Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Survivor South Pacific Recap: “Pastries, Coconuts, and Two Tribal Councils”

Last week saw the Savaii and Upolu Tribe merge into the horrendously named Te Tuna Tribe, and a dramatic Tribal Council that saw a tie vote before Cochran switched sides to vote Keith out. This week, what would the ramifications be for Cochran after betraying his alliance? Is Brandon really playing the role of Bully Protector? And are the rumours true…is this week going to be a Double Tribal Council?

My Random Thoughts:

- Previously on…Survivor. Ozzy returned to the game, the Tribes merged, and Cochran flipped after showing that he was the worst double agent in history. Whitney got the Idol from Ozzy but received no votes (why did they mention that?), and Keith was sent to Redemption (Non) Island.

- This week’s Night Vision Recap was the fallout after Tribal Council, as the rest of the former Savaii Tribe berated Cochran for his betrayal. Ozzy said that he felt screwed over, Jim ranted and raved and called him names, and Whitney apparently just wanted to swear at him (hey, at least they’re showing her saying something!)

During the Cochran Attack, Brandon popped in to make sure that no one was “being aggressive,” and Ozzy responded that it was fine because “we’re not, like, gangsters out here, man.” I find it interesting how Brandon became the protector at the end of Tribal Council last week, and into this week.
Cochran maintained that his decision was based on the concept of self-preservation rather than wanting to screw Savaii. “I haven’t been obsessed with this for 11 years to have my fate decided by picking a stone out of a bag”, he told Ozzy, which is a pretty sound argument to me. Ozzy didn’t agree, saying “That’s the easy way out. That’s how a wiener plays.”

I’ve heard all the arguments on how Cochran’s move last week was cowardly, and stupid, and that flipping from 6th of 6 to 7th of 7 made no sense, but I don’t agree. I’m completely with Cochran that drawing stones is an absurd way to decide your fate.

- The next morning, Coach basked in the glory of the Upolu victory with a prayer and some Tai Chi, while talking about being “confident but not arrogant”, and “humble but not weak.” He thinks he has a good shot at going all the way, and I have to say I agree. This season is looking more and more like last season with Coach in the role of Boston Rob.
- There was no Duel this week since Keith is alone at Redemption (Non) Island, so off they went straight to their first Immunity challenge of the episode. This challenge featured…yep, you guessed it…more coconuts! And not just in one stage, but two! First, Coconut Bocce, and then smashing them and drinking the water for the second stage. It’s all about sustainability, people…using the WHOLE coconut.

For the first stage, teams had to toss a coconut into a mini-golf-esque type rope hole, with only the first 4 to do so being able to advance. The four to advance were Dawn, Whitney, Jim, and Sophie. Jim did a girlish jump in the air when he made his shot, and Ozzy was visibly angry, clapping and swearing after finding out he was eliminated. At least there was no flying kung fu kicks this time.

Let’s revisit a little game we played earlier in the season, but one that I’ve shied away from in recent weeks: Which Jeff Probst Comment Was Dirtier? Option A)“Whitney getting a good mouthful!” or Option B) “Sophie slidin’ down that pole!” Discuss in the Comments Section.

Jim was begging for Jeff to tell him he had won, even though his water level was clearly below the line. Sophie had a shot to win, but gagged and had to spit her water out, allowing Jim to arrogantly celebrate early as he won Immunity.
- After the challenge, Brandon made it clear to Cochran that the remaining 6 Upolu members would all be voting for Ozzy. Ozzy, meanwhile, was trying to bargain with Coach. Coach didn’t want Ozzy to leave. Dawn considered flipping. Jim wants to give Ozzy the necklace and make a speech about voting for Cochran.

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Hold it right there…this is nothing but diversionary tactics to draw attention away from the fact that Ozzy is definitely getting voted out at Tribal Council.

- At the first Tribal Council, they talked about the fallout over Cochran’s flip, Brandon talked about supporting Cochran, Jim said “if you’re a turncoat, you’ve got no place in my tribe”, and Ozzy, who knew he was going, told everyone that at Redemption (Non) Island, “I’ll make you a nice fish and I’ll send you on your way.”

In the end, Ozzy was voted out 9-2 because Dawn and Whitney flipped to try and make inroads with the Upolu members.
- At Redemption (Non) Island, Ozzy went fishing and started hauling in a monster catch, so he and Keith would be well fed for their Duel…which inexplicably did not take place this episode.

- For the second Immunity challenge, the castaways had to stand while balancing a ball on a beam. This season’s challenges are all about balance. First, the RNI Duel with the stacked poles, then last week’s coconut on a string challenge, and now this one.

But the best part was the tradional Survivor Twist: Compete or Eat. They were given the option of battling for Immunity, or scarfing down pastries and iced coffee. These decisions are always good for creating some animosity. Coach was visibly steamed that the rest of Upolu wanted to eat, but chose to stay with them because “we stick together.”

So it was only Dawn, Jim, and Whitney competing for immunity. Well, actually, it was pretty much just Dawn and Whitney because Jim was out in about 30 seconds. How awesome would it have been if someone fell right after, and the Immunity challenge was over in a minute or something, and the others had barely any time to eat? That would have been pretty funny.

Jeff: “Coach, still wishing you were participating in the challenge?”
Coach: (laughs with muffin crumbs flying out of his mouth)
Jeff: “Yeah, that’s what I thought.”


I had to laugh at Brandon’s celebration when Jim was eliminated, throwing his arms up in celebration and shouting “Yes!” Then, when Brandon was full, he went to his new BFF and rested his head on Cochran’s shoulder. Did anyone else notice that Edna was feeding Rick? What the hell was that about?
In the end, Whitney outlasted Dawn, who looked like she still had a mouthful of coconut water from the first Immunity challenge as she tried to maintain her balance. Whitney was emotional over the win. Good for her…maybe now we’ll see more character development. She certainly has been edited horribly (but not as badly as Rick.)

- Here’s an interesting thought that was brought up in the Comments section after last week’s episode (and yes, I always read all the comments.) Let’s assume that Brandon makes it to the dreaded “Loved Ones” episode (and regular readers will know how much I hate that annual tradition)…who do you think his “loved one” will be? His wife…or Uncle Russell?
- Cochran dressed up as Coach and did an impression back at camp, while Jim ranted that he was destined for 3rd place with anyone. Hey Jim, if you’re talking about someone being so unlikeable that they’ll get taken to the Final Three and get no votes…you also just described yourself. But interesting to note here, is Jim’s allusion to the fact that there will be a Final Three instead of a Final Two. Are they informed in advance?

- Jim was scrambling to save himself, and went to Albert and Sophie because they are “the only two people that aren’t drinking the Kool-Aid, and aren’t in the cult.” Albert, had a plan to oust Dawn, and Coach just wanted to compare everyone to animals, but essentially it simply boiled down to a choice between Jim and Dawn.

- The second Tribal Council was relatively uneventful, save for Whitney channeling her inner Brandon and breaking down in tears. Did you notice what I was mentioning last week, that Albert’s sweater looks impeccably clean at Tribal Council? What the hell?

Jim was voted out 7-3. No big shocker.

- Why the Double Tribal Council episode out of the blue? They did this last season as well, when everything fell into place for predictable pick-em-off voting results…they jammed two weeks into one. Same thing this week with Ozzy and Jim getting the boot. Why waste 2 hours showing us what we all know is going to happen when you can condense it to one?

I was annoyed that there was no Redemption (Non) Island Duel, because that means that next week, we’ll see a “competition” featuring Ozzy, Jim, and Keith, which can’t be labeled a “Duel” since there are 3 of them. I just hope they change what they did last year where only last place was eliminated, and that only the winner of the 3-Person Redemption (Non) Island (Non) Duel is the one who stays.

Next week: Albert Has A Plan, And Ozzy’s Fish-Fest Continues.

Just a reminder that I’m growing a moustache for Movember to help raise funds for prostate cancer awareness. Rest assured, I DO look ridiculous, but it's for a good cause. If you're interested in donating to help, please visit

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Thanks for reading.


Anonymous said...

Cockroach...stomp him!

Choirchick22 said...

I fully support Cochran's move too. He's not riding coat tails. He's playing his game. If his former tribe doesn't like the game he's playing, they can go to redemption island.
SPEAKING of his tribe not liking it. Jim went on about sending a message of how the game is meant to be played. "Outwit outlast outplay" Jim. That's how it's played. It's not "Stick to your tribe, even if you hate them and it hurts your game". The game has, and always will be played with people flipping. It's the intelligent thing to do. Maybe you should have thought of it sooner. Like.. when you flipped to take out that Asian girl earlier in the season.

Choirchick22 said...

P.s. When I heard the quote about Sophie and the Pole, I knew that was gonna make the cut for dirtiest Probst of the week.

Phumbling said...

Great post! Thanks! I'm writing up my own and like to see what I have missed. :)
Cochran is my favourite - and Coach. I like Cochran's method of play. I was really happy he called out Ozzy at tribal.
Most sexually suggestive quote? Sliding down the pole for sure.
I hate that they continued to call it a dual. HATED it. I love that you note it.
ALSO - what do you think about Redemption? I hate that they are living in luxury. Why did they do that anyhow? Was it too much that people were getting voted and sent home by their peers? Make it more onerous that they have to keep themselves in the game? I dunno...I think redemption should suck.
PS I wish I would have found the secret hidden quotes above the pictures on my own. :)

Phumbling said...

ooopss...I would have LIKED to have found the hidden quotes on my own...I felt like I cheated reading your hint. (or clear direction).

TARtarus said...

This season's Sole Survivor will be whoever goes to the end with Brandon and John.

Kiwi Al said...

Cochran is looking good to make it all the way to the final 3. Surely it will be a final 3 since this whole season has been the same as last season. Which means Coach will probably win.

Ozzy only has to get 2nd for another 4 episodes or so, might as well give him an immunity pass till the final battle.

wschmrdr said...

It makes me wonder if they're going to pull a Pearl Islands and do either a 4-on-4-on-4 or 6-on-6 challenge with the "outcasts", but whoever loses is sent home without a tribal council (or sent to the jury). That would make for THE... BIGGEST... TWIST... EVER!!!

Anonymous said...

I guess I'd have to be starving on an island for a couple of weeks to truly understand this, but the rather fluid "code of ethics" people harp on out there always amazes me.

1) Wasn't Jim a traitor when he conspired to vote out Ozzy's squeeze?

2) Whitney et al didn't "save Cochran's @ss." They merely decided to vote out the people they figured were bigger threats to them. Obviously, they figured wrong because they were only considering brawn, not brains.

Survivor Bullies take note: you cannot harass, humiliate and harangue somebody for weeks on end and not expect them to jump ship the first chance they get.

Brackens said...

You know I figured it out.. Spider's hate coconuts... Reading a can of Spider repellent, the number one ingredient is coconuts. Think about it -- did you ever see Spider man drinking a pina clad, sharing a slice of coconut cream pie with a Hawaiian Tropic model? No.

So Sean, I guess you have a "Sophie's Choice" decision to make - Spiders or Coconuts?

Loved the bully reactions from the tribe that was "wronged" by Cochran. Perhaps they can play the clips from the episode where they were bulling Cochran before voting off Ozzy. or even ask the the people they voted out because they weren't in the 3-3-3 plan how they felt when they were powerless to stop the vote. Or even the scene where they were asking Cochran how to spell his name- so they could be ready at the next council.

I agree with Anonymous comment - They bullied this guy around and kept him because he wasn't seen as a threat -- guess he was. Gives more credience to the argument of keeping around the people you can trust.

Didn't the same thing happened with "Sambo" a few seasons back?

This is why I have been lobbing for a few more shake ups or tribe re-alignments earlier in the season. don't like the big group ties going into a merged tribe.

Sean - I thought the same thing about the dirty comments. My vote was for "Sophie looks like she is going to Gag", oops she just did.

We think there is a special holding case for the sweater, did you notice he wore it Preppy like - tied around his neck at the first council.

Did anyone else notice the Blurring of whatever Ozzy wrote when voting for Cochran.

BTW - where did Ozzy get flippers, mask, knife and a spear on Redemption island? How did that happen?

Choirchick22 said...

According to one of Probst's video posts, Ozzy made a crude word play on Cochran's name, so they had to blur it. Way to be mature Ozzy.

Eudaemon said...

I can understand there's a lot of sympathy for Cochran. His tribe bullied him sure, shame on them I agree. But IMO that doesn't make his move any more justifiable, applauddable or even brilliant. It's like teaching your kid to stand up to his bully by stealing his things. In the end, he gets caught out too. To win Survivor, you got to make the best moves for yourself, think long term and not be emotional. The guys who just screwed you over can be your best friends for the rest of the game if it helps you to get the million dollars. If Cochran really turned on his tribe purely to avoid rocks (clearly not his only motivation), then his strategy to win the game (if he has one) is massively flawed. Jim (and TARtarus) observed correctly that Cochran is now a shoo in for third place. Players who are contented with just third place are always dangerous - because they don't mind doing anything (remember Philip?). I can really empathize with Whitney when she said Cochran just wasted 6 weeks of her life out there. Though end of the day, Savaii can only blame themselves for this whole situation by allowing a disgruntled, unstrategic and weak-minded tribesmate like Cochran to survive till the merge to flip (thanks to Ozzy's hare-brained idea). Lesson that should have been learnt from Dreamz and Shambo.

HollyBees said...

I'm really missing the reward challenges (the real ones, separate from immunity challenges):

1) A challenge exclusively for a reward seems to bring new and different energy to both teams and individuals,
2) It's actually somewhat gratifying for viewers at home to watch starving people earn a feast and enjoy it (it's gratifying for me, anyway),
3) (most relevant to game strategy) It can change the dynamics of alliances. People bond during reward feasts or getaways. Usually after the merge a reward challenge will result in the top 3-4 winners getting to spend time together away from everyone else and with full stomachs and smiles on their faces. Things get shaken up in those situations. Or the winner of the challenge might choose 2 people to join in on the reward, which means resentment grows among those not chosen and existing alliances can be weakened.

If there had been traditional reward challenges post-merge during last season, it would have been much more difficult for Rob to keep watch over his tribe mates or at the very least suspicions would have arisen when his tribe couldn't physically stay together due to a reward trip.

There's a lot of things I don't like about RI but I think sacrificing the reward challenges in order to make time for a "duel" between players already voted out is the worst consequence.

Sean said...

I just want to take a moment to say how much I've been enjoying the Comments this season. It makes me very happy to see intelligent conversation about the show, that always stimulates good discussion.

Thanks to you all, keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Two things:

1) This is the time in the game where I really dislike Redemption Island for 2 reasons: a) it removes the finality, animosity, and drama of the elimination vote at Tribal; and b) there are now Reward Challenges where you winner takes 2-3 people. That in itself can help to create the divide in the aligned tribe to stir things up. Really miss what that adds to the strategy and dynamics of the game.

2) Probst said in another column that next week's RI duel will be winner take all. The 2 non-winners are gone. I suspect we'll have the same thing the following week since next week is supposedly a double Tribal Council episode again, and probably pretty obvious as to what happens.

Anonymous said...

Correction on a typo in my previous post: I meant to say that I miss the fact that "there are no reward challenges" (rather than "there are now reward challenges"). Sorry for confusion.

Shellie said...

Sean, I found your recap during last season and I love it, you are really funny. I agree with you RI sucks and most comments I read agree, do Jeff and the other producers not read comments, because they should. I also miss reward challenges, as things can change when you can only bring a couple of people, it gives the people left behind time to do some talking as well as the people chosen to go. Great recap!

R.P. McMurphy said...

I thought this episode was a bit of a dud. I was hoping for more fireworks. I was especially upset that here in VA the episode was preempted by the World Poker Tour on Ice. Wish someone sent out a notice about that.

Really disappointed in Ozzy. He came off to me as a whiny child just as he did earlier when he lost his girlfriend.

Speaking of girlfriends, Brandon had no love for lingerie football girl but has fallen under the spell of Woody Allen? Put your head on my shoulder...

How about Jim. Wasn't he just absolutely blasting Cochran? What about him laying out his big moral stand and giving Ozzy the immunity necklace? Oh yeah, he recanted on that. COWARD!!

Maybe you could include your suggestive TAR photo with the Survivor suggestive phrase of the week. It would have worked with Sophie.

Not a fan of the isthmus tri-duel. Agree that whatever they do next week, two of them should be eliminated to get us back on track.

Toragirl said...

@Honeybee You've hit it on the head. The RI duels are OK, because you have to decide who to send there, but I miss reward challenges.

People get voted out for picking the wrong partner to feed on these.

I think that Ozzie's tribe has been playing such a bad strategic game, they deserve to be picked off. How did they think that eliminating Christine (who was giving her ex tribe the finger literally and figuratively) was a good move? If I were Jim, Whitney and Cochrane, I would be pissed that it was going to rocks, and I would have been scrambling to find the Upolu weak link. They did nothing except burn an idol and hope for the best.

Tony B said...

★ ★ ★ KING RUSS FOREVER!!! ★ ★ ★

We love you, Russell Hantz!!

Do yourself a favor and follow him on Twitter @russellhantz (verified)
He's been tweeting up a storm lately, and he's funny as hell!
Totally worth following, trust me!

~ "Keep Hope Alive" ~

Sean said...

I agree with Tony B, give Russell a follow. I follow him on Twitter myself.

Tony B, Keep Hope Alive? :) Sounds familiar...

Welcome to the Board.

Alisha said...

I liked Jim when the season started out... now I can't stand the way he's acting. I can't stand Whitney either- she's been playing the poor, victimized damsel, on Twitter as well as on the show.

As someone else pointed out, JP has stated there will be a few three person "duels" and only the winner will stay.

I'm rooting for Cochran to somehow pull it out, but I ahve to agree that Coach has FINALLY learned how to play the game.

Anonymous said...

If Cochran or Coach win, after Boston Rob's win last season I may seriously have to stop watching. I don't think Coach or Ozzy should have been back on and honestly I couldn't stand Coach the 1st time he was on. It's supposed to be strangers, how is it fair if "veterans" come on & know tricks etc.
Anyway, for me this season has to be one of the dullest in a long time...

Anonymous said...

Brandon disgusts me. I hope he'll be gone soon.