dawn comments on Phillip, “He sees all of his strengths and none of his weaknesses.”

The Gota tribe screams as they arrive at the reward, seeing all of the coffee and treats waiting for them. They enjoy brownies, croissants, cinnamon rolls, coffee, and more. Andrea reveals, “Winning a reward was a great way to bond with the Fans.” She is glad that the Fans get to enjoy their first reward. Andrea does not plan on taking them to the end with her, but she hopes that they will like her and vote for her if they become part of the jury. The Gota tribe toasts their success with cinnamon rolls and coffee. Reynold is happy to be eating and getting to know the Favorites better. He says, “Life is meant to indulge in glorious abundance. So this reward is right in my sweet spot.” Malcolm admits that the coffee might be getting to him as he goes around and kisses everyone on his tribe. Malcolm knows that he is viewed as a threat in this game. He reveals, “I’m keeping a smile on, but at the same time, I’m getting my pieces ready to take control of this game.”

The Bikal tribe is back at camp after losing the reward challenge. Phillip admits that the Gota tribe had what it took to win that challenge. Corinne blames him for the loss. She reveals, “Everyone else sees his true colors and like if he blows the next challenge for us, maybe we take him out next.” Corinne vents to Cochran, who knows that Phillip feels the same way about her. Cochran admits, “There’s so much fracture and division within the Favorites on this tribe. It’s like a death sentence.” The original plan was to vote for a Fan next and keep the Favorites strong. Cochran is worried this won’t happen though, since Michael has gotten close with Corinne and Phillip has gotten close with Julia. Over by the fire, Phillip tries to recruit Julia to be a double agent. He tells her that if she makes it to the merge, then she needs to reconnect with her old tribe mates and report back to him with any interesting information. Julia doesn’t feel like she has any choice but to agree to work with him so she can stay in the game. She says, “There comes a point when he’s really going to destruct the unity of the tribe I feel by driving everyone crazy. So why not get rid of him?”

Malcolm knows that as soon as the Favorites eliminate the Fans, he will likely be targeted next because he a big threat to win individual immunity challenges. He feels that Reynold, Eddie, and Erik are in the same boat. Malcolm decides, “What I need to do is to spearhead having these four guys join forces.” Malcolm meets with Reynold and reveals his plan to him. Reynold likes the idea and assures Malcolm that he can get Eddie to agree to it. Malcolm feels that he can convince Erik to join as well. Reynold has been lied to before in this game, but his instinct tells him that he can trust Malcolm. He admits, “This will be the one that’s the nail in the coffin for me if I’m wrong.” Malcolm promises to tell Reynold if the Favorites are going to vote for him at Tribal Council. Reynold appreciates this and reveals to Malcolm that he has a hidden immunity idol. Malcolm is shocked that Reynold revealed this to him. Malcolm is happy that Reynold trusted him with this vital information and now feels more comfortable that Reynold is committed to his plan. Malcolm gloats, “I’m the only one in the game who knows where both idols are.”

The next day at Bikal, Julia talks to Dawn about her conversations with Phillip. She tells Dawn that Phillip is interested in working with her after the merge but that she feels bullied by him. Dawn listens intently and tries to assure Julia that Phillip is just trying to keep her in the game. Julia appreciates that, but asks, “What happens if everyone just overthrew Phil?” Dawn didn’t think Julia was actually that strategic. After talking to Julia, Dawn admits, “It is actually helpful to know that she’s thinking more than we thought she was.” Later, Dawn tells Phillip that Julia admitted that she was working with Phillip. Phillip responds, “She’s an idiot.” He told Julia not to tell anyone about their conversations and now she has. Phillip reveals, “She’s managed to commit several faux pas in terms of SURVIVOR play.” Phillip and Dawn agree that Julia needs to go.

The new Gota and Bikal tribes arrive on their mats. Jeff explains the rules of the immunity challenge. Three members of each tribe will paddle out into the ocean on a canoe. They will then dive into the water to release a statue. They will bring it back to shore and place it at the base of a tower. Next, three other tribe members will use a grappling hook to retrieve keys. Once a tribe has collected five keys, they will unlock the tower and pull their statue to the top. The first tribe to finish wins. The losers will go to Tribal Council, where someone will be voted out of the game. Sherri sits out for the Gota tribe, since they have one extra person. Dawn, Corinne, and Michael head out in the canoe for the Bikal tribe while Brenda, Eddie, and Erik do so for Gota. The Gota tribe takes the early lead. The Bikal tribe almost capsizes their canoe, which slows them down. As Gota approaches the statue, they lose control of their canoe. This gives Bikal a chance to catch up. Gota and Bikal both get their statues untied and into their canoes quickly. On the way back to shore, Bikal almost tips their canoe once again, giving Gota a chance to take back the lead and get to shore first. They get their statue to the base of the tower and start trying to retrieve the keys before Bikal even gets their statue to the tower. Phillip uses the grappling hook to retrieve keys for Bikal and Reynold for Gota. Reynold hooks three keys before Phillip hooks one. Gota extends their lead in the challenge with only two keys left to retrieve. Phillip hooks his first key. Reynold hooks his fourth key. Phillip immediately replies by hooking his second key. Phillip has three more keys to get, but Reynold only has one more key. Phillip hooks his third key, while Reynold is still trying to hook his last key. Phillip is catching up, but Reynold finally gets his last key. He and Andrea race to take all five keys to try and open their lock. Phillip is still trying to retrieve Bikal’s last two keys. Before Phillip retrieves any other keys, Andrea opens the lock. Gota pulls their statue up to the top and wins immunity again.

Immediately after Bikal returns to camp, Phillip pulls Cochran aside and tells him that he purposely threw the immunity challenge. Phillip explains that he did not want to win it because he wanted to vote a Fan out tonight. Cochran politely listens, but he doesn’t believe that Phillip was not trying his best. Cochran comments, “You can’t make up this level of delusion and that’s what excites me about playing with Phillip. I think he’s actually at this point convinced that he threw the challenge.” Cochran confirms that Phillip still wants to split the vote tonight between Michael and Julia. Since there are four Favorites and two Fans, the Favorites can split their votes between Michael and Julia to flush out any idol they may have. With a tie, they will re-vote and cast all four of their votes for the person that doesn’t have an idol. They prefer to vote out Julia next. Later, the four Favorites meet in the shelter before Tribal Council. Unlike the others, Corinne does not want to split the vote and offend Michael. Corinne wants Michael to join their alliance and help them after the merge. Corinne tells them, “I want to do everything in my power to make sure he feels safe, comfortable and trusts us.” Phillip feels that they don’t need Michael and insists that they split the vote. He comments, “I see her putting her selfish interests above the Favorites.” Phillip then meets with Dawn and Cochran. He tells them that the three of them are the core alliance and Corinne is not a part of it. Corinne walks up to this meeting. Phillip tells her to go away since she is interrupting their meeting. Corinne is upset that she is being excluded from a meeting of the Favorites’ alliance. She vents, “Phillip is beyond awful. If this were the real world I would kick his ass.”

Michael admits that morale is low and tension high in the Bikal tribe. Corinne explains how there is disagreement amongst the Favorites about whether to keep Michael or Julia. Phillip points out that he and Corinne are worried about the same things but that they just do things differently. Dawn says, “I’ve learned if we have the same goal at the end then the conflict maybe okay, if we stay committed.” Next, Phillip defends his performance in the immunity challenge. He is proud that he carried their statue to the base himself, when the other tribe needed three men to do it. Phillip will not let the loss get him down. Michael knows that he is vulnerable tonight, and he hopes that the bonding that he has done with the Favorites after the shuffle will save him. Julia reveals that her game has had to change since the switch and she is out of her comfort zone. Corinne assures the Favorites that her friendship with Michael does not mean they are in a two-person alliance trying to overthrow the others. The Bikal tribe votes. Before revealing the votes, Jeff asks if anyone would like to play a hidden immunity idol. No one does. Jeff reveals all six votes. The vote is tied with three votes for Julia and three votes for Michael. The tribe then votes again without Julia or Michael voting this round. Jeff reveals the first three votes are all for Julia. Julia Landauer, the 21 year-old race car driver, from Stanford, CA, becomes the eighth person to be voted out of SURVIVOR: CARAMOAN FANS VS FAVORITES 2.