Survivor Cagayan: Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty – Episode 2 – Recap and Discussion


Previously: The Brain tribe sucks. The Beauty tribe is split into three pairs. Tony is running a Russell Hantz strategy in the Brawn tribe.

Night Six

The Brains return to their campsite. Spencer ruefully congratulates his tribe on their blindside of Garrett. He realizes that he’s in trouble. He’s going to have to come up with crazy, creative ideas to dig himself out of the hole Garrett left him in.

Everyone realizes that the tribe is a mess, but J’Tia finds it entertaining. Tasha tells Spencer that, honestly, she was with him and Garrett until she discovered they had formed an alliance with Kass. She confides to the audience that she feels no loyalty to Spencer.

At the Brawn tribe, Tony decides to throw a bone to Sarah and confesses that he’s a cop. She’s delighted to have her cop-dar justified. Tony immediately lies to Sarah that Cliff and Lindsey are plotting against her.

We go into commercial with night vision of monsoon rains. The players are miserable. They can’t even light a fire. The wood is too wet to burn.

Morning comes, with gale force winds. Brawn gathers fronds to keep their shelter intact, but they seem kind of happy to be doing stuff. Woo is downright exhilarated. He and Tony drink the water pouring off their roof. Lindsey loses a toenail, but Sarah doesn’t feel bad for her because the girl is a traitor.

Even the rain falls beautifully when it reaches the beauty tribe. But, Alexis is shivering in her knee socks and Jefra calls it a nightmare. She cries. Prettily. LJ, however, is annoying that Jefra is whining instead of doing. It lands on the men to fix their crumbling shelter. I think Brice is helping. He’s certainly looking intently.

Afterwards, LJ remembers Morgan appearing from behind the rock shelf when they first arrived at the camp. While his tribe mates shiver in the shelter, he goes out in the rain too search for the idol. He eventually finds it tied to a rock underwater. LJ hides it in his pocket, determined to keep it secret.

The next day, Spencer and Kass gather the Tree-Mail. It contains a small Buddha with the message. Spencer jokes that they’ll be doing a meditation challenge. But upon reading the letter, they conclude that it’s maze and will involve a water chain.

Tasha wants to start practicing throwing water from container to container, positive that that will be important. J’Tia announces that she’s hungry and needs rice. No one even bothers mentioning that she threw out almost all their rice three days ago. Spencer wants to drink water, and Kass wants to work on the interior design of their shelter.

Finally, the Brainiacs get down to practice. It’s rather fascinating to see the Brains actually doing something practical. Using coconut shell bowls, they try different techniques, discussing which ones work and which ones don’t. The editors put some waltz music under this, to make them look stupid, but they are actually being smart. Go, Brains!

Challenge Time!

The challenge is to create a water chain from the ocean to a bucket set on a teeter-totter. Filling the buckets makes the teeter-totter release a small metal ball. That ball is then set into a vertical wheel maze. Two players work together turning the maze (by pulling on ropes), moving the ball from the inside to an outside opening and dropping it into a bucket.

Alas! Even though they did their homework, the Brains still suck at water throwing. Beauty is the first to release their ball, but Brawn is right behind them. Brawn, however, is much better at navigating the maze and quickly win. Brains finally get their ball, but Beauty is more than halfway through their maze. However, Brains whips through the maze, winning the challenge!

They are so happy! The next minute is a wild, flailing hug fest. J’Tia breaks into happy tears.

Brawn heads back to their camp, twirling the pillows they won as part of the Tarp + Comfort package. Brains gets their first immunity idol, and a tarp, which is almost better than immunity, considering the monsoon rains. Beauty gets nothing but a Tribal Council.

Camp Aparri (Brawn) is the happiest place on earth after the challenge. Sarah attributes their success to keeping their composure during stress. Tony is still ahead of the game, snagging the immunity idol clue as it drops out of their new hammock. It’s meaningless, but he doesn’t want anyone else even wondering about immunity.

There’s a funny bit where Sarah asks if she can try out the hammock. “I hope you fall on your ass,” Lindsey jokes. Sarah immediately does fall on her ass, sending Lindsey into a rolling fit of laughter. Good times.

Beauty, on the other hand, is glum. LJ tries to avoid confrontation by asking if anyone is ready to leave. No one is. LJ confesses that he wants Brice out before any of the girls, because Brice might have a good endgame. Brice wants either Jefra or Alexis out, because they are both pretty useless to him. Jeremiah turns out to be playing both sides of the tribe. LJ thinks he’s in tight, but so does Morgan. And Jefra is just confused.

There are shots of an iguana and baby birds. I’m not really getting the Survivor symbolism here. Alexis suggest using the voodoo strategy (vote two players, splitting the first vote, then vote for one on the second round), in order to flush out Morgan’s possible hidden idol. Brice warns the viewers that the vote will expose everyone’s status in the tribe. Jeremiah sighs because no matter what he does, someone is going to end up with hurt feelings.

Tribal Council time!

Jeff starts by asking Morgan to address the stereotypes people hold about beautiful people. Morgan shrugs that her and her tribe are good-looking. What else is there to say? Brice compares beautiful people to butterflies. They aren’t always beautiful, but once they come out of the chrysalis and spread their wings, they just fly around being pretty. He makes it sound like a spiritual state of existence.

Jeff asks Jefra about the tribe. She says their first days were like a long, fun college party. Then the rains came and bummed everyone out. Now that they lost the challenge, they’ve become paranoid. Until today, she claims, no one ever talked strategy.

It’s dark, but I’m surprised Jefra can’t hear Brice’s eyes rolling. He tells Jeff that people were talking — they just weren’t talking to him. He breaks it down like this: LJ and Jeremiah are together. Alexis and Jefra are together. Sometimes all four of them get together. Leaving Brice and Morgan on the outs.

Jeff asks Brice what the basis of his vote tonight will be. Brice gives Alexis the side-eye and says he’s wants everyone in the tribe to pull their own weight. When asked for her response, Alexis replies that Brice is playing the game, using a silly thing like her inability to do any work around the camp as an excuse to write her name down.

Brice then tells Jeff that Talk of the Town is that a) there could be hidden immunity idols; b) Morgan might have one; and c) there might be idols in play. Morgan remarks that there might be some backstabbing happening tonight. Jeremiah concludes that “It’s going to hurt. It’s going to suck. But that’s Survivor.”

After noting that Alexis, Brice, and Morgan seem concerned, Jeff sends them all to vote. The vote is a three-way tie: Alexis, Brice, and Morgan. In the second vote, Brice is voted out.

In his final words, Brice decides that he was voted out for being the best-looking and most fashionable. Oh, snap!

What did you think of that challenge? What tribe would you be put into if you were on this season? And hey, what was that Tree-Mail Buddha about?

About mj santilli 34983 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!