A decision at the loved ones challenge puts a plan in motion to send the winner packing — complete with plenty of emotional baggage. Plus: Where does this season rank when compared to all the others?

By Dalton Ross
Updated February 27, 2015 at 11:08 PM EST
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Survivor

S26 E13
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“Four days from now we’re going to have big smiles on our faces. I guarantee you that.” — Brenda Lowe

Whoops! This once again proves that unless your name is Joe Willie Namath, you have no business guaranteeing anything in life. Unfortunately for her, Brenda’s guarantee blew up in her face. I know what some of you out there are saying:

“It’s so unfair what they did to poor Brenda! Voting her out after she sacrificed her own visit with her dad so that other people in the tribe could hang out with their loved ones.”

“I can’t believe what a backstabber that two-faced Dawn is! Getting rid of Brenda after she picked her to join in the loved ones visit AND found her missing teeth!”

“These people are monsters! Brenda was the only likable one left and I am so done!”

“OMG, Malcolm is soooooo hot!” (Since that’s what half of the Survivor audience seems to be saying at all times no matter what is going on.)

To those people, I say this: Brenda has no one to blame for getting voted out but herself. I have said it before and I will say it again. NEVER WIN THE LOVED ONES CHALLENGE! All it does is lead to problems. You either piss people off that you do not select to join you on the reward — who will then vote you off or not give you their vote at the final Tribal — or you sacrifice your own loved ones visit so that others can enjoy theirs, which makes you too likable to bring to the end. This is the very definition of a paradoxical no-win scenario.

So Brenda can cry all she wants, but there’s a reason I’ve hammered this point home over the years. And yet they never listen. The second Jeff Probst offered her that lose-lose choice to either screw her tribemates over or do them an incredible favor, her game was effectively over. But she would not have put herself in that position if she had just let someone else win instead.

Now the question becomes, was it a good move to get rid of Brenda? For Cochran and Sherri, the answer is an indisputable yes. Brenda is well liked by pretty much everyone on the jury and dominates in endurance challenges, so she needed to go if they want any chance of winning the million dollars. So strategically speaking, you cannot fault them for the move. Dawn, on the other hand, is a different story. I have no problems with Dawn backstabbing Brenda on any sort of moral grounds, most likely because I have no morals. But strategically, I think it was a bad move. In fact, I think Dawn just effectively killed her chances of winning. (Although her chances were pretty damn small even before she kicked her friend to the curb.)

Dawn did a brilliant job this game of concealing her allegiances in the game and making every single person think they could trust her. That list includes Julia, Corinne, Malcolm, Andrea, and now Brenda, who suggested getting rid of Cochran sooner rather than later, not realizing Cochran was Dawn’s closest ally in the game. But now she has the Coach problem. Everyone in South Pacific felt close to Coach and then blamed him when he discarded them along they way. They blasted him on a personal level for their demise and as a result, Sophie walked away with the million dollars.

NEXT: Erik attempts to escape from Survivor jail

Now you have the exact same situation with Dawn. Should she make it to the finals, the people on the jury are more likely to blame her for their ouster than someone like Cochran whom they were not as close to. In effect, Dawn will be punished for connecting with these people on a personal level, while the individual who was less friendly will not be. She may have been able to overcome all that, but not after slitting Brenda’s throat. Brenda is the one who dove down and found her teeth. Brenda is the one who constantly comforted Dawn and talked her off the proverbial emotional ledge, even up to the day before Dawn turned on her.

Brenda is now going to the jury house completely depressed and demoralized and since the jury members are not sequestered from each other, you have to assume the animosity towards Dawn and the way she could do that to her will only spread. People in this game generally do not tend to look kindly upon people that betray one of their closest allies. A perceived lack of loyalty often comes back to haunt people when it comes to the jury, and I have to believe that it is now going to seriously haunt Dawn should she make it that far. (Again, the fact that Dawn stayed loyal to her true ally — Cochran — does not matter. It is who the jury perceives that she should have stayed loyal to that matters. Perception becomes reality.)

I get that Brenda would have beaten Dawn in the finals so the natural inclination in such a scenario is to get rid of her, but by doing so in this way at this time, now I think everybody beats Dawn in the finals. (Which, incidentally, sucks for me since Dawn was my episode 1 pick to win it all.) Cochran and Dawn have been strong allies in this game, but this was a move that played out significantly better for only one of them. When you use your emotions to make personal connections in this game, and then without warning sever those connections, that creates scars that take a long time to heal. And they won’t be healed in the next three days when voting time comes. Maybe I’m completely wrong. My friend Janae keeps telling me that and the jury will respect Dawn’s ability to put personal concerns aside and make solid game moves, but I doubt it. Sorry, Janae.

And now it’s time to recap this bad boy from the top. I’ll try to keep the tangents to a minimum since the penultimate episode is when I also update my Survivor season-by-season rankings. Where will Survivor: Caramoan fall? Read on after the recap to find out.

It’s day 35 on the Madeline tribe, and poor Eddie is depressed. Is it a lack of food? Dehydration? Fear over his own place in the game? Nope! Eddie’s bummed because he has once again been thwarted in his attempts at hooking up island style. “All the chicks that I go after and try to hook up with get voted out,” he complains. God, life is so unfair! Eddie has not had sex in 35 days people! Have a little sympathy!

Of secondary concern to Eddie is that he may be the next person voted off, but then we see Brenda pulling a JuliaCorinneMalcolm and suggesting to Dawn that they get rid of Cochran next instead. In hindsight, we should have realized that as soon as Brenda said this that she was a goner. It’s what is known as a “pattern.”

Brenda seems to have an alliance brewing with Erik, but Erik has some other problems he’s dealing with — like a lack of nourishment. “I feel like I’m in prison now. I’m miserable here. This is the most beautiful prison I’ve ever been in in my life. These days are killing me. They are absolutely killing me.” Okay, first off, if it’s a prison, I would stay as far away from Eddie as possible, because now that all the hot babes are gone he may start looking for someone else who is slender and fit, with a beautiful blond head of hair to satisfy his sexual desires.

NEXT: Probst sheds a single tear

Perhaps trying to escape from Eddie’s pervy clutches, Erik does his best Ozzy Lusth impersonation and attempts to climb a tree to retrieve coconuts that he claims are laughing at him. (Not true! They’re actually laughing at Eddie. Everyone laughs at Eddie!) This attempt fails spectacularly as Erik eventually retreats to solid ground, if not a solid mental state.

And just in time for Tree Mail from Sprint! The Sprint phone can mean only one thing and that is…Owwwww! Sorry, I just got tackled by Dawn with a super aggressive hug of excitement. Anyway, as I was saying, the Sprint treeeezkisiuhiuhiudniqd makdkjdkj…Crap! Now Dawn is crying tears of joy all over my laptop and causing the damn thing to short circuit. Get it together, woman. Here’s a tissue. On second thought, here’s a whole box of tissue. That should hold you…for five minutes.

Anyway, everyone watches videos from their loved ones, my favorite naturally being from InsideTV Momcast star Arlene, who — clearly on orders from producers — awkwardly refers to her son as “Cochran” in the video instead of his actual first name. I mean, I don’t call my kids Ross and Ross. Because that would be stupid. And I would sound stupid saying it. But I love Arlene, especially when she uses her time on her video message to tell her son that she hopes he’s been using lots of sunscreen. (He hasn’t, Arlene! Why does he have to be such a rebel all the time, that son of yours? Little Johnny likes living on the edge!)

So the players then make their way to the reward challenge, and we know what happens next, as the loved ones come running out one by one. First up is Brenda’s dad Raymond. A teary Brenda thanks him for the incredible advice he gave her before she left that she has been following to the letter. Just one problem: Brenda’s father clearly has no clue what advice she is talking about. Hmmm, what was it again? Don’t win the loved ones challenge? No. Try to get more than one confessional interview per month? Nope. Don’t talk to Dawn? Don’t think so. Oh, right! Be humble!

Apparently, the display of father-daughter love is so overwhelming that Jeff Probst can’t control himself and now he starts crying. “Brenda, I just broke! 26 seasons, I’ve never cried at a loved one. You got me!” Really? This is the one that broke Probst? I mean, it was sweet. It was tender. But I wouldn’t call it the most emotional moment in the history of loved ones visits, especially considering the dad was pretty clueless about pretty much the entire content of the conversation. Geez, Probst, you didn’t even cry when Jonny Fairplay’s grandmother died and now this?

Then the rest of the loved ones come out. Erik and his brother Richard start grabbing each other’s bellies, Cochran apologizes to Arlene for smelling, Eddie’s dad tells the Amigo that “You’re the hairiest man alive,” and I’ll give you one guess as to what Dawn does. (Hint: It’s what she’s best at.) Probst then explains that the pairs are going to spin around in circles while unscrewing three rails which they will then set up and throw bolos on to. First couple to land three bolos wins. And what do they win? The winner gets to go back to camp with his or her loved one to enjoy a floating backyard barbeque.

NEXT: Dawn provides a spitting image

Truth be told, the challenge is one of the season’s less exciting ones, the standout moment being when Probst announces “Arlene already slowing down,” only to then watch Cochran gallantly defend his mother: “Don’t say anything about my mom, Jeff.” And with that, John just locked up the mom vote for this season’s Fan Favorite award. And lord knows he’ll need it if he wants to overcome Malcolm’s seemingly insurmountable “Gosh, He’s Dreamy” voting bloc.

Of course, the family Cochran has no chance of winning this challenge — and nor should they want to — so John makes some small talk with his mother about the flight over. You know, keepin’ it light. In the end, Brenda and her pop win, and I’ve already discussed at length what a mistake that was. She selects Dawn to go with her, but then Probst says, “Let me complicate things a bit.” He hands Brenda a Sprint phone and she informs the rest of the tribe that they each have a second loved one there, eliciting our Incredible Dawn Meehan GIF of the week when she bellows “NO WAY!” at the top of her lungs. (Someone please get on making that.)

Probst tells Brenda she can keep what she and Dawn have, “or you can give up your love and the love you just teased Dawn with, and the other four remaining Survivors and their loved ones will enjoy the barbeque.” (First off, how great is the expression “give up your love and the love you just teased Dawn with”? It sounds like a threat from some maniacal villain plotting against a do-gooding Disney princess. “And you shall never love again! BWAHAHA!!!”) Either way Brenda’s screwed, but she chooses the latter.

So we’re off to witness one of the oddest looking rewards in Survivor history as Sherri, Cochran, Erik, Eddie and their combined eight loved ones go on to a small floating party platform out in the water. It looks like a miniature version of the one Rodney Dangerfield runs over with his boat in Caddyshack, or something you might see in the Jaws or Piranha 3-D franchises, with a bunch of drunken idiots about to be devoured by a killer sea creature. No such excitement will happen here.

Making things even more awkward is the fact that John Cochran is now telling us all about his puberty, which is something I sort of feel like the less I know about the better. But I would like to know more about Cochran’s dad, whom John accuses of “going Hollywood” because he is wearing sunglasses and working the grill. I love the fact that this is how Cochran views Hollywood — people in sunglasses grilling meat. How glamorous! Actually that sounds more like…well, pretty much anywhere else in America. Wouldn’t “going Hollywood” involve more like a tofu salad or eating sushi off of a naked model or something? Someone needs to take Cochran to Hollywood. That much is clear.

As weird as things are on the floating party platform, at least they are not downright depressing like back on the beach where Dawn is crying for approximately the 3,743rd time. She’s lonely, she’s hungry, she misses her family, “and the fact that I’m about to spend camp tonight with people who are full and have seen their loved ones for the whole afternoon makes me want to spit!” Spit? Spit?!? Spit on what? The ground? Go ahead. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t care. You’ve already rained tears on it for 35 days so it probably won’t even know the difference.

Brenda sees Dawn struggling and tells her to let it all out. “Don’t lose hope,” Brenda says while comforting her. “Four days from now we’re going to have big smiles on our faces. I guarantee you that.” Well, one of you…maybe.

NEXT: Brenda jumps out of the challenge and out of the game

As predicted, Cochran is now worried more about Brenda than before because of her kindhearted gesture. “Likability is a liability,” he says. Her only chance may now be to also win immunity. Speaking of which, the immunity challenge is another endurance contest as the contestants must stand on a ledge over the water while holding a handle behind their backs. The rope from the handle is connected to a winch. When Probst cranks it, the players get closer to the water and will be carrying more of their own weight. Last one to hold on wins.

Once again, Eddie and Cochran offer commentary during the challenge that is recorded after the fact and I can’t tell you how much I really, really hate that. It’s a dumbed down device that’s been employed for years by Big Brother in an attempt to hammer you over the head with the stakes in case it wasn’t already completely obvious.

Just a few minutes into the competition and Erik is already asking for food to jump in for, but none will be forthcoming. Cochran is the first to fall in, followed by Eddie and Erik, leaving just the women. Of course, Sherri drops first, leading to a Dawn vs. Brenda duel — curious in that they were the only two players who did not get the food refueling at the reward feast. What follows is a confusing sequence in which Dawn asks Brenda to let her win, Brenda says no, Brenda falls in, and then Brenda insinuates that she jumped in on purpose because Dawn was paranoid and needed to be kept happy. It is unclear if that is, in fact, true, or some phony baloney Phillip Sheppard type boasting, but if it is true, Brenda will be regretting that decision until the end of time (along with pretty much any decision involving Dawn).

“I think it’s a straightforward vote tonight,” says Brenda, who also reiterates her desire to take out Cochran next, but Cochran is one step ahead of her, targeting her now instead of Eddie. Well, good news for him because Sherri — who has been pretty much invisible since the merge — is thinking the exact same thing. All that’s left is to get Dawn on board, and I’ve already laid out all the reasons why she shouldn’t be.

So off we go to what has to be the worst Tribal Council of all time, if for no other reason than Reynold has gone and shaved off his ‘70s porn stache. After Brenda talks about how it was okay to lose to Dawn, the entire thing turns into a sea of deception with Dawn and Sherri going on about what an incredible strategic move it was by Brenda to give up her loved ones visit. “I would think that the long term on that is going to be a benefit in her game,” fibs Dawn. “Everybody is looking at Brenda as a saint,” lies Sherri. You just couldn’t do anything to her right now.” Okay, how about in, like, five minutes then?

Probst goes to count the votes, and as if on cue from Mark Burnett’s magical weather machine, the thunder and rain begins. Ohhhh, there’s a storm brewing alright. All hell starts to break loose after the second vote for Brenda is read. Malcolm grabs half of the jury in anticipation of the blindside to come, and when the third and deciding vote for Brenda is announced, the former black widow from Nicaragua is crestfallen. “I was honest with you guys,” she says while standing. “I was genuine with you guys.” Probst then snuffs her torch. “It hurts,” she whimpers while crying as she walks down into the cold, blue light of death.

NEXT: Who will win? Plus: The season rankings begin!

Brenda’s final words to camera are the most distraught ones I’ve seen since deaf contestant Christy Smith was backstabbed by her “evil stepsisters” Jenna and Heidi in the Amazon. It’s simply brutal. “It just hurts so much right now what I’m feeling,” she says in between uncontrollable sobs. Make no mistake to whom that sadness and anger is directed.

The path for Cochran has now never looked clearer. Can anyone beat him in the finals? Maybe Eddie if he gets votes from people who decide to reward him just because they like him more, but that guy hasn’t made one legitimate game move all season. No way Sherri gets the votes. I’ve already established that I think Dawn’s game is probably done now. Erik is a possibility because he’s a likable guy who performed well in some challenges, but he also never made a big move and just voted all season the way the majority told him to. If Cochran makes the finals, I don’t see any possible scenario in which he loses, unless the jury surprises me and decides to respect Dawn’s gameplay. (But even if they do, I can’t see them overlooking the seemingly daily emotional meltdowns.)

We’ll find out how it all goes down on Sunday. But first we need to find out where Survivor: Caramoan will place in my updated season-by-season rankings. Will the Shamar and Brandon heavy first half weigh it down, or will the spectacular run of post-merge episodes thrust it near to the top of the pack? Read on and find out!

SURVIVOR SEASON RANKINGS

1. (Tie) Survivor: Borneo (Winner: Richard Hatch) and Survivor: Micronesia — Fans Vs. Favorites (Winner: Parvati Shallow)

I’ve gone back and forth with these two over the years. After Micronesia aired, I named it the best Survivor season ever. Upon reflection, while I still considered it the most enjoyable, I also worried I was understating the impact of the first season, which became a national phenomenon. (Yes, Borneo now seems dated and tame by comparison, but it’s the biggest game changer in the past 20 years of television.) So then I returned that to the #1 spot. If I wanted to watch one season again, it would be Micronesia. If you ask me which is the most important season, well, obviously it’s Borneo. So instead of constantly flipping them, they can simply share the top spot…until I change my mind again.

3. Survivor: Heroes vs Villains (Winner: Sandra Diaz-Twine)

The Russell vs. Boston Rob feud made for the best pre-merge run of episodes ever. And the greatness just kept on coming. Filled with huge memorable moments like Tyson voting himself off, J.T. giving Russell his immunity idol, and Parvati handing out two immunity idols at one Tribal Council. Loses a few points for having so many three-timers, though, including a few (Amanda, James) that we simply didn’t need to see again. I know many people would consider this #1, but it’s all returnees. For me, the fresh blood of Micronesia keeps that season higher.

4. Survivor: Amazon (Winner: Jenna Morasca)

Probably the most unpredictable season ever from week to week. Some people hate on Morasca as a winner, but she won challenges and played an effective social game.

5. Survivor: Pearl Islands (Winner: Sandra Diaz-Twine)

Rupert stealing shoes. Fairplay getting drunk at Tribal Council. Osten sucking at everything. It was all delicious. Loses points, though, for the awful Outcasts twist, which also led to a disappointing final two (Lil? Seriously?).

NEXT: Seasons 6-16 (where will Caramoan land?)

6. Survivor: Palau (Winner: Tom Westman)

I loved watching one tribe decimate the other, culminating with Stephenie becoming a tribe of one. And the challenges may have been Survivor‘s best ever. What’s interesting about Palau is that we basically all knew Tom would win from episode 1, but it was still gripping nonetheless.

7. Survivor: Philippines (Winner: Denise Stapley)

This season was all about one thing: casting, casting, casting. When you look back on what happened, while there were a lot of shake-ups with the voting, there weren’t a whole lot of jaw-on-the-floor shocking moments. So why is it so high? Because the casting and storylines that developed gave us people to root for and against — something every great Survivor season needs. And the fact that Philippines had such a strong final four — Denise, Malcolm, Lisa, Skupin — also doesn’t hurt.

8. Survivor: Caramoan — Fans vs. Favorites (Winner: ???)

And here we are. A tale of two seasons this was, and I can already hear people yelling that I am putting it too high. But hear me out first. If I was grading this solely on pre-merge episodes this would be waaaay down the list due to the emphasis on big personalities (Shamar, Brandon, Phillip) as opposed to big gameplay. But everything post-merge has been spectacular. I can’t remember the last time we had this many moves and countermoves so late in the season. The same way it is more important for a sports team to play well in the second half of a game as opposed to the first, a great season needs to build momentum, and Caramoan has definitely done that with six fantastic episodes in a row now. It’s much more important to finish strong than to start strong, so I definitely put more weight and emphasis on post-merge episodes when doing the rankings, and this season made a remarkable comeback and slipped into the top 10. Also, don’t overlook how great the bevy of water challenges have been as that was factored in as well. (Note: As always, this ranking could still move up or down a slot or two depending on what happens in the finale.)

9. Survivor: Samoa (Winner: Natalie White)

I like this season a lot more than most people, but Russell’s controlling of the game (especially post-merge when his side was down 8-4) was truly a work of art. Evil genius art. He was robbed in the end, though, in the most controversial jury decision ever.

10. Survivor: Marquesas (Winner: Vecepia Towery)

An underrated season that saw the first totem pole shake-up: where people on the bottom got together to overthrow those on the top. Yes, it was a weak final two, but it also had a woman peeing on a guy’s hand. Plus: Purple rock!!!

11. Survivor: Cook Islands (Winner: Yul Kwon)

What a difference a mutiny makes. It was listless until that fateful moment when Candice and Penner stepped off the mat. Then we finally had underdogs to root for. The Tribal Council fire-making tiebreaker between Sundra and Becky may be the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Plus, just look at all the great first-time contestants (Parvati, Penner, Ozzy, Yul).

12. Survivor: China (Winner: Todd Herzog)

Really good cast. Really bad location. Todd completely owned that final Tribal Council. That’s how you win a million dollars. I realize I have this a bit lower than most people and always consider moving it up a spot or two. But then I never do.

13. Survivor: Australian Outback (Winner: Tina Wesson)

An overrated season, and one that seems to keep moving down my list. Probst loves it. I didn’t. Solid but unspectacular. Pretty predictable boot order as well. Dude did burn his hands off, though.

14. Survivor: South Pacific (Winner: Sophie Clarke)

Here’s another one that I like more than most people, which is curious considering how much it has in common with the season that aired directly before it, which I didn’t like: the same twist of two returning players, Redemption Island, the predictable vote-offs, no real water challenges, etc…. But there is one thing I really did dig about this season, and that is the cast. I was invested in the players and their fates — the ones I wanted to do well, and not so well. Plus, this season gave us three signature moments: Ozzy volunteering to go to Redemption, Cochran flipping, and Brandon giving away his immunity.

15. Survivor: Tocantins (Winner: J.T. Thomas)

Okay, you may roll your eyes at Coach 1.0. But imagine for a second this season without him. Bo-ring! His unintentional comedy single-handedly lifted this into the middle of the pack. Seriously, other than Tyson getting blindsided, were there any memorable moments that didn’t involve the Steven Seagal wannabe?

16. Survivor: All-Stars (Winner: Amber Brkich)

Overall, a bit of a letdown, but man, were there some hate-fueled fireworks at those final few Tribal Councils. Plus: Best. Reunion Show. Ever. (Remember Jerri getting literally booed off the stage?)

NEXT: The 10 worst Survivor seasons

17. Survivor: Panama — Exile Island (Winner: Aras Baskauskas)

Ah, just writing the word Panama gets me daydreaming about Survivor Sally and her intoxicating knee socks. Terry was robbed on a final challenge that may or may not have been completely fair. Another unmemorable final two. Shane Powers should have been brought back for Heroes vs. Villains. Or any other time, for that matter.

18. Survivor: Gabon (Winner: Bob Crowley)

It got better near the end, but it was still a case of too little, too late. The fact that so many unworthy players went so far is simply too damning.

19. Survivor: Redemption Island (Winner: Boston Rob Mariano)

The first three episodes were dynamite, but then the fuse blew out. It certainly was entertaining at times watching Rob strategize (the most dominant showing ever) and Phillip philosophize (the craziest showing ever), just not very dramatic. Most of the vote-offs were clearly telegraphed and the Redemption Island twist sucked the life out of Survivor’s signature moment — the vote-off.

20. Survivor: Africa (Winner: Ethan Zohn)

Some great challenges. Not that much else was great.

21. Survivor: Guatemala (Winner: Danni Boatwright)

One of the more unlikable casts so far. (Remember Judd? Jamie? Stephenie’s evil twin?) Rafe was good for a few laughs, though. Especially on rope obstacles.

22. Survivor: Vanuatu (Winner: Chris Daugherty)

I don’t blame producers: The battle of the sexes worked well the first time around.

23. Survivor: One World (Winner: Kim Spradlin)

Look, I have total respect for Kim’s game. Like Tom in Palau and Rob in Redemption Island, she excelled strategically, socially, and physically. Unfortunately, that is really the only good thing I can say about this season. And that’s too bad, because I do think the “One World” concept was a solid one. But, man, what a thoroughly uninspiring cast. Colton was more a horrible human being than a classic villain, and the rest of the players were mostly either completely forgettable or people you wish you could forget. I worry I am being generous by putting it even this high, but out of respect for Kim, it will go here for now.

24. Survivor: Thailand (Winner: Brian Heidik)

The fake merge and brutal last challenge — where the final three had to hold coins between their fingers in a crazy painful pose — keep this dud out of the bottom spot. Barely.

25. Survivor: Fiji (Winner: Earl Cole)

With the exception of Yau-Man and Earl, a true bummer of a cast, and the ”Haves Vs. Have-Nots” twist was one of the worst creative decisions in Survivor history. Speaking of awful creative decisions…

26. Survivor: Nicaragua (Winner: Jud “Fabio” Birza)

It’s at the bottom for a few reasons. 1) Splitting the tribes up by age and the Medallion of Power were both enormous flops. 2.) Like One World, Thailand and Fiji, just too many unlikable players. 3) Two people quitting with only 11 days left. 4) No big memorable moments. Even Thailand had the fake merge and Fiji had the big Yau-Man/Dreamz free car deal gone bad, but what was Nicaragua‘s signature moment? Unfortunately, it was people quitting, and that was memorable for all the wrong reasons.

So there you have it. But we’re still not done! Get Jeff Probst’s thoughts on the Brenda blindside as well as his insight heading into the finale in our weekly Q&A. Plus, check out an exclusive deleted scene from last night’s episode in the video player below. And for more Survivor scoop delivered right to you, follow me on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

Now it’s your turn. Did Dawn do the right or wrong thing by turning on Brenda? Does anyone stand a chance in the finals against Cochran? And where would you rank this season against all the others? Hit the message boards to let us know and I’ll be back Sunday with a super finale-sized scoop of the crispy!

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