Survivor: Caramoan – Recap & Review – “Zipping Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”

photo: cbs

photo: cbs

Survivor: Caramoan
“Zipping Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”

Original Air Date: Apr 17, 2013

Ryan O – Senior Staff Writer

Dawn is breaking down emotionally. It’s not in the same way as Brandon but it’s still a little unsettling. Will it be enough to get people to turn on her?

In other, bigger news, the most exciting Tribal Council in a long time, possibly ever. I won’t spoil the details here but WOW. Amazing. Everyone involved seemed stunned.


Night 25. When they get back to camp, Phillip and the other six have a meeting while Reynold, Eddie, and Malcolm are left standing around. Malcolm tells us everything he tried to do went wrong. Andrea tells her group the other three have no idol and they can be taken out now. Reynold tells the other two they have to go look for the idol when they wake up in the morning. Phillip et al close their meeting with their hands in and an “S! R! Us!” cheer. Cochran looks right at the camera and does the finger-circling-next-to-the-ear symbol for crazy. Awesome.


Here’s who’s left after last week’s crazy Tribal Council sent Michael to the jury: Andrea, Brenda, Cochran, Dawn, Eddie, Erik, Malcolm, Phillip, Reynold, and Sherri

Day 26. Cochran and Phillip are talking and Cochran says he used to think Dawn would be impossible to beat. Now, he thinks of her as beatable. As that’s happening, we hear Dawn yell for someone.

Dawn is crying. She’s breaking down. She lost her retainer that has two fake teeth on it in the water. Brenda comes, gets a mask, goes into the water, and finds it. Dawn’s incredibly grateful. They seem to form a bond over that moment.

Reward Challenge!

Two teams of five. Each person has to go through an obstacle course. Just before the end of the obstacle course is a mud pit and in the mud pit are five bags of balls. Each person has to grab a bag of balls and bring it the rest of the way. Once everyone has gone through and all the balls have been collected, the team has to toss the balls into a basket that’s on top of a pole.

The winning team will go to a resort and have a nice lunch.

Orange: Brenda, Eddie, Malcolm, Andrea, and Sherri

Purple: Reynold, Erik, Dawn, Cochran, and Phillip

Erik and Malcolm are first for their teams. They hit the mud pit at the same time. Erik grabs his bag and goes to the next obstacle — a rice pit where you have to slide under a bar. Erik is digging a big hole for the rest of his team to go through. Malcolm, on the other hand, is taking a page from last season and Jonathan Penner, who, in a similar challenge, dug out all of the bags that needed to be found.

Reynold, second for Purple, digs through the mud pit to find the rest of the bags for his team and finds all of them before Malcolm finishes finding them for his team.

Purple finishes when Orange still has two players left to go. By the time Eddie finishes, Purple has 10 of the 12 balls in and they win soon after that.

While Sherri was slow for Orange, Malcolm lost just as much time by not finding the bags very quickly.

Post-Reward Challenge

Erik, Cochran, Dawn, Phillip, and Reynold go to the resort. They enjoy the lunch. Most of the rest of them enjoy showering off and then going into a lovely pool. Phillip, however, goes directly into the pool, still covered in mud and rice from the challenge. There’s a literal cloud around him in the pool. Erik tells us that’s just how Phillip has played the game and he’s tired of it.

Night 26. Dawn tells us she’s not sleeping well and she’s starting to get paranoid.

Dawn talks with Phillip and Cochran about how Andrea is spending a lot of time with Malcolm and Eddie and how if the alliance splits a vote, the minority alliance has the votes they need to take out Dawn. Phillip then tells us Dawn is crazy. Yes, Phillip calls someone else crazy. Anyway, he assures her she’s not a target and she needs to stay calm.

Andrea and Phillip talk about how Dawn is losing it. Dawn and Cochran talk about how she’s breaking down. It really is uncomfortable and not fun to watch her.

Day 28. Dawn wakes up having slept the whole night. She feels completely better. The group has a strategy session. They decide on splitting the vote, 4 to Reynold and 3 to Malcolm.

Immunity Challenge! Immunity! Back up for grabs!

Everyone is on their own platform in the water. You have to run the length of the platform, which seems to be about 20 feet long and includes having to balance since there’s a large hole in the middle of it, jump in at the end, and then swim back to the beginning under water by pulling yourself along a rope. Then, you grab a ring, carry it to the other end of the platform, and place it on a post. You’re done when you have all your rings on the post.

The first round is in two heats and you have two rings.

First heat: Reynold, Cochran, Dawn, Andrea, and Sherri. Two advance.

Reynold and Andrea are leading by a lot from the beginning and advance.

Second heat. Phillip is sitting out. He says it’s because he had an incident as a kid in the water.

Brenda, Malcolm, Eddie, and Erik. A lot more competitive heat. Malcolm wins. Eddie was going to be second but missed putting the second ring on the post and Brenda advances.

Final. Reynold, Malcolm, Andrea, and Brenda for immunity. There are five rings to move in this round.

Malcolm and Reynold are neck and neck through the first three rings. Reynold builds a bit of a lead and then keeps it through the last ring. He wins immunity.

When was the last time they had a challenge with an intellectual component? Probably the big blocks that had to be arranged as stairs while spelling words.


Phillip talks with Andrea and then Dawn about splitting the vote between Malcolm and Eddie.

Malcolm talks with Eddie and Reynold about looking for an idol.

Dawn and Andrea decide to go look for the idol while Phillip and Brenda sit around and talk about Phillip’s bad experience in the water. All of them should be out looking for that idol. You should be doing whatever you can to find it and keep it from Malcolm or Eddie.

The four of them are together and Malcolm finds it hidden in a rock.

The group discusses strategy again. Andrea decides four for Malcolm and three for Eddie. Then, if there’s a 3 to 3 tie, they just vote for Eddie on the re-vote.

Tribal Council

Reynold says he was in a win-or-go-home scenario at the challenge. Dawn says Malcolm found the idol and doesn’t have to worry and Eddie is who they’re going to eliminate.

Phillip explains that when he was young, he went swimming with a bunch of kids, somehow ended up under the dock, got disoriented, and got really scared. Luckily, the owner pulled him out. He’s been scared of that sort of situation since. That’s why he skipped the challenge. To be fair, the challenge was this exact scenario.

Malcolm says the three guys are on the outs and they have to do what they can. So, he pulls out his other immunity idol and gives it to Eddie. Phillip’s group is stunned. Dawn turns to Brenda, whispers, “What are we going to do?” “Andrea.” Erik and Cochran are whispering. Andrea looks panicked.

Malcolm says the three of them aren’t going home. They understand that they’ll be in the same situation tomorrow. He then announces that the three of them are voting for Phillip. Malcolm goes on to say the game is supposed to fun and Phillip is a “fun sponge, sucking all of the fun out of the game.” Dawn and Brenda are still whispering. Phillip says that’s not how he plays the game.

Andrea says she’s very scared.

Erik says the sharpest thing. “Sure, they say they’ll play their idols but what if one of them decides not to play it?” BAM! Just saying this out loud forces them to play it.

Phillip says they should vote the way they were going to vote. He’d rather go home like that.

Cochran says the Survivor fan in him is going nuts. It’s the most exciting Tribal Council he’s ever seen.

Jeff lays out the questions:

1. Who will Malcolm, Eddie, and Reynold vote for?
2. Who will the other seven vote for?
3. Will Malcolm and Eddie play their idols?


Eddie plays his idol. Malcolm hesitates but plays his, too.

Malcolm, Malcolm, Eddie, Eddie, Eddie, Eddie, Phillip, Phillip, Phillip and Phillip is going to the jury.

I don’t like the word “deserves” but Phillip deserved to go home. From his unpleasant game play to not looking for the idol to not participating in the challenge, he earned his boot.

Bubbling Under

Wow. That? That was crazy. I mean, who could have seen that coming? A very fun play by Malcolm. It keeps the three of them in the game for another day. Was it the right move for just Malcolm? Maybe not since he’s potentially vulnerable and potentially without immunity at the next Tribal Council. The three guys would have to swing two people to their side to go from being down 6 to 3 to being up 5 to 4. Erik might switch but probably not.

What do you expect to happen in the coming weeks? Let’s hear your Two Cents!

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2 Responses to Survivor: Caramoan – Recap & Review – “Zipping Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”

  1. Scheddar says:

    That was an awesome TC! I love how Malcolm is keeping everyone on their tools, loved even more how the 3 of them were able to stick it to Phillip. I love seeing a tool get served his comeuppance.

    Dawn unravelling us unnerving, it even had Cochran wondering about her, which is not something you want your seemingly strongest ally to do, question your mental health as well as your motives.

    Cochran’s “loco” gesture had me incontrolably giggling. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone do that since I was a child.

    That underwater challenge looked gruelling, I’m a fan. And again, Phillip didn’t do what needed to be done and instead took a pass… that rarely ever ends well.

    All in all a satisfying episode. It’s good to see strategy take am increasingly starring role in the episodes as each of the loonies has gotten whacked off.

  2. Maggie C. says:

    I felt bad for Dawn when she lost her retainer, and Brenda was so nice to find it for her. For some reason as I watched the reward challenge when purple won I thought Dawn would let Brenda go in her place to thank her.
    In past seasons the winners would smuggle some of the treats back to the other players who missed out. They probably would get stopped now, or they just don’t think about that now.
    I knew Phillip would be the second juror when he went into the pool without showering the mud off. That was just so rude of him.

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