When they announced that the next season of Survivor would be Fans vs. Favorites II my mind races with the possibilities: Kat or Tarzan from One World, Ralph from Redemption Island, Fabio from Nicaragua, oh goodness, I hope they do not bring back Colton. And when they finally announced who would be returning, it was met with a resounding “huh?” I had to Google half the cast (anyone actually remember Francesca, Brenda, or Corinne?) and the other half read like the Moron half of my proposed Morons vs. Masterminds season. It is clear why they titled this season Caramoan instead of Fans vs. Favorites II because there are few “favorites” to be found.
You had two of the three people who actually gave up their Immunity Necklace only to be promptly voted out in Brandon Hantz (seriously CBS, stop it with the Hantz family) and Erik Reichenbach (who is the lone returnee from the original Fans vs. Favorite). Then you had Phillip Sheppard who surprisingly managed to pass not one but two physiological tests to get on the show. When the first Fans vs. Favorites seasons were announced I thought the Favorites had such an unfair advantage for already have played, but not this time around. I have to feel bad for Andrea Boehlke and Malcolm Freberg for being played on maybe the most inept tribe ever assembled (which is doubly bad for Malcolm who tribe last season was just as incompetent).
Not surprisingly, Special Agent Phillip was once again pitted against his arch-nemesis, the hard to pronounce Francesca. The real question would be how the alliances would break down, would the few sane people team up? Just how many crazies could coexist in one alliance? Also not surprisingly the two of the most mentally challenged contestants of all time, Phillip and Brandon ended up on opposite sides. And just like the first season, Phillip does not have to spend much time trying to pronounce Francesca as he got her out first. Again. Which thankfully means Brandon is on the outs and looks to make a quick an exit his uncle did the last time Russell played.
But enough with the “Favorites”, unlike the first time around, they actually recruited some interesting “Fans” this time around. Unfortunately the two early standouts, former Marine, and surprisingly lazy Shamar Thomas and the very hairy Matt Bischoff went after each other on camp priorities. Really the only other glimpses we got to see of the fans tribe was a “High School” alliance form and just like the dumb jocks and cheerleaders, they apparently cannot count because an alliance of four can still get voted out quite easily (but that means Shamar and Matt would have to align with each other).
After losing the first Immunity Challenge and the promo monkeys making it look like they will head to another Tribal Council next week, it is safe to assume that one of the fans will be crowned the ultimate Survivor this season (unless the “Favorites can do some Jedi Mind Tricks after the merge like what happened to Erik the first time around) and I am going to go ahead and predict that Laura Alexander wins. If a favorite does somehow get the million dollars, my back up choice is Dawn.
Survivor: Caramoan airs Wednesdays at 8:00 on CBS. You can stream episodes on cbs.com. You can also download Survivor on iTunes.