April 10, 2013 06:27 PM by Ryan Haidet
The first half of Survivor: Caramoan — Fans Vs. Favorites has been lackluster at best. We all know it. From the exhausting, excessive airtime given to Shamar and Brandon’s crazy, negative attitudes, this season was definitely gasping for air. Thankfully, last week’s merge episode was just the prelude to the excellent hour of television tonight’s drama delivered. Wow. This was an absolutely superb episode from the Immunity challenge to the strategy to the editing. Stellar stuff. This is what makes Survivor the stand-out show that has pushed it on for more than two dozen seasons!
Eddie, Cochran, Michael, Reynold and Erik won the Reward challenge, which forced us to watch Cochran’s pale bod hobble down the face of a beautiful waterfall. My eyes still hurt from his skin’s reflection in the sun. As the five guys got their grub on with heaping plates of food, Michael suggested an all-male alliance so they could own the remainder of the season. Not surprisingly, Cochran said in confessional that he wasn’t on board with the plan whatsoever because he’s not a fan of their testosterone fest.
Meanwhile, Back At Camp…
Malcolm, although bummed about losing the Reward challenge, took the moment to his advantage by working to get Sherri and Dawn in his alliance with some of the guys. Instead of quickly hopping aboard, Sherri and Dawn were apprehensive about it and discussed his pitch with Andrea. In return, the trio turned the tables and concocted a scheme to fake him out. Their plan involved lying to Malcolm about splitting the vote between Eddie and Reynold with complete intention of casting their ballots against him.
A budding romance really started blossoming between Andrea and Eddie. It was completely clear the two enjoyed each other as they were spending quite a bit of time together. Andrea even called their feelings as “island dating.” But despite thinking he’s hot, Andrea was hopeful her flirtatious ways might actually give Eddie a reason to vote for her to win at the end of the game. Eddie, on the other hand, was hopeful Andrea was his avenue to getting deeper into the game.
One of the coolest endurance challenges in the show’s history, which first debuted during Survivor: Palau (season 10) when Janu Tornell was first out and exiled on an island alone, returned to test the castaway’s ability to remain calm. Each of them took a spot under a cage in the water and found themselves forced to stick their noses through the bars gasping for air as the tide continued to rise. Every contestant lasted at least one hour, primarily because it took a while for the tide to slosh up their faces.
Here’s the order in which everybody bowed out of the challenge:
After keeping her nerves calm (and for having the perfectly structured skinny face) Brenda won Immunity.
Revealing An Idol Secret
Fearing Andrea was the leader calling all the shots, Malcolm made her his main target. He was hoping Dawn would join his alliance to get Andrea out, but she wasn’t on board whatsoever. Instead, she lied straight to Malcolm’s face and promised she would vote with them if Reynold could prove to her he had an Idol as a way to solidify their trust. Her plot worked and Reynold revealed his Idol to her before using the moment to intimidate her by saying if he felt like they were going to screw him over that he would play it for himself immediately.
When Eddie turned to Andrea to make sure he was safe, he admitted to her that she was named as somebody his alliance intended to target. Very worried about the possibility she might be going home begged her allies to drop their plan to boot Malcolm and take the easy route by voting Michael out next. Dawn pleaded with Andrea to stay the course because she knew this was their perfect opportunity to get Malcolm out of the game. There was true panic in Andrea’s eyes and it was astonishing to watch the strategy unfold.
Amazing Idol Move
After Phillip kept talking strategy at Tribal Council, his comments really confused Malcolm who suddenly switched his vote to Reynold, his own ally. Right before Jeff Probst read the votes, Reynold rose to his feet to play the hidden Idol for himself. But Malcolm quickly stopped him and made one of the ballsiest moves I’ve ever seen. “Hold up, man,” Malcolm uttered. “They all voted for me. You can tell. That’s what that whole (Phillip) story was about. Give it to me, we’re in good shape. I’m being dead serious right now.” Stunningly, Reynold agreed and handed his Idol over to Malcolm. Like him or not (I think most love him), Malcolm is one hell of a player. The dude is quick on his feet, strong in challenges and strategically smart. I give him a ton of credit.
Although it was a brilliant move on Malcolm’s part being able to convince somebody to sacrifice their Idol for him when he secretly has one himself, it was unnecessary. The majority alliance swapped their plan at Andrea’s request and disappointingly voted Michael out of the game. Bummer. I think Michael is a smart guy who didn’t get a fair shake at showing fans what he had to offer.
What are your thoughts on the episode? Were you surprised Malcolm was able to convince Reynold to give up his Idol? Were you surprised Michael was voted out? What do you think of this season as a whole? Sound off and leave a comment below!
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Photo Credit: CBS.