‘Survivor: South Pacific’ Recap: The Geek Shall Inherit the Earth

Last Week: Coach prayed to find an idol that he already had, Cochran proved that when it comes to challenges, he’s really quite bad, and Ozzy sacrificed himself and has possibly gone mad.

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
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
Rick – 51, Rancher
Sophie – 22, Medical Student

Currently Residing on Redemption Island (wearing a chance to return to the game)
Christine – 39, Teacher
Ozzy – 30, Potential Dumbest/Savviest Player Ever

The show gets underway back at Savaii beach after Tribal Council. Cochran breaks down Ozzy’s crazy gamble (I won’t call it a dumb move) where he sent himself to Redemption Island in hopes of defeating Christine and returning to the game at the merge.

Cochran says he was willing to take Ozzy’s place, but Keith doesn’t quite believe him.

Cochran then shares with us the second part of the plan that involves him infiltrating the Upolu tribe as a double agent. He thinks this should be no problem as he’s been pretending to like Savaii for weeks. Zing!

I think Savaii deserves a tilted head and an arched eyebrow because they don’t see that Ozzy would make a way better double agent. Savaii voted out his cuddle buddy, then voted him out. It’s the perfect back story.

Meanwhile at Redemption (not an) Island, Ozzy meets up with Christine. He tells her that Cochran screwed him over by playing an idol. Ozzy later claims that this mission will either be the stupidest thing he’s ever done or the craziest thing he’s ever done. Oh Ozzy…it can totally be both.

Everyone is in attendance for the Redemption Island challenge. Before it gets underway, Ozzy does the worst (read: THE WORST) job ever of pushing his “Cochran is the devil” agenda. I’m sure Upolu saw better acting during last week’s screening of Adam Sandler’s “Jack and Jill.”

Albert proves he’s as perceptive as he is dreamy when he turns to Coach and says, “I don’t buy it.”

Oh jeez, as if I wasn’t rooting for Christine before…

Redemption Island Duel:
The two combatants will stand behind a big bamboo door. They’ll use sticks and twine to create a long pole. They’ll use those poles to try to retrieve keys. The first person to retrieve all three keys and open their door will return to the game and promptly be voted out by Boston Rob. (Well…if history tells us anything.)

During the pole-building portion, Christine uses less poles that Ozzy. This proves to be a mistake as her pole isn’t strong enough to bring any keys back. Ozzy is suffering similar problems.

Quick Aside: I like this challenge because it reminds me of the time on “Friends” when they made the long poking device to see if Ugly Naked Guy was dead.

Ozzy adjusts his poking device and has little trouble retrieving all three keys, winning himself redemption. Cochran did his best to look sad.

Good job, Savaii. You booted a woman who was dying to join your tribe.

After the challenge, Probst throws the merge buffs to Cochran. I’m assuming he did this because he knew nobody would appreciate new “Survivor” swag more than him.

Oh, and the new color is yellow, keeping with the primary colors theme.

The merge feast takes place on Savaii beach, which is a shame because Upolu beach is way nicer.

Cochran and Coach share a heart-to-heart where Cochran explains how mean the Savaii tribe is. Coach immediately tips his hand, telling Cochran that he thinks Savaii intentionally sent Ozzy to Redemption to eliminate Christine.

What?! That’s preposterous.

Coach tells Cochran that Upolu won’t budge and would rather pull rocks in a tie breaker than turn on each other. He then gives an amazing speech, telling Cochran that he has a chance to change the game for himself.

Wow, I don’t know if Cochran bought any of that, but it made a lot of sense.

Later, Cochran meets up with Coach’s brain trust (Sophie and Albert) and tells them all about Ozzy’s plan. Then, he spills the beans to Brandon about how mean Jim and Keith have been to him.

Cochran then gives the immunity idol back to Ozzy because he’s a mastermind, but not an evil mastermind.

After that, Cochran and Dawn discuss strategy. Dawn isn’t a fan of how Cochran has been treated and is tempted to make the jump with him. She has a bit of a breakdown as she doesn’t like the idea of turning on Savaii. That and she wishes she had stood up for Cochran more.

Jeez, what was going on over there? I know Keith was short with him, but were they giving him buff wedgies?

Immunity Challenge Time: Each player will balance on a perch while holding a coconut between two ropes. As time goes on, the ropes will be extended, making it more difficult to hold the coconut up. If a player steps off the perch or drops their coconut they’ll be eliminated. The last female and male standing will win immunity.

Not much to describe here except for standin’ and coconut holdin’. Edna and Cochran are the first to go. (Ahem…shocking.)

We lose Whitney and Sophie at the start of the next round. So, Dawn wins female immunity.

Note: Dawn doesn’t stay in the challenge to prove how tough she is (ala Jane Bright from “Survivor: Nicaragua”). Why? Cause Dawn’s smart.

Coach and Rick are the next to go. Then Jim and Keith are out with only a few seconds left in the round.

It’s down to Brandon, Albert, and Ozzy. Brandon’s the first one out and he’s followed by Albert. Ozzy wins male immunity.

Politicking around camp starts with Savaii trying to figure out who Upolu is least likely to give their idol to. They decide on Rick and Sophie.

Jim thinks they should give the immunity idol to Whitney as she’s the least threatening member of their tribe.

Keith isn’t quite sure that Cochran is going to stay loyal. He’s right to think that as Cochran isn’t a fan of having a one-in-ten shot of being eliminated if they pick rocks.

Cochran shares Savaii’s plans with Sophie. He tells her he wants to vote with Savaii for the first vote so they don’t hate him as much. Yeah…I doubt that will change their opinion of him.

Sophie says she’ll do her best to make it look like he hasn’t coughed up the info. She then wins 100 “Survivor” nickname points by referring to Cochran as a “dodgeball target.”

Coach thinks he’s done everything he can to lead Upolu through the evening’s Tribal Council. He lays out every “David vs. Goliath” cliché possible except for actually saying “David vs. Goliath.”

Uh-oh…Dawn’s changed her mind about flipping. She’s worried that Upolu won’t keep their promises. Apparently Dawn spent some time praying over this. She thinks that sounds cliché. She shouldn’t tell Coach that.

That night at Tribal Council, Coach and Ozzy both tell Probst that they’re probably going to see a tie vote.

J-Pro breaks down the tie breaker process, saying that the people who got votes are safe and everyone else has to draw a rock. The odd rock out goes to Redemption Island.

Edna thinks that someone who feels like they’re on the outskirts of their tribe might switch sides. Edna said that? Cue Alanis Morrisette…it’s like raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaain on your wedding day…

Jim doesn’t think anyone from his tribe would leave to join Upolu.

Albert thinks Ozzy was doing his best Broadway show at Redemption Island and he didn’t believe him. Maybe, “Miss (Direction) Saigon?” “Guys and Dolls and Obvious Lies?”  “How to Tell a Terrible, Unconvincing Story Without Really Trying?”

Sophie was offended by Ozzy’s hammy performance. Ozzy plays it off by admitting he was acting and confessing to having an idol.

Voting Time: No votes are shown. You can cut the tension with some crispy rice.

Before the votes are read, Ozzy stands up and plays his idol, handing it to Whitney. Upolu doesn’t seem concerned.

Six votes for Keith, six votes for Rick…we have a tie.

Re-Voting Time:
Again, no votes are shown.

Six votes for Keith, five votes for Rick, and the eighth person to pay a visit to Redemption Island is…Keith.

As Keith is making his way to the podium, Cochran admits to Savaii that he is the one who flipped. Jim just looks at him and says, “Coward.” Brandon comes to his defense.

Verdict: Alright, we need to touch on a few things here.

First: I think Savaii is done. The Upolu alliance is built on Coach’s cult-like trust. The only people who seem capable of making moves are Sophie and Albert, and they already have Coach in their pocket due to him lying about having the idol. I think that trio might be our final three.

Second: Coach killed it this episode. The way he defused Savaii’s ruse and used it to bring Cochran on board was inspiring. I’m actually starting to wonder if Coach’s goofball persona is his biggest asset this season. Players went in there expecting the crazy Coach they’ve seen on TV and are meeting the bright, well-spoken Coach that actually exists.

Third: Did Cochran make the right move? Doubtful. Flippers are never treated well by their new alliance.

Who’s Going to Win: I think it’s going to come down to Albert, Sophie, and Coach.

Power Rankings Update: For the third straight week, Andrea Boehlke has picked it perfectly. Fortunately, I got it right this week too. We both had Keith getting the boot and Ozzy winning at Redemption Island. The current score is now Team Boehlke 100, Team Holmes 101.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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