Mary Beth’s 2Cents:
I want to make it known that I'm probably the biggest Russell Hantz fan in existence. I would prefer it if he was on all remaining seasons of “Survivor” from now until the end of time. Now, I know that's not possible so I was really thrilled to read pre-season that his nephew Brandon was going to be on this season.
After three shows, I can tell you, I cannot stand Brandon Hantz. He is probably the most annoying individual I've ever seen. He is so stuck in his head going back and forth between his beliefs and his lust and his “need” to be honest and NOT be like his Uncle Russell that he's letting it make him do the most absurd things!
I mean, it's entertaining to watch him self-destruct, I guess, but mostly it's just becoming annoying. He really doesn't have to worry about being like Uncle Russell. Uncle Russell was the best player “Survivor” ever saw (yet he never won!!! Shame!!!). Brandon will go down in “Survivor” history as one of the strangest people to ever compete. Coach needs to cut him loose the first chance he gets!
Honestly, Brandon got so on my nerves that the rest of the show seemed mild and non-eventful! I mean, I kind of expected Semhar to lose the Redemption Island challenge. It was weirdly entertaining that she broke into spontaneous spoken word to calm herself down. Okay, maybe it was just weird. Not really entertaining.
I did get a good laugh from watching Papa Bear sprinting across the beach into the woods. I don't know why but the sight of him retreating into the woods at a semi-dead run cracked me up! It was a good effort, nonetheless. I was sorry to see him get voted out. I know they think did the right thing but I have to think that keeping Cochran might have been a mistake for the later challenges. We'll see, I guess!
* * * * *
Well I decided tonight that spoken word artistry is not for me. Semhar's shameless merchandising of her "skills" in the early part of tonight's episode just killed it for me! I mean, if she is not the absolute worst player in history, who is?
I am truly surprised and shockingly dismayed that she did not get eaten on Redemption Island. I'm no Christine fan, but Miss Coconuts never stood a chance in the balancing challenge. Oh and guess what…just in case you didn't know, according to Semhar Redemption Island is really scary and you're all alone! Buh bye…
On the Upolu team, Brandon and Coach had a tattoo contest (Coach wins). Once again to my extreme PLEASURE Coach continued to be fairly normal, level headed and respected amongst his teammates. They won the challenge. GO COACH!
Brandon continued his idiotic tortured journey. He (gasp) took off his shirt. And if he hadn't pointed out his weird Hantz tattooery, his teammates might not have known that he was a Hantz, but of course he couldn't wait to tell them. He didn't even have the shirt over his head before he started blabbing about it.
He continued to stalk and harass Mikayla again this week and inexplicably made her cry (she will regret that when she has eaten something). By the looks of things he took a nap in the campfire (did anyone else notice that?). Surely he is a convicted felon. When I have time I'm doing a background check.
In the end Savaii lost the challenge and one of them faced the long lonely walk at tribal council. Ozzy continued his hippiesque reign over his teammates, and it looked to be a choice between Cochran and Papa Bear.
I have to say that I have never warmed up to Papa Bear. His frantic run into the jungle in sagging wet undies to idol hunt did not help my opinion. Then he put on some very unfortunate looking jeans (they've only been out there a few days…why do those jeans look like that?) and made a controversial "bulge" in his pocket. Did he have the immunity idol? Of course not…Ozzy has it hidden in his ponytail.
Papa Bear got voted off, sparing Cochran. I still like Cochran and hope he can up his social standing. I wish his nose wasn't so sunburned because that does not help his social situation. I hope Papa Bear and his sad wet clothes beat Christine though. I still don't like her bad attitude.
* * * * *
From The Booth’s Take:
Tonight’s episode started out nicely. Christine and Semhar square off in a duel on Redemption Island to see whom will be the first competitor eliminated in season 23. The duel involved balancing a small totem on top of a pole that they have to add extensions to, making it taller. Whoever lets fall loses.
Before the duel begins, Semhar starts doing some “spoken word” mumbo-jumbo about getting naked and having ten kids by some guy she hasn’t met yet. Honest.
When she finishes, Probst asks her if that calmed her down. Semhar said she was totally calm now. Although she might have been totally calm, it didn’t prevent her from letting her totem fall of the pole.
I was happy with the result. The only thing that could have made it better if the totem had hit her in the mouth, thus insuring no more spoken word. I’m not a fan.
Did anyone else catch what Probst said as she was leaving? “Semhar, your adventure has come to an end.” I think he is trying to brand another catch phrase like, “The tribe has spoken.”
This may shock you, but I have to say it - No more Hantz!!! I can’t take it anymore. I’ve had enough. I bet you never thought you would hear that from me, but it’s true. I have had all I can stand of Hantz.
Brandon Hantz, that is. Got ya, didn’t I? There could never be too much Russell Hantz. But seriously, enough already with his deranged nephew. Initially, I thought he was going to be entertaining, however that didn’t last long.
First he tells us that he feels terrible because let his family down by lying and that God had chastised him for it. Looking quite repentant, he promised would never be bad again. It was like he was at confession.
His next move is to gather the entire Upolu tribe so he can reveal that he is the nephew of Russell Hantz. He shows them his cool Hantz tattoos, and then goes off into the woods to say three Our Fathers and five Hail Marys to complete his penance.
Later, Brandon has a confrontation with the lovely Mikayla and blows a gasket, gathers the tribe and starts another weird emotional scene. All he does here is erase any doubt the rest of the tribe might have had about him being a total nut job.
Fortunately, Upolu beats Savaii in the Immunity Challenge and we are spared any more Brandon drama. What we not spared is the Savaii tribe’s Papa Bear.
When he realizes that either it will be him or Cochran voted off, Papa Bear frantically sprints into the woods to search for the Hidden Immunity Idol. When Elyse sees this, she asks, “Did you see Papa Bear run into the woods?”
When his search is fruitless, he decides to create a phony Idol and hides it in his shorts. The whole Upolu tribe is watching as he comes out of the woods. Cochran observed that, “Papa Bear came back with a smile on his face and an extra large bulge in his underpants.”
I am not making this stuff up.
The Tribal Council was rather lackluster. As predicted, despite the extra large bulge in his underpants, Papa Bear is voted off to join Christine on Redemption Island.
That’s all I got. Next week I want more Cochran and less Brandon. A lot less. He lied and he was bad again. I say send him to purgatory right now.
Until next time…from the booth.