My Random Thoughts:
- Previously on…Survivor. The merge meant nothing since it was still Savaii vs. Upolu within the Te Tuna Tribe. Whitney was disgusted by Cochran, and Ozzy and Jim were both sent to Redemption (Non) Island to keep Keith company, despite Albert’s attempts to “switch up the game” and vote out Dawn. Jeff asks us “will anyone seize the opportunity to team up with Dawn and Whitney and turn the game upside down?”
- Night Vision Recap at Redemption (Non) Island: Jim joins his old drinking buddies, and whines about the fact that Upolu all chose to sit out and eat at the last Immunity Challenge. Perhaps he should have been griping about his inability to last longer than 30 seconds in said challenge. He correctly pointed out, however, that “the longer that Coach has them believing that they’re all one tribe, the more likely it is that he wins the million dollars.”
- Night Vision Recap at Te Tuna camp (now with millipedes!): Coach says that he tries not to judge people, but then goes ahead and judges Jim, telling everyone that they’re a family now that he’s gone. He then goes on about how everything is equal and how he’s not running the show, but everyone knows that’s a crock, especially Whitney, who says that “Coach is running the show like he’s Jesus.” I’m not sure what that means, since I don’t recall Jesus ever dictating to people what they needed to do, or lying to them, or telling them about that time he paddled up the Amazon and was captured by pygmies who wanted to eat his ass (remember that nugget from Coach?)
Coach then expresses that he’s worried, but says he’s not sure about what. He’s worried about being blindsided, is what he determines, which is another reminder to us, the viewers, that he’s NOT in control of the game. “Fishy things are abroad”, he tells us…and I don’t think he’s talking about Ozzy’s underwater hunting excursions.
- At the Redemption (Non) Island Arena, everybody is there to watch the three-person “Duel”, and Probst embraces his blue-itude by doing something crazy…double blue, people! Light blue hat, dark blue shirt.
The Duel itself was a balancing competition with Brandon cheering for Jim, Whitney cheering for Keith, and no one cheering for Ozzy. Jim went out first, which any legit poker player will tell you is always humiliating (but Jim did that quite often this season), and even though it was edited like the end of the competition was close, we all knew that Ozzy would eventually win.
So the losers head to the Jury, meaning that the Jury will be 9 people this season, and that there will be a Final Three. I say that because I can’t ever remember a time where there was an even number of people on the Jury, so I doubt it would be 10 on the Jury and a Final Two.
- How does Ozzy celebrate at Redemption (Non) Island? By catching more fish, of course! First he brags about it last week, then he brags about it again at this week’s (Non) Duel, then we see endless shots of him fishing. We get it…OZZY CAN FISH.
But the interesting part of this segment was Ozzy talking about how pleased he was that he doesn’t actually have to play the game, and instead he can just hang out at Redemption (Non) Island and take his chances one-on-one (or two) at the Duels. In essence, what he’s saying is “I would like to win without having to play the social game.” If it’s just about Survivor, he can survive and win. Unfortunately for Ozzy…it’s not just about that.
- At Te Tuna, Rick was checking the fishing nets…and finding nothing, but let’s give the big cowboy some credit, it’s the most he’s done in four episodes. Cochran said that he was looking to team up with Dawn and Whitney, but they would still need to find 2 more willing participants to take control of the game.
- Off to the Immunity challenge, where Probst blew my mind with his reverse double-blue ensemble, this time with a dark blue hat, and light blue shirt. Damn you’re crafty, Mr. Dimples! This challenge would see the castaways carrying rice on head over 2 teeter totters, then emptying it in a bowl without touching it along the way. First one to fill their basket wins immunity.
It seems like Survivor’s challenge-creating team goes through phases where they just go with a theme for most of the season. We’ve seen seasons where it’s based on physical strength, seasons where it’s mostly puzzles, seasons where every challenge ended with ‘cut a rope and raise a flag’, and the dreadful TILES from the past two seasons.
This week’s Unintentionally Dirty Probst-isms during the challenge: “making sure you get a good fit on your head is key”, “Use your body!”, and my personal favourite, “once you find that sweet spot, this gets easier.”
At one point in the challenge, Probst Blue Ribbon said “Dawn not messing around, she knows she needs Immunity tonight!” This reminded me of a few weeks back when he made comments during the challenge on how Cochran was screwing up. I’m all for Probst commenting during the challenge, and throwing his witticisms in when necessary, but I think he’s been crossing the line lately and interjecting too much of the players’ strategy into his comments.
- At camp, the plan was to vote Dawn because she is a legit threat to win the entire game. Cochran assumed that the twist was a potential double elimination, which could potentially endanger him. Now flipping (again) made more sense. Would he really do it?
Cut to a shot of a rat scurrying along. Hmmm.
- Dawn and Whitney know the only chance is to try and swing someone. According to Whitney, Brandon is a loose cannon, Rick isn’t even playing, and Edna is “so far up Coach’s butt, it’s ridiculous.” Allusions to what may or may not be in Coach's butt notwithstanding, that pretty much leaves Albert and Sophie…so they present pretty much the same argument that Jim made last week.
But now Albert is considering it, because he realizes that he needs Savaii votes on the Jury (Pesky social game. Good thing Fisherman Ozzy doesn’t have to worry about it!), and wants to reward Cochran for the move he made earlier to save Upolu. Everyone else, meanwhile, seems content to write Woody Aiken off as seventh place.
- Coach was paranoid about all of Albert’s scrambling, and said that Albert is either “trying to come up with a last second plan or he’s trying to curry jury votes, and neither one of ‘em is acceptable in my opinion.” That doesn’t sound like someone who is insisting that he’s NOT running the show, does it?
He then called the gang together and said “If anybody wants to go against the five, it’s instant death.” As he told us, his method was to approach it like an old Mob Boss. Hey, Dragon Slayer, Boston Rob is the Island Godfather, not you. And at least he used the Buddy System, so his dictatorial ways didn’t come across that way.
- At Tribal Council, Keith showed up with a horrible moustache (and I can relate, more below), Dawn talked basic math, Cochran said that it was the perfect time to make a big move, Coach insisted that he isn’t running the show while asking himself questions and answering them, Albert referred to Coach as “a figurehead”, and Rick once again said nothing.
- All the talk of a big move was hot air, as Dawn was sent to Redemption (Non) Island, despite Brandon seemingly voting for some unknown guy named Don. Then Probst dropped the most predictable bomb in Survivor history: there would be an immediate Immunity challenge and another vote.
- The Immunity challenge was a simple Survivor quiz, Big Brother-style, meaning that a wrong answer would eliminate you instead of a total score being tallied. It came down to Whitney and Sophie, and Sophie ended up winning, setting up the predictable vote to eliminate Whitney and leave the Upolu 6 (with a side of Cochran) remaining.
2 Tribal Councils = 0 Drama.
Next week: Brandon is on The Hot Seat, And Coach Becomes Zeus.
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