‘Survivor 44’ showmance sizzles between Matt and Frannie, but Claire is having none of it

It’s been several years since “Survivor” has had a genuine showmance, but that’s exactly what seems to be happening at the Soka camp. Matt Blankinship and Frannie Marin bonded on Day 1, and by Day 4 they were whispering sweet nothings into each other’s ears and hopping through the jungle like puppy dogs. Matt and Frannie (Mannie? Fratt?) are smart enough to realize they should keep their distance so they’re not targeted as a power duo. But Claire Rafson has already seen too much for her liking, and deems their relationship a “real liability.”

“Coming into this game, I was in a very vulnerable state,” Matt confesses to the camera in Episode 2. “I recently got out of a relationship that meant the world to me. I wanted to be able to put that behind, but you bring it into the game. And then, kicking things off, on the journey I lost my vote for the next two tribal councils. Like, I don’t think this game could have gone any worse for me.” Sighing, he adds, “Even though the Matt stock is at an all-time low in this game, I’ve found an incredible connection with Frannie. I really like Frannie.”

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We then cut to a cute moment of the duo playing fisherman and fishy, with Matt jokingly bragging about his “big long rod.” The 27-year old software engineer from San Francisco confirms, “She is really cute. She’s got a really funny laugh. The snorts! You know, it just makes my heart gush. I would 100% ask Frannie out. And I think she likes me, too. And we trust each other completely.”

Frannie is the only person on the Soka tribe that Matt feels close enough with to tell the truth about losing his votes at his first two tribal councils. “I love Matt,” the 23-year old research coordinator from Boston states in a confessional. “He’s so much fun to have around. And the fact that Matt trusts me, and that I’m the only person who he’s telling about this, is a really good sign.”

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She continues on, “But I’m worried that other people on the tribe might see Matt and I as a pair. The thought of distancing myself from Matt is a little upsetting … It’s so hard because Matt and I just can’t stop talking. I think we just gravitate towards each other. We’re just like two big dorky magnets that can’t be pulled apart.” For the record, CBS loved that quote so much that they titled the episode “Two Dorky Magnets.”

Claire’s perspective then takes over the narrative, as she bluntly wonders, “Are you serious? Like, what are they doing? It’s just digging their holes deeper. This could be a real liability for Frannie, being so close to Matt.” As the lovebirds try to communicate with a praying mantis (yes, really), Claire simply stares at them, a completely dumbfounded look on her face. Will the showmance end up costing Matt and Frannie the game? Stay tuned.

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