And that’s a wrap for Survivor 26 Caramoan: Fans Vs Favorites 2.
John Cochran has been crowned sole Survivor and got his definitely deserved check of one million bucks, let’s wrap this season on this blog too with a final post about it.
It was a very strange season indeed. A terrible terrible one premerge. For the first time in my life I considered stopping watching a season of Survivor. I’m glad I didn’t as the second half of the season was very solid and had some incredible moments.
What about this finale?
Well, while it was very predictable, it was still fun to watch for the most part.
Let’s break it down:
The Final Three
– John Cochran sole winner of Survivor Caramoan: Once again congrats John. While his win has been predictable (and predicted) for weeks, it was still a great win. A lot of people consider his speech at the final tribal council as perfect, and I believe that it was close to it (I still believe that Todd’s performance in China is the best one). He owned all of his moves, and he managed to play a somewhat under the radar game. He orchestrated (with Dawn for the most part) a lot of the votes (almost all of them really) and not once he was in danger to be voted out. As he said, it was all about timing: voting out the right person just before they start thinking about wanted him out. He also gave a lesson to all the camera whores out there who play as outrageously and ridiculously as possible to get air time *cough* Phillip *cough* you can play a subtle game and get a lot of air time. The secret is giving great confessional interviews.
Finally, I can’t write a few lines about Cochran without mentioning how much he has changed from his first season. I guess it’s simply part of becoming an adult, but now he accepts who he is, shortcomings and all, and that gives him that great and funny view of the world and himself. I remember how disappointed in him I was in South Pacific, and even how annoying he was. This time around, he nailed it every time: game play, strategy, confessionals.
I’m glad he’s now part of the family if Survivor winners.
– Dawn Meehan: I thought final council was going to be a cry fest for her, worse than Amanda’s tribal councils in terms of defending herself properly. No. Actually, she had a quite strong showing during that tribal, but the writing was on the wall, harm had already been done. As I wrote last week, after Brenda’s blindside there was no way she could win, that elimination was the last straw. Dawn had a pretty decent strategy coming in the game, and it could have worked if she had been more emotionally stable. Creating these bonds partly because of her emotional outbursts is what did her in. When you get voted out by a person with whom you created strong bonds, a person you helped cheer up and that you helped not lose her sanity, a person that needed your shoulder almost every day, you do feel betrayed, you do get pissed at that person, it’s only human. When you get voted out by a person with whom you just hung out with, shared a few jokes and that’s pretty much it, you’re not mad at that person, you think they outplayed you and give them props for that. That’s what Dawn failed to see. Sure, Cochran and her were as guilty in pretty much everyone’s elimination, but they hadn’t formed the same bonds with the people they were eliminating.
– Sherri Biethman: Let’s start with her opening statement. Was it the worst ever or what? Way to lose a few votes when you start by telling the jury that by the way, you lied to them all along about your profession and that you’re already pretty much a millionaire. In some circumstances that could be inconsequential (well, it kinda was, as she wasn’t gonna get any vote anyway), but it’s simply not a thing to say then and there. Apart from that I wonder if she was really clueless about her real position in the game. I guess she was. Sure, she was one of the only strategic players in her original tribe and she controlled it pretty well until the swap. But then she lost all the control she had over the game and never regained it, although I remember a few confessionals where she mentioned being in control or something. What made her think she still had control over the game post-merge. Not sure, not that I really care. Oh and lashing out at a jury member (Erik) really?
It kinda was a bitter jury and then it wasn’t. Sure everyone was mad at Dawn (even Phillip, why was that?) but they still rewarded the person who played the best game out there. It just helped him that the jury happened to be mad at the other person that could have been a threat to win hadn’t she messed up all of those “relationships”. On the other hand, Cochran wouldn’t have brought Dawn to the final tribal council if she had had the slightest chance to win.
I’m not going to detail every jury performance, but I must have a few words about the two other final five contestants.
– Erik Reichenbach: I feel bad for him. Losing the game, once again in a terrible way. Being medivaced sucks. Every single time. But being medivaced at final five is a special sort of sucking. Also, I’ve found this medivac a bit strange. Don’t contestants always pass out from lack of wood or water? What causes his to be worth an evacuation? Probably fear of an another Russell Swan in Samoa type of accident. Yes, I guess it was pretty serious as Erik barely reacted when the doctor told him he was taking him out of the game. Now in the jury, Erik was strange too. He hadn’t been voted out, so why did he seem mad as if he had been voted out?
– Eddie Fox: Eddie is still an idiot (even himself admits it) but a quite endearing one. However his lack of understanding of the game was constantly embarrassing. He really thought he had a shot at winning? And he really thought that Dawn was a threat to win. Oh well.
Apart from that, not a super memorable jury apart from the incident that everyone will be talking about if all the social media furor from last week is any sign. Yes, I’m talking about the second part of the Brenda/Dawn debacle.
So yeah last week the whole world was mad at Dawn for betraying Brenda. Now, the whole world seems mad at Brenda for humiliating Dawn at tribal council.
Well… Here is my take on the thing:
-What Dawn did to Brenda was not cool. Brenda had every right to be mad, but I fully understand why Dawn did it. And while I don’t approve of Dawn’s act, I’m not mad at her either. Why is that? Not “because it’s just a game” but because I don’t know Dawn, all I know of her is a heavily edited version of her, not even her in her environment, but her in a very unique environment that tends to exacerbate everything on an emotional level.
-What Brenda did to Dawn was not cool. Dawn had every right to be mad, but I fully understand why Brenda did it. And while I don’t approve of Brenda’s act, I’m not mad at her either. Why is that? Well, see just above.
The Reunion Show
Every season I have the feeling that I say that the Reunion Show sucked, but truth is that they have sucked a lot lately.
Yet, it started on a good note: there was going to be no Hantz in the Reunion show. Probst seems to have finally understood that this family is poison. And yet, the Hantz have managed to troll Survivor one (hopefully) last time. To obfuscate the fact that Brandon was not invited, the pre-jury contestants were in the audience and not on stage. What a slap in the face to them! I mean, the best way to deal with the situation would have been to have the premerge boots in their seats as usual (Probst didn’t even have to ask them questions, we didn’t really have to heat about most of them), and to simply ignore the fact that Brandon was absent.
Apart from that Probst had to impose her the same BS as usual. To completely ignore some players (Sherri, Erik, Michael) and instead waste time interviewing people in the audience, like this little girl who didn’t ask for anything and made us lose some precious minutes with her useless comments.
And did we have to have Boston Rob again? Especially because he obviously was there for one thing and one thing only: to promote his book.
Now that it seems that we are rid of the Hantz, could the same be done with the Mariano?
While I was happy to see Rudy again after so long, that was very random and a waste of time too.
The apologies between Dawn and Brenda were so forced by Probst it was a bit embarrassing to watch.
Did I forget something?
Well, that’s a wrap for this season of Survivor. I’ll be back very soon with a post about that cryptic new season “Blood vs Water” thing (I gotta warn you, it’s about casting, the other spoilers I indulge in).
Finally, I invite you to read the usual suspects blogs, sites and podcasts:
- Rob has a website and a podcast and excellent “staff bloggers” and a great “know-it-alls” show with Stephen Fishbach. Rob Cesternino was “the smartest player to never win the game” (with Fishbach in my opinion), he now has the best website about Survivor.
- Superjude‘s blog, always interesting.
- Stephen Fishbach also has a column with People.com.
- Dalton Ross the best recapper out there (you may have noticed that I don’t care much for recaps – honestly I don’t see their point – but Dalton Ross’s are always hilarious and very insightful at the same time).
- Jeff Pitman at True Dork Times is also one of the most hilarious (and smart) Survivor blogger out there.
- Andy Denhart at Reality Blurred always has a great blog.
OK, that’s all for today and for Survivor Caramoan, see you soon, and thank you for reading my not always so stellar prose every week.