The recap started with the merge: Big moves were on everyone’s mind but Malcolm and Corinne were putting their’s into action.
Corinne: “Let’s take Sherri out first and then we can take out Phillip. He’s the head of this whole non-sense. As long as Phillip goes, that whole organization will crumble.”
With plans to break up Stealth-R-Us, they formed a counter alliance made up of Fans and Favorites.
After Cochran ate up the competition at the first immunity challenge, Sherri was the target of the entire tribe…
<Sherri was shown swimming in the ocean, apparently with no worries in the world>
…but when Dawn caught wind of Corinne’s secret alliance with the Fans, Stealth-R-Us had to decide between an easy target or a big move.
Andrea: “If she can pull all these people then we’re all screwed.”
At Tribal Council, they pulled off the biggest move of the season, voting off a member of their alliance in a shocking blindside.
<The recap ended with a smiling Sherri>
As expected, Dawn wasn’t credited for arranging Corinne’s blindside even if she was the major force behind it. Here, her role was only to relay information and Stealth-R-Us, which Corinne said was headed by Phillip, decided on a big move and THEY pulled it off! That tells me that Dawn’s chances of winning took a big hit. The biggest move of the season would have been credited to her if she was a winner. In fact, the camera gave more credit to Phillip, Andrea and Cochran, showing them right after Jeff said the words “shocking blindside”.
The theme of this episode was:
Merged tribe – Day 23
Baby monkeys were up, tending to their chores.
In the shelter, Phillip, Andrea, Sherri and Dawn were relaxing.
While Malcolm worried, Phillip was heard saying: “We are going to do it because we know that we are solid with our numbers.”
Reynold made fire and we heard the start of his confessional.
Then to Eddie, he said: “Every girl that associates with us gets voted out.”
The camera showed Andrea in her bikini at that moment.
Reynold went on: “Who is the next victim?”
Reynold’s confessional continued here.
Reynold (solo): “At last night’s tribal Council, Corinne gets voted out and I look at last night as a victory. Even though we had this counter alliance forming and Corinne was a big part of (it), at the end of the day, a Favorite goes home and it’s not me.” The end of Reynold’s confessional went like this: “I’m at the point where I have nothing to lose. I am iron-clad with my guys, with Eddie and Malcolm. They know we are unwaveringly trustful to each other. I have an idol, we’re here, we are all sitting around, I am going to play this game.”
I guess Reynold has to be satisfied with this Pyrrhic victory because he won’t be getting anything better. However, the inclusion of Andrea at this moment looks like a bad omen for her. Recalling the season’s intro, Andrea’s mistake was flirting and not only will she be doing a lot of that but she is also the one the camera looked for when Reynold talked about the curse they bring to the women that associate with them. Andrea, I feel will be the next Favorite voted out. More on that later.
In the shelter, we heard Reynold asking Andrea what was her game strategy.
She coyly answered: “I’m playing it day by day.”
Asked about his strategy, Reynold replied that he was just opening the door.
That made Andrea giggle.
Malcolm was close by, listening and he gave a confessional
Malcolm: “With Corinne out of the game, I lost my closest ally. Flip side of that is that I am the only one who knows about my idol. I still have the only idol that nobody knows about in this game. I think I still got the Fans; Mike, Eddie and Reynold will still go along with anything I say. I took a hit last night but I am still alive. They thought they cut off the head of the snake, they thought they killed the rebel leader I guess. They don’t know they missed yet.”
Two things stand out in Malcolm’s confessional: He was proven right to say that Reynold would go along with anything he says but the alliance would realize that the rebel leader was still alive sooner than Malcolm expected.
The next scene started with a snake apparently going for a baby monkey but the monkey jumped out of reach.
Phillip was flirting with Sherri.
“The first time I saw you on the beach was like: Damn, she’s hot!”
Sherri wanted to know if Michael had talked to Phillip.
The answer was clear: “No. He knows it’s over. It’s going to be sweet revenge when the boys who thought they could trample you… Treat mama improperly and now look what happens.”
Phillip talked in confessional while the camera showed Reynold, Eddie and Michael.
Phillip then gave Sherri her nick-name: Tenacity.
Sherri seemed to like that.
Phillip added: “You must be loyal and absolutely trustworthy. Are you prepared to do that?”
They shook hands while Malcolm and Brenda looked on.
Sherri’s confessional was heard at this point.
Phillip then presented Serenity (Brenda) and the Enforcer (Malcolm).
Phillip whispered: “I have no intentions of voting you (Sherri) out of this game.”
Phillip’s earlier confessional: “Each one of the Fans needs to realize that if you don’t do what we ask you to, you will go home. Sherri is with us in terms of where her voting will be and so Mike will go home.”
Sherri’s own confessional: “Besides the game of Survivor, I have another game to play: I have to play the Specialist’s game. There’s fake organizations, there’s secret alliances. It’s all crazy out here. I’m wholeheartedly in with the Favorites and I am great with big personalities. I had no problem with Shamar, I could handle Shamar. Phillip is my Shamar on this tribe. You give me two more votes and I’ll be calling shots with Phillip and he will be coming to me, asking me what I think and what’s my plan.”
That’s a much more interesting confessional from Sherri than what we had heard since the swap. We will be holding her to it though: Will she be calling the shots after next week’s vote? We know she should be there because Phillip just gave her a story to last until the end of the game but will she be the one making the decisions? Let’s say we have serious doubts, especially after seeing her shown swimming in the ocean during the recap, oblivious to the lurking dangers.
As for Malcolm, we thought he wouldn’t have a chance to get back in the alliance after last week but he was still Phill’s Enforcer. Was Phillip just humoring him?! That would be a first! It usually works the other way around but who knows?!
Jeff did talk about a Pick ‘em but the line-ups made it look as if once more production wanted to give the guys a chance to form an alliance against the women.
The pick’em could have given this line-up if they designated a male and a female captain, say Reynold and Dawn for example and then let the guy pick first.
Reynold would most likely pick Eddie.
Dawn would pick Malcolm.
Reynold then takes Erik and his team his loaded, Dawn having only Phillip, Michael and Cochran to pick from the guys.
As is, the teams were once more very unfairly divided. No one picked Sherri and she had no chance for reward.
(I like that Survivor has gotten cheap in regard to this. Picking a team to cheer was a lame idea. It also tells us who makes a good goat.)
Purple team was the one that shot first and they also had last shot. They won but it looked like they had one extra shot. Was Orange denied a chance to tie or did they miss and the shot was simply dropped from the show? It’s another challenge oddity.
Phillip did his best to distract Eddie and it worked because the ball ended up directly in Malcolm’s hands, the only save we would see.
Brenda showed great form when she lobbed Michael.
Erik and Andrea showed it was pretty easy to score even if Reynold failed miserably.
Dawn just missed so that gave Cochran (who was on a tear in challenges according to Jeff) an opportunity to tie it.
Once more, Cochran’s celebration seemed important to show. We had only seen Brenda laughing as she got up the ladder, Erik’s fist pump in the water and nothing of Andrea’s celebration but we heard Cochran’s victory scream and we followed him all the way up the ladder, saw him passing by a smiling Jeff and high fiving Reynold.
Phillip used the soccer player’s stutter step to trick the goalie and he scored.
Eddie made amends on his second attempt.
Even if she looked confident, Brenda just missed, hitting the horizontal bar.
Erik won it for Purple which meant Michael finally got a reward.
Even if it was Michael’s first time and it was going to be his final episode, the reward was all about Cochran.
(I must say that neglecting Michael during his last episode made me wonder if he was really going in the end. A nice change for once.)
Looking over the falls, Cochran talked about the experience: “There’s this brilliant water fall, 40 or so feet tall, and…I am going to have to repel down on it. This is not something I do. I rarely leave my apartment, I rarely leave twitter and the fact that I am going to be flung down some waterfall on a rope? I don’t know the mechanics of it, I have no idea what’s going on.”
Reynold also had a confessional: “I never repelled in my life but I threw caution to the wind and just tried to jump down the thing like James Bond. It actually kind of worked out well for me. I felt kind of natural.”
Cochran: “I watched my tribe mates going down but it wasn’t any consolation because I had no idea what they were doing but I am learning to embrace it. This is the same guy that was afraid to take off his shirt the last time I played Survivor. Now, I am flying down a waterfall after winning a challenge. It was fantastic! It was kind of nerve wracking, I slid on some mossy rocks and bungled the job a little bit but I loved it.”
If Cochran is indeed our winner, this could be a metaphor to his road to victory: He’ll slip along the way a little bit but he will get there.
During the picnic, talks turned to strategy and Reynold’s confessional was inserted here.
Michael pointed out that the last Fans versus Favorites was dominated by women. He added: “How cool would it be if this one was dominated by guys?”
He then told Cochran that he would have three loyal votes.
Reynold talked about the plan in the second half of his confessional.
Reynold then mentioned to the group the legendary big moves over the years, adding: “You want to be in one of them.”
Cochran said he loved Survivor’s big moments but his confessional showed he wasn’t thinking along the same line as the other guys.
Reynold’s earlier confessional: “There was this total post big win locker room guys’ mentality going on after this reward challenge.” (Including his load burp!) “It’s so simple and it’s pure. Everything’s got so complicated out here, I think it was a great reprieve for all of us.” He then added: “The pitch to Cochran was: Let’s take the muscle to the end. Let’s do this all-guys’ alliance, let’s “bro” down, let’s get these scheming, crazy girls that keep flirting with all of us out of here and let’s just take the strong guys to the end.”
We haven’t seen anyone flirting with Reynold since Allie left so is he being overly optimistic again or are there scenes we’ve been missing? The impression is that Reynold is deluding himself again.
Cochran: “Reynold, Eddie and Michael must not know me that well if they think that emphasizing the testosterone unity between us; “we’re men! and we hate women! And we are going to slab each other with towels in the locker room and we are going to chug beers!” That doesn’t work with me. It doesn’t appeal to me at all. I am not going to be exchanging in any masculine tomfoolery with these numbskulls!”
Camp – Day 23
Malcolm in confessional: “We lose the reward, I saw it coming a mile away, got over it pretty quickly because, while I didn’t get to go on a reward, I was with the people I needed to be around. I need numbers and it’s easiest to scoop the people on the bottom and Sherri and Dawn seem like the most likely candidates to me.”
His choice is rather questionable since he voted against Sherri and he knew Dawn was in the core 6. Wouldn’t Brenda have been a better choice? Like everyone else, it seems that Malcolm forgets that Brenda exists!
Malcolm made his pitch to Sherri first: “Best case, it’s 8 and 7 for us…If we do it, we don’t leave before 4 and 5. If they think we are in on it, they will split the vote… and then we are guaranteed final 5 instead of best case 7th.”
He delivered another confessional: “The Favorites think they have 8 people, they think it’s the 7 remaining favorites and they’ve brought in Sherri for 8 against 3 which would be Mike, Reynold and Eddie. I am going to take advantage of that because, if I can pull a 5 person alliance that’s enough to take over the game.”
Malcolm then went to Dawn with basically the same pitch, adding: “If we are going to do something, it has to be now.”
Dawn wanted to know how.
Malcolm said: “There are 6 people if you are in.”
We could hear Dawn groan before saying: “You’re saying use the four Fans?”
Malcolm confirmed it: “They’re already aligned, Sherri just agreed.”
Dawn told Malcolm that she would talk to Sherri.
Dawn then gave us her thoughts: “Malcolm came to me and said: “Here’s how I want to vote, here’s who I work with and do you want to come on board?” and I’m thinking he’s going to be a problem. It would be great if I could give him the impression that I was voting with him and we could all just take him out.”
If this season played out like Survivor China where a main theme was: “You have to know your neighbor’s motive before entering in an alliance with him”, we could say that Dawn was going to win like Todd: Everyone goes to her for an alliance. Unfortunately, the themes of this story are slightly different and we are looking for the one making decisions, not the one getting information.
Malcolm (solo): “The Favorites think they have 8 people, they think it’s the 7 remaining favorites and they’ve brought in Sherri for 8 against 3 which would be Mike, Reynold and Eddie. I am going to take advantage of that because, if I can pull a 5 person alliance that’s enough to take over the game.”
We saw Sherri, Andrea, Dawn and Phillip discussing the events.
We joined in as Sherri said that Malcolm approached her and that he had 4 people. She said Malcolm’s plan was to let the Favorites split the votes between Eddie and Reynold.”
Dawn confirmed: “He is trying to flip it.”
That made Andrea smile.
Andrea said that they should let Malcolm think that his amazing plan was working while adding: “We just vote Malcolm out.”
Phillip had the confessional to explain the alliance’s position: “Malcolm is trying to play double-duty, he’s trying to play me as if he is still a member of the core alliance. Me! the Specialist! He’s going to think that we are voting for Reynolds and Eddie when, in fact, we are going to be voting for him.”
AS soon as Malcolm came back to the shelter, Phillip set the reverse trap in motion: “We are going to do a split…”
Eddie joined Andrea in a cove.
Andrea (solo): “The days that we have nothing to do, it’s kinda nice to get away and I felt like I was a little kid sneaking out of my parents’ house again when Eddie and I went to the lagoon. Eddie is really hot so, I don’t know, maybe we’re dating! Is this island dating? I’m not sure. The more I play out this possible Eddie relationship, the more likely he is to vote for me in the end or give me information.”
As they sat close to each other, Eddie said he’d do anything to stay except vote for Reynold.
Andrea wanted him to promise that he would vote the way she wanted.
The music got romantic. Andrea looked and sounded the part of the giggling school girl that has a crush on the football player. She went so far as to ask him if he would vote against Malcolm.
Eddie (solo): “What’s troubling to me is that I don’t think Andrea wants to vote me out. I think she wants to keep me here, she likes me and I think that she really wants to drag me along in this game and I just need to be dragged two or three more votes before I can get up on my own feet and start punching people.”
Andrea asked Eddie if he knew anything about idols.
He lied: “No.”
Andrea asked if he could continue giving her information and she’d guarantee the next vote wouldn’t be against him. Then they’d work vote to vote.
Andrea had another confessional: “I don’t know who goes out here and actually falls for someone. It’s really rare. Normally, there’s an element of you’re playing somebody. So, I know I am definitely playing Eddie but I’m trying to see if he is playing me.”
Well, he is. It seems that once again Jeff will be able to say that Andrea threw her game away by flirting. Yes, it worked for Amber and it kind of worked for Jaime Dugan but really? There are reunions parties for that stuff! After Malcolm in the previous scene, now Andrea looked foolish. There was a good reason why Rob imposed his buddy system and Andrea should have known better.
Phillip had no special skills under water so he was the first to quit the challenge. He was soon followed by Sherri, Erik, Dawn and Malcolm. (Erik had done reasonably well in the Micronesian version of this challenge, losing only to Jason and Ozzy if memory serves, so I wouldn’t be surprised if both guys threw this challenge) Michael was next and soon Eddie, Cochran and Reynold followed. There were only two women left which pleased Dawn and Sherri.
It was a good fight, both girls remaining calm even if they were almost entirely submerged. In the end, Brenda prevailed and was so focused that Jeff was forced to send people to let her know.
Back in camp, the players congratulated Brenda but even that dramatic win wasn’t enough to earn a confessional. We went to strategy discussion almost immediately.
Malcolm’s confessional: “This next vote has to be the turning point in the game that I have been waiting for. It’s the last time that I definitely can have the numbers on my side. I can’t wait any longer: Reynold, Eddie and Mike are going to be gone. They are easy pickings for votes right now. The Favorites have to be 100% convinced that I am with them or else they are not going to split the votes. So, I’ve been sitting on the bottom for 25 days but I am finally going to make my move to get on top.”
Andrea and Dawn were then seen fooling Malcolm into thinking the split vote was a done deal: “It’s four girls on Reynold, four guys on Eddie and we get Reynold” was the way Andrea presented the plan to Malcolm.
Malcolm’s confessional continued: “Andrea, she is the one calling the shots, I need to make sure she thinks I’m on board with her plan. By her trusting me with that plan, that means she doesn’t suspect what’s going on, what I have up my sleeve..”
Andrea’s confessional proved him wrong: “Malcolm’s a good liar! It was funny, you know because I am lying to him, he’s lying to me. The whole dynamic of it is pretty hilarious. Now, he’s trying to pull Dawn over and Dawn is really working it. Dawn is the MVP. I don’t where this new Dawn is coming from. She’s good at this.”
Malcolm told Dawn he was voting against Andrea while we heard another confessional: “Andrea is the leader. As much as Phillip has bluster and as much as these guys are upset with him, he’s not actually running things. He’s kind of a joke and when you are trying to stir the pot, to incite a rebellion, you don’t try to kill the prince, you kill the person who is actually running the show which is Andrea.”
Malcolm continued working Dawn saying it was their only chance and revealing the secret about Reynold’s idol.
Dawn wanted proof: “If you show me the idol, then I will do it.”
Dawn had a very revealing confessional: “It’s nuts! The fact that I am coming back after Corinne’s vote and Malcolm is still trusting me when I am the person that gave the information on Corinne tells me that he’s not dialed in.”
Indeed, Malcolm immediately went to Reynold telling him he had to show Dawn his idol…and Reynold agreed! He didn’t even question Dawn’s trustworthiness. It only mattered that Malcolm had a plan to counter the split votes and Reynold was jumping in.
With Specialist sitting nearby, Reynold found a moment to show the idol to Dawn.
Reynold threatened Dawn: “Don’t screw me. If I have reason to doubt you, I am going to play it for myself.”
Dawn gave us another great confessional: “I can’t stand people that intimidate other people and I think Reynold is used to being in control and getting what he wants but he did show me the idol which is huge. Now I have more information on how to vote and what to do but he looked over and said: If you burn me, you’ll have hell to pay. I feel like: Shame on you. Shouldn’t have shown me your idol. Shame on you, Malcolm; you shouldn’t have brought me in.”
Eddie wanted to go talk to Andrea but Reynold warned him: “She just changes her mind every five minutes. You are going to fall into a trap with her. Let’s just get her out of here and then Cochran will warm up to us and we’ll just “bro” down to the end.
After a quick shot of a tarsier, we saw Eddie with Andrea.
Eddie asked: “If you are splitting for me and Reynold, one of us is going home.”
Andrea tried to get out of it: “I am not working with Reynold, I am working with you…I’m just saying it’s not you.”
Eddie didn’t get it.
Andrea said she couldn’t tell who to vote for but that he wasn’t going home.
Eddie asked: “Is it Mike or Malcolm.”
Andrea tried to deny: “It’s not Malcolm.”
Eddie wanted to be sure it wasn’t Reynold.
Andrea could simply ask him to trust her.
Eddie said: “If Reynold plays an idol tonight, I am going home.”
Andrea: “Is he going to play an idol?”
Eddie: “I don’t know.”
Andrea: “Does he have an idol.”
Eddie: “Somebody here does,”
Andrea: “You said you knew he didn’t have an idol.”
Eddie: “I don’t know anymore.”
Andrea: “Malcolm could betray me…it could be me.”
Eddie: “It could be you…It’s been talked about.”
Andrea had a teary-eyed confessional: “I’m going home tonight. Malcolm’s targeting me and there are idols and I need to come up with a way to change everything up.”
She then went to Cochran saying she was going home that night so that they had to go the safe way and vote against Michael.
Cochran said that since she was in danger he was fine doing Michael.
In confessional, Cochran gave us his real thoughts: “Frankly, I was a little bit turned off that Andrea was so willing to abandon was the smartest, aggressive move and taking out Malcolm tonight. She’s completely changed her mind and now suddenly, we have to go for the safe vote which would be we vote out Michael because Michael, unlike anybody else, has proven, time and time again at Tribal Council, not to have an idol.”
Andrea went around her allies going next to Phillip who still liked Malcolm. Next was Dawn who said that all her work would be going down the drain.
Already, we could see the emotional stress on her. It isn’t hard to imagine that Malcolm will blame her severely for this betrayal and that is what will cause the breakdown seen in the previews. It’s one thing to betray someone and send him home, it’s much harder to betray someone and have to live with him in the same shelter for 3 more days.
Dawn went on: “I promise you, Malcolm doesn’t have the idol. This is our chance to take Malcolm out. We could have just done it. Eddie got involved and he made you feel like you were going home and I’m telling you he wasn’t in charge of that vote, it was happening. My whole game is messed out.”
Andrea started changing her mind again.
Dawn stressed the point that it was ridiculous to keep three strong guys in the game: “The three guys don’t have immunity tonight, we’ve got one idol and we’re thinking Michael.”
Andrea said she could change it again but we were off to Tribal Council.
Jeff asked Michael if Corinne’s elimination gave him hope.
Michael said he was shocked but it what he was hoping would happen, that the Favorites would see each other as threats. He added: “Unfortunately, they didn’t use me for that vote but they can use me for other votes.”
(They will do so very soon but not the way you wanted)
For some reason, Erik felt the need to pick a bug out of Andrea’s hair and told Jeff about it.
(Maybe he subscribes to the Fly theory!!! If so, he was telling us that Andrea can’t win!)
Phillip explained what was going on at camp through his strategy of Stealth-R-Us which seemed to pain Cochran.
(Viewers felt the same pain, John.)
The kooky music is rarely heard during TC but this was too good to pass up.
Andrea, Brenda and Erik were shown smiling in agreement at Phillip’s ramblings.
He told Jeff that they had a new member, a very effective double agent, Sherri who was now known as Tenacity. He added: “She has the capability of holding on in this game much further than any of the other Fans.”
When Jeff said it was only three guys, Sherri interrupted by saying they all voted for her. “Payback’s a bitch” she said.
Eddie said it didn’t bother him, that he knew he was going and prefered to play his own game than being a puppet in a league of operatives.
Jeff told Reynold that even at 8 against 3, an idol could flip the game.
Phillip jumped in: “We already know from my season is: If we think you have an idol, you will be voted for.”
When Michael pointed out that the alliance is already breaking down, Phillip needed to add: “A coalition that sticks together actually gets to the end together.”
Jeff turned to Andrea saying you can stick together but you can’t all get to the end, that someone will make a move.
Andrea said it was her problem in her season, that she was at the bottom. “I didn’t know it at the time but if you have a sense that you are at the bottom, you have an opportunity to flip…you can change the game.”
Asked about that, Phillip answered: “I expect that to happen” The camera showed Malcolm listening intently as Phillip went on: “I believe that, at this time, if someone were to operate with impunity and decide that this is the right time for whatever the reason, I think that they are going to find that they erred in their judgment because there are enough numbers left and enough smart people still here that they’ll figure that out. So, when you saw as a brave move, you are going to get flushed out. Goodbye.”
Malcolm really looked worried now but it was time to vote.
His vote against Reynold was an admission of being outwitted (“I don’t know what’s going on anymore) and he was scrambling, thinking this vote may save him if it was a split between the two.
When Jeff returned with the votes and asked the players if they wanted to play an idol, Reynold stood up and took out his idol.
Malcolm stopped him, saying that the votes weren’t against Reynold but against himself. He pleaded for his ally’s idol: “They all voted for me, you can tell.”
Reynold handed it over.
The first three votes to Andrea brought a smile to Eddie’s face.
The first vote against Michael had Malcolm scratching his head. Defeat was on his face when the third was announced. Even Reynold bowed his head (waiting for the ricochet) when it became obvious Michael was leaving.
When Jeff said the tribe had spoken, Andrea, Cochran and Erik were on screen.
Michael left calling them turkeys but it didn’t stop Sherri’s smile.
Jeff left them saying that they were savvy players and that the only thing they could rely on was their gut.
This week, we saw many players making mistakes. Andrea forgot the dangers of getting close to an opponent and almost got herself voted out. With Malcolm targeting her and everyone now convinced he doesn’t have the other idol, it seems very possible that Andrea gets voted out next by Malcolm’s own idol. She would be the next victim of the curse on the women that associate with Reynold and Eddie. We saw the foolishness of the men during the reward, thinking they could persuade Cochran to follow them and then we had Malcolm who was outwitted during the Tribal Council. It’s an indication that we have to look at the players that kept their focus. We didn’t have many.
The Characters –
Sherri: Why did she let the Fans know that she was looking for payback? Maybe she let her new nick-name get to her head but she was in on Malcolm’s plan to boot Andrea so she could have played it more wisely. She’ll need votes if she does make it to the end so telling Michael she was looking for revenge wasn’t the best thing to do. Still, we will take Phillip’s words as an omen and say that Sherri will make it further than any of the other Fans.
Reynold: Like I wrote above, the way he was happy after what was a Pyrrhic victory shows that the game is tough on Reynold. It didn’t get better during Tribal Council where Malcolm voted against him in case of a tie vote and then “stole” his idol. Reynold did give us something new to look at though when he talked about the curse they have for the women that associate with them.I don’t think that remark would have made it on air if there isn’t at least another victim.
Andrea: Since we were told that her mistake during Redemption Island was to flirt, every giggle we heard was like a warning of what would soon happen to her. She’ll probably think it’s safe to vote against Malcolm but his idol should still be aimed at her since he thinks she’s the one that holds the alliance together. The curse of Reynold and Eddie should continue. It’s too bad because Andrea is an interesting player to follow in more ways than one. If only she had stayed away from Eddie but the days are long out there, something we as viewers often forget.
Malcolm: Many saw Malcolm as a genius in this episode but he made many mistakes for someone that was playing to win. Like Dawn said it was nuts for him to trust her after Corinne;s boot. He thought his cover wasn’t blown but hers was even better! He should have known that Dawn was nicely positioned within the alliance and that Sherri wouldn’t be receptive to a group that targeted her last time. If his plan had remained secret, then he really only needed 1 vote. From what we saw, he never approached Brenda. And, while his move at TC was great to see, he showed everyone just how close he was to Reynold and he will have to explain his own idol when he eventually plays it. His vote against Reynold and his panicked expression showed that Phillip had completely rattled him with his speech. Malcolm didn’t expect to be discovered so soon so one has to wonder if he even brought his idol to TC. Like Dawn said: Malcolm is not dialed in. His only hope is that second idol that he kept secret to everyone and even that could turn against him if Reynold starts wondering why Malcolm used his instead of the one he had. Malcolm could use the idol against Andrea only to find the whole tribe gunning for him after that.
Eddie: I’ll give him credit for wooing Andrea and getting valuable information from her but he’s been a fool from the start so we’ll keep him here. We never saw what he did with Andrea’s information so maybe he did keep part of it to himself, information that would have been useful for his alliance.
Phillip was the first to talk about sending Mike home. He was quite firm on that as he spoke to Sherri. So, in a roundabout way, he got his target. We have often seen Phillip trying to get into his opponent’s head during challenges and it worked very well during TC. His speech rattled Malcolm and now the fog has lifted and the lines are clearly drawn. Phillip was voting against Michael so he had to talk to Andrea after she had talked to Dawn and the decision had to be made to trust Andrea’s gut over Dawn’s but to get rid of Malcolm’s idol if he had one. They did flush an idol but one remains.
Erik and Brenda: He scored the winning goal in the RC. She had a dramatic win in the IC. Both are at the bottom of the alliance so they should have been hot commodity for this vote. Yet neither had one of their confessionals make it on air. There are still no hints about what will be their downfall but we suspect they will fall as quietly as they played.
The Focused Players –
Dawn: Once more the fulcrum of all strategy discussion, Dawn was really the MVP like Andrea said but we did hear her say that Reynold would extract pay back, that there will be hell to pay, if she burned him and did she ever burn him. It’s important that Dawn’s words about revenge were included because Reynold never actually went that far. He only said “Don’t screw me. If I have reason to doubt you, I am going to play it for myself.” There was no direct threat in his words but the editors decided that we needed to know there was a threat. It’s inclusion means it should come up during Reynold’s final Tribal Council question where he can make Dawn pay a big price for her deception.
Cochran: It’s interesting to see that Reynold and Eddie think they could get Cochran on their side. Since the story is telling us that the three big guys will fall then we can already look at the players that could face Cochran in the Finals:
Sherri isn’t liked by anyone and, by showing her bitterness towards the Fans, they won’t have a problem voting against her at the end.
Phillip isn’t taken seriously by anyone.
Brenda and Erik aren’t even playing the game.
Dawn has betrayed a lot of people.
Andrea would be the only jury threat but she seems to be on the way out.
Just looking at the care given to Cochran when he scored a single goal during the reward tells us that Cochran is the player we are encouraged to root for. Cochran should be the Sole Survivor.