Sunday, April 14, 2013

Survivor Caramoan Episode 9: Cut Off The Head of the Snake

From one blindside to another. With Corinne going, I knew there were going to be consequential fallbacks to it. To whom? We have yet to see.

The new episode opens with Reynold proclaiming that despite Corinne's blindside, he's still victorious. Corinne is the first Favorite, since Francesca was voted off and with the exception of Brandon, to go home before a Fan. And he claims that he still has an idol that he can use for future votes. He then laughed it off with Eddie saying that any woman who associates with them are going home. Then, one quipped jokingly, "Who's the next victim?"

That is an interesting point to make given that Andrea has a budding relationship, or showmance if you may say, with Eddie. Andrea claimed the flirtation was a strategy on her part to win Eddie's vote in the end or to gather information about the other alliance. This relationship with turn out to play a critical role in this episode's vote.

After using her vote during last episode to blindside Corinne, Sherri has officially been inducted to the Stealth R' Us alliance. Her nickname is Tenacity. But even when she's all kiss-ass in front of Phillip's face about it, she tells us that she is planning to use Phillip in exchange of Shamar's stead. After all, she previously claimed that she wanted to make Shamar as her 'Phillip', but what better way than to work with Phillip himself? For now, she thinks she's in a good spot and need only a couple more votes so she can start calling the shots again. We did not see much strategy from Sherri since Shamar got medevac'd and I was starting to think that she had no game left in her. But we see her getting a second wind here, but for how long she is going to stay on top of things is still a question - these Favorites are clearly more savvy than the Fans who she played with last time.

Reward Challenge

This challenge is a redux of the same challenge in Survivor: Nicaragua, although this one is set in a swamp rather than a manmade swimming platform like they did last time. Hence, Brenda competed in this challenge before, which is why she easily managed to score against Mike, who is defending the basket for the Purple team. The two teams were split based on a schoolyard pick, with Sherri being the only one not picked and therefore has no chance for reward. Both teams are playing to rappel down a waterfall with a picnic lunch waiting for them below.

It was a close match for the most part with the Orange team leading during the first round. However, the all-guys team at Purple managed to score consecutive points at the second round, thus giving them the reward! With his first reward in the game, Michael screams, "I'm on a winning team!" at the water.

During the reward, the guys subtly talked about strategy with Reynold and Eddie doing most of the talking. They presented the plan to work together in an all-guys alliance and tried to "bro it down" like the masculine men they are. But it ended up being a comical scene of sorts with Erik more interested about chowing down as much sandwich as he can and with Cochran doing his best to look as if he's down with the plan. And then he had his golden moment, once again, in his confessional when he dubbed the guys he was with as numbskulls for trying to bro it up with him! After all, Cochran isn't the most masculine of men and even struggled with the mere act of taking off his shirt. But despite of his soliloquy about not being down with the "bro alliance", he lets loose for a little bit and it was great to see a different side to Cochran - it's almost like he is coming out of his shell. 

Last Gasp

A classic Survivor challenge. The past few episodes had been a revamping of old challenges that were so-called classics and this one is no different. This was first done in Palau and then the first Fans vs Favorites. This is a great challenge in various aspects because it acts like an equalizer with both men and women having an equal shot of winning. It requires no brawn but more of a mental toughness.

Phillip became the challenge's first casualty, then followed by Sherri and Erik. Cochran was the biggest surprise in this game because I seriously expected him to have given up in Erik's place, maybe even Sherri's. But he lasted as long as Eddie and Reynold, which was undoubtedly fairly impressive! Brenda ended up taking home the immunity necklace after she beat out Andrea. Seriously, it looked like she could hang in there for another hour! Aside from a shy "thank you", that's about all we heard from Brenda this episode.

Scramble Time!

At this point, I felt deeply worried for Malcolm because all signs lead to another blindside. Dawn continues to play up with their plans to make it seem as though he is playing with Malcolm and his crew, when in fact all along she is being a double agent for the Favorites + Sherri. She even goes as far as to ask Malcolm and Reynold to show her the idol to convince her to vote with them. But even though she was happy to see the idol, that definitely did not sway Dawn over. In fact, she found it appalling the approach that Reynold used to discuss the plans with using the idol saying that they were trying to intimidate her. Once again, Dawn was their kiss of death. It was the case with Corinne and it's happening all over again. Damn you, Dawn.

They lead on Malcolm to the plan of splitting the votes between Reynold and Eddie. And when the latter attempted to get some intel from the majority alliance through Andrea, he spilled the beans about the possibility of an idol being played and her being voted off, if things worked out. Of course, this caused panic for Andrea who, apparently, wasn't planning on going home that night. Hence, she suggested that they throw the vote towards Michael instead, because it was the safest vote. Everybody else (and by everybody else, I mean Phillip and Cochran, because Brenda, Erik, and Sherri have little to do with how the votes are going) agreed to the switching of votes but Dawn. She felt like all of the hard work they've put into sealing the vote for Malcolm would be for naught if they changed it to Michael at the last minute. She tried to appease Andrea from her hysteria claiming that Eddie was just trying to plant seeds of doubt into her mind. Leading up to tribal council, it was clearly a tossup at how the votes are going to fall out. Malcolm or Michael?

Heated Tribal Council

This is one of the best tribal councils since Malcolm revealed his idol on Episode 8 of Survivor Philippines to try and stave off votes for him following Lisa's plan for a blindside. Ironically, it involved Malcolm and an idol again! While Erik was busy taking out bugs off of Andrea's hair, Michael appealed to the remaining castaways that his vote is out there for them to use, especially since he believes that the Stealth R' Us alliance are starting to break down.

However, Sherri has completely hitched the wagon with the Favorites and abandoned her former Fans tribe mates, even her former ally Michael. She confidently sniped at them, "Payback's a bitch". After all, she's Tenacity and Phillip has tucked her into his wings so she's feeling all good right now. Eddie isn't bothered by it in the least bit claiming that he doesn't want to end up being someone else's puppet, and I sensed he wanted to add, especially Phillip's. But that doesn't change the fact that it could be either him, Reynold or Eddie are going home.

But the look on Malcolm's face is very revealing in this tribal council, despite the fact that we did not get to hear him speak at all. He quickly caught on to the revelations made by Phillip when asked about the possibility of someone from the bottom of the alliance trying to make a move. Phillip pointed out that making the move now is an errant judgment because there are enough numbers and "smart people" on their side to go after the one who is trying to stir the pot.

When the votes were cast and Jeff asked about anyone playing their hidden immunity idol, Reynold stood up but Malcolm quickly caught his attention. Instead of playing it for himself, Malcolm told him that they voted for him, referring to the majority alliance of Phillip, saying that he should give him the idol instead. He even quipped, "we're in good shape." Bold move! I seriously had flashbacks of the 8th episode of Survivor Philippines wherein he showed off his idol to the entire tribe when Lisa tried to blow his cover. But unlike that one wherein he ended up unscathed and ended up sparing his idol, this time around the idol was a waste because he ended up not needing it as the Favorites' plan to blindside Michael pulled through. And with that, another disappointing episode for me as far as who was voted off! I was pulling for Michael on the Fans' side and now that list is starting to dwindle. The biggest loser for the night, though, would have to be Reynold because he not only lost his idol, he did not gain anything from it at all!

Next week, another breakdown? Please Dawn, get over it or go home!

What are your thoughts about this episode? Don't forget to share your thoughts below.


  1. I am glad, gleeful even, that we are watching real Survivor and not the Jerry Springer version of the pre-merge episodes. Tribal was thoroughly enjoyable. Cochran's tomfoolery quote will go down in history. 2 thumbs up.

  2. I think Phillip's speech was very strategic! He knew that Michael was going home, and he probably also knew that Malcolm would take the bait and use an (Reynold's) idol. I don't think he gets enough credit- he may be really quirky but he's really one of my favorite players!


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