Survivor – “This is exactly what my love life needs.”


The tribes merge to become “Enil Edam”.

The tribes have merged on Survivor: Caramoan, and the result was the best episode yet in a season that has already been pretty solid. Pre-merge, the season was okay. The favorites dominated the fans, the challenges were exciting, but crazy personalities (Shamar, Phillip, Brandon) dominated over strategy. This episode changed all that. It was all strategy, shifting alliances, betrayals and last minute moves. It was glorious.

Following Tribal Council, Phillip pulled Dawn and Corinne aside to say he’d thrown the challenge “in the moment”. “At the challenge. That’s convenient! That’s around the same time you blew the challenge,” Corrine scoffed. Oh, Phillip. Why bother with this silly delusion?


It’s a new day, it’s a new Dawn

The next day, Dawn was feeling a little emotional – no surprise there. They’re around the same point in the game that she was last time when everything went to hell in a handbasket. Cochran had told her he was going to flip, she did nothing about it, and her entire game fell apart. Knowing the outcome of the episode, this was blatant foreshadowing. But I also think it’s pretty revealing about where Dawn’s head is at.

Dawn seems ready to play a more aggressive game, make moves and be in control. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Dawn make the finals this season. (I hope she does, as she’s my pick in my mom’s Survivor office pool.)

The tribes merged with little fanfare – the orange tribe left their beach to join the purple tribe, and Malcolm named the tribe for his mom – Madeline, spelled backwards as “Elin Edam”. Why do people keep falling for this? It’s a little funny, though.

Eat It, Eat It, No One Wants To Be Defeated

The first individual Immunity Challenge was a gross eating contest, which is both one of my most and least favorite challenges. On the one hand, it is kind of fun to watch people freak out and root for unlikely winners. On the other hand, it has all the qualities that made me hate Fear Factor. I can only watch so much of people eating (and spitting out) disgusting things, and now I have had my fill for the next three years.

Going into the challenge, Eddie – ever the voice of shallow vanity – voiced concern that participating would turn women off of him when the game was over. No one will sleep with a cute fireman who ate cow testicles on national TV! Or that was his fear, anyway. Cochran, however, had no worries – he thought the challenge would give him a “wild streak” and make him seem dangerous to women. “I think this is exactly what my love life needs,” he told the camera. Cochran needs to make the finals this season because I can’t live without his hilarious commentary.

cochran 2


Not only did Cochran participate in the challenge, but he won it! It was a nail-biter. And a stomach-churner. For the first round, everyone ate live larvae. Kudos to Andrea for being the only gal to make it through to the next round. Those six people chowed down on slimy, grey disgusting “ship worms” and Malcolm, Eddie and Cochran were the unfortunate victors. Eddie was knocked out next, when the three dudes had to eat a bird embryo. (That was the one that grossed me out the most.) Rob’s favorite quote of the night was Eddie saying “I bit into the beak first”, but it mostly just made me want to barf. For the grand finale, Cochran and Malcolm ate brains and Cochran JUST beat out Malcolm.

This challenge wouldn’t have been nearly as good had Cochran not won. But his dancing and humble-bragging made my day. “Me, this little pipsqueak, and Malcolm the golden god of the tribe – and I win?” he incredulously told the camera. He apologized to the tribe for his excessive celebration, justifying it by admitting there are so few challenges he has a chance at winning. Even Malcolm had to be happy for the guy.

Movin’ and Shakin’

The best part of the episode, though, was everything that happened after the challenge. THIS is why I watch Survivor. I love watching people strategize, screw up, make moves that are the best for them, betray people and all the rest of it. Particularly this season, it’s fascinating to see what a huge role personal relationships played in the moves. Phillip and Corinne’s personal differences have everything to do with these moves, as do Andrea’s dislike of Corinne and Erik and Brenda’s original alienation from the rest of the Favorites. But then you have someone like Dawn, who’s making her moves right now purely based on getting herself further in the game.

First, Phillip told Corinne that he wanted to split the votes between Reynold and Eddie. It’s the obvious, Survivor 101 move for the Favorites alliance – pick off the minority opposition, beginning with the big physical threats. However, Corinne secretly wanted to betray Phillip. But she made a big mistake right here. Corinne suggested voting out Sherri instead – let’s talk about why that was a mistake.



Corinne and Malcolm’s plan to break off from the Favorite’s alliance meant that they’d have a new alliance of them, Reynold, Eddie, Michael and, hopefully, Erik. That’s a best case scenario alliance of six in a tribe of twelve. Not good enough. Corinne tried to convince Phillip to vote out Sherri so that suspicions wouldn’t be raised, but there was no good reason to make that move. Instead, Corinne should have agreed to Phillip’s plan. Then she and Malcolm should have made their big play and targeted Phillip. They easily could have gotten Sherri on board with that plan, and that would have given them a majority. Later, when Dawn approached Sherri about an alliance, she said “The problem is, I can’t stand Phillip. He’s so arrogant.”

Instead, Corinne made another huge mistake – she told Dawn that they were targeting Sherri as the vote, that they had a backup alliance, and that Phillip would likely be voted out next. Why did Corinne think Dawn would be OK with this plan?

If I’m Dawn, I look at that pre-formed alliance of young, strong players and think “They’re only asking me as a last resort. Corinne and Malcolm are running the show, and I’m on the bottom of that alliance.” Dawn wasn’t going to repeat the mistake she made in the first season, but this time instead of tattling on Cochran she was plotting with him. They agreed that Sherri and Phillip getting voted out would leave the two of them in a very shaky position, and it would put Corinne in a position of power.

Cochran and Dawn had Phillip, Andrea, Brenda and Sherri on their side – six players out of twelve. Suddenly, Erik was the swing vote at a crucial stage in the game, and as Andrea said, “He never talks strategy with anyone.”



I’m unsure about why Erik has returned to Survivor. The money, I suppose. The kid was a huge fan of Survivor, went on the show, got real close, and blew it. He became infamous for a stupid move, it soured the show for him and according to Rob Cesternino’s podcast, he hasn’t watched since. But he once loved this game, so how interested is he in strategy this time around? “I have no idea what’s going on,” Erik told the camera, “But I have a feeling that I’m the swing vote.”

Erik had to choose between voting out Corinne and voting out Sherri, and I think his decision shows that there’s more strategy going on there than meets the eye. I believe the smart choice for Erik was to go with the (physically) weaker alliance. Is he close to Brenda? I’m not sure, but they were sort of on the outs together in the early days of the season. He has no reason to believe that he’s anything more than #6 in an alliance of 6 with Malcolm and co. However, I think he can go further with the other group, whether by bonding with the right people (I mean, he’d at least outlast Phillip) or just winning his way father into the game. He’s great in challenges, but is more likely to win when he’s not competing against Malcolm and Reynold.

So Erik voted for Corinne, and she was blindsided. Remember earlier in the episode when she said “I’ve never been a part of a blindside, I think it’s time”? That was foreshadowing! I’m bummed that she’s gone because a) My mom had her in the office pool and thus, goes yet another year without winning and b) I can’t stand Phillip. But I like Dawn and Cochran, I want to see them go far, and I’m happy to see Dawn really playing the game. Malcolm may think he has some tricks up his sleeves, and Eddie might try and flirt with Andrea, but I still think the Dawn and Cochran power couple can make it far in this thing.

What did you guys think? Did you love the episode as much as I did? Were you hoping Corinne would pull off her plan? Do you think she screwed up?


About Jill

Pop culture junkie. Food lover. Feminist. Content marketer. I'm here to win and I'm also here to make friends.
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19 Responses to Survivor – “This is exactly what my love life needs.”

  1. Alex says:

    Oh my God, I can’t believe Corinne got voted out without even making the jury while Phillip and Sheeri get to stay. It is so frustrating and so unfair it makes me want to strangle kittens. I just can’t believe it. I’m going to have a nervous breakdown.

    I just…. it’s just the dictionary definition of the word unfair. People will look at Phillip and say ‘oooh, he’s a great Survivor played for making it so far’ when that’s simply NOT the case. I mean I love power plays, blindsides and unexpected results as much as the next person, but not at the expense of voting out people who’re actually playing the game before their time. Especially when the ones left in the game are… I don’t even know.

    It was a great episode, yes, but unfair and unbelievably frustrating.

    • Aaron Sirois says:

      Sheri and Phillip have been playing the game. Since day one. Although Sheri fell apart after the switch, you have to remember that she was the leader of the top alliance on her tribe at one point, and decided who went home with each vote. Then she got bumped to a new tribe, where she never had to go to tribal. Not much room for maneuvering there. Now this is the first episode where she’s had a chance to make a move, and she did. And if you think Phillip isn’t playing the game, than I don’t know what you’ve been watching. Yes, he’s an arrogant prick, but he’s been a strong force either way.

      If you wanted to vote people off who haven’t been playing to any extent, then Erik, Brenda, and Eddie should be your targets. Erik just seems along for the ride, Brenda hasn’t said a word in ages, and Reynold is the brains behind Eddie and Reynold, as scary as that is.

      • Alex says:

        I know I didn’t include them in my mini-rant, but I’m not exactly thrilled that they’re still in the game. But I also did not get the impression Phillip has been playing the game, at all. I got the impression he’s the kid who yells at his parent ‘We’re going for ice-cream RIGHT NOW!’ and the parents just let him be because they have to go to the mall anyway. It’s not because of his game he got this far, but because he’s annoying enough that people want to take him to the end.

        As for Sheri, yes, I’ll give you that she’s played the game in the beginning, but what was the move she made in this episode? Agree to vote the way she was told to, knowing she’ll be going home otherwise? Is that really impressive?

      • Aaron Sirois says:

        Wouldn’t let me reply directly to you for some reason.
        Phillip certainly thinks he’s playing, and he’s been pushing hard for things. Splitting the vote was the right call for him, provided that he had the numbers he thought he did. And while he’s been a pain the butt, he still didn’t vote out Corrine before this episode, despite his dislike of her. I agree that it’s not because of his gameplay that he’s where he is. It’s because the others haven’t yet turned on him. But then again, he’s once again making a really strong case for himself to be kept around, as he’ll take the target on his back, and be incredibly easy to beat come the end.

        As for Sherri, at least she did make the move that saved her. Some people have failed to do so, which is sad. It will be interesting to see what she does moving forward, but she’s kind of in a terrible situation. Only Michael is left from her original alliance, and he’s just voted against her. She has no power left in this game, so any playing she can do will be minimal. If she can squeeze her way in to one of the alliances (Malcolm may make a play for her), I don’t doubt she has the ability to make a move there. At the moment though, she’s stranded alone.

      • Scott says:

        I think the editing might have given Sherri more credit than she deserved pre-merge. Exit interviews with Laura and Julia have suggested that she wasn’t in control of her tribe at all. Plus this vote she didn’t really make a move, she was on the outs and probably had no idea who to vote for, so Phillip said Corinne and she went with it, hardly a big move.

        I don’t agree with Brenda not playing the game. Sure she’s been shown very little, but she was on the outs from day one, and I think she’s been quietly playing a strong game. This vote she was part of the main favourites voting block, she wasn’t a swing like Erik, so I think she’s done really well to worm her way into the majority alliance, and she could make a big move further down the line and still deserve the win, in my opinion, because her physical and social games have already been strong.

        Also I don’t think Phillip has been playing well at all, he just hasn’t had the numbers before this to oust Corinne. He’ll probably make it to the end again, only because he’s a raging idiot, which really irritates me, but at least he has no chance of winning.

      • Aaron Sirois says:

        I’ve been thinking about Brenda. She got voted out of Nicaragua because she was too visible as being a strong player. Perhaps she’s taking the back seat this time around on purpose?

      • Scott says:

        Yeah I think you’re right there. She seems to be one of the few players who’s trying to play a different game than in there first season, which I admire, because their games obviously didn’t work out for any of them before. I’m hoping once we reach a final 9 or 7 she’ll make a move though, so I can fully support her without any hesitations.

      • Alex says:

        I can’t reply to your comment either. Yes, he hasn’t voted out Corinne yet, but on the other hand he did vote out Francesca solely because he disliked her. If I remember correctly, she did try to make peace with him in the beginning and he didn’t even listen.

        Yes, I agree that sometimes people don’t even try to save themselves – I was actually just thinking of Brenda and how she thought she was ‘above’ scrambling in her first season.

      • Scott says:

        I don’t think Brenda thought she was above scrambling, she was just convinced that Sash would give her the idol to use. I think I read that she knew everyone had already made up their minds to vote for her, so scrambling wouldn’t have done any good.

        Did Phillip start the ball rolling with the idea of voting out Francesca though? I thought it was Andrea, although I mightn’t be remembering correctly.

      • Aaron Sirois says:

        At the end of the day, I think Phillip is playing the game, and hard. He just thinks he’s in control (hence all of the Boston Rob comments) when he really isn’t. The others are keeping him around, yet making the decisions themselves. He’s nothing more than a scapegoat. I still think he deserves to be there, if only because he has so many others willing to keep him around.

      • Alex says:

        Nah, I can’t agree with you about Phillip, Aaron. Ultimately, none of us knowing what really was going on that island, we only have our interpretations based on how the producers decided to edit each episode. The way I see it, Phillip’s loud, talks the talk without walking the walk and gets way too much screen time. The only time when I found he had any impact on the game was when he drove an already unstable Brandon to have a breakdown. Which also caused him to act like a normal person for the next… 5 minutes?

        As for Brenda, I distinctly remember her telling the camera that she’s ‘not even that impressed’ upon finding out people were gunning for her. And I think she also mentioned during the Reunion she knew Sash wouldn’t give her the Idol because she had planned to take him out as well, only he found out about it as well.

    • Jill says:

      I’ve got to disagree a little with you on that it was unfair. I think Corinne made some pretty major mistakes, and deserved to be voted out. I don’t love Phillip, but he has made a solid alliance and it makes sense for people like Andrea and Dawn to want to keep him around. It’s just how Survivor works. If I were playing Survivor, I’d vote Corinne. She was too obviously trying to control the game.

      I also think Sherri has been playing pretty well so far. She formed the majority alliance in her original tribe and managed to find a new one post-merge.

      • Alex says:

        Hmm… I don’t mean to sound like a broken record and I’m for sure not as obsessed about this issue as I make it seem on here, but I don’t see it that way.

        Corinne’s kiss of death was sharing her plan with Dawn – who I believe she revealed in an interview she was close with. I believe the plan to get rid of Sherri was just as good as any other she could’ve come up under the circumstances. Also, I think it was obvious for us viewers, but again – she only told Dawn about her intention to vote Phillip out next. Best I could tell, she didn’t strut around the camp, grinning at everyone not in her alliance.

        know that’s how the game works, but that doesn’t make it any fairer – it just adds to the frustration a bit. Corinne had a decent and pretty elaborate plan and made one major mistake. Phillip is someone who is kept around, like you said. He’s done close to nothing so far neither in terms of strategy nor challenges. The swing vote that got Corinne voted out did so while saying ‘I have no idea what’s going on’. That is NOT fair, at least not in my book. It’s kinda like on TAR, when a mediocre team is saved twice by a non-elim. leg and then one of the strongest teams makes one wrong turn and they’re out.

        Also, why is Sherri given credit for getting in her new alliance? Phillip extended the invitation and there was no action on her part that got her in. She didn’t go to anybody and say ‘keep me, here’s why’, she didn’t try to scare anyone with a fake Idol, she didn’t scramble, she did nothing.

      • Jill says:

        Alex – No worries! I love hearing everyone’s thoughts on the episode. 🙂

        I think, even though Corinne felt she was close to Dawn, she made a mistake in approaching her too late in the planning. It seemed like she made Dawn feel like an afterthought, and therefore at the bottom of the alliance.

        I think choosing to eliminate Sherri instead of someone like Reynold was also a very tough sell. Why wouldn’t you eliminate a big threat unless they’re part of your alliance?

        I still disagree on Phillip, though. I don’t like him one bit, but he found a solid alliance and has performed pretty well in challenges. I wouldn’t consider it unfair that he’s still in the game.

  2. Scott says:

    I am so depressed 😦 I think this blindside hurt me even more than my previous most upsetting one when Cirie was voted out in Heroes vs. Villains, because at least then I had other people playing whom I loved, and everyone there was pretty deserving. This episode was torture for me, I absolutely love Corinne, and I’m so gutted that she’s gone. I really hope she made the jury, but Probst didn’t say anything (although I do remember it not being announced before).

    I think Dawn made the right move, as did Erik, but I’m still upset. Phillip is the most frustrating person, ugh, I hate that everyone is keeping him, and I’m afraid he might be taken to the end again just because he has no chance of winning (another reason I want Corinne on the jury, imagine Corinne vs. Sugar part II with Phillip, it would be even better!).

    Corinne made a few mistakes. Like you said, if she wanted a seventh, she should have approached Sherri rather than Dawn and voted out Phillip in 12th, rather than trying to get rid of someone who isn’t really a threat in Sherri, and wait it out until the next vote. A 7-5 majority is better than 6-5. Also, I don’t know why she needed to even discuss it with Dawn if she was confident that she would have that 6-5 advantage? Also, like I mentioned last week, we never saw Erik and Malcolm talk, so I wasn’t sure that Malcolm even had Erik like he thought he did, so Corinne (and Malcolm) both made mistakes by overestimating Malcolm’s ability to woo people.

    As devastated as I am about Corinne leaving, hopefully Brenda will get more airtime, because I remember her being very witty in her season, so I’d love to see more of her than just her dancing in the background. I can’t stand Andrea, and Erik seems just as clueless as he was last time, I doubt he thought it out much, he just probably went with Andrea because she approached him saying she had the majority first. I do love how well Dawn is playing this season, she seems so much more together, so I’m rooting for her at this point.

    • Aaron Sirois says:

      Talking to Dawn was really dumb. If she had kept quiet about her plan, it would have worked. No one was overly suspicious. They wouldn’t have reached out to Sherri, and the vote could have easily gone 11-1. I don’t know if Corrine just got nervous or what. I do know that she thought Dawn was on the outs for some reason, cause she said as much to the guys. But in the end, she made a dumb move that got her voted out.

      What I find interesting is that no one on the majority seems to realize that Malcolm was the real brains behind that operation. Perhaps now, with him having two idols to play around with and no loose cannons like Corrine to foil up the plan, he can swing things back in his favor. Either way, it should be interesting down the stretch.

  3. Aaron Sirois says:

    I still can’t stand Corrine after Gabon, and Phillip doesn’t bother me as much as he does other people. Plus, I can’t stand Reynold or Eddie, so having them in a majority alliance is no good to me. This episode worked out great as far as I’m concerned.

    And Phillip has to be considered at least a good player at this point. Anyone that annoying who can still get people to side with him has to be doing something right. He’s arrogant, full of himself, and a whole bunch of other negatives, but he has somehow avoided being voted out on so many occasions where other people made him a target. He’ll never win the game, but he’s making it further than he should theoretically have any right to.

  4. Davide Maistrello says:

    Wow, what an episode! I’m sad to see Corinne go, as I love to root for female villains, contrarily to most people. She was entertaining to watch and I really hoped her plan to be successful, but she made some HUGE mistakes which you already covered abundantly.

    Let’s start with the new merge and the merged tribe name – how cute it is that Malcolm named it after his mother? It kind of reminds me of “Murlonio” the merged tribe in Redemption Island, which was named after Amber’s favourite toy plush, if I remember correctly.
    I actually had thought that Enil Edam was “line made” backwards, and I thought it was more Stealth R Us bullshit, but I have to say I prefer this interpretation. Plus, the merged tribe’s flag is GORGEOUS! Yay for Erik and his painting skills!

    The Immunity Challenge was…meh, well, it made me cringe, squeal and wriggle on my seat. Yes, I know that it’s kinda the point of a gross food eating competition, but still…I don’t really like it. And I wouldn’t do it personally for a million dollars. Still, I find strangely entertaining to see people freak out over strange delicacies, as you said. Cochran did a very good job, and me and my mother cheered him on.

    Corinne’s big move to approach Dawn was…I’d say unnecessary and extremely risky, but she said on her interview with Gordon Holmes that she and Dawn were very close, so…Once I saw her talking with Dawn, I remembered what happened to Julia last week in a similar situation and understood that Corinne had her fate sealed. Then, when they showed Erik pondering over who he was going to vote for (I totally agree on your assessment on him, by the way) I knew he would eventually flip.

    • Jill says:

      You do remember correctly, and I thought of that too! Very cute. Great comment!

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