'Survivor: Caramoan' Recap: Season 26 Episode 7 ‘Tubby Lunchbox’

By Ida Brittany Newkirk,

In the latest episode of Survivor: Caramoan, when the tribe arrives back at camp, the majority agree that Matt leaving was for the best. Michael is noticeably sad and plans to build relationships with the tribe members in order to stay safe. Corinne tells the camera she’s willing to sacrifice one of the Favorites in order to save Michael, and she then goes to Michael and tells him that Phillip needs to go.

From a distance, Phillip notices Corinne talking to Michael. He comments on how Corinne secretly talks to a lot of the tribe members but never shares the discussion with her alliance. Phillip tells Cochran that Corinne needs to go, but Cochran doesn’t want a member from the core six to go. Phillip then considers voting off Michael, realizing he is the next best thing.

The next morning, Dawn reads the tree mail. The riddle makes a reference to the strong supporting the weak, an idea that ignites a seemingly unstable Phillip. Near the fire, Phillip tells the tribe that he is strong and will help the tribe prevail in challenges. He then begins to arm wrestle with Cochran and shows him techniques to win. Afterwards, Phillip tells Cochran he feels confident going into the upcoming challenge because of his strength.

At the reward challenge, Gota gets a first look at the new Bikal tribe. They notice Matt was voted off last tribal council. Jeff then tells both tribes the rules.

Each tribe member will start at opposite ends of the arena, wearing a belt attached to a rope carrying a sandbag. The tribes must then chase members from the other tribe. If at any moment a tribe member is unable to continue the race, they can choose to quit but must hand over their sandbag to another player. The first tribe to catch the other tribe wins rewards (which is sweets). Brenda sits out for Gota.

Both tribes start off by walking in an attempt to conserve energy. Corinne tells her tribe that they should start off with a light jog, but Phillip refuses, telling the tribe they need to walk. Jeff comments on each tribe’s strategy. Bikal chose to put Phillip, their oldest guy, in the front, whereas Gota chose to put Erik, a younger and fitter individual, in front.

As the game progresses, Bikal slips further and further behind. Even when the tribe begins to sprint, Phillip falls to the back and tells the tribe that they must walk, because a jog will tire him out. Shortly after, Dawn opts out of the challenge and hands her sandbag to Corinne. When Bikal finally decides to run, and after Corinne takes another sandbag, Philip falls, slowing Bikal down even more.

Minutes later, Gota gets on the same side as Bikal, and the tribe sprints to catch up with them. Erik extends his hand and touches the tribe in front of him. Gota wins reward, and Corinne is annoyed at the loss. Dawn tries to pump up the tribe by saying the reward wasn’t a huge one. As the tribes march out, Dawn tells the audience that Phillip always put himself in the role as the leader but doesn’t show any aspects of a leader.

Elsewhere, Gota enjoys reward. Andrea likes the fact that she is able to bond with the old Gota tribe and plans to get close with them before she votes them off. Reynold loves the winning streak his new tribe is having. Malcolm says the tribe is one big happy family but realizes that no one will want to take him to the merge, let alone the final, because he is a strong competitor.

Malcolm realizes the same thing, noting that the muscle on the team will eventually become the main target. Malcolm talks to Reynold and says the four strong players need to ban together. Reynold tells Malcolm (and the audience) that he doesn’t trust anyone on his old tribe, so they ban together. Reynold also tells Malcolm that he has the immunity idol, thus strengthening the alliance.

Over in Bikal, Phillip makes excuses for why the tribe loss. He says the members on Gota were fitter and had longer legs. Corinne immediately blames Phillip, calling him a tubby lunchbox because he’s far from fit.

Corinne goes to talk to Cochran and says that Phillip needs to go. Hesitant about her choice, Cochran says the Favorites need to play it safe. He realizes that Phillip and Corinne hate each other but says he will push for a fan to go if their tribe goes to tribal council. Cochran notices that Michael has gotten close to Corinne, and he notices Julia is getting close with Phillip. Cochran plans to vote one of the two out.

Phillip brags about the work he’s done molding Julia. He tells the audience that he believes he has a double agent. Dawn talks to Julia and wants to know where her head is at with Phillip. Julia tells her that Phillip wants her to work with him and that she agreed to help in order to further her chances in the game. Dawn then runs back and tells Phillip what Julia said. Phillip gets angry and says that Julia won’t know the mistake she made until she’s walking down the aisle off the island.

At the immunity challenge, three members of each tribe must paddle out to a buoy, dive down and retrieve a statue. The tribe members must then come back and clip the statue on to the base. Three other tribe members then use a grappling hook to collect keys to unlock several locks. The first team to unlock all locks wins immunity.

Erik, Eddie, and Brenda head out on the boat for Gota while Dawn, Corinne and Michael head out for Bikal. Gota takes an early lead but is immediately slowed down as they paddle off course. Bikal uses the delay as an opportunity to catch up, and both tribes reach the buoy at the same time.

Gota retrieves their statue first and flies back to shore with Bikal hot on their trail. Gota clips the statue into the base and proceed to collect the keys. Minutes later, Bikal is on the beach and begins to collect their keys as well. Reynold tosses for Gota, and Phillip tosses for Bikal. Reynold collects three keys in a row before Phillip gets his first. Phillip continues to struggle. Before Bikal knows it, Reynold collects all the keys for Gota, and Andrea unlocks the locks. Gota wins immunity.

After the immunity challenge, spirits are low for Bikal. Phillip pulls Cochran aside and tells him that he has a confession. Phillip admits to not wanting to win the challenge, but Cochran doesn’t buy it. He says that Phillip really wanted to win the challenge, but he couldn’t quite make it, so he just wants to cover himself. Regardless of the disagreeing viewpoints on the loss, both agree to split the votes to flush out a possible idol and send a fan home.

Back by the shelter, Corinne tells Cochran and Phillip she doesn’t feel comfortable splitting votes if the alliance knows they want Julia to go home. She tells the audience that she knows none of the fans have the idol, because she has it with Malcolm and doesn’t want Malcolm second-guessing them once the merge comes.

Phillip is angry and thinks Corinne’s decision not to split the votes is for her own selfish reasons (i.e. an attempt to protect Michael). Corinne and Phillip get into an arguing match. Corinne tries to defend herself as Phillip continually talks over her. Phillip then tells the camera that he played with one of the greatest players of the game, ‘Boston Rob,' so he knows how to play.

As the tribe walks to tribal council, Cochran says Phillip's need to vote out Michael has nothing to do with Julia or Michael but rather with his dislike of Corinne and says that will all come out at tribal.

At tribal council, Michael says that it’s hard to play the game when team morale is low. Julia jumps in and says she’s tense, because the game could still be Fans vs. Favorites and since the Favorites dominate the tribe, she knows a Fan is going home.

When asked, Corinne tells Jeff that the core alliance is fighting about sending Michael or Julia home. She makes the point that it’s better to keep someone that would assist them in the merge versus someone who doesn’t do much strategically or physically around camp. Jeff then asks Dawn for her input. She says as long as the core alliance has the same goal, the bickering is manageable.

Jeff then asks about the tribe’s loss. Phillip admits to losing the challenge. Jeff mentions Phillip's repetitive statements about his strength and says it’s odd for someone who claims to be that strong to lose a challenge. Phillip counters by saying he lifted the statue by himself which was something no one else could do.

The conversation switches. Michael pitches himself to the tribe and says he is helpful around camp and plays his hardest. Cochran jumps in and says the connection between Corinne and Michael is troubling and Corinne counters by saying she barely knows the guy. Julia says she isn’t that comfortable with the vote and believes she may leave. Everyone goes to vote.

Jeff reads the votes. The first vote is for Julia, the next two votes are for Michael, the next two votes are for Julia, and the last vote is for Michael. The votes are tied so a re-vote occurs. Mike and Julia cannot vote. Jeff reads the second set of votes. All four votes are for Julia.

Watch Survivor: Caramoan on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS



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