Malcolm Freberg

'Survivor: Caramoan' kicks off with romance, lunacy and betrayal

Feb. 14, 2013 at 12:19 PM ET

Monty Brinton / CBS /
The competition got off to an intense start on "Survivor."

"Survivor: Caramoan" -- the second "Fans vs. Favorites" installment of the CBS reality competition -- debuted Wednesday night with all the ingredients for another stellar season: Sex! Betrayal! A nail-biting Tribal Council vote! And two inventive, exciting challenges in which everyone -- even scrawny, sunburned Cochran -- performed well.

Immediately after the 10 Favorites arrived by helicopter, the two tribes hit the water in pairs. The goal: retrieve a lifesaving ring and use any means necessary to get it to their own flagpole. The result: lots of physical water wrestling. Malcolm nearly lost his shorts but scored the winning point -- and flint and beans -- for the Faves (Bikal) tribe.

The contest revealed more than Malcolm's awesome assets and Phillip's hot pink (but not yet droopy) "panties." Burly Marine sergeant Shamar previewed his cray-cray when he yelled, "Break her wrist!" Say what now? When Jeff stopped the game, he clarified that he was encouraging his teammate Sherri to break Brenda's "hold."

Shamar's behavior was even more bizarre back at the Fans (Gota) camp, where he yelled at his tribemates and refused to help until they agreed to build a fire.  

Phillip, Boston Rob's "Redemption Island" goat, took charge at the Favorites camp, following his own "BR Rules." Rule 1: get in an alliance, which he did while alienating Erik and Francesca.

"If I am voted off first a second time, I will eat this rock," Fran said in her confessional. (Spoiler alert: Hope it's a yummy one!)

Monty Brinton / CBS /

Back at Gota, hunks Eddie and Reynold were following the Testosterone Rules by pairing up with bikini babes Hope and Allie to form the Cool Kids Lunch Table alliance -- apparently oblivious that a foursome is a minority in a tribe of 10.

Reynold and Allie especially made themselves targets by getting grabby (MTV hookup-style) at night. They might as well have been blasting rocket flares, since everyone in their very small shelter noticed.

But Reynold saved his clique, for at least another three days, with a spectacular come-from-behind win in the immunity challenge.

After four pairs raced up a tower to toss down crates of sandbags over the side, Malcolm and Reynold were charged with landing the sandbags in six small targets.

"Apparently that guy Reynold is really good at tossing sandbags into holes," Francesca noted after the fan speedily defeated Malcolm.

But even though Malcolm was the tribe's only stranger, the Fave's didn't hold a grudge. Phillip, the self-proclaimed "stealth, undercover brother" welcomed him into his alliance along with Corrine (dubbed the Dominatrix) and Andrea -- who lived up to her Eliminator nickname by double-crossing Francesca.

Brandon is the only one who suspected Andrea, either because he's astute or considers her a harlot and temptress like "South Pacific's" McKayla.

To Cochran's surprise, Dawn, whom he betrayed in "South Pacific," suggested they align -- and the two ended up being the swing votes at Tribal Council.

There, Jeff recalled Phillip and Francesca's first Tribal Council showdown, in which Special Agent Samurai Sheppard Feather Hawk of the Cherokee Buddhist Nation repeatedly called her "Francesqua." Phillip insisted the mispronunciation was deliberate -- not too convincing when he then mispronounced "expletive" ("explicative").

Of course, he won't have to worry about saying her name at all anymore. Bye-bye, Franwhatever.

Next time, on "Survivor": Brandon, realizing he's in the minority camp, is "feeling a little vengeful" and "thinking of going Russell Hantz style, playing dir-ty."

After that Tribal Council twist, what do you think will happen next week? Will Brandon "go out with a bang," or will the Favorites dominate the next immunity challenge? Share your predictions on our Facebook page!

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