5Takeaways From Survivor Caramoan

So far this season of Survivor Caramoan has been bananas. Since ratings begun slumping a couple of years ago, producers have had to come with new tweaks and features to theshow to make it more interesting. This year has been no different. Under the heading “Fans vs. Favorites II” Producers picked ten new survivors in addition 10 “fan favorite” survivors to give them a second chance. The results have a produced a competitive, twisting season, where it is still not clear who is the “favorite” to win. Without further ado, 5Takeaways from Survivor: Caramoan.

Phillip is a complete nut job

If you don’t know Phillip, he came to prominence during Survivors’ Redemption Island season. His alliance, called “Stealth R’ Us” is a comprised completely of “Favorites” along with one fan, Sherri. He gives people goofy names that somehow correspond to prominent feature of an alliance member.

Brenda is called “Serenity,” Malcolm is the “Enforcer,” Sherri (a fan) is “Tenacity,” Dawn is “True Grit,” Andrea is the “Eliminator,” Erik is “The Silent One,” Cochran is “The Intelligentsia Attaché” and of course Phillip is “The Specialist.”

Phillip (a former CIA agent) may think that he is control of things, but it seems that other people in the alliance are actually running things. Andrea is telling people in the alliance who to vote for. And for all his “physical greatness,” Phillip has proven to be useless in the challenges this week. In the Reward Challenge, which had players attempting to throw a ball into a goal while jumping off a pier, Phillip did not score a goal. In addition, he was the first player to quit this week’s Immunity Challenge.

Malcolm may be a genius

Malcolm has to be one of the smartest and strongest Survivor contestants I’ve seen in a while. A self-professed Survivor super fan, Malcolm participated in Survivor: Philippines, (the previous season), making it to the final four. Malcolm has done two back-to-back seasons of Survivor, which sounds extremely difficult.

In this week’s episode, Malcolm thinks it is time for his big move. He has the trust of what is left of the male “fans”, (Michael, Eddie and Reynold) and wants to “cut the head off the snake,” the snake being Andrea. Both Reynold and Malcolm have hidden immunity idols, however no one knows Malcolm has his. Malcolm speaks with Dawn telling her what his plan is to vote off Phillip (meanwhile actually wanting to vote off Andrea). Dawn says she will follow Malcolm (she is lying), but says the only way she will go along (only she won’t) is if Reynold shows Dawn his immunity idol. Reynold agrees to do so.

Meanwhile, Eddie and Andrea have sparked up some sort of weird relationship that has Eddie running to Andrea begging to know who they are voting off. After some pulling, Andrea realizes that she may be the one to be voted off based on what Eddie says. She then rushes to the other members of the alliance asking them to wait on voting off Malcolm this week and instead voting off Michael, a “fan.”

The immunity challenge looked really difficult

When it gets to this point in Survivor and the participants are fighting for individual immunity, challenges tend to be a test of mental toughness. This week’s challenge was not any different. The participants were told to go under 11 metal grates, having their mouths face the sky. They would have to remain in the same place as long as they could while the tide steadily began to rise.

This looked extremely scary and mental scarring. Probst kept telling them, “The best challenge here is getting over the sense of panic.” People quickly began dropping like flies.  (Probsts’ chatter has really gotten awesome in later seasons.)  First Phillip (of course, I guess the CIA did not have underwater training), then Sherri, Eric, Dawn, Malcolm (thought he would win this), Michael, Eddie, Andrea, ending with Brenda winning the challenge.

This week’s Tribal Council was absolutely insane

Tribal Council begins and you’re really not sure what is going to happen. You know for sure that the fans are going to go after Andrea, but you don’t know whether or not the “Stealth R’ Us” alliance is still going to go after Malcolm or settle with voting out Michael. And when Jeff Probst, starts questioning the remaining, the viewer (in my opinion) believe that Malcolm is still targeted.

When Phillip opens his mouth the target is even clearer as he explains, “They (the person they will vote out) will find out they erred in judgment by thinking they could make such a major move so quickly. What they thought was a brave move wasn’t really.” Then the survivors go to make their votes. When the voting is completed, Probst says his regular speech, “if there is a survivor who has an immunity idol, who wants to so, now would be that chance.”

Quickly Malcolm stands up and asks Reynold to give him his immunity idol, explain that what Phillips whole speech was about was how they were going to vote Malcolm out. Reynold agrees, and throws Malcolm his immunity idol (even though Malcolm already has an idol no one knows about). Probst reads the votes and BANG, Michael goes home. He says, “Later turkeys,” and gives them the finger upon exiting. Poor Reynold, not only is he outnumbered but now he has given away his immunity idol.

There really is no frontrunner this year

As opposed to other years, I really have no idea who is going to win this year. All the final players are extremely intelligent and/or have other attributes that can keep them in the game. I would say that Dawn has a good chance to win, because she is so under the radar, but judging from the scenes of next week’s episode she may have a nervous breakdown preventing her from going any farther. Phillip may think he is pulling everyone’s strings like a puppet master, but really Andrea is the mastermind of the alliance.

Even Malcolm who is my personal favorite may be too overconfident. One thing in his favor is the fact that no one knows he has an immunity idol. However, his overconfidence may prevent him from ever using it. One thing is for sure is that the next weeks will be full of action and suspense.

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