TV Talk

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Major moves, major confusion propel "Survivor"

It was a new Dawn on the latest episode of “Survivor: Caramoan.” The English professor revealed a scheming side no one knew she had and decided to make a big move: Get rid of Malcolm, one of the game’s biggest threats. Malcolm, meanwhile, came out of his season-long slumber and decided to make a big move: Join with some Fans and take out one of his old alliance members. Brenda, the Favorite who owns a paddleboard company, came out from under the radar – I didn’t even know who she was until last week – and made a big move: She won the Immunity Challenge. And Cochran, the Favorite who is studying law, went far to shed his geeky image by making the hardest move of all: He rappelled down a waterfall. It was a show of twists and turns, of equal parts drama and confusion. In the end, Dawn and her group, afraid that Malcolm would play an Immunity Idol, voted off Michael, who had lost his biggest supporter last week when Corinne was blindsided. It was highly entertaining and chock full of good moments:

Torturous-to-watch moments: The Immunity Challenge that looked more like waterboarding than part of a game. The Survivors had to remain under a grate suspended a few inches above water as the sea level rose. As their faces went under water, breathing became difficult, and taking on water became common. In moments of panic, one by one they dropped out. Except for the Zen-like Brenda, who barely moved on the way to her victory. As I said last week, remember her name.

Best line: Once again, Cochran. Before taking part in a reward he had earned with four other tribe mates, he commented about how oddly calm he was about the thought of rappelling down a waterfall. He explained just how far out of his comfort zone he was: “I rarely leave my apartment,” he said. “I rarely leave Twitter.” Here’s hoping he doesn’t leave this game for a long, long time.

Flirting or fudging it? Phillip tried to butter up Terri, the newest member of his alliance called Stealth R Us. It was, not surprisingly, a bit uncomfortable to watch. Later, Andrea and Eddie had a tender moment – or maybe it wasn’t at all -- where they pledged their loyalty to each other, then told the camera privately that they were basically just playing the other person.

It looked bad for a second: At Tribal Council, Reynold began to play his Hidden Immunity Idol that would have kept him safe from any votes. Then Malcolm jumped in and asked for the idol, saying that he was about to be voted off. Reynold complied and turned over his idol. Then the votes were counted, and after three were cast for Andrea, the next ballot said “Reynold.” Uh-oh. Was he about to go after giving up his own idol? As it turned out, the next six votes went to Michael.

What I want to see next: OK, it’s time. Let’s get rid of Special Agent Phillip.

- Jim Haag  

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