Last time on, Survivor: The tribes merged, and Malcolm and Corinne seemed set to take control of the game. Cochran swept the competition to win the food challenge and immunity. And Corinne was blindsided at Tribal Council.
Things seem relatively peaceful at the new shared camp on Day 23. Reynold, who has a hidden immunity idol, feels confident in his alliance within an alliance with Malcolm and Eddie. Malcolm is still feeling safe as well, with his own idol, and the Fan boys on his side, though he misses ally Corinne.
My goodness! Phillip chats up Sherri. “I remember the first time I saw you on the beach, I said, ‘Damn, she’s hot!” Wow … heck of a way to recruit the latest Stealth R Us, member! Yes, Phillip wants Sherri on his team, and her new spy name will be “Tenacity.” He gloats that she’s learned being loyal to “The Specialist” will keep her in the game.
Sherri interviews that, “besides playing the game of Survivor, I have to play ‘The Specialists’ game. There’s fake organizations, there’s secret alliances …they’re all crazy out here!”
She also equates Phillip’s ‘big personality’ to Shamar’s, saying Phillip is her Shamar on the new merged tribe. “You give me two more votes, and I’ll be calling the shots with Phillip, and he’ll be coming to me, asking me what I think. And that’s my plan.”
Reward Challenge! Probst greets everyone and explains the game. They will divide into two teams of five. One member of each team will be the defender, while one at a time, members of the other team will leap off a platform into the water, and attempt to throw a ball past the defender and into the net. Each ball in the net scores a point for the team. First team to score four points wins reward, a picnic trip to a waterfall. They will rappel down the waterfall to the bottom, where lunch awaits them.
They divide by schoolyard pick. On the purple team are Erik, Eddie, Reynold and Cochran, with Michael as their defender. On the orange team are Phillip, Dawn, Andrea, and Brenda, with Malcolm as defender. Sherri, picked for neither team, will sit out the challenge, and not be eligible to go on the reward.
Right off the top, Brenda launches high, and gets a point for Orange. Erik does the same, as does Andrea. Even Cochran gets the ball in, tying the teams at 2 for 2. Cochran’s turning into a challenge machine, and he’s loving it, hooting and high fiving! Erik scores the winning goal for Purple. Erik, Eddie, Reynold, Cochran and Michael are going on reward! Malcolm doesn’t look very happy at the loss, but my goodness the jungle suits him!
So off the boys go, with Cochran both excited and terrified by the idea of rappelling down a 45 foot waterfall. But he’s game to try it, if not nearly as flashy as Reynold, who decides to jump down the rock face like James Bond.
On a large rock, there’s a spread of sandwiches, fruit and drink. The boys relax and flex their boy power, contemplating how awesome they are. The three Fans hope to entice Erik and Cochran to their side with sheer testosterone machismo. But research can’t have been big on Eddie and Reynold’s to do list before the show … Cochran is very uncomfortable with them.
Reynold thinks he’s got it under control. “Let’s do this All Guys Alliance. Let’s bro down. Let’s get these scheming, crazy girls who keep flirting with all of us outta here, and just, like, take the strong guys to the end,” he interviews.
Cochran’s not having it. “Reynold, Eddie and Michael must not know me that well if they think that emphasizing the testosterone unity between us ... We’re men! We’re men and we hate women and we’re gonna slap each other with towels in the locker room and chug beers — that doesn’t work with me. That doesn’t appeal to me at all. I won’t be engaging in any sort of masculine tomfoolery with these numbskulls,” he tells us. But he does seem to enjoy splashing about with them in the waterfall’s pool, in his own awkward way. I just wish they’d shown us the group rappelling back UP the waterfall. Had to be some fun footage there.