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An emotional episode for Utahn, Mormon on 'Survivor: Caramoan'

The previews for Wednesday’s episode of “Survivor: Caramoan — Fans vs. Favorites” showed South Jordan mother Dawn Meehan very upset.

At the very beginning of the episode, she had gone swimming and lost a retainer with some replacement bottom teeth. She was very emotional and called out for Brenda Lowe to come help her. Meehan said if her retainer wasn’t found she would pull herself from the game.

And Lowe went on a search in the water and found them.

“Thank goodness for Brenda,” Meehan said. “There is a lot of kindness when there is a game about one winner. That is a pretty good reminder right now.”

Wednesday’s episode included Days 26-28 of the 39-day game.

At the Reward Challenge on Day 26, Meehan was one of the five that won the challenge. It included walking a balance beam, sliding down into a mud pit, finding a bag of balls in the mud and then once all five bags are found, throwing the balls into a target.

Meehan was on a team with John Cochran, Erik Reichenbach, Phillip Sheppard and Reynold Toepfer.

Malcolm Freberg tried finding all of the bags in the mud pit — a page from the team that won the challenge in “Survivor: Philippines.” But it took too long to find all of them, giving the other team too big of a lead.

“Just the smell of the soap was overpowering,” Meehan said as she took a shower at the reward site, which also included a meal and swimming.

“I needed it. I’ve been losing my marbles,” said Meehan, who is a mother of six adopted children and a Brigham Young University English professor. “I think the thing that's hardest for me to process about the game is it makes you feel kind of schizophrenic how quickly the emotions change. “

Lack of sleep and paranoia over “outwitting” other players was getting to Meehan. She spent most of Day 27 thinking she would be next to go home and those in her alliance began to think she was emotionally breaking and losing her composure.

“I cry more than a baby,” she told Cochran. “I’m so tired of crying.”

After a full night’s sleep, Meehan pulled it together on Day 28, in time for the Immunity Challenge and Tribal Council and other unexpected twists and surprises in the game.

“After all of yesterday and my meltdown tornado, I woke up today feeling like myself,” Meehan said on Day 28, which was the point in “Survivor: South Pacific” when she was voted out. Meehan is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Their alliance of seven Favorites, or previous players, has the numbers and decided to split their vote between Toepfer and Freberg, in case there is a personal immunity idol. Also part of the “Three Amigos” is Eddie Fox.

During the Immunity Challenge, Sheppard sat out — a first in “Survivor” history when there wasn’t some sort of exchange. Sheppard said there was an incident when he was kid and he was stuck under a dock.

The challenge included swimming under a platform and moving rings from one side of the platform to another.

Toepfer won the challenge, getting immunity.

Another twist came later that afternoon when Freberg found an Individual Immunity Idol, which was witnessed by Fox, Meehan and Andrea Boehlke. The Favorites alliance switched to targeting Fox and Freberg to flush out the idol.

At Tribal Council, Boehlke called Freberg on having the idol, which Freberg put on. And then Freberg pulled out an idol no one else knew he had and gave it to Fox, leaving the other seven to scramble and start whispering and throwing out names.

“It’s rare when tribal gets this crazy,” host Jeff Probst said of everyone whispering.

“Every day the game changes for me,” Meehan said of the twists in the game.

Freberg told the group his trio was voting for Sheppard. And then the paranoia set in that they were telling the truth and that they would actually play their Individual Immunity Idols.

“I feel we should vote the way we said were going to vote when we came in here,” Sheppard said. “If that means I’m going to go home, I will go home.”

And in the end, it was Sheppard who was voted out as both Freberg and Fox played their Individual Immunity Idols.

“In one of the craziest tribals ever, Reynold, Eddie and Malcolm survived another vote,” Probst said. “The question is did they change the game enough to survive another vote.”

“Survivor: Caramoan — Fans vs. Favorites” airs Wednesday evenings on CBS.

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