Previously on, Survivor: Phillip claimed to have thrown the Immunity Challenge, in order to take out Fan Julia. Corinne’s bonding with Michael angered Phillip, causing him to reconsider his vote. The rest of the tribe, however, agreed with Corinne, and Julia was voted off the Island.
Back at Bikal, Michael was relieved to still be in the tribe. Phillip pulled Corinne and Dawn aside to ‘confess’ that he threw the challenge. He said the idea had come to him in the middle of the game, and so he hadn’t warned them in advance. Corinne did not believe him for a minute. Even Dawn is surprised that Phillip can’t just admit he messed up on the challenge. They find him annoying.
Corinne interviews, “He’s so cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs that there’s no question that Phillip has to go.”
The next morning, Corinne’s really pleased that they kept Michael, whom she believes is the only member of the Fans with a brain. Dawn, however, is depressed. She knows there will soon be a merge, so she heads off to the water well for a private cry and pity party. With six kids, a million dollars would be life changing, and she is determined to win the title and prize. She feels you have to be a decision maker in the game, not let the game happen to you.
As the gang at Gota frolic in the water, they spot a boat approaching. It’s boatmail! They are told to gather up their things – they’re off to a new home. Merge time, baby! Andrea’s thrilled and excited to be going back to her old beach. Now that it’s an individual game, she wants to realign with the Favorite’s.
It’s Party Time as the two tribes merge. Corinne’s happy to see new faces, Cochran’s excited to have reached the merge in one piece, and Reynold just likes a good party! There’s a chest full of food and drink, and new green buffs for everyone. Dawn goes into mother mode, making sandwiches and “cutting the cheese,” as Michael notes. Food, glorious food!
They need a new name. After rejecting “Stanley,” they decide on Malcolm’s suggestion of “Enil Edam.” Andrea thinks it sounds pretty, and that it means “a new beginning.” Don’t tell anyone, but it’s really Malcolm’s mother’s name backwards – Madeline. Corinne thinks it’s the dumbest name ever, and that it has too many syllables.
Phillip takes Andrea aside for a hug and an update on Stealth R Us. It’s him, Dawn, Cochran and Andrea for Final Four. All she has to do is pretend she’s Boston Rob when she’s lying in bed at night. That’s what Phillip does, he assures her! He also warns her about Corinne’s divided loyalties. He feels Corinne will try and side with the Fans.
Andrea’s not that worried. There are still 8 Faves vs. only 4 Fans. She feels secure with her alliance, and her alliance within the alliance. She is a little concerned about the individual aspect of the post-merge, but feels pretty good overall. She just needs to keep an eye on people getting hungrier, starting to scramble and making big moves.
Corinne cozies up to Malcolm, who tells her he’s secure with Reynold, and Eddie. He’s also pretty sure he can count on Erik. They both agree that they can’t put up with Phillip’s antics much longer. She knows she can count on Michael as well, so they have an alliance of six to work with.
Malcolm’s bored with the ‘plodding along’ game he’s been playing with the Favorites. He’s ready to make a move. But with a fragile, six person alliance, he’s got to be careful. They just need to get through one vote with numbers intact. Then they’ll have the advantage.
Corinne has taken an instant dislike to Sherri. Malcolm agrees. The first person they’ll take out is Sherri, and then they’ll go after Phillip. Corinne is thrilled that she and Malcolm are on the same page. She can’t wait to blindside Phillip!
Oh dear – treemail sounds ominous. “Can you stomach the stress of Tribal Council? Have you bitten off more than you can chew?” Sounds like a nasty eating challenge, they figure. Reynold’s panicked, because eating horrible stuff is something he just can’t do. This will be a true test, he thinks. Cochran, on the other hand, relishes the thought of changing up his image. “It might make me seem a little bit more wild and dangerous.”
Jeff Probst welcomes the players to their first individual Immunity Challenge, and shows them the new individual Immunity Necklace. He then tells them that they will be having a food eating challenge, where they will race to swallow local delicacies. First up – beetle larva!
Andrea finishes her two larvae first, followed by Malcolm and Eddie. Corinne, Erik and Sherri are out of the challenge. The next group of diners includes Dawn, who almost jumps the gun, ready to seize the larva before Jeff’s Go. Cochran finishes first! Phillip’s next, and while Dawn, Reynold, and Brenda choke, Michael takes 3rd place.
Round Two involves slimy, wriggling shipworms, which Jeff says are not actually worms, but rather in the clam family. They are the ocean equivalent of a termite that can bore through ship’s wood, and a delicacy in the Philippines. That doesn’t seem to reassure Andrea, Michael, Cochran, Phillip, Malcolm or Eddie. Only three of them will go on to the third round. And that would be Malcolm, Eddie and Cochran, who wolf down the worms like bosses!
Yum! It’s Balut Time! Two players will move on to the final, after eating the duck embryo. After separating the embryo from the shell, they can even see the little feathers and beak. Hard to look at, even harder to eat. Eddie chokes, literally, on this challenge. Cochran and Malcolm move on.
No one, least of all Probst, can believe that Cochran is in the finals of an Immunity Challenge. “This is David and Goliath!” says Jeff. Cochran grins. “Bring it on.” Oh no, it’s pig brain! And a photo finish as Cochran gets the win! He dances around, shadow boxing, and taking a small victory lap. He’s on Cloud Nine, even more so when Jeff puts the Immunity Necklace on him.
“I’ve been waiting my whole life for this. You’re going to touch my shoulders. It’s going to be incredible.”
Well done, Cochran.
Back at camp, Cochran is still riding his high, aware that it’s likely the first and only challenge he’d ever win in competition. He’s absolutely delighted to be wearing the “badass” necklace. He still can’t believe he won against Malcolm, the Golden God. And he’s blown away that “somehow, everyone seemed happy for me.”
Malcolm doesn’t bear any ill will towards Cochran. He doesn’t plan on keeping him around. He’s glad it happened early, so Cochran could “check it off the bucket list.”
Eddie and Malcolm strategize, feeling that Phillip will definitely target either Eddie or Reynold. And they are right. He’s thinking a split vote between the two. Corinne disagrees. She tells him an easier vote would take out Sherri. None of the Fans like her. Phillip is still citing the Boston Rob handbook; get rid of the power players first. She’s furious that he won’t even listen to anyone else’s ideas.
So, she approaches Cochran, Dawn and Andrea with her plan. They are fine with getting rid of Sherri, but can’t understand why she’s against Phillip’s plan. She tells them, they need to make a statement. Cochran’s afraid that going against Phillip will give the Fans a clear picture of the Faves as a dysfunctional group, not trusting each other. It could give the Fans an opening they might regret later.
Malcolm’s team is on board with Corinne. With Erik, they have six, and Corinne thinks Dawn could go either way. Corinne shares that she wants to throat punch Phillip every day. Reynold can’t believe his luck in aligning with Corinne and Malcolm to bring down Phillip. He may have a chance after all! They fist bump in solidarity.
Corinne’s pumped. She takes Dawn aside and reveals her master plan; first, they’ll take out Sherri, and then next vote, it’s Phillip’s turn. Dawn’s conflicted. The last time she played, she came into this kind of info and didn’t share it. That was her downfall. So she tells Cochran that Corinne’s planning to blindside Phillip, and then the rest of the Favorites. And she’s got the Fans to do it. She’s got the guys in her back pocket.
Cochran panics. He and Dawn wanted to vote out either Reynold or Eddie, but now Corinne’s changed tactics. If they had numbers, they could instead vote out Corinne. Sherri would certainly be on board. And with Andrea, Brenda and Phillip, they’d have six votes. Cochran realizes that Corinne has actually insinuated herself into the group so subtly that they’ve been doing whatever she asks, without them noticing. They need a new plan, pronto.
Cochran talks to Andrea, who is nervous upon finding out Corinne’s plans. She thought everyone was on board for voting out Sherri, but now it seems that Corinne’s talking about possibly flipping. Could they maybe blindside Corinne? She thinks they can turn Sherri into an ally, but wonders if wishy-washy Erik will side with them or against them. He’s not talked strategy with anyone so far, and that makes him a complete question mark.
I know, let’s ask Phillip! Andrea outlines Corinne’s plans, and Phillip, of course, is incensed that she’d dare think of voting The Specialist out of the game. “How dare her (sic) try and get me out of the game!”
Phillip tells Sherri that if she votes for Corinne on his say-so, she’ll have automatically changed her fate. That will tell him if he can use her again. Sherri’s fighting for her life, so she’s grateful for the opportunity. However, she can’t stand Phillip. So, as Cochran interviews, his fate is resting in the hands of someone like Sherri, who’s desperate for some sort of footing or Erik, the ice cream scooper, who doesn’t like strategy, and has already proved himself to be incompetent at playing the game.
Erik’s confused. Malcolm wants him to vote for Sherri, but Andrea says to vote out Corinne. “I have no idea what’s going on. So I feel like I’m the swing vote. I’m suddenly becoming a very valuable player, which is so cool. I just wish I knew what I was going to do.”
With no one really knowing what will happen next, it’s surprising that everyone arrives at Tribal Council looking as cool, calm and collected as Survivors can look. Probst asks Michael if he’s worried, since only Fans have been voted out so far. Michael says it’s pretty clear to everyone that the Fans will be sticking together.
Corinne smirks, and says that no situation is ever helpless; she’ll always listen to a good idea, no matter whom it comes from. Cochran says he’d worry more about Corinne is she wasn’t so open and honest with her plans. Reynold argues that anyone can make a move that changes the logistics, so don’t count out the Fans so fast. Erik says it’s just the way of the game; there’s always someone at the bottom who’ll do whatever it takes to climb back up the status ladder. Andrea admits she’s more paranoid than the first time she played, because she knows that a lot of the players are very good at deceiving.
Corinne laughs, and says she can sum up this Tribal Council with a quote from Mike Tyson. “Everybody’s got a plan until you get punched in the face.” She adds, “Like everybody else, even the Favorites, as comfortable as we may seem, every one of us is waiting to get punched in the face.”
Sherri says she doesn’t think the Fans have a shot. Reynold admits that there’s a lot going on under the surface, more than anyone knows. But the bubble’s about to pop, maybe not tonight, but soon. He doesn’t think tonight’s vote will be a big shocker, but there are some shocks on the way. Cochran and Erik look taken aback at his words.
They vote. Phillip interviews that Corinne is one of the most selfish people he’s ever met in his life. Corinne says that Sherri played a good game, but unfortunately Corinne wasn’t looking for applications for new friends. But what did Erik decide?
No one plays a Hidden Immunity Idol. Probst reads the votes. Sherri gets the first five votes, but then the Corinne votes begin … all the way to the seventh. And Sherri becomes the 9th person voted out of Survivor Fans vs Favorites.
Sherri smirks, but Corinne just bites her lip and lets Jeff snuff her torch. That’s how a blindside works, Corinne! You never hear the ballot that gets you, to turn a phrase. Everyone else seems all smiles, but Jeff reminds them that this is probably not the last time someone will get surprised at Tribal Council. And off they go.
Corinne’s exit interview: “In Gabon, the people I played with were actually very close to my heart. Here I didn’t really like anybody other than Michael and Malcolm. I knew there were problems, which is why I was looking to move out to a different alliance. Unfortunately, I’m out of the game. You just got to look at it as, I got to spend 22 days in an awesome paradise, and I made some new memories.”
Next time on, Survivor: It’s time for Malcolm to make a move. “They thought they’d cut the head off the snake,” he grins. And Eddie flirts his way back into the game. Andrea says, “I don’t know who goes out here and actually falls for someone. I mean, it’s really rare.”