Thursday, April 4, 2013

Survivor Caramoan Episode 8: It's Blindside Time!

THIS is what fans came to watch Survivor for! I can't believe it took us 8 episodes to finally get down to the nitty-gritty of strategy, plotting, scheming, and blindsides. With 8 favorites and 4 fans heading into the merge, it's not all one happy bunch - and with a majority alliance consisting of two strong personalities in Corinne and Phillip, you know something's gotta give. And soon.

Tonight's episode of Survivor more than makes up for the boring, uneventful, and predictable episode last week that sent Julia packing. No matter how hard the producers tried, they couldn't have done any more tweaking to make that episode more interesting than it turned out to be. But little do I know that it was the proverbial calm before the storm. And boy do we have a mighty storm on our hands this week!

As many fans predicted, I also sensed that a favorite was going home tonight. But who? It was unclear until Corinne's confessional mentioning this week's title episode that I cringed a little. More on that later...

Within the first few minutes of the episode, we see a clearly relieved Michael thanking the favorites at Bikal for deciding to keep him. Then, Phillip quickly pulled the two girls aside to confess about his decision to throw the immunity challenge. Like most of us, they didn't buy it. When they probed, he told them that he decided to do it during the challenge itself. Corinne laughed it off and dubbed it "the biggest joke of the year" because it was clearly not lost on purpose and Phillip's ego just could not handle the fact that he failed at the challenge.

Moving on, another breakdown - featuring none other than Dawn. She walks to the well by herself and reflects on her time in the game now and that of her previous season. She reaffirmed the importance of making decisions for herself because those are people that end up winning the game. According to Dawn, you cannot let the game come to you. She should know better - her fate in South Pacific game turned on its head when Cochran betrayed their alliance. Dawn is clearly feeling a tinge of that.

Merge Time

Over at Gota, excitement filled up the camp when they saw this large boat heading to their island. Of course, with such an unlikely visit, everyone is anticipating a merge. When they read the note and it clearly indicated a merge, everyone went rejoicing but at the same time started thinking about strategy and numbers game in the back of their minds. Bikal welcomed the former Gota members to their camp and everyone was in temporary elation as they shared the feast! And as quickly as they consumed the food on the crate, they also went into game mode in a snap!

Malcolm had this ridiculous idea for the tribe name - Enil Edam - which according to him was his mother's name in reverse. Malcolm burst out laughing telling this story while Corinne is beyond herself as to how ridiculous the tribe name is. My only qualm is... why did everyone go with it? I kinda feel like Dangrayne sounds way cooler now. Sorry Malcolm, I'm with Corinne on this one. That officially takes the crown for the WORST tribe name in Survivor history! I'm sure your mom is a sweet lady but allow me to repeat - the WORST merged tribe name EVER! Okay, that feels better.

Phillip quickly pulled Andrea aside to re-confirm their alliance. Andrea was up for it and they even talked as far as Final 4 with Cochran and Dawn into the mix. Meanwhile, in another part of the island, Corinne is thrilled to be with Malcolm and vented about her frustrations with Phillip. They quickly concocted the plan to shift things up by working with Eddie and Reynold to vote off Phillip. But they agree to target Sherri first because she appears to be an easy vote until they can take down the Special Agent next. Malcolm has been itching to take over as he is clearly not happy with just playing along.

Immunity Challenge

It's immunity challenge time! And we have a gross food challenge again... quite excited for this as we haven't had one in a long while. As Cochran read the treemail to the entire tribe, there was a mixed reaction of excitement, fear, and agitation as most are surely not excited to be eating anything gross. What's more interesting, though, are the reactions that came after. Reynold admits to eating gross stuff as his weak link, while Eddie can only worry about what girls would think after eating something funky. Meanwhile, Cochran took on a comical approach at it saying this might be what he needed for his love life. That guy. Lovably hilarious.

The immunity challenge went through four different stages of elimination until there were two - Malcolm and Cochran. Even Jeff couldn't hide his surprise that Cochran was up at the finals with a shot for individual immunity, calling this match up as David vs Goliath. He ended up beating Malcolm at swallowing pig brain and got his first ever immunity challenge win. Cochran had his momentary high and relished the moment of victory. In his confessional, he admitted there was no regard for sportsmanship at that point, but no one really bothered. Everyone seemed to be in congratulatory mood but then he was quick to revert back to his self-deprecating comments claiming that he enjoyed the moment as it may never happen again.

Chaos at Camp

Corinne and Malcolm tried to play their efforts to flip things in the down low - they worked on bringing together their respective sub-alliances to form a majority. However, when Corinne proposed the idea to get rid of Sherri before Phillip, he was not on board as he feels like they should split the vote between Eddie and Reynold to flush an idol. And that is when things became really shaky. Corinne went back to Eddie and Reynold about them having enough numbers to flip and turn things in their favor.

However, Corinne makes the mistake of talking to Dawn about her plan to blindside Phillip because she goes on to tell everybody else in their alliance about the supposed plan. And now, they are suspicious of Corinne! Andrea is in on the plan to vote off Corinne because even before the tribal shuffle, she already felt threatened. Also, if they wanted to get rid of Phillip, then she is next on the line. They brought in Brenda, Sherri, and Erik into the plan.. but we also see Malcolm talking to Erik. Which side will he go with? Cochran quips, right before heading to tribal council, that leaving the fate of their plan to Erik is a scary thought given how (in Cochran's words) he has proven before that he is incapable of playing this game and playing it well. Ouch.

Tribal council was straightforward and at times indicatory as to how the vote will go and that of the succeeding votes. I suspected that at some point, Corinne's mouth is going to come back to haunt her. She exposed herself by claiming that she was willing to listen to those who would approach her. And Erik gets to speak for the first time tonight, although we got nothing more insightful from him except for a safe answer. Reynold, on the other hand, sounds psyched and enthusiastic about where things are going for him. He, too, hinted that there are going to be a few shocks in the coming votes - not tonight, but in the coming votes. Apparently, he was referring to the Sherri vote for tonight and then Phillip next. But the question there is, if the people with whom they thought was with them are going to stick to their votes tonight.

But Sherri, Brenda, and Erik ended up voting with Phillip and co. Corinne could not believe what she's hearing as Jeff read her name out loud as one parchment paper was revealed after another. Soon enough, she outnumbered Sherri's four votes that Jeff had read first. Predictable. Somehow, I knew that Sherri wouldn't be voted off tonight because she was practically invisible this episode.

Malcolm's jaw nearly dropped to the ground. Reynold was in total disbelief and felt like deja vu of the first few days at the old Fans tribe - just when he thinks he had the numbers on his side, he got a big punch to the face instead. The only thing more surprising than Corinne getting blindsided is the fact that she's not on the jury.

The moral of this episode (and note to future players): be careful who you spill your plans to. If you should talk, know how much to say and how to say it. Complicated, I know. But Corinne mismanaged the whole thing. Probably out of her excitement at how she would be in a good spot should the plan work out. But getting there is still a lot of work. 

What did you think of this episode? Do you think Corinne deserved to go? Sound off below in the comments section.


  1. This episode was one of my favorites so far. I was excited to see Corinne's plan foiled, and I feel there is enough evidence that we can now call how the rest of the season will play out. Here's my prediction after watching this episode: The fans, excluding Sherri get picked off first. An alliance between Cochran, Dawn and Andrea remains strong, keeping Phillip as part of "the core 4", letting him feel like he's still the one in control. Erik will string along, choosing to side with the physically weaker players which will lead to him being manipulated and ultimately voted out, but not until after Malcolm is gone. Originally, I really wanted Malcolm to win this season, but his decisions this episode sealed his fate and all attempts to wiggle his way back into a core group will fail. The main alliance of 3 will ultimately choose Sherri or Brenda to replace Phillip in the final 4, so Cochran gets all the ladies to himself. After some awkward moments and an immunity win by Cochran or Dawn, super-fan-turned-favorite Cochran becomes the winner this season. I'd put money on it. Anyone disagree?

  2. This episode was definitely this seasons best and totally agree it did take some time to get moving.
    I enjoyed the immunity challenge and the subsequent victory lap by Cochran that followed.
    Corinne played a little too hard, she was patient for the previous weeks with Phillip but then went full steam ahead to try and vote him out. I was a fan of Corinne's, her one liners will be missed.
    It seems Malcolm could be in a little trouble next episode, but both Reynold and himself both have the Idols so that is something of a consolation. Looking forward to see how it pans out.

  3. Sherri got 5 votes. According to Corrines post game interviews she confided in Dawn because she was having several breakdowns the past several weeks and she was just trying to comfort her because she kept going on and on about how she was on the bottow, and it actually took place before the challenge. Dawn is fucking nuts!


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