Survivor: Caramoan – Fans v Favourites – Thu 7:30pm, GO!
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m still fuming about Phillip after last week’s “I secretly threw the challenge” delusion. How can you humour someone FOR THIS LONG? Do they realise that he’s going to be on the jury now? DO THEY?!?!

SO. Night vision. Michael is super happy he’s not at home and Corinne is super happy she got to “keep the gay”. She LOVES gays, whatever the hell that means. Condescending much?

Phillip decides that he must immediately let Corinne and Dawn in on his masterful strategy. You know, the one where he decided to throw the challenge intentionally to eliminate Julia ASAP. It makes sense, since she was one of the biggest threats in the game. I mean, she was no threat in challenges, and her social game was less than non-existent… you know, that girl who never did anything worth noticing, ever, and Probst only learned her name last week when she got voted off and then it only because she was the one who stood up when he said “Julia” four times…  her? Yeah, so Phillip NEEDED to get her off immediately because you can’t have someone meekly voting alongside you with the merge coming up. So while to the naïve observer, it would appear that he was LESS GOOD AT THINGS during the challenge, the reality was in fact that he was EXCELLENT AT THINGS and merely employing the ILLUSION of being terrible. Genius. Don’t let this guy go work for the North Koreans, now.

He explains his brilliance to Corinne and Dawn, who aren’t mad at his incredible arrogance in thinking he has the right to throw challenges without consulting anyone, because they know he’s totally full of it. They humour him, of course, and then whine behind his back. I am furious. How can you POSSIBLY HUMOUR SOMEONE FOR THIS LONG? It’s one thing to let someone think they’re calling the shots when they’re not but they’re often humouring him by LETTING HIM CALL THE SHOTS. They can snicker all they like behind his back but as long as they let Phillip make the decisions and vote off whoever he likes, he is the LEADER OF THEIR TRIBE.

Corinne thinks that the Fans are not very smart. How ironic.

Dawn is getting drinking water from the well and replenishing it with her tears. She anticipates a merge, which last time was the end of the game for her. Also something about her kids. Got distracted by a Zooper Dooper.

Some boats have arrived on Gota with a Nota. HAHAHA! A note, that was. Gold. It’s MERGE TIME. Gota gets on a boat and sails into the Bikal beach. There’s one tribe from here on in and everyone is either in the final or on the jury. This must be a nice milestone for everyone.

The new buffs are green! Everyone sits down for a happy family-style feast. There’s some discussion about a new tribe name. They decide on Enil Edam, which means “new beginnings”. Or, more accurately, is “Madeline” backwards, which is Malcolm’s mum’s name. Classic Survivor move.

Phillip is excited to see Andrea again and gathers her to him in a close embrace. Andrea throws up a little bit in her mouth.

Corinne catches up with Malcolm on the beach. She’s dissing Phillip and complaining about being stuck with him in their alliance of 8 Favourites. Malcolm sheepishly begins to explain his new direction in the game. Thank goodness, he’s finally bored of this passive, sit around, let Phillip make decisions game that the Favourites have been playing. With Erik, Reynold, Eddie and Michael, they now have a shaky alliance of 6 in a game of 12. They need to get through one vote with the Favourites and retain their 6. Then they own the game and the blindsides begin. “Creepy” Sherri is an easy first target, hopefully followed by Phillip, who Corinne acknowledges as the leader and “the head of all this nonsense.”

The challenge is eating nasty things. Blerrrrrk. Reynold is concerned he won’t be able to eat the gross. Eddie is worried that he’ll eat the gross but then girls back home watching will see it and won’t want to hook up with him. Cochran – bless – thinks maybe eating livestock goolies will lend his persona a wild streak and spice up his tepid love life. He’s excited.

Everyone trudges up to Probst, gleaming in the afternoon sun. Even his glaringly blue shirt can’t distract them from the simple fact that they will soon be choking down bugs and bits.

Everyone lines up behind covered plates. Erik’s is moving. Blerrrrrrrrk. It’s BEETLE LARVAE and there’s two and they’re MOVING. Oh, my, goodness. Malcolm is already ready to be sick. These are elimination rounds of six and the first three to finish will move on are moving on. Erik, Sherri, Andrea, Corinne, Malcolm and Eddie are the first six. Every single person throws the beetle teen slugs into his or her mouth and starts chewing. Andrea is the first to finish, with traces of black sludge on her tongue. Malcolm is second to finish, Eddie is third Erik, Sherri and Corinne are out, but can cough up the remaining beetle in their mouths – a win in my book.

The next round is Cochran, Phillip, Reynold, Dawn, Michael and Brenda. It’s beetle larvae for them too. Dawn has psyched herself up to the point where she’s forgotten how challenges work and Probst has to ask her to put down her beetle slug and wait for “go”. I can barely watch this. Cochran swallows the larvae almost instantly and without drama. Phillip is a decisive second, leaving the final four chewing in desperation. Dawn almost has it but can’t swallow the last little bit and Michael beats her to it with seconds to spare. Dawn spits out her last bit of beetle while Michael struggles not to puke. He survives, leaving Dawn, Reynold and Brenda to join the rest of the Not Eating Terrible Things folk on the bench.

Next item on the disgusting agenda is shipworms. A member of the clam family, it’s a pile of long and slimy black worms that are apparently the termites of the ocean. Delicious, no? NO. Cochran THROWS the pile of worms into his mouth like a machine. Phillip is also quick off the mark. Only three are moving on and everyone is chewing. Out of nowhere, Malcolm and Eddie are finished at almost exactly the same time. There’s a close-up of Andrea trying desperately for third and I literally almost puke. I’m too scared to look back up for a few seconds but it seems Cochran beats her to it by a matter of seconds. Shipworm is smeared over everyone’s faces. Puke, puke, puke.

Two will move on from the next round. Eddie, Cochran and Malcolm uncover their plates to find half-shelled duck embryos. Eddie is distressed and asks Probst “Why? Why?” Probst shrugs in a I’m-a-handsome-devil-and-I-call-the-shots kind of way. Malcolm notices feathers and nearly keels over. Cochran is rocking a kind of steely-eyed despair that will surely get him All The Ladies.

Cochran pretty much swallows the egg whole, leaving the disgusted Eddie and Malcolm chewing on their half-duckling, half-eggs. Eddie chokes half of his up and has to put it all back in his mouth. Malcolm takes it out and will battle Cochran for immunity. Probst is shocked that Cochran is in the final of an immunity challenge and calls it a ‘David and Goliath’ situation. I’d quite like to see Cochran win this, but I hope he doesn’t cut Malcolm’s head off afterwards.

The final dish in this disgusting degustation is pig brain. Cochran WINS. He slurps up the brain like its port wine jelly. He’s jubilant, not only for his victory but because now Probst will touch his shoulders. I don’t think there’s anyone who begrudges Cochran this win.

Phillip wants to split the vote between Eddie and Reynold, ensuring a threat goes home straight out of the gate. Corinne is in a secret alliance with the frat boys and needs one of the nobodies to go home. Scrambling ensues.

Andrea agrees that Sherri is a good first vote off but says that Phillip will be difficult to convince. Dawn and Cochran seem to agree. Corinne points out that Phillip is just one person and that he’s free to vote alone if he doesn’t want to go with the majority. She doesn’t think it even needs to be debated with him, if everyone else is on board. Allowing two Eddie and Reynold to hang around is a hard sell, so Corinne’s trying to pitch the easy Sherri vote as an opportunity for the Favourites to show Phillip that he’s not really in charge. Cochran and Andrea are wary – not because they correctly suspect that Corinne is playing them, but rather that they’ll upset Phillip and then have to deal with his tantrums. Spineless.

Corinne talks to the frat boys and mentions that she feels that they can get Dawn on side. Apparently she means right now, because four seconds later she’s at the well with Dawn. She starts by saying that she worries she’s not being heard in the alliance and somehow talks until she’s basically confessed to Dawn that she has a new alliance with the Fans and by the way, here are my fellow traitors. CORINNE. GET SOMEONE ON SIDE BEFORE YOU TELL THEM EVERYTHING. Last time Dawn played, she was given similar information and kept her mouth shut. She immediately got voted out. So this time she decides to try something new. SHARP INTAKE OF BREATH.

Dawn tells Cochran quite simply Corinne is planning to blindside Phillip with a secret alliance and then pick the Favourites off one by one. It was a brilliant plan – Malcolm’s plan, I recall – before Corinne blabbed it at the proverbial water cooler like it was her secret to shiny hair.  Cochran looks sick. Even with Sherri on side to try and vote off Corinne, it’ll be a 6-6 tie and both idols are on the other side.

Cochran goes to Andrea and fills her in. Andrea is horrified. She scurries off to tell Phillip. He is buoyed by the evident loyalty of his alliance and gives a lordly speech about himself and his brilliance in the third person. It’s sickening.

Malcolm scratches his belly, seemingly unaware that his plans have fallen into pieces and caught on fire.

Phillip tells Sherri who to vote for, smugly telling her he’s decided to give her a chance to prove that she can be used in the future. Seriously. This is how he talks to people. Sherri hates Phillip but is ready to make a “big move” which apparently has lost so much meaning that it’s now interchangeable with “doing what someone tells me to do without question”.

In a far more interesting moment, Erik tells Andrea to point to the name on the tribe flag that he should write down at Tribal – Corinne. A few minutes later, Malcolm tells him the numbers are solid and he should be voting for Sherri tonight. It dawns slowly on Erik that he’s suddenly a very valuable swing vote, having no idea what’s happening on either side of the fence. This is an intensely important choice and it’s great that the guy who hates strategy is making it.

Tribal. Michael tells Probst that the Fans have no hope. His poker face is pretty good but Corinne can barely contain her glee at their subterfuge. She straight out says that she’d consider a deal offered by a Fan at this point. Could she not save some of this over-sharing for next week, when they would have actually had numbers? Reynold calls out whoever’s on the bottom of the 8-person alliance. Everyone’s being pretty polite which doesn’t give us much idea of where this is going to end up. Corinne talks about the possibility of getting betrayed while the Favourites she’s trying to betray all shoot her murder eyes. The Fans all stick to their we’re-doomed spiel but the light of hope is dancing in their eyes. Probst is pushing everyone to give him something less diplomatic. Reynold finally caves and says that he thinks tonight’s vote won’t be a big surprise, but there will be some coming. He clearly thinks their original Sherri-then-blindsides plan is in action and joins Corinne for a drink in the Bad At Stealth Club. Say what you like about Phillip – I know I do – but at least he kept his mouth shut.

Probst is satisfied with this tribute of stupidity and it is time to vote. Votes are cast, and no one plays a hidden immunity idol.

The first vote is for Sherri. The second and third are for Sherri. The fourth, Sherri. The fifth, Sherri. The sixth is for Corinne and in that moment, she knows something has gone very, very wrong. DON’T. TELL. RANDOMS. PLANS. The seventh is for Corinne and Phillip starts to smile. The eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh votes are for Corinne. It’s 5 for Sherri, 6 for Corinne and one – Erik’s – vote left. Corinne’s face is in her hands.

The final vote is for Corinne. Erik has stuck with the Favourites, Malcolm’s plan has been blown out of the water, Phillip has eliminated his biggest enemy and Corinne has talked herself right out of the game. Never, ever trust a Sunday School teacher.

Corinne is gutted. She doesn’t look back.

Next week! Malcolm trusts a Sunday School teacher, Eddie hits on Andrea!