If you missed last week’s episode, please make sure you catch up with my recap.
This week’s episode begins on Night 16 at Upolu. Edna is upset that her name keeps coming up at Tribal Council, but recognizes that Brandon’s outbursts are costing him. Coach insists to Rick that they can control Brandon, but to the camera, Coach says that if the time comes to cut Brandon, he will.
Day 17. The Redemption Island Arena. Christine and Mikayla enter, much to the amazement of Ozzy and Cochran. For the Duel, they must take apart a crate and use the slats to build a bridge. They then must take the bridge apart and use some of the slats to solve a puzzle. With the rules explained, Jeff starts the Duel.
Christine quickly takes the crate apart by sliding out four slats at a time. She quickly moves to building her bridge. Mikayla, taking Albert’s advice, catches up. Christine finishes her bridge, but Mikayla follows close behind. Christine grabs all of her puzzle pieces, and begins solving the puzzle. Mikayla catches upand is the first to put together the RI Arena symbol, but it’s not exactly right. This give Christine time to solve the puzzle. “Christine stays alive!” Mikayla places her buff in the fire and departs. Jeff says Christine has become a legitimate force in the game. She, however, corrects him — she has always been a force. As the other players depart the Arena, Ozzy confides that Christine might flip if she re-enters the game, but she could also return to Upolu. He says that with The Merge coming up, if they lose the next Immunity Challenge, maybe they should send someone to RI that can beat Christine.
Savaii, Day 17. Ozzy says to Cochran that they should help each other. He also discusses his worst case scenario plan: if it comes down to it, he will go to RI. He’d give the HII to someone in hopes that they would give it back when he returns. “Sometimes you just have to sack up and go for it,” Ozzy confesses to the camera.
Over at Upolu, Coach does some tai chi and tells God that he’s not worthy of everything he has received. He thinks the only way to get the tribe’s spirits up is to tell them all he has the HII. Coach and Brandon then lead the tribe in a prayer circle. Sophie participates, but she finds it all suspect when Coach prays to find the HII with the HII in his pocket. They then search for the HII, but Coach and Sophie find Tree Mail instead. Tree Mail tells them to paint themselves in pairs. Coach then grabs the HII and tells the tribe that they just found it. Brandon thinks this means God is on their side. Will He be at the…
…Immunity Challenge? In addition to Immunity, the winning tribe will receive a Reward of a trip to the Survivor Cinema to see Jack and Jill starring Adam Sandler. Not surprisingly (and somehow better integrated than the Gulliver’s Travels tie-in), the Challenge requires the players to utilize the bonds that help you survive in this game. One set of “twins” are callers. The other sets are blindfolded and led through obstacles to grab four bags of masks. Once the bags are returned to the beginning of the course, one pair will only use touch to pair off the masks. The first tribe to pair all of the masks will win Immunity and Reward.
Rick and Coach, and Jim and Cochran are the callers. Survivors ready…go! Edna immediately smashes her head on an obstacle. She and Brandon get their first bag and head back. Keith and Dawn get their first bag as well. Both tribes gather their second bags, and then plunge into the water to grab their third bags. Dawn practically drowns, but Savaii is still back first with a pretty large lead. That lead is lost, however, when Cochran can’t manage to unclip Ozzy and Dawn and clip Whitney and Keith to the guide rope. Upolu is able to take a huge lead as a result, but that lead is lost when Albert can’t get his fourth bag released. Upolu does emerge with a small lead. The lead is widened when Whitney struggles to make it back to the beach. Albert and Sophie begin on their puzzle, leading Coach to start praying for victory. Ozzy and Whitney finally get back, but it is too late. “Upolu wins Immunity and Reward!” Coach gets the whole tribe on their knees to pray while Ozzy freaks out and tries to destroy the Challenge set. Coach says they are a loving family who gives their praise to God. Jeff then asks Ozzy what he is feeling now. Frustration. Frustration so strong he can’t begin to describe it.
Upolu arrives at the Survivor Cinema to enjoy hot dogs, candy, soda, and tolerate Jack and Jill. Back at Savaii, Ozzy declares the Challenge a disaster. He doesn’t understand what was so difficult about managing the ropes correctly. Cochran has always felt ostracized, but this brings it to a whole new level. As a group, they need to decide who’s going to go. Ozzy clearly calls out Cochran, who admits he was responsible for their loss. Keith says Cochran needs to believe that he can earn his redemption. Cochran isn’t so sure. He’s the court jester, what is he supposed to do? He’s not here to be a hero and save his tribe – he’s there to make it as far as he can go.
The next morning, Cochran tries to stop apologizing for losing the Challenge. Dawn tells him that’s why it is called Redemption Island. Ozzy had dreams that he did what he said he was going to do and go to RI. So, he gathers the HII and brings it to camp. Ozzy then tells the tribe he should be the one to go to RI as he has better odds of defeating Christine and making sure the tribes enter The Merge on even footing. The problem, however, is that the rest of the tribe doesn’t want to follow along. Keith worries that The Merge might not happen when they think it will. What if there is another team Challenge? A big decision must be made at…
…Tribal Council. Jeff asks Ozzy if there was any finger pointing after the Challenge. Uh…yeah! Most of fingers pointed at Cochran. He panicked when he couldn’t figure out the ropes. Jeff asks Cochran is he has ever found himself in situations like this? He responds that he is usually calm, but knowing that The Merge is probably in the morning, maybe RI can help them. Dawn describes their strategy in voting out someone to take on Christine. Jeff is confused because why would Cochran fight for them if they vote him out? Ozzy says he is going to be the one who sacrifices himself. Jeff is dumbfounded. Ozzy says his gut tells him to go to RI and prove himself to the tribe. Ozzy then says he will give HII to someone else. He has a plan to tell Christine that Cochran had the HII, played it, and did Ozzy in. But what if there is no Merge, Jeff asks. Well, at least he went out on his own terms, Ozzy responds. What if Ozzy loses the Duel? Then he is a bigger fool than last time he played. Keith isn’t really on board with this plan. Jeff says it is definitely a risky move, so let’s see if they have the courage to go through with it.
It’s time to vote. They do, and Jeff gathers the ballots. Jeff asks if anyone wants to play, or give away, the HII. Ozzy says he changes his mind and will let Cochran go to RI. “Just kidding,” he laughs. He gives the HII to Cochran. Jeff reads the votes. The first three are for Ozzy. “The seventh person voted out of Survivor: South Pacific…Ozzy!” Ozzy happily bounds down to have his torch snuffed, and runs out of Tribal Council. Jeff tells Upolu that they have made one of biggest moves in the history of the game, all based on one huge assumption: that The Merge is coming.
Next Time on……Survivor!!
Next week is shaping up to be an incredible episode of Survivor. I’m actually moving next Wednesday, so let’s hope the cable guy shows up on time! That said, I am very excited to see what the heck is going to happen. Will Ozzy win the Duel? (I bet he does.) Will The Merge happen? (I bet it does.) But there is one more important question that was not actually asked: Will the winner of the next Duel re-enter the game at The Merge? (I bet he/she doesn’t.) It is entirely possible that the RI winner won’t rejoin the game at The Merge. That was the situation last season with Matt and Survivor: Redemption Island, but it would be just like the Survivor producers to switch that scenario up for this season. If re-entry is delayed, Ozzy will be likely be at a huge disadvantage should he survive RI because the remaining Upolu members will have the numerical advantage at The Merge. Then again, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Powers That Be decide they really want Ozzy back in the game and do have the RI winner re-enter the game at The Merge, but I’m just surprised Ozzy never considered the possibility that the RI winner might not come back until much later in the game. However it turns out, it will be very interesting to watch next week.
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