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Survivor: Caramoan – Ep 12 – Seeking Blindsides Always Comes With A Price

Reward Challenge – We have none this week. Likely one was edited out – but regardless we would up with two Immunity Challenges.

Immunity Challenge #1 – A classic balance/endurance challenge. The F8 have to stand on a tiny pyramid floating on the water. They have to stand on the platform on footholds – with the requirement that they move up to a higher foothold in intervals. The final slot is to stand atop the pyramid for as long as it takes. This type of challenge always favors the contestants with the smallest feet, who also have strong legs. Compounding the challenge is the very strong wind gusts. Reynold and Eddie have their backs against the wall and must give it all they have…and Eddie is out of the challenge. Just like that. What? Eddie chose to take Erik up on his dare to quit the challenge from the start in order to eat a plate of donuts and share a glass of milk. I understand how hard it would be for Eddie to win this one – but come on. Try!

Cochran goes out next for a plate of hot dogs. He was about to fall out, so he took what he could before going. Sherri and Dawn lost it back to back. That left Reynold and the two smallest women. Reynold did an unbelievable job in keeping his balance a few times – so unbelievable that I want someone to make a video of him dancing on that pyramid to the music from Swan Lake. However, it was all for naught as he falls in. Brenda and Andrea are unable to make a deal – the seeds to Andrea’s demise as she lost her trust of Brenda at this point – and the two women go at it for hours. Finally, they agree to the Mystery Fourth Step of the Pyramid – they agree to go on one foot. Probst is so thrilled I expect him to grab a smoke afterwards. Brenda loses and Andrea earns immunity and a clue to the HII – which she agreed to share with Brenda.

Immunity #2 – This one is more complicated. The F7 jump in the water and move a buoy along a rope through a series of obstacles. At the end, they reach a post and a key. Next they have to use the key to open a chest full of ladder rungs. They next have to build a ladder puzzle starting from the bottom rung and moving up one by one. First up raises a flag and wins. Probst stresses rope management – which I think is a pre-requisite for an MBA in some schools. Erik and Brenda get off to a quick lead – but all seven wind up at the ladder at relatively the same time. Cochran, Brenda and Erik all have about two or three rungs at one point – Andrea’s failure to take advantage of her quickness on the earlier parts has her lagging behind. At this point Erik takes over and blows the others out of the water. He wins. Probst reminds him of the last time he won individual immunity. Erik knows, Probst. It haunts him daily.

Tribal Council – The question is basically if Andrea is getting completely turned on or not. A second question is whether Erik decides to flip the plan after Andrea suggests a F3 alliance before tribal. And he’s just crazy enough to do it! At Tribal, enough people make cryptic comments to potentially put Andrea’s paranoia on high – but she misreads the signs. She thinks all of the talk about blindsides and lying is directed at Brenda, not her. The best part is that after her name got read the second time, Andrea blurted out a “WHAT!?!” She leaves in good spirits – “Awww, you guys! That was good.”

Treemail Top 10
• Cochran wants to “suck up all the power” and is becoming something his mother wouldn’t recognize. Oh no – Cochran is going the full Anakin Skywalker on us!
• Probst noticed Dawn eyeballing Reynold during the challenge and equates her to a shark watching its prey. That would be the weepiest shark in all of nature. She later calls her mind her biggest obstacle in the game – I would go with tear ducts, but ok, the mind.
• Erik apparently comes from “a family of diggers.” Or scoopers. And then he helps the Stealths find the HII. At that moment, Erik possesses the idol. Possession is 100% of the law on Survivor. And then, the King of Idol Giving gives it to Andrea. Wow. Somewhere Natalie, Cirie, Parvati and Amanda are laughing again. Granted, it is possible that was the agreement they all made before searching – but still.
• Andrea with one of the biggest irony lines of the season – “We need to have some blindsides before it happens to me.”
• Eddie living some bizarre Weird Al/Country music mashup – “I sacrificed security and self-pride for some donuts.”
• Dawn summing up Survivor in a nutshell – “It’s hard to trust people, because I haven’t been trustworthy.” She is playing a bizarrely honestly deceptive game. I am fascinated to see how the jury receives her argument.
• Reynold and his new funky mustache are going serious battle with Malcolm’s mane of hair and Phillips glasses for coolest jury item. Although, I think Andrea’s cleaned up hotness at the next one is going to trump them all.
• Cochran is not allowed to call them the “gunslingers” because there have already been too many alliance nicknames this season.
• Was there ever a shot of a Survivor about to be blindsided more perfect than Andrea on the recliner casually talking about which person to vote out next? And her use of the word “kid” to describe Brenda – who I think is older than Andrea!
• Lastly, Erik has now made a F5 and a F6 in his two seasons and yet is never mentioned as an all-time great player because of the Fabio-like ditziness and the whole immunity thing from Micronesia. But seriously, that’s two trips to the end game for him. Is he a better player than anyone, including me, gives him credit for being?

Vote 1- Reynold 4 (Brenda, Dawn, Sherri, Andrea), Eddie 2 (Cochran, Erik), Sherri 1 (Eddie), Erik 1 (Reynold)

Vote 2 – Andrea 3 (Brenda, Erik, Sherri), Eddie 2 (Cochran, Dawn), Brenda 2 (Eddie, Andrea)

Next week – Brenda is targeting Cochran (finally someone notices the threat he poses). Erik is withering away. And we have a big tearful family visit.

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