April 24, 2013 06:27 PM by Ryan Haidet
Survivor: Caramoan — Fans Vs. Favorites just keeps getting better. After a rather lackluster first half, this season really picked up steam after the merge with some of the most fascinating strategies and moves the game has ever seen. After Phillip fell victim to Malcolm’s bold Idol play during the previous Tribal Council, there were a slew of mixed emotions back at camp. Many jokingly found themselves elated that the “Stealth-R-Us” nonsense was dead, while others — especially Brenda — were completely down in the dumps especially with no food. Thankfully, the Survivor auction arrived just in time. One of my favorite elements. Too bad the auction brought repeated fatal mistakes.
Before we get into the guts of the auction, allow me to rant. As a fan of this show, it always amazes me that people go into the auction without thinking about how to better benefit their future in the game. Instead of waiting to spend their money on something that may offer them an advantage in some capacity, many castaways surprisingly splurge their cash and spend it all immediately to feed their faces. I get it. They’re hungry. But I always find it utterly shocking that their salivation for eats often trumps their hunger to push further ahead in the game. What would you do? Feed yourself or fight the hunger and save your cash for a possible advantage? I think the decision is hauntingly simple — especially for anybody who is a potential target for elimination.
With that said, here’s how the Survivor: Caramoan — Fans Vs. Favorites auction broke down:
- Each castaway was given $500. Bidding was done in $20 increments with no sharing of money and no sharing of food. As always, the auction would end without warning.
- Jeff Probst revealed the first item was beer and peanuts, which he declared would go to the first person to bid $20. Malcolm immediately jumped in and was the first to bid. In addition to his one beer, Malcolm was also given two more and a heaping pile of pretzels.
- Reynold spent $180 for a covered item, which came with a dilemma. Before learning what he had won, Probst pulled out two more covered dishes and offered him the option to choose any of the three. Instead of swapping his initial item, Reynold stuck with the original item he won. It was a single slice of pizza. Good, right? Sure, considering one of the items he didn’t trade for was a rotten coconut. Unfortunately, the other secret item he declined turned out to be the rest of the pizza his slice came from. With disappointment clearly in his eyes, Sherri took advantage of the situation by shouting out she would pay $500 for the rest of the pizza. Without hesitation, Probst took her up on the offer and sold her the rest of the pizza .
- Dawn paid all $500 of her auction cash for roasted chicken. It looked delicious — and from a food standpoint, it was probably the best choice for the protein alone.
- Probst described the next item as information in the game. Shockingly, nobody chose to outbid Malcolm and he won the note for $480. After forking over the rest of his money, Malcolm was given only 60 seconds to look at the info alone, which was actually a detailed clue to another hidden Immunity Idol.
So far, which auction item would have enticed you to bidding? Would you have already spent all your cash?
- Andrea won a covered item for $280, which wound up being spaghetti, meatballs, garlic bread and wine. But instead of letting Andrea sink her teeth into the saucy delight, Probst told her if she could benefit her entire tribe by sacrificing her spaghetti for two massive bags of rice and beans they could take back to camp. Duh. It wasn’t even a decision. She would have been a fool not to make that sacrifice for everybody else.
- The next item was for an advantage in the next Immunity challenge. I thought it was clear that Eddie would shell out his money to win this item since he’s on the outside of the majority alliance. But he didn’t. In fact, nobody put up a battle for such an important item and easily let Cochran win it for just $340. In previous seasons, the Immunity challenge advantage sold in the auction has been a major factor and I’m shocked these veteran players and supposed superfans let this always slide away without a fight.
- Up next, Brenda bid $300 for a covered item that turned out to be pig brains.
- Letters from their loved ones popped up next. In previous seasons, this was a top auction item that sold for massive amounts of money. This time, however, Probst offered the letters to anybody willing to spend the minimum $20 bid. The only three who didn’t buy their letters were Dawn, Malcolm and Sherri — the three without any cash left. Naturally, Dawn cried about missing out on the letter. Shocker! Seriously, Dawn. I’m tired of the tears. It’s your fault you shoveled out all $500 to feed yourself. Own it. I get that there’s disappointment with missing out on the letter, but you should have been prepared that spending all your cash on one thing might blow your chances at something emotionally important to you.
- Eddie won the final item after bidding $200. The covered dish was a massive bowl of peanut butter, which Eddie was forced to share with the entire tribe. Just to show how silly starving people can look, the tribe was only given 60 seconds to shove their dirty hands deep into the gooey delight to see how much they could scarf down. Dawn excitedly licked the peanut butter off Sherri’s finger and Malcolm chose to wear some on his face like war paint.
Malcolm’s Idol Hunt
In case you weren’t able to read the entire Idol clue when Malcolm bought it at the auction, here’s what it actually said: On the way to water, on your left hand side, is a large opening in the rocks. Next to which grows a tree out of the rock face. Its roots extend down to the ground. There is a hidden Immunity Idol buried under these roots six inches underground.
Pretty clear directions. Not so fast…
With that information, Malcolm spent the night digging around camp for the Idol. But instead of getting the chance to do it in secret, Andrea showed up and ruined his plans. Refusing to leave, Malcolm just chose to sit down next to her because he didn’t want to give any inclination as to where the Idol might actually be located. This is a much different strategy than he used last week when he didn’t shy away from digging around for the Idol — and eventually finding it — in front of Dawn and Andrea. I wish he would have been as brave this time around and kept on searching even if Andrea was watching.
Despite reading what seemed to be very clear directions to the Idol’s location, Malcolm was never able to find it. Ironically, the one he paid $480 to get information about, he couldn’t find. But the two others he found earlier this season he easily found without any clue whatsoever.
Told Ya So
As expected, Cochran’s advantage that he bought at the auction proved its weight in gold (or $340) because it helped lead him to victory during the Immunity challenge. This proves, once again, that holding your money in the auction for a challenge advantage is absolutely critical — especially if you’re a potential threat like Malcolm, Eddie and Reynold. Dopes.
Sadly, Malcolm wasn’t able to find the hidden Idol and put a plan into motion to lie that he did. His push to get Sherri and Erik on his side failed and Malcolm became the latest person voted out of the game. Damn! What a disappointment! After the elation many fans felt last week with Phillip’s elimination, I’m sure many have heavy hearts with Malcolm’s dismissal. What a bummer. Malcolm, who came very close to making it to the final Tribal Council last season (and probably would have won) is one hell of a player. Unfortunately, his strong game is also what made him such a huge threat.
What are your thoughts on this episode? Are you disappointed Malcolm was voted out? If you were in the auction, do you think you would bid on food or wait for a game advantage to pop up? At this point, who do you think should is most deserving of winning the entire game and the $1 million prize? What do you think of this season overall at this point? Sound off and leave a comment below!
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Photo Credit: CBS.