Zack & Nick's Culture Cast

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Survivor: Caramoan – Season 26, Episode 10 – Zipping Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

I noted in my review last week that Survivor: Caramoan is really a tale of two seasons. That trend continues in another excellent episode in what has been a string of great episodes. The back-half of Caramoan has been a tremendous run, and has saved the entire season, truth be told. I never expected, for example, that Eddie, Reynold, and Sherri would be left in the game this long. I never expected Malcolm would attempt a coup. I never expected Corinne would have been voted out pre-jury. Things have really taken a turn for the unexpected during the merged-tribe portion of the show.

The remaining castaways line up for the Reward Challenge.

The remaining castaways line up for the Reward Challenge.

What has been fairly typical, however, has been Dawn continually breaking down. Dawn is playing one of the sneakiest games of recent Survivor seasons. She has taken the confidence of Corinne and eliminated her. Malcolm approached her last week, and she immediately voted his ally Michael out of the game. All of the sneakiness and the paranoia has taken its toll on Dawn, who loses a retainer with false teeth while going for a swim, and uses it as an opportunity to have another breakdown. Brenda comes to her aid, retrieving the falsie and comforting a broken-down Dawn. The two vow not to vote each other out of the game over this bonding experience, which certainly doesn’t bode well for Brenda.

The reward challenge splits the tribe into two teams of five. The teams must race over a balance-beam track, slide into a mud-pit, retrieve tied bags containing balls, and then use the balls to score points in a basket. The first team to score all 12 of their points wins the challenge. Malcolm and Reynold square off, and Malcolm uses a strategy he saw Penner use last season on Survivor: Philippines. Unfortunately for Malcolm and crew, Sherri slows the group down so much that Reynold’s team easily wins. In a fairly truncated reward getaway, Reynold and Erik both express dismay with Phillip, who has jumped into the nice, tidy pool covered in mud.

Back at the beach, the Stealth R’ Us alliance plots to vote out Malcolm at the next tribal council. They still down know whether or not he has an idol (he does), so they will split 4 votes to Malcolm and 3 votes to Eddie. They initially plan on voting out Reynold, but he ends up winning the immunity challenge quite easily. Knowing their days are numbered, the Bro-lliance, as I like to call them, heads out to find a possible hidden immunity idol to protect themselves. Reynold used his last week, so they deduce that it must be put back into play. Malcolm finds the idol, much to the chagrin of Stealth R’ Us, who must now focus their efforts on voting out Eddie, taking a chance that Malcolm doesn’t already have an original idol (which again, he does).

Tonight's Immunity Challenge was a real endurance monster.

Tonight’s Immunity Challenge was a real endurance monster.

Tribal council is a sight to behold, as Malcolm beautifully plays the Stealth R’ Us majority alliance, shocking them with a surprise idol hand-off to Eddie. With Malcolm, Eddie, and Reynold now safe from the vote, Malcolm mocks them with an offering – the three members of the Bro-lliance are all voting Phillip. He wants them to use this as an opportunity to vote Phillip out and rid themselves of someone they can’t stand. Taking the opportunity to do so, Erik votes for Phillip, making it four total votes against him. This is enough to blindside a humble Phillip, who exits the game rather gracefully.

Phillip is particularly hated by a lot of people. I don’t hate him. I’m rather sad to see him exit the game. I didn’t necessarily want him to win the game, but I thought he was a better player than people gave him credit for both times he played the game. It is true that Phillip could be arrogant, blunt, and needlessly condescending, but he was also a big, entertaining personality. At the end of the day, however, I’m still glad that the Bro-lliance is around to live for another day, even if it is at the expense of one of the bigger personalities to play Survivor.

Notes from Episode 10:

Please, Dawn, no more crying.

Brenda got a confessional! The internet tells me this is her first since February, which is unbelievable.

Reynold and Eddie were on the right side of the vote for only the 2nd time in the game.

Andrea is incredibly paranoid, but for good reason – Brenda floated her name around at tribal.



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