Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Survivor South Pacific Recap: “Loyalty Can Be Faked. You Can’t Fake Strength”

Last week’s episode featured one of the most disgusting challenges in Survivor history, incoherent babblings from a contestant, and Ozzy’s Hammock Buddy being sent off to Redemption (Non) Island. Is Ozzy really going off on his own? Can Christine win her fourth Duel in a row? And what’s with all the coconuts?

My Random Thoughts:

- Previously on Survivor…Coach is getting stronger, and Ozzy is losing control. Upolu won the pork challenge because Mikayla ate off the ground, and Ozzy was blindsided by Savaii voting out Elyse (spelled correctly, thank you very much.)

- The Night Vision Recap was back at Savaii, where Ozzy was pissed over being left in the dark about the vote for Elyse. He told the rest of the tribe, “When you’re not on the right side of a blindside, you realize where the other people are.”

Well…obviously! If you’re on the right side of the blindside, you know who is getting blindsided, and if you’re on the wrong side, you’re either taking the blue-lit walk of shame from Tribal Council, or picking your jaw up off the ground after your alliance-mate gets voted out. After a blindside, everybody knows the skinny.
Ozzy then goes on a rant, talking about how he is a free agent, and that he is “done playing the alliance way.” I know we all were thinking this, but what the hell can be gained by this speech? Dawn called him out on his infantile behaviour, and said that he’s withholding stuff from them too. His response was essentially, “Oh yeah? Well, I have the Idol. Nyah Nyah Nyah. And I can win at Redemption Island if you vote me out anyways.” Keith’s response was golden: “If you want to go there, then just let us know, man.”

- The next morning, Savaii expected Ozzy to apologize, but instead, he was still sulking, or as Cochran put it, “behaving like a stupid bitch”, which just ostracized him further from the rest of the Tribe.

He told us that he was still providing for the rest of Savaii, and arrogantly declared “I’m a big part of this tribe.” Did that really mean anything when he says it in a nasal voice while wearing a mask and holding a fish that looked about 4 inches long?

- At Upolu, Coach is happy because he has the Idol and is enjoying a stir fry. He tells us that Brandon is a loose cannon (REALLY???), and that “I know he’s going to feel betrayed at some point in time…but that’s down the road.”

- While searching around camp, Brandon found the clue to the (already found) Immunity Idol. He was so proud of himself, comparing himself to his uncle. But it’s not the same thing Mr. Unbalanced…your uncle finds Idols (often without clues), you just find the clues. Use that clue at Tribal Council and see if it helps you. NOT the same thing.
- While Brandon was looking obsessively for the Idol, Coach realized that not telling him it was already found may later be a problem. “Is withholding information lying? It’s a grey area”, he said.

I actually agree with that, at least in the parameters of the game. So Mr Honesty and Integrity wasn’t really “lying” by not telling Brandon about the Idol. BUT, when Brandon asked Coach if he thinks anyone has already found it, Coach responded with “I don’t think so”, which is a full-on, bold-faced, 100% lie. And then right after he said it, he was heard saying “I want to play this game completely honourably.”

- Footage of Brandon morphing into Russell? Are you kidding me? ENOUGH RUSSELL ALREADY!
- The Redemption (Non) Island Duel was essentially a game of shuffleboard, which may be the only time that hanging out in a bar can help you on Survivor. Jeff asked Elyse how it felt to know that some of the people that voted you out are watching you. I thought that question was pretty ridiculous, since neither Ozzy nor Keith actually voted for Elyse.

Christine broke down, talking about how Redemption Island can break you, which was more like last season’s Matt Elrod than her winning streak is. Apparently, it can also make you a raging bitch, as she gave Rick the finger after he tried to cheer her on. I am now only referring to her as Angry C.

Angry C won the Duel, and now she’s 4 for 4. Elyse gave a weird goodbye speech about how she gave it her all, and pushed herself so far…but all I ever saw her do was cuddle and walk around in a bathing suit. Your ancestors must be proud.

After the Duel, Rick said that he thought that Angry C would flip on Upolu if she happened to get back into the game. He said, “she’s gonna have fire in her eyes. She’s gonna come back smokin’ and ready to kill us.” Apparently, Christine is a dragon. (Lucky for Coach!)

- Coach and Tree-Mail Visor Edna went looking for coconuts on the beach, but seemed to spend more time dodging crabs and complimenting each other. Coach told Edna that she is safe…for now…and that Mikayla would be the next one voted out. If you’re Edna, are you pleased about this? It’s not like he told her he was tight with her, just that she could last 3 days longer than Mikayla.

Maybe she was too preoccupied with the bites/sores on her legs (did you SEE that?) to consider that this was a pretty crappy deal. Either that or she was hypnotized by the smoke coming off of whatever Coach was burning the shit out of over the fire.

- Ozzy soon realized his mistake, and went to Keith (who would be played by Zac Efron in the film version of this season) to work together. He then went to the Tribe and tried to get back in their good graces. Jim astutely pointed out why it was good to have him back in the fold, saying “Ozzy helps me win immunity challenges before the merge, After the merge, he’s a bigger target than me. There’s nothing more that I could want from somebody on my team.”
- At the Immunity/Reward Challenge, teams had to build a wheelbarrow, work their way through an obstacle course collecting coconuts (I knew there would be more coconuts!), then dump the coconuts, and go Transformers on that wheelbarrow’s ass…changing it into a slingshot and chucking the coconuts at targets. The Reward was a picnic lunch at the Not-Very-Cryptically-Named Sliding Rocks, which Jeff still explained was a waterslide.

Rick and Brandon worked through the course well, while Ozzy and Dawn seemed to have heard Jeff’s instructions wrong and apparently thought they were playing some version of bumper cars, ramming into every obstacle possible. When it came time to dump the coconuts, Savaii was yelling for Cochran to help, and Woody Aiken decided to try and pull the wheelbarrow over instead of pushing it. Very awkward.

I won’t give you play-by-play on the coconut-chucking, except to say that the second Coach started yelling at Mikayla to stop, we all knew that Upolu would lose, thus creating the Tribal Council drama.

- Coach was frustrated at losing the challenge, and placed the blame solely on the Lingerie Football Pad-wearing shoulders of Mikayla, saying “if I’m going to coach this team, I need for people in the heat of battle to listen to me.” There’s just one problem, Benjamin. You’re a member of the team, but…and I’ll say this really slowly for you: You’re…not…the…coach!
- At the Reward, Ozzy changed from the One Man Wolfpack to Captain Team Building as Savaii feasted on Hoagies and fruit juice. “Savaii Six to the end” they said before cliff-diving and sliding down the moss-covered rocks, which seemed like fun in the board shorts the guys were wearing, but looked like it would hurt if you were wearing bikini bottoms like Whitney. I did enjoy Cochran’s face-plant into the water, though.

- I’m just going to say it, Rick the Rancher in blue and yellow board shorts is just wrong.

- At Upolu, Coach wanted Mikayla gone because she “wasn’t coachable” and didn’t follow orders. That’s the worst argument ever, especially to other members of your team. I’m betting Mikayla was at home watching TV and absolutely furious at that point.

Albert went to bat for her (pun intended, since he’s a baseball coach) and pitched (that one was intended too!) Edna as an option, but Mikayla had the best argument: “she’s half my size, and nearly double my age.” Brandon shockingly doesn’t want to vote Mikayla out...but still doesn’t trust Edna.


He apparently won’t vote Edna because he told her she was part of the 6. I guess at the next Tribal Council it would be fine, but now it’s not? “I’m gonna stick to my word if it costs me the game”, he said. I’m seriously getting dumber watching this Tribe this week.

Brandon plays 100% emotionally, which will never win. Albert put it best, “if we talk, like, more than five minutes of strategy with him, he starts grabbing his head and is about to cry.”

- Coach argued that Mikayla hasn’t done anything for Upolu since the first two challenges. May I point out that she almost single-handedly won the first challenge? Bottom line is that Edna is malleable and will do his bidding. This should have spoken volumes to the rest of the members of that alliance.
- There were a lot of underlying messages at Tribal Council, so this week, I will be offering translations. Coach said that they lost because they didn’t compete as a team. (Translation: Mikayla sucked.) Jeff asked Edna why she always sits out at challenges? (Translation: Can you do anything?)

There was a big discussion of Loyalty vs. Strength. Do you keep the players that help you get to the merge or take those that will be loyal? Albert says screw loyalty, you have to get to the merge with numbers. (Translation: Why save Justin Verlander for Game 1 of the ALCS when you haven’t yet won the ALDS vs. the Yankees?)

- Brandon said “I love you Mikayla” (Translation: You’ll need a restraining order for the Live Finale), but begged his Tribemates to vote for her. He then said “Vote me out today if we’re going to play disloyal.” Hey, at least he raised his hand to make his point.

Coach said that it is possible to be too honest, and that some cards can be revealed at a certain time, and that doesn’t mean you’re being disloyal. (Translation: Brandon, don’t be pissed at me when you find out I had the Idol.)

In the end, the final vote was 4-3 for Mikayla, which is so stupid I can’t even put it into words.

Coach ended Tribal Council by putting a fatherly hand on Brandon’s shoulder and telling him, “I love you, man.”

(Translation: We’re screwed now.)

Next week: Upolu Prays, and the Teams Don the War Paint.

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(Photo Credits:,


Monolitium said...

I'm surprised that Benjamin didn't throw on a "wife beater" when talking about why Edna is better than Mikayla.

iAmMo said...

Loved Cochrans comment about Ozzy being a stupid bitch!
Dawn was right on about Ozzy hiding stuff too. If he were mature that comment would have stopped him from going off the deep end and blabbing that he had the idol.
I would like to thank Sean for his Survivor recaps. I have to say that I like his more than Lalas (but no one does better big brother recaps than BBB)

Aitutonga said...

Edna stayed because she was more self-aware of her position in the tribe, and did more to cosy up and get in with her tribe mates, rather than Mikayla, who was clueless and entitled, and to be honest, not a very good Survivor player.

Steve said...

It's kind of funny that the swing vote was the cowboy guy (what's his name again?). The editing was pretty good this week, as I had no idea whether it would be Mikayla or Edna voted out.

Albert's reference to Brandon, "If we talk, like, more than five minutes of strategy with him, he starts grabbing his head and is about to cry," was spot on!

I look forward to your recaps, Sean. Keep up the good work!

Brackens said...

another week, no spiders -- but a few snakes and a butt load of crabs.

I think Angry C - pulled a muscle in her head rolling her eyes.

AHH, have to tip it to the Survivor Editors this week.. no foreshadowing. We actually thought Brandon was gone (with the segment dedicated to him) then Edna (with the segment covering the mutual admiration society walk with Coach).

Sean, was surprised you almost complimented Jim. and managed to mention his name without mentioning his Poker history. Have to admit he did have a good knack for thinking ahead with Ozzie.

I agree with Aitutonga, I wasn't that impressed with Mikayla as a survior player. She didn't scramble or go on the defensive against Brandon's attacks the last few days, and (at least on camera) did not seem to play a strong social game.

perhaps she can end angry-C's horrible stay on RI.

Waiting breathlessly for the merge.

Sean said...

IamMo, Steve, thank you both for the kind words. Much appreciated.

Aitutonga, Brackens, I have to disagree with your assessment of Mikayla. Good at challenges (overall), helped at camp (she almost single-handedly built that shelter), and was hog-tied out of being able to play a social game because of Brandon's insane behaviour.

"Clueless and entitled"? How? I can't think of one example of either.

Brackens, I will also agree that we weren't tipped off by editing this week, unlike others. I should have mentioned that in the recap. And I'm starting to like Jim more as a least until he calls himself a poker champion again.

TinkerbellAPixie said...

Caught your mini-recap on and felt it was so spot on and funny I had to come over here and see the rest. I loveeed your translations. I know Mikayla has a good shot of beating out C at Redemption Island but I think if C comes back into the game it will make for MUCH better television. As for Coach, I was SCREAMING at my tv - YOU ARE NOT THEIR COACH! No one HAS to be coachable to stay in the game, but i guess you do have to kiss the right asses and Mikayla wasn't doing that nearly as well as Edna.

Alex said...

This episode basically just enforced who I like and who I don't like.

Likes: Albert, Jim (who seriously could win the whole thing), and Cochran
Dislikes: Ozzy, Coach (who is delusional), and Brandon... who I'm starting to suspect is actually a crazy person.

-Ozzy was a baby, then realizes he couldn't win being a big baby and so sucked up the tribe.
-Jim is super smart and reads people wayyyy too well.
-Edna is too nice for this game, poor girl has no common sense.

TinkerbellAPixie said...

Alex, I agree with most of your likes and dislikes with one exception. I am starting to kind of like Coach, which is a complete shock to me. Then again once he pulled that comment about Mikayla not being Coachable he was more of the Coach of yore that I could not tolerate. Probst's teaser for next week is that Coach will be doing some of his Tai Chi - so he may just make my dislike column again.

K said...

Your recaps are HILARIOUS! My favourite is Cochran. Just because he's so nerdy, and says the funniest things.
Coach annoys me, as does Ozzy this season for being lazy. I used to love Ozzy but he's really disappointing now. Maybe it's because I expected him to be so awesome.
I'm a bit sad to see Stacy go because it was fun to try and guess what she was saying. eg, "Boop!"
The thing that bothers me most is how they're all "doing what God wants." I agree: if there was a god, he wouldn't give a crap about Survivor.
Thanks for a hilarious recap once again! It's good to have a place to talk about Survivor, as my friends are getting constantly annoyed with my rambling on about Survivor characters as they do not watch it. :)

Anonymous said...

Why do they keep picking Dawn for the physical challenges? Am I missing something?

How do Ozzy and Coach continue to play this game with their hearts and not their brains. Hmm... maybe I can answer my own question.

Great recap Sean. I'll be back checking back again next week.

Anonymous said...

Chip, Don't forget, Dawn did awesome on that hold a lot of weight on a stick challenge. She won that for her tribe. So I guess they think she can do strength stuff.

Aitutonga said...

I agree that Mikayla was good at challenges, but she seemed to just assume she was safe based on that. We never once saw her attempt strategy or offer alliances, so I don't see how she was so surprised every time her name came up. So, yeah, I guess I don't really have much sympathy for her. Particularly as she was rather condescending to Edna.

Eudaemon said...

Sean, I agree with Aitutonga as well. And I am saying that even though since episode 1, Mikayla was my second favourite after Jim. We have not seen a strong female competitor who didn't need to rely on her looks alone since Stephanie, and Mikayla probably betters her in both physical strength and attraction. Unfortunately, it does seem like she assumed her strength would be enough reason for others to keep her. She did not do much in the game beyond the challenges and helping out at camp, which as we all know is never enough, no one has won without a social game or alliance before. The close escape from Brandon's attack should have sounded alarm bells, and she could have easily turned his alliance back on him after his outbursts, instead of just feeling sorry for herself. Disappointing, I hope she redeems herself from RI. At least my favourite Jim is shining bright.

R.P. McMurphy said...

Why do they keep picking Dawn for the physical challenges? Am I missing something?

How do Ozzy and Coach continue to play this game with their hearts and not their brains. Hmm... maybe I can answer my own question.

Great recap Sean. I'll be back checking back again next week.

R.P. McMurphy said...

See what I did there? Hope everyone can take a joke.

I loved the comment to "be aggressive" during the slingshot challenge. That's some great advice.

Coaches coach and Coach is growing on me as well. That's a lot of "coach"'s.

See you next week!

Sean said...

R.P. McMurphy at 10:54 am...

After 600+ posts and thousands of comments, thank you for my all-time favourite comment on this blog!

R.P. McMurphy said...

What an honor! Your blog has always been about sharing insights about the shows we watch in a real, entertaining way. Glad I could give a little of that back to you.

I felt your pain last week and have got your back. In keeping with my quoting an old television detective in the TAR thread, I will go with Kojak here, "Who loves you, baby?"