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'Survivor: Caramoan' – Dawn's Best Laid Plans Backfire And Michael Pays The Price

April 12th, 2013 8:55am EDT

SURVIVOR: CARAMOAN – FANS VS. FAVORITES Last time on, Survivor: The tribes merged, and Malcolm and Corinne seemed set to take control of the game. Cochran swept the competition to win the food challenge and immunity. And Corinne was blindsided at Tribal Council.
Things seem relatively peaceful at the new shared camp on Day 23. Reynold, who has a hidden immunity idol, feels confident in his alliance within an alliance with Malcolm and Eddie. Malcolm is still feeling safe as well, with his own idol, and the Fan boys on his side, though he misses ally Corinne.
My goodness! Phillip chats up Sherri. “I remember the first time I saw you on the beach, I said, ‘Damn, she’s hot!” Wow … heck of a way to recruit the latest Stealth R Us, member! Yes, Phillip wants Sherri on his team, and her new spy name will be “Tenacity.” He gloats that she’s learned being loyal to “The Specialist” will keep her in the game.
Sherri interviews that, “besides playing the game of Survivor, I have to play ‘The Specialists’ game. There’s fake organizations, there’s secret alliances …they’re all crazy out here!”
She also equates Phillip’s ‘big personality’ to Shamar’s, saying Phillip is her Shamar on the new merged tribe. “You give me two more votes, and I’ll be calling the shots with Phillip, and he’ll be coming to me, asking me what I think. And that’s my plan.”
Reward Challenge! Probst greets everyone and explains the game. They will divide into two teams of five. One member of each team will be the defender, while one at a time, members of the other team will leap off a platform into the water, and attempt to throw a ball past the defender and into the net. Each ball in the net scores a point for the team. First team to score four points wins reward, a picnic trip to a waterfall. They will rappel down the waterfall to the bottom, where lunch awaits them.
They divide by schoolyard pick. On the purple team are Erik, Eddie, Reynold and Cochran, with Michael as their defender. On the orange team are Phillip, Dawn, Andrea, and Brenda, with Malcolm as defender. Sherri, picked for neither team, will sit out the challenge, and not be eligible to go on the reward.
Right off the top, Brenda launches high, and gets a point for Orange. Erik does the same, as does Andrea. Even Cochran gets the ball in, tying the teams at 2 for 2. Cochran’s turning into a challenge machine, and he’s loving it, hooting and high fiving! Erik scores the winning goal for Purple. Erik, Eddie, Reynold, Cochran and Michael are going on reward! Malcolm doesn’t look very happy at the loss, but my goodness the jungle suits him!
So off the boys go, with Cochran both excited and terrified by the idea of rappelling down a 45 foot waterfall. But he’s game to try it, if not nearly as flashy as Reynold, who decides to jump down the rock face like James Bond.
On a large rock, there’s a spread of sandwiches, fruit and drink. The boys relax and flex their boy power, contemplating how awesome they are. The three Fans hope to entice Erik and Cochran to their side with sheer testosterone machismo. But research can’t have been big on Eddie and Reynold’s to do list before the show … Cochran is very uncomfortable with them.
Reynold thinks he’s got it under control. “Let’s do this All Guys Alliance. Let’s bro down. Let’s get these scheming, crazy girls who keep flirting with all of us outta here, and just, like, take the strong guys to the end,” he interviews.
Cochran’s not having it. “Reynold, Eddie and Michael must not know me that well if they think that emphasizing the testosterone unity between us ... We’re men! We’re men and we hate women and we’re gonna slap each other with towels in the locker room and chug beers — that doesn’t work with me. That doesn’t appeal to me at all. I won’t be engaging in any sort of masculine tomfoolery with these numbskulls,” he tells us. But he does seem to enjoy splashing about with them in the waterfall’s pool, in his own awkward way. I just wish they’d shown us the group rappelling back UP the waterfall. Had to be some fun footage there.

At camp, the losing team tries to put a good face on the day. Malcolm especially figures things turned out for the best, because this group contains people he’d like to get on his side. “I need numbers, and it seems like the most likely people to scoop up are those on the bottom. And Sherri and Dawn seem like the most likely candidates.”
Here we go again! Apparently Malcolm didn’t learn a thing from Corinne’s flame out last week. He first speaks to Sherri, saying they need to split the vote between Reynold and Eddie. She’s with him on that. Malcolm thinks that the Favorites believe they have the numbers on their side. They have the seven remaining Faves, plus Sherri, for eight against the three other Fans, Mike, Reynold and Eddie. He thinks that if he can pull in Sherri and Dawn to his side, he’ll have a six person alliance, enough to take over the game.
And then he talks to Dawn. Dawn, the weepy Mormon housewife, who, despite seeming vulnerable and weak, has actually managed, with Cochran’s help, to manipulate every vote so far. He outlines his plan to use the four fans, with himself and her, to take over the game. She stalls, saying she’d like to talk to Sherri before making a decision. She interviews that she thinks “he is going to be a problem. It would be great if I can give him the impression that I’m voting with him, and we can all just take him out.” Dawn, Sherri and Andrea have a pow wow, as Phillip listens, and decide that they’ll pretend to go along with his plan to split the vote, but then blindside Malcolm at Tribal Council.
Phillip is incensed that Malcolm is trying to play both sides, pretending to still be in the Faves core alliance, while actually setting up other alliances within the merged tribe. As though Malcolm could fool The Specialist! It is to laugh. He tells Malcolm that the plan is to do a split between Eddie and Reynold. But the real votes will be going to Malcolm.
Enil Edam, Day 25. The water is beautiful, the beach idyllic. But this is Edam not Eden … and the snake in the garden is Andrea. She’s cozying up to Eddie, in the hopes that he’ll be on her side, and possibly give her game information she can use. She asks him to promise to vote with her, but he calls her on her trickery.
“Get rid of me, Michael and Reynold. Get rid of the Fans. What’s gonna happen after that?” he asks her. Andrea is all fluttery eyelashes and melting smiles as she tells him that she trusts him, just not the other people with him.
Eddie, convinced that Andrea really does like him, believes that she wants to keep him with her in the game. But he is just hoping to get through a few more votes before he can get up and start punching people.
Andrea continues to manipulate Eddie, asking him about any idols that might be in play, and asking him to tell her any information he can. If she can trust him, she can at least guarantee him getting through the next vote. And then they’ll see from there. She assures him that she’d vote for him in the top three, because she seriously likes him. Flutter, flutter, dimple, flirt.
Andrea interviews that she’s definitely playing Eddie, but is also trying to see if he’s playing her. After all – they can’t really be dating, can they? Hmmm … who’s zooming who?
So, the gang shows up to the Immunity Challenge. We haven’t seen this one is years, and if you’re at all claustrophobic, you’re not going to like it. Each player has to enter a grated steel box that is in the water. As the tide rises, they will have less and less space in which to breathe. The trick is to stay calm. The person who lasts the longest, wins immunity. Survivors ready?
Within 30 minutes, everyone’s starting to feel the strain. After an hour, the water is within an inch of the top of the grills, and they are running out of space in which to breathe. Holding their noses and spluttering, they begin to falter. Phillip is the first one out, with Sherri, Erik, Dawn, Malcolm, and Michael close behind. With the waves rushing over their faces, Eddie, Cochran and Reynold opt out of the challenge, leaving only Brenda and Andrea. Andrea begins to panic … and Brenda wins Immunity!
At camp, everyone congratulates Brenda. Malcolm’s worried though; he feels the next vote will be the turning point for him. He thinks that Reynold, Eddie and Michael will be the next ones gone, and then he’ll be in trouble, as the remaining alpha male. He meets with Dawn and Andrea, who tell him that the four girls will vote for Eddie, while the guys will vote for Reynold. If there’s a tie, it will be Reynold on the second vote.
Andrea thinks it’s hilarious that she and Malcolm are both lying to each other. And she can’t believe how good Dawn is at working this angle, pulling Malcolm deeper into their supposed plan. But meanwhile, Malcolm’s now telling Dawn that Andrea is actually next to go. Phillip may have bluster, but Andrea’s been pulling the strings. He also tells Dawn that Reynold has an idol. Dawn says she’ll go along with Malcolm, if he can convince Reynold to show her his idol.
Even Dawn can’t believe that Malcolm still trusts her. “It’s nuts! The fact that I’m coming back after Corinne’s vote and Malcolm is still trusting me when I’m the person that gave the information on Corinne tells me that he’s not dialed in.”

Unbelievably, Reynold agrees to show Dawn the idol, on the grounds that she will join their mini alliance and vote Andrea off the island. He scoots over next to her on a log, and surreptiously shows her the idol he’s hidden in his bag, telling her that if he feels he has any reason to doubt her, he’ll be playing the idol for himself that night. When he leaves, she smirks, and interviews that she can’t stand people who intimidate others to get what they want.
Reynold confers with Eddie and Michael, telling him that they’re voting Andrea that evening. When Eddie looks over at her wistfully, Reynold says that Andrea can’t be trusted; she’s dangerous. And with any luck, they can pull in Cochran as well, completing their bro down.
But Eddie still wants to keep Andrea around, so he takes her aside, and fills her in on Malcolm’s real plans. He begs her to tell him who’s getting voted for, and he’ll vote with her. If Reynold plays an idol, Eddie will be going home. Whoah … so someone has an idol, she realizes. Is it Reynold? Eddie won’t tell her. Now there is complete confusion. Andrea panics. It could be her going home! Tearily, she approaches Cochran, and tells them they’ll have to do the safe vote, and go with Michael.
She also tells Phillip about the change in plan. He would prefer they take out Malcolm, but she’s afraid that if they try to do that, she herself will be out of the game. Cochran is disgusted with her flip flop, and can’t believe that she’s abandoned the earlier plan. Look at Cochran, all devious and everything!
Dawn moans that all of her good work that day has been undone. She tries to talk Andrea into going after Malcolm anyway, but Andrea’s too frightened.
At Tribal Council, Probst immediately asks Michael if he saw the last vote – ejecting Corinne, a Favorite over a Fan – as a glimmer of hope. He says he did, and it was what he’d hoped would happen, that some of the Faves would start to see each other as threats.
Everyone rolls their eyes as Phillip once again proves that he has absolutely no idea what stealth or strategy is all about. He tells Jeff that his organization, Stealth R Us, has been revived and is in play, and introduces his newest double agent, Sherri, aka Tenacity. Sherri asks them to remember that all of her so-called ‘Fans’ voted for her last time … and payback’s a bitch.
Eddie says that he’s not bothered. He’d rather play his own game than be someone else’s puppet, or in their league of ‘operatives.’ Reynold adds that it’s eight ‘operatives’ against the three New Kids on the Block (so that’s what happened to the group!) But ah, says Jeff … what if somebody has an idol? Playing an idol at the right time could flip the game.
Phillip interrupts to say that Jeff should know how he plays; if they think you have an idol, you will be voted for. He adds that anyone who has the impunity to think they’ve got the numbers to make a smart move and take over will get flushed out. Malcolm looks very nervous and worried. The tribe votes.
Before Jeff can read the votes, Reynold stands up, prepared to hand over his Hidden Immunity Idol. Malcolm stops him, saying, “Hold up, Reynold, they all voted for me. You can tell. That’s what that whole story was about. Give it to me and we’re in good shape. I’m being dead serious right now.”
Reynold hesitates, but then tosses the idol to Malcolm, who hands it to Jeff. Everyone is stunned. Probst begins to read the votes; the first three are for Andrea, the fourth is Malcolm’s vote for Reynold. The next six votes are for Michael, who becomes the 10th person voted out, and the first member of the Jury.
Michael is not at all pleased. He calls the others, “turkeys” and makes a rude sound as he leaves. Jeff says that there are ten very savvy players left, and only one thing they can rely on – their own gut.
Michael’s Exit Interview: “It has been a long, strange, weird, difficult journey. It’s over, what can I say? I’m very disappointed - I wanted to go far and deep into the game, and I thought I could, but the Favorites are great players, they really are tight, and they’re playing hard and strong. I know it’s gonna bust up eventually, but here I am. It’s a bummer.”
Next time on, Survivor: As the end gets closer, the pressure builds, (We see Dawn having a sobbing breakdown … again.) And someone’s going to break. “I’ll pull myself from the game, I’m not kidding,” says Dawn.

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Photo Credits: Greg Gayne/CBS© 2013

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