'Survivor: Caramoan' Recap: Advantage, Cochran

Malcolm and Cochran buy advantages in the auction, but only one uses his.

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"Survivor: Caramoan - Fans vs. Favorites" -- "Come Over to the Dark Side"
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"Come Over to the Dark Side" - Andrea Boehlke, John Cochran and Reynold Toepfer during the Eleventh episode of "Survivor: Caramoan - Fans vs. Favorites."

Use it or lose it -- and $1 million!

In the game of "Survivor," you have to seize every opportunity that comes your way. Some of the dumbest moves in the show's history involved not playing an idol.

In Malcolm's case, it's not trying harder to find one. He buys a clue during the auction reward, but gets stymied by a watchful Andrea and gives up digging for it.

Meanwhile, Cochran buys an advantage in the immunity challenge and uses it to win (we never thought anyone would utter the words "Cochran" and "challenge master" in the same sentence, but it's happened!). And with numbers on his side, Cochran is able to orchestrate the vote against Malcolm. The "golden god" of "Survivor" has been destroyed; bow before the new pale, ginger-haired deity.

Dollars and sense

The remains of Stealth R Us are at sixes and sevens after last week's shocking tribal council. "I've participated in and certainly viewed hundreds of tribal councils. Never before have I seen anything quite like what happened last night at tribal council," Cochran says. "It left me breathless, it left me terrified."

Brenda starts crying because she doesn't like big moves, plus she's very hungry. Lucky for her and everyone else, it's time for that classic "Survivor" rite -- the food auction! Malcolm decides he's going to save his money for an advantage, but bids $20 on the first item of beers and nuts!

Reynold wins a slice of pizza, with Sherri using all of her $500 to buy the rest of the pie. Dawn does the same for a roast chicken. Then Jeff Probst reveals the next item: info on the game. Malcolm bids with his remaining money, and nobody challenges him! Seems stupid since everyone's seen what he can do with idols. And indeed, the info turns out to be a clue pointing to its location. Cochran gets the other big prize -- an advantage at the immunity challenge!

Then, Jeff reveals something priceless: letters from loved ones, for $20 per person. Unfortunately, Malcolm, Sherri, and Dawn are out of money. Of course, that causes Dawn to tear up.

Eddie wins the last item, and it turns out to be the biggest bowl of peanut butter in history. Everybody can share, and they can smear it on themselves to take some back home.

Back at camp, as people read their letters and lick peanut butter off their body parts, Malcolm and Reynold approach Sherri. They can guarantee her at least fifth place, whereas she's at the bottom of the six-member Stealth R Us. If they can get her and Erik onboard, they'll have enough to turn the game around.

In the middle of the night, Malcolm tries to sneak away to dig for the idol, but Andrea wakes and follows him. That leads to a standoff -- he won't dig while she's there, and she won't leave him alone. Finally, he agrees to go back to camp with her. Bad, bad, bad move.

Rope-a-dope

The immunity challenge is an endurance one -- the players have to hold a rope with one-third of their body weight attached. With his advantage, Cochran can move up his hand two knots. He gets his money's worth, since he prevails over Eddie at the end. "I am the biggest challenge threat in this game," Cochran says, only half joking.

Malcolm feels like he can't go digging for the idol (why?!), so he decides to just bluff. He re-engages with Sherri, who seems open to flipping. Vote for Andrea, he says, and the two pinkie swear on it. Meanwhile, Reynold is buttering up Erik, who's really enjoying being a swing vote.

Cochran, Andrea, and Dawn argue about whether or not to split votes. Maybe Malcolm did find the idol, and they want to draw it out. But what happens if someone flips? That's all it will take to disrupt their plan.

At tribal council, Jeff probes into shifting allegiances. Reynold declares it might not be six versus three anymore, while Sherri muses about her place in the pecking order. Cochran acknowledges that the Three Amigos only need one person to switch.

Everybody votes, and it ends up being a three-way tie between Malcolm, Reynold, and Andrea -- which means Sherri broke her pinkie swear and Erik decided to float back to the faves. The Three Amigos weren't able to prevail. Malcolm looks forlorn.

They vote again, and the 12th person voted out and the third member of the jury is Malcolm. He heaves a huge sigh as Jeff snuffs out his fire. And so do we. We'll miss the conniving golden god!

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"Survivor" airs Wednesdays at 8 PM on CBS.  

 

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