“I Cry More Than A Baby, Literally”: Survivor Caramoan Fans vs. Favorites II April 17 2013 recap

17 Apr

The episode begins with Malcolm saying he thought Dawn might be on his side, and that he was all wrong. Meanwhile Cochran and Phillip are coming to the realization that maybe Dawn isn’t the major threat to get jury votes that they thought, since her tattling has played a role in several ousters and might not be something Malcolm, Eddie, and Reynold will soon forget.

We saw in last week’s “coming soon” that Dawn would be going into even more hysterics than usual this week. What could possibly have happened, somebody dying? No, her losing her retainer. Brenda dives underwater and finds it in approximately 10 seconds, and Dawn hugs her as if Brenda had just saved Dawn’s 6 children from being stomped on by Godzilla. Oh, also, when she came and got Brenda, Dawn told her “I don’t want anyone else to know.” Since she was bawling loudly enough to awaken Ferdinand Marcos from the dead, I doubt she succeeded in keeping a lid on it.

The reward challenge is one that’s been done before, with an obstacle course that leaves everyone with mud and sand all over them at the end. Phillip, Dawn, Reynold, Erik, and Cochran get to go to a place that no doubt has the Philippine tourism bureau’s full approval, complete with infinity pool. The relaxation doesn’t do Dawn much good, in fact once she gets back to camp she tuns into Captain Kurtz and is overcome by paranoia, even thinking Andrea has turned on her for no other reason than she’s seen her talking to Malcolm and Eddie. Even Dawn’s alliance-mates have quickly had their fill. But then she gets one good night’s sleep and announces she’s completely back to normal again! Wow, when she’s back in civilian life teachers are going to cringe when that mother strolls into a PTA meeting.

Time for the immunity challenge which involves having to run across a long platform, then dive underneath and pull yourself along a rope that runs the length of the platform underwater, then surface, grab a ring, and put the ring on a pole at the other end of the platform. After the first heat is over, Phillip, who’s slated to be in the second heat, announces he is sitting the challenge out and won’t participate. He later recounts a childhood incident when he was trapped under a dock as his reason. Jeff Probst later says it’s the first time he can recall someone sitting a challenge out without some inducement such as food.

In the second heat, Eddie is set to be one of the two who advance, but in a play reminiscent of the DeSean Jackson blunder against the Cowboys, he fails to put the ring on the pole properly, or notice that he botched it, and so he’s eliminated. The final and the immunity necklace are won by Reynold.

Once back at camp, since Eddie, Reynold, and Malcolm have nothing better to do, they go looking for a new immunity idol on the assumption that a new one was placed after Malcolm played Reynold’s last episode. Sure enough, Malcolm finds one in short order, with Dawn and Andrea standing right there watching him. Since the Favorites’ plan was to split votes between Malcolm and Eddie (Reynold not being eligible), everyone including Eddie is certain Eddie is going home.

But at tribal council Malcolm announces that he’s giving the idol to Eddie, and also announces he has another previously found idol for himself. Probst keeps interrupting, but once Malcolm has the floor again he also announces that he and his two mates are voting for Phillip. The Favorites, who are usually prepared for any eventuality, weren’t ready for this one, and while others are talking they’re mouthing words to one another trying to decide who from their own group to vote for. Brenda is mouthing “Andrea” and someone else was mouthing “Phillip” even before Malcolm made the last part of his announcement. Erik says “May I say something?” (Is that why he’s been heard from so seldom this season, he just didn’t realize you can speak up at any time?) and points out that just because Malcolm and Eddie have idols around their necks doesn’t mean they’re going to play them after the votes are cast. Phillip, meanwhile, is offended by something Malcolm said when throwing out Phillip’s name, and the Specialist tells his tribe they should vote as originally planned, and if that makes him lose, so be it.

As it turned out, all except Erik did stick to their original plan, which was a good move because it would have been just like Malcolm to bluff. However, both idols were played, and the only votes that counted were the four against Phillip, who is voted out.

The question is, why did the guys choose Phillip to target and not Andrea? Perhaps because they thought a dislike, latent or otherwise, of Phillip in some quarters would send a couple more votes their way?

Now, this twist certainly led to an unprecedented situation at tribal council, but I have to say I’m not going to call this a classic moment in the game. Although a well-thought-out move by Malcolm for sure, the problem is that too much luck was involved with the two idols, which were both found too easily. I don’t like to see something that cheap outweigh gameplay by others.

We see that next week will be the “food auction” challenge. I previously outlined exactly what the correct strategy in the auction is (as have a lot of other people). Will someone among the six seasoned veterans and three longtime fans do it right? Or will they inexplicably botch it like Jonathan Penner did last season?

As this season heads into the final stretch, I should probably take a closer look at the remaining contenders and their chances, leaving out Cochran and Erik who in my opinion have no chance to win.

Contender list: 1) Malcolm, 2) Andrea, 3) Brenda, 4) Reynold, 5) Dawn, 6) Eddie, 7) Sherri

Malcolm pros: Threat to win immunity, has a couple of allies now, and probably deserves to win as he’s probably the best player.

Malcolm cons: He’ll need to win immunity, as nobody would be foolish enough to take this guy to the finals, including his new bro Reynold.

Andrea pros: Good in challenges, has an alliance, and seems to be liked by the guys as well as her alliance.

Andrea cons: She’s so good that everyone is already thinking of taking her out, see Brenda in this episode.

Brenda pros: Could very well win immunity and nobody seems to have a grudge against her.

Brenda cons: The fact that she hasn’t done too much can work against her.

Reynold pros: Probably the best athlete in the game, and also smart.

Reynold cons: A lot of the other players think he’s arrogant and wouldn’t want to give him a million dollars.

Dawn pros: She’s a nice, All-American mother.

Dawn cons: This mother can get pretty psycho, and four potential jury members have a beef with her after last week.

Eddie pros: He’s athletic enough that I could see him stealing the final challenge, and he hasn’t crossed anyone.

Eddie cons: The image of being Reynold’s spear-carrier does not help him.

Sherri pros: Er, well… she’s got a shot to get to the finals just because most would probably rather take her than anyone I just mentioned. If she went to the end with the right combination, say Eddie and Reynold, I could see her coming out on top.

Sherri cons: While she made moves early in the game, the only people who saw them who are still around are Eddie and Reynold, who she was making the moves against! Since then she has done little.

No-chance list: Cochran, Erik

Jury and who I think they’ll vote for: Michael (Malcolm), Phillip (Andrea)

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