On Day 20, knowing that a merge is on the horizon, Dawn needs some alone time. The last time she played, her game fell apart just after the merge because she was too passive. So, she does what any Mom worth her salt does - she goes to a well to cry it out.
OMG, how embarrassing. That's last season's #SurvivorBreakdown by a Mom at a well. So sorry. Here's Dawn at the well:
Dawn tells the doves how much this money could change the lives of her 6 children, & comes back from the well with a renewed determination to play Survivor. "You need to be a decision-maker in this game, you can't let the game happen to you, you have to be the one that makes the decisions. Those are the people that win."
Over at Gota, Alpha Beta is relaxing after what was probably a huge rush party the night before. A boat comes to whisk them away with a note & a key for their "new home".
When they realize what is happening, however, Cochran & Phillip give them the only acceptable Merge greeting, IMO.
They feast on sandwiches, wine, & delicious green apples while discussing a name for the new tribe. Stanley? Douglas? Malcolm suggests Enil Edam, & everyone agrees that sounds great (??). At least the flag looks great, thanks to Erik's skills.
Malcolm confesses Enil Edam is his Mom's name backwards.
A newly reunited Phillip & Andrea debrief & reinforce that their Inception alliance-within-an-alliance is with Cochran & Dawn. Phillip says: "When you're lying in bed tonight, pretend you're Boston Rob, because that's what I do."
Another reunited team debriefs on the beach - Corinne & Malcolm. They conclude that with Malcolm's Alpha Beta alliance & Corinne's new GBF Michael, they actually have enough votes to change things up now. Corinne says "I've yet to really be involved in a blindside. It's time. It's blindside time." Cue frightened looks across my living room.
Treemail comes & it hints at a gross food challenge for Immunity. Nobody is particularly pleased, but Reynold is very concerned & we learn that "eating disgusting stuff" is his one weakness. Sure, he can survive on ramen noodles & keg stands, but he's fighting his gag reflex already just thinking about Filipino delicacies. Eddie is worried that back home, girls won't want to make out with him because they'll remember him licking a cow's balls or something.
The Immunity Challenge is super gross, as expected. Fat & juicy beetle larvae, still racing around. Slimy shipworms that look like tiny sandworms from Dune. Balut - duck embryos with feathers & beaks to which Eddie's only response is "Why? Why?". After these elimination rounds, the final 2 are Malcolm & "the ginger Kobayashi", Cochran. Everyone is cheering for him, & you can tell he is, in reality show parlance, in it to win it. His swagger has been building up with every round, & he knows this last dish of pig brains will be the sweetest thing he's ever tasted. Cochran emerges victorious.
|"I've been waiting my whole life for this."|
Back at camp, Phillip tells Corinne they'll be splitting the vote between Reynold & Eddie. Corinne suggests Sherri, as nobody seems to want Sherri around anyway. Phillip didn't come up with that idea, though, so it can't happen. Also, & it pains me to say this, Phillip's plan is the smartest one. With Reynold's one weakness out of the way Challenge-wise, he or Eddie could easily go on an Immunity streak to the end. Get one of those guys out now.
Corinne attempts to sway Andrea & Cochran by saying they need to strong-arm Phillip the way he does them. In a confessional, Cochran points out that if the Faves don't vote together, that's signalling to the Fans that "we're a dysfunctional group that doesn't completely trust each other, there are openings for them to enter, & that we're apt to fall apart given the right catalyst."
Exorcist Tarsier listens in on a conversation between Corinne, The Handsome, & The Hotness. They agree to vote Sherri out, & because of Corinne's desire to throat punch Phillip every day, they'll take Phillip out next.
Corinne then tells Dawn this. Corinne, do you not recognize the signs of a Dawn in turmoil? The focused breathing, the comically widened eyes, the trembling lip...do not continue on this path. Corinne, however, does not know about the Inception alliance, & thinks Dawn's on the outskirts along with her. Dawn knows that keeping information to herself is what lost her the game previously, so she tells Cochran what she's learned, & the betrayer becomes the trusted confidant. Cochran says: "She's positioned herself in a way that we've been basically acquiescing to every single demand she's made, so it's a sobering situation. And if we don't come up with a plan, it could be devastating to my game & the games of my allies." So...
The info goes from Cochran to Andrea to Phillip. "My core alliance came through in a big way...how dare her try to get me out of the game." Phillip approaches Sherri, but instead of saying Would you vote Corinne tonight to save yourself?, he Specialist-ifies it so he sounds like an ass. "If I tell you to vote for Corinne & you did it, you will have automatically changed your fate, because this will tell me if I can use you again."
Andrea talks to Erik, who realizes he's the swing vote between Alpha Beta & Stealth R Us. Among the things he must weigh: is Sherri or Corinne more of a threat? Which choice improves his position? Would he rather be on a beach with Corinne or Phillip? Would he want Corinne sticking around at least long enough to make the jury, & berate everyone at the Final Tribal Council? (The answer from my perspective is YES).
At Tribal Council, Sherri says the Fans don't have a shot, but she says it with her signature shoulder-wiggle, which is her tell. Reynold says now is the time for anyone on the bottom to shake things up, as the Fans are 4 extra chess pieces to play.
Time to vote, & no Idols are played. There are 5 votes for Sherri, & then the Corinne votes start. Suddenly she isn't as excited about it being Blindside O'Clock. Erik sides with Stealth R Us, & Corinne is voted out.
While I love me some Corinne, & I'm sad to see her go, I have to applaud Dawn for being proactive this time around. She used the information she was given to better the outcome for herself & her alliance.
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