May 13, 2013

Survivor Caramoan: Cochran Wins Fans vs. Favorites

5/13/2013 Posted by Mel Got Served , , No comments
Finale! Survivor: Caramoan

After Tribal Council, Erik is super weak and disoriented. He has to sit from the dizziness, so Probst comes over and brings along a doctor. The doctor is concerned he's in a starvation state and his body has been pushing him hard. They give him some intravenous fluids to pump him back up. Eddie shows he's not totally useless and explains what's going on with his EMT knowledge. He might be terrible at the game, but he's wise at what he actually knows Erik wants to push through, but Doctor Joe insists: Erik must be pulled from the game. Everyone wishes Erik good luck and sends goodbye as he lays on the ground like a tired corpse. And then there were four.

Treemail announces a reward challenge which was probably an immunity challenge, but they've got a two hour finale to fill.  The challenge is to steady a balancing board with one hand while the other hand builds a house of cards.  The winner doesn't get food as expected, but instead a scroll with an advantage for the final immunity challenge.  Showing how fragile it is, a mere loss of balance makes Cochran drop his entire stack, with Sherri following after.  Dawn is getting close to the top, but her hand is really shaky and the entire stack falls.  Eddie takes the lead... then his stack falls.  Stacks are falling over and over which is nerve-racking but boring to recap.  Cochran wins his third immunity challenge and now heads into the last challenge with an advantage, something that helped him survive last time.

Cochran realizes the only person left he hasn't bonded with is Eddie so he needs to try to finagle that angle to guarantee a spot at the final Tribal.  Eddie and Cochran shake on keeping Sherri and eliminating Dawn.  Sherri agrees with getting Dawn out because of all her sympathy votes, like crying all the time and having a lot of adopted kids.  Dawn's having another one of her doubting freakouts to Cochran, whose getting pretty annoyed by her.

A boat picks up the final four for the final immunity challenge.  But first, fallen comrades!  This gives all us viewers to tilt our heads and go "Who?" when we see all these random fans who were eliminated early on.  The final challenge is a pretty epic setup, though I think it's rehabbed from the first challenge of the season.  They have to race up a flight of stairs, grab puzzle pieces, slide down a water slide, and build a fire puzzle.  Cochran's advantage is that he doesn't have to untie the bags of puzzle pieces like the others.  You'd think this is nothing much, but the bags are knotted pretty well which gets Cochran a pretty good lead.  But he's not so great at actually doing the puzzle, so the others catch up and start to pass him, but he gets into the swing of it.  Cochran wins immunity, again, and Dawn gets super excited and weepy about his victory.  Now Cochran has earned a last-name only status, being a challenge beast.

Cochran douches it up a little, wondering who he wants to take along to receive second place behind his impending victory.  Dawn fully trusts Cochran, but she's really neurotic.  Eddie makes his plea to come to the end, pointing out he's an idiot and wants to use his prize money to open a bar where you can bring your dog.  Cochran is definitely bringing Sherri to the end, an easy win, but he isn't so sure if it's easier to beat Dawn or Eddie.  And so in the comes the jury for Tribal Time!  There's talk about Cochran's victories and Eddie self-admits he didn't play super strategically, not involved with sending anyone in the jury home except Phillip.  Sherri says she might not say a lot, but takes it all in.  Eddie tells Cochran that he believes the best shot at a Cochran win is to take Eddie and Sherri.  Cochran's vote is secret but he says it's the only person he thinks could beat him.  Eddie is voted off, leaving Cochran, Sherri and Dawn as the final three.

The final three enjoy their day 39 feast, a good meal before heading off to be grilled by the bitter jury.  Sitting on their logs at the final Tribal Council, Cochran, Dawn and Sherri give their opening speech of why they deserve to win.  Dawn says she's humbled and had a lot of emotion over being duplicitous, but stuck to her plan to have one tight ally (Cochran) and play for herself.  Sherri admits being a successful businesswoman and her nerves get the best of her in her completely awful, unmoving speech.  Cochran finds his experience surreal, being a diehard fan that dreamt of this his whole life while being a calming leader who even won challenges.  Cochran says it's about beating people in timing, which is maybe the best statement I've heard.

And then comes the bitter jury.  Malcolm gets to question first, because he's the hottest.  Malcolm nixes Sherri immediately, tells Dawn that she has to own up to playing cold-hearted, and asks Cochran what quality he has over Malcolm that got him further.  Cochran said it was his insecurity which then led him to take out others with plans.  Eddie asks Sherri if she'll admit if she got carried to the final three and the jury laughs when she says she doesn't believe she was carried.  He calls Dawn weak and paranoid.  Eddie wants to know if Cochran would be bros after the game and he says yes, but there will be two women around him.  Phillip rescinds his invite for Sherri to be in Stealth R Us, mocks Dawn's paranoia and whining, and Cochran played a great, straightforward class-act game. 

Then comes Erik, who got a little food in him and found energy.  Erik felt betrayed by Dawn over her Brenda move and wonders if Sherri has any awareness over why she's in the finals.  Erik calls Sherri "a seashell on the beach" who was just there the entire time doing nothing.  Sherri tells him to sit down and she doesn't need his help.  Michael gives Dawn the opportunity to explain why Cochran is getting away with a devious game vs. her (it's because she betrayed best friends).  Cochran's cool with Dawn being the villain cause it's helping him for sure.  He insists that his role of pseudo-therapist is probably what kept Dawn in the game.  Reynold thinks Dawn has been a fraud since day one, but she didn't realize the way she acts came off as phony.  Reynold wants Dawn to describe him and after much ploying she says he's chauvinistic, a great sense of humor, and vulgar.  Basically Reynold wants Dawn to be a bit mean and admit it.  Andrea isn't bitter, asks Cochran what animal he played like (chameleon) and understands where Dawn is coming from. 

Last is Brenda, who felt betrayed by Cochran eliminating her after the family visit when she "gave" him that.  He says he admits the game from emotions and in real life, he doesn't do this.  He also explains he had to take her out before she took him out.  The ultimate betrayal was Dawn, which makes Brenda tear up, and brings up Dawn's teeth and would Dawn have quit if she didn't get her teeth back.  Brenda's request: TAKE OUT YOUR TEETH.  Dawn wonders if this is a humiliation thing and Brenda says it's a matter of not minimizing the action she took rescuing the dentures from the riverbed.  Dawn takes out her teeth.  This shit is ruthless.  Just a complete shocking WOW moment.  And for nothing cause gurl, you ain't winning.

With that shitshow over, the jurors vote and then Probst takes off with the jug of votes to magically appear with them at the reunion and high five the audience.  Cochran, Dawn and Sherri are all cleaned up and sitting on the Tribal Council set in front of a live audience.  Probst wastes a lot of time asking the final three questions and I just want him to STFU as I'd like to pause this reunion special and watch Game of Thrones.  The winner of Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites is... COCHRAN. Duh, guys.

The stage this time around only has the jury and finalists, no pre-jury contestants.  Probst points out that this time around Cochran had much more confidence.  He said it was liberating to embrace his weirdness and not care how he was being perceived by others.  It's such a great story to see a diehard fan like Cochran reach the top dream of any fan of this show and win.  The reunion transitions to Dawn and kicks it off with a Dawn freakout crying supercut.  Dawn defends her gameplay and how she had to play dirty and be crappy to try and win.  What comes up almost immediately is how horrible the internet has been to Dawn, forcing her to quit Twitter.  Listen, I know I'm snarky and rip on people but there's a line people cross online.  It's a game, people.  Threatening lives and being outright nasty to these people is just stupid.  Live via satellite is pregnant Brenda, who felt hugely betrayed by Dawn after the blindside.  Speaking for the first time, Dawn apologizes and it seems the friendship is on the mend.

Other reunion stuff. Phillip invites random Survivor fans to watch episodes at his house and gives Probst a Stealth R Us name: the Piercing Eagle.  Boston Rob gets audience focus time because he has a book called "The Boston Rob Rulebook."  Malcolm says he's learned humility from playing twice and because he went two times in a row his muscle is a mess (still hot).  Also he did a bit spot on a soap.  Andrea thinks it was smart to blindside her since she was a strong player.  Reynold thinks the returnees advantage is knowing how to shut off emotions and play a game; noobs take it personally.  Probst interviews season one's Rudy, now 85, and still as awesome as ever.  Malcolm defeats Brenda for the Sprint Player of the Season.  The night wraps up with a preview of the next season, Survivor: Blood vs. Water, which they don't say what it is but [SPOILER] is returning players vs. their family members.

NOW EVERYONE, the most important part of every season. The crowning of the Pre-Show Winner Prediction champions.  As usual, I lost.  I hedged my bet on Malcolm again and lost.  But many of you had faith in Cochran and it paid off.  Ladies and gents, behold your trophies! (which I'll also tweet to you).  Congratulations on a season well-predicted!