Survivor: Caramoan – Fans v Favourites – Thu 7:30pm, GO!
FINALE R US!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Everyone begins to traipse back to camp, fresh from stabbing Brenda neatly between the shoulder blades. What should be a happy occasion is suddenly interrupted by Erik having what eighteenth-century ladies would call a ‘turn’. He’s on the ground, head spinning, dazed and confused. It seems like it’s really not a big deal until Probst pop up out of the shadows. Forebode.

The medics lay him flat and start checking him out. His pulse is too slow and the doctor explains that his body is in a state of starvation. They hook him up to an IV and start putting some life force back in him. His blood pressure is still way too long and the doctor isn’t going to risk it – it’s day 36 and Erik is officially pulled from the game. That poor bloke.

There’s four people left in the game. Sherri, whose only defining characteristic seems to be insincerity. Cochran, who makes hilarious jokes but sulkily let Phillip boss him around for a month. Eddie, the intensely vain, dense, vaguely lovable frat boy. And Dawn. The super swell Sunday School teacher who has gosh darn it stabbed just about everyone in the back, in between bouts of emotional blackmail and hysterical crying.

So I guess what I’m saying, is “Go Eddie.”

Back at camp, Cochran is eyeing Eddie off. He knows Eddie’s probably going to win the final challenge and choose the final three. All of the sudden Cochran’s ready for some – what did he call it? – masculine tomfoolery. They agree to go to the end together with Sherri.

The next morning brings tree mail with tidings of a reward challenge. Everyone has to build a tower of cards up to a certain high, perched on a platform that they’re balancing. The winner will get an advantage in the final immunity challenge. Everyone builds towers and knocks them over and almost wins and loses it completely. Finally, Cochran manages to take out the challenge. He’s a happy man.

Sherri and Eddie go off for a walk and a talk about ditching Dawn. They don’t think they can win against her, since Sherri reckons she’s been playing the sympathy card all through the game. Dawn confesses to Cochran that she’s worried Eddie and Sherri will turn against her and he reassures her. Privately though, he’s so annoyed at her paranoia that he thinks he’ll probably ditch her too. I’d feel bad for her except, you know, Brenda.

Day 38. This is the bit where you walk around and remember everyone who you voted off with all the vomity faux affection. It’s probably really touching but I wouldn’t know because it’s boring and I always fast-forward it.

It’s the final immunity challenge and Cochran’s reward is not having to untie knots. He’ll still have to race up a staircase three times, collecting bags of puzzle pieces, slide down and assemble a fire puzzle.

Cochran has started his puzzle while everyone else is still working on their second bag. It’s a huge lead but Cochran’s lead quickly evaporates and Dawn streaks ahead with the puzzle. Sherri and Cochran quickly join her and it’s suddenly very, very close. Eddie has nothing on the puzzle but isn’t getting anywhere. Cochran pulls ahead as Eddie finds his first two pieces. Cochran has it and Dawn pretends to be overjoyed. Yes yes, kissy kissy. She’s exclaiming with joy and crying for him and clasping her hands and ohhhhhh she’s soooooo annoying… she is at Anne Hathaway levels of annoying. She’s Keira Knightley and Jodi Picoult books and that horrible and Britney song. Dawn is the most annoying person alive. I want to rip my own face off. Bring. Back. Phillip.

Back at the beach, Dawn’s weeping with happiness and paranoia. Euurrrggghh.

Eddie is being clever with Cochran. He’s playing the strategy-less idiot card and reminding Cochran that Dawn is going to cry and then be awarded the million. Eddie’s got big plans for this money. He wants to open a bar attached to a dog playpen, because he likes bars and he likes dogs. Awww.

It’s time for Tribal and Erik is back, smiling, clean and healthy. Relief. There’s no big outrageous secrets but Sherri is insulted that no one sees her as a threat and petulantly complains that she’s a shoo-in for a shot at the million. WHY DO YOU WANT TO TAKE ME? I CAN TOTALLY BEAT YOU! Daft bird.

Vote one is for Dawn. Vote two is for Eddie. Vote three is for Eddie. Vote four is for Eddie. I’m super disappointed but Cochran made the right choice – Eddie would have slaughtered him in the final vote.

ARRRGGGGHHHHHH. I begrudgingly hope Cochran wins.

Sherri is banging on about how brilliant she is, despite everyone on the island and in the world acknowledging that her value in the final three is as a definite Won’t Win. Michael will probably throw her a pity vote but that’s all.

Dawn says that her real alliance was with her family at home and not on the island, which explains her amazing absence of loyalty in relation to almost everyone on the jury.

Cochran wants it the most, and he says funny things, and he loves Survivor with a desperate passion that sadly, I can relate to. I’d give him a million for that.

Tonight the jury gets to address the final three. The final three say exactly what you’d expect so we’ll mostly ignore them. Dawn is sucky, Cochran talks about his Survivor fandom and Sherri makes a big song and dance about secretly being a really successful businesswoman. She’s a lot smarter when she doesn’t talk. HEY GUYS! DON’T GIVE ME THE MONEY – I’M ALREADY RICH!

Malcolm kicks off. He hilariously informs Sherri that he has no question for her. He tells Dawn that she doesn’t get to be cold-blooded and everyone’s favourite mum-of-six. That everyone sees through it. She has to own that she was cold and hard. Malcolm then asks Cochran why he made it and Malcolm didn’t. Cochran says it was heightened insecurity.

Eddie asks Sherri if she’s willing to admit that she got carried to the final three. She says she didn’t get carried to the final three. Audible laughter from the jury. Gold. Eddie questions Dawn’s claim to strength after witnessing her daily meltdowns and almost consistent fleeing into the woods. Dawn replies that she was weak because she was so ruthless. She was strong in the game and weak because she’s such a nice person that she regretted it – that’s tenuous. Eddie wants to know if he’ll hang out with the Three Amigos after the game. Cochran says yes. Ignores Sherri.

Phillip begins by talking about himself being great. He proceeds to rescind Sherri’s invitation to join Stealth’R’Us. I have to pause the TV and laugh for about ten minutes. Phillip then does a rather cruel – but accurate – imitation of Dawn freaking out. He tells her he has no respect for her. Phillip tells Cochran he’s a class act and he enjoyed playing the game with him. That’s one for Cochran.

Erik is next. He opens by telling Dawn how special and how powerful he felt their bond was. Then he tells her that when she voted against Brenda, she crushed it. It wasn’t genuine, or sincere. Erik asks her if she realises the damage she’s caused. Dawn brushes it off as ‘playing the game’. Erik asks Sherri if she has any awareness of why she’s actually there. Sherri says that she played a great strategic game and she’s not sure why no one is questioning her. Erik offers to enlighten her. You did nothing, he tells her. You were a seashell on the beach. She snaps and starts bickering with him. I don’t care what you say, I don’t care about your opinion, go sit down. Mmm, yes, well handled. Sherri can probably just leave now, Probst?

Michael’s up. He knew Dawn and Cochran were working together at the swap. He wants to give Dawn the chance to spread out the villainy. Dawn says that she has more blood on her hands because she made all the relationships and Cochran just rocked up for the vote. Michael asks Cochran to respond. Ignores Sherri completely.

Reynold tells Dawn that he disliked her from day 1. Right out of the gate. He calls her a fraud, calls her out over her over-emphatic hugging and phony enthusiasm for everyone’s jokes. He’s giving her a chance to redeem herself – she has to describe him with three adjectives. She struggles mightily with having to be honest until he tells her that he’s already heard it from other people, and then she goes for it. Chauvinist, great sense of humour and vulgar. He congratulates her on her honesty.

Andrea is up. No bitterness, no mean words. She respects the blindside. Andrea asks Cochran what animal he played the game as – Cochran says chameleon. Adaptable fellow. Andrea gives Dawn some empathy. Ignores Sherri completely.

Brenda. Last member of the jury so you know it’s going to be good. Brenda tells Cochran that she felt like their only emotional bond was through the family visit – she gave him his family and he immediately took something away by voting her out. She wants to be convinced to give to him again. Cochran tells her that he worries he’s becoming sociopathic but he’s separated emotions and the game.

Brenda turns to Dawn and is almost immediately in tears. Dawn voting her off was the thing that hurt the most. She takes us back to the day in the jungle where Brenda found a hysterical Dawn threatening to pull herself from the game if she didn’t get her retainer back. It gets interesting. Brenda tells her that as far as she’s concerned, Dawn can prove that Brenda didn’t singlehandedly keep her in the game by showing that she can take out her retainer. Dawn valiantly tries to argue her way out but can’t. She pulls her teeth out. It’s not really a big deal, she’s only missing a few. Brenda tells her that she needed her to feel a little heartbreak. She sits down… having ignored Sherri completely.

Through the magic of television, it’s suddenly live(ish) TV and time to read the votes. The final three have been at home watching the series and are ready to hear the votes cast all those months ago.

The votes.

Cochran. Cochran. Cochran. Cochran. Cochran. LANDSLIDE.

You know what? A win for a Survivor nerd is a WIN FOR US ALL.

Brilliant season, my friends. Well done to us all.