Mary Beth’s 2Cents on the Finale: Night 36 and we are down to the final five – 3 Faves and 2 Fans. The remaining group consists of Erik, Cochran, Sherri, Eddie and Dawn. But wait! Immediately following Tribal Council Erik starts walking funny and saying he's dizzy and everything is spinning out of control. He lies down on the jungle floor and Probst calls in the medic. His blood pressure is dangerously low and he's severely malnourished and dehydrated. I don't understand how this can even be true because he just ate a ton of food the day before on the boat with his loved ones!
Anyway, they say he is, so the doc starts some IV fluids and declares that Erik's time has come and he can no longer play the game. So, hasta la vista Erik! Everyone gives him a fond farewell. Especially the always over emotional Dawn, who hugs him like he's her son and cries on his shoulder as they take him away. Man, I do not like her!
It doesn't take long for them all to get over his departure and they start getting down to the business of the game. Cochran knows that with Erik gone, Eddie has suddenly become someone to watch because he holds a swing vote. He makes the first move to talk with him and they make a deal for the final three, Cochran, Eddie and Sherri, and they shake on it.
Tree Mail announces a Reward Challenge and they're all hoping it's for something to eat but, instead, it's for an advantage in the upcoming Immunity Challenge. In the Reward Challenge, they have to hold a handle balancing a table while they build a house of cards on it with their other hand. If they drop it, they have to start over. Cochran takes an early lead but soon sends his cards flying. Sherri then gets the lead but her cards take off too. Dawn gets one card away from winning before her house blows down. The game goes back and forth like this for some time until, finally, Cochran wins the reward! This makes his third individual challenge win! He's a challenge beast this time around!
Back at camp, everyone takes a turn talking about Dawn. Sherri doesn't want her to go to the final three because she knows Dawn will play up her adopted family and how much the money will help them all. Cochran laments that he's seen Dawn have an almost daily break down and he's had to give her constant reassurance to ease her paranoia.
Then, they are off… off to take that long walk for the Survivor Right of Passage – remembering all of their fallen comrades. I hate this part of the show. It's clear that none of these people are remembering any of the others in the sentimental, mushy way that the producers are looking for. For most of the fallen names they can't even think of one thing to say. Still, they do this every season. Sheesh! I suppose some fans like this part but to me it's just plain silly!
The Final Immunity Challenge is a good one. Each person must run up three flights in a tower to untie and retrieve three bags of puzzle pieces. When they get each bag they slide down and then go back up for the next one. Cochran won an advantage in this challenge which was he didn't have to untie his bags! That gave him a huge lead and he was up and down three times before some of the others even had their first bag! But then Cochran couldn't figure out that the puzzle was supposed to look like fire.
He struggled and suddenly both Dawn and Sherri were taking off ahead of him. For a while it looked like Dawn was going to win it but finally Cochran got it and put that sucker together like… well, like it was on fire. Cochran won Immunity! He was now in the driver's seat right up to the finale! So awesome! He even gets a wee bit cocky when he says, “It's lonely at the top!” Ha ha!
Right away, Dawn and Eddie start scrambling. Dawn goes for a walk with Cochran and, of course, bursts into tears. She fully trusts Cochran and doesn't know that Cochran is considering getting rid of her.
Eddie bends Cochran's ear too. He tries to convince him that he's the best person to take to the finale because, in his words, he's “an idiot” and no one will vote for him. You gotta give the jerk kudos for trying. But Eddie's right. He is an idiot! He actually explained that if he won a million dollars he was going to open up a dog kennel with a bar because he loves dogs and bars. I'm not making that up. And, yes, he was serious. So off they go to another tribal.
At Tribal, when answering Probst questions, Dawn and Eddie do their best to point out the flaws in each other’s game. Sherri just sits there comfortably knowing she's completely safe from elimination. Cochran, of course, has Immunity. In the end, Cochran stays true to Dawn and Eddie takes the walk of shame. He actually hung around a long time for someone who never did anything strategic or won anything. He was just there! Probst tells them all to go get some rest. They have one more night at camp and then the Final Tribal Council… and it's gonna be a good one!
The Booth’s Bits on the Final Tribal Council: It was a good one, indeed! Award-winning host Jeff Probst first introduced the jury – Michael, Phil, Malcolm, Reynold, Andrea, Brenda, Erik and Eddie. He then allowed the three remaining castaways to make their opening statements. As usual, there was nothing earthshattering.
Dawn made some strange contorted faces while attempting to convince the jury that she was humbled to be before them. The only thing her disingenuous prattle accomplished was a shot of Malcolm rolling his dreamy eyes. I’m sure Mary Beth appreciated this.
Sherri’s opening wasn’t much better. She revealed that she owned a small business with 75 employees and her plan was to play Survivor the same way she operated this business. She then started freaking out, speaking gibberish and couldn’t put together a coherent sentence. She must have one hell of a business.
Cochran admitted he was nervous and that being in the finals, while being somewhat surreal for him, it was an honor. He then admitted he was a nerd, something all of America had been aware of the first time the pasty ginger appeared on Survivor. However, it was refreshing to hear him say he was cool with it.
Hunky Malcolm was the first member of the jury to interrogate the three finalists. He had nothing for Sherri, probably because she was still trying to compose herself. He congratulated Dawn before telling her she should have fought harder trying to be a cold-hearted bitch. He then asked Cochran what was the one quality he possessed that made him so good. Cochran responded, “Because I’m insecure.” Hmm…
Fireman Eddie was up next and asked Sherri if she was “carried” to the finals. When she said no, he laughed hysterically. He then told Dawn she was a phony and that she was fragile and weak. When he got to Cochran, he more or less said after you win this thing, would you go have a beer with the Three Amigos – himself, Malcolm and Reynold. Cochran said he most definitely would belly up with the boys!
After Phil, the Specialist, congratulated all three, he promptly kicked Sherri out of Stealth R Us. Wow, didn’t see that one coming! After that shocker, he attacked Dawn and her daily emotional breakdowns. Phil said it made each day unpleasant. On the other hand, he stated he thoroughly enjoyed playing the game with Cochran.
Erik took his time as an opportunity to call Dawn a turncoat. Although Dawn didn’t like the comment, she took it much better than Sherri did when Erik called her a coattail rider and nothing more than a seashell on the beach. She immediately started spazzing out and arguing with Erik. It quickly degenerated into a “You sit down!” - “No, you sit down!” match. It made me feel uneasy…
Michael came up there wearing his smart girl glasses and basically said nothing. I really don’t see what Corinne saw in this guy. Okay, he’s gay, but there has to be more than that.
Next, Reynold told Dawn he didn’t like her from the get-go. He then went on to say that NOBODY liked Dawn, that she was so fake. Then, he busted into uncontrollable laughter. The rest of the jury must have felt the same way, because they were chuckling as well. I believe Malcolm enjoyed it so much he even did a knee slap.
After the snickering finally died down it was Andrea’s turn. Andrea confuses me. I thought she was from Wisconsin, not California. If she said “AWESOME!” one more time I was gonna through something at the TV. Fortunately for my Toshiba she told Dawn she was “neat”. Sheesh…
And then it was time for Brenda. The lovely, demure fragile little flower that Dawn had turned her back on and betrayed only days ago. This was the pièce de résistance.
With tears streaming down her dimpled cheeks, it was obvious that Brenda took the earlier blindside very personal. She glossed over Sherri and asked Cochran why he turned on her and seemed satisfied when he told her it was him or her.
She wasn’t so easy on Dawn. She brought up how she was there for her when Dawn was at her most vulnerable, threatening to quit the game because of her lost dentures. She sobbed as she told Dawn how much pain she had caused her. Brenda said the pain was so great that Dawn needed to feel a little heartbreak. This was good.
And it got better.
Brenda then shouted at Dawn to take her teeth out in front of everyone! The very teeth she had recovered for her. Initially, Dawn was shocked at the request and refused. Brenda would have none of it. Again she shouted, “Take your teeth out!” This time Dawn when shook her head, she was trembling. She did not want to be humiliated.
But Brenda would not be denied. No longer crying, she stared straight through Dawn and hissed, “Do it!” A quivering and defeated Dawn finally complied and removed her lower dentures in front of Brenda and millions of viewers all over the world. Looking like a rotting jack-o'-lantern left over from Halloween, Dawn said, “There! Are you happy?”
I know I was! That was AWESOME! Sorry Andrea, I had to. Man I love this show! And we still don’t know who would crowned the Sole Survivor and receive the giant check for $1,000,000…
Jamie’s Prognosis on the Reunion Show: He walks by the light of the moon, clutching his bamboo container. His panther like swagger is timeless and seamless as he morphs from jungle campfire to Hollywood studio… oh Probst!!! You had me at hello all those years ago and I still love you so… oh wait. Sorry. That was supposed to stay in my head. Ah hem…
The Reunion show began like it always does with cleaned up and fattened up versions of our three finalists; the ridiculous Sherry, totally not deserving of ANY votes, weepy and phony Dawn (even her pristine white teeth are apparently fake). And MY MAN COCHRAN looking like a million bucks with a dapper tie loosened at the neck and all traces of sunburn and chafing gone from his milky white skin.
Oh how our little Survivor has grown up! So if you’re reading this blog you probably know that my man COCHRAN won. Not to brag or anything PV and MB but THAT’S MY GUY!!!! Let me just say this. If anyone deserved to win this season it is Cochran. He is the ultimate Survivor geek. Not only is he smart but also he is also funny, self deprecating and sincere. He has blossomed from Survivor Zero to HERO. I loved to hear him say that he has learned to embrace who he is. Be proud of who you are Cochran!! Forget going back to Harvard, America loves you!!
Mary Beth, your Malcolm looks to be heading towards a career in modeling and/or acting, what with the goatee and flowing mane and all. But I have to say that my favorite Malcolm moments tonight came earlier at tribal council when he was wearing one of my daughter’s headbands and giving what appeared to be “come hither” looks into the camera.
I have to say that Malcolm became my number two this season and I am very happy that he won the fan favorite vote. And coming in at number three? Eddie! Yes siree… any man whose ultimate goal is to open a bar with an attached dog park is my personal hero. I can think of nothing that I would like to do better than take my dog to a bar.
Biggest surprise of the night? Brenda phoning it in from home because she is super pregnant. So many questions left unanswered. Is she married? When did that happen? When the heck did they tape this thing? Is Eddie or Erik the daddy?
Special Agent Phillip always provides entertainment. Tonight he be-knighted Jeff Probst with a “Stealth R Us” moniker and I LOVED it: “The piercing eagle”. YES! I will say nothing more.
Phil’s love of Boston Rob lead to a guest appearance of the Hall of Famer himself, always a pleasure for me but I am sure NOT for Paul. Flashback… “GO BOSTON!!”
The producers finally realized that it is best to limit those on stage to the final 10. We really don’t care about or even really remember any of the others at this juncture so it is a good plan to have them sitting out in the audience.
There was another “special” appearance of season one favorites Rudy and Richard Hatch. Rudy proves the point that when you are super old and a former Navy Seal you can get away with saying pretty much anything you want on TV. And I do not wish to see Richard Hatch naked anymore, even if his man parts are all blurry. Go away Hatch.
So that was the Reunion Show in a nutshell. At the end of the show Jeff (I like to think of us on a first name basis) gave us clues about next season’s twist and it looks as if Dexter will be a contestant. Stay tuned for Season 864 coming in the fall of 2013! And thanks to Mary Beth and Paul for another great season of blogging.
Until next season… from the booth.