Back at camp, we see further evidence that everybody took Cochran's celebratory moment in the spirit it was intended. Even Cochran interviews that he knows he was probably pushing it, and that if it was anybody else, the reaction would have been quite different. But he's little pipsqueaky him, and he'll probably never have that again, so, as we can see, everybody is really happy for him. Malcolm, whose cockiness is just as self-aware as Cochran's obnoxiousness, interviews that it's nice that Cochran got his little win out of the way early, since he's not planning on keeping him around that long.
Later, Malcolm meets with Eddie for a strategy session, which, as you might imagine, translates to Malcolm strategizing solo. He relays the idea of their 6-person alliance with Corinne, Michael, Erik, and Reynold. He says this week is the tricky week, since the numbers are so tight. He then interviews something really wise and an underrated element of strategy on this game, which is that while Malcolm and Corinne certainly seem to have devised a decent plan, there are twelve headstrong people out there, each one of them looking to do their own thing and make a move their way. Not so easy to get even six of those people on the same page, much less the near-unanimous vote for Sherri that they want to happen this week.
Next up, the Phillip and Corinne Show returns, and this is honestly the lynchpin moment of the episode. Phillip whispers to her that he's thinking of arranging a split vote, dividing the Favorites' votes between Eddie and Reynold, to guard against one of them playing an idol. Corinne immediately shoots down any vote-splitting and instead pitches the idea of the "easy" vote for Sherri. That right there is where Corinne lost. Or at least where Corinne could have won and she let it slip past her, maybe without even realizing it. Phillip splitting the votes was literally the BEST thing that could have happened to her. Suddenly, with the Favorites splitting their votes, Corinne and Malcolm's little ragtag group has the numbers to boot Phillip NOW. Without even having to resort to bullying Erik onto their side (though I suppose you'd want to do that anyway, since you'd still want that six for next week). Phillip presented his own head on a platter for Corinne -- and in the most foolproof manner, too, since it was Phillip's own idea, and his alliance-mates don't seem to want to waste the energy convincing Phillip to stray from his plans, since it's no skin off their ass either way -- and she was too focused on countering him to recognize it. You guys, that is a bummer to have to look back and realize what could have been. So, of course, Phillip doesn't want to get rid of Sherri, he wants to get rid of a big dog, because that's what Boston Rob would do. There's no convincing him. Corinne interviews that this obstinate behavior gave her even more resolution to go against Phillip. "If I wasn't already gonna turn," she says, "that sealed my fate." Boy is THAT a telling slip of the tongue.