Survivor Caramoan continues this week, and it’s time to recap the thirteenth episode with our resident recap expert Jarryd, with Ben and the Ozlets chiming in for their take as well! Oh, and we’ll even speak to a real expert in our good friend Holly Hoffman from Survivor Nicaragua!
(If you haven’t watched this weeks episode yet, clicking the link below will spoil the hell out of it, so if you don’t want to be spoiled then don’t click the link!)
Welcome back to my ‘Survivor: Caramoan – FvF’ recap! Join me as I breakdown Erik’s hunger pains, the family visit, (including all the tears), the Immunity Challenge and the blindside at Tribal Council.
The morning after blindsiding Andrea at Tribal Council is fairly subdued. Eddie believes he is now a “sitting duck” and comments to Cochran that if he was to win Immunity, then Cochran would be next to go. This worries Cochran who begins to ponder how he has gone from the person everyone wants to sit next to at the Final Tribal Council, to the person nobody wants to sit next to. Brenda and Dawn then confirm Eddie’s suspicious when the pair agrees that Cochran will be on his way home if Eddie wins the next Immunity Challenge. Erik joins the conversation and Dawn goes onto say that she trusts the pair and that even though voting against Cochran will hurt, she is welling to do so. However, in a confessional, Dawn’s mind isn’t one hundred percent made up as she begins to weigh up her options – be loyal to Brenda and Erik; or be loyal to Cochran and Sherri.
Meanwhile, alliances are the last thing on Erik’s mind. As the others congratulate him on reaching his seventieth day playing Survivor, Erik can only think about one thing… food. He states that is it the toughest day he has endured in the game and that he feels “trapped inside a prison”. In a quest to cure his hunger, he attempts to climb a massive coconut tree to collect the coconuts at the top. Halfway up, Erik realises that it isn’t such a good idea because if he fell and broke a leg, he’d be taken out of the game. To avoid this agonizing situation, he climbs back down; unhurt but without any coconuts.
Suddenly a distraction arrives in the form of Eddie returning with tree mail. With him, he has an EVO LTE, provided by Sprint. Of course that can mean only one thing – messages from home. Everyone gathers round and begins to watch their videos. We have messages from Brenda’s dad Raymond, Dawn’s husband David, Sherri’s husband Jared, Cochran’ mum Arlene, Eddie’s dad Edward and Erik’s brother Richard, (not the same brother that visited Erik in Micronesia). Before we head off to the challenge, Erik confesses that the video from his brother has got his head “back in the game”.
The final six have some fun with the Sprint EVO LTE. (Image credit CBS)
At the Reward Challenge, the castaways loved ones come out to greet them. Everyone is extremely happy and emotional; with Brenda and her father’s embrace reducing Jeff to tears – a first in twenty-six seasons!
Jeff is reduced to tears as Brenda and her father reunite. (Image credit CBS)
For the challenge, the castaways will compete with their loved ones and have to run in circles to unscrew three rails. After each rail is unscrewed it will be placed in position on a makeshift wall. The castaway and their loved one will then have to throw bolo balls onto the rails. The first castaway and their loved one to complete the challenge wins a floating backyard barbeque; a barbeque lunch set up fifty meters out to sea complete with steak, burgers, beer and apple pie.
The Survivor’s, (left), and their loved ones, (right), prior to the Day Thirty-five Reward Challenge. (Image credit CBS)
The challenge gets underway and Erik and his brother get off to a quick start being the first team to unscrew the first rail. Brenda, Eddie, Dawn, Sherri and Cochran follow with Cochran telling Probst not to say anything bad about his mum, which ends with Probst telling Cochran’s sixty-four year old mum that “you look good women”.
Erik and Brenda continue to lead the challenge as they return with their second rail, with Sherri, Dawn, Eddie and Cochran trailing but still very much in the challenge. The lead doesn’t change as Erik returns with his final rail, followed by Brenda and Sheri. As Erik’s brother Richard lands his first bolo ball, Eddie, Dawn and Cochran return with their final planks. Brenda hits her first bolo ball and Sherri’s husband Jared, Dawn’s husband David and Eddie land their first ball.
Sherri’s husband lands a second ball, with David, (Dawn’s husband), and Brenda quickly following suit, levelling things up a two bolo balls a piece. With a chance to win the challenge, Sherri’s husband misses as does Brenda, leaving the door open. Brenda collects the ball from the ground and her dad takes a shot, lands the ball and wins the challenge.
Predictably, Brenda is ecstatic. Nevertheless, she still has some decisions to make. Jeff first asks Brenda to choose one other castaway to join her on Reward. Brenda picks Dawn and David, (her husband), to join them and then Jeff offers Brenda another Sprint EVO LTE, which contains a video with a second lot of loved ones waiting at the Reward site – a Survivor first. Jeff explains to Brenda that she and Dawn can go to the Reward, meet up with her sister and Dawn’s best friend, or she can trade it in and Cochran, Eddie, Erik and Sherri can enjoy the afternoon with both of their loved ones instead. Sherri is bought to her knees in tears and Dawn is shattered as Brenda trades in Reward for the four other castaways, making potentially a game-winning move. So, Brenda and Dawn head back to camp empty-handed with Cochran, Eddie, Erik and Sherri heading off to enjoy Reward.
Cochran begins to describe the Reward, admitting he watched Survivor Borneo on the couch with his mum and has been waiting for this moment ever since. We meet up with everyone’s second loved ones; Cochran’s dad, Eddie’s mum, (Elizabeth), Erik’s brother and Sherri’s eldest son, (Parker). Cochran father begins to cook the barbeque, with Cochran commenting that he was “working the grill like a pro” which never usually happens. He continues by saying that his father is “anything but a cool dude” and that “he’s basically me in forty years”.
Back at camp, things are the polar opposite to the mood at the barbeque picnic. Dawn is a mess over Brenda’s decision to give up the family visit and is either crying, or on the verge of tears all afternoon. Brenda does her best to try and cheer Dawn up, then begins to contemplate whether her decision to give up Reward will come back to bite her. Once everyone returns back to camp and begins to thank Brenda properly, Cochran also begins to look into the move Brenda made. He labels it as a move to make her more likeable, then says that “likeability is a liability at this point of the game”.
Cochran and Sherri enjoy the Reward. (Image credit CBS)
We’re revisiting a challenge from Survivor One World. For the challenge, the castaways will be positioned on a ledge overlooking the water. They will have to hold onto a handle behind their back which is connected to a winch. At certain intervals, Jeff will winds the winch, lowering the castaways closer to the water, thus making it more difficult to hang on. The last person left standing wins Immunity and a place in the final five.
Before we get started, Eddie comments on how important a victory is for him, declaring he’ll be sent home if he isn’t successful. Jeff immediately lowers the castaways down and the challenge begins. Fifteen minutes goes by and Cochran begins to struggle. Cochran admits he wants to win but he can’t hold onto the bar, it slips from his fingers and he is out of the challenge. A further ten minutes passes and there is lots of movement in the challenge. Eddie is very red in the face as he tries his best to hold on. He can’t though and drops out and is almost immediately followed by Erik. Sherri lasts several more minutes; as she tries to re-adjust her hands, she slips and falls into the water, leaving a showdown between Brenda and Dawn.
The final six compete in the Day Thirty-six Immunity Challenge. (Image credit CBS)
Dawn immediately asks Brenda to let her win, stating that she hasn’t won a challenge yet. Brenda turns her down but says she won’t be lasting three to four hours like last time. Jeff decides to make things interesting and lowers the two girls closer to the water which results in Brenda falling off, leaving Dawn to claim what Jeff calls “her first ever Immunity”. Jeff will be requesting a new historian for next season because Dawn has won Immunity before, in the Merge episode of Survivor South Pacific. On the way back to camp, Brenda reveals that despite not wanting to give up, she is pleased that a paranoid Dawn has Immunity, stating “its all good”.
Dawn is thrilled as Jeff gives her the Immunity Necklace. (Image credit CBS)
Once back at camp, Brenda speaks to Dawn and Erik about Tribal Council being a “straight forward vote”, with Eddie being sent packing.
Cochran has other ideas, believing the timing is right to blindside Brenda, deeming that “it will benefit my game and indirectly benefit Dawn and Sherri’s game”. Cochran concedes the problem with the plan is that everyone else is set on sending Eddie home.
Cochran approaches Sherri and hints to her he has a plan. Before he can finish, Sherri explains that she is has been thinking of one and voting out Brenda is a good idea. Cochran therefore approaches Dawn, who agrees that Brenda is a “big threat” to win the game. Dawn questions the possibility of Eddie winning the Final Immunity Challenge and being at his mercy, then says that even if they don’t make the move, Brenda will be rallying to take out Cochran or Sherri next, so the move needs to be made sooner rather than later. Dawn tells the camera that she wants to “play my own game” and that is the factor she will consider when voting at Tribal Council She continues, saying that she has been playing to take out the strategic threats this season, however she doesn’t want to go back before Cochran like last time.
Dawn and Cochran discuss the upcoming vote. (Image credit CBS)
Tribal Council begins with Dawn pronouncing that it is “good to feel safe” ahead of the vote. She claims that after training for the show, winning a challenge is like “ticking something off your bucket list”. Brenda says that she was okay with Dawn winning and Eddie states that because he didn’t win, he is most likely going home. Jeff comments that Eddie has said that every Tribal Council since Day One and that he has got through everyone since.
Talk then turns to the loved ones with Brenda acknowledging that giving up the Reward was a “no brainer”. Dawn says that the tribe feels like they owe Brenda something and that it may have “long term benefits” in the game. Sherri agrees with this and Cochran discusses that whilst the vote seems to be an “easy one”, it is not necessarily the “smartest” and they have to think of the long term benefits instead of the short term ones. Eddie rounds us off by telling the tribe he is grateful for the experience and that that he has no regrets despite the fact he believes he is about to be sent home.
The votes are cast and Jeff returns with them and begins to read. Eddie gets the first two votes and then Erik receives one. The next two votes are for Brenda, leveling us up at a two-two-one vote. Jeff reveals the final vote which is for Brenda, who tells the tribe that “I was honest… I was genuine”. As her torch is stuffed, Brenda turns back to the tribe and tells them “It hurts”, before bursting into tears as she leaves the Tribal Council area.
Brenda… the tribe has spoken. (Image credit CBS)
In her final words, Brenda sobs through tears as she admits she was “hesitant to lie” and it “hurts”.
FINALE TIME! On Monday morning Australia time, (Sunday night for US readers), the Survivor Caramoan two hour season finale will air. Following on will be the live Reunion Show from Los Angeles where the winner will be announced and all twenty castaways will be reunited for the first time since Day One of the game.
In the mean time, check out the latest Ponderosa video, vote for who you think who should when the Sprint Player of the Season Award, then check back to Survivor Oz after the finale to debrief the season with us!
This week’s sexual innuendo comment from Jeff comes from just after the Reward Challenge.
“It’s brought Sherri literally to her knees”
The Final Five – Who Can Win And Why
Cochran has the best chance of winning. He’s played a strong social game, played a surprisingly good physical game and hasn’t really backstabbed anyone. On paper, Cochran would have to be favourite to win; however, the final few days are very important for him. If he is able to be sitting at the Final Tribal Council next to anyone but Erik, I think he’s got a very good chance to live out his childhood dream and walk away a millionaire.
Dawn has played a similar game to Cochran but instead of sliding by, she has put herself out there as a double agent and I feel it will come back to bite her. Dawn played major roles in sending Malcolm home and blindsiding Andrea and Brenda. Her strategic game has definitely impressed but her social game has taken a battering for playing both sides. Despite this, if Dawn reaches the Final Three and can explain to the Jury why she did what she did, she is a good chance to win the game. However, she needs to be careful not to fall into Coach’s trap and refuse to admit to playing the game against her morals.
Eddie has been the underdog all season and that doesn’t change as we draw towards the close of the season. Strategically, Eddie hasn’t played a great game. He started out believing his four person alliance held majority in a ten person tribe. From then on, he’s been on the outside, fighting to stay alive in the game. Physically, he could go onto win the final few Immunity Challenges and win his way into the Final Tribal Council. Should Eddie find himself facing a Jury, he stands a good chance to take out the title. He hasn’t burned any of the Jury members, he seems to be well liked by them and he is the “easy vote” should the Jury be bitter against some of their former allies. Eddie’s problem… nobody will want to take him to the Final Three.
Erik is the smokey to take out the title of Sole Survivor. You can’t argue that he’s played a great under the radar game, looking after himself and going against alliances when he needed to in order to survive. He’s well liked, played smart and is still a major physical threat despite the fact he is quickly fading away. Should Erik be sitting across from the Jury at the Final Tribal Council, he will definitely get a few votes his way; maybe even enough to redeem himself from his move in Micronesia to take out the title this time around.
Sherri started off with a bang and has slowly faded from the limelight this season. After joining up with the Favourites to take out the members of her former Fans tribe, Sherri has cemented herself into a strong alliance with Cochran and Dawn. If her alliance stays loyal, Sherri can easily slide into the Final Three, however, whether the Jury sees her as a ‘follower’ instead of a ‘gamer’ remains to be seen. Sherri tried her hand at playing strategically early on and it worked for her. Since joining up with the Favourites, the strategic side of her game has gone into hiding and I can’t see the Jury respecting her game play when so many of them are strong strategic players themselves.
Below is a list of the castaway Twitter handles for this season, as well as a few snippets of what the castaways and our followers said about this week’s episode. If you’d like to see your tweet featured in this section, tweet us during next week’s episode (@survivoroz) or use the hash tag #survivoroz and your tweet might get selected!
I have to say, that was an interesting episode with more interesting ramifications post episode than during it.
Firstly, Erik and that tree! Hilarious! You have to wonder if Ozzy would’ve made it all the way to the top, it was a bloody high tree! But he gave it his all. And of course I have to mention the family visit, always a good episode although this time it seemed slightly harsh on Brenda and Dawn. Rewarding the losers of a challenge? Hell if that was me on a future season, just pretend to ‘lose’ and hope that somebody takes you or has a choice like that to reward you. The double family visit was a good twist though, although I have to say about Probst, was that really you tearing up? Better effort next season sir.
I like the immunity challenge, i think it was a good challenge when it was held in One World, although has anyone noticed just how many ‘endurance’ challenges we have this season? It’s a bit ridiculous really. Brenda not stepping down straight away really didn’t do much as she lost anyway, but the fact she said she ended up jumping off obviously made it interesting with her vote out. Another Probst mention is that he needs to check his facts! Dawn has won an individual immunity, back in South Pacific! Don’t believe me? Check it out:
Maybe I was the only one that got pissed off at that, but really Jeff? Come on! Even Dawn seemed to go along with the fact it was her ‘first’ immunity at TC (or at least it was edited that way) which is funny given she spoke about it in our interview with her and had it as her profile picture on Facebook for ages! Oh dear…
But it brings me to the reaction and seemingly endless amounts of online hate for Dawn after this episode after she went along and helped voted out Brenda. Why so much hate for Dawn? She wasn’t the only one to vote for Brenda, and Cochran should be held as much to blame as Dawn if people are going to blast them. Cochran was the one who earlier brought up the fact about wanting Brenda gone after she gave up reward for everyone else, so what gives? The Brenda love online is strange to me really. Just like the Andrea love. What exactly have either of them done in Survivor? If they were that amazing or ‘deserving’ to be in the final over Dawn, then why not attempt a similar move? And seriously, what is so hateful about Dawn and what she did? Is this not similar to what so many people in the history of the show has done before? This is Survivor we are watching right? Think Brian Heidik, Coach, Russell, Boston Rob, Todd, J.T, Chris. They all had to cut their ‘friends’ who ‘trusted them’ at some point in the game in order to get to the finals or in some cases win. Yet Dawn gets all the criticism. I’m not a huge Dawn fan, but I don’t dislike her either. As you all know Erik is the man I’ve been rooting for since the start. But what Dawn did with Cochran I think helped give me some respect for her in this game and give me a real sense that she deserves to win. Will she win? Doubtful. Brenda’s reaction was pretty telling that she will miss out on votes (rather than Cochran who i thought would be the hated one at the end). But I think a post I saw on Facebook summed it up pretty well in a comparison to Kim with Kat on One World:
Kim completely gutted Kat not 3 seasons ago. And the people rejoiced. They love Kim, and laughed at Kat’s foolishness. But remember: Kat called Kim a sister, and was just devastated upon leaving. How is this ANY different? I know: it wasn’t as bad this time. And yet, here we are
Remember this situation also happened on the episode when Kim won the same immunity challenge that Dawn one this week?
I have to add one more thing in regards to the online hate towards Dawn. It absolutely sickens me to see the abuse and messages that are being sent her way. The abuse has gotten so much for her that she has since posted this tweet:
It’s such a shame that the people out there who take her move the wrong way have forced her into a decision such as that. I remember from my interview with Dawn that she was the sweetest lady, and that can be seen on screen. She has been more ruthless a second time around but so what? THIS IS SURVIVOR! It’s a game, and she is playing for $1 million. No matter what happens, Dawn walks away from this game a winner having to hold her head through all this ridiculous backlash. Everyone who has sent her any negative form of tweet or message should be ashamed of themselves.
With all that behind me, one episode to go! Amazing! Who will win? My heart wants Erik to be a millionaire but I don’t see it. I have an inkling he is the player that is in trouble in the preview and will probably be evacuated just before the final 4 or something. So i think really the final 3 will be Sherri, Cochran and Dawn, and I think it’ll be a fight between Sherri and Cochran. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Sherri could sneak a ‘Natalie or Sophie’ win in, but I have to back the obvious favourite at this point and say that John Cochran will have a slightly fatter bank account this time next week.
Such an overrated episode. Yeah it was a decent blindside but the editing made it so obvious what was going to happen. Add in all the crying and this episode made me want the finale to come around as soon as possible.
The entire thing at the start with Erik was a tad strange, sort of like a ploy to give him some air time. Don’t get me wrong, I love Erik but it’s the first time we’ve seen him climb a tree all season. The guy was in love with Ozzy in Micronesia! Why give him air time towards the end?
As for the family visit… I usually hate them. Unless one of my all time favourites are in the season, I can’t stand them. All it means is people cry a lot and get all emotional. This episode made it worse that they got to see two family members! What is this! Breed them tough I say! No family visit next season! The challenge itself was decent but I would have liked only the loved ones to compete instead of both loved ones and castaway.
As for Immunity Challenge, it’s a disgrace at the lack of puzzles this season. The challenge was average in One World so I wasn’t that keen to see it again.
As for Dawn, I’ve never liked her and I like her less as time goes on. All she does is cry! I don’t want to watch people cry! If she wins, despite some great game play after the Merge, this season will easily be low on my season rankings purely because Dawn doesn’t deserve to win. I have to give heaps of credit to Cochran, after betraying his tribe, (including fan favourite Ozzy), in South Pacific, he took a lot of hate. However, the situation in South Pacific wasn’t entirely his fault. I give him a lot of credit for coming back after what happened in South Pacific and not only managing to play a very good strategic game, but also to come across as a much more likely, funny guy.
I honestly can’t see anyone but Cochran or Erik winning this season. Dawn hasn’t got many friends on the Jury and Eddie and Sherri haven’t done enough to deserve being crowned the winner of a season in which strategic game play has been high.
Bring on the finale!
Even with what happened to Andrea last week, it was shocking to see the outcome of this week’s tribal council. I still can’t get over the fact that Brenda is gone.
The shock factor mainly comes from the fact that Brenda and Dawn are practically besties especially after the lost teeth incident. Yes, Dawn is playing a game and it was obvious that she’s tried so hard to keep her emotions from getting the best of her the entire season to make smart moves, but this is one decision that I think will cost her.
While it’s perfectly justifiable to get rid of a threat, like Andrea, this particular boot put her in a bad light and may cost her jury votes. Here are reasons why:
* It’s unnecessary. She can get to the final three with or without Brenda. She had two Final 3 deals.
* They still had Eddie to vote off. Had she voted out Brenda the next episode, it wouldn’t look as bad because by that time they had no choice but to turn on each other. Even Brenda wouldn’t be as hurt if she was voted out at the next tribal council because she’d understand. Her name came up several times before and it’s not going to surprise her if it does again at the next tribal. This blindside makes Dawn look bad even if it was Cochran’s idea. Ironically, this makes Cochran look more strategic and is likely to secure jury votes .
* She found her teeth, for crying out loud! Back when she was ready to pull herself from the game because she had no lower teeth, Brenda was the one who helped her. She asked Brenda for help. And because Brenda has not been nasty to any other player all season, it makes Dawn look like a huge villain. It’s like seeing someone bully a helpful, nice, and quiet classmate.
* It’s easier to win with Brenda and Erik beside her. Though I doubt she’s going to beat Brenda, she’ll have a fighting chance unlike with Cochran and Sherri (or even Eddie). If she sits next to Cochran, she’ll look bad because she betrayed friends while Cochran will be credited with smart strategic moves.
As much as I love Brenda and how well she’s played this time, I think she still hasn’t learned from that one mistake that cost her Nicaragua: trusting too much. Yes, it’s an advantage to stay loyal and true to your allies but at some point you know they’re going to contemplate on getting rid of you especially when you’re a threat to win.
I’m pretty sure Brenda knows she’s a huge threat at the finals. And if the thought that her allies might somehow target her crossed her mind even for a second, she might have done something to change the outcome of her game.
She trusted Dawn too much. She’s seen what happened to Andrea. And it surprised me that she didn’t take much of a proactive approach in this particular episode. She didn’t need to scramble, but she could’ve made sure that the odds are in her favour by doing two things: (1) not letting Dawn win immunity; and (2) tried harder to convince Dawn and Sherri to vote for Eddie.
Survivor Re-capper: Holly Hoffman
Each week we’ll bring you the viewpoint of a former Survivor contestant to hear what they have to think of the episode and their thoughts for the rest of the season!
Our thirteenth special guest is Nicaragua contestant Holly Hoffman, as she discusses the hate campaign against Dawn and whether it is warranted or not, her thoughts on Brenda and comparisons to playing with her, the family reward challenge and whether or not she would’ve done the same as Brenda did, why we should be blaming Cochran’s mum for Brenda going, her thoughts on how the finale will play out as well as who she would’ve allinged with had she been on instead of Dawn and who she thinks will win fan favourite. Holly’s ‘Caramoan Four’ answers were:
TIP TO WIN: Cochran
DARK HORSE: Sherri
NEXT TO GO: Eddie
CONTESTANT MOST SIMILAR TO: Dawn/Brenda
Join us next week for our recap of the finale and reunion, featuring special Survivor guest, the legendary winner of Thailand Brian Heidik!