This season, Survivor brought back ten castaways from previous seasons and pitted them against ten fans. Last week a shocking betrayal sent Brenda to the Jury in tears. Only five are left: Erik, Sherri, Eddie, Cochran, and Dawn. Who will be the sole survivor?
Immediately after last week’s Tribal Council Erik began to feel faint from being in a starvation state forcing him from the game. As the doctors were tending to him he started freaking out and it was great seeing Eddie calm him down by explaining what they were doing. With Erik gone there is only one more immunity challenge left to make it into the final three. After that drama Cochran starts thinking about who he wants in the final with him and he begins making plans with Eddie.
Tree mail arrives telling the remaining castaways about their final reward challenge. With one hand they must hold their scales and with the other they’re making a tall house of cards. The house of cards challenge is one of my favourites and the reward is one of the most important ones yet: an advantage in the final immunity challenge. Now THAT’S a reward! Sheri and Cochran are off to quick starts with Eddie bringing up the rear. Suddenly Cochran’s whole stack falls down, as does Sherries, and then Dawn and Eddie have the same problem. Everyone is still in the game, and then out of it as their stack falls, before they build it back up. It’s a tense challenge, how do you make a stack strong enough not to fall without using up your cards too quickly? In the end Cochran and Sherri are neck and neck with one card left each until Sherri’s whole stack falls and Cochran wins his third challenge this season.
After the challenge everyone is happy because they think Cochran wants to bring them. Everyone wants Sherri with them and Cochran as no one thinks she can win and Cochran just agrees with each plan that is brought to him. He’s started to sound a little brutal when talking about wanting to ditch Dawn because of her annoying attributes but I love his strategic plans.
More tree mail arrived starting the Fallen Comrades tribute before the final immunity challenge. This season the tribute was definitely necessary because only the Jury and finalists are on stage for the reunion. I definitely could do without the Rites of Passage lets-burn-everything-down section, but as a surprise this year the camp wasn’t burned down.
Next is the long awaited final immunity challenge. With the reward challenge being more time consuming this final immunity one is the classic half obstacle half puzzle challenge. Castaways must race up a three story tower to untie bags with puzzle pieces before sliding down. After doing that three times to collect all the bags they then must open the bags and complete a standing puzzle in the shape of fire. Cochran’s advantage was he didn’t need to untie the bags at the top of the tower to save him lots of time. The challenge started with Cochran gaining a bit lead due to his advantage but everyone caught up when he got stuck on the puzzle. Dawn put together four pieces before Cochran got one, but once he figured it out he was flying. Cochran ended up winning his third immunity challenge and fourth total individual challenge putting him into a level few have made it to throughout Survivor history.
At Tribal, everyone tries to convince Cochran to take them into the finale. Sherri is a given as no one thinks she’ll get votes, so does he choose Dawn or Eddie? In the end it’s 3 votes for Eddie and 1 for Dawn, so the final Tribal Council will consist of Dawn, Sherri, and Cochran.
The important moment of the night has arrived. The final Tribal Council. The members of the Jury are Michael, Phillip, Malcolm, Reynold, Andrea, Brenda, Erik, and Eddie. It starts with opening statements before questions and then final statements. During opening statements, Dawn tries to suck up to the Jury before talking about how hard it has been for her in the game. Sherri starts talking about how she’s really successful in business. No one seems to like the fact that she’s already a millionaire, especially when she breaks into giggles about how nervous she is. Cochran talks about how much he loves this show, and how he’s only used the circumstances he’s been given but he’s probably not better than anyone else here. My favourite moment was when he said he’d love for everyone to tear him apart in the questions because he just wants to show the Jury how he thinks he’s done the best. He’s really a true fan of this show.
Sherri was the ignored third component of Final Tribal, only being asked questions by Eddie and Erik. Eddie asked her whether she still thinks she is there for strategy. When she refuses to say she was carried everyone on the Jury laughs, it’s so obvious that she did nothing. Erik tries to help her by explaining why no one is asking her anything but she gets angry, cuts him off, and tells him to go sit down. Not winning any votes for that, but I guess she knows she isn’t getting them anyway.
Dawn comes across as the bad guy of this Final Tribal as she tries to say she was strategic and a good happy mom, but Malcolm sets her straight by telling her she can’t be both as it won’t win her any votes. Phillip makes fun of her crying at one point, Eddie doesn’t understand how she thinks she was strong when she cried all the time, and Erik was disgusted by her play against Brenda, it doesn’t seem like they’ll be voting for her either. By Brenda’s turn it gets emotional. She was upset about Dawn’s betrayal after finding the retainer, so Brenda made her take out her teeth after much dispute. Reynold provided a more lighthearted moment with Dawn when he told her she was a fake and that he wanted her real thoughts on him in three words. After laughing and really not wanting to answer she ends up going with chauvinistic, funny, and vulgar. He seems appeased by that answer because she said something bad about him. On Michael’s turn he asks Dawn why she thinks she is getting abused more in this Tribal than Cochran, which is when she says she thinks he wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for her. When Michael turns that question to Cochran Dawn continually interrupts him which really hurts her.
Although there are a few people who don’t seem sure about their vote the entire Final Tribal seemed to be all about how Cochran will win. Malcolm wants to know what Cochran thinks he has that Malcolm doesn’t and is intrigued when Cochran says it’s his heightened level of insecurity. Does Malcolm have insecurities? Probably but they’re never visible while Cochran’s are. Phillip tells Cochran that he played a great game and it was fun being on Stealth with him. Andrea’s turn seems to make Cochran nervous but she ends up having a really interesting question for him: what animal have you played the game most like? His wonderful quick-thinking mind comes up with a very thought-out answer of a chameleon because he has adapted when it was crucial. He was in Stealth when called for, shed the Stealth suit when Phillip left, and kept changing to suit the moment. Eddie brings the fun question for Cochran of where will he go from here? Will he join the Three Amigos at the bar, be ahead of them, or behind them? Cochran goes into this description of how Survivor has changed him for the better by making him more confident and calming his anxiety. He’d be sitting with them at the bar, but he’d have girls on either side of him. The humour in the answer and the appreciative laughs from the Jury really shows they all like him.
From some past seasons after the Jury voted Jeff would go on this elaborate adventure to get to the live studio audience. There was hanging out of a helicopter, using a machete in bush walks, and serious hikes. They were fun scenes to watch and probably to film as well, but now he just walks out of the Tribal area and then walks into the studio. Not very exciting, but I guess we’re closer to finding out who wins that way! The only vote we saw during the voting period was Phillip’s rather obvious vote for Cochran, and it turns out every vote ended up going to him. 8-0-0. I don’t know the stats of how often that happens but it definitely doesn’t happen all the time. After the celebrations of Cochran’s win Jeff calms everyone down and begins the Caramoan reunion.
Cochran has really come into his own this season. He’s in front of such a large live audience and is making jokes and generally being sweet. He revealed that he is currently single, so how do I casually let him know I’m interested so he’ll seek me out? I swear I’ve liked him since the beginning of South Pacific, ask everyone! Look at my reviews! Please! After that exciting moment we get a dull kiss-and-makeup exchange between Dawn and Brenda, but what’s this? Brenda isn’t at the live reunion, she’s in Florida! Immediately when I heard that I figured she was pregnant and turns out I was right. Well, I’m glad Survivor doesn’t make everything as obvious as that ‘surprise.’ Although I expected Boston Rob to make some disparaging remarks towards Phillip, he ended up advertising a Boston Rob Rules book Phillip inspired and handing him a copy. I love seeing my BP but I would have liked some of his thoughts the season. Malcolm is a movie star now! Well, at least a soap opera star. He’s been in a few episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful, and after seeing a clip during the reunion I wasn’t overly impressed but soap actors are supposed to be really bad anyway.
After some teasing about what the next season will include, we get an intriguing Blood vs Water title and nothing else. For a full discussion on what I think the next season of Survivor will entail, check back in the coming days!
Do you think someone else should have won? Tell me in the comments below what your thoughts of this season were and what you think next season will include, I may feature your comments in my next post! You can find me next as I review The Bachelorette, starting May 27, tweet me here.