Nobody's here to make friends. They're here to win $1 million.
Of course, "Survivor" players do make friends. They bond. They grow close. They scheme together. They starve together. They comfort each other through brutal conditions.
But in the end, there's only one sole survivor, and that means people will get backstabbed, betrayed, and hurt. This time, it's Brenda, at the hands of the "nicest" person out there -- Dawn. And even worse, it happens after she willingly gives up time with her loved one.
That's just cold, you guys.
Camp is lethargic. This far into the game, the shelter's been built and the fire's going, and everybody has their chores and routines. As a fed-up Erik says, "There's nothing to be talked about, nothing to be said, nothing to be done. I'm miserable here. This is the most beautiful prison I've ever been in." (Erik has others to compare it to?!)
The guy is seriously cracking up, though. His hunger is driving him up a tree, literally -- he starts climbing a supertall tree in a bid to get the coconuts at the very tippy-top. Dawn and Brenda finally plead for him to come back down.
When he does, he gets a dose of energy in the form of the Sprint-sponsored video message that means only one thing: visits from loved ones!
Dawn isn't the only one crying this time. Everybody's weeping and wailing at the sight of their family members (though Dawn is particularly sob-tastic). The players team up with the loved ones for a reward challenge, which will take the winners to an offshore barbecue. Brenda and her dad finish first, but of course, Jeff Probst lets her choose one another. And of course, it's Dawn.
But wait! Jeff gives her another choice. He shows Brenda a video message: A second loved one for everybody is on the island. She can either (a) go with her dad, Dawn, and Dawn's husband to the barbecue, or (b) send the other four players and their eight loved ones to the barbecue. Wow ... "Survivor" is starting to be really mean these last few seasons with the dilemmas!
Saintly Brenda chooses to send the other four, which makes Dawn go hysterical. And when the two of them are back at camp (and can see the others partying offshore), she's inconsolable with sadness and rage. Brenda hopes she did the right thing. "Whenever you do anything big in this case ... it's funny how it's always a double-edged sword," she notes.
Her generosity might work against her. As Cochran points out, even his own mother whispered to him that Brenda would win!
The immunity challenge is yet another "hold on for as long as you can" one, and the boys drop out surprisingly fast. It ends up coming down to Brenda (again) and Dawn (surprisingly). Dawn wants to make a deal, since she hasn't won yet, but Brenda is a competitor. But after Jeff lowers them one more notch, Brenda falls. And Dawn wins immunity for the first time ever!
Back at camp, Brenda's just happy that Eddie dropped so fast; to her, it's a straightforward vote. Sigh ... did she learn nothing from Andrea's vote? As soon as you think you're safe, you're voted out!
And just like clockwork, Cochran starts scheming. He knows Brenda will be tough to beat in the final -- she hasn't betrayed anyone, she's been good at physical challenges, and she did make that saintly sacrifice. First, he gets Sherri on board, but Dawn hesitates. She and Brenda are likethis. Remember when Brenda dove to get her fake teeth? Well, guess Dawn has a short memory.
Cochran and Dawn talk strategy in this deleted scene:
Mostly, she's worried about playing her own game. On "Survivor: South Pacific," she listened to Cochran -- then went home before him. This time, she wants to make decisions that are right and best for her.
At tribal, Jeff asks Eddie if he's on the chopping block (again). Yes, he feels this could be his night, and he's just happy to have been there at all. Aww, good puppy! That's a good boy!
So, it's an easy vote, Jeff asks. Well, "The easy vote isn't always the smartest vote," Cochran answers. What else does Brenda need at this point? A big neon sign saying "You've been blindsided!"?
Everyone votes, and Jeff reads them out. Two for Eddie, one for Erik ... three for Brenda. She's shocked. She's sad. She's pissed.
"I was honest with you guys. I was genuine with you guys," she says. "It hurts."
Her torch is snuffed out and Brenda leaves crying. She should've let the whole world see Dawn's gaping, toothless, lying mouth.
If any of you are watching #survivor I hope that you share my distaste for Dawn. It's okay Brenda, you won in character— Callie Chehoski (@ThePolishWonder) May 9, 2013
Life lesson I've learned from #Survivor No matter how nice and helpful you are to people, you're still going to be back stabbed.— Chloe✌ (@chloefornia) May 9, 2013
can't believe Eddie's still hanging in there, he might actually be a big threat in the finale #Survivor— Katie(@katieefbaby) May 9, 2013
Winning the family challenge is a curse and it always has been. #Survivor— Ryan Vines (@TheGreatVines) May 9, 2013
The finale of "Surivor: Caramoan" airs Sunday, 5/12 at 8 PM on CBS.