In a particularly good season of Survivor, this week’s episode was another solid offering. As the players went to vote, I still wasn’t sure exactly what everyone would do – and that’s a good thing.
Click through for my thoughts on what went down.
Whew! I was worried there, for a minute. I have Dawn in the office Survivor pool, and I’m rooting for her and Cochran to go all the way. This week, I really did worry that the Favorites alliance would crack.
Bet The Farm
The episode kicked off with tears from Brenda. It just seemed like she was generally feeling low – exhausted, malnourished and anxious about the game. I think her mini-breakdown shed some light on her friendship with Dawn. They are two peas in a weeping pod!
We quickly found out that it was time for the Survivor auction, which often tends to be a pick-me-up for the players and a chance for me to roll my eyes at them. “STOP BETTING ALL YOUR MONEY ON FOOD!” I yell at my TV as I eat peanut butter off a spoon.
Seriously, though, everyone knows by now that the advantages are worth bidding on when you’re at a Survivor auction. Malcolm pledged to spend all his money on an advantage, but IMMEDIATELY blew $20 on beer and peanuts. Dude! Luckily for him, no one outbid his $480 for information in the game – it was a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol. Unluckily for him, he bid on the wrong advantage – I bet if Malcolm had won the Immunity Challenge advantage, he’d still be in the game. Instead, that went to Cochran for $500;
Poor Brenda blew $300 on a blind item that turned out to be pigs’ brains (which she tried!) and Malcolm, Sherri and Dawn missed out on buying letters from home for $20 apiece, because they’d already spent their money. Was it against the rules to buy all their letters as well as your own? Because that would have been a bomb way to curry jury favor. Speaking of which, Andrea gave up her wine and pasta to instead get rice and beans for the tribe. No one will give her a million bucks for that trade, but people would certainly not give her a million bucks for refusing the trade.
Don’t Stand, Don’t Stand, Don’t Stand So Close To Me
Back at camp, Malcolm tried to use his $480 clue to find the Hidden Immunity Idol, but Andrea was like an incredibly pretty mosquito that just wouldn’t leave him alone. You’ve got to hand it to her, watching his every move did wonders for her game vs. Malcolm’s. Malcolm never did find that idol.
Meanwhile, the bros decided to try and pull Sherri and Erik into the game and vote out Cochran. Erik tried to play both sides, but I had a feeling he’d remain loyal to the Favorites. Sherri is such a wildcard though, I just don’t get her.
The Immunity Challenge was a strength based one (I noticed there is a balance/endurance challenge next week, which nicely evens out the advantages.) so it was pretty clear who would excel. The challenge was to hold a rope that was attached to 30% of your body weight, and move your hands down the rope every five minutes. Eventually, there would be no more knots left in the rope, making it very hard to grasp. Cochran had purchased the advantage in the Survivor auction, thus he was able to move his hands back up two knots at any point during the challenge.
I knew this would be one for the strong dudes (and Cochran), so I was very impressed that Dawn came first. She can be a tough competitor in these challenges and it was nice to see her give it her all. It came down to Cochran vs. Eddie, and that advantage was a HUGE factor. Everyone else’s hands were slipping, but Cochran still had a knot in the rope to keep his in place. He came out on top and won his second individual immunity of the season.
I will never tire of Cochran’s jokes about being a statistical threat in challenges, because you know the guy is equal parts surprised and over the moon about his wins. Good for him! I love Cochran as a Survivor player, and it’s fun to see him succeed.
Votes, Votes, Votes
Cochran winning Immunity meant that instead, the bros would have to target Andrea as one of the ringleaders in need of beheading. But they needed at least one person to do it – more, if the Favorites didn’t split their votes.
Even though Malcolm did not have a Hidden Immunity Idol, everyone was pretty sure he did and split the votes accordingly – three Malcolm, three Reynold. So if Sherri or Erik flipped, Andrea would go home.
Again, I felt pretty confident that Erik wouldn’t flip but I think Sherri is kind of a wildcard. I didn’t think she’d want to go back to Reynold and Eddie, and I don’t know why she’d think that playing with the bros would put her in a better position than the other players. It seems that the strong dudes are working together because they want to go to the end together, and that’s not promising for someone new coming into the alliance.
Dawn and Cochran debated whether they should split the vote, because one person flipping would mess everything up. I’m surprised they were so confident, I think I would have wanted to just play it safe and have everyone vote for Reynold. But when Tribal Council came, the first vote came up three for Reynold, three for Malcolm and three for Andrea. Sherri and Erik had stuck with their alliance, and Malcolm had no Immunity Idol to play. The tribe voted again, and he was eliminated.
I really like Malcolm as a player, but I knew he had to go eventually. I appreciate what he was trying to do in teaming up with the other strong dudes, and I’m not sure he would have made it much further had he stuck with the original Favorites alliance. He played a much different game this time than he did last, though, and Malcolm is someone that I’d be more than happy to watch play Survivor again. He’s charming, strategic, and good in challenges. It had to happen, but I’m sorry to see him go.
What did you guys think of the episode?