Wednesday’s episode of “Survivor: Caramoan — Fans vs. Favorites” was one of highs and lows for Utahn Dawn Meehan. She got to see her husband, David, on Day 35 and she won individual immunity on Day 36.
On Day 35 of the 39-day competition, the remaining six castaways got to see their loved ones, whether a spouse, sibling, parent or friend.
For Meehan, a Brigham Young University English professor, it was her husband, Dave. It was also their 21st anniversary.
The loved ones helped with the challenge, which included unscrewing three rails and putting them on a rack, then lobbing three bolos on the bars.
Favorite Brenda Lowe and her father, Raymond, barely won the challenge, edging out Dawn and Dave and Fan Sherri Biethman and her husband, Jared.
And Brenda Lowe got to pick another “Survivor” to come with her and her dad to the floating backyard barbecue just off their beach. And she picked the Meehans, who live in South Jordan, are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and adoptive parents of six.
But there was a twist. A second loved one was also on the island and could join them for the barbecue. Brenda Lowe’s sister was there as was Dawn Meehan’s best friend.
“For the first time in 'Survivor' history, two loved ones for everyone,” host Jeff Probst said.
As the winner, Brenda Lowe got to choose to go or let the other four castaways see both of their loved ones.
“This game is crazy,” Favorite Erick Reichenbach said.
And Lowe chose to let the other four go to the barbecue. So, Favorite John Cochran and Fan Eddie Fox got to spend time with their parents, Reichenbach with both of his brothers and Biethman and her husband and son were at the barbecue.
Although she understood Lowe’s decision, it was an emotional afternoon for Meehan to be at camp while the floating barbecue was 50 yards off their beach and within sight.
“I feel like Brenda earned all the good favor today because she’s the one who gifted everybody,” said Meehan, who was hungry, annoyed and mad. “And now I feel like I’m just lost.”
Lowe, while hoping she made the right choice, tried to encourage Meehan and keep their spirits up.
Cochran, Fox, Reichenbach and Beithman were all grateful to go on the barbecue, but Cochran is noticing that Lowe is likable, wins challenges and incurred a lot of goodwill with giving up her reward.
“We’re at that point in the game where likability is a liability,” Cochran said.
On Day 36, the Immunity Challenge included standing on a ledge over and holding onto a handle attached to a wench. Every five minutes, Probst would let more out, lowering them closer to the water.
“This challenge is designed to test your will,” Probst said.
Cochran was out first and Fox went out after hanging on for 25 minutes, quickly followed by Reichenbach and Beithman. It was down to Lowe and Meehan.
After extending the rope some more, Lowe tried to hang on but jumped in.
And for the first time in either season Meehan played “Survivor,” she won individual immunity.
Back at camp, she was faced with a decision.
Meehan has final three scenarios with Lowe and Reichenbach and also with Cochran and Beithman.
It was going to be an easy vote targeting Fox at Tribal Council. But Cochran had his sights set on blindsiding Lowe, who he sees as possibly winning the $1 million prize.
“I didn’t play my own game last time, so I’m trying to and it’s hard,” Meehan said.
Meehan said she has been trying take out those who are the “biggest strategic threat.” But she also sees that the last time she let Cochran sway her vote, she went home before him.
“I’m really confused,” Meehan said before they headed off to Tribal Council. Lowe had helped Meehan find her retainer at the bottom of the lake.
At Tribal Council, Meehan felt a sense of security with the Immunity necklace.
“More than anything it was a feeling of ‘I did that.’ I trained for this game and I came and I did something that it’s like a bucket list thing,” Meehan said.
Fox was prepared for this to be his last night in the game.
The votes were one for Richenbach, two for Fox and three for Lowe, who became a member of the jury.
Jury members can observe Tribal Councils, but not participate, and will ultimately decide from the final three castaways who will win the $1 million.
“I was honest with you guys. I was genuine with you guys,” an upset Lowe told the remaining five “Survivors” before leaving into the rainy night. “It hurts.”
There are three days left in the game for $1 million.
“If the first 36 are any indication, it's going to be a crazy finish,” Probst said.
The two-hour season finale and reunion show of “Survivor: Caramoan — Fans vs. Favorites” is Sunday evening starting at 7 p.m. on CBS.
And the previews hint that one of the remaining five might need to be medically evacuated.
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