Welcome to my weekly Survivor 26 Caramoan Fans vs. Favorites recap. I will be focusing on Matt “the Beard” Bischoff – BMX salesman & lead singer of the metal band Moonbow.
Last week, the Fans were still reeling from losing another person as they had to vote out three people in a row and lose one to an injury. But by the end of the episode there was a bit of hope, as the Favorites tribe had a player meltdown and pretty much self-evicted. So now this week would start with the Fans down to 6 people and the Favorites down to 8. Because at the challenges, they have to even up the teams, which meant if the Fans could win the next two immunity challenges, they would be even. Well this is Survivor – and expect the unexpected (wait that’s the tagline for another show…). When the tribes came in for what looked like a reward challenge, Jeff spoke to both tribes. Matt went on to say how he felt bad for Phillip and the rest of the Favs since they had to deal with the problem child. What a Teddy Bear that Matt is huh? With all the warm fuzzies in the air, Jeff then told the tribes they had to drop their buffs & the tribes would be mixed up.
Jeff then handed everyone an egg that they had to smash on their body. Purple or Orange paint would spray all over, which determined what tribe they were then on. Almost as if the eggs were planned, both new tribes had four Faves & three Fans. Not only that – but most of the sub alliances stayed together (hmmmm…. Something seems a little fishy here). Matt & his best ally Michael (and Julia, whoever she is) wound up on the tribe with Phillip, Corrine, Cochran, and Dawn as the Bikal tribe. So even though Matt had his buddy with him, Survivor is still a numbers game, and being down 3-4 would mean that if he had any chance of moving forward, they would have to win the immunity challenges. That would be difficult in physical comps – because all the young strong men & women were on the other tribe known as the Gota tribe. We’d have to hold out hope that the immunity challenge is a mental one.
The new tribes went back to their camps and got to know each other. After a few moments of Kumbaya, the game was back on. Phillip tried to get inside the head of Julia as he might have needed help from others when he wanted to turn on his own. This didn’t bode well for Matt & Michael, but who knew what games Phillip was up to? The other Favs, when they caught wind of this, got frustrated with him, but knew they couldn’t turn on him yet.
Then it became time for the first immunity challenge with the new tribes. OF COURSE it was a physical one, rolling heavy blocks back to the structure and having to build a staircase that read FANS VS FAVORITES on the side. Saving the gory details (despite Matt kickin’ ass) Bikal got destroyed and now had to go to Tribal later that night and vote someone out. Returning to camp – Phillip gave another one of his pep talks about how everyone did their best and the better team won. Phillip then talked to Matt privately and then with Michael and discussed how horrible Julia did at the challenge and she had to go. All the while – Phillip explained to them how there was an alliance called Stealth-R-Us (not too stealth if you talk about it to everyone?) and if they proved their worth, they could join in. Matt, knowing he needed to be on Phillip’s good sid,e sat there agreeing with everything, but on the inside was cracking up. When the three Fans got together, they “agreed” to vote out Dawn – but Matt was just blowing smoke to Julia – knowing he was voting to get rid of her. Meanwhile when the Favs got together they had to decide if keeping a stronger player Matt, who had an obvious side alliance with Michael was better than keeping Julia. The favs confronted Matt to see if he had a hidden immunity idol. Matt being honest said he did not. Although he was pretty convincing – the problem on these shows is so many people lie – so no matter how convincing you are, people will still hold some doubt.
When they arrived at Tribal – Matt once again pleaded his case that he did not have the idol – but the three Fans knew one of them were going home. As we already knew – Julia was voting for Dawn, Matt & Michael were voting for Julia, and then we found out who the Favs voted for. One by one these votes were revealed and the next person voted out was… MATT! ARRRGGGHHH!!!
Ok – I get it, it’s easier to control one person by themselves than a duo – so splitting up Matt & Michael was the way to go. Julia may not be able to help them in the challenges but she is so grateful they kept her around – she will owe it to them, and she seems naive enough to go along with it, but next week is another day, and who know what it will bring for these people.
Since this will be my last Survivor Recap now that Matt is gone – I would like to thank Metalinsider.net for giving me the opportunity to write about one of my favorite shows. I would also like to say to Matt & his fans – he has nothing to be ashamed of. The show was going to be difficult for him to get far especially after this last “twist” where the tribes got mixed up in unfair numbers for the Fans. Matt showed he was a good honest player, worked his ass off at the camp – and gave 100% at the challenges. Sadly that is not always enough to win these shows (trust me I know) – as lying & backstabbing make for better TV. But we got to know Matt as a person and not just a character. Of my four preseason picks to root for – only Michael & Eddie are left. I will enjoy watching it play out – but so sad the Ginger Metal Warrior was sent packing. If you missed his exit speech during the credits, here it is:
“You know, I came into this game knowing that my social game would be my strong point. I got along with everybody. No one thought ‘Oh this guy is crazy or too gnarly because he’s got a beard and tattoos.’ Everyone accepted me for who I was. I played to win. I put all my cards out on the table and I got voted out. But I really don’t regret anything.”