My Random Thoughts:
- Previously on…Survivor, 5 minutes and 44 seconds spent recapping the entire season (seriously, I timed it), from pork ripping to Ozzy fishing. We waited half an hour because of football (Damn you, Tim Tebow!), and we still have to sit through this? I propose that in the event that Survivor is delayed because of football or golf in the future, then the excessive recap gets ditched off the top. The only thing I think that was relevant from this segment was Coach saying that swearing “as a Christian man” is an irrevocable promise.
- For our final Night Vision Recap at Redemption (Non) Island, Brandon wakes up Ozzy, laughing about his own demise. Brandon says that it hurts to be stabbed in the back by your closest friend, but that it’s ok because he forgives Albert for “what he did.” Presumably that means that he feels Albert should have given him the necklace back, or does he think that Albert was the deciding vote that eliminated him?
Ozzy scoffed at Brandon’s decision-making, correctly calling his move to give the Immunity necklace away as foolish, and criticized L’il Hantz for apparently thinking that he’s playing the game with God. “He’s playing with human beings who are greedy and want that money”, Ozzy told us.
Benjamin then went on to say “I am not going to sit here and have people bullshit me”, and rant about how he refuses to be made a fool out of, because he’s been made a fool of “too many times” because of this game. I have to say, that’s probably his own fault, because of his ridiculous antics the first two times he played the game, like calling himself the Dragon Slayer, Coach Chi on the beach, and all the fake stories he would tell at Tribal Council. Sorry Benji, you made your own bed on that one.
- The Final Redemption (Non) Island Duel, which I saw a preview for earlier in the week, was to simply hang on to a pole as long as possible…or as I called it, “what challenge can we make the easiest for Ozzy to win?” Remember that this is a guy that I have referred to as Survivor’s Spider Monkey since his first season on the show. Upon hearing Jeff explain what the Duel would be, there was a fantastic camera shot of Brandon gulping as if to say “I’m screwed.”
- Ozzy was insincerely welcomed back at camp, and Coach had a heart-to-heart with him, hinting that if he won Immunity, he would consider giving it to Ozzy since Coach already has the Hidden Immunity Idol. Ozzy wasn’t buying into his vagueness, and flat-out asked him if he would hand one of them over. Coach’s response was that he would if he thinks Ozzy is in jeopardy.
HA! Of course, Coach didn’t give him a straight answer, and if you noticed, he didn’t say the magic words: “as a Christian man!” Ozzy was rightfully skeptical, and said “who in their right mind would want to take me?"
- What the hell?? A close-up shot of a spider?? After a FULL season with no spiders, now my arachnophobic ass has to get blindsided by one in the Finale?? Unbelievable!
- The Immunity Challenge was a twist on the old Survivor standby, building a House of Cards, except that there was an added portion that would see the castaways have to build the tower with only one hand while the other one was balancing a teeter-totter. Jeff gives us one final dirty innuendo: “Everybody grab your handle,” which obviously confused Sophie.
- Speaking of Sophie, she told us that she builds Houses of Cards for fun. She also has a book on how to make them. (Also, don’t forget she knows Russian. Why were we ever even told that since it never came up in the show again?) The only thing I was sure of, was that with Sophie boasting about her skill, there was no way she would win…a notion confirmed with her inability to keep track of how many pieces she had, and coming up about a foot-and-a-half short. On a second try, her stack fell, leading to this amazing exchange:
Sophie: "Hey Albert, drop your stack and come pick up my pieces."
Albert: "I’m in a pretty decent spot right now."
Sophie: "Drop your damn stack and pick up my pieces! I’m going to beat you!"
Albert: "I gotta..."
Sophie: "Albert just drop your stack!"
Jeff: "Let me make it easy for you. There is no helping in this challenge. It was designed as an Individual Immunity. It will be played as an Individual Immunity. If you want Ozzy out of this game, beat him."
Ozzy wins, of course, and punches his tile tower in celebration. Sophie says “I should have won that.” Yes, you probably should have…but only if you could count tiles. Bad tile management.
- Back at camp, Ozzy talked about how he won the challenge, and Sophie sulked some more. Coach and Albert talked about voting out Rick since he’s “got the best shot to win this game right now.” Ozzy wants Sophie gone because “She’s a frickin’ brat.” Coach says he’s not voting for Rick, but that he thinks Sophie has turned on the Silent Cowboy.
- Right before heading to Tribal Council, Albert confronts Coach and asks him if he told Ozzy he wanted him to come to the end? Coach answers “I can’t wait to vote his ass out of here”, but doesn’t actually answer the question. Albert sees through this and follows up with “Did you tell him it was going to be you, him, and Sophie?” Coach shakes his head, but doesn’t actually say no.
- At Tribal Council #1: Savaii excited to see Ozzy, Coach is wearing his (no longer Hidden) Immunity Idol, and Ozzy reminded us that as much as you may like him, he is completely devoid of personality. Seriously, this was the exchange between him and Jeff right at the beginning of Tribal Council:
Jeff: “You knew you had to win, or you were gone tonight.”
Ozzy: “I’m not an idiot. I knew that if I didn’t win, I’d be going home tonight.”
Coach talked about family, Ozzy revealed Coach’s proposed plan, and then Sophie and Ozzy got into a schoolyard argument about who respects who. It was Junior High BS, ending with Sophie saying the only thing that proves you lost an argument: “Whatever.”
- Two quick side notes: First, I had some fun at Rick’s expense earlier this season, joking that he was using the term “Prince Albert” without really knowing the dirty reference. Many of you Googled it, and I’m sorry if you were actually subjected to a photo when you did. I just wanted to point out that earlier today, Edna tweeted out this photo of Rick, saying “Cowboy Rick just has been educated on what a Prince Albert actually is! This is his reaction.”
my caption contest on November 23rd (the week of the recap show). With honourable mentions to Choirchick22 and R.P. McMurphy, the winner of the best caption was MacGruber, with “Mikayla, the invisible whore: A painting by Brandon Hantz.” Thanks to everyone for playing along.
- Back to the episode, where Ozzy is hoarding coconuts, and Coach is pissed at Ozzy for spilling the beans. Coach says he wants to clear the air, but then tells Ozzy that what he did was disrespectful and that it saddened him. How is that clearing the air?
Ozzy malaproped (if that’s not a word, it damn well should be) that he was putting “all my cards in one basket.” He then talked about how he felt like he can’t trust Coach, because any time he has trusted someone in the past in this game, he got burned. But he still said “I do want to go to the end with you because I still believe that that’s how this game should be.”
- The Final Immunity Challenge (Once again with no Fallen Comrades Walk!) was an obstacle course and puzzle. I was half expecting Sophie to just tell Albert to go and get all of her pieces for her, but she was content just to yell at him as he was crossing the same areas as her. Spider Monkey whizzed through the whole course gathering puzzles pieces, and Coach inexplicably decided to do somersaults through a net tunnel.
Ozzy reached the puzzle phase first, but it was Sophie who ended up winning Immunity by being the first to solve it. Clearly this must have been because she knows Russian. No? We’re seriously not going to hear any more on this Russian thing?
- At Camp, Coach symbolically relinquished the title of Dragon Slayer to Sophie. He then told Sophie and Albert not to talk to Ozzy, because “I don’t want him to cause dissention.” He then idiotically followed it up by essentially saying “But…I’m gonna go talk to him right now.”
Did anyone think it would matter?
- Tribal Coucil #2: In short, Sophie feels amazing, Coach’s heart is breaking again, Ozzy says that Coach should force a tie so they can sit beside each other at the Final Tribal Council with Sophie, and Albert compared Ozzy to Jeff Gordon. In the end, the Upolu alliance was too strong to break, and Ozzy was voted out.
“Third time’s a charm, baby”, Ozzy said before he sprinted down the Blue-Lit Walk of Shame. Wait a minute, wasn’t he runner up the first time? How is the third time a charm? Is it because of all the fish he ate?
I have to say, I was honestly happy to be heading to the Final Tribal Council with three players who, in my mind, all had a legit shot to win the million.
- At the final Tribal Council (where Ozzy appeared to be doing his best impression of Wendy), the three opening arguments went like this: Albert: This is a social experiment, a game about people, and I like you all. Sophie: Outwit, Outlast, Outplay means I played the best. Coach: I can’t believe I’m here, I had an uphill battle, I played with compassion, love, appreciation, and respect.
- The Jury members then had their opportunity to question or comment to the Final Three, and here’s a brief summary of what happened:
- Ozzy: Sophie is a brat, Albert was in the right place at the right time, and Coach, did you play with honour and integrity? Coach answered that he did most of the time, but there were some times when he didn’t. Honest answer.
- Jim: Albert, why should the other two not be here, and don’t start with a compliment. Albert responds by complimenting Jim.
- Dawn: Sophie, what was your strategy behind aligning with Coach and Albert? Sophie answers that she wishes she were a man, and compares Coach to a young girl.
- Floral Print Rick: Coaxes an apology from Coach, then calls Albert a scumbag for taking Brandon’s necklace and “using the God thing” (Albert’s response not permitted).
- Brandon: Coach tries to kiss his ass, tells him he should be up there, and that he wants to make it up to him. Brandon forgives him, but then asks Albert, “Did you know I was going home?” When Albert tries to justify, Brandon demands a Yes or No answer, and after some awkward back and forth, Albert finally responds with ”I didn’t know that you were going home”, and L’Il Hantz said simply “You lie.”
- Whitney: Said to Albert, “You’re sleazy”, and then I stopped listening, because how awesome is it that the married woman who cheated on her husband while she was on Survivor is calling someone else sleazy?
- Keith: Asked Coach if he was going to play the Idol for himself or for the team. Coach gave a BS answer, and Sophie revealed that Coach had the Idol longer than he claimed, and the entire lie to make it look like the prayer was the reason they found it. Brandon was visibly shocked…and don’t we all wish Brandon hadn’t already asked his question?
I think that was a million-dollar answer from Sophie.
- Cochran: Tells Coach that he played an impressive game, but asks him to share his strategy without talking about honour. Coach said “I came in trying to do the right thing, and I ended up doing the wrong things. I came up short, and I’m sorry. I wanted to get to the end and I kept justifying my actions. I’m a terrible strategist.” Again, a very honest answer.
- Coming in to the Final Tribal Council, I thought it was even across the board, and after the questioning, I gave it to Sophie, until Coach’s final answer to Cochran, then I put it as an even shot between Coach and Sophie.
- The only votes we see are Cochran voting for Coach, and Dawn voting for Sophie, while Rick pulled the Eliza Orlins trick of acting like he was still undecided in the voting booth.
And with that, Jeff and his Bluest-of-Blue Shirts exited Tribal Council with the votes in hand, magically appearing in Los Angeles to read the results. The votes went like this: Coach, Sophie, Coach, Sophie, Coach, Sophie, Sophie, Sophie, final vote unseen (but presumably Sophie, or we would have seen it).
- Congratulations to Sophie Clarke on a well-deserved win in Survivor South Pacific.
- Sophie is flustered, is Facebook friends with almost everyone in her town of 1500, and wants to be more like Dawn. I would have liked to hear Jeff ask her if it was by design that she revealed the info about Coach's lie about the Hidden Immunity Idol. I'm wondering if it was something she specifically kept in her back pocket to only come out in front of a Jury at the end.
- Did you notice how Jeff always hears things from “people on the street?” Are you telling me that he just stops on the street and talks Survivor with random people? Does that really happen? I doubt it.
- Coach talked about having a “Prayer-palooza” with Albert and Brandon,,,and 3 people clapped in response. He then learned that that he would have won if he brought Rick instead of Sophie. In short, Coach can now talk to Colby about million-dollar bad decisions on who should go to the Final.
- Cochran wrote a paper at Harvard on the Survivor Jury system, and said “I can’t play an under the radar game, because I’m perpetually over the radar…freaking out all the time.” He also revealed that he was single and invited people (presumably women) to “come at me.”
- New Ink Brandon revealed that nobody is proud of him, and nobody came to the show, except for Uncle Russell, who looked miserable. I was disgusted that we saw that little sock-burning Hobbit only 90 seconds into the Reunion Show, and that we had to talk to him at all.
Probst went out in to the audience to talk to his favourite villain, saying “Stand up, Hantz” when he got to his seat. How awesome would it have been when the vertically-challenged Russell stood up, if Probst would have said “No seriously, stand up”?
What a garbage speech, too. More self-congratulatory bullshit from the best player to never actually win anything. “I made greatness”, he told us. What a load of crap. And please keep in mind that I was one of the biggest Russell fans for his first two seasons, and I still insist that he should have won both of those seasons, but I’m just sick of him.
And when Jeff suggested Russell vs. Brandon for a future season, while there was polite applause from the studio audience, you know that most of the viewing audience at home screamed at their television “NO F**KING WAY!”
- Papa Bear hugged everyone in sight, Edna is pregnant, Angry C had giant earrings, I still couldn’t understand a word Stacey said, and Jeff is disappointed in Jim for not lasting longer. He also pointed out that Whitney was in “another relationship” when she hooked up with Keith, which was a super-polite way of saying she cheated on her husband. No interaction with Papa Bear, Semhar, Elyse, or Mikayla, and Rick remained silent…but Jeff may not have noticed him sitting there in the front row.
- Survivor 24 will be called Survivor One World, and will feature Men vs. Women as two tribes live on one beach . No Returning Players. No Redemption Island. Thank God.
(Sean bends down and Tebows)
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