‘Survivor: Caramoan’ Finale Recap: And the Sole Survivor Is…


"Survivor: Caramoan" (CBS)

Quick Note: Be sure to check back tomorrow for exit interviews with some of tonight’s finalists. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.

Last Wednesday: Erik tried to climb a tree that would take him out of the game, Cochran’s dad showed some skill tending to a barbecue flame, and Dawn shocked the world when she wrote down Brenda’s name…

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Let’s take a look at the tribe as it currently stands…

The Enil Edam Tribe (wearing green)
Cochran – Harvard Law Student, 25
Dawn – English Professor/Power Rankings Champ, 42
Eddie – Firefighter/EMT, 23
Erik – Comic Book Artist, 27
Sherri – Fast Food Franchisee, 41

Oh boy…Erik is in rough shape immediately after Tribal Council. Apparently he’s having dizzy spells. Probst calls in the medical team and they think the starvation is getting to him. They put an IV in his arm and in Eddie’s shining moment of the season, he explains exactly what the purpose of the IV is.

Probst asks the doctor for his recommendation and he decides to pull Erik from the game. Wow. Easily the latest someone has ever left the game due to medical evacuation. Poor Erik…

However, I’ll give Erik this…he doesn’t leave the game in dull ways.

Back at camp, everyone’s minds are blown to lose Erik and Brenda in such quick succession.

Cochran realizes he needs to get on Eddie’s good side as Eddie is the most likely to win the next immunity challenge. Why do people keep thinking that? He’s won nothing!

The unlikely duo strikes a deal that Dawn will go home next.

Reward Challenge Time: Players will build a stack of tiles on a platform with one hand, while holding a lever that balances that platform with the other hand. First person to reach the proper height wins an advantage in the final immunity challenge.

Note: A challenge similar to this one was done in “South Pacific.” The highlight of that was Sophie yelling at Albert to “Drop your damn stack!”

Not much to describe here except for some balancin’ and some stackin’. Dawn almost has her stack to the top when she loses it. Eddie suffers a similar fate. Sherri is oh…so…close…

Man, this is tense.

But…Sherri’s monster stack falls. Cochran comes from behind and wins the advantage.

Back at Enil Edam beach, Sherri tells Eddie that she wants to be next to Cochran and Eddie because she thinks Dawn will take all the votes. Eddie agrees with her. Wait, what?! All the votes? Did you see Brenda last episode?

Dawn doesn’t like that Sherri and Eddie are chatting with each other. Cochran tries to calm her down, but it’s obvious that keeping Dawn calm has been quite a chore all season.

Tree mail arrives, and it sounds like it’s time for fallen comrades…zzz…

First up is Francesca, Cochran says Francesca wasn’t voted out because she was a bad player, but because she was a threat.

Cochran doesn’t remember who Allie is. He’s reminded that she was Reynold’s girlfriend. Ouch.

Eddie refers to Hope as his first “Survivor” love. The first of many…

Sherri calls Shamar her “Brother from another mother.”  Her rude, complaining, terrible at “Survivor” brother from another mother.

The finalists don’t say anything about Laura, Matt, Julia, or Michael. Now it’s just getting mean.

Phillip is given credit for creating Stealth R US and “Boston” Rob is name dropped. (Mark your BINGO cards.)

Dawn thinks Malcolm was the biggest threat to win the game…and my heart.

Cochran thinks Andrea is charming, beautiful, and smart. She’s a hell of a Power Ranker, too.

Cochran thinks Brenda was one of the strongest players in the game.

Dawn thought that Erik would’ve made it to the final three.

Immunity Challenge Time: Players will race up a tower, untie puzzle pieces, then slide down. They’ll do this three times. They’ll then use those pieces to complete a fire-shaped puzzle. First person to finish their puzzle wins immunity and a guaranteed spot in the final three.

YAY!  A puzzle!

Cochran’s advantage is that he won’t have to untie the puzzle pieces, he’ll just have to grab them

The challenge starts off and Cochran’s advantage is paying huge dividends as he flies through the course. He has all three bags before anyone else has their second.

However, Cochran is having a tough time getting any pieces to fit and Dawn passes him. Cochran finally figures it out and regains the lead. Probst makes sure to point out that Cochran is the least likely person to dominate a challenge. So hurtful.

After about a half an hour, Eddie gets his first piece in.

Sherri and Dawn make a decent showing, but Cochran finishes first to earn immunity. Dawn seems happier about it that Cochran does.

When Probst presents Cochran with the necklace, Cochran compares himself to Colby Donaldson and “Boston” Rob Mariano. The irony there is neither of them won the game their second time around, and I don’t think Eddie, Sherri, or Dawn have a chance in hell of beating Cochran.

Back at camp, Cochran knows he wants to bring Sherri along, but he isn’t sure about Dawn or Eddie. He drops some cocky comments, calling Eddie a “chauvinistic, 23-year-old idiot.”

Cochran tells Eddie that he doesn’t think he can beat him or Dawn. Eddie says the jury likes him because he’s “an idiot.” Oh, I guess Cochran’s previous assessment wasn’t too harsh.

Eddie intends to use the money to open a veterinarian/bar. That’s what he said in his pre-game interview! At least his time out there hasn’t changed him.

That night at Tribal Council, Erik makes his return. Good to see him in one piece.

Eddie thought that Erik, Dawn, and Sherri were going to be the final three.

Cochran thinks it’s good that Erik left, but it was hard to celebrate due to the circumstances.

Cochran does a fantastic job of playing the underdog card in front of the jury. Yeah, he’s unbeatable.

Dawn knows that she’s upset the jury and she thinks the only jury member that Eddie has upset is Phillip.

Eddie agrees, but he thinks that shows how bad his strategy was. Ooo…smart, Eddie. Welcome to the game.

Cochran thinks they both have good arguments, and it comes down to what the jury wants in a winner.

Sherri thinks that people don’t see her as a threat, but she’s made alliances, and she’s heard everything.

Eddie flat out says Cochran’s best shot is with him and Sherri.

Voting Time: Eddie votes for Dawn, Dawn votes for Eddie, and Cochran votes for the only person he thinks can beat him. The rest are secret.

Probst tallies and returns. We’ve got one vote for Dawn, two votes for Eddie, and the seventeenth person to be eliminated from “Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites” and the eighth member of the jury is…Eddie.

Dawn gives Eddie a big hug as he leaves and everybody rolls their eyes. Uh oh…

The next morning, the final three is greeted by their day-39 brunch.

Dawn thinks she can beat Sherri or Cochran. Well, she’s half right.

Next, Cochran throws Harvard under the bus for not preparing him for a “Survivor” jury. Yeah, kids…stay away from Harvard, there’s no future there.

That night at Tribal Council, Dawn makes the first opening statement. She admits that it was hard for her to be deceptive. She said going into the game she wanted to have one ally that she’d take to the end (Cochran) and she wanted to control her game. She also gave herself permission to break trust and friendships.

Sherri admits that she’s a successful businesswoman who has 75 employees and several businesses. I’m not one to give the money to whoever needs it this most, but how does bringing this up help her?

Cochran goes last and points out that he is the true “Survivor” fan. He never thought he’d be a challenge machine. He never thought he’d be a calming force within his crazy tribes. He says he hasn’t been stronger or more strategic, but he’s had better timing. Better timing? Oh, that’s good.

Malcolm bats leadoff for the jurors. He doesn’t have a question for Sherri. He tells Dawn that he’s going to be her best friend, he says she’s cold-blooded, but she has to own it. Agreed. He says if she fights for it, he’ll vote for her.

He asks Cochran what quality he has that Malcolm doesn’t that made him successful. Cochran thinks it’s his higher level of insecurity because he was more likely to take out threats.

Clean-shaven Eddie asks Sherri if she was carried to the final three. She says she wasn’t and the entire jury laughs. That’s not a good sign. He then calls out Dawn for being weak and fragile. Dawn thinks she’s been strong, but he’s seen the wear of the game on her.

Finally, he asks Cochran where he’s sees himself after the game. Cochran says he’ll be hanging out at the bar with the Three Amigos. But will he join in on a chorus of “My Little Buttercup”?

Phillip goes next, he points out that Sherri joining the faves was a strategic move. He then kicks her out of Stealth R Us Too! Whoa! How will she go on? He then does his impersonation of Dawn freaking out and says he doesn’t think he’ll vote for her.

Finally, Phillip says he enjoyed playing the game with Cochran and he’s a class act.

Erik bats clean-up. He tells Dawn that her voting for Brenda crushed him. Dawn says that she was prepared to use relationships to advance in the game. She thought Brenda was a threat and she needed to go.

Erik asks Sherri why she’s still there. He says that she never did anything in the game and was a seashell on the beach. She thinks that’s his opinion and she doesn’t care what he thinks. She tells him he can sit down. Oof…

Some guy named Michael is next. He thinks Dawn and Cochran played the same game, but Cochran is getting off easy. Dawn thinks the difference in their game is that Dawn created relationships with people. She doesn’t think Cochran had as much say as she did.

Cochran admits that he’s happy that she’s getting these reactions, but the paranoia she had was tough on their alliance. Cochran thinks they wouldn’t be in the game if he hadn’t become her therapist.

Reynold admits that he didn’t like Dawn from day one because he thought she was a fraud. Reynold wants her to honestly describe him using three adjectives. She says “chauvinistic,” “great sense of humor,” and “vulgar.”

Andrea is next, she tells them to relax because she’s not bitter. She asks Cochran which animal he played the game like, he says a chameleon because he was able to change colors. Andrea then says she wanted to play the game like Dawn.

Last up is Brenda…here we go… First up, she gives Cochran grief for cutting her loose after she gave him the family visit. Cochran says he’s been able to separate the game and emotion. He says out of the game he’d thank her, but in the game he got rid of her because she’s a threat.

Brenda brings up the retainer incident. She thinks she had Dawn’s fate in the game in her hand. She asks if Dawn would have really quit without the retainer. Dawn says she wouldn’t have. Brenda asks Dawn to take her retainer out in front of the jury. Dawn refuses at first, but eventually agrees to do it.

That was awkward and weird.

So, I think Cochran’s got this thing won, Dawn did as well as she could have, and Sherri…was…in attendance.

Voting Time: Phillip votes for Cochran and the rest of the votes are secret.

Back in LA and Rudy Boesch is in the house!

Sherri says the odds of her winning are not good. Cochran says he feels confident, but when you’re confident you get screwed over. Dawn doesn’t think she’ll win, but she’ll be able to buy new teeth.

Alright, we’ve got four votes for Cochran and the winner of “Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites” is…Cochran.

Verdict: The pre-merge game was full of the weird Springer-esque stuff that loses my interest. Brandon and Shamar? No thanks. However, post-merge this season was awesome.

And for the first time ever, a Power Ranker has returned to the game and won. I’m so proud. Congrats, Cochran.

Power Rankings Results: Let’s see, Michael Skupin correctly called the final three for a total of 15 points. I had Cochran and Dawn in the final three for a total of 10 points. So, the final score is Team Skupin 156, Team Lightning Punch 163. Much thanks to Michael for being such great competition this season. Best of all, nobody got hurt!

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

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