5Takeaways from Survivor:Caramoan

On last week episode we saw the departure of one my favorite Survivor contestants in recent memory; Malcolm. Now we only have two amigos left, Cochran has appointed himself the “immunity challenge monster” and Dawn is quietly going insane. This week we had TWO IMMUNITY CHALLENGES and TWO TRIBAL COUNCILS. Damn. Things are progressing quickly and so goes my introduction to this week’s episode.

Here are #5Takeaways from this week’s Survivor.

1. The “Two Amigos” fail terribly at the first immunity challenge.

After Phillip’s departure, Cochran and Andrea have clearly become the mastermind’s behind the Favorite’s alliance. After Malcolm gets voted off, Cochran even tells the camera he wants to take control and that he’s afraid he “turning into a monster.” In the first immunity challenge this episode, the remaining contestants are told to stand on a triangular stand, and have to move up on different slants after 15 minute intervals. The winner of the challenge receives both immunity and information for the game.

Eddie and Reynolds need to win. The Favorites’ are obviously gunning for the two remaining amigos so it is necessary for one of them to win. After about 5 minutes on the triangular stand, Probst bring out a plate of donuts and milk. Eddie (like an idiot) and Erik jump off. You would think that Eddie would take this challenge more seriously. The final three end up being Reynolds, Brenda and Andrea. After several near falls, Reynolds loses the challenge. Andrea ends up winning immunity and the information. The information is a clue to where the immunity idol is, the same map that was given to Malcolm.

2. The first tribal council goes without a hitch.

Back at camp Andrea begins to stress that Brenda is too powerful. She realizes that Brenda can be a huge threat in water-related immunity challenges and wants to target her in the next few tribal councils. Cochran sort of agrees. He knows they have to make a big move, but he just doesn’t know when. Andrea shares the clue to the immunity with the rest of the Favorites and Erik ends up finding it, quickly giving it Andrea. Note to Erik: Just because Andrea shared the clue with you, that doesn’t mean you need to give her immunity, you are your own person in this game. Only one person wins the $1 million.

At tribal council the Favorites are all paranoid, even though they are all on the same page. Dawn says, “Sometime paranoid because you know you’re not trustworthy.” What a profound statement. I feel like that applies to everyone’s experience on Survivor. When the votes are cast, it is no surprise who is going home. Erik gets 1 vote, Sherri 1 vote, Eddie 2 votes and Reynolds goes home with three votes. Reynolds joins the growing jury of Michael, Phillip and Malcolm.

3. The Favorite’s alliance is beginning to disintegrate.

Now the fun starts. The strongest survivors, Malcolm and Reynolds are gone. Eddie may be a physical threat, but is mental aptitude is similar to a 10 year-old. He gave up on the last immunity challenge even though he knew the Favorites were targeting himself and Reynolds. When the Favorites plus Eddie return to camp, Cochran and Andrea (the two de facto leaders) understand that now is time for the power play. Andrea wants to target either Brenda or Dawn, whereas Cochran isn’t sure if this is the time for a power move, although he has his own power move in mind.

Immediately after Andrea and him are done talking he walks up to Dawn and Brenda. He tells them that Andrea wants to vote one of them off. They are clearly offended and decide they will vote off Andrea. She does have immunity, but they are in the mind that she has no idea what is coming and she would never use it. Cochran is smart, he realizes that Andrea and himself are really the only independent thinkers at this point. It’s a great move to use Brenda and Dawn’s emotions against them, when Cochran is playing a similar game akin to Andrea.

4. This might have been the biggest immunity challenge so far.

So here we are. Cochran, Dawn and Brenda decide that if Andrea does not win the immunity challenge they will target her. They don’t need to worry about Eddie (because he’s an idiot). Also if they feel that Andrea is catching on to their plan, they can always split the votes so Eddie goes home, when Andrea uses her immunity idol. The other immunity challenge is traditional Survivor obstacle course.

The contestants are charged to run a buoy through a taut piece of rope until they get to a rope tied into knots. From the get-go Erik is far ahead of the back but people catch up at the second station. They then need to untangle a rope with a key on it. Once they have the key, the open up a box with rungs to a ladder. The rungs are puzzle piece with each rung belonging to a specific place on the ladder. Erik ends up winning the challenge and receiving immunity. Cochran’s planning is slowly moving into place. They will split the votes for Eddie and Andrea, quietly targeting Andrea, but voting off Eddie in case Andrea uses immunity.

5. The second tribal council had to be surprising for one person.

When the contestants return to their camp, Andrea springs into action and starts telling Erik, Sherri, Dawn and Cochran that they will be gunning for Brenda. They all “agree.” Andrea remains super confident and confides in Eddie that he will be OK. She is under the impression that the final three will Andrea, Cochran and Eddie. This is news to Cochran. Eddie seems to be quietly climbing the pecking order, to the chagrin of Dawn and Cochran. Dawn still has this weird problem with people who are better looking and stronger than her.

Cochran’s plan ends up pivoting on Erik’s decision. He realizes he is the swing vote in the situation. It is all up to him. When it is time to vote, two votes go to Eddie, two votes go to Brenda and when Andrea gets one vote she yells, “WHAT?” She is so taken aback it almost scary. She ends up getting three votes and is voted out of the game. She tell everyone as she’s leaving, “I can’t believe it, that was good.”

Can’t wait for next week.

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