'Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites' Bikal tribe votes off Julia Landauer
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/28/2013
Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites' newly-shuffled Bikal tribe eliminated Julia Landauer, a 21-year-old racecar driver from Stanford, CA, from their tribe during Wednesday night's seventh episode of the CBS reality series' 26th edition.
Julia was voted out of her tribe at the season's seventh Tribal Council, the second time in a row the new Bikal tribe had an elimination vote.
"This game was so different than I expected going into it. It was tough to go up against the veteran players, people who knew the game inside and out and have played before, and then be at their mercy. And that's kind of one of the worst feelings in this game -- to be at the mercy of people. But I had a wonderful experience although it's been incredibly frustrating at times, and I couldn't have done anything differently," Julia said following her ouster.
On Night 16, the new Bikal tribe -- which was comprised of members Julia; Corinne Kaplan, a 33-year-old clinical consultant from Los Angeles, CA; Phillip Sheppard, a 54-year-old in software sales from Santa Monica, CA; John Cochran, a 25-year-old law student from Washington, DC; Michael Snow, a 44-year-old event planner from New York; and Dawn Meehan, a 42-year-old English professor from South Jordan, UT -- were lamenting Matt Bischoff's vote-off.
Everyone agreed they loved Matt and hated that they had to let him go. Michael, knowing he was going to be on the chopping block next, planned to build trust and friendships with his new tribemates, and lucky for him, Corinne said she was going to "fight tooth and nail" to keep him around.
Ultimately, Corinne wanted Phillip gone but knew she had to be patient because she couldn't just turn on her alliance too early in the game. Meanwhile, Phillip wanted to take out Corinne, at least before the merge, because she was befriending people outside of their alliance and failing to bring information back to him. Phillip told Cochran his intentions, but Cochran thought it was a bad idea because they'd be taking out one of their core six.
On Day 17, the Bikal tribe received Tree Mail, hinting that in the upcoming Reward Challenge, "the strong will carry the weak." Cochran joked that if the challenge required a lot of weak castaways, his tribe would be golden. However, Phillip was convinced he was extremely strong, bragging he could destroy anyone in arm wrestling.
"I may be old, but I still have game," Phillip said.
The Bikal and Gota tribe -- which consisted of Reynold Toepfer, a 30-year-old in real estate sales from San Francisco, CA; Edward "Eddie" Fox, a 23-year-old fireman and EMT from East Brunswick, NJ; Andrea Boehlke, a 23-year-old entertainment host and writer from New York; Malcolm Freberg, a 25-year-old bartender from Hermosa Beach, CA; Sherri Biethman, a 41-year-old fast food franchisee from Boise, ID; Erik Reichenbach, a 27-year-old comic book artist from Santa Clarita, CA; and Brenda Lowe, a 30-year-old paddleboard company owner from Miami, FL -- met Jeff for the Reward Challenge.
The Reward Challenge required each tribe to wear belts, clipping the castaways to a rope and allowing them to move together as a united tribe. Each person had to carry 20-pound sandbags, and the tribes were forced to start on opposite ends of an oval course and then run around it in attempt to catch the opposing tribe. If someone got tired, he or she could opt out of the challenge and give his or her weight to someone else.
Brenda sat out for Gota, and in the end, Gota won Reward in the form of coffee, cookies, brownies, and croissants -- food they would enjoy on a different island.
Following the challenge, Dawn said Phillip was extremely arrogant and put himself in the leadership role. She noted that Phillip acknowledged his strengths but none of his weaknesses.
Gota then got whisked away for their special afternoon, and it marked the first time any of the "Fans" had won a Reward. Andrea planned to get close to the "Fans" before voting them out so they could not only enjoy their time on the show, but then vote for her in the end.
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Malcolm was also strategizing, saying he wanted to make his move soon because he knew no one would want to take him to the end once the merge came.
Meanwhile, at Bikal's Corinne said Phillip the "mess" was to blame for losing the challenge. She tried to convince Cochran to take him out.
"Phillip and Corinne hate each other. There's so much fracture and division within the 'Favorites' on this tribe it's like a death sentence. I mean, something is going to happen at one point or another. I'm going to be pushing that we certainly vote off a fan, which is not even a certainty at this point because Michael actually seems capable of wheeling and dealing. He's already gotten very, very close with Corinne," Cochran explained.
"Julia... I'm tempted to say that she has a vanilla personality, but I feel like that would be doing a great disservice to the flavor vanilla. I mean, people actively seek out vanilla-flavored products. Children clamor to get a vanilla ice cream cone. Nobody's clamoring for any Julia flavor, except for Phillip. Phillip has grown very, very close to Julia. And I'm not exactly sure why."
Phillip thought he created his first double agent in Julia. He told her to befriend the "Fans" once the merge came and then bring that information back to him without sharing any of it with anyone else. Julia agreed because she realized she didn't have many other options going for her. Phillip said he was going to do everything in his power to keep her in the game.
"What's interesting about Phillip is that I don't find him to be an intimidating character at all. But when he's like, 'I will tell you to do this and you will do it,' I understand that at this point if I have any hope of staying in the game, that's what I have to do. But there's going to come 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?" Julia explained.
Over at Gota's camp, Malcolm talked to Reynold about joining forces and aligning with Eddie and Erik because they were the four strong, athletic "alpha males" who would be immediately targeted come the merge. Reynold seemed excited about the opportunity and eagerly accepted Malcolm's request, and he told Malcolm he had a hidden Immunity Idol.
Malcolm saw that as proof of Reynold's blind trust in him and their new alliance. Malcolm was thrilled about the turn of events, anticipating completely taking control of the game, as he also had an idol in his possession.
On Day 19, Julia told Dawn she felt a little indebted to Phillip but also bullied at the same time. Julia then told Dawn about what Phillip had asked of her and brought up the idea of just getting Phillip out now. Dawn agreed to Julia's face but then realized Julia was "thinking" in the game a lot more than she had suspected. Dawn then ran back to Phillip and spilled the beans of Julia's revelation, and a disappointed Phillip was then ready to get rid of Julia.
Later that day, all the castaways met Jeff again, who then explained the rules to what would be their seventh Immunity Challenge.
For the challenge, three members of each tribe had to paddle out into the ocean, dive down to release a statue, and then bring it back to shore and place it at the base of the tower. Then, three more players would use a grappling hook to retrieve keys. Once a tribe collected all five of their keys, they had to unlock their tower and then pull their statue to the top.
The first tribe to finish the challenge would win immunity and be safe from the vote at the upcoming Tribal Council, while the losing tribe would be forced to vote off one of its members. Gota sat out Sherri, and in the end, they won -- which wasn't much of a surprise to anyone considering Gota had the muscle on their tribe.
Once back at camp, Phillip -- who controlled the grappling hook for his tribe and basically lost the challenge for them -- pulled Cochran aside and told him he didn't want to win the challenge so they could have the chance to get rid of the fan they needed gone before the merge. Cochran thought Phillip's explanation of throwing the challenge was a complete lie.
"It's complete crap. He can't make up this level of delusion, and that's what excites me about playing with Phillip. I think he's actually convinced at this point that he threw the challenge... He was trying hard... It's absurd," Cochran said.
The four "Favorites" planned to split their votes between the two remaining fans -- Julia and Michael -- to flush out any idols and then get rid of Julia on the re-vote. Corinne didn't like the plan because she wanted to save Michael and maintain his trust going into the merge.
Phillip then apparently changed his mind and told Dawn and Cochran to vote Michael out in a Boston Rob-type move to get a little revenge on Corinne for her lack of cooperation. Phillip told Dawn and Cochran that Corinne's love was greater for Michael than it was for himself and that was a problem. Corinne and Phillip just continued to bicker back and forth, both separately admitting to the cameras that they couldn't stand one another.
That night, Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites' six members of the new Bikal tribe arrived for the season's seventh Tribal Council session.
Phillip told Jeff that himself and Corinne obviously clashed all the time but they still had the same plan. The only problem for them was, according to Phillip, the different processes of how they went about executing such ideas.
It quickly became official that the vote was going to come down to either Michael or Julia. Corinne clarified to the group that although she was close with Michael, their friendship was being exaggerated because she did not have a Final 2 alliance with him. Corinne tried to explain their bond was not dangerous.
Julia then announced that she was already examining what she did right and what she did wrong, suggesting maybe she got too comfortable in the game and that might end up being her downfall.
Jeff then revealed the votes. Three castaways voted to oust Julia from Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites and three people voted for Michael. After the re-vote -- in which Michael and Julia could not vote and the rest of the castaways could only vote for one of them -- Julia received all the votes.
The episode's closing credits later showed Phillip, Julia and Cochran voting for Michael and Dawn, Michael and Corinne for Julia in the first vote.