Of all the amazing things that happen when watching Survivor – those shots of snakes rolling through baskets, those elaborate challenges in the wild, Philip wearing the same pair of nasty, saggy underwear for weeks on end – the most impressive is how these people choke down the most disgusting things during the "eat disgusting things" challenge. I must say that I sort of missed this challenge, which was a staple on the show in the early years, but fell out of favor for more running, swimming, and puzzle completing. Why was this ever allowed to happen? Is there anything more amusing than making a little bit of fun at the nasty "delicacies" other cultures enjoy while watching people retch up food in disgust?
But we're getting ahead of ourselves. First there was a merge, which, duh. We saw it on the promo for this episode and the producer knew that the only way to get people to stick around and watch was if something exciting was about to happen. It finally did. It really, really did.
There was a merge, and then everyone was off to the immunity challenge where they had to eat a host of absolutely terrible meals — the first half of contestants to finish each one would progress to the next round. First was live beetle larvae, which were still rolling around on the plate. Next were "ship worms" which are kind of like clams and looked like strings of grey snot Puck from The Real Would would shoot out of his nose. Next up was a duck embryo where you could see the feathers, and finally brains. Just a big old nasty pile of brains, like the leftovers from Frankenstein's workshop. I'm surprised Probst didn't have Igor haul them out. The final came down to my one true love Malcolm and wimpy Cochran, who has never even come close to winning a challenge in his whole life. Cochran, who probably has had a life of swallowing down abuse and other disgusting things, was amazingly adroit at this challenge and took the immunity necklace for the first (and probably only) time. It was a really touching moment, I must say.
This is really the "Favorites" game, since there are eight of them and four remaining Fans, but it seems they're not as united as they think. As soon as Corinne and Malcolm were reunited on the beach, they began figuring out a way to take control. They pulled in Reynold, Michael, Eddie, and Eric, but needed one more person. Then Corinne made two big mistakes that eventually got her evicted — well, three if you count getting Philip to hate her, but that wasn't really her fault.
Her first big mistake was to try to get Dawn into her alliance. How did she not know that Dawn prizes her loyalty above all else, and that as soon as she heard about Corinne's new plan, she would run off and tattle to Cochran and Andrea to get her own alliance together? Dawn, Philip, Andrea, and Chochran roped in Sheri and Brenda, and possibly Eric (all three of whom have been completely silent all season, so maybe their new alliance should be called Silent But Deadly).
Instead of talking to Dawn, Corinne should have gone to Sheri and gotten her together with other Fans, and gotten her to flip on Philip, who she said she didn't like. That was Corinne's other mistake. She targeted Sheri for no apparent reason when she should have been going after Philip. She wanted to wait a week to get him gone, but she should have gone for him first. Everyone bitches about him and can't stand him, so why wouldn't they vote him out?
In the end Eric was the swing vote, and he defected from Malcolm's back pocket to the rest of the "Favorites." Looks like Malcolm and his pretty boys are going to have to get to scrambling again and, to stay in the game, they may have to eat the nastiest thing of all: their pride.
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[Photo Credit: CBS]