Survivor: Caramoan - Finale (Part 1)
Million Dollar Question
By Ben Willoughby
May 13, 2013
Erik. Dawn thought he would be in the final three. Erik voice-overs that “I was sick to my stomach the whole game” and that he finished fifth, same as last time. “I dunno, just fate” his voiceover says about being medevac’d on Day 36. I have mocked Erik, and he’ll never completely lose the stigma of "ice cream scooper who gave up his idol," but he didn’t play a terrible game and it must be heart-breaking to end the game like that. But it wasn’t a game to take in front of the jury either.
Anyway, Dawn, Eddie, Cochran and Sherri take the plaques they have been collecting and put them in the idol. “Burn this down!” says Dawn, as eager to get this over with as I am. Eddie is hoping for a physical immunity challenge, especially given Cochran’s advantage.
Probst sighting! “Come on in guys!” It’s the final immunity challenge. There’s a brief interview from Dawn about how Cochran has that advantage, and if he wins, I hope “we’re still trusting each other."
Probst describes the challenge. The castaways will race up a tower, and untie a bag of puzzle pieces. Then they will slide down and run over to deliver the bag to the puzzle station. Three stories, three puzzle bags. Once all the bags are done, they can start work on their puzzle, which is shaped like a fire. It’s full of squiggle pieces, like the tree puzzle we saw last season. Winner will get a chance to plead their case at the final Tribal Council.
Cochran gets to reveal his advantage, which is that he will not have to untie the puzzle bags. They will be waiting for him to pick up when he gets to there. Given how many knots we have seen need to be untied at previous challenges, this looks like a big advantage.
The challenge begins. Cochran races ahead, and is quickly up and down with his first bag while the others are still at the knots. He goes to get his second bag, and arrives just as Dawn and Eddie have just delivered their first. Sherri is still untying knots.
Cochran heads up for his third bag, and gets back at the same time as Dawn and Eddie return with their second bag. Cochran starts untying his bags. “Big advantage, don’t squander it!” urges Probst. Dawn and Eddie now have their third bags, while Sherri is still working on untying her last one.
Cochran still has no pieces in place when Dawn gets her first piece, then her second, then her third. Then Sherri comes out of nowhere, and gets two pieces right. Cochran? Still at zero. But then he gets a first and then a second.
Dawn now has five pieces, and Cochran is “starting to figure it out” and catches up to Dawn. “Maybe the least likely person to be dominate in challenges,” mocks Probst. Now he is at eight, just ahead of Dawn at seven and Sherri at six. Eddie, immunity challenge threat, is still at zero. But he gets his first piece and then his second.
Cochran is going places now. He has six pieces left, then five and “Dawn and Sherri need to pick it up." What happened to Dawn in this challenge? Cochran has an easy path from here – three pieces left, the one, then “Cochran! Wins! Immunity!”
“Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!” says Dawn, who seems genuinely happy for Cochran. “Do it, do it, do it, do it!” Cochran urges Probst to give him the necklace. Probst declares that Cochran is in “an elite group”, having won three individual immunities. And only two of them were due to an advantage in the game! And the other one was a food challenge! Cochran claims to Probst that he should be among the Donaldsons and Marianos. This may be a sign of a burgeoning ego, but I think he is mocking Probst’s love of the alpha male here. “So this goes back to Day One, the first time you played, when you said please call me Cochran."
“Yeah,” confirms Cochran, “I thought I proved myself last time” [footage not found] “but I wasn’t aware of what I could prove this time until I played this time around." Anyway, he interviews that things couldn’t have gone better for him. Everyone wants to work with him, and he is thinking it might be best to cut Dawn loose.
The unlikely story of Cochran’s triumph will be continued tomorrow.