If you missed the “everybody saw it coming, except for Cochran, who should have drawn rocks instead of flipping on Savaii” vote last week, catch up with my recap here.
The episode begins at Redemption Island on Night 30. Cochran rues the fact that he may have been played by Upolu. Ozzy says the way to get back at them is to vote for him (Ozzy) in the Final Tribal Council. But what if Cochran can beat him in a Duel? “He doesn’t stand a chance,” is Ozzy’s quick rejoinder.
The next morning at Te Tuna, Rick toasts his socks. Brandon wants to say a morning prayer, but Edna excuses herself as she’s “not really part of the tribe.” She feels duped by her tribe, like she’s a second class citizen. She continues her rant to Coach, but she’s interrupted by Brandon bringing back a Sprint phone (Blatant Product Placement!!) with videos from home. Rick hears from his wife, Edna her sister, Sophie her dad, Albert his mom, Coach his brother, and Brandon his dad. There is no time to cry, though Brandon would like to, because it is time for the…
…Duel. Jeff first takes the Sprint Evo 3D (BPP!!) before announcing a twist…to be announced later. For the Duel, the guys will use a grappling hook to grab bags of balls. They then take one ball and negotiate it through a maze using an overhead pulley system. Survivors ready…go! Ozzy gets his first and second bags while Cochran receives tips from the onlookers. Cochran scores his first bag as Ozzy gets his final one and starts the maze. Cochran eventually retrieves all his bags. Ozzy gets to the final ring of the maze, but his ball falls into the final hole and he has to start over. Cochran moves very fast and is close to the end, but he too falls into the hole and must restart. Cochran again maneuvers to the inner circle, where he is joined by Ozzy. Ozzy stops in the inner ring, giving Cochran time to quickly force his ball into the final ring. His ball, however, is unsteady, and falls into the final hole. Ozzy gets his ball into the center hole. Ozzy survives! Cochran talks about how great it was to play the game: this was the most incredible moment of his life. He’s not the guy he thought going into the game, he’s more. Jeff says a new part of him was born out there, but his adventure has come to an end.
Ozzy stays alive, and as a result, he is going to make a decision that will effect the others. With that, Jeff brings in the Loved Ones, and the highlights include Sophie placing a food order for the airport, and Rick grabbing his wife’s ass! Ozzy has to decide one person to spend time with his or her loved one, and he picks Albert. Ozzy apologizes to the others, but gets to pick one more, and he picks Coach. Then he can pick one more person, and Ozzy chooses Brandon. Sophie, Edna and Rick head back to camp; everyone else goes back to Redemption Island.
Over on RI, the guys and their Loved Ones take pictures of themselves. Coach tells Ozzy that he’s going to be straight with him and has a perfect Final Three scenario: the two of them and a third player. He gives his word as a “Christian man” he will take Ozzy to the end. Coach confesses that that is an unbreakable vow. Brandon tells his dad that he isn’t there to win the million dollars or be sole survivor. Here’s there to set an example for Christ. His dad is flabbergasted. When he tries to suggest that Brandon make a move to win, Brandon completely shuts him down. Dad confesses that he is shocked Brandon hasn’t been voted out already. He asks Coach what his intentions are with Brandon. When Coach doesn’t directly answer, Dad tells him to do whatever Coach tells him. Coach tells the camera that he won’t be bullied by the Hantz family. Brandon is a ticking time bomb, and he won’t be holding it when it goes off, likely after the next…
…Immunity Challenge. The object of the Challenge is to keep moving across the pineapple puzzle board. Once the player can’t move anymore, the player is out. The players begin their moves and it is clear early that Edna is getting squeezed out. Coach makes a “Dragon Slayer move” (per Probst) as he’s cut out a huge swath of the board for himself. Albert goes out, as does Brandon. Brandon tells Albert, and Jeff overhears, how Brandon was trying to box in Edna. Edna takes offense to this and begins to cry that she’s being targeted. Rick goes out, as does Sophie. Edna makes her last move. Coach wins Immunity! Edna pleads, “Help a sister out, Coach.” Brandon admits to the camera that he stuck his foot in his mouth, but he doesn’t care because he’ll be eating the Final Three feast on Day 39.
Sophie tells the camera that every day she is surprised by the actions of her tribe. Brandon was a bully the way he treated Edna. Rick confesses that Brandon acted like a jerk. Brandon tries to apologize (he’s just honest!), but Edna isn’t hearing it. Sophie says though apologies may get Brandon absolved in church, they won’t on Survivor.
Edna pitches to Albert, Coach and Sophie that Brandon has had no honor, loyalty or integrity during the game. Coach is listening, as she’s put a great argument forward. Edna asks if he will use his Hidden Immunity Idol for her, but he says no as he will be the next one to go if he does that. Coach tells her to tell Albert and Sophie that “everything is cool” and see how they vote. Albert says he is giving Edna’s plan legitimate consideration, but he’s worried about the numbers — he won’t vote out Brandon unless he is assured everyone is voting out Brandon. She assures them that Coach is 100% voting for Brandon, but will he at…
…Tribal Council. Jeff asks Edna if, based on Challenge, she is on the hot seat. “Who do you target?” he asks her. Brandon, she replies, as his actions and words have betrayed the Upolu mantra. Brandon, what is it like to hear that? It’s OK because Edna is misconstruing things. Jeff corrects him that Edna is actually telling the truth: he really did tell lies to Stacey and Christine about Mikayla. He’s never had a negative thing to say about Edna!, Brandon insists. Albert says they need to decide whether early promises will decide how the game plays out.
It’s time to vote. They do, and Jeff collects the ballots. Edna and Brandon alternate the first two votes. The third vote is for Edna, as is the fourth. Jeff reads the fifth ballot, “The fourteenth person voted out of Survivor: South Pacific…Edna!” She hugs Coach, has her torch snuffed and heads off into the Blue Light of Death. Jeff says that from the beginning they said it would be the five of them at the end. “Now what?” he asks, before sending them back to camp.
Everyone fights, and it looks like Edna will win the Duel!
What is there to say about this episode, really? It was no shock that Edna was eliminated. Edna was always at the bottom of the totem pole in her tribe and Sophie and Albert didn’t see the value in moving against Coach as he had won Immunity. Brandon is a nutcase, but like Phillip last season, he is a perfect person to bring to the Final Three. I do wonder if Coach will keep his word as a “Christian man” to Ozzy…there doesn’t seem to be much upside to bringing a guy with a number of his former tribe on the Jury and who will have defeated a number of people on Redemption Island. I guess his argument would be that he only wants to compete against “the strongest” players, but if I were him, I’d bring Brandon and Rick.
As far as next week is concerned, I expect that the winner of the next Duel will be brought back for the next Immunity Challenge as it will provide some interesting alliance dynamics. I know that the show teased Edna as possibly defeating Ozzy, but they did the same thing last week with Cochran. Moreover, the shot they used of Ozzy being nowhere near completed with the puzzle and looking over toward Edna could have been from at any point in the Duel. Most likely, the promo guys fished that clip out from earlier in the Duel to make the whole thing seem more dramatic. If not, well good on you Edna!
Odds to Win
Not much movement in the Odds this week. An expected elimination came to fruition,and Coach solidified his hold on the game. So, let’s get right to it.
Coach: 4-1. What can you say other than the fact that Coach is most likely going to win Survivor: South Pacific? If the Duel winner doesn’t return to the game before the next Immunity Challenge, Coach can only use his HII at the next Tribal council (the rules have always been that the HII can only get you as far as the Final Four), so he is guaranteed to be safe next week under that scenario. If Ozzy does return, he seems to have Ozzy’s word that the latter won’t vote the former out. Rick and Brandon certainly aren’t going to vote for him, so there is practically no situation that doesn’t see Coach into the Final Tribal Council. Once there, only a massively bitter Jury would vote against him, but is anyone there bitter toward Coach? Edna maybe (assuming she loses the Duel), but that’s it. Let’s face it, Coach has played a perfect game so far, and to be honest, he deserves to win.
Sophie: 11-1. Sophie is the first of the also-rans. She may have the ability to win a few well-timed Immunity Challenges, so she could see herself into the Final Three. Though she likely won’t be the next to go (See: Albert, below), she has to hope that the RI winner comes back before the next Tribal Council so she, Albert, and the RI winner can at least face down Coach’s alliance 3-3. Otherwise, it will take that string of Immunity wins to get Sophie to the end.
Albert: 17-1. Absent an Immunity Challenge win of his own, I don’t see how Albert isn’t the next one ousted from the game. Coach likely seems him as a bigger threat than Sophie (it has been Albert always being caught plotting against Coach’s allies) so he has no reason to keep Albert around. Like Sophie, Albert has to hope that the RI winner comes back immediately if he has any hopes of voting out Coach and making it to the end.
Ozzy: 20-1. First things first, as I said above, I don’t see Edna beating Ozzy in the Duel, despite what the promo implied. Second, I don’t think I trust Coach’s word that he’ll bring Ozzy to the end. There is no benefit to Coach in so doing. Third, I don’t think Ozzy’s social game has improved to the point where he won’t trust Coach’s word so it is highly likely that like Matt last season, Ozzy will return, only to be seen out immediately thereafter. Of course, Ozzy is always a threat to win an Immunity Challenge, so if he makes it back into the game he has a great shot to make it to the end, but if he loses that Immunity, I don’t see how he sticks around. Yes, Sophie and Albert could try to team with him, but they likely think they don’t want Ozzy to be anywhere near a Final Four Immunity Challenge.
Edna: 53-1. Let’s call a spade a spade: Edna had no business getting as far as she did. I mean, I like her well enough, but as far as Survivor game play is concerned, she was the ultimate floater who was used as a vote for as long as she was useful. Absolutely, Brandon was a total jackass with her, and he deserved to be called out on the carpet for his actions, but he did speak the truth. And yes, the truth hurts. Edna could very well win the Duel, head back into the game, team up with Sophie and Albert, and maybe make it into the Final Three, but in my opinion, this is quite unlikely to occur. Though if it did, it would certainly give Edna a case to win over…
Rick: 79-1. What else is there to say about Rick that we haven’t said over the previous weeks? As there were only six people left, the editors were forced to actually show him talking, but even then, it was only twice: once when seeing his wife, and once when criticizing Brandon. That was it! Again! Rick is going to make the Final Three, but he isn’t going to garner a single vote.
Brandon: 567-1. Can we just get this guy off of my TV now? I mean, when even his father is essentially ridiculing him for being sooooo over the top with the religious stuff and not focusing on, you know, winning the game, you know the guy has some serious issues. If they are serious issues, then I hope he gets some help. Otherwise, I just want this dude off my TV.
That, my friends, is this week’s Survivor. What did you think of the episode? Do you think Coach will actually bring Ozzy to the Final Three? Who will Coach target next? Is there any way he doesn’t win the game? Please leave your questions and comments below. I’ll be back next week with another recap. Until then, I’m off to order some Reese’s peanut butter cups and fresh banana bread.