Survivor: Caramoan Review “Last Push”

Here we are, ladies and gentlemen! Survivor: Caramoan concludes its 26th season tonight with the finale episode “Last Push”, and what a great season it’s been! Full of great blindsides, incredible tribals, and more than one mental breakdowns, I almost don’t want this incredible season to end! It’s really a testament to the strength of Survivor as a series that 13 years in it’s just as engrossing and exciting as ever, and there’s still a dozen people surrounding me in my living room to enjoy tonight’s finale!

Well it definitely didn’t take too long for the drama to get started, as Erik quickly gets a heartbreaking early exit due to starvation and dehydration symptoms. It definitely goes to show how tough this game is. Anybody claiming that the contestants are fed or watered behind the scenes should be eating their words, as Erik’s plummeting heart rate can attest; this game is no joke. You’ve got to feel bad for Erik, as he was so close to making it to the end last time. I really hope they bring him back for a third try, as he’s really had some rough luck in the game thus far.

Tonight’s reward challenge was the house of cards one that we’ve seen multiple times on Survivor, and for the first few minutes it looked like nobody was going to complete it! Each player dropped their stack at least twice, and I did not that think that Cochran was going to be the one to finally pull through. I’m not sure that two individual challenge wins qualify him to be deemed the “Challenge beast”, but I guess now that he’s won three it’s a little more impressive.

Next we had the very polarizing walk down memory lane, as the final four remember their fallen comrades. Just about everybody else at my Survivor party hates the walk down memory lane with a passion, but I personally enjoy it quite a bit. It’s nice to hear from players that have been long gone, as some of these people barely got any face time. I had completely forgotten that players like Allie and Francesca were even in this game, so it’s nice to hear them actually get to speak up a little bit.

Anyway, we head straight from that to the final immunity challenge of the season, as Cochran really does become the “Challenge beast” by winning his third immunity necklace and fourth challenge overall. My living room erupted in cheers and applause as Jeff’s arms shot up to announce that Cochran won the challenge, therefore guaranteeing that he’ll make it to the final tribal council. This, of course, puts Cochran in the enviable position of basically being able to pick who goes to the finals with him.

Cochran makes the tough choice, but the right choice, when he decides to keep Dawn in the game over Eddie. Eddie is the only person in the game that really hasn’t upset anyone, so his charming attitude and nice smile could have definitely accrued some jury votes.

Speaking of jury votes, we had a great final tribal tonight! I can’t remember anybody choking as badly as Sherri did tonight. She could barely get her opening statement out without pausing and “um”ing her way through it, and then she barely gets any questions. The one question she did get was from Erik, who she summarily shut down and told to sit. When the one instance of her making a strategic move was brought up, the fact that she switched from the Fans alliance to the Favorites alliance, she never brought it up after that. Why not try to emphasize that moment?!

Dawn had an even worse experience, though, as she was raked over the coals the entire time and then was made to take out her retainer by Brenda! I didn’t actually think she would do it, but I respect her for going through with it.

The best tribal performance by far was Cochran, as he completely controlled the tribal council conversation from start to finish. You can really tell the guy is a law student, and a huge fan of the game to boot.

Cochran’s performance at tribal, and a great performance in the entire game, makes Cochran the well-deserved winner of Survivor: Caramoan, and joins the ranks of Survivor all-stars who will forever be known by their last name! I really was very happy for Cochran, and I hope this breaks the mold for more bookish or nerdy Survivor fans to try their hand at it.

So what did you think of the winner, and the whole season in general? Do you wish somebody else won, or were you as happy as I was that Cochran won? Sound off in the comments section below!

Random Thoughts:

– Why don’t any of the producers or cameramen ever tell Eddie to pull up his shorts? It’s probably pretty annoying for the editors to go in and blur him out every episode.

– Did anybody else think that Eddie looked a little bit like Tim Tebow when he was clean shaven?

– What did everybody think of the new style for the reunion show? Only the jury in attendance? Twitter questions? People making appearance via satellite? Definitely a different feel.