Survivor Review: Faithfully Challenged

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Brandon Hantz, the nephew of now famous former Survivor Russell Hantz, has all of his uncle's worst qualities, and none of the good ones. 

Russell was conniving in a charming way. He was disruptive in a fun-loving way. And he was just dumb enough to make his evil behavior seem sincere. In "He Has Demons" Brandon proved to be annoyingly conniving, disgustingly disruptive, and so unintelligent and oblivious to his surroundings that at times I thought I was in some sort of dream state.

Crate Escape

During the first few days Brandon waxed on and on about how he was never going to let anyone know he was Russell's nephew, but at the start of episode two, he told Coach immediately. He even used God and his faith as his reason for revealing his secret to Coach, but then sneakily made sure that the Dragonslayer kept that nugget of info on the DL. Yeah, God wants you to share your secret with Coach, but nobody else.

It only became worse from there, as his odd and disturbing obsession with Mikayla hit new strides. The dude claims she is using seduction on all the men, but unless the editors are doing an absolute number on us, she seems to be standing around most of the time just like everybody else.

Which is where the confusing part sets in. What is he actually talking about when he keeps mentioning that he can't have her around because he's a married man? Brandon has his doubts about Mikayla because he's faithful to his wife? He's uncomfortable around her. Why? Because he'll be tempted to cheat? The kid is both so incredibly hypocritical and so very delusional. Believe me, you're not her type.

Brandon Incepted the thought in his own mind that he needed Mikayla gone, that he went all around camp proclaiming his feelings, while everyone else in and out of his alliance told him it was a bad idea. While his strong core of seven continued to plan to vote for Christine and Stacey, Brandon kept his Mikayla hating up all the way to tribal, where he outright revealed that he was telling everyone to vote for her.

Apparently, that plan didn't work, thanks in part to the Dragonslayer laying everything out on the line, but mostly because it was all an editing mirage. These guys had their seven votes locked in well before tribal council, but that doesn't mean it wasn't exciting to be worried that Mikayla was going to get ousted well before her time, or to be giddy at the thought of the entire tribe pulling a switcheroo and shoving Lil Hantz off to Redemption Island.

While the blue squad had to deal with the insufferable Brandon Hantz, Ozzy, Keith and Jim were making quite a strong alliance over on team red. With the 3+2 alliance of the three men, Whitney and Elise, they will be in good shape at the merge. The fact that Ozzy now has a hidden idol just puts them - or him - in that much better position.

A few other thoughts from "He Has Demons:"

  • Nice to see the challenges going every other thus far. The worst thing that can happen to an early season of Survivor is the same team winning challenge after challenge.
  • This week only having one challenge was a bit disappointing, especially since it meant more Brandon time, and the one we did have wasn't all that exciting. Bravo to the ladies of blue for a fantastic job unbraiding, but boy did the men have trouble with those heavy blocks.
  • So that past few years Russell has found hidden idols next to the biggest trees right next to camp, but now Ozzy has to climb up a million trees out into the ocean to find his? It doesn't seem fair, but I'd rather they be more difficult like this, than as easy as they seemed the past few seasons.
  • Semhar's poetry to the camera at Redemption Island was so bad that the crab went back into its whole. I think all of the crickets left as well.

And with that, the tribe and I have spoken.

He Has Demons Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (11 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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Survivor Season 23 Episode 2 Quotes

When it comes to friends, you can never have too many.


New Cochran doesn't follow Mommy's advice all the time. He cuts open a coconut when he needs to, and he does it by himself, with a machete.