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It's day seven and the Gota tribe is anything but united. After leaving tribal council, Eddie asks the tribe where they plan to go ‘tribe wise’ after voting off another one of his alliance members. When asked what he means, Eddie flat-out tells them that he knows he’s next and then Reynold.
When Laura denies his accusations, Eddie tells her that one of the weaker girls should have gone home. He then states to the camera that the other women voted off Hope because she’s the prettiest and saw her as a threat.
Laura defends herself which opens up a whole new can of worms. Eddie reveals to the whole tribe that Laura came up to him and Reynold, telling them both that the whole tribe planned to vote off Shamar. Eddie says they were duped twice and refuses to be played again.
Laura doesn’t deny coming to tribe outcasts but states that she never really planned to vote off Shamar. Angry at the deceit, both Eddie and Reynold let the tribe know that they no longer plan to work with them.
At the Favorites camp, spirits are high, but Phillip gets stranger and stranger. Phillip opens the scene by relating himself to Napoleon. He states that back during those times Napoleon was unable to reward his followers with items so he gave them names of honor instead. Phillip’s plan to gain Brandon’s trust is to do just that. In Phillip’s eyes, all he is doing is “containing the threat.”
Phillip walks up to Brandon in the woods and tells him that he is officially an honorary member of Stealth R Us Inc. He is given the name “The Conqueror” because at every challenge he conquers it head on. Brandon smiles, shakes Phillip’s hand, and thanks him for the opportunity to show the tribe what he’s made of. Realizing he can’t trust Phillip, Brandon laughs and tells the camera that it took nine days for him to infiltrate Stealth R Us and he can’t wait to bring them down.
Over by the shelter, Andrea is furious that Phillip is giving names out to non-alliance members. She does admit that it is a really good idea, noting that making them feel safe will bring them closer, but wishes Phillip ran it by her first. She then throws out the question “Who’s next? Will he give Brenda a name?”
In the next scene, Phillip is spotted walking up to Brenda and welcoming her into Stealth R Us. He gives her the name “Serenity,” stating that she keeps everyone calm. Phillip then revels in his sheer mastery, telling the viewers that Bikal can’t have a mission of their magnitude without “The Specialist.”
At the reward challenge, Bikal gets a look at the new Gota tribe. They see Hope was voted off last tribal council. They stare in disbelief as the rules are explained.
Each tribe must run to a platform and untie the planks that are attached. The tribe must use those planks to get all members, one by one, to the next platform. As the tribe moves from one platform to the next, the size decreases. First tribe to get all their members on the last platform and is able to stand for five seconds without falling wins reward, which is a visit from a local bushman.
At the start of the challenge each tribe is dead-even. The fans make good use of their time as they untie the knots, but the Favorites are right on their tail. Brenda crosses the planks first for the Favorites, followed by Andrea and the rest of their tribe. Each tribe makes it across the first two planks with ease.
At the second to last platform, Julia crosses first for the Fans followed by Laura who is unable to cross and leaves a window open for the Favorites to pull ahead. At the final platform, hardly big enough for two people, both tribes rush to get all eight tribe members on. It is down to Shamar for the Fans and Corinne for the Favorites. In the end, the Favorites win…again.
After the challenge, the Favorites make their way back to camp to await reward. When the bushman arrives, everyone is excited. The tribe finds out his name is Python and not only does he cook them food, but he shows them how to enhance their living with bamboo sticks. Shortly after eating, the ladies on the tribe slow dance with Python around the fire while the guys joke and watch in awe. Talk about boosting team morale.
Over at the Fans camp, Shamar tells everyone he thought the tribe won the challenge. Interesting claim since he was the last one to stand on the platform. Michael tells the tribe that he is tired of losing and that they need to do something to fix it.
Later that day, the camera pans to Shamar snoring in the shelter. Eddie and Rey comment on how Shamar constantly sleeps, lounges and does nothing around camp. It’s obvious they are gunning for him again. Once awake, Shamar tells the tribe that he will stay on the island only if they leave him alone and bring him food.
Laura gets disgusted and turns on him. She rallies up Eddie and Reynold and the three start to complain about Shamar. After the meal, Shamar comments on how his eye is bothering him. Matt, thinking it’s just Shamar complaining again, ignores him. After the talk with Laura, Reynold hopes the whole tribe will ban together to finally vote Shamar off, but he’s not so sure.
The following morning things continue to look bleak for Gota. The tribe endures a terrible night and is unable to get much sleep. The rapid winds, cold rain and the rats beat down the tribe. Michael tells us all that the vicious night has left the entire tribe hungry, scratched and bruised. He also says it’s a matter of time before Shamar quits.
Later that morning Jeff notices that Shamar’s eye is completely swollen, so he brings in medical. After careful examination, it is determined that Shamar has a torn cornea that could affect his vision, and must be pulled from the game. Jeff calls in the rest of the tribe to explain the situation and Shamar remorsefully cries as the rest of the tribe bids adieu. Even though Shamar is gone, the majority of the weak make it perfectly clear they are still after the minority of the small.
At the immunity challenge, the Favorites notice that Shamar is gone. Completely shocked, they ask Jeff what happens and he explains. Jeff then asks for the idol back as the challenge begins.
One-by-one each tribe member must swim out to a platform, climb to the top of a ladder, smash a tile, grab a key and swim back to shore. Once all the keys are collected, two tribe members must use five keys to unlock three locks to open a box. The tribe members must then collect sandbags and use them to knock over bricks. First tribe to knock over all their bricks and release their flag wins immunity.
Erik attempts to collect the first key for the Favorites against Sherri who goes for the Fans. Erik successfully smashes the tile and swims back to shore. Sherri, on the other hand, misses and has to try again, opening up the door for the Favorites to take the lead. Brandon goes second for the Favorites and immediately gets a key. Matt goes second for the Fans and obtains a key seconds after Brandon makes it to shore.
Brenda goes third for the Favorites and with a one-key advantage is able to lap Matt who struggles to swim back to shore with the second key for the Fans. Andrea bolts into the water and gets the fourth key for the Favorites while Eddie is hoping to get the third key for the Fans. Julia goes out next for the Fans and barely gets their fourth key, opening up the door for Malcolm to reach shore with the Favorites' fifth and final key.
Once on shore, Phillip and Cochran work to unlock the locks, while Michael swims out to get the fifth key for the Fans. Phillip gets the first lock unlocked before Michael gets back to shore. Laura and Reynold work the keys for the Fans and Laura struggles terribly, slowing the tribe down even more. The favorites unlock the remaining two locks after the Fans unlock their first lock, all thanks to Reynold.
Phillip starts tossing for the Favorites and goes strong for a short while but starts to gradually lose momentum. Meanwhile, Reynold unlocks the second lock and then the third immediately after. Reynold tosses for the fans and almost catches up, when Phillip knocks over the remaining block for the Favorites, winning the challenge.
Back at camp, Matt makes the comment that it sucks losing two people in one day. He then walks over to Reynold and Eddie. Matt tells them that he, Michael and those two are the only ones that were successful in the challenge. He suggests to them that they vote off Laura. Reynold smiles to his face, but after he walks away admits to not believing him.
Matt heads over to Michael to fill him in on the plan. He’s a little iffy about it though. In his mind he thought that the alliance would team up to vote off either Eddie or Reynold. He acknowledges that the alliance performs weak but admits to trusting Laura way more that Eddie or Reynold.
Matt goes to tell Sherri that the tribe needs to vote off Laura so they can become stronger. Hesitant about the plan, Sherri runs over to Julia. She tells Julia that she isn’t comfortable voting off a female because when it comes down to it the males will always be stronger than the females. Her fear is that the tribe will eventually pick the girls off one at a time.
Minutes before immunity two members of the tribe are forced to make a hard decision. Reynold, who has said on multiple occasions he doesn’t trust the majority, must decide to trust Matt and save his idol or use it and risk throwing it away. Michael, who’s kept his word so far in the game, must decide to either vote to keep the tribe strong or vote to keep his word.
At tribal council, Matt says there is less tension around camp now that Shamar is gone but it sucks because the tribe has also lost much-needed muscle. When asked about Shamar, Sherri states that she misses Shamar because he was a loyal vote.
Reynold chimes in saying that the tribe keeps losing when they should be winning. He goes on to say that Sherri is weak and Laura, the weakest, needs to go. He says he should stay along with Eddie because they are amongst the strong. Sherri counters his claim by saying they still lose with the “strong” on the team so voting off a weaker player isn’t worth breaking up the alliance.
Laura jumps in, in an attempt to save herself, and tells the tribe that they need to think about the long-term game. She claims that once the merge happens Eddie and Reynold will be the first to jump ship but if they keep her around they know she won’t. Laura goes on to say that the vote tonight will prioritize the tribe's strength or loyalty. She asks the tribe “which will get you further?”
Eddie tells Jeff that the night’s vote will say a lot about the tribe. He says it’s the determining factor in his decision to stick with the tribe or turn his back on them. Everyone goes to vote and Reynold surprisingly uses his idol. The third member to be voted out of the Fans tribe was Laura.
I wonder if this decision will affect the tribe for the better or prove to be a terrible mistake.
Watch Survivor: Caramoan on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.