SurvivorSurvivor Caramoan

Episode 11: Delicious!

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04/27/13 – Previously on Survivor; since the merge, Malcolm, Reynold and Eddie have found themselves on the outside of Stealth-R-Us, an unbreakable alliance of 7 led by Phillip but they were gaining confidence and were ready to make a big move.

Malcolm: “I still have an idol and I’m not going down without some fireworks.”

Phillip, the leader of SRU, was also confident

(“I’m feeling like I just might have a shot of winning.”)

He had a strong alliance and believed that nothing could get in their way.

“It doesn’t matter; one of those three is going to go home”

 

At the immunity challenge, Reynold found the strength to win and, back at camp, Malcolm found another immunity idol.

Andrea, talking to the group: “Malcolm just found an idol.”

Phillip: “Who cares? We’ve got the numbers, baby.”

 

At Tribal Council, SRU thought they had an easy vote…

Andrea: “Everyone’s looking at Eddie.”

…but it quickly turned to one of the craziest Tribal Councils the game has ever seen.

Malcolm: “This is the other Immunity Idol…I’m giving it to Eddie.”

Andrea, Dawn, Erik and Sherri were seen with shocked reactions.

Jeff: “What a shift!”

Malcolm: “One of the 7 of this very tight group are going home.”

 

With the 3 Amigos now in control, they tried to convince Phillip’s alliance to turn on him.

Malcolm: “The three of us are voting for Phillip.”

In the end, the only member of the SRU alliance to change their vote was Erik but it was enough, leaving SRU without its leader.

 

In this recap, Jeff referred to Phillip as leader of the alliance no less than 3 times! Phillip’s confidence was also mentioned 3 times, twice by using his confessionals and once by Jeff saying he believed nothing could get in their way. These repetitions served to dump all the “sins” of the alliance on Phillip. It was saying: “Now that Phillip is gone, we are going to see the real players in that alliance.” In reality, they were simply going to show us the players that had seen their airtime or strategy edited out by the “sponge”.

 

As for the 3 Amigos, though Jeff’s words were quite positive, the tone of his voice when he said that only Erik changed his vote pointed to the Amigos’ failure. We know that Erik’s vote wasn’t even needed but Jeff made it sound like a consolation prize: All that work and only Erik changed his vote.  The episode would soon tell us that it wasn’t enough in the long run.

 

Delicious!

 

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“With the execution of the Specialist, Phillip Sheppard, the alliance of SRU is hopefully going to fracture.”

Night 28

 

When they returned to camp, we saw Dawn hugging Reynold and addressing the 3 Amigos, saying: “You did a good job.”

We had close-ups of Cochran and then Sherri, silently observing while Reynold expressed his happiness.

 

Malcolm, looking worried, had the first confessional “With the execution of the Specialist, Phillip Sheppard, the alliance of SRU is hopefully going to fracture. If those 6 people stick together, I don’t have a chance in this game. By knocking off their leader, maybe one or two are going to fracture and come over to the dark side with me and the 3 Amigos.”

Malcolm finally smiled.

Cochran said he was happy they’d never hear about Stealth-R-Us again.

Eddie said he didn’t dislike Phillip but that his ego didn’t fit in the shelter.

 

At first Malcolm didn’t look as happy as Reynold about using 3 immunities to get rid of Phillip. We did see him smile after his confessional but it seemed more like making the best of it and starting to work on getting someone to flip. The following events would show the cost of using both idols.

 

Erik also had a confessional: “The stability has been rocked out of this game. The legs have been kicked out from under the chair of SRU and it opens me up to talking to people that Phillip didn’t want me to talk to. The tricky part now is knowing when to vote with the 3 boys and when to vote with the remaining Favorites and I enjoy that position because I can choose at the last minute which option is better for Erik.”

 

Oh! That’s why Erik had given so few confessional: Phillip didn’t want him to talk to us! Kidding aside, we could understand that someone as inexperienced as Natalie Tenerelli would obey Rob’s orders about talking to the enemy but Erik should know better than going along with Phillip. The average viewer will think that he had multiple occasions before the last council to vote with the boys and get rid of his oppressor. It doesn’t really matter if they were good occasions for him. It created an impression of weakness. So, while it set up some suspense regarding the episode’s outcome, this confessional really outlined Erik’s shortcomings. He needs to have the game come to him instead of going for it. It’s not the worst strategy but it requires a lot of luck.

 

Before the commercial break we had a scene from the next morning; Brenda getting up saying “Last night was miserable.Dawn and Erik agreed.

 

Cochran had a confessional: “I participated and certainly viewed hundreds of Tribal Councils. Never before have I seen anything quite like what happened last night. It left me breathless, it left me terrified.” (We see Cochran with his head on his knees and then Malcolm and Andrea lying down with their buffs over their eyes) “Today’s been a pretty rough day around camp. People are really hungry and the spirits have been low and it’s driving everybody crazy.”

 

Brenda was the one seen having the roughest time as she started crying. Dawn came to give her a hug.

We heard a melancholic piano playing a familiar melody, one that has accompanied players in medical emergencies.

 

Brenda had a confessional: “Huge surprises like last night’s Tribal Council, definitely scare me. For the 3 guys to stay and then for the 7 of us to look at each other knowing that one of us is going home, it threw a big thing in my plan. Losing control of the game is terrifying. It’s a little hard with the emotions, with the food situation, with the low energy and with that uncertainty of what these boys are capable of.”

 

Maybe some will say this confessional was inserted to prepare us to see Brenda quit but I highly doubt it. Brenda’s moments of weakness served to introduce the auction, selling us on how important it is to the players. As soon as the auction was over and Brenda told us how her letters from home reinvigorated her, she disappeared from our screens again.

 

After the first break, the music was definitely upbeat when Cochran and Dawn returned to camp with tree mail, envelopes and no stupid poem (finally!)

 

Cochran: “There were 9 envelopes sitting there and I know what it means as a Survivor fan. It means that the food auction is upon us.”

 

Malcolm (solo): “We are going to an Auction. Alleluia! It couldn’t have come at a better time for me because there is a chance that there will be some sort of big advantage in the game offered up. Considering my position, I definitely have to consider not spending any money on food today. I hate the thought of it but I need all the help I can get.”

 

The Auction:

 

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Eddie chooses peanut butter over an advantage.

Jeff brought up the first item, a beer and a bowl of nuts, saying the first to pay 20 dollars gets it. He hadn’t finished his sentence that Malcolm, the bar tender, yelled out “20!”

 

Thankfully, Malcolm sparred us the need to analyze this scene by giving himself the role of Dumb Player: “I literally have been prepping myself for hours not to eat any food. I may have shot myself in the foot for this game for a beer and some nuts.”

 

The next item saw Erik, Brenda, Dawn and Andrea competing for it until Reynold jumped in and bought it for $180.

He was given a choice between 3 items. Cochran offered some help: “You’re always supposed to switch.” Reynold replied: “I don’t trust you Cochran.” Reynold decided to stick with the initial one which was a slice of pizza. The second item had the whole pizza and Sherri jumped up, saying she’d pay $500 for it. Jeff, after a moment of hesitation, realized it could be used to make her look dumb so he let her have it. The editors went with it, letting us hear Jeff saying that there could be something better down the road. Jeff concluded: “You are out of this auction.”

 

As soon as Jeff showed a full roasted chicken, it was Dawn’s turn to go all in.

 

Malcolm redeemed himself somewhat when he bought information in the game for $480. No one went all in which disappointed Brenda. He was given a clue to read and memorize. Malcolm told us in confessional that the idol was buried near the well.

 

When she was outbid by Andrea on another mystery item, Brenda almost started crying again. Andrea finally got the item for $280. It was a nice plate of pasta and meat balls but she had to give it up for a supply of rice and bean. Andrea had a stare that could have killed Jeff but she managed to smile when she turned and went back to the bench.

 

The next item was an advantage in the immunity challenge. Reynold bid first, followed by a reticent Brenda who was saved by Cochran’s high bid of $340.

Surprisingly, Eddie didn’t bid even if he still had (from what we knew) the full $500. Either he is dumb or he was edited to be dumb. (It doesn’t really matter to us but it should matter to Eddie in his future endeavors.)

 

Brenda didn’t take a chance on losing the next one which she got for $300. Jeff showed he was mean by revealing pig brains. She reluctantly took a bite, unsure if it was good for her. Probst didn’t help.

 

The next items were all the letters from home but they weren’t auctioned off. The players only had to spend $20 for them but that still left out Dawn, Malcolm and Sherri. Dawn rationalized it by saying: “I will talk to them in 10 days.”

 

The final item had a twist and that got Eddie’s attention. He spent $200 on peanut butter to share with the tribe. Brenda was the one that was shown almost jumping out of her seat with joy. Everyone dug in and Cochran had fun licking Sherri’s fingers.

 

After Jeff ended the auction, Dawn had a confessional: “Malcolm bought a clue which was most likely for where the location of the idol is. People are a little psyched out by the last tribal council. Even though there is only 3 of them, maybe they will pull some crazy thing and because they have that arrogance, they can get that sense of no matter what they do we will outplay them, will outwit them so go with us.”

 

Interesting to hear Dawn say that the 3 Amigos are arrogant. We certainly saw arrogance from Reynold and Eddie during the pre-merge but this is the first time we’ve heard negative comments about the 3 Amigos as an alliance. Those negative comments weren’t delivered by someone that the audience will dismiss either. This confessional sets up the demise of the Amigos.

 

The tribe was covered in peanut butter when they came back to camp.

 

Reynold (solo): “After the auction, we went from being absolutely morose to now where everybody is well fed and we have plenty of provisions to get to the rest of the game and my alliance has an idol clue. It’s a 180 degree turn.”

 

Brenda: “I feel like I am on top of the world right now. I have letters from home. I woke up this morning thinking I would give anything for a pizza, I would give anything for a hamburger and when this came out it was like that’s it, that’s all I want. It’s so much encouragement and so much love. This is all that mattered. This is why I am out here, for these people; I’d do anything for them.”

 

Even Cochran was crying: “I have been trying hard to play this emotionless game this time, to just be this calm, cool, collected gamebot and just run through strategy but getting letters from home makes you realize there is life outside the game and things I value more than this game. Part of me is happy that I am still someone who values family, love and, I guess, things that are really important.”

 

These were nice character development confessionals for the 3 players. Many viewers feel these letters from home and family visits are a waste of time but Jeff always likes to show them so we can assume these confessionals were chosen to validate the decision to incorporate these excessively sentimental moments. Our interest comes from the difference between the three selected confessionals.

Brenda was strictly sentimental with no game consideration. This served to book end her one episode story arc. Brenda will probably dissappear again for a little while. 

Reynold had a more balanced take, mixing both sentiments and game play but he still had that overly optimistic approach thinking the 180 degree turn was already a done deal. Note also that Reynold still talked about “we” which is the nature of a good narrator. I have no doubt he must also talk about himself but that is only used when he is about to get a bad surprise.

Cochran, like Reynold, mixed both sentiments and game but he was aware that nothing had yet been accomplished. He was still trying to play a clinical game, knowing there is still a long way to go. If the intent was just to validate the decision to let them have those letters, the confessional could have started with “…Getting letters…” and the whole game play talk could have been erased, time saved. Cochran doesn’t use the “we” pronoun like Reynold: This is his personal quest.  

 

 

While the others were still assembled to exchange about their letters, Reynold and Malcolm used the time to convince Sherri to stick with them.

“You all better pull something out your butt” she told them.

Reynold pointed out they’d have majority with her and Erik. Malcolm said: “It’s game over: Final 5.” Reynold added: “Guaranteed… We could guarantee you worst case, fifth.”

 

In the middle of this talk, Sherri had a confessional: “At the auction, Malcolm bought the clue for a hidden immunity so everybody is paranoid because they keep constantly winning and they got hidden immunity idols. You start feeling: They are unbeatable. So, if you can’t beat’em, you join’em.”

 

Malcolm and Reynold were sitting alone with Sherri when they made her that offer and the best they could come up with was an offer for 5th place?? With Eddie out of earshot, they should have went for it, saying that everyone likes Eddie so he’d have to be out at 4 and Sherri was their choice for Final 3. Showing the end of that discussion really makes the two guys look like dumb players.

 

Reynold: “They still have us outnumbered 6 to 3 but if we have Erik and Sherri then we are the majority. Then we would knock out Cochran. If we knock out really strategic, power players then that alliance is completely busted.”

 

This is the first direct mention that others view Cochran as a strategic threat that has to be taken out. Getting this attention and the doubt on his chances that it implies is an important progression in his path to victory. Up to now, Andrea had been presented as the smart player in the alliance, the one to target but now the bull’s eye slowly shifts to the real “calm, cool, collected” strategist.

 

Night 29

 

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After reading her letters, Andrea followed Malcolm.

Malcolm walked out of camp at night to go look for the idol but Andrea was watching him.

 

Malcolm: “I am still trying to stick around. Making it a couple more days in this game can change the game…somewhere buried 6 inches deep, is a hidden immunity idol…hopefully, I will have my third idol in this game. Any power I can get in my corner is going to be necessary just to stick around.”

We then had a black and white scene when Andrea and Cochran joined Malcolm at the well and just sat there watching him. She joked: “I love the smell of fresh dirt.” Malcolm’s confessional continued: “I got busted by Andrea…It’s a weird situation.”

 

Before long, Cochran left to go to the bathroom but Andrea stuck around. A little later, she would give us a confessional: “Ths morning… Malcolm is already starting… so I followed him to the well. I find him digging at this tree and then I decided to just sit there because I know, if there is an idol, it’s probably me going home because my name has come up already.”

 

For some reason, Malcolm just stood there, not even trying to look for the idol. The sun came up and they were both sitting on the well. Malcolm realized that Andrea was like a little sister he couldn’t get rid of so they both walked back to camp.

 

Malcolm (solo): “Andrea is a smart girl, she will not give me a second to dig. I felt like a bit of an idiot pouring $480 down the drain, a million dollars down the drain maybe.”

 

If we remember the last idol that Malcolm found, he wasn’t bothered by all the eyes that were on him so why did he stop looking for the idol this time? He probably did continue digging but simply couldn’t find it. Maybe “going to the water” doesn’t mean the well but the ocean, maybe he was looking at the wrong tree so he stopped because he didn’t want to give more information to Andrea on where it could be. The scene made Andrea look a whole lot smarter, or at least more determined, than Cochran.

 

The Challenge

 

It was identical to the one in Samoa that Jaison won with the same advantage given to Cochran.

(To those who think challenges are made to favor some players, Jeff did mention that the log was equal to 1 third of the initial body weight of each player to make it fair but no one verified their math)

 

As soon as Cochran read the note describing his advantage, Eddie had a confessional: “I need to win today really badly but Cochran got a game advantage but Cochran is by no means any type of physical threat whatsoever so I feel very optimistic.”

 

Now that we have been told that the Amigos are arrogant, why not show us a bit more of that arrogance! This confessional, oddly, reminded me of Mookie talking about Yau Man and it would, of course, turn out to be as wrong.

 

Cochran, smartly, used his advantage as soon as they were told to go to the second knot. Since he’d keep the 2 knot advantage throughout, there was no point waiting and having to hold more weight longer and Jeff made sure everyone knew about it.

 

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Erik must have thrown this challenge but, once more, he didn’t tell us about his strategy.

When they got to the last knot, it didn’t take long for Brenda and Erik to drop their logs.

Erik must have thrown this challenge but, once more, he didn’t tell us about his strategy.

 

Having reached the end of their rope, Sherri and Malcolm were the next to fail. Andrea soon followed and then Jeff turned into a cheerleader, yelling first at Dawn, then Reynold, Cochran and Eddie to keep digging. It only helped Dawn for a short while.

After a short pause, the music picked up again for the showdown between the last 3 guys. Reynold was next and we knew it wouldn’t take long for the other Amigo to fall. The blur on Eddie’s face told us he was in trouble and, just like that, Cochran won his second immunity, did his second little victory dance.

(It wasn’t as funny as the rooty-tooty fresh n’ fruity though)

 

As they walked away, we heard Malcolm’s confessional: “Cochran is safe for another day so I’d like to think that I have infused some sort of revolutionary spirit in some of these guys and that they are going to realize that, at nine, the three of us could be a lot of help to somebody trying to shake things up.”

 

This is where Malcolm made the frequent calculation error associated with a Final 3. It’s stupid, at nine, for 2 people to join a solid threesome because they would automatically be ejected at 5. There shouldn’t even have been a question that an Amigo had to go at this stage but suspense was created through the promos and the edit. 

 

Cochran: “I’m the greatest challenge competitor in Survivor Caramoan. There’s no debate: If you look at the scoreboard, I am demolishing everybody. I won half the individual immunity challenges. I’m the guy that was screamed at after every challenge the last time I played because I was such freaking liability, I suck at challenges, I’m weak but now, I am the biggest challenge threat in this game and I don’t care if it makes me a threat. I am just going to keep winning.”

 

Now who is showing too much arrogance? At least, Cochran’s boasts were accompanied by a reminder that he did receive a lot of blame the last time, somewhat justifying his satisfaction. Is it another thing that should worry us? It could be a sign that his arrogance will be punished but it could also be telling us about one of his selling points to the jury: He outplayed them.

 

A nervous Malcolm had the next confessional: “Idols drive you crazy out here. I found two without clues and now I can’t find the one that I paid $480 for a clue and I can’t go look for it because I will be hounded by the girls who will start digging around me. I just got to bluff my way through this, basically.” To Reynold and Eddie, he said: “We need them to think we’re playing an idol.” Then his confessional continued: “If the Favorites do a split vote, that’s the best case scenario because I believe we have Sherri and…we’re good with 4 votes.”

 

He approached Sherri, telling her he had an idol. They ended up agreeing to vote against Andrea.

 

Sherri (solo): “I think I want to play with the muscle-heads because I think the muscle-heads are going to keep winning the challenges but then I flip and I go: Cochran won one today. But Cochran won one because he had an advantage so I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

 

Once more, Malcolm will have misread one of his rivals. It’s been a pattern since the merge so we have to say that, in the end, Malcolm was edited as a Dumb Player.

 

Reynold was talking to Erik, trying to sell the same scenario.

 

Erik’s confessional: “There are two alliances…I need as much information as possible so I need to keep playing both sides which I am excited about but at the same time, terrified.” After talking to Dawn, Andrea and Cochran, Erik, who assured them of his loyalty, continued to give us his thoughts: “This is the biggest decision for me today; there’s a fork in the road, you can’t go back after this. I have to keep playing like I am going both ways at the same time, all the way up to the vote. All the way up until I know the name that I am going to put down and it might even change at Tribal Council.”

 

Dawn, Andrea, Cochran and Sherri continued talking. Both Dawn and Cochran had reservations about the split vote which Cochran explained: “It could be disastrous if it’s split and something goes wrong with the split. The only suspicion is that Erik casting the Phillip vote. What was the point of doing that?” Andrea told them that it would be dumb for Erik to flip right now and that seemed to register with Sherri.

 

Andrea (solo): “If all goes as planned, my alliance is going to vote with me but all it takes (camera on Sherri) is one person to flip. It’s hard; putting your fate into these people that, as much as I think Erik is telling the truth, (Erik shown talking to Reynold and Eddie) I don’t know if he has a different agenda, like if he came into this game thinking “I got fooled by a girl the first time so why don’t I flip with the guys?”

 

Sherri in confessional: “Neither side realizes that this is my game right now. I am the one calling the shots. They don’t get it. I kinda want the to think that I don’t realize that I have this much power. As of this moment right now, I am torn as to who I am going with.”

 

This confessional, as much as any we’ve ever heard in 26 seasons, shows us how the players each have a personal perception of reality. Given her position and her knowledge of the situation, Sherri is absolutely right to think that it’s her game, just like Erik can think he is deciding which road the game will take. The funniest thing is that they are both right and both wrong at the same time! It’s somewhat like Schrödinger’s cat and they won’t know until they open the box. (One player that was in a similar situation was Big Tom during All-Stars when he quite happily proclaimed he was the swing vote. The box opened rather quickly and…poor cat!   http://www.funny115.com/v1/88.htm )

 

Tribal Council

 

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“I hope you don’t have that idol because voting you out would be so delicious.”

Asked about any change in camp, Reynold said that Phillip’s departure marked a new chapter in the game.

Phillip looked pissed.

Reynold added: “I don’t see this game as 6 on three anymore. If you don’t make moves, you will be going home sooner than you thought.”

Andrea was nervous but she added: “Anyone flipping at this point would be dooming their game. The three will be sticking together.”

Sherri told Jeff it crossed her mind that she was on the bottom of the six.

That alarmed Dawn. She countered by saying everyone was feeling vulnerable.

Malcolm told Jeff he had a fun day because of the information gained at the auction.

Andrea told Jeff that she was 80% sure Malcolm had found the idol.

Dawn told Jeff that the idols were being played so often. “There’s been a lot of them.”

Erik said that someone who worries could trade up for a new alliance.

Cochran described how easy it would be for one of the 6 to flip the game in a split vote situation.

Andrea felt sure she was targeted.

 

Jeff said it was time to vote which, judging by the clock, told us that we’d certainly have a re-vote, thus ending all suspense. At least, we did have some funny moments like Cochran saying: “I hope you don’t have that idol because voting you out would be so delicious.”

Or Andrea, Cochran and Dawn’s smile when Malcolm remained seated after Jeff asked for an idol.

There was also Reynold’s shock when the 9th vote turned out to be Malcolm.

 

In the re-vote, all six, including Eddie voted for Malcolm, letting Cochran savor his delicious moment. Dawn said it was huge.

Jeff talked to Reynold and Eddie in his final words: “You’ve been on the outside of this game since day 1 and 30 days later, nothing has changed but you are still alive and that’s all that matters for anybody tonight.

 

The Story.

 

It was interesting to hear Malcolm’s last words where he said he felt so safe entering the Council that he wouldn’t have played the idol even if he had found it. He really should have taken that risk the last time, For Cochran, the vote had to be as delicious as the auction. Sherri and Erik both offered him their vote. To add to the flavor, Malcolm used Cochran’s South Pacific “stragedy” by flipping at the merge. This time, the alliance that saw a member defect survived long enough to get rid of the betrayer. Quite a turn of events for Cochran.

 

The Players:

 

Brenda: Some viewers will rejoice that Brenda has finally been given a role, others will worry that this role could point to her quitting the game. I don’t see it that way. Brenda’s scenes only served to promote the auction, to show how important it is to the players, especially when it delivers letters form home. Her role should revert to its original minimal importance until her time to be voted out approaches. What we did learn was that she had a plan but that the Amigos ruined it. We are left to suppose she had her sights on a Final three with Dawn and Phillip but it wasn’t important enough to mention before Phil’s departure. We didn’t hear her alternative plan either, if she has one.

 

Eddie: He was only used to show the arrogance of the Amigos that Dawn described. He felt he could easily beat Cochran but he was defeated once more. From the start, Eddie’s edit has shown him as being less threatening than Reynold and only an immunity win could change the order of elimination. As for his connection to Andrea, that ended as soon as it started and it was only shown to tell us why the Favorites will target her.

 

Reynold: His role as narrator continued after the auction and he is still the eternally optimistic player that keeps getting bad news. Nothing’s changed even if things had momentarily looked up for him. We don’t know if Malcolm relayed any information about the location of the idol to Reynold but, if he did, it wasn’t deemed important enough to show. That’s a hint that Reynold will not find the next immunity idol and will need to win the challenge and it doesn’t seem to suit him.

 

Andrea: We keep hearing that she is a smart girl and she was still the Amigos’ target. Those are good signs for her chances of winning. Even some members of her alliance tried to get rid of the “little sister”. She has been thinking about her connections to the jury, trying to get their votes in the end and the 3 Amigos see her as a good player so that makes her dangerous. Additionally, she has the determination that could enable her to win the next immunity challenge. That could turn out to be her fatal mistake because Cochran seems to enjoy being the challenge monster. He’d probably like to make that argument to the jury, saying “I also won immunity challenges”. Brenda and, eventually, Andrea could be voted out so that no one else in the Final 3 could make that claim. Sooner or later, the “Reynold and Eddie curse” should catch up to her.

 

Dawn: She showed once more why she should be considered a jury threat: She was the one congratulating the Amigos when they returned from TC and she was the one comforting Brenda in her moment of weakness. If the jury is angry at her in the end, it will be as shocking to viewers as it was when everyone turned on Amanda but we have seen signs that is what is about to happen.

 

Sherri: As mentioned above, Sherri can certainly think that she is in control of the game because the vote depended on the name she wrote on the parchment. However, as Dawn and Andrea pointed out, it would have been dumb to flip at this point with the three guys sticking together to the end. She got Malcolm to say he’d vote out one of his guys before Final 3 but she couldn’t trust him. Considering they had offered her 5th place before and knowing how tight they were then she really didn’t have a shot of changing the game. From the viewers point of view, she simply followed the alliance like a good sheep but her hands were tied.

 

Erik: Similarly, Erik could clearly see the fork in the road and he could proclaim that he was choosing the one that was best for him but those two roads never offered him an equal opportunity. Some will say he made a mistake again, refusing a shot at 4th place for a predetermined 6th place finish. Even if he sits at number 6 in the alliance, that still offers him a better chance than going with the three guys where he’d have a hard time cracking the top 3 and where he would have angered most of the jury. The road that Erik didn’t choose was leading to a victory by one of the Amigos not to his victory. He couldn’t really take it but by letting us hear his dilemma, the editors opened the door for the viewers to see him as a Dumb Player once more. His original confessional where he admitted to follow Phillip’s rule didn’t help his image. Also, if he is throwing challenges, he should realize that their isn’t a big difference between being seen as a challenge threat or being useless in helping the alliance beat the Amigos. At some point, he’ll need to show his worth or the alliance will simply say: Erik can’t help us beat them anyway so why keep him?

 

Cochran: The editors continue to cultivate the image of Cochran being both a Fan and a Favorite as shown by his confessionals about viewing the game which isn’t bad in a season that has the Theme of Fans versus Favorites. Here’s someone that is a fan and a favorite so he has the best of both worlds. We finally heard that his rivals consider him as a strategic threat so that is good. What was troubling however was seeing him crouched over when everyone was miserable at the start of the episode, seeing him let Andrea alone to spy on Malcolm, relinquishing his role as observer and finally hearing his arrogance about winning more immunity challenges than the others. Are those mortal wounds to his edits? Some may say they are but we will stay the course and say that the moment of weakness was generalized and used to prepare the joyous auction, the spying of Malcolm wasn’t necessary because they played it as if he had an idol anyway and the post challenge confessional served to set up some other wins that will enable him to make his case during Final TC.

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