Survivor: Caramoan – Recap & Review – “Last Push”

photo: cbs

photo: cbs

Survivor: Caramoan
”Last Push

Original Air Date: May 12, 2013

Ryan O – Staff Writer

A little of the drama is taken out of the first part of the finale by a medical evacuation, which is sad and unfortunate.

Fortunately, the drama does get cranked back up a bit during the final tribal council. Some people aren’t that happy with one person in particular. One person is asked to do something by a juror that could really humiliate that person.


Night 36. Immediately after Tribal Council. Erik is not doing well. He says his head is spinning. The doctor comes in. One doctor says he’s worried about Erik being in a starvation state. The doctor starts an IV line for fluid and nutrition. The doctor doesn’t want Erik to continue in the game. Everyone says goodbye to Erik and Erik is taking from the game.

What an awful way for him to end his game.


Everyone talks about how they’re sad Erik is gone and how they’re all hungry. Cochran says he’s thinking about the game and he needs to be the first one to talk to Eddie. He hasn’t bonded with Eddie but he’s the one most likely to win the immunity challenge to go to the final three.

The two of them talk just a while later. They agree the best thing for them to do is to take Sherri with the two of them to the final three. Yeah, of Sherri or Dawn, you’re definitely taking Sherri.

Day 37. There’s a reward challenge coming. Dawn tells us she’s proud of getting to the final four and for making the moves she’s made.

Reward Challenge!

With one hand, you have to steady a balancing scale in front of you. With the other hand, you have to move square tiles from one side to the other and build a tower, house-of-cards style to a certain height.

The winner gets a big advantage in the final immunity challenge.

This was almost certainly an immunity challenge that they changed to a reward after Erik left.

Cochran and then Sherri have to start over after their towers topple. Dawn is very close but it topples just before she can finish. Eddie’s topples next. That puts Sherri in the lead but hers topples. Sherri and Cochran are both very close. Sherri’s stack falls as she reaches for more tiles. Cochran’s hand is steady and he puts the final tile in place. He wins the challenge and the advantage.

Clutch performance.

Post-Reward Challenge

Cochran is glad for the advantage and is also glad to keep it from Dawn and Eddie.

Eddie and Sherri go have a talk in the woods and talk about how they’d rather be standing beside each other than Dawn. Sherri says Dawn has played the sympathy card to the fullest.

Dawn and Cochran tell each other that they’re locked in with the other. Cochran tells us that he’s experienced Dawn’s breakdowns on a daily basis and today’s is catatonic and paranoid. He’s considering ditching her.

Day 38. Treemail. The final immunity challenge.

They go on the walk of the fallen. I’m not going to recap that. I’m barely going to watch it.

Immunity Challenge! Immunity! Back up for grabs! For the last time!

They have to race up three stories worth of stairs, untie a bunch of knots to free a bag of puzzle pieces, grab the bag and slide down a slide. After getting two more bags, they have to assemble a puzzle.

Cochran’s advantage is that he doesn’t have to untie the knots. His bags will just be hanging, ready for him to grab.

Cochran is the first one back with his bag. Cochran just about laps people bringing back his second bag. He has his third bag before anyone has a second bag back.

Eddie and Dawn are neck-and-neck with their last bag. Sherri makes it back with her last bag. Cochran doesn’t have any pieces in place by the time Sherri’s back. Has he squandered his advantage?

Dawn gets three pieces in place. Sherri gets a piece in place and then another. Cochran gets one in. Dawn and Sherri both make decent progress. Cochran gets on a roll and pulls ahead. Cochran gets down to five pieces left and keeps rolling until he wins.

That’s the third immunity win for Cochran and fourth individual win. That really helps boost his case for why he should win.

By the way, Jeff didn’t make fun of Eddie while he was majorly struggling with the puzzle.


Cochran talks about who he wants to take to the final along with Sherri. Is it Dawn and her breakdowns or the 23-year-old chauvinistic idiot?

Dawn and Cochran talk on the beach. Dawn starts to cry.

Eddie tells Cochran that Dawn will play the mother card and breakdown and cry. He also says he hasn’t voted anyone off. Eddie tells us his plan for the money is to open a combined bar/doggie day-care.

I do think bringing Eddie would be a mistake. He could easily have Reynold, Andrea, and Michael’s votes. He’d only have to persuade a couple people.

Tribal Council

Erik is back and on the jury. It’s good to see he’s okay already but it’s still sad.

Cochran says he wouldn’t have been capable of winning immunity a couple years ago when he played.

Dawn says she’s done a job of maligning herself with everyone on the jury.

Eddie says he only voted off one person while Dawn made huge moves.

Cochran says they both have great arguments. It comes down to what he thinks the jury will be basing their decision on.

Sherri says she’s survived. She’s taken in a lot even if she hasn’t said a lot.


Dawn, Eddie, Eddie, Eddie, and Eddie is on the jury.

Post-Tribal Council

Day 39. The final day celebratory breakfast.

They each talk about their journey to the final three.

Final Tribal Council

Phillip has killing eyes. Andrea got hit by the double-barrelled make-up gun. She’s very attractive and doesn’t need to wear a lot of make up.

Opening Statements.

Dawn: She feels humbled by how hard it is to play. She can’t believe how hard it was to be duplicitous. She acknowledges that Cochran was a strategic ally, which was a plan for her going in. Another plan going into the game was to make her own decisions. She also gave herself permission to play the game and allow herself to exploit all the tools she has while knowing it was just a game and not real life. She’s proud of the game she’s played.

Sherri: She reveals she’s a successful business owner with 75 employees. She wanted to play as she runs her business. (She squees that she’s so nervous several times.) She had to remain pliable through the whole game.

Cochran: He talks about his Survivor obsession. He’s proud of his challenge performance. He’s proud of his social game. Even though he’s normally awkward, he often was a calming force around camp. He says he can beat people in timing. He struck before people realized he was a threat.

Jury Questions

Malcolm: He congratulates the three of them. He doesn’t have a question for Sherri. He says his vote is up in the air. He admires the cold-blooded game Dawn played but she has to own it. She has to fight for it.

His question for Cochran: “What quality do you have that I don’t have that allowed you to get to the end?” “A heightened level of insecurity.” Cochran became insecure whenever he heard someone else had a plan. It lead to him taking out threats. Cochran can’t imagine Malcolm being insecure. The answer makes Malcolm laugh.

Eddie: “Sherri, are you willing to admit you got carried to the final three?” “I don’t think I got carried to the final three.” This elicits some giggles from the jury.

The only time Eddie say Dawn interact with people, she was the weakest, most fragile person. She was upset on a daily basis. How does that square with her description of being a strong player? She says she was strong but he saw the toll the game took on her.

How is the game going to affect Cochran going forward? Will he be sitting with Eddie, Malcolm, and Reynold at a bar? Cochran says he’ll be sitting near them but there’ll be some distance since he’ll have a woman on either side of him. Exactly what Eddie needed to hear. Over on the jury, Reynold is obviously pleased with the answer, too.

Phillip: He rescinds Sherri’s membership in Stealth R Us. That’s all he has for Sherri. Ugh, of course.

Phillip has total intolerance for Dawn’s histrionics. Then, he has the gall to say she made camp life very disruptive for most of them. He says he’d have a tough time casting a vote for her.

Phillip says he enjoyed playing the game with Cochran and never felt any malice in how Cochran played.

Erik: He thought he had something with Dawn and when he saw how the vote for Brenda went, he saw it wasn’t genuine. He wants to know if she’s aware of the damage she did by playing the game she played. She says she came into the game saying she’d use the relationships to advance herself. She was playing the game.

He asks Sherri if she understands why she’s there. She says she played a hard game, it was just a different hard game than other people played. He calls her a seashell on the beach and that’s why no one is asking her about her strategy. She says that’s his opinion. She says she’s not getting his vote, she doesn’t need to be talked down to, and he can sit down. He tries to say he was trying to help her but she cuts him off and tells him to sit down.

Michael: He knew Dawn and Cochran were playing the same game but Dawn is getting hit harder from the jury. He gives Dawn the chance to explain why Cochran is getting off lighter than she is. Dawn says she developed the relationships with people that helped them gather information that let them know when to take people out. She says he has less blood on his hands and had less responsibility for the game they played.

Cochran is happy people are angry with Dawn. He disagrees with her that he wouldn’t be there. Dawn says her paranoia was a result of the responsibility of relationship building. He says she was a huge asset but if he wasn’t her therapist, she wouldn’t still be there.

Reynold: He calls Dawn disingenuous and a complete fraud. She says she’s not a phony. Reynold asks what she thinks of him. (Don Draper would say, “I don’t think about you.”) She calls him chauvinistic, funny, and vulgar. This goes on and on and ugh.

Andrea: She says she’s not bitter. She wants to know what animal Cochran most played the game like. A chameleon. His adaptability was the key to his game.

She’s proud of Dawn. She understands Dawn’s game.

Brenda: She says she gave Cochran something with the family visit and Cochran took something from her right away. She wants to know why she should give him something now. He says he developed an ability to separate game and emotion. He says she gave him an emotional gift. He took her out as a game-play move.

She still has a lot of hurt from when Dawn voted her out. She talks about finding Dawn’s teeth. Would Dawn really have quit if she didn’t get her teeth back? “No, I wouldn’t have.” Brenda wants Dawn to prove it and take her teeth out. Brenda’s point is that she had Dawn’s fate in her hands but if Dawn’s saying she didn’t, she should prove it. Dawn and Brenda go back and forth while Dawn says she’s happy to do it and then she does. It looks as if she’s missing three bottom front teeth. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about really.

I’ll be stunned if Cochran doesn’t win and win by a lot.


Cochran, Cochran, Cochran, Cochran, Cochran, and he wins with a unanimous vote.

Cochran really did play a tremendous game and was a lot of fun to watch. He says he emphasized timing and he makes a good point. He made moves at the right time. Anyone who thought about eliminating Cochran was sent out of the game.

Unfortunately, there was so much other crap this season with Brandon and Phillip that the season wasn’t as enjoyable as the last two.

Now, back to all first-time players (or all returning players, I suppose). It’s pretty obvious that returning players have a huge advantage over newbies.

What did you think of the finale? Let’s hear your Two Cents!

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6 Responses to Survivor: Caramoan – Recap & Review – “Last Push”

  1. ttcwyner says:

    I judge Eddie for his “sitting at the bar” question. I judge him harshly because it’s obvious he learned nothing from the show about his shallowness. It shows he actually sees the world as “cool kids” that sit at the bar vs “uncool kids” wanting to sit at the bar. Who sees the world like that?

    Unfortunately for Eddie, the bar he’s sitting in is way past its prime – the “cool kids” stopped drinking with him long ago and he’s too stupid to realize it.

    Oy, this dude is shallow and stupid – more than Reynold and that’s saying something! That question irks me because I thought only TV characters see the world this way but I guess not. It’s sad but I judge Eddie. Harshly.

  2. Scheddar says:

    Happy Cochran won. It really did come down to his having the gift of timing. His low-key approachability allowed him to garner information w/little effort which allowed him to strike before being struck. I think he also benefitted by the fact that this was a season full of emotionally unstable players. That instability drew the attention away from him (Shamar, Philip, Dawn) and allowed him th play the role of “therapist” as well as the voice of reason. Also loved how Cochran was able to use Malcolm’s narcissism against him, lol.

    I thought Eddie was pretty clueless all season, so was pleasantly surprised when he started speaking to Cochran in a rational manner, pleading his case… then he went and started talking about bars where you can bring your dog, and he lost me again. :headshake:

    Amused at just how clueless Sherri’s take on the jury was prior to TC. As well as how off every non-jury member seemed to be on Dawn’s relationship with the jury (though I suspect Cochran had an inkling, hence his bringing her to the end).

    Andrea’s maturity really impressed me. She wasn’t bitter and paid kudos to those who had bested her (which is why I don’t think she would have ever voted for Eddie had he made the final, she has too much respect for the game).

    Philip (and Boston Rob for that matter, never really understood the love towards him) was the expected embarassment we all knew he would be.

    Erik’s attack on Sherri seemed out of nowhere, and as right as he was, I did love that she just put the kabosh on the who thing and told him to sit down, she wasn’t having it, no 15 minutes of TC fame at her expense.

    Hoping that in the new season we turn back to showing more about strategies and alliances, and less about specific “characters”. Players who are obviously there to draw attention to themselves for the sake of getting attention.

    • ryanoneil says:

      I’m happy that Cochran won. I agree that he benefited from the big personalities drawing attention to themselves.

      Eddie. Yeah for a second there, he seemed okay, huh? Then he was building a bar-doggie day care with his million dollars. (A laundry is the thing to combine with a bar.)

      Cochran definitely seemed to know what the jury thought of Dawn.

      I never got the Boston Rob-love, either. (I was especially annoyed when he was on The Amazing Race.)

      I like Erik a lot but I was happy for Sherri that she just cut that off and told him to sit down.

      The Blood vs. Water thing makes me think Hantz vs. Hantz is a possibility. Good gravy, I will not watch that.

  3. Scheddar says:

    Ugh, about Hantz vs. Hantz. But I think it’s doubtful. Supposedly the reason the non-jury members were sitting in the audience was because Brandon had been asked not to come which prompted deaththreats from Russell’s camp (no idea how true any of that is), so the producers felt that everyone being on the stage minus Brandon (as Brenda) would draw attention to something being up. I’m guessing there’s no longer any love loss between the Producers and the Hantz family (lest you forget, Russell’s brother was also tossed out of Big Brother in Week 1? when he went off the rails and started physically assaulting contestants).

    • ryanoneil says:

      I’m sure the reason the jury didn’t sit on stage was to avoid showing Brandon not being there.

      But, no, I don’t think Hantz v. Hantz will happen, just that I hadn’t thought about it as a possibility.

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