Last Week: Stacey and Christine spilled the beans about the Upolu alliance, Albert buttered up Coach by helping him find the immunity idol, and Jim upset the applecart by turning on Elyse and voting her out.
Note: I shouldn’t write these recaps when I’m hungry.
39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog
Here are the tribes as they currently stand…
The Savaii Tribe (wearing red)
Cochran – 24, Harvard Law Student
Dawn – 41, English Professor
Jim – 35, Medical Marijuana Dispensary Owner
Keith – 26, Water Treatment Tech
Ozzy – 30, Slayer of Challenges
Whitney – 27, Country Music Singer
The Upolu Tribe (wearing blue)
Albert – 26, Baseball/Dating Coach
Brandon – 19, Oil Tanker Crewman
Coach – 39, Slayer of Dragons
Edna – 35, Anesthesiologist
Mikayla – 22, Lingerie Football Player
Rick – 51, Rancher
Sophie – 22, Medical Student
Currently Residing on Redemption Island (wearing buffs they hope they won’t have to burn)
Christine – 39, Teacher
Elyse – 27, Dance Team Manager
This episode kicks off with a very dejected Ozzy returning to Savaii camp. He tells the rest of the tribe that he’s done with alliances and is now a free agent. Jim, Whitney, and Keith try to talk him out of it, but Ozzy thinks they need to be honest with each other.
Dawn calls Ozzy out, saying he’s been hiding stuff from them. He agrees, admitting that he has the immunity idol.
Ozzy then tells the tribe they’re forgetting about Redemption Island. Keith lets him know that if he wants them to send him there, they will.
Wha what? Two things. First, Dawn…loving her. Second, Ozzy’s blowing up his game. I haven’t seen a meltdown like this since Brandon Hantz admitted to gunning for Mikayla.
OK, so that wasn’t that long ago.
The following morning, Cochran claims that Ozzy is acting like a “stupid bitch.” Whoa! I thought Cochran’s mom was watching this show. Machetes, blindsides, and curses…they grow up so fast on the island.
Meanwhile over at Upolutucky, Coach lets us know that he’s made the decision to not tell Brandon about the immunity idol. The Dragon Slayer is wise.
So, Brandon spends some time looking for it. His Hantz idol sixth sense helps him uncover one of the clues. He shares the clue with Coach, then continues looking for the idol.
Coach is a little wigged out as the determination Brandon is showing reminds him of Russell. The accent helps too.
Redemption Island Duel: It’s “Survivor” shuffle board. The first player to knock all four of the opposing player’s pucks off of the board will stay in the game.
Keith and Ozzy are attending the day’s festivities for Savaii, while Sophie and some dude with a mustache and a cowboy hat attend for Upolu. Before the challenge gets underway, Christine breaks down a little as Redemption Island is lonely…and not an island.
Christine scores first, knocking off one of Elyse’s pucks. Elyse responds by knocking off one of Christine’s.
The guy in the cowboy hat openly roots for Christine. She responds by not-so-subtly rubbing her nose with her middle finger. Oof…Cochran’s mom is witnessing all kinds of bad behavior tonight.
Christine scores again. Elyse follows that up by accidentally knocking off one of her own pucks. Doh. Christine has three pucks left on the board, Elyse only has one.
Christine misses with her next shot. Elyse doesn’t. Christine two, Elyse one.
Christine misses again, Elyse doesn’t. Each player has one puck left on the board.
Christine hits her shot, and since this isn’t little league, Elyse doesn’t get fair ups. So, Elyse has been eliminated from “Survivor: South Pacific.”
Over at Upolu, Edna confesses that she’s worried about her place in the game because of Brandon’s admission that she isn’t in the alliance. She figures her best plan of attack is to cozy up to Coach. Coach tells her he has her back because he feels like she’ll lay down her “Survivor” life for him. That’s certainly a new one.
Back at Savaii, Ozzy realizes that crying about his woobie probably wasn’t the best way to win friends and influence people. He takes Keith aside and they bro it out. Buddies again.
Immunity Challenge Time: Three players from each team will build a wheelbarrow. They’ll push the wheelbarrow through a zig-zag course. At two places they’ll untie knots on coconut-dropping contraptions. Once all the knots are untied, coconuts will drop into their wheelbarrow. Then they’ll have to deconstruct the wheelbarrow and create an ‘Angry Birds’-esque slingshot. They’ll then use then launch the coconuts at a series of targets. First team to take out all of their targets wins immunity, a trip to the sliding rocks, and an immunity clue.
Fun Fact: Challenge creator John Kirhoffer said this challenge is in his top-five favorite challenges of all time.
Another Fun Fact: These are the same sliding rocks they used for a reward during “Survivor: Samoa.” I went there during my visit and it was equal parts super fun and freezing cold.
Edna will sit out the challenge for Upolu.
Mr. Mustache, Brandon, and Sophie will do the first leg for Upolu, while Cochran, Dawn, and Ozzy will go for Savaii.
Team Upolu jumped out to a big lead as Team Savaii had a tough time maneuvering the cumbersome wheelbarrow.
Albert, Coach, and Mikayla had slingshot duties for Upolu and a decent lead. They’d already hit a few targets before Jim, Whitney, and Keith got to take their first shots.
Mikayla had a tough time working the slingshot. She was only using one hand and wasn’t getting enough distance on her shots. Apparently that made the difference as Savaii was able to catch up and win the challenge.
Back at Upolu, politicking seems to center around Mikayla vs. Edna. Coach is definitely gunning for Mikayla as she wasn’t accepting his coaching during the challenge. You’d think a professional athlete would be more open to that. (What? Lingerie football is a professional sport.)
Albert, on the other hand, tells Mikayla he’s going to keep her safe.
Quick Aside: Stacey did say that she thought Albert and her were close during her exit interview.
Albert makes the argument that Mikayla is better at challenges and that Edna is a strategy threat. Sophie and Rick (I looked his name up) seem to agree.
Brandon, however, gave his word that Edna would be the group’s sixth member, and he will stick to it because God hates “Survivor” blindsides or something.
I’ve said this about a dozen times; God has bigger business to attend to than “Survivor.”
Albert takes his case to Coach, but Coach takes the blame for losing the challenge because Mikayla wouldn’t follow his direction. Coach knows that Edna would have listened. Albert is worried that Edna is faking her loyalty to Coach.
So, we have Sophie and Albert wanting Edna and Coach and Brandon gunning for Mikayla. Rick and his mustache are the swing vote.
That night at Tribal Council, Coach makes the case that they could have won the challenge if they’d let Albert take all the shots.
Edna doesn’t like being the scrawniest player on the team, but apparently it is what it is. Way to make your case there, Edna.
Brandon says they have to be up in numbers at the merge and the next challenge is “detrimental” to the way the game turns out. He might’ve meant “crucial.”
Albert and Sophie think loyalty isn’t as important as numbers at the merge. Coach disagrees. Albert counters with a solid argument saying loyalty can be faked, but strength can’t be.
I check my watch and apparently it’s time for Brandon’s Tribal Council confession. Apparently they made a pact to stay an alliance of six through the merge and Mikayla isn’t part of that six.
Albert keeps with his strong showing going by saying they’re still loyal, they’re just having a difference of opinions.
Brandon says he’d rather be voted out than to play with dishonest people. He follows that up by admitting that he’d rather keep Mikayla, but that he gave his word to his alliance.
Coach tries to explain that you have to be careful with what you say in this game, but Brandon isn’t having it. Half-truths and withholding information are just as bad as lying.
Voting Time: Brandon votes for Mikayla, Mikayla votes for Edna, Albert votes for Edna, and Edna votes for Mikayla (and wishes her well in her modeling career). The rest of the votes aren’t shown.
What?! Hidden votes? That’s withholding information! The producers are liars!
Anywho, the lying liar Jeff Probst tallies and returns. One vote for Mikayla, one vote for Edna, one vote for Mikayla, one vote for Edna, one vote for Mikayla, one vote for Edna, and the sixth person to pay a visit to Redemption Island is…Mikayla.
Verdict: Brandon turned up the crazy toward the end, but he wasn’t able to top Ozzy’s self-destructive showing. Strong effort though.
Another solid episode with good drama and gameplay from both tribes. But, I think I’m ready for this season to hit mergeville.
Who’s Going to Win: I don’t think the divide between Coach and Albert is going to be a big deal. It wasn’t like Albert outted his idol or anything. So, I’m sticking with Sophie.
Power Rankings Update: A perfect game from both sides as Andrea Boehlke and I both had Mikayla in spot thirteen and Christine winning Redemption Island. The current score is Team Boehlke 75, Team Holmes 78.
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes