‘Survivor’ Recap: Double Elimination Means Twice the Fun

Credit: Greg Gayne/CBS

Remember when Payless Shoe stores try to make BOGO a thing. It stood for “Buy One Get One.” Well, that was stupid. But know what’s awesome? The double elimination episode of Survivor. It was like we showed up for one and we got a bonus one just for being there. Always a rad feeling. They should make this a staple of the game, especially when we enter this especially boring section of the show’s life cycle where there is one dominant alliance and you are sure that they’re just going to send the stragglers from the defeated alliance home. Yawnsville. Who wants to spend a whole hour watching that? So this was smart we got see Reynold lose an immunity challenge and get booted out in 30 minutes and then we got another 30 minutes to watch Andrea get blindsided. Not only did the action never stop moving, neither did the surprises. Great job, Team Survivor. Great job.

Basically this whole thing boiled down to what happened during the first immunity challenge, where they all had to stand on the top of Snoopy’s dog house which was partially submerged in water (let’s hope Woodstock is okay) and whoever stayed on the longest won. Of course it was also the classic “food temptation” challenge, where Jeff offers people treats so they’ll jump down. Here’s how what happened in that challenged affected the rest of the game.

Reynold lost which, of course, means that he’s going home. But he held on strong until the very end and almost beat Zombie Brenda and Andrea. Eddie, on the other hand, jumped off first to eat some donuts. Which I would normally call a boneheaded move but it was genius. I think it was unintended genius, because Eddie seems about as smart as Tara Reid on the sixth day of a two week bender in Cabo, but it showed that Eddie is not a threat. He is not a fighter and he’d risk going home for some sugary treats. (Man, the things I would do for donuts and I get three square meals a day). He looks like he’s not playing the game. That’s why they’re willing to use him and keep him around while blindsiding each other. Reynold, on the other hand, is good at challenges and a schemer. That’s why no one could get a blindside together when he was still in the game, because if he stayed everyone thought he would find a way to sneak into the finals. Eddie is about as threatening as a sleeping three legged chihuahua that has lost all its teeth. He’s an easy toy to keep around. 

Brenda and Andrea made the opposite mistake. They decided that, even though they were in an alliance, they were going to compete with each other and see who is the badder assed bitch. They’re asses are so incredibly bad that they even made the challenge harder so that one of them would win. Ladies, there is no honor in being victorious over your friends. Just ask the cast of Mean Girls. This showed everyone that they’re both threats physically and they’re both such stern competitors that they don’t trust each other to be safe when the other says they’re safe. This was the beginning of the ending for them.

The other great thing about this episode was that it showed how that challenge had an affect not just on who went home that round (it was Reynold, duh) but how it affected the following vote as well. Because we see them edited down into episodes, each cycle seems like it’s own unit divorced from all the rest, but for the people out there it is continuous and the events of things that happened two rounds ago definitely have an impact on the outcome. Sometimes you get dumped before the third date for something you did on the first date, not something you did on the second, know what I mean?

That’s why both Andrea and Brenda were gunning for each other after their Mexican standoff. (Can I say that? Is that racist? Can I call it a Philippines standoff? That’s where they are!) When neither of them had the immunity necklace and Reynold was gone, that’s when it was time for the blindside. Cochran was right, it’s all about timing, and he orchestrated Andrea’s ouster perfectly. And it was easy to do because Andrea was running around talking to everyone about her big plans again. That coupled with her performance in the dog house challenge made her a giant target. Cochran just has to pick her off and make sure she felt safe enough that she wouldn’t play her idol. Still, they split the vote just to be safe. 

Andrea’s problem was that she was all talk and no action. We saw this before when she wanted to get rid of Malcolm early and then backed off when she found out that they might vote for her. She was always hatching plans and thinking big, which is great, but she was far too vocal about it. Everyone knew she was playing hard and couldn’t be trusted, especially because she could never make her plans come to fruition.

How this will effect the rest of the game, I don’t know. I think if Eddie pulls it together at the challenges and works himself as a swing vote he could make it to the end. Cochran is in a heap of trouble because he seems to have no clear alliance other than Dawn, who is a certifiable crazy person. Zombies Eric and Sheri are totally out of the game even though they think they’re in the middle of it, but Eric stands a chance if he can keep pulling out challenge wins. I’m going to go with the wacko final three of Dawn, Brenda, and Eddie. Let’s see how right I am.

As for Andrea, she’s going to be talking all about her blindside back at camp while running her fingers through Malcolm’s silken mane and staring at Special Agent Philip Shepard’s silly round spectacles, and trying not to giggle at Reynold’s Snidely Whiplash mustache. Let’s hope she doesn’t have some sort of insane physical transformation herself.

Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan and Facebook

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