Zipping Over the Cuckoo's Nest is the tenth episode of Survivor: Caramoan.


Night 25

After a Tribal Council shocker that sent Michael home, the Enil Edam tribe goes back to camp, where the members of the Stealth R Us 2.0 alliance leave the three male outsiders, Eddie, Reynold, and Malcolm, and proceed to the beach to have a meeting. Seeing that the meeting will most likely be about strategy, the three men let them be since they knew they were the main targets.

At the beach, the Stealth R Us alliance discusses that one of them should defeat the minority alliance at challenges, and in the event that Malcolm uses his Hidden Immunity Idol (they presume he has one, but are unsure at the time) they should just resort to splitting votes. Meanwhile, Malcolm, Eddie, and Reynold decide to look for Reynold's idol the next day, which they presume to be rehidden somewhere at camp. Eddie adds he would rather be on the outside than work for Phillip as a puppet.

There is a silver lining. I still have an idol i still have some power, just a little bit, it's not a whole lot, but I'm not going home without some fireworks.

Malcolm Freberg

Day 26

The next morning, the Enil Edam camp, Cochran and Phillip discuss Dawn's chances of winning the game, with both agreeing that she is not a threat because she has backstabbed a lot of people and she is not strong at challenges. All of a sudden, Dawn screams Brenda's name for help. Brenda rushes to the lagoon to see what Dawn is screaming about. The Survivor: Nicaragua alumna sees Dawn crying hysterically because her retainer, which has her bottom teeth on it, fell into the water while she was trying to drink. Dawn then states she cannot compete without her false teeth, and she is willing to quit the game if it is not found. Using a snorkel, Brenda swims down, promising Dawn she will return her retainer. Dawn directs her to where her retainer fell off. After a short while, Brenda finds the retainers and brings it back to Dawn. Dawn tremendously thanks her. 

Thank goodness for Brenda. There is a lot of kindness even when you're playing that's about one winner.

Dawn Meehan

My heart just went out to her so much, and after that incident, I'm not going to turn my back on her and vice versa.

Brenda Lowe

The tribes meet Jeff Probst for their next Reward Challenge, which would be for a shower and lunch at a resort. The purple team consists of Erik, Cochran, Phillip, Dawn, and Reynold. The orange team consists of Malcolm, Sherri, Eddie, Andrea, and Brenda.

Erik and Malcolm head out first. As Erik places his bag of balls on top of the table, Malcolm stays at the mud pit. Having competed and won the said challenge last season, Malcolm repeats their winning strategy by taking out all five bags of balls at once so his orange team tribemates will just collect them as they go. Reynold decides to copy Malcolm's strategy, extending the lead of the purple team, while Malcolm struggles to find the fifth bag. Dawn, Cochran, and Phillip extend the lead for the purple team due to Reynold. Meanwhile, Sherri manages to slow her team down considerably. As the purple team starts shooting balls, the orange team tries to catch up, but just when Eddie, the last orange team member to head out, has reached the end of the course, the purple team finishes shooting their twelve balls, winning themselves reward.

The challenge winners are welcomed to the Tugawe Cove Resort with a lunch table full of calamari, fried chicken, kebabs, and several dips. Later, they enjoy the pool. While the others rinse themselves of mud using the shower, Phillip walks straight to the pool to rinse himself, upsetting Erik.

I needed it. I was losing my marbles; and the thing that is the hardest for me to process in this game is that, it makes you kind of schizophrenic and how quickly emotions change.

Dawn Meehan

Phillip's etiquette is not the best. There's a shower to wash off in, but Phillip dives into the pool and dives with all the mud, the rice and all the horrible dirtiness. That's pretty much what Phillip has done this whole season. He just jumps in without care for anybody else and does things on his own. I'm just sick of Phillip being around.

Erik Reichenbach

Evening at the Enil Edam camp, while the tribe is already asleep, Dawn remains awake and unable to sleep for days, making her paranoid that it might be her getting voted out next.

My brain has not rested, and so I've become nervous about how the next stage of the game is going to play out. I'm paranoid of getting blindsided.

Dawn Meehan

Day 27

Dawn talks to Cochran and Phillip, expressing her worry about Andrea spending time with the enemy and the idea of her flipping to Malcolm, Eddie, and Reynold's side to take her out. Phillip assures Dawn that Andrea is loyal to their alliance. Later, Dawn walks away from Andrea while she shares food with Malcolm and Eddie. Andrea approaches Phillip asking him what she had done wrong to Dawn. Phillip tells her Dawn was just being paranoid. Later, Dawn confides to Cochran that she feels unstable and insecure.

We had one who flew over the cuckoo's nest in this game, Brandon Hantz. He's gone. But suddenly there's another possible hummingbird that's zipping over the cuckoo's nest and her name is Dawn.

John Cochran

Day 28

Dawn wakes up in a better mood, telling Erik she slept the whole night. Phillip then calls for a Stealth R Us meeting, where all alliance members agree their next target is Reynold, but as a fail-safe, in case of another Hidden Immunity Idol, they plan to split the votes between him and Malcolm. Andrea is confident nothing will go wrong at the upcoming Tribal Council.

Today is Day 28, the same day I went home last time. But after all of yesterday, I woke up today feeling like myself. I feel like my head is clear. The game is not overwhelming me.

Dawn Meehan

I don't mean to get too confident, but my alliance has the numbers and I couldn't be happier.

John Cochran

The tribe meets Jeff for their next Immunity Challenge. The first heat had Andrea, Cochran, Dawn, Reynold, and Sherri competing with the top two players moving on to the final round. Andrea and Reynold emerged victorious. Phillip decided to decline participation in the challenge due to a traumatic childhood experience involving being underwater. That left Brenda, Eddie, Erik, and Malcolm left to compete against each other. Malcolm won the round and a mistake by Eddie cost him immunity to Brenda's benefit. In the final round between Andrea, Brenda, Malcolm, and Reynold, Reynold edged out Malcolm to win immunity, forcing Stealth R Us to rethink their plans for the ensuing Tribal Council. The majority alliance was not deeply concerned since they still were able to split the votes between Eddie and Malcolm, although suspicions that Malcolm may have an Idol and that an idol may already be back in play (since Malcolm used Reynold's Idol at the previous Tribal Council) worried some players. Their plans were further complicated when Malcolm found a Hidden Immunity Idol without a clue in front of Andrea, Dawn, and Eddie. The Stealth R Us alliance headed to Tribal Council thinking that depending on who Malcolm uses the Idol on between him and Eddie, one of those two will still be eliminated. At Tribal Council Malcolm shocks everybody by pulling out two Hidden Immunity Idols, He gives one to Eddie and uses the other one for himself. Through the use of the Idols and Erik flipping on his alliance, Phillip was blindsided by a 4-0-0 vote, with four votes against Eddie being negated by his Idol and two voted against Malcolm being negated by his Idol.


Challenge: Muddy Waters
Contestants will be broken into two teams. They must go through a small obstacle course. They must then use the balls they collected to shoot into a basket. The first team to get 12 balls in the basket wins.
Reward: A trip to a resort with lunch.
Winner: Purple Team (Dawn Meehan, Erik Reichenbach, John Cochran, Phillip Sheppard, and Reynold Toepfer)

Challenge: Keel Hauling
Each castaway must pull themselves along a rope under a floating wood platform without coming up for air. The challenge ran in two heats. The two winners of each heat would compete against each other in the final heat. The winner of the final heat wins individual immunity.
Winner: Reynold Toepfer

Tribal Council

Tribal Council 10:
Enil Edam
S26 eddie t
(used Hidden Immunity Idol)
S26 andrea tS26 brenda tS26 dawn tS26 sherri t
Andrea, Brenda, Dawn, Sherri
(votes not counted)
S26 phillip t
Phillip (4 votes)
S26 eddie tS26 erik tS26 malcolm tS26 reynold t
Eddie, Erik, Malcolm, Reynold
S26 malcolm t
(used Hidden Immunity Idol)
S26 cochran tS26 phillip t
Cochran, Phillip
(votes not counted)
S26 phillip bw
Phillip Sheppard

Voting Confessionals

Cochran's vote was not shown during his confessional. Erik was shown writing Phillip's name on the parchment.

S26 cochran t

(voting for Malcolm) Whatever happens tonight, this is why I frickin' love Survivor after 13 years.

Final Words

S26 phillip bw

I feel I played a great game. I am so happy with the way I played. I tried to bring into the game some things that I learned from Boston Rob. I felt often like I did in Survivor Season 22, I wasn't respected, I wasn't appreciated for the things that I'd do. So that part hurts for me, but I'm feeling good, I think I played a great game. I know that I did a very good job out here and did my best.

Still in the Running

S26 francesca bw
S26 allie bw
S26 hope bw
S26 shamar bw
S26 laura bw
S26 brandon bw
S26 matt bw
S26 julia bw
S26 corinne bw
S26 michael bw
S26 phillip bw
Enil Edam
S26 andrea t
Enil Edam
S26 brenda t
Enil Edam
S26 cochran t
Enil Edam
S26 dawn t
Enil Edam
S26 eddie t
Enil Edam
S26 erik t
Enil Edam
S26 malcolm t
Enil Edam
S26 reynold t
Enil Edam
S26 sherri t


Life at Ponderosa

Behind the Scenes

  • Dawn explains why she broke down when she lost her retainer. While spending time alone in the lagoon to de-stress herself, she was trying to clean her teeth, and when she spit out water, her bottom teeth fell off. Dawn states that she had an accident a few years ago, thus the need to put on a retainer. Dawn realizes that the game did make her insecure over the course of playing it, with the idea of her getting voted out constantly plaguing her. However, despite the constant paranoia the game brings, Dawn is nonetheless grateful for Brenda's unconditional kindness.
  • Cochran calls Dawn "extremely volatile" after her breakdown, being happy and upbeat one second, but emotional and "manic" the next. Cochran says that the game really takes a toll on someone, no matter who the person is in his or her personal life.
  • Brenda blames Malcolm for losing the Reward Challenge, saying that though Malcolm boasted that he won the said challenge in his first season by devising a strategy (collecting the other bags of balls for his teammates for easy access), he panicked tremendously, eating up a lot of time for their team.
  • Eddie expresses his frustration on Sherri slowing his team down at the Reward Challenge, calling her the "plague" of any team she is on.
  • Erik is shocked and amazed that his team, which consisted of Phillip, the oldest contestant in the game, and Cochran, known as being woefully weak at challenges, actually won the challenge. 
  • Phillip explains the reason why he forfeited the Immunity Challenge. He states that when he was 7 years old, he fell into a pond at Springwater, New York, where he got stuck below a deck while swimming. He had to be dragged out. He adds that even if he competed at the challenge, he had no shot of winning to due to his age.


  • This episode was voted the 19th best Survivor episode of all time in the 'Top 25 Greatest Episodes of all time' poll by Survivor Oz in 2015.
  • This is the first episode in which multiple Hidden Immunity Idols were played and all idols voided at least one vote.
  • This is the second consecutive episode where Malcolm Freberg plays an idol but did not receive the most votes.
  • With Phillip's elimination, all Favorites have been voted out at one point during their Survivor careers.
  • The Reward Challenge was used previously in "Little Miss Perfect".
  • The Immunity Challenge was used previously in "What the...? (Part 2)".
  • Phillip became the first contestant to outright forfeit an Individual Challenge without reaping some sort of a reward. Previous forfeitures had contestants being given an opportunity to compete at the challenge or just eat at a banquet nearby.
    • The Survivor Rulebook normally does not allow forfeiture of challenges. Phillip did not receive a penalty; however, he was voted out as a result of not having immunity.
  • This is the fourth time in Survivor history that more than two contestants are immune from a post-merge Tribal Council, following "What the...? (Part 2)", "Going Down in Flames", and "This Is Going to Hurt".
  • In a coincidence, everyone who was eliminated before the final round of the immunity comprised the final five.
    • Also, those eliminated in the first round would be the final three.
    • Also, Phillip the only person not to compete in the Immunity Challenge was the one eliminated.
  • This episode was nominated for Outstanding Picture Editing for Reality Programming at the 65th Emmy Awards.[2]


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