SURVIVOR: CARAMOAN – FANS VS. FAVOURITES
Winner: John Cochran (8-0-0)
Runner Up: Dawn Meehan, Sherri Biethman
Fan Favourite Award: Malcolm Freberg
Location: Caramoan, Camarines Sur, Philippines
Filming Dates: May 21st to June 28th 2012
Air Dates: February 13th to May 12th 2013
Exile Island: No
Hidden Immunity Idol/s: Yes
Redemption Island: No
Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favourites is the twenty-sixth season of Survivor.
This season featured the second ‘Fans vs. Favourites” format and was filmed directly after Survivor: Philippines. The ten returning Favourites included castaways from six seasons. The returnees were, Erik Reichenbach, (Survivor: Micronesia), Corinne Kaplan, (Survivor: Gabon), Brenda Lowe, (Survivor: Nicaragua), Francesca Hogi, Andrea Boehlke and Phillip Sheppard, (Survivor: Redemption Island), Dawn Meehan, John Cochran and Brandon Hantz, (Survivor: South Pacific) and Malcolm Freberg, (Survivor: Philippines).
Jeff Probst has stated that he would have liked to have Shannon “Shambo” Waters, (Survivor: Samoa) and Matthew Elrod, (Survivor: Redemption Island), return but they said they were “done with Survivor”. Lisa Whelchel, (Survivor: Philippines), was also considered but deemed to difficult to be bought back for back-to-back seasons because she was a mother. Others considered for the season were Troy “Troyzan” Robertson, (Survivor: One World), who was replaced by Malcolm and Peih-Gee Law, (Survivor: China).
Twenty contestants began the game divided into two pre-selected tribes of Fans, (Gota, orange, named after an island resort in Caramoan), and Favourites, (Bikal, purple, a town in Caramoan). After a Tribe Switch on Day Fifteen, the remaining twelve contestants merged into one tribe, Enil Edam, (a pun create by Malcolm Freberg that allowed him to name the tribe after his mother – Enil Edam is ‘Madeline’ backwards), on Day Twenty.
The Hidden Immunity Idol twist returned this season.
Survivor: Caramoan was filmed in Caramoan, Camarines Sur, Philippines
Fans versus Favourites: Similar to past season Survivor: Micronesia, this season will feature one tribe made up of die-hard Fans of the show, while the other tribe will be made up of Favourite returning players from previous seasons.
Returning Players: As implied by the theme, ten returning players are going to return to compete against ten new castaways.
Hidden Immunity Idol: Like previous seasons, at least one Hidden Immunity Idol is hidden in each tribe’s camp.
Tribal Council at Challenge Site: Due to Brandon Hantz’s rampage at camp, the Favourites decided to forfeit the Immunity Challenge on Day Thirteen. Due to this, a Tribal Council vote was commenced verbally at the challenge site.
Tribe Switch: On Day Fifteen, three Fans were switched to the new Bikal tribe and four Favorites were switched to the new Gota tribe.
Merge-Jury Configuration: For the first time since Survivor: Panama, the first castaway voted out after the Merge would not be a member of the Jury.
Episode One: She Annoys Me Greatly
Episode Two: Honey Badger
Episode Three: There’s Gonna Be Hell to Pay
Episode Four: Kill or Be Killed
Episode Five: Persona Non Grata
Episode Six: Operation Thunder Dome
Episode Seven: Tubby Lunchbox
Episode Eight: Blindside Time
Episode Nine: Cut Off the Head to the Snake
Episode Ten: Zipping Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Episode Eleven: Come Over to the Dark Side
Episode Twelve: The Beginning of the End
Episode Thirteen: Don’t Say Anything About My Mom
Episode Fourteen: Last Push
Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favourites saw the show return to the ‘Fans vs. Favourites’ twist used in season sixteen. Once again, ten Fans of Survivor would face off against ten Favourites of season’s past. The ten returning Favourites consisted of Erik Reichenbach, Corinne Kaplan, Brenda Lowe, Francesca Hogi, Andrea Boehlke and Phillip Sheppard, Dawn Meehan, John Cochran and Brandon Hantz and Malcolm Freberg, who would be members of the Bikal, (Favourites), tribe. The ten Fans, Allie, Eddie, Hope, Julia, Laura, Matt, Michael Reynold, Shamar and Sherri made up the Gota, (Fans), tribe.
On Day One, the Fans were introduced to the Favourites and straight off the bat a Reward Challenge took place. In a brutal challenge that feature a comeback from the Favourites. Shamar made a name for himself after he encouraged his tribe to break the wrists of their opponents whilst Malcolm made it known to everyone that he was a big physical player after performing well in his first hit out in front of everyone; as it was the first time all the castaways were seeing him compete as he was playing in ack-to-back seasons.
At the Fans camp, Matt and Shamar clashed over whether fire or shelter was more important whilst Allie, Eddie, Hope and Reynold made an early “cool kids” alliance, which led to the Allie and Reynold snuggling at night. This caused the other three women to align together with Sherri pulling in Shamar, leaving Matt and Michael as swing votes. At the Favourites camp, Francesca made multiple alliances whilst Phillip went things more stealthy to re-create his ‘Stealth R Us’ alliance which consisted off Andrea, Cochran, Corinne, Dawn and Malcolm. Phillip also tried to persuade Erik to join but he wasn’t impressed be Phillip’s demeanor. At the first Immunity Challenge, The Fans came from behind much to Reynold’s strong performance in the challenge to take him their first victory. With the Favourites facing Tribal Council, Phillip wanted his alliance to vote out Francesca, whilst Francesca wanted her alliance, (Brandon, Brenda and Erik), to vote out Phillip. The target of the vote changed to Andrea when it was believed she was playing both sides. At Tribal Council, despite receiving four votes, Andrea’s alliance held true, with Francesca sent home in a six-four vote to become the first ever player to be sent home first, twice.
Brandon was upset after Tribal Council and wanted to play the game dirty, however he changed his mind the next morning. At the Fans camp, the “cool kids alliance” was annoyed by Shamar’s laziness and wanted to vote him out but Sherri had other ideas. At the combined Reward and Immunity Challenge, the Favourites pulled together and won the challenge. Following the challenge, Reynold and Shamar had a heated argument, Matt weighed up his options of which alliance to vote with and Reynold found the Hidden Immunity Idol but was called
out for having it at Tribal Council by Laura. Reynold told the tribe he would play the Idol to get the target off his back, but he didn’t play it and could only watch on as Matt and Michael sided with Sherri’s alliance to vote out Allie in a six-four vote. Gota was a fractured tribe after Tribal Council with both Reynold and Shamar frustrated. Shamar considered quitting the game but didn’t in order to stay loyal to his alliance. At the Favourites camp, Corinne and Malcolm discovered the Hidden Immunity Idol. The Favourites won another combined Reward and Immunity Challenge, sending the Fans back to Tribal Council. Laura conceived a plan to split the votes between Eddie and Hope, with the other alliance voting for Shamar to force a three way tie; thus allowing them to flush the Idol and vote Hope out in the re-vote. The plan always changed with Laura panicking when Shamar discussed the alliances plan, but at Tribal Council, Laura and her alliance stuck to the plan, forcing the second three way tie in the show’s history to successfully vote out Hope, with the only hiccup in the plan being that Reynold held onto his Idol.
The Favourites went onto win the next Reward challenge and the Fans lost another tribe member when Shamar had to be pulled from the game after scratching his cornea. At the Immunity Challenge, Reynold almost single-handedly bought the Fans back from the dead but they were forced to visit Tribal Council once more. In an effort to keep the tribe strong, the majority alliance turned upon one another and voted Laura out in a five-one vote that saw Reynold unnecessarily play his Hidden Immunity Idol.
At the Favourites camp, Brandon wanted to be voted out because he felt guilty about being away from his family. He stayed in the game but after Phillip held strong and won the Reward Challenge for the Favourites, the pair clashed, with both wanted each other to be voted out. Several days passed and tempers boiled again when Brandon heard the tribe was thinking about throwing the challenge in order to get rid of him. This tipped him over the edge and he went on a rampage at camp, tipping out the tribes stores of beans and rice. At the Immunity Challenge, Brandon’s meltdown continued as he addressed both tribes and had to be held back by Jeff after going on a verbal rampage. Corinne spoke up and said the tribe was forfeiting the challenge in order to get rid of Brandon. Due to the situation, Tribal Council was held at the challenge site and Brandon was unanimously voted out of the game.
On Day Fourteen a Tribe Switch occurred with Andrea, Brenda, Erik and Malcolm joining Gota and Julia, Matt and Michael joining Bikal. At Gota, the Favourites teamed up to compare notes on the Fans whilst Phillip attempted to get Julia to side with the Favourites. Gota dominated the Immunity Challenge leaving Phillip and Corinne wanting to vote each other out at Tribal Council. Knowing they needed to maintain majority, they put their differences aside to vote out Matt, (sparing Julia the initial target), in a four-two-one vote. At the next Reward Challenge, Phillip let his tribe down after talking himself up as Gota went onto easily win. Back at camp, rivalry intensified between Corinne and Phillip whilst at Gota Reynold showed Malcolm his Hidden Immunity Idol. Gota were again winners at the Reward Challenge sending Bikal back to Tribal Council. Corinne wanted to vote out Julia and Phillip wanted to send Michael home. This resulted in a three-three tie. However, in the re-vote, Phillip got his way and Julia was vote out.
On Day Twenty the remaining twelve players merged into one tribe, Enil Edam, (a name suggested by Malcolm which was actually just his mother’s name spelt backwards). Alliances began to shatter as Corinne and Malcolm planned to recruit Eddie, Erik, Michael and Reynold to overthrow Phillip’s ‘Stealth R Us’ alliance. The Immunity Challenge was a food eating contestant and Cochran surprised everyone by winning. Corinne and Phillip argued about who to vote out, with Corinne pushing to vote out Sherri, thus limiting the numbers that ‘Stealth R Us’ had. Unable to do this, Corinne approached Dawn about blindsiding Phillip. The information eventually got back to Phillip and he went about convincing Erik and Sherri, (the swing votes), into voting for Corinne and not himself. At Tribal Council, ‘Stealth R Us’ came out victorious as Corinne was blindsided in a seven-five vote.
The first Individual Reward Challenge was won by the team of guys – Cochran, Eddie, Erik, Michael and Reynold. They attempted to pull Cochran into a “guys alliance” whilst at camp Malcolm did his best to try and switch Dawn and Sherri. ‘Stealth R Us’ heard about this and decided they would be voting for Malcolm next. Brenda won the next Immunity Challenge and Dawn lied to Malcolm and Reynold which resulted in Reynold showing her his Idol. Malcolm began to target Andrea and after hearing this from Eddie persuaded her alliance to switch their vote to Michael for a “safe vote”. At Tribal Council, Reynold played his Hidden Immunity Idol for Malcolm after the latter persuaded him to but it went to waste as Michael was sent home, becoming the first Jury member.
On Day Twenty-six, Dawn lost her retainer in the lagoon, threatening to quit the game if she couldn’t find it before Brenda came to her rescue. The next Reward Challenge was won by Cochran, Dawn, Erik, Phillip and Reynold. Dawn became paranoid with her own alliance and started to become a hindrance. At the Immunity Challenge, Phillip didn’t compete because the challenge reminded him of a dramatic childhood experience which resulted in Reynold winning Immunity. ‘Stealth R Us’ planned to split the vote between Eddie and Malcolm but then Malcolm found another Hidden Immunity Idol in front of Andrea and Dawn, throwing their plan out the window. At Tribal Council, Eddie was sure he was going home until Malcolm revealed his second Idol he found earlier in the game. The “Three Amigos”, (Eddie, Malcolm and Reynold), told the others they were voting for Phillip and playing their Idols which Phillip believed was a bluff. ‘Stealth R Us’ stuck to the plan but both Eddie and Malcolm played the Idols resulting in Phillip being blindsided four-zero-zero.
Day Twenty-nine saw the Survivor Auction held with Malcolm buying a clue to another Idol and Cochran an advantage at the next Challenge. ‘Stealth R Us’ become worried at their positions in the game whilst Erik reassessed his options. Cochran won the next Immunity largely due to his advantage and Andrea followed Malcolm around twenty-four/seven in order to prevent him finding the Idol. The Amigos tried their best to flip Erik and Sherri but it was unsuccessful as Malcolm was unanimously voted out at Tribal Council in a re-vote after another forced three way tie.
On Day Thirty-one a surprise combined Reward and Immunity Challenge took place which Andrea won and she shared a clue to an Idol with her alliance. Erik found it and passed it along to Andrea who questioned Brenda’s effort in the challenge and lobbied to blindside her. The other ‘Stealth R Us’ members were against this and at Tribal Council, Reynold was sent home in a four-two-two-one vote. The next few days saw Brenda turn against Andrea after Cochran revealed her plan to blindside her. Erik won Immunity on Day Thirty-three. Cochran believed Andrea would take Eddie to the Final Three over himself so conceived a plan to blindside Andrea, but to split the vote just incase she played the Idol. Andrea lobbied to vote out Brenda and going into Tribal Council, Erik was the swing vote. Erik decided to vote for Andrea, who decided she didn’t need to play her Idol, but it was a mistake as she became the next Jury member.
On Day Thirty-five, the Loved One’s challenge occur with the loved ones competing in the challenge. Brenda’s father won and she chose Dawn to accompany her on Reward. However, there was a twist that allowed Brenda to give up Reward and give the four other castaways an afternoon with two Loved Ones, (a Survivor first), which she did in order to give herself a leg up in the game. The following Immunity Challenge was won by Dawn. Cochran convinced Sherri to blindside Brenda but Dawn was hesitant about the plan but at Tribal Council, she followed through with the plan to blindside a shocked Brenda. Immediately after Brenda was voted out, Erik fell ill and had to be med-evaced from the game on Night Thirty-six.
The Final Four competed in the final Reward Challenge to gain an advantage in the Final Immunity Challenge which Cochran went onto win. Dawn became paranoid that Cochran would turn on her believing he would take Eddie and Sherri to the Final Three. Day Thirty-eight saw the traditional Rites of Passage and Final Immunity Challenge which Cochran was once again successful in. At Tribal Council, Eddie was finally eliminated from the game becoming the final Jury member.
The Final Tribal Council saw Cochran receive overly positive comments from the Jury, Dawn was heavily criticized for being a “fraud” and Brenda made her remove her teeth, whilst Sherri was disregarded as a goat by a large majority of the Jury.
At the Live Reunion Show, Cochran was crowned the Sole Survivor beating Dawn and Sherri in a eight-zero-zero vote; thus he played the second “perfect game”. Malcolm went onto win the Sprint Player of the Season beating Brenda.
^1 – Combined Reward and Immunity Challenge
^2 – In the Night Seven Tribal Council, a three way tie occurred between Eddie, Hope and Shamar. In a re-vote, Hope was voted out.
^3 – Due to his disruptive behaviour, Bikal gave Immunity to Gota in order to vote out Brandon.
^4 – In the Night Nineteen Tribal Council, a tie way tie between Julia and Michael occurred. In a re-vote, Julia was voted out.
^5 – In the Night Thirty Tribal Council a three-way tie occurred between Andrea, Malcolm and Reynold. In a re-vote, Malcolm was voted out.
^6 – Brenda won Reward and chose Dawn to accompany her. However, she was then given the option to relinquish the Reward to the remaining castaways without herself and Dawn participating. She chose this option.
– This is the eighth season to feature returning players. However, this is the first season since Survivor: Heroes vs Villains to feature returning female players.
– This is the second season in a row to feature a returning player who was voted out before the Merge/Jury phase of the game.
– It is the first season to feature returning players who already played against returning players as newbies.
– This is the first season since Survivor: Nicaragua to feature twenty castaways.
– Six of the returning players came from seasons that have the Redemption Island twist, (Three each from Survivor: Redemption Island and Survivor: South Pacific).
– Out of all three Redemption Island returning players, only Francesca Hogi failed to make it to the Merge in Caramoan.
– Out of all three South Pacific returning players, only Brandon Hantz failed to make it to the Merge in Caramoan. Also, he was the only returning player from South Pacific who failed to make it to the Final Tribal Council.
– Interestingly, Francesca was the first person to be sent to Redemption Island in her season, while Brandon Hantz was the last person to be sent to Redemption Island in his season.
– This is the fifth season to have a returning player from the season directly before it.
– Like the original Fans vs. Favourites season, the tribe colors are purple for the Favourites, orange for the Fans and green for the merged tribe.
– In addition, the same starting tribe colours were also used in Survivor: Thailand and Redemption Island.
– This is the first time that the official tribe names are not show in the opening sequence. "Fans" and "Favourites" are use instead of Bikal and Gota.
– All three returning players from Redemption Island are from the Ometepe tribe.
– Francesca is the first returning castaway to be voted out first from their original season. Coincidentally, she was voted out first in this season as well.
– The font used in the "Caramoan" part of the season logo is HFF Splintered Dream .
– This season’s Tribal Council set is inspired by the Nipa Hut, a local traditional dwelling in the Philippines.
– This is the second season where a three-three-three vote occurred during a Tribal Council, following Redemption Island. Coincidentally, it happened during the third episode of both seasons.
– This is the first season in which two three-three-three votes occurred.
– This is the first season to have a tribe win the same challenge twice in a season, although the first win was by default, and the two wins were with different members due to the Tribe Switch.
– This is the third season where two tied votes have happened before the Merge, the first two being Survivor: Africa and Survivor: Palau.
– This is the first season since Survivor: Tocantins to have the first eliminated person on the Merged tribe not be a member of the Jury.
– This is the first season since Survivor: Panama where the first person voted out from the Merged tribe wasn’t a member of the Jury.
– This is the third season in which multiple Hidden Immunity Idols were played at the same Tribal Council, the first two being Survivor: Heroes vs Villains and Survivor: Nicaragua.
– This is the first season in which two Idols played at the same Tribal Council have both negated at least one vote.
– This is the first season in which more than one person found an Idol more than once.
– This is the first season in which a female player, (Andrea), got voted out while in possession of an Idol.
– This is the first season in which the Loved Ones Challenge had two loved ones instead of one. This is also the first time that Jeff Probst cried during the Loved Ones Challenge.
– Both of the tribes’ highest ranking women are its oldest women: Dawn Meehan for Bikal and Sherri Biethman for Gota. Both of the tribes’ highest ranking men is the third to appear in the opening: Eddie for Gota and Cochran for Bikal
– Just like the first Fans vs. Favourites, two people were medically evacuated this season.
– This season holds the record for the latest medical evacuation day in the show’s history with an evacuation on Day Thirty-six.
– This is the fourth season after Survivor: Micronesia, Survivor: Samoa and Survivor: One World to feature two medical evacuations.
– This is the only season that the Reunion Show had only members of the Jury appear on stage and no pre-Jury vote offs. The live Reunion Show only featured the contestants who made it on the Jury phase. All of the pre-jury evictees sat along with audience.
– Due to his in-game altercation with Phillip, Brandon Hantz was banned from attending the live Reunion show.
– The Reunion Show also has the record of least amount of people talked to, with only seven of twenty people being allowed to speak. (Cochran, Dawn, Brenda, Andrea, Reynold, Malcolm, and Phillip)
– This is the third season to have a tie for Runner-Up. However, this is the first time the Runners-Up originally came from separate tribes.
– John Cochran becomes the second Sole Survivor to play a "perfect game", receiving no votes against him and getting all of the Jury Votes. J.T. Thomas was the first to accomplish this feat in Tocantins.
– John Cochran is the first Sole Survivor to play a ‘"perfect game" with a Final Three.
– All of the castaways in the Final Tribal Council stayed on their original tribe post-Tribe Switch.
– This season marks the first time a male winner has won the title of Sole Survivor in a season, in which at least half of the total castaways are returning players.
– This is the first season to have two returning castaways from the same previous season at the Final Tribal Council.
– John Cochran, Dawn Meehan and Brenda Lowe are the only returning players to place higher then they did in their original season. Brenda is the only one who didn’t make the Final Tribal Council.
– Similar to Micronesia, three returnees improved on their original placement, while one of those three didn’t make the Final Tribal Council.
– All the players that remained on Gota after the Tribe Switch were eliminated from contention of winning the season consecutively, starting with Malcolm and ending with Sherri.
– Coincidentally, the three contestants who returned from South Pacific were not eliminated in a Tribal Council setting, due to Brandon being voted out outside of Tribal Council and Dawn and Cochran making it to the Final Three.
– Ironically, only four of the ten Fans actually auditioned for the show.
– This is the currently the only season so feature at least ten returning players and not feature the “When It Rains, It Pours” challenge.
Tribe Challenge Statistics
Individual Challenge Statistics
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* – Credit Survivor Wikia.