The only rule of "Survivor": Never trust anybody.
Even your Day 1 partner. Even your subsequence alliance members. Even the person you cuddle with at night.
In the end, there's only one winner. And it could be you … or it could be somebody else. Who would you rather that be?
After tribal council, the fans returned to their camp, where Shamar just loses it. He yells at Reynold. He yells at Matt. He yells at Julia. (The latter two are in his alliance, by the way.)
Reynold's trying to strategize his way out of a sticky situation. "It's 'Revenge of the Nerds,'" he ruefully notes to Eddie. Sure, he has the hidden immunity idol, but it's best not to use it at this point. So, can he figure out a way to get Shamar voted out instead?
Matt comments on Reynold revealing the immunity idol during tribal council:
Actually, maybe he doesn't have to, since Shamar is talking a big game about quitting. "I'm over it, I don't really care, this ain't really my lifestyle," Shamar sighs. Um, we thought this was a group of die-hard fans, and a die-hard fan would never, ever, ever, ever quit.
But then Julia and Sherri and Laura bat their eyes and plead with him not to go. So, in the name of "loyalty," Shamar decides to stay. Reynold doesn't even try to stop from rolling his eyes.
Over at the favorites tribe, the big alliance is made up of twosomes -- Phillip and Andrea, Dawn and Cochran, and by default, Corinne and Malcolm. She should thank her lucky stars, though, because this is the second season in a row Malcolm's played, so he's sharp. So sharp that he finds the hidden immunity idol! They bury it and agree not to tell anyone else.
Brenda comments on her current status in Bikal:
But their collusion raises some eyebrows back at camp; in particular, Andrea's not pleased to see Corinne plotting in any way. Dammit, she's the only woman allowed to strategize! Corinne's gotta go, Andrea tells Phillip, who seemingly agrees. To replace her, they try to get Brandon on board. He's amenable, but doesn't trust them just yet. He may give them the benefit of the doubt now, but if they cross him, "I'll pee in the rice. I'll pee in the beans. I'll burn the shelter to the ground." Glad to see Brandon's matured so much since his last time on "Survivor."
Another day, another obstacle course immunity challenge. There are rewards, too -- comfort in the form of chairs, blankets, pillows, and a tarp.
The challenge exposes Laura's inability to swim, as well as the fact that Shamar wears contacts (he bellows, "Where the goggles at?" several times).
Michael discusses the pros and cons of Shamar:
By a hair, the favorites win! And by hair, we really mean Malcolm's hair, because wow -- he is really good at challenges.
Back at their camp, the fans start scrambling. Reynold tries to pick on Shamar, who brings up the whole goggle thing again. "He is less mature than my nephew … and my nephew is 3," Reynold says with a sigh.
Sherri is bummed about losing the challenge:
The alliance of six (Sherri, Shamar, Julia, Laura, Matt, and Michael) decide to split the vote to try to lure out Reynold's idol. They'll vote for both Hope and Eddie, and if there's a revote, go for Hope.
But Shamar's love of the ladies threatens the whole plan. While they're relaxing in the ocean, he lets Hope in on their whole plan, mostly because he wants her to vote Eddie off. If she does, she can stick around.
Hope immediately runs off to tell Julia, who tells everyone else. Suddenly, the whole tribe's in a tizzy. Maybe Shamar can't be trusted! Is he even going to vote with them? Maybe Laura and Julia want to side with Reynold's group to get Shamar out? Maybe the ghost of Boston Rob will slap them all upside the head? (Please!)
As we head into tribal, it's unclear who's voting where. The only thing that's clear is that, like last time, it's the Shamar vs. Reynold show. "I'm like the scapegoat for everybody," Shamar explains.
"He seems to get aggravated very easily," a scared Matt says, while Julia notes that after the last tribal, Shamar screamed at her "again and again and again." Yikes!
Sherri tries to defend him, saying that she knows a lot of people like Shamar. "He rubs people the wrong way," she says with a shrug. Yeah, maybe he should try to work on that?
They vote. Despite the seemingly last-minute shenanigans, it's a three-way tie among Eddie, Hope, and Shamar! Even though we felt it was coming, it's still a thrill to witness -- it's been awhile since we had a tie (though, we kinda wished it yielded a fire-making contest).
Time to revote! And again, as expected, the revote boots out Hope. The pretty people alliance is decimated, and Shamar lives to yell another day. Whether he can be trusted to follow the group's plan still remains to be seen.
Check out Twitter reactions, then sound off in the comments below!
I feel for Shamar as a veteran, I really do. But if you can't handle #survivor, don't go on Survivor! You're taking someone else's spot!— Eliza Orlins (@eorlins) February 28, 2013
Watch a preview of next week's episode:
"Survivor" airs Wednesdays at 8 PM on CBS.