Survivor South Pacific Recap: "The Worst Double Agent Ever"
After last week’s bold (Translation: foolish) move by Ozzy, sending himself to Redemption Island, would the perfect storm of circumstances converge to get him back into the game? Could all three factors come in to place at once: 1) defeating Angry C in the Duel, 2) finding out that this is the week the Redemption (Non) Island winner gets back in the game, and 3) the merge taking place.
Could all three of these factors happen, as Ozzy predicted? Will God continue to play a bigger role this season than Rick? And why is everyone talking about Black Rocks?
My Random Thoughts:
- Previously on…Survivor, a recap of Ozzy’s plan, and the plan for Cochran to be a “double agent.”
- For our weekly Night Vison Recap, Savaii is still hesitant after Tribal Council, and Cochran talks about this being one of the greatest moves in Survivor history. Keith, meanwhile, essentially called Cochran a pussy for not stepping up and saying “No Ozzy, please let me go to Redemption Island.” Cochran responds by telling us that if he can pretend to like the rest of Savaii, he can definitely pull off the double agent act…and then wraps it all up with what may have been the worst Al Pacino impression I’ve ever seen.
- At Redemption (Non) Island, Ozzy and Angry C got acquainted with a tall tale about Cochran being a weasel, and apparently, the Queen of the Duel believed it. Ozzy correctly surmised that his big move was “either the stupidest thing I could have done, or the craziest, ballsiest thing I probably could have ever thought of doing.” See that? It’s either “stupid” or “crazy”…not a good either/or in my books.
- At the Duel itself, all the members of both tribes were there, with no advance explanation of why, signaling that there was obviously going to be a merge. (Many of the commercials this week revealed that as well, but there still should be some explanation when the show breaks from form.)
Ozzy then ranted at Cochran in one of the most unrealistic fake diatribes I’ve ever seen. You would have to be a fool to believe that story. Cochran’s body language was actually the most believable thing, but I think it’s because he was so uncomfortable from the shenanigans that Ozzy was spewing.
The Duel itself was a repeat from the very first Redemption (Non) Island Duel from last season between Fran-Sasquatch and Bible Thumping Matt: make a pole, get the keys, unlock your door. Powder Blue Probst then gave us the first big reveal: The winner goes BACK in the game. (Well…there’s 1 out of 3 factors so far.)
This was a cakewalk for Ozzy. It wasn’t even close, despite the dramatic music. Angry C’s run is over, and I have to say, kudos to her. Winning 5 straight Duels was pretty damn impressive. (Ozzy wins…there’s 2 out of 3 factors in place)
Then Mr. Robin’s Egg announces that (shocker!) the tribes are merged. (That’s all 3!) Bring on the conspiracy theorists, I’m sure there will be hordes of people saying that this was all fixed to favour Ozzy. Let’s all keep something in mind though….just because it worked, doesn’t mean it was a good idea…it doesn’t mean it wasn’t stupid. If you’re playing blackjack and hit on 19, and catch a 2, that doesn’t mean it was a smart move…it just happened to work that one time.
- I know that I’ve given Jim a hard time this season over his self-congratulatory poker bravado, so I thought I’d give you a taste of some real poker. If you’re interested in poker, make sure to check out my previous posts on my experiences playing in the World Series of Poker. There’s a post from this past summer, as well as some posts from 2009 (here and here), when I actually cashed. Yes, if you go online and look up career earnings, Jim has indeed won more money than I have playing poker, but then again…I don’t brand myself as a “WPT Champion.”
- The Post Merge feast consisted of beer, cheese and crackers, yellow buffs and strategy. After the pleasantries had ended, Coach and Cochran had a private conversation, where Cochran complained about how he was treated at Savaii, including talking about how Keith talks to him, which had a pretty strong element of truth to it. Then Coach dropped this bomb:
“Our tribe isn’t budging, and I feel like you guys are trying to play us, ok? You guys came up with a story. You guys sent Ozzy to Redemption. You’ve got an Idol in your pocket, and…knowing that Ozzy would win Redemption, it was a risk, but you knew that Ozzy would win Redemption.”
The look in Coach’s eyes said “I know this is true”, and the look in Cochran’s eyes said “I’m sooooo busted.” Give the Dragon Slayer some credit, this floored me. Both the exact analysis of the situation, and his brazen attitude about shoving it right in Cochran’s face and telling him he knew. He invited Cochran to join Upolu and avoid potentially having to draw rocks at Tribal Council in the event of a tie.
- After being confronted with Coach’s suspicions, did Cochran the Double Agent try to deny any of it? No…instead he sang like a canary, telling Upolu everything. At the beginning of the episode, he’s telling us that he’s like the Godfather, but it turns out he’s more like Fredo instead.
- I can appreciate that working with Upolu seems like a decent idea for Cochran (especially against the potential of drawing rocks), but the fact of the matter is, that even on a flip, he’s still the 7th player on a team of 7. Ask Mikayla how that worked out.
- Dawn talked to Cochran about also being the bottom of the group at Savaii, and talked about flipping with him. She was on board, and broke down, upset that she didn’t stand up for Cochran sooner, because he reminds her of her son. It made sense…it would be the first time that the two of them can decide for themselves. But would she actually do it?
- At the Immunity Challenge (this week with no Reward, presumably due to the freebie Merge Feast) we learned that the new Yellow Tribe name was Te Tuna, which, as Keith told us, is “based on the story of how the coconut came to be." I told you in my very first recap that this season was going to be all about the coconuts! And in this challenge, we get the best of both worlds: TILES AND COCONUTS? Are you kidding me???
They each had to balance on a log while holding a coconut with some rope. If the coconut fell, it would break the tile, and if you stepped off the log or let the coconut touch your body, you were out. Also, there would be Double Immunity, with two people winning, one man and one woman. Look, I love the idea of giving out two idols, but segregating it along gender lines for this challenge is total bullshit. I can see it for the weight challenge, where the differences in strength between men and women can be significant when you’re carrying 200+ pounds on your back, but there was no need to make this a separate men's and women's challenge.
People were eliminated for a variety of reasons, but falling off, letting the coconut touch your body, and dropping your coconut on your foot or the sand had one major flaw…no broken tile. These tiles are made to be broken, people! Anyone eliminated should have been made to kick their tile and break it (bare feet or not, as a symbolic gesture similar to making them burn their own buff at RNI.
Dawn won for the women in an anti-climactic competition, and the men were eliminated in the following order: Cochran, Coach, Rick (despite what Probst called “that cowboy strength”), Jim, Keith (who punched his tile to break it! Yes, Keith!), Brandon, and Albert, leaving the newly-returned Ozzy as the winner.
- Back at camp, Savaii is trying to strategize, figuring out who to pick between Sophie and Rick, even though they’re convinced it’s going to be a tie vote. “Everyone is ok going to rocks”, they confirm with each other, and Cochran agrees, but we’re all not sure whether to believe him at this point. I agree with Coach and Cochran, tiebreaking random rocks is a BS way to decide the game. (just ask Paschal from Survivor Marquesas)
- Cochran went straight to Upolu, and told them the whole plan, that Rick was getting Savaii’s 6 votes, and that Ozzy would present the Idol to Whitney. He suggested that they give Rick the Idol, so that he wouldn’t have to flip. Sophie trusts Cochran, but still didn’t reveal Upolu’s target. Safe bet on her part. Cochran even went to Coach, but he still wouldn’t say. This was a good test from Upolu on whether they could trust Cochran or not.
- Wait a minute…now Dawn is trying to dissuade Cochran from joining Upolu? Huh? Now Dawn loves everyone on Savaii and wants to stay loyal? I’m so confused.
- On a side note, I have to say, it’s nice to see Albert starting to develop a personality on the show, but I’m wondering a couple of things about him. First of all, how the hell is he keeping that blue sweater that he wears to Tribal Council so clean? Does he store it away at camp, and only take it out for Tribal Council? And if so, doesn’t that seem odd when it could help with both warmth, and protection from bugs?
Second, what is the deal with him being referred to as “Baseball/Dating Coach”? What do those things have to do with each other? I understand that perhaps he and Coach have bonded over the fact that they both lead others in a sport, but “dating coach?” Are you telling me that his ability to know when it’s a good spot to hit-and-run gives him the skills to help you try to find a partner? Or that understanding the infield fly rule helps him to understand what women are looking for?
These things have absolutely nothing to do with each other, save for the concept of him telling someone what to do. Grouping them together makes about as much sense as labeling someone “Auto Racer/Chauffer” or “Chef/Taxidermist.”
- At Tribal Council, Coach and Ozzy put all the cards on the table, coming right out and saying that it’s going to be a 6-6 tie. Jeff asked the odds of someone defecting, and Cochran said he doesn’t work in odds, whereas Jim said the percentage is “Zero” (someone teach this “poker player” about odds, will you?)
Albert then called out Ozzy’s “broadway production” at the Duel, and Sophie said that she was offended and “found the charade to be over the top, and somewhat pathetic.” Now it’s Ozzy’s turn to get his back up and reveal all. When will people learn to just shut their mouth and smile? Just before voting, Ozzy looks confident, Cochran looks scared, and Coach winks.
I have to give credit to the editors on this episode, for the first time in a long time, and definitely for the first time this season, I had absolutely NO IDEA what was about to happen, either heading in to Tribal Council, or right before the voting. Well done. Let’s hope for this more often.
Ozzy played the Idol for Whitney, reducing the number of Savaii that would have to draw rocks, but when did we see Cochran give it back? Did I miss that? In an awkwardly ordered reveal of votes, we saw the predictable 6-6 tie between Keith and Rick. Of note, there was only one spelling mistake (Keth), but to be fair, with names like Keith and Rick, there should have been zero.
So now it was time for the Rare Re-Vote, my favourite part of which is the fact that the first person voting has to take the urn back with them. I absolutely love that they don’t get a production assistant to do it, and instead say “here, do it yourself.”
On the re-vote, Keith was voted out as Cochran joined with Upolu. Immediately after the vote, he turned to Ozzy and Jim like a kid trying to talk the schoolyard bully out of punching him and said “I swapped. I’ll explain it.” Non-WPT Champion Jim responded with the verbal abuse right away, calling him a coward not once, but twice.
Then Brandon stepped in and said “Don’t talk to him like that. That’s what you get for talking to people like that in the first place.” Good point.
So off Keith went to Redemption (Non) Island, which I once again hate is not over yet, and Probst referred to this vote as “the biggest move in the game”, which must have infuriated Ozzy, who was probably saying to himself “Didn’t you see what I did last week???”
All for naught Ozzy, all for naught. Upolu 7, Savaii 5. And you wasted your Idol.
Next week: Savaii Hates Cochran and Ozzy Loves Rainbows.
Two quick notes:
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