The Three Amigos reigned supreme last week on Survivor: Caramoan as they outsmarted the Special Agent and sent him off to the Ponderosa. I know many readers popped the corks off the champagne bottles over the end of Phillip, but I’m still a little bummed that I lost the major source of my comedy material. Now, I am begging for another player to keep things silly and zany so I can pretend to be witty again. This doesn’t mean things aren’t interesting, though. This week Malcolm has a big chance to take control of the game and convince someone from the majority to “Come Over to the Dark Side.”

The Stealthless Era Begins

Everyone seems rather happy they don’t need to talk about “Stealth R Us” anymore. Malcolm holds hope that there are fractures in the majority alliance and a chance for him and his companions to slip into the top spot. Meanwhile, Erik does the astonishing and actually talks a bit of strategy by sorting out if he should align with the Amigos or remain with the power group.

Brenda is worn out over the lack of food but is also shaken up by the power play at Tribal Council. The new Dawn and Brenda friendship continues as Dawn acts as support. Brenda is scared the shift puts Malcolm in charge and that the big move ruined her strategies. Though as far as I’ve seen this season, her biggest strategy was diving for a set of false teeth.

Money Talks at the Auction

Everyone rejoices when they find out it is the Survivor Auction. Malcolm mentions he won’t spend any money on food despite his hunger and thirst, because he needs to purchase the advantage for the immunity challenge. Malcolm then proceeds to immediately spend money on beer and nuts. Reynold is another person who needs the advantage, and he ends up buying a mystery item that turns out to be a slice of pizza. Sherri follows up by blowing her entire $500.00 on the rest of the pizza.

Dawn jumps in on the throwing money away game by spending her entire $500.00 on a roasted chicken. Malcolm’s weakness for beer doesn’t end up haunting him, because he is able to buy a clue to the hidden Immunity Idol with his remaining money.

Brenda starts getting frustrated as everyone outbids her for different items. She is scared of wasting her money and losing out on something great. Andrea buys a big spaghetti dinner, but then Probst puts her in a nasty spot by saying she can trade it in for beans and rice for the tribe. Since Andrea doesn’t like the idea of being the next target for elimination, she trades in her prize.

Everyone with money then starts throwing out bids for the Immunity Challenge advantage. Poor Brenda loses out once again as Cochran buys the advantage. Brenda finally wins a bid, but it unfortunately turns out to be pig brains. Brenda confesses she doesn’t eat pork, and I’d think bacon would have been a more enjoyable transition into that kind of meat. Things then turn out better for her, as Probst sells family letters for $20.00, which anyone still with money can get.

Eddie buys the final item, which is a massive bowl of peanut butter. Eddie must share it with the group, and this apparently is considered a wondrous treat after starving on an island for a few weeks. I just close my eyes while they shove it in their faces.

Idol Hunting is No Fun with Company

The group starts to share big cries over their letters. Brenda gushes over hearing from home. I have to admit all this Brenda air time freaks me out, since the sudden increase in exposure usually signals a person’s time is running out.

Reynold and Malcolm avoid the cryfest and try to win over Sherri. They first sweet talk her about how she has had a rough time in the game but has remained tough. They then try to convince her to come over by declaring they’ll get the next idol and keep on winning challenges. Sherri mentions in the confessional that it might make sense to join them. Reynold proves he has finally learned some strategy from Malcolm by stating they should target the strategic powerhouse Cochran next if they can get the votes from Erik and Sherri.

Malcolm tries to do some early morning idol hunting. Andrea suddenly plays the role of tag along, and won’t allow him to do anything alone. She confesses to be paranoid about being the next target, and refuses to let him out of her sight in case he finds the idol. She hounds Malcolm and he fails at being able to find anything. Malcolm is now scared he wasted all that money at the auction, because maybe he was craving some pork brain.

Worth its Weight in Immunity

The Immunity Challenge is holding onto a rope with one hand while trying to keep up a weight, but at different intervals, the competitors need to move their hands down a notch. Cochran reads his note to find out he has the ability to move up two notches on the rope when chooses at one point in the game. Eddie mentions that he really needs to win a challenge, and isn’t overly worried that Cochran has an advantage since he isn’t really known for his strength. Cochran quickly uses his advantage of moving back to the top notch. After 25 minutes, they are down at the second to last notch, except for Cochran. Brenda and Erik are the first two out of the challenge, definitely not the people I would have predicted.

Cochran is still strong since he has two more notches while everyone else is on the last part of the rope. Sherri drops her rope next and Malcolm is out quickly after. Andrea is knocked out, and Dawn screams as she fights to stick in. Her battle cries aren’t enough, and it is down to Eddie, Cochran and Reynold. Shortly after that, it is just Cochran and the man who thought he could beat him easily, Eddie. This season turns out to be Bizzaro world as Cochran wins yet another Immunity Challenge. His wins at challenges may be the most shocking thing on season 26.

The Final Pitch for Amigo Membership

Cochran brags in confessional that he is a challenge threat and has won half the Individual Immunity Challenges. I’m not even sure if Cochran is being sarcastic about being a threat now. Then again, I am starting to believe he might be a real powerhouse.

Malcolm is flipping out that he can’t go look for an idol. He is constantly being tailed by the girls. I’m not sure why he just doesn’t try to find it right in the open like last time, considering this is his big chance to stay in the game. Malcolm resorts to trying to secure an alliance with Sherri, instead. He pitches the majority will need to split the vote, since they won’t know if the Amigos have an idol. Sherri starts thinking she might join the “muscle heads,” though her confessional seems half-hearted at best. She pledges her full support in front of Malcolm.

Reynold tries to woo over Erik. Erik continues his new approach of actually thinking about strategy. He also promises to join the guys, but then in a confessional mentions he is still looking at both options. It appears the Amigos trust him, but the majority alliance is a bit more hesitant about his true allegiance.

The majority alliance talks about splitting the vote, but Cochran is scared this could get them in trouble. If one person flips, then the Amigos get to decide who goes home with a four person vote.

Last Stand at Tribal Council

A very grumpy looking Special Agent shows up on the jury. Reynold mentions it isn’t six on three anymore and thinks it is the time for a major flip. Andrea counters by stating it doesn’t make sense to flip with the powerhouses who are tight with each other. Sherri admits right in the open she has thought about flipping to avoid being at the bottom. Andrea is 80% convinced Malcolm has the idol, which is interesting since she has stalked him the entire time.

During the vote casting, Cochran talks about the deliciousness of the possibility of sending Malcolm home. I think he realizes that Malcolm is his main rival when it comes to strategy and smarts.

It ends up being a three-way tie as neither Sherri nor Erik flip. Cochran gets his delicious moment as they revote, and Malcolm did blow his auction money after all. Malcolm will be remembered for an amazing play at the last Tribal Council, but unfortunately, it ended up just delaying his exit. The power group now seems to be Andrea, Dawn, and Cochran.

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Chris Spicer

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV