Final thoughts about Survivor Caramoan Fans vs. Favorites II

14 May

Time for some quick hits to wrap up this very satisfying season.

Brenda and Dawn: I probably let Brenda off too easily in my last recap. Even though Dawn taking out her teeth on national television made for a very memorable moment, it was very mean-spirited of Brenda to demand that she do so and then not vote for her. Jeff “The Piercing Eagle” Probst seemed intent on wringing an apology out of Dawn at the finale no matter what, but really Brenda is the one who owed someone an apology!

Erik: I wondered why in the world he would go off on Sherri at Tribal Council for not doing much as a player (and Eddie chided her as well). Postgame interviews made clear that Sherri’s absurd “I’m running the show” comments weren’t limited to her confessionals: she said the same thing to other players in the game! That makes it a bit more understandable.

Cochran: I lauded his masterful performance at the final Tribal Council, but some have pointed out that it’s easier to give a great performance when you’re having softballs lobbed your way, and harder when you’re under fire as Dawn was. Also, the fact that he got no votes during the season and every vote at the finals is impressive in one sense, but also means he never had to fend off any true threats (the record is held by Aras with 9 votes against him by the way). I still do think Cochran did great though, and I can live with him as the winner for that reason.

More on Cochran and Dawn: They really were the key to four big moves in this game, namely:

1) to vote out Francesca, not Andrea

2) to vote out Corinne, not Sherri

3) to vote out Malcolm, not Andrea

4) to vote out Brenda, not Eddie

I would add them to my list of the best alliances in Survivor history… except I don’t think it’s fair to include returning players on that list. Who knows what they hashed out before the game even began?

Key strategic moment of the whole season: It may well have been after the merge (April 3 episode) when Corinne made a push to seize control of the game. She wanted to vote out Sherri and form a group of herself, Malcolm, Eddie, Reynold, Erik, and Michael, possibly adding Dawn. If she’d succeeded she would have had a 6-5 or 7-4 advantage in the game, and the rest of the season would have been totally different (probably resulting in Malcolm winning).

Andrea and Malcolm: Interaction between these two provided three of the most entertaining moments of the season: 1) She tells him she dreamt he had the idol, and he does have it, in fact he has it hidden under his wrist wrappings, right in front of her face. He tells the camera he’s an accomplished liar when it comes to women. 2) She and Malcolm “agree” to split the vote between Reynold and Eddie when in fact she and Malcolm are really voting for each other, and Andrea knows that both of them are lying! 3) When Malcolm sneaks away to dig for the idol using his clue, Andrea shows up saying “I love the smell of fresh dirt,” and just plops down to watch him and doesn’t leave.

Categories of Winners: Cochran and Fabio would not seem to have very much in common, but I do think they belong in the same category, as broken down below:

Winners who dominated the season they were in: Tom (Palau), Yul, Richard Hatch, Boston Rob, Kim

Not dominating but one of the top players: Danni, Parvati, Todd, Denise, Aras, Chris (Vanuatu), Earl

Solid player who did enough to earn it: Cochran, Tina, Bob, Fabio

Should not have won: Sandra (either time), Natalie (Samoa), Amber, Sophie, Jenna

Good things about this season:

– The final 12 players each ended up playing a key role in the game at some point, even Eddie (when he told Andrea about the idol), and Erik (as the key deciding vote at least once).

– The tribal councils were probably the best of any season. The second-best moment (Malcolm announcing he has two idols and that therefore he, Reynold, and Eddie would all be safe if they played them, causing disarray among the favorites) would be the #1 highlight of almost any other season!

– Pretty intelligent gameplay throughout, with no one spectacular blunder by anyone, unless you count everyone trusting Dawn.

Bad things about this season:

– The first half of the season was dominated by two raving psychos, Shamar and Brandon.

– Phillip got way too much camera time the entire time he was in the game.

– The Favorites hardly even had to play the game the first half of the season, and the only one from their tribe they had to vote out was Francesca in the first episode (since Brandon basically ousted himself).

– There was no one epic challenge, though several were pretty entertaining.

Does anyone from this season make my all-time top ten players list? No, but I had to think about it, and I don’t mean for Cochran, but for Malcolm.

Where does this Survivor Caramoan rank all-time? I guess you’ll have to look at my updated rankings.

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