What do you do with a problem like Phillip?
He's a whole different kind of crazy than Brandon. Phillip's brand of crazy is less volatile and less likely to implode as Brandon's did. He's wackier, more annoying, more delusional, and just plain dumb, but he can be useful.
It's why Boston Rob took him to the end of "Redemption Island." And it's why he's become the de facto leader this season. The faves seem content to let him be a magnet for dislike as he rants and raves about Stealth R Us, spy tactics, and the BR rules. Maybe some of them even hope to take him to the finale and use him just as Boston Rob did.
For now, though, Phillip has cast himself in the role of Rob. And at first, he thought bland, boring Julia could be his Natalie. Unfortunately, she doesn't follow his rules to the letter, and she gets voted out.
The question we have for Phillip is: If you're Rob, Julia was meant to be Natalie, who was going to be your Phillip? (Yeah, our heads hurt, too.)
Over at Bikal, everyone's so very sad that Matt is gone. The only person who really cares, of course, is Michael, who's lost his alliance buddy. But Corinne, friend of the gays, has his back.
Phillip's not happy about their closeness and he wants to vote out Corinne before the merge. But Cochran tries to talk some sense into him: If they get to the merge without her, the faves on Gota will not be happy.
Tree mail comes, which leads Phillip to start bragging about his strength and wins an arm-wrestling match over Cochran (as if that's such a feat). "My asset is the will of a lion and the determination of a gorilla," Stealth Master proclaims. Cue eye-rolling from all of America.
Onto the reward challenge, which involves a race in the water. Each tribe carries weights, and the first to catch up to the other wins a coffee bar complete with cookies, croissants, and brownies. Phillip takes the lead position for his tribe, but despite his boasting earlier, falls behind. Gota wins easily.
Back at their camp, Phillip makes excuses, though Corinne isn't having it. She calls him a "tubby lunchbox," she rants, "I mean, he's a … a ... an amoeba. He's a loose 10 pounds of potatoes in a 5 pound sack!"
Cochran, meanwhile, observes the tension between the two, and how each has drafted one of the fans -- Phillip's got Julia and Corinne's got Michael. Cochran prefers the latter, likening Julia to vanilla, though "that would be doing a great disservice to the flavor of vanilla."
Phillip takes Julia aside to let her know he wants to draft her as a double agent. She plays along, but can't help wondering why the faves keep this lunatic around. You and the rest of us, girl!
The Gota tribe members are having a wonderfully sweet time feasting on coffee and desserts. Malcolm's kissing everyone on the head, Erik's falling asleep clutching a cookie. What's there to worry about?
Well, Malcolm's got his eye on the prize. He knows that as soon as the merge happens, the "alpha males" -- himself, Erik, Reynold, and Eddie -- will be targets. "We're in the same boat," Malcolm says when he approaches Reynold about a possible post-merge alliance. Reynold is like a puppy dog happy to finally get to play fetch. He eagerly agrees, then offers up the morsel of info that he has an idol.
A gleeful Malcolm realizes, "I'm the only one in the game who knows where both idols are. I can't wait to see the look on some people's faces when I take control of this game. God, I can't wait." (Neither can we!)
Breakin' the rules
Back at Bikal, Julia tells Dawn about her double-agent conversation with Phillip. Dawn then immediately reports it to the Stealth Master, who isn't pleased that Julia broke his rule about keeping quiet. Maybe she should be the next to go!
Both tribes troop to the immunity challenge, which involves a boat race, paddling a heavy statue back, and acquiring rings with a grappling hook. Gota gets out to a lead, but Bikal seems like they could catch up, except Phillip is abysmal with the hook. Gota wins … again.
When they return to camp, Phillip takes Cochran aside and claims that he meant to lose the challenge. Oh, he could've thrown the hook a little bit this way or dragged it back in faster, but he wanted to lose and get rid of one of the fans. Riiiight.
Cochran issues yet another classic line: "You can't make up this level of delusion, and that's what excites me about playing with Phillip." Love him!
Phillip decides to split the faves' votes between Julia and Michael, in case of an idol, but Corinne doesn't want to risk losing her guy. The two get into it again, and Cochran predicts their feud will boil over at tribal council.
It doesn't really. They do take subtle snipes at each other. Michael makes his case, but Corinne distances herself from him (likely, to make sure they're not seen as a "couple"). Everyone votes, and it ends up being a tie. When the re-vote takes place, Julia is voted out. She won't be missed.
More interesting will be how this Phillip/Corinne head-butting will play out over the next couple of episodes, and especially after the merge. Can Phillip turn into Boston Rob? Or will he just play the role of himself, again, this season?
Check out reactions from Twitter about the episode, then sound off in the comments below!
On another note how did Julia get cast on #Survivor and I got rejected? Girl has less onscreen personality than my pugs.— Logan Key (@key_logan) March 28, 2013
Oh my god I love Malcolm.... last season AND this season #survivor— Lacccy Jeannn✗♥O (@beezy_bish) March 28, 2013
"Survivor" airs Wednesdays at 8 PM on ABC.