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A Few More Thoughts About Last Night's Survivor Caramoan

By now, you've obviously read my Survivor Caramoan recap for BuddyTV.  Right?

But that article has a tight deadline, and it is expected to be done in recounting the episode format.  This means that sometimes I don't get all my thoughts and analysis in that I'd like.  I did neglect to really focus on how intriguing the Tribal Council ended up being last night.

I'm under the belief that Phillip and Andrea put on a bit of show to lure out any possible idols floating about.  This may be one of the first times ever that I actually am impressed with a move pulled off by Phillip.  Though I'm going to assume it was an Andrea mastermind.  It could also be possible that Phillip was just being Phillip, but then it wouldn't explain why they voted out Michael and not cast votes at Malcolm.  Then again, I'm being a fool for trying to put in logic for the things that the secret agent of nick name creation does.

What I really failed to mention last night was the brilliant move by Malcolm.  He actually convinced Reynold to give up his idol, when this makes Reynold a huge target going forward. It not only allows Malcolm to keep his own idol, but absolutely everyone will assume Malcolm can't have an idol, because why would he ask Reynold?  This now gives Malcolm at least 6 more days to try to persuade the lower tier of the big alliance like Brenda and Erik to flip sides.  Though he so far hasn't proven to really be able to weed out the people that are on the outs, considering he keeps going to Dawn and Sherri.

There is a good chance they'll try to take Malcolm out next round.  He can play his idol and send someone home.  This is where it gets trickier.  He will have to be pretty smooth to convince Reynold it was okay that he used his idol when he already had his own.  Though it isn't like Reynold has proven be an intellectual giant.  Plus it isn't like Reynold has many other options other than aligning with Malcolm at this point, because his only other ally is Eddie.

Malcolm is a smart player, even though confiding in Dawn was a brain fart.  He doesn't seem like a player who gives up, and so we will likely have a fight next week.  He does have time to strategize and try to find cracks in the major alliance.  It would definitely be cool if he could pull a Russell from Survivor Samoa, where he went to the end despite being in the minority alliance.  We haven't seen a comeback season like that since then.

I unfortunately don't see it happening.  I do think he'll send someone home from the majority alliance next week thanks to his idol.  After that, his run will likely be over.  His only hope is that Reynold and Eddie get targeted first.  The fact is that all three are challenge threats, and Malcolm is the only one that also is a threat due to having a functioning brain.

Plus Eddie is Andrea's little play thing.  Eddie may be kept around as the rat that divulges any potential blindsides to Andrea.  Reynold appears to tell Eddie everything, so Andrea can get a lot of info for at least two or three more episodes.  I could see Eddie possibly even outlasting Erik, since Erik is a huge challenge threat and also someone who appears to be pretty likable thus a Final Tribal Council threat.  He also is basically the outlier of his tribe, and not even sure if he ever became an official "Stealth R Us" member.

Who are the favourites to win this thing?  Here is my quick thoughts on each player.

Dawn:  She is in an amazing spot at the moment.  Everyone seems to think she is a non-threat, despite being one of the castaways playing the hardest.  She is in the strong core alliance with Andrea, Phillip and Cochran.  She doesn't ever seem to be a target from Malcolm and company, despite ratting them out twice.  The only negative is she seems to have a breakdown next week, but then again, she did that all the time her first season too.  Facts of Life Lisa had several breakdowns, and she made it to the final three.  I'm thinking the teaser is a red herring, and Dawn will be around for a long time.

Cochran:  He gets tons of air time, which is great because his observations are funny, but it also likely means he is around for a long while.  He also seems pretty alert to what is going on, and is one of the more strategic players.  I could see him and Dawn making a big move to take control of the game over Andrea and Phillip at some point.

Sherri:  She is a wild card.  There has been moments this season that proved she is a smart player.  She is also the biggest outlier in the majority alliance.  But she is also the ultimate swing vote for anyone in the Favorite alliance that wants to take over the game.  I could see Cochran and Dawn taking her in if they want to make a big power play.  She'll need to make her own big move if she has a chance to win this game.

Erik:  He sometimes only seems vaguely aware he is playing Survivor.  His one strategic move this entire season was aligning with the person who left the game first.  He is amazing at the physical challenges, and could go on a huge immunity run.  He has potential to be in the final three, but his lack of TV time makes me think he will just fall short.

Brenda:  She was a great player her first season.  This entire season she has been invisible.  I can only assume she hasn't been playing much yet.  I think her strongest alliance is with Erik, who isn't a mental powerhouse.  There is a chance she could become the swing vote if I'm right about a Cochran and Dawn power play, but I'd think Sherri is the better option for Cochrawn since she'd have less friends on the jury.

Andrea:  She is controlling the game, but unfortunately for her, she is obviously controlling the game.  Usually someone who is this strong and obvious this early in the game is ripe for a blindside.  I'd assume she would be Malcolm's target when he plays his idol.  Then again, her original season had the most blatant and controlling player ever in Boston Rob, and he won his season.  If she can have strong alliances with Dawn and Cochran (two smart players) she has a strong chance to win this thing.  The key will be to avoid the Malcolm idol blindside.

Eddie:  He isn't winning.  He will only be in the final three if he goes on a huge immunity run or if Andrea makes a massive brainfart.  His strategy currently is spewing all his secrets to Andrea and charming her by begging to stay in the game.  I can see him outliving Reynold and maybe even Malcolm, but there would need to be a massive shift in the game for him to go much farther than sixth.

Malcolm:  A really smart player that pulled a "Corinne" to put him in a bad spot.  He still has his idol, but he would need to be the ultimate smooth schemer to create another alliance to get him back in this game.  He could do it, and it would be awesome if he did.  I'm thinking he has about two or three episodes left unless he finds another idol and gets a huge immunity run.

Reynold:  He may be one of the cockiest stupid players of all time.  He just makes naïve and mind numbing moves on a weekly basis.  I could see him be the next gone if the main alliance does a split vote and Malcolm plays his idol.  His survival will be based off the group entirely targeting Malcolm, and not remembering a second idol could be in play.  His best chance of going far is to not hold a grudge against Malcolm, and for him to create a new alliance to take over the game.

Phillip:  He's delusional, and likely very annoying for everyone still in the game.  I want him to go far, because he still makes me laugh and gives me great material to write about.  He does have the power alliance of Andrea, Cochran, and Dawn.  If there is a shift in power, he'll likely be one of the first casualties.  I do know that there is no way he is winning this game, even if he makes it to final three.

What are your thoughts and predictions from this season?