Survivor: Caramoan - Episode 11

Come Over to the Dark Side

By Ben Willoughby

April 25, 2013

Never ever ever claim you're taking control of the game.

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Erik is also pleased that Phillip is gone, because it opens up a lot more opportunities for him to talk to people that he wasn’t allowed to talk with while Phillip was around. Erik is especially pleased, because it means he’ll be able to choose at the last minute which option is best for him. As we’ve seen on past seasons, Erik doesn’t have a lot of form on making good decisions at the last minute while under pressure. So why does he relish it, exactly?

Next morning it’s Day 29, and we get a lot of footage of despondent, miserable castaways. Cochran said that last night’s Tribal Council left him “breathless” and “terrified,” and now this morning “people are really hungry and spirits have been low.” Brenda breaks down in sobs and Dawn comforts her by saying that they’ve been through a lot, like the Brandon days and the Phillip days, so... every day so far in the game. Shouldn’t they be happy now?

Then we get an interview from Brenda about how scary she found the huge surprises at last night’s Tribal Council, and how “losing control of the game was terrifying.” Brenda thinks she is in control of the game? In her defense, Brenda hasn’t seen her edit yet. But even so, now she’s worried because “there’s a lot more uncertainty of what these boys are capable of.”

After the break, Cochran announces tree-mail, and Dawn holds up envelopes with a grin. It’s time for Cochran, as a fan of the show, to tell us what the envelopes mean. Survivor food auction! Why doesn’t one of the “fans” tell us this? And I’m sorry to keep on with the mocking of the “fans” and making air quotes every time I describe them as “fans”, but every time there’s an interview with someone about being a fan of the show, Cochran is the interviewer’s go-to guy.


Isn’t it telling that I can't recall a single “fan” interview about what having a genuine Survivor experience means to them as a fan of Survivor? Wouldn’t that be what you’d want out of a Fans vs. Favorites season? Has there been a single “fan” interview that went “I couldn’t believe I was in an actual immunity challenge!” or “so this is what Tribal Council feels like” or “that was my challenge performance Probst mocked! I’m part of Survivor history!”?

Whatever else can be said about Cochran – and there is plenty to be said about Cochran – he is a true fan who is genuinely excited to be on the show and he has a passion for Survivor that none of these so-called “fans” have. You’d think each season, whoever casts Survivor would be actively looking for several people like Cochran (or Malcolm) who know the game and would be living their actual dreams to play it. Instead, we get maybe one real fan every second season or so, and returning castaways.

Anyway, Malcolm interrupts my diatribe to explain that at Survivor auctions there is usually some clue or advantage in the game up for grabs – as he learned from Abi last season - and he intends to get it.

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