This season of Survivor has had to be one of the craziest in the show’s history. You’ve had a medical evacuation, tribal council at an immunity challenge, blindsides at tribal council and three immunity idols being used at once. There are 5 Survivors left at the start of the finale. You have Cochran, “the challenge monster,” Dawn “the paranoid, crazy person,” Erik, “the skinny ice cream scooper,” Eddie, “the human target for the whole season,” and Sherri, “the I don’t know how they hell they made this far contestant.” The finale was 2 hours along with a 1 hour reunion show of course.
Here are 5Takeaways from Survivor: Caramoan finale.
1. Of course there has to be one more twist.
If you remember correctly, Erik was losing his mind last week while climbing a coconut tree. He didn’t make it all the way to the top and was seriously going insane until he was able to receive the reward challenge (courtesy of Brenda). He got to see family and have a delicious BBQ (courtesy of Cochran’s dad wearing some killer shades). When we start this week’s episode, Erik is having a massive headache. He sits down and says he has the spins. Magically Jeff Probst appears out of nowhere, quickly calling for the shows medic to examine Erik.
Erik describes himself as “dazed and disoriented.” The medic is concerned Erik is going through starvation. The doctor puts an IV into his arm, but the doctor ultimately decides to pull Erik from the game. Erik doesn’t seem too upset. It’s clear he’s in a lot of pain. It’s kind of funny because Erik got to this exact same point his previous season. It’s also weird that Erik is going through starvation because he has participated in every reward since the tribes merged. It’s clear that your body really goes through hell while you’re on this show.
2. Cochran proves that he’s a challenge monster.
Even though I’ve been hesitant to call Cochran “a challenge monster,” he really proved this through this episode. The reward challenge this episode pins the Survivors with a mental challenge. They need to balance a wooden board with a levy while they construct of a house of cards that needs to go above a certain line. It looks really hard and requires a lot of mental fortitude. Everyone’s house of cards falls multiple times. It’s important to run your race here. You need to focus on what you’re doing. Cochran wins the challenge. The reward is receiving a leg-up in the final immunity challenge.
The final immunity challenge is intensely physically grueling. You need to run up a flight of stairs untying bags of puzzle pieces at multiple levels. When you get one bag of puzzle pieces you go down a slide. For winning the reward challenge, Cochran doesn’t have to untie his bags of puzzle pieces. Of course Cochran is able to get all his puzzle pieces first, but Dawn starts putting her puzzle together quickly. Eddie has no idea what he’s doing. Dawn slows down and Cochran wins. For those keeping score at home Cochran has won four challenges and has a one in four chance at winning $1 million. It’s pretty much Cochran’s decision on who will go home.
3. The Rite of Passage is boring as usual.
I can’t believe the Survivor finale is 2 hours. They try to fill the time with such useless activities. There is a 10 MINUTE recap to start the finale and they of course need to the “Rites of Passage.” Before the final tribal council, the remaining survivors walk on a trail and pay homage to the contestants that come before them. Each past contestant has something said by a remaining contestant and then there is a voiceover by the survivor themselves. They go from Fran, “the only participant in Survivor history to be voted off first in two seasons,” to Allie, who realizes “not everything is about money.”
They continue onto Hope, “Eddie’s first survivor love,” Shemar, Sherri’s “brother from another mother,” Laura, who “missed her friends back home,” Brandon, who was a challenge beast, but personal life was too difficult, Matt, who saw the game as the hardest thing he had ever done. Then came Julia, who saw she had to be “ruthless” to play in the game, Corine, who wanted to flip, Michael, “who wanted to do it all,” Malcolm, “another challenge beast,” Reynold, Eddie’s best friend, Andrea, who was “beautiful, smart and charming,” Brenda, “one of the strongest players ever” and Erik who was excited to start “the next chapter.”
4. The last tribal council is a pretty much a battle between Dawn and Eddie.
It’s pretty much Cochran’s decision at this point for who will go home. He is going to for sure pick Sherri. No one has any idea how she’s made it this far on the show. She’s stuck under the radar, hasn’t really done anything in challenges, and was pulled along by various alliances. It’s between Dawn and Eddie. Eddie is kind of a threat because he really had no role in voting anyone off on the jury. On the other hand, the jury likes to reward people for playing the goal in a strategic way, which he has not done.
Dawn has been very strategic albeit a little crazy. There hasn’t been one episode where we haven’t seen Dawn cry, talk about paranoia or lose her teeth (this really happened). She can be a threat though. She’s an older survivor and has 6(!) children. She can play the mother card during presenting her case at the jury council, but people really didn’t like her. Cochran describes himself as a “therapist” throughout the game. He went through a transformation as someone afraid of the outside to a challenge monster. Eddie ends up getting voted out. The final three is Cochran, Dawn and Sherri.
5. And the winner is…
The jury tribal council should have really only have been between Dawn and Cochran. Pretty much no one even has a question for Sherri. It’s a battle between Dawn and Cochran. It’s clear that everyone really like the way Cochran played the game. No one believes that Dawn was as strategic as she says she was. People try to get a rise out off Dawn but it doesn’t work. At the live finale, Cochran gets four votes in a row and it’s a foregone conclusion, COCHRAN WINS!
So excited for next season, which is called Survivor: Blood vs. Water. I hear it has one tribe of returning survivors against their family members. SOUNDS INTRIGUING!