I've been trying to figure out the idol situation, why Malcolm didn't just dig and why Andrea didn't dig. I think I would have got my whole alliance out there digging if I were her.
She knows she's in trouble though and may want the idol just for her. I think she's waiting for a chance to dig it up by herself with no one knowing, but she also said she was 80% sure the Malcolm had it so she may just have thought it was already found.
Why Malcolm didn't dig despite her being there I can't figure out. Maybe he just hoped he'd get a chance later to come back and dig alone.
I think Malcolm is charming enough he could have gone far with the favorites alliance if he'd chosen to. He made a mistake by wanting to be the power player in the game and trying to do it with those numbskulls. I think he is used to getting his way with his looks and charm and never really thought he wouldn't be able to win people over to his side. I think he was a teeny bit arrogant and that was his downfall.
I didn't mind Dawn's emotional pleas to Eric. I think he probably needed a tug on his emotions as well as Cochran's logic to keep him in the alliance.