'Survivor: Caramoan': Craziest Tribal Council ever? It's definitely right up there

survivor-caramoan-crazy-tribal-council.jpgUm, was that the craziest "Survivor" Tribal Council ever? It's definitely right up there.

Madeline

After Tribal, Malcolm, Reynold and Eddie are clearly on the outs, as Stealth R Us heads off to have a meeting. The big alliance congratulates themselves on the bottom three not having an Idol, because nobody knows about Malcolm's. Hopefully his Idol doesn't go to waste.

In the morning, Dawn begins her total meltdown, yelling for Brenda and totally losing her mind. It's ... where is this coming from? Ohhhh, wait. Dawn lost her retainer that has some fake teeth on it because she got two knocked out once and she doesn't want to tell anyone because she's so self-conscious. Oh, Dawn. Oh, sweetie. We just want to give her the biggest hug. Don't be embarrassed! Awww. That, like, brought tears to our eyes. Are we alone in that?

OK, on the one hand, we get that "Survivor" would tease that in previews like it was some kind of epic meltdown, but ... on the other hand, that just feels so cheap. Anyway.

Reward Challenge

Two teams of five race on an obstacle course, find bags of balls and then shoot the balls into the basket. First team to make all 12 wins a trip to a resort complete with lunch. It's Reynold/Erik/Dawn/Cochran/Phillip versus Eddie/Malcolm/Sherri/Andrea/Brenda. It seems like it might be a pretty even split, but Sherri really slows down the orange team and they can't ever catch up. Purple wins easily.

Reward

Everybody gorges on protein, then Phillip very rudely gets into the pool without rinsing off in the shower first. He leaves a trail of filth in the pool, it's super gross. Then he gets naked. Dude. Erik's pretty sick of Phillip's shenanigans, but will he do anything about it?

Meanwhile, that night, Dawn can't sleep because she's getting super paranoid. She thinks Andrea is going to flip with the boys and if Stealth R Us splits their votes, Andrea and the boys can take somebody out. And Dawn is convinced it'll be her. I mean, she's kind of insanely obsessed that it's her, which we have seen no evidence to support so far.

But Dawn's paranoia is raising Phillip and Cochran's red flags and so then Andrea gets a bad feeling and everybody kind of can't believe that she's losing her marbles. For real. She needs to pull it together.

In the morning, however, Dawn is miles better because she slept a full night through for once. C'mon, Dawn. You can do it. And it at least gets Dawn out of Stealth R Us's crosshairs, as they decide that they're splitting the votes between Reynold and Malcolm, hoping to flush out any possible Idols.

"My alliance has the numbers and I couldn't be any happier," Cochran says, last-wordsingly.

Immunity Challenge

They have to run across a platform, pull themselves the length of the platform under water,  with rope, snag a ring and then do it all over again. There are heats, so two people advance from heat to the finals. It's a pretty grueling challenge and to win, you have to do it twice, so Reynold and Malcolm should be in good shape.

From the first heat, Reynold and Andrea advance, though Reynold was significantly ahead of Andrea. When it's time for heat two, Phillip just says he's not going to participate. He had an incident in the water as a boy and then our DVR skips to the finals. Well, that's annoying.

But predictably, Malcolm and Reynold are neck-and-neck for the win. Surprisingly, Brenda is in the finals over Eddie. Good for her. But Reynold pulls it out. Interesting.

So, if the three guys play this right, someone from Stealth R Us is going home -- they split the votes between Malcolm and Eddie, Malcolm plays his Idol and maybe they send an SRU home, if they can get a flipper. (SRUs, from the Fire Swamp, right?)

Pre Tribal

Reynold is pretty disgusted with Phillip not even trying, while Phillip is rallying his people to split the votes between Eddie and Malcolm. He figures even if one of the guys has an Idol, the other one will go home. And he's probably right, but that would be boring, so let's hope not.

Malcolm, Reynold and Eddie scramble to find the Idol because Malcolm would like to keep his in his pocket if he can. Meanwhile, Phillip tries to regale everyone with his drowning-as-a-boy story, but Andrea and Dawn want to try to find the Idol.

So, who finds the Idol? Rather ridiculously, Malcolm just pulls it out of a hole in a rock. Wow. But Dawn and Andrea are standing right there, so that's interesting because now SRU knows Malcolm has the Idol.

But they decide to forge ahead with the four votes Malcolm, three votes Eddie plan, figuring worse case scenario is that there's a re-vote and Eddie goes. Hmm. But will Malcolm try to change the game with two Idols?

Tribal Council

SRU admits that Reynold was on the block, but now it's pretty much Eddie since Malcolm has the Idol. So talk turns to Phillip's story about being trapped under a dock in the water and that's why he didn't participate in the challenge. There's really not much there there. This Trial is shaping up to be so boring

BUT THEN!

Malcolm busts out the OTHER Idol and gives it to Eddie. Stealth R Us looks like they've swallowed their tongues. It's pretty awesome. They're scrambling about who they're going to vote for -- and yeah, what do they do? Because if the guys think the vote is going another way now, they don't even have to play the Idols and then they've still got two. Wow.

Then Malcolm throws out that his alliance is voting for Phillip. Oh, please let someone flip and vote that way. Please. Send that crazypants man home.

Probst points out that pretty much everybody's best bet (who isn't Phillip) is to vote for Phillip. Then Phillip says his alliance should stick with their original vote and if he goes home, he goes home. Yeah, a lot hinges on whether Malcolm and/or Eddie play their Idols.

This is great. I pause the show at this point and actually cannot wait to see how the vote goes down because I have no idea. Literally none. I feel like the only names we definitely won't see pop up are Reynold (obviously) and the quiet ones, like Erik, Brenda and Cochran.

During the vote, we see no votes. Of course.

UPDATED TO ADD: I rewatched the Tribal once commenters were saying Erik's vote was shown. Turns out the DVR skipped and I hadn't noticed. It was storming terribly last night -- the same thing happened during the Immunity Challenge. Sorry about that, gang. My bad.

Though, frankly, it was a lot more suspenseful for me not having seen Erik's vote. They should've kept it that way.


When it comes to Idols, it looks as though Malcolm is going to keep his for a second, which would have been easily the ballsiest thing we've seen on this show, but in the end, both Eddie and Malcolm play their Idol. Yeah, that's the smart move.

The votes go Malcolm, Malcolm, Eddie, Eddie, Eddie, Eddie, Phillip, Phillip and Phillip. Was the last vote for Phillip? Did somebody flip?

Next week: "Survivor" auction! Cochran's "more often than you think" got a great belly laugh out of us.

The votes show that Erik flipped! Now that is interesting. It's kind of why I've always been torn as to whether Jeff should have to read all the votes. I think he should have to. There should be some paranoia thrown out there about who cast the fourth vote for Phillip.

Also, we think we can safely say this might have been the best Tribal Council ever. Sure, getting doofy Erik to hand over Immunity was good, but nothing beats throwing the game into total confusion. Plus, this season hadn't been that great so far, so it's nice to see it shift back to being awesome.
Photo/Video credit: CBS