Quick Note: Voting for the “Survivor” Hall of Fame has ended. Be sure to check back Monday, December 12th to meet the first inductee into the Class of 2011.
Last Week: Rick gave Albert a nickname, Albert gave Cochran a massage (in a sense), and Upolu gave Cochran a trip to Redemption Island.
39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog
Here is the tribe as it currently stands…
The Te Tuna Tribe (wearing yellow)
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 awkward silences)
Cochran – 24, Harvard Law Student
Ozzy – 30, Challenge Destroyer
The evening’s festivities kick off with Cochran heading to Redemption Island to meet the great and powerful Oz.
Cochran feels like he was used by Upolu and that they didn’t have the decency to keep him around. OK, Cochran’s seen enough “Survivor” to know that you’re not really promised anything in this game.
Ozzy thinks a great way to get back at them would be to vote for him at the final Tribal Council. Cochran isn’t thrilled that it’s a foregone conclusion that Ozzy’s going to beat him at the challenge. He’s right, it’s entirely possible that the challenge will involve “Simpsons” trivia.
The following morning, Edna excuses herself from Te Tuna’s morning prayer because she doesn’t feel like she’s part of the tribe. Uh oh, that’ll cost her God’s vote at the final Tribal.
Edna let’s Coach know that she’s annoyed that they aren’t six strong. Coach says they are, but now they’re at the final six. He has a point.
She doesn’t like that a nineteen-year-old high-school dropout who advertises that he’s crazy (her words, not mine) is dictating her place in the game.
The nineteen-year-old high-school dropout who advertises that he’s crazy (her words, not mine) interrupts their chat to inform them that the day’s tree mail is a Sprint phone.
Sprint. The Now Network.
Sure enough, it’s videos from home. Videos include greetings from Rick’s wife, Edna’s sister, Sophie’s dad, Albert’s mom, Coach’s brother, and Brandon’s dad (also known as Russell’s brother).
Redemption Island Duel: The players will use a grappling hook (like Batman!) to retrieve three bags. In those bags are balls. They’ll use one of those balls to complete a marble-type table maze. First person to complete the maze stays in the game.
Ozzy gets off to a strong start, retrieving all three bags quickly. Upolu tries to help Cochran by giving him hook-tossing tips. Fortunately for Cochran he can’t be discouraged by the comical sound effects the “Survivor” editing team has added to his embarrassing grappling hook tosses.
Cochran eventually manages to get all three of his bags and it’s so on. Both players have to keep restarting the maze as they’re having trouble keeping their balls on the table.
During the proceedings, Probst refers to Ozzy as one of Cochran’s idols. I’m sure Cochran would dispute that.
It seems to be super close in the end, but Ozzy manages to pull out the win.
In the post-game chat, Cochran gets a little emotional. Probst gives him a touching pep talk, telling him that he’s seen him grow as a person in his time out there.
Probst then calls out the remaining players’ loved ones. Rick takes this opportunity to grope his wife. Oh, now he’s entertaining.
Fun Fact: Probst has about a billion catchphrases. The only ones that bug me are “Give (a person) some love,” and “Get some food in your belly.”
Ozzy is given the opportunity to pick three people to spend time with their loved ones. Ozzy chooses Albert, Coach, and Brandon.
Probst then lets us know that they’ll all be spending time together on Redemption Island. That’s interesting.
Coach claims that being on “Survivor” is a once-in-a-lifetime event. I’m thinking Coach, who’s on his third season, is bad at math.
The players and their loved ones spend some time taking photos of each other with the new Sprint phone. Apparently it’s super impressive.
Coach takes Ozzy aside to talk strategy. He tells Ozzy that he wants to take him to the final three. He punctuates this statement by saying he’ll do it “as a Christian man.” Coach says he won’t ever go against that word.
Oof…I know Coach’s is all “Take the best to the end,” but I don’t know if he could beat Ozzy in front of a Savaii-stacked jury.
Later, Brandon tells his dad (Sean) that he won’t go against his word to win the million dollars. His dad doesn’t approve of this. Well, he is Russell’s brother.
Sean tries to swing Brandon’s thinking by telling him that God wants him to make a good decision and to put his family in a good position. Even if it involves lying? I’m not the most religious person, but I’m pretty sure God has issues with that.
Quick Pitch: “Survivor: Hantzs vs. Kardashians”…make it happen, Jeff.
Sean questions Coach about his final-three strategy. Coach claims that he hasn’t decided yet. Sean tells Coach that he’s going to tell Brandon to do whatever Coach says. Coach isn’t buying it. He’s dealt with Hantzs before.
Immunity Challenge Time: The players will move across a giant pineapple-shaped puzzle board. Once they’ve stepped off a tile they’ll have to flip it over. Once they’re out of tiles to step on, they’re out of the game. Last person standing win immunity.
Note: This seems very similar to the challenge Danni Boatwright won on “Survivor: Guatemala.”
Not much to describe here except for steppin’ and tile flippin’. Albert is the first one out of the challenge and is followed by Brandon.
After the elimination, Brandon admits that he intentionally eliminated himself to cut off Edna’s space. Edna, as you’d imagine, is not pleased.
Rick’s out next, he’s followed by Sophie.
Edna lets everyone know that they can’t be a team forever before she makes her final move. Coach wins immunity.
Politicking around camp seems to center around Edna vs. Brandon. Sophie and Rick both think it was messed up that Brandon admitted to sacrificing himself to eliminate her.
Brandon tries to apologize to Edna, but she doesn’t let him off the hook.
Later, Edna approaches Coach, Sophie, and Albert with a proposal to get rid of Brandon. She claims to have shown more honor and integrity than Brandon has throughout the game. Edna then asks Coach if he’d use his idol for her. He says he won’t because it’ll show his tribe that he doesn’t trust them.
He does, however, tell her to tell Albert and Sophie that he’s on board. I’m not sure what he was getting at there.
Sure enough, Edna tells Albert and Sophie that Coach is voting with her, she even offers to eat a piece of his (excrement) if Coach isn’t on board. Yikes, I know they’re hungry out there but that seems extreme.
That night at Tribal Council, Edna admits to targeting Brandon. She thinks he hasn’t been keeping up with Upolu’s mantra of honor and integrity. More tribes need mantras…or a mission statement…or at least a catchy jingle.
Brandon doesn’t think Edna should take shots at his character. Probst calls him on that, saying that Brandon admitted to lying at earlier Tribal Councils.
Albert and Sophie think the tribal alliances end with this Tribal Council.
Voting Time: Brandon votes for Edna, Edna votes for Brandon, and the rest of the votes will have to wait until the next paragraph.
One vote for Edna, one vote for Brandon, two votes for Edna, and the fourteenth person to make a trip to Redemption Island is…Edna.
Verdict: Ozzy wins? Check. Edna gets the boot? Check. Very predictable episode. Next week though? Who knows.
I think ultimately “South Pacific” will answer the question; can a season with predictable gameplay still be entertaining if it’s packed with interesting characters?
Who’s Going to Win: Sticking with Sophie.
Power Rankings Update: Andrea picked it again this week. We both had Edna going home. However, she had Ozzy winning at Redemption Island while I chose Cochran. The current score is tied as we head into the final ranking; Team Boehlke 152, Team Holmes 152.
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes