Survivor: Caramoan - Finale (Part 1)
Million Dollar Question
By Ben Willoughby
May 13, 2013
Anyway Erik’s pulse is very slow and blood pressure is 100/70, which is very low. Doctor Joe does not want Erik to go any further and pulls Erik from the game. Probst has some manly words for Erik: “Brother, after 36 days as a 'fan, coming back as a ‘favorite’, after 36 days you’re not going to finish this one either.” Way to rub it in, Probst. Cochran gives a brief interview where he tries not to seem too elated that a big obstacle has been removed from the game. “This game just got rocked again,” says Probst.
The others all crowd around to say goodbye to Erik. Erik tells Sherri that “I did not think you could do this game but you can do this game”. Cochran claims that he didn’t come here to make friends, but he found a friend in Erik. Erik tells Cochran that “you are the challenge monster now. Take up the reins.” Probst sends them all packing with a reminder that they now have a one-in-four shot at winning, and since they are low on food and near-collapse they will have to “figure something out.”
It’s difficult to tell exactly what happened there. We all saw the footage of Erik climbing impossibly tall coconut palms and having self-harming thoughts last episode. Reading between the lines of some later comments by Erik, he’d been sick for a while. Not just starving sick, but physically sick from the rigors of the game. Sort of like Dana was last season.
I believe Erik was holding it together because he could see himself going further in the game, but then with the surprise Brenda boot at Tribal Council everything just fell apart for him. He couldn’t see a path to making the final, so keeping mental control wasn’t as important and his body gave out. The timing is too coincidental for me. It’s like Erik was in an endurance challenge for 38 days, and all of a sudden he just didn’t have any more. Also, I’m neither a doctor nor a psychologist, but I am available for medical advice!
Anyway, poor Erik. It sucks to leave the game like that, and I was looking forward to seeing how he would have played the end-game. I look forward to plenty of attention being lavished on Erik at the reunion, with questions like “what exactly happened there?” and “how did it feel leaving the game like that?” Ha ha ha, I crack myself up.
After the credits, the castaways arrive back at camp. “Talk about crazy,” says Eddie. Dawn interviews about how tough Tribal Council was, first voting for Brenda and then losing Erik on the walk back. But in camp, she says, “But he had those rewards.” Eddie agrees: “he went on every reward." They both interview about how Erik leaving the game benefits them.
Meanwhile Cochran says that “after we exchanged a few sad pleasantries, he is already thinking about the game. He is “pumped to be in the final four”, but believes that Eddie is the most likely to win the next immunity. Really? Eddie? I know he’s a physically fit guy, but he has won zero immunity challenges so far and he once quit a challenge after ten seconds for donuts. The final immunity challenge is always “mind-over-matter,” which Erik will lose, or a “run an obstacle course, then do a puzzle at the end”, which Eddie will also lose because, puzzles. Anyway, Cochran thinks it’s important “to be the first to get to Eddie” for some reason.