Right after Tribal Council, Erik gets really dizzy and has to lie down. The medics come out and say that his blood pressure is dangerously low and he's in a starvation state. They try giving him IVs but they're worried that he's crashing so they pull him from the game. Yikes!
After about five seconds of lamenting Erik's tough luck, Cochran starts scheming again, hoping to get Eddie on his side. The next morning, they head to a Reward Challenge that we've seen before; they have to hold an overhead rope while building a card house with the other hand. First to reach a certain height wins and gets an advantage in the next Immunity Challenge. There is a ton of back and forth with people building their towers way up and then losing them, but ultimately Cochran wins.
As the final four try to figure out which of the other two they'd like to be up against in front of the jury, everyone is sick of Dawn's whining and crying, but they also fear that she may be sympathetic to a jury. Even Cochran is like, "Ugh, enough with Dawn."
Then they do the Parade of Dead Survivors. At least they have people from each of the original tribes, so there's no point where "None of us know this person so what can we say?" but I still really hate this segment.
The final immunity challenge involves racing up three flights of stairs, untying bags of puzzle pieces, and then sliding down and assembling the 3D puzzle. Cochran's advantage is that he doesn't need to untie his bags of puzzle pieces, and it leads to him getting all three bags first. He has all three bags down while his closest competitors are just retrieving their second bags. It doesn't seem to help him with his puzzle, but once he gets going, he gets going and he ends up winning immunity. Dawn is celebrating like she just won too, which is annoying.
At the final Tribal Council, Cochran starts making his case to the jury by painting himself as the underdog. Then Dawn and Eddie make the case for why they can be beaten in the final, which is a weird case to make in front of the jury; they're basically saying, "Cochran, you can beat me and here's why the jury won't vote for me (but jury don't listen)." Anyway, Cochran decides that he has a better chance against Dawn than Eddie, and he's probably right since Eddie has a lot of friends on the jury.
So then it's time for the jury, which I really hate. It always makes me so uncomfortable to watch. This one is no better than most, really. Everyone tells Sherri that she's useless, and it's the first time Sherri is hearing this news, so it's awkward. She totally gets in a fight with Erik about it. Malcolm advises Dawn to really fight for herself, but she kind of only has one key word: relationships. Dawn does make one really good point, thanks to Michael – that she's bearing the brunt of the criticism, even though Cochran did everything she did, and that's because she went out and made friendships with people just to suck out information with which the two of them made voting decisions. Cochran just kind of sat back and enjoyed the fruit of her conversations. The case could be made, though, that it was a great strategy decision on Cochran's part, since he got to go just as far in the game and not get blood on his hands.
I'm interested to see who the bro-lliance votes for, since they all seem to be adopting Cochran as their mascot, but also they all urge Dawn to find her inner killer and admit that she's enjoying kicking people's asses. And then Brenda gets up and accuses Dawn of wanting to quit the game without her teeth, and forces Dawn to take out her teeth to prove that she would have continued even without them. Wow, any sympathy I had for Brenda is gone. That was…super ridiculous.
So what I took away from the question and answer period is that no one is voting for Sherri, most people are probably voting for Cochran, but Dawn may have earned a few votes, maybe from Andrea and Michael. I don't really think Dawn deserves to win but I think she got screwed by some really sexist thinking by the jurors. If a dude had played her game, he'd be celebrated, but because she was a woman and emotional, everyone hated her. Let's see what happens.
Cochran wins in what may be a unanimous vote. We don't see any votes for anyone else.
We open with the producers' attempt to reframe the season we just saw the way that they wished we had seen it. For example, Phillip was not just a super annoying guy, but one of the biggest characters to ever play the game! Malcolm was not a fratty bro, but a hero! Brandon wasn't mentally ill and deserving of our compassion and/or assistance - he's a villain! And the Fans tribe weren't just a bunch of aspiring models and actors cast for their ability to look good in skimpy swimwear - they're superfans with great knowledge of the game! Come on, guys.
I'm getting so tired of Probst and the other producers' treating viewers like idiots with no other sources of information than what they tell us. After this many seasons and in the age of Twitter and Facebook, that's inexcusable. People know how the show is cast now. People know the conceit of next season, and some people even know the cast already - check the spoiler thread if our forums if you want to know. People know how the reunion was bullshit (I'll get to that in the next recap in more detail). So for them to act like they hold all of the information in an airtight vault - it's just insulting. It's time for them to start interacting with the fans instead of insulting us. Gah.
The part that the producers do portray accurately is how the Stealth R Us alliance dominated the game in the early going, although they make it out like Phillip was calling all of the shots when we know it was more like Andrea and Cochran convincing Phillip that he was calling all of the shots. But I guess that doesn't fit in with their storyline of Cochran as underdog. Most of the rest of this you already know if you watched the season, and if you're reading this I'm going to assume you did. Basically, it was really boring until Malcolm started stirring things up with the Hidden Immunity Idols, and then Malcolm left and the blindsides began.
So, to set up tonight's episode, Erik is losing it due to lack of food and just mental anguish. Eddie is the only one left from his alliance, and probably going to leave soon. Dawn lost her dentures and threatened to quit the game, and Brenda got them for her, and then Dawn voted her out. THAT BITCH! Just kidding. I still don't really get why Dawn owed Brenda anything. Also, Sherri and Cochran are left but Sherri's a non-entity, and Cochran...well, you'll see.
Right after Tribal Council, Erik kind of collapses as they leave. Everyone gathers around him as he explains that his head is spinning. Probst shows up. Cochran interviews that Erik looked dazed and dizzy, and Erik says that everything is spinning and he needs to lie down. The medics show up and take his blood pressure. One of them tells Probst that he's worried Erik is in "a starvation state" and his body has been pushed to the limit. He's also worried, due to the dizziness, that there's not enough blood getting to Erik's head. Are we sure this guy is a doctor? Because that seems like something any yahoo could figure out. Also, why are the medics always Australian? I just picture Crocodile Dundee wearing scrubs.