Survivor: Caramoan Review “Zipping Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”

Tonight’s brand new installment of Survivor: Caramoan returned with some cool challenges, mental breakdowns, and one of the craziest moments of any tribal council! Ever! This would have been a standout episode of any season of Survivor, but this 26th season has been so consistently strong that it felt like just another stellar episode in this great season.

We began with a rather amusing post-tribal scene, as the Stealth-R-Us alliance blatantly calls a meeting together without Malcolm. It was pretty funny hearing Malcolm amusedly realize that he’s at the bottom with Reynold and Eddie, as he’s clearly made a huge mistake in switching his alliance.

We get quickly from this amusing and light-hearted scene into a very emotional and heart-warming scene, and guess who’s at the center of it all? That’s right…Dawn! Dawn has admitted that it’s almost funny how emotional she’s been in this game, but she had one of her biggest meltdowns ever tonight when she lost her retainer and bottom teeth. It was a bit of a fake-out that we’ve had teaser scenes ever since last week making it look like Dawn would be quitting, when in reality she just said it seconds before Brenda found her lost retainer and she decided to stay after all.

We had a pretty boilerplate Survivor reward challenge, involving mud, balancing beams and shooting balls into nets. The challenge didn’t involve anything we haven’t already seen many times, and the reward was your very standard “Go to a nice place, eat some nice food” affair. I always enjoy when the rewards somehow involve the local culture or cuisine, so seeing them go to a very generic resort with an infinity pool isn’t exactly my idea of local flavor.

Dawn, meanwhile, continued her downward spiral back at camp. I seriously don’t get this girl, and I’m not sure if I believe her that she’s “Much tougher” back at home. While Cochran and Erik were both happy that she felt better after a good night’s sleep, it worries me that she is that emotionally unstable that she can go from crippling sadness to chipper happiness with just one good night’s sleep. I get that she’s sleep deprived and all that, but come on! So is everybody else!

Anyway, tonight’s episode was really all just leading up to the absolutely insane tribal council. I really can’t remember the last time that I was whooping and hollering during a tribal council this early in the season. As a big Malcolm fan, part of me was hoping that he would have had the foresight not to play that idol around his neck. He probably would have felt pretty stupid if he ended up going home with the necklace around his neck, but that thankfully wasn’t the case as Phillip is actually the next person sent home. The Specialist is now on his way to Ponderosa to hang out with Michael, and I can not wait to watch those two hang out together.

What an awesome episode! What did you guys think? Sound off in the comments section below!

Random Thoughts:

– Um, not to be that guy Jeff, but the contestants of the immunity challenge’s odds didn’t increase by 20% when Philip sat out. They increased by 5%.

– Malcolm’s huge grin at tribal when Andrea mentioned his idol was probably my favorite part of the episode.

– I’m surprised nobody else gave Phillip any crap for not even trying the challenge, and therefore being the first person in history to opt out of an immunity challenge without even trying it.