'Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites' Bikal "Favorites" tribe eliminates Brandon Hantz after tantrum and breakdown
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/14/2013
Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites' Bikal "Favorites" tribe eliminated Brandon Hantz, a 21-year-old in chemical disposal from Katy, TX, from their tribe during Wednesday night's fourth episode of the CBS reality series' 26th edition.
Brandon was voted out of his tribe at the season's fourth Tribal Council, the second elimination vote for Bikal, which took place right at the location of the Immunity Challenge because Bikal had decided to forfeit the challenge in order to get rid of him as soon as possible due to his unruly and unpredictable behavior.
"My exit was nice. It was glorious. I showed them that, 'Hey, this guy is not going to just keel over and die.' If I'm going down in a battle, I'm going to throw rocks in my army. I'm going to go out Braveheart style. I don't regret none of it because I proved my point. I was the author of my elimination," Brandon said following his ouster.
On Night 10, the majority of the Gota "Fans" tribe -- which consisted of Sherri Biethman, a 41-year-old fast food franchisee from Boise, ID; Matt Bischoff, a 38-year-old in BMX bike sales from Cincinnati, OH; Edward "Eddie" Fox, a 23-year-old fireman and EMT from East Brunswick, NJ; Julia Landauer, a 21-year-old racecar driver from Stanford, CA; Michael Snow, a 44-year-old event planner from New York; and Reynold Toepfer, a 30-year-old in real estate sales from San Francisco, CA -- were missing Laura Alexander.
Sherri told the cameras she didn't want to vote Laura off because they had grown very close, however, she needed to go with her tribe and get rid of their weakest physical player and swimmer. Reynold noted his tribe knew they needed him to win challenges and he said it felt good to just be honest and say it.
Reynold then told his tribe he wanted to move forward together despite the jabs they previously took at each other although he wasn't being sincere. The Gota tribe, at this point in the game, was five people against Eddie and Reynold. Therefore, no one was going to be surprised if Reynold went ruthlessly looking for the idol since it was back in play.
"I still don't want Reynold to have the idol because he's a dangerous player. He really is a clutch guy. He's been our clutch man in all the challenges. He's clutch with getting the fire started. He can pull through. So that's why I don't want him to have the idol. I don't want him pulling through and figuring this thing out and getting himself too far at my expense," Michael explained.
Meanwhile, Brandon was starting trouble for the Bikal tribe -- which also consisted of Brenda Lowe, a 30-year-old paddleboard company owner from Miami, FL; John Cochran, a 25-year-old law student from Washington, DC; Phillip Sheppard, a 54-year-old in software sales from Santa Monica, CA; Malcolm Freberg, a 25-year-old bartender from Hermosa Beach, CA; Andrea Boehlke, a 23-year-old entertainment host and writer from New York; Corinne Kaplan, a 33-year-old clinical consultant from Los Angeles; Dawn Meehan, a 42-year-old English professor from South Jordan, UT; and Erik Reichenbach, a 27-year-old comic book artist from Santa Clarita, CA.
Brandon told his tribe if they were to go to the next Tribal Council session, he'd volunteer himself for elimination because he had two little babies and a wife at home. Brandon figured his kids were wondering where their father was and he believed it was his responsibility to be home and support them.
Malcolm didn't like what he was hearing because he thought it could have negative repercussions for the whole tribe. They'd lose a member intentionally and Malcolm believed Brandon should've thought about all these concerns before choosing to appear on the show again.
Brandon then admitted to his tribemates he wanted to light the shelter on fire and pee in the beans and rice. Everyone said it was okay and he just needed to calm down, but clearly the castaways weren't cool with it. Corinne wanted Brandon gone because she said he was "loco" and "spinning out of control."
The next day, Brandon explained he was motivated to play the game again out of selfish reasons, but then after thinking for awhile, he wanted to tough it out for his tribe and play a very aggressive, intense game instead of quitting. He said he was excited about his newfound plan and was actually freaking himself out.
The Gota and Bikal tribes then met up with Survivor host Jeff Probst, who explained the rules to what would be their second official Reward Challenge -- as they had previously been combined with Immunity Challenges.
Jeff instructed each tribe to select two members to hold onto separate ropes, which were attached to a net of coconuts. While holding on, the other tribe members would attempt to shoot coconuts into their opposing tribe's nets. The more coconuts in the net, the heavier it became -- until a person could no longer hold on. The last tribe member holding onto the net would win Reward for their tribe in the form of a barbeque complete with sausages, steaks, vegetables, and wine.
Andrea, Dawn and Erik sat out of the challenge for the "Favorites." Brandon was the first castaway out of the game and he was then followed by Matt, Michael and Phillip.
Phillip was "once again the hero" and won for his tribe, while Sherri was "worthless" in the challenge, according to Jeff.
On Day 11, the Gota tribe all thought things were going to turn around for them, but clearly, they lost another challenge and Sherri was pissed about her tribemates desiring "muscle" over loyalty in choosing to get rid of Laura when it made no difference in the challenges. Sherri was feeling like she had made a poor decision in helping her tribemates oust Laura.
Afterward, mostly everyone on the "Fans" tribe began looking for the re-hidden immunity idol. Matt said if he found it, he wouldn't tell anyone. But much to Reynold's surprise, he ended up finding it again.
"I mean, I might as well keep playing them if I can just keep finding them," Reynold said with a laugh. "But I don't want the majority alliance to know that I have the idol, because when they found out I had it last time, they started gunning for me and they wanted to flush it out. I don't want it to get flushed," Reynold explained.
"I want to use it at a time when it will really make a big difference. And I think there's a direct correlation between opening up your big fat mouth and the idol having to get played, so mouth shut, buttoned up! Eddie's my boy until the end, so I'll probably tell Eddie. Back in business baby, this is how you play Survivor!"
Reynold told Eddie he had the idol in his bag and Eddie said that was "awesome." The two of them planned to go all the way to the end together. Eddie couldn't believe how lucky they were, as Reynold lost the idol but ended up finding it again six hours later. Eddie thought it was funny how hard Sherri was looking for the idol.
Meanwhile, Brandon said it was "really, really, really pissing" him off that Phillip was taking the credit for winning the challenge. He was aggravated and felt like venting a little bit, so he told Phillip his input was more like a dictatorship in which he just tried to tell people what to do.
The pair then began arguing and Brandon started yelling at him. Andrea told the cameras that everyone agreed Brandon was "unstable and unpredictable." According to Malcolm, Phillip got caught in one of Brandon's "downward swings" and Brandon would eventually be a drain on the camp more than he could ever be useful down the road.
Phillip told the cameras he wanted Brandon out of the game, but he still tried to talk Brandon off the ledge. Phillip calmly told Brandon not to bite the hand that feeds him. Brandon took that comment very offensively, saying he ultimately made decisions for himself. However, Brandon seemed to convince himself he could trust Phillip and just needed to keep himself under control as tough as that may be. But Phillip wasn't going to put up with his antics anymore.
On Day 13, the Brandon and Phillip rivalry was starting to really get to Brandon. Brandon called Phillip a "punk bitch" to cameras and said he was the one who started the fire and fed himself -- as no one else fed him. Phillip thought Brandon could potentially harm someone, and so he believed the tribe needed to vote him off immediately. Phillip said he'd never consider throwing a challenge but the good outweighed the bad in this case and it may be a game saver for them to get rid of him.
Brandon guessed Phillip's plan against him and confronted Andrea about whether they were going to vote him off. Andrea said she didn't think it was going to get that far, but if it did, they'd have issues.
Brandon's blood was boiling because he believed he did so much around camp and was unappreciated. Brandon then approached Phillip and noted he thought they had squashed their beef. Phillip initially denied the accusation that there was still tension between them, but then Brandon called him out for what he had said to Andrea.
With his back up against the wall, Phillip said he was unhappy about the way things were playing out and he didn't think he could trust Brandon.
Phillip told Brandon he had been leaking private information and things like that -- only leading Brandon to become more furious and blurt out that no one liked him. Brandon then lost his temper and dumped out his tribe's rice and beans all the while screaming outloud, saying the tribe had its reason to vote him out now. Brandon was egging "the secret agent" to fight him, explaining that he no longer wanted to be disrespected.
"I'm the author of my fate. Vote me out now, bitch!" Brandon yelled.
Later that day, the castaways met Jeff Probst again, who then explained the rules to what would be their fifth Immunity Challenge.
Brandon then announced he wanted to say something. He asked the "Fans" not to let Phillip get to the end of the game and was calling his own tribe out on their "bullsh-t." Corinne then revealed to Jeff her tribe had decided to forfeit the challenge and go directly to Tribal Council.
"We realize that this is going to be a challenge for immunity and it is for that reason that we're going to forfeit the challenge so that we may go to Tribal. While we're all really fierce competitors, we have some discourse within our camp and we would like to hash that out in the appropriate setting. We respect this game and we hope that both of you and the "Fans" can respect our decision to go to Tribal," Corinne explained.
Brandon said the "Favorites" didn't respect the "Fans" at all. He then went on to say that Phillip made his tribemates feel like little plastic dolls. Brandon was screaming that Phillip always spoke so highly of himself and needed to stop talking about himself. Brandon insisted "Boston Rob" Rob Mariano took Phillip to the end of the game the first time he played and everyone just made fun of him throughout the season.
Brandon felt proud he was taking himself out of the game and wasn't biting the hand that fed him because he fed himself. Brandon said he was "fired up."
"I rough time after the show. I had a really rough time after the first time I played Survivor. It changed my personal life. It changed everything. I swore if I ever got a chance to play again, I would never play the same way. I would never be the guy to get walked over episode by episode by episode crying. I can stand here proudly today and say I never cried a f-cking tear on this season!... People don't give a damn. They don't care about anyone but themselves," Brandon yelled.
Phillip had little reaction throughout the whole tirade, suggested he had attempted to embrace Brandon. Andrea then got emotional and said it hurt to see him so upset because she had grown close to Brandon in the game and their tribe was doing so well. Brandon kept yelling "shut up, shut your mouth!" Phillip then lost his cool and called Brandon a pathetic individual. Brandon clearly wanted to fight Phillip but told Jeff he wouldn't get physical.
Dawn then started to cry as well because she didn't like all the stress and negative energy. After Brandon revealed to the "Fans" he had dumped the beans and rice, Corinne said the whole tribe didn't deserve that. Jeff then asked Brandon if the Russell Hantz temper and behavior "was in the blood." Brandon said the Hantz's spoke their minds and he was proud of that.
"I never had any bad feelings towards Brandon. Now, where this is coming from, I have no idea," Phillip said, insisting he wasn't in control of the game and that was just a matter of Brandon's imagination.
Phillip revealed Brandon had made a mistake and then Brandon told him to shut up. Phillip went on, saying Brandon needed to grow up and probably also spoke meanly to his uncle -- and his aunt who takes care of his children when he's away. That comment was the final straw for Brandon, who threatened to "rip his f-cking head off."
Jeff ended the conversation there and Gota walked away with the immunity idol by default.
Tribal Council then took place right there at the challenge's location without the torches or anything. Brandon voted for Phillip, and then the rest of his tribe voted him out one at a time -- Corinne, Phillip, Brenda, Malcolm, Dawn, Erik, Andrea, and finally Cochran.
Brandon said he was "good with it," and then Jeff told him the directions of where to go because he wasn't allowed back at camp. On his way out, Brandon wished the "Fans" luck and told them to "kick their ass." He then called Phillip a bitch once again.
The Bikal tribe was relieved Brandon would no longer be in the game and they thought it would be better for them in the long run. Meanwhile, the Gota tribe yelled out, "We'll take it," considering a win a win.