'Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites' tribe votes Brenda Lowe out
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/09/2013
Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites' merged Enil Edam tribe voted Brenda Lowe, a 30-year-old paddleboard company owner from Miami, FL, out of the game during Wednesday night's thirteenth episode of the CBS reality series' 26th edition.
Brenda was voted out of her tribe at the season's fourteenth Tribal Council session, the seventh time the new Enil Edam tribe had an elimination vote.
"I'm just crying because I'm in shock. I think the reason it hurts so much is that I was hesitant to lie to people and I was so true to [Dawn Meehan]. Oh my God, it just hurts so much right now what I'm feeling," Brenda said following her ouster.
Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites' thirteenth episode began on Day 35 with Edward "Eddie" Fox, a 23-year-old fireman and EMT from East Brunswick, NJ, saying he was a sitting duck target for the next Tribal Council. However, if Eddie won individual immunity, he told John Cochran, a 25-year-old law student from Washington, DC, that he'd probably be the next one to go.
"I always thought I'm the worthless, scrawny, annoying twerp who's not good at challenges -- of course everybody's going to want to go to the end with me. But now, I'm taking a step back and looking at myself and thinking, 'Wait. Can I really get to the end of this game or do I have an expiration date that's rapidly approaching?'" Cochran said.
Brenda and Dawn Meehan, a 42-year-old English professor from South Jordan, UT, then talked about taking Cochran out of the game with the help of Erik Reichenbach, a 27-year-old comic book artist from Santa Clarita, CA. Dawn felt she'd be guaranteed a spot in the Final 3 by voting off Cochran but knew it would break her agreement with her close ally. Dawn was happy that she had options, however, and was ready to take responsibility for her choices in the end.
Meanwhile, Erik was losing his cool. He complained about how starving he was and said he felt like he was trapped in prison. Erik noted the coconuts high in a tree were laughing at him, so he decided to climb the tree but eventually failed to retrieve any food.
The tribe then received Tree Mail in the form of a mobile phone, which had stored video messages for the castaways from their loved ones. The messages were from Brenda's dad Raymond, Dawn's husband David, Sherri Biethman's husband Jared, Cochran's mom Arlene, Eddie's dad Edward, and Erik's brother Richard.
The castaways then met Survivor host Jeff Probst for a Reward Challenge. Each tribemate's loved one was brought out for an emotional reunion, and then Jeff explained those loved ones would be competing in the challenge alongside the castaways.
For the challenge, the pairs were required to spin around in circles while unscrewing rails. Once all three rails were unscrewed, they had to attempt to land bolos onto those rails. The first pair to land all three bolos would win Reward in the form of a floating backyard barbeque 50 yards from Enil Edam's camp complete with steak, burgers, beer, and apple pie.
In the end, Brenda and her father won. Jeff gave Brenda the opportunity to pick one other pair to enjoy the barbeque with her, and she selected Dawn and David -- whom Brenda claimed was the easy choice. Brenda then discovered via the mobile phone that a second loved one for each castaway was waiting nearby for the first time in Survivor history.
Jeff then revealed a twist and told Brenda she could choose to enjoy the barbeque with her dad, Dawn and David or give that up and allow the four other castaways to attend the barbeque with their loved ones. Although emotional and disappointed, Brenda said the decision was a no-brainer and gave up her chance to spend time with her dad so everyone else could have their time.
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Eddie, Cochran, Sherri, a 41-year-old fast food franchisee from Boise, ID, and Erik were extremely grateful for Brenda's selfless act, while Dawn was torn up. Eddie was then joined by his mother, Cochran's dad came out, Sherri got to see her son, and Erik was greeted by another brother.
After the challenge, Brenda and Dawn watched their fellow castaways eat and chat from a distance. Dawn broke down into tears, but Brenda told her to keep it together because the end of the game was near. Dawn felt she was between a rock and a hard place, as Brenda was going to earn favoritism amongst the tribemates for her act of kindness. Meanwhile, Cochran was expressing a similar notion.
"At the time Brenda made the decision to give up her Reward and let the four other survivors enjoy it, there's a sense of, 'Oh my God. Brenda is fantastic. She is selfless. This is unbelievable. This is a game-winning' -- that's actually what my mom whispered to me. She said, 'Brenda is going to win this game,'" Cochran explained.
"But the better and more likable and more untouchable Brenda seems, the more people are going to want to get her out. Because we're at the point in the game where likability is a liability. And I know that better than anybody else and I think Brenda's going to be experiencing that soon if I have any say in it."
On Day 36, the castaways met Jeff again for the fourteenth Immunity Challenge but seventh Individual Immunity Challenge of the season.
The challenge required each tribe member to stand on a ledge over the water while holding onto a handle behind their back. That handle was connected to a wench, which cranked every once in awhile, lowering the castaways closer to the water and making it more difficult to hold on. Once the pain became too much to bare, a castaway would let go and fall into the water. The last person left standing would win immunity and be guaranteed a one in five shot of winning the million dollars.
Cochran was eliminated from the challenge first. He was then followed by Eddie, Erik, Sherri, Brenda, and Dawn. While Dawn won the challenge, Brenda admitted she kind of gave up.
"I never, ever want to be that person that jumps into the water and gives up immunity. If that was Eddie up there, I would've hung on a lot longer. But someone as paranoid as Dawn, gotta keep her happy. I jumped in the water and it was all good," Brenda noted.
Brenda said the whole point of the Immunity Challenge was to make sure Eddie didn't win so they could get him out next and then go for Cochran afterwards. Cochran, however, wanted Brenda out before Eddie.
"I think it's a great move that benefits me and actually indirectly benefits Dawn and Sherri. But I'm thinking, 'Okay, the problem with that is that everybody is so gung-ho about getting Eddie out,'" Cochran said.
"So I thought, 'This is going to be a pretty hard sell.' It is the perfect move because tonight's the perfect time to make it. If Brenda had one more day in this game, she could upset everything. There are only a few days left. She could go on a winning streak and she would win at the final Tribal Council. I'm making sure that doesn't happen."
Cochran explained that Brenda was a huge threat because she didn't piss anyone off, she let people see their loved ones and she was great at Immunity Challenges. Dawn agreed but noted if they kept Eddie around, he could win the next Immunity Challenge. Dawn admitted to the cameras Brenda might be her biggest strategic threat but the last time she listened to Cochran, she went home before him, so she was confused.
Cochran kept insisting not getting Brenda out when they had the chance would be a wasted opportunity.
Cochran explained his alliance was weighing the pros and cons of the easy vote versus the strategic vote and short-term gratification versus long-term benefits. His statement was comparing Eddie and Brenda.
Jeff then revealed the votes. Two castaways voted for Eddie, one person voted for Erik, and three tribemates voted to oust Brenda fromSurvivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites.
On her way out, Brenda told the group, "I was honest with you guys. I was genuine with you guys. It hurts."
The episode's closing credits later showed Cochran, Sherri and Dawn voted for Brenda; Eddie voted for Erik; and Brenda and Erik voted for Eddie.