Just when you think you’ve seen it all over twenty-two and a half seasons of Survivor, you get Ozzy willingly getting voted out based on two dubious assumptions. If The Merge doesn’t happen next week, Savaii is in a whole lotta hurt, and will require some major adjustments to the Odds Board. Ozzy was already toward the bottom of the list, but let’s see how the rest of this week’s action effected the Odds.
Albert: 6-1. Evidently Albert and Sophie’s adventure against Coach has been absolved by the Big Man (no, not God. Coach!) as all seemed right in the Upolu universe. I’m not so sure Albert was particularly thrilled that Coach told everyone about the HII, but if it kept off of him for his maneuvering last week, it ended up being good for him. With Upolu now having the all important Numbers going into the possible Merge next week, and with Savaii committing some kind of attempted suicide, Albert regains favorite status.
Keith: 8-1. Keith, Ozzy is your strongest ally in the game. He is also a physical threat that equals huge target status post-Merge. How in the Hell do you let him fall on his sword and send him off to RI when there are so many unknowns out there? Yes, you voiced a bit of concern at camp and at Tribal Council, but dude, this is now your second big strategy mistake. Actually, it’s your second-and-a-half big strategy mistake — the half mistake was letting Ozzy give the HII to Cochran and not to you. Now, why did I actually move you up in the Odds, well I had to because of the Challenge performance of…
Whitney: 10-1. I maybe should have dropped Whitney even lower after she was nothing more than a huge anchor weighing down Keith in the Challenge, but if there was ever a time for her to suck in a Challenge, this was it. With Cochran completely self-destructing, Whitney’s difficulties will be unremembered. The reason I drop her down a couple spots then is because I’m beginning to think that should she need an Individual Immunity win to keep her in the game, she won’t be able to pull it off.
Dawn: 14-1. I admit, it seems crazy to have three Savaii members in the Top Four on the Board with them now down a player and with their strongest tribemate now over at RI. That said, can you really see any of the jokers on Upolu actually winning the game? Me either. As well, if anyone on Savaii were to flip and actually be trusted by Upolu, I believe that person would be Dawn. She is still at the bottom of the totem pole on Savaii, so she is ripe for flippage, and her attitude is such that I could see her fitting in well with the other tribe’s personalities. These are great qualities to have, especially when your tribe might enter The Merge on the short side of the Numbers.
Sophie: 15-1. Sophie and Albert have been similarly situated for pretty much the entire game. The reason I consistently have Sophie lower on the Board is because of her attitude and personality. That said, she has been making a steady climb upwards, and continues her ascent this week. With Upolu ascendant, Sophie is sitting pretty. Moreover, there are at least two targets on her own tribe ahead of her should there be another tribal Immunity Challenge. Last, like Dawn, Sophie may be primed for flipping if she sees that it is in her best interest. I am still expecting some major blowup rant from her (and I hope we get it!), but if she can keep it cool, Sophie just might win.
Coach: 22-1. We knew Coach was a religious/spiritual guy before, but this episode pushed his faith to a whole new level. I’m with Sophie in this regard: I’m not sure how sincere Coach’s sudden open professions of devotion to God are. I don’t doubt his beliefs, but Coach has clearly weighed his tribemates and has made a calculation that religion is the opiate of these masses. Look at how he ordered everyone to drop to a knee to pray immediately after their Challenge victory. No one questioned him, everyone immediately did as he or she was told. Coach is playing a masterful, Boston Rob-esque, game. I just have to believe that someone will be smart enough to eliminate him before he makes it to the Final Four.
Rick: 25-1. We were back to Rick not speaking this week. Or barely speaking, as the case may be. The cowboy just keeps rolling along, moving wherever the Winds of Coach blow him. Really, I have nothing more to say about maybe the most boring player ever. At least Top 5, right? (This is nothing personal against him. It could just be the edit he is receiving, but we have gotten nuthin’ from him, amiright?)
Edna: 32-1. Edna may have found a new form of anesthesia: ramming your head twice into a bamboo pole! Seriously, that had to hurt. Then again, how was it that the shortest person in the game managed to hit her head…twice?!? Anyway, Edna’s position in her tribe really hasn’t changed. I toyed with moving her up because if she The Merge is next week, one’s position within his or her own tribe matters much less, and having one strong ally matters a lot more. Edna has that in Coach, so it is entirely possible she will outlast a number of her tribemates, especially as she is one of the “weaker” players of which it will be assumed she cannot win an Individual Immunity, and therefore, safe to keep around.
Jim: 53-1. In honor of Jim not doing anything obnoxious this week, I moved him up the Board a bit. I’m sure he was more than thrilled to have Ozzy shipped off to RI of his own accord. That way, Jim didn’t have to “backstab” (frontstab??) him to see Ozzy out of the game. And if Ozzy returns from RI, well, Jim was always a loyal tribemate. Savaii is still down in Numbers, so there isn’t too much for Jim to cheer about, and I still fully expect him to lose his mind at some point.
John: 72-1. Somehow, Cochran is still alive…..with an HII!!! Yes, it was teased that Cochran might flip on Savaii next week, but honestly, do you see him doing that? It is true that he is clearly at the bottom of his tribe, but were he to flip at this point, he would still be at the bottom of Upolu. If he is going to flip, he has to make wait a couple more weeks after the stronger Savaii members have been eliminated and he can be useful to the minority Upolu alliance. Of course, this assumes that he can make it that far into the game. Cochran better be praying for The Merge next week because if it does come, he will find a new (and inexplicable as of a couple weeks ago) life in this game.
Ozzy: 84-1. Uh………..Okaaaaaaaaaaaay. So that happened! Listen, it’s one thing to be eliminated with an HII in hand. That’s happened a couple times. But to willingly have yourself eliminated, when still in the tribal Immunity portion of the game, on the bare assumption that 1) The Merge is occurring the next morning, and 2) the winner of the next Duel will re-enter the game, is just ludicrous. Oh, and he willingly handed over an HII, not to his alliance members, but to the weakest player on the tribe who has no incentive whatsoever to give it back. If this all works out according to plan, I’ll be happy to eat my words, but when has anything on Survivor ever worked out according to plan?
Brandon: 127-1. Yes, Brandon, God cares about Survivor. He cares if you win a Challenge. He cares if you win the game. He cares so much that He personally reaches down from the billowy clouds above to use His hand to guide the game to His whim. Now, seriously, I’m not mocking Brandon’s faith. I would never do that. I will, however, mock his belief that somehow God is personally interfering in Survivor. I never understand when reality competition contestants (or athletes for that matter) think God preoccupies Himself with such frivolous things when there are msny more important matters in the world. There is a reason we have free will: so God doesn’t have to worry Himself with blindfolded people dressed in painted-on bikini tops running into bamboo poles. All of that aside, we are almost at the point of the game where Brandon will be pulling a Phillip and be taken along to the end simply because he won’t win. Man I hope The Merge doesn’t happen next week, Upolu loses the Challenge, and Brandon melts down. I don’t know if I can take eight more episodes of him.
Christine: 200-1. She took out Mikayla, so color me impressed. Ozzy will be a wholly different matter, but there is something about being out there by yourself and having to focus so hard on the Duels that really makes someone able to do anything. I would not be surprised in the slightest if Christine beats Ozzy, especially if she somehow finds out that Ozzy asked to be voted out so he could eliminate her. It’s still a loooooooooong road back to victory, but Christine might be back int he game sooner than people think.
There you go. That is this week’s Survivor. What did you think of the episode? Was Ozzy’s move one of the smartest ever made, or one of the most ridiculous? What do you think about Coach telling the rest of his tribe about the HII? How do you feel about all of the praying that seemingly emerged out of nowhere this episode? Should I really have three Savai members in the Top Four on the Odds Board? Please leave your questions and comments below. I’ll be back next week with another recap. Until then, I’m off to be a huge Adam Sandler fan.