Hello, good people. Van Nest back with you for what is sure to be the most exciting episode of this young season of Survivor. After removing the two most annoying people in the game in the first two episodes...one of them will take the walk of shame to Loser's Lodge tonight. And I, for one, can't wait. But first...
Survivor: South Pacific
Reap What You Sow
By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analyst
October 3, 2011
Last time on Survivor: Ozzy found an idol, Cochran channeled the honey badger, Coach had his pieces-parts pixilated and Brandon actually out-creeped his uncle. And despite all of Brandon's talk about getting rid of that evil temptress, Mikayla, she received no votes and "temporary player" Christine was put out of my misery and sent to Redemption Island, where she'll square off in a duel with heartbroken Semhar.
Before we get into this week's episode, it's time to bring back everyone's favorite feature, the Survivor Power Rankings. This is where I, the analyst, tell you, the reader which players are trending up and which ones are on their way out. As with the beginning of every season, I will lump several players together until they do something to separate themselves.
Ozzy - 4-1. Do I think Ozzy will win this game? No, I do not. He's simply not a savvy enough player to win this game. However, he is in the power alliance in his tribe and does have an immunity idol, so he is in the best position at these early stages.
Coach - 8-1. Do I think Coach will win this game? No, I do not. Much to my surprise, though, Coach has made all the right moves thus far in the game. He managed to work his way into the tribe's good graces by being a mentor as they set up camp. And then at night, he managed to bond with four others to form the power alliance in his tribe. And after one
vote, Coach wanted Christine gone and she's gone.
Keith/Jim/Albert/Rick/Sophia - 12-1. The other players in the power alliances have done very little to set themselves apart yet. Jim thinks he's the puppet master, but Keith and Ozzy had his plan just a little earlier than he did. Albert, Rick and Sophia are the power players with Coach and none of them has stepped up to earn their own personal Power Ranking just yet.
Whitney/Elise/Mikayla/Edna - 15-1. Whitney and Elise are the "+2" in Jim's "3+2" strategy. But something tells me they won't be the "+2" for long. As long as Ozzy still likes boobs, they have a shot in this game. Mikayla and Edna are on the outside of the main alliance at Upolu, but Brandon could be on his way out and either girl could step in. The fact that Edna has a side alliance with Coach right now could end up keeping her around a lot longer than she deserves.
Johnny Cochs - 20-1. I don't have high hopes for the player formerly known as Cochran at this point, but he's done enough that I think he'll be able to outlast the other Savaii misfits, Papa Bear and Dawn. The best bet for Johnny Cochs (thank you Rob and Nicole Cesternino...I plan to steal this for the rest of the season) is to shut up and get to work. The less attention he draws to himself, the better he'll be. I just don't think he can do it.
Brandon - 25-1. Brandon actually broke my "creepy stalker-meter" last week, but I think he has another couple shows left in him. He's still part of the main Upolu alliance and did fall in line and vote with the rest of the group. If he continues to obsess over Mikayla though, his days will be numbered quickly.
Papa Bear/Dawn/Stacey - 50-1. Papa Bear and Dawn will be the next boots of the Savaii tribe, but I'm not sure in what order. It will probably depend on who's whinier that day (think Dawn). With Christine's departure last week, Stacey is a woman without a country and it'll take a complete Brandon melt-down to keep her in the game past the next Upolu Tribal Council.
Christine - 100-1. Christine's temporary game should last at least one more week. This is not based on any prowess she's shown in this game at all...she's done everything wrong. This is based totally on her Redemption Island competition. Which brings me to:
Semhar - 1 million-1. I have seen nothing from Semhar that would suggest she has any chance of winning a duel on Survivor. It has been several seasons since I've seen a player less equipped to be on this show. She's in meltdown mode because she was sent to Redemption and she's not a very good challenge player anyway. I honestly think she may even lose a "make up your own spoken word poem about Survivor" challenge. Semhar remaining in this game would be an amazing upset, even against Christine.
We join the "action" as Christine arrives at Redemption Island to wake up Semhar. Christine tells us that she thinks her tribe wasn't ready for someone who's playing the game right off the bat. She says that Coach didn't like her from the beginning. Okay, work with me here...maybe it was the whole "they're temporary players" thing. Whatcha think? I mean, do we really need to wonder about this? You don't have to watch a lot of Survivor to know that if you tell someone you're voting them off, they're probably gonna come after you. Maybe Semhar could do some spoken word about it.
Back at Upolu, Mikayla is a little upset and confused over why Brandon wanted her out so bad. As she's speaking to Coach about it, Brandon comes in to interrupt them. Brandon goes on some more about how he doesn't want to be a villain like Russell and he wants to be a hero. And he hates that he's already started lying and blah, blah, blah...for the love of God, cue the theme song.
We come back to Upolu as they receive some Tree Mail. Looks like the first RI duel is on. Coach "humbly requests" to attend the duel and Stacey asks to go with him. Coach tells us he very badly wants Christine to lose this duel as he doesn't want her to ever come back into the game.
Probst sighting! As he brings the duelers in, he asks Christine if there's any animosity between her and Coach and Stacey. She starts to go off again about how Coach didn't like her and he had it in for her. Ohfer...if she doesn't go home after this duel, I'm punching a kitten! He moves on to Semhar and she talks about how sucky Redemption Island is. And with that, let's get to the duel.
Today...each person will hold. A totem...on top of a pole. They will try...with all their might. To use their balance...and hold it right. As time goes by...to their pole they'll add. Some extra length...that could make it bad. Should they lose their focus...or simply grow weary. Their totem could topple...and they may get teary. So they must stay alert...and not grow tired. Lest they be forced...to throw their buff in the fire.
Do you like it? Hey...at least MY spoken word to lead into this challenge had something to do with the game. I think everyone was pretty shocked to see Semhar actually delay the challenge so she could recite something about getting nekkid and dancing for a dude and giving birth to his ten children with no drugs. Wait...make that 11. For real, Coach was in the stands rolling his eyes. I know, right? COACH! He who was captured by pygmies. That says something when you can even make the dragon-slayer roll his eyes. Somewhere, Jessum Herring is rolling over in his grave.
Anyway, the challenge finally gets going and after adding three or four poles to the length, Semhar's lack of concentration sends her totem tumbling to the ground, making her the first person to exit the game...and leaving Christine in the game. As Semhar prepares to leave, she may have just saved a kitten from getting punched. Once again she complains about how cruel people could be to vote her out of the game. Um, what in the blue hell did you think you were signing up for??? To his credit, Jeff does ask her why she sought out this game. Either way, I'm glad she's gone. But next week, if Christine doesn't go home...the kitten's getting it.
We come back from break to the Upolu tribe and once again, Brandon is whining. Okay, for you drinkers out there, if you want to have some fun, here's a drinking game for you. Every time Brandon says God, Christian, Russell or uncle. Do a shot. I guarantee, you won't make it to Tribal Council. Anyway, God (*drink*) has been chastising Brandon for lying. He feels terrible about it and he doesn't want to lie anymore. Aw crap...here it comes. So everyone at the beach is around and Brandon removes his shirt and confesses to being Russell's (*drink*) nephew. "Blam!" You may not know it, but Stacey is like the sound effect track from the old Batman TV series. Things like "Blam!" are complete thoughts to her. Hopefully she'll stick around a while to continue to put the exclamation point on the tribal goings-on.
Sorry, I get off track. Back to Brandon's huge revelation. He apologizes to them for lying and he accepts the consequences of what he did. Mikayla seems to think that Brandon is using the whole "I don't want to lie" as a crutch to excuse his actual lying. Pretty much the way some people will use Confession and Forgiveness as a method to allow them to continue sinning, if you will. Brandon loves God (*drink*), Jesus Christ (*drink*) and he's a different person than his uncle (*drink*). See what I mean? I'm drunk already!
Next thing we see is Brandon talking to Coach and while Coach tells him that everything's cool with them, he tells us that he thinks it was a huge mistake, but it's a sign of his age. Coach feels Brandon is a valuable part of his alliance but he doesn't trust him as much as before. If you were paying attention, I think you did two more shots during those 60 seconds.
Thankfully for all of us, we take a quick jaunt over to Savaii, where Ozzy has brought in the catch of the day. Papa Bear tells us how great camp life is and how everyone gets along, but there is a pecking order. And he, Johnny Cochs and Dawn are on the outs. Ozzy confirms this to us, but insists that Keith is his Grant for this year. With that in mind, he feels like he should share his biggest secret with his #2. He tells Keith he has the idol. And as Ozzy is feeling good about showing Keith his absolute trust, Keith is already on his way to go tell Whitney. Keith tells us that having the idol gives Ozzy all the power. He said he told Whitney because he may need her trust and vote down the road if Ozzy tries to make a move. This concludes our Savaii viewing for a while. We now return you to Upolu for our continuing coverage of "Creepy Stalker Guy."
We join Creepy Stalker Guy as the object of his lust approaches him and asks him what the problem is. He admits to her that he doesn't like her. He really can't come up with a reason for his seething ball of hate, but tells her that other people don't trust her either. And what better way to tackle this situation then to call another Tribal meeting. He calls her out about having no alliance and then utters the best line of the entire series so far, "Just keep me out of the drama." This kid can't be for real, can he? Oh, by the way, you probably should have had three more shots or so there. Anyway, Sophie tells us that she has NO idea what this kid is doing and that he seems to be conflicted between his crazy religious beliefs and the fact that he is inherently a devious jerk.
Cut to the sad piano music and Mikayla is on the beach crying. Brandon is upset that he didn't control his temper. He tells us of the constant battle in his life between good and evil. Seriously, they need to get this dude off the show. He is a ticking time bomb and I'm beginning to feel a bit scared for some people's safety out there. While he keeps saying he doesn't want to be bad and he doesn't want to sin anymore, he can't seem to open his mouth or have a thought with it. Can we move on to something less crazy?
Sweet...Coach and Sophie are talking on the beach. Coach says you can't just call something out like that. It spooks your own alliance, your tribe and Mikayla specifically. He says that it's not the same type of aggression that Russell had, but it's an aggression nonetheless. He tells Sophie that he hates to say it, but he sees a little of Russell in him. Okay, while we go to commercial, can I just say that I. DON'T. WANT. ANOTHER. SEASON. ABOUT. FRICKIN'. RUSSELL!! He's already dominated this show for the last two years. Does he really have to dominate yet another season - and one he's not even on?!?! Seriously, I'm about ready to punch Mark Burnett and Jeff Probst in their giblets for this one.
Oh, thank God (have a shot), we come back from break to a Probst sighting and the immunity challenge for the day. Today's challenge is a three-parter. The first part will see tribe members running out into the water on some flimsy platforms carrying a body board attached to a long rope. They will race out to grab a puzzle bag and then the rest of the tribe will pull them back using a giant wench. Once the tribe has retrieved all five puzzle bags, part two begins. Another tribe member will be on a huge platform where they will drop a grappling hook down to grab all five puzzle bags. Once they have all five puzzle bags on the platform, they will open them up and place puzzle banners on the wall. The first tribe to have their puzzle banner in order to show the tribe flag wins immunity as well as a bunch of tasty food stuff.
The challenge begins with Brandon and Ozzy starting for their respective teams. In a shocker, Brandon smokes Ozzy. Mostly because Ozzy's teammates allowed his rope to get tangled, but still, Brandon was pretty stud during his leg and he's back first with the first bag. Enter unlikely challenge hero #2, Dawn, who absolutely kills it and actually passes up Albert. As it plays out though, the tribes pretty well stay even up until the fifth bag where Ozzy and Albert are on the course together. As they're being pulled back, the board is pulled out of Ozzy's hand which gives Albert a bit of a lead as he gets back with the fifth bag. And now, it's Coach time. Maybe it happened on the Amazon or on one of his other adventures, but Coach is apparently a grappling hook master. He takes on the task of getting all the bags and has all five bags up to his platform before Whitney and Elise can even get their fourth bag up there. This being a 5-piece puzzle makes the end a bit anti-climactic as Coach and Edna just rearrange the five pieces to complete their flag and Upolu wins easily.
And now it's time to play it's anyone but Papa Bear! Ozzy tells us that for the vote tonight, it has to be to keep the tribe stronger in challenges and Dawn kicked butt, so it's between Papa Bear and Johnny Cochs. We join them as they discuss how they're both on the block and they don't get how it ended up that way. They feel like they're on a Barbie and Ken tribe and they just don't fit in. We join the Ozzy alliance as they decide that it's Papa Bear's time to go. They decide to tell Papa Bear that it's Johnny Cochs. Johnny isn't too thrilled to hear that his name is coming up again, and he feels like he might need to do some scrambling. He admits, though, that part of what got him in trouble last time was the scrambling he did, so he's not sure what to do. Ozzy tells Papa bear that it's Johnny Cochs, but he ain't buying it. He knows it's him, so he does what anyone else would do, goes out to search for the immunity idol.
Of course, there is no idol to be found. He is seen by Elise, which then cause some folks to go spy on him. They do see him digging all over the place. After searching for a long time, he decides to just pretend like he found it, in hopes that people will switch their votes to Johnny Cochs. Of course, he plays it up WAY big. To quote Johnny, "...waltzing into camp with a big smile on his face and an extra large bulge in his underpants." He goes right up to Jim and tells him that he found the idol, which has Jim thinking maybe they should switch their vote. Of course, Ozzy is chuckling at all of this nonsense, since he has the idol. John, however, is very concerned, his logic being that what would it hurt them to just switch their vote just in case. They could still vote off Papa Bear next.
Jeff starts off asking Johnny Cochs whether or not he changed like he pledged to. He says that he feels that he has stepped up his camp game as well as his challenge game. He's asked about leadership on the tribe and he suggests Ozzy is, because the tribe follows his lead for survival. Papa Bear says that he's used to being the leader in life, but "the five" have all the control and he doesn't really mix well with any of them. Dawn admits that she and Papa Bear and John are kind of on the outs, but that she sees that shifting during the day. Jim says that he feels that Papa Bear feels he's on the block, so he's trying to stir things up.
Jeff asks Jim if he's given any thought to the idol, and of course, he has. Jeff reminds Ozzy that he was voted out holding onto an idol. Ozzy says that having an idol can totally change the game and that every time someone goes on a walk alone, you have to be worried about it. On a quick side note...when did Ozzy start to turn into Jack Sparrow? My good buddy Ryan pointed it out to me and now I can't see him any other way. But I digress... Jeff asks Cochs if he thinks he can find an idol. He smartly says that you have to weigh the pros and cons of even searching for it. He says searching for an individual idol is not the best way to garner trust and endear yourself to the tribe. And with that, it's time to vote.
Apparently Jim WAS thinking about the idol and his changes his vote to "Cockran". We then see Johnny Cochs' vote for Papa Bear. And that's it, Jeff will go tally the votes. If anyone has an idol, now is the time to play it. Of course, no one does. And here come the votes: Papa Bear, Cockran, Jim. The rest all come up Papa Bear and Jeff has to utter one of the oddest sounding lines he's ever spoken, "Papa Bear, the tribe has spoken."
I have to say that I'm very impressed that both tribes, thus far, have both stuck to the "we have to keep our tribe strong in challenges". In most seasons, by now they're starting to target the stronger people because they're threats. But both tribes right now are just cutting the dead weight and I applaud them for that. They're playing the game the way I think it was intended. They're playing as tribes for the first half of the game, all while arranging their chess pieces for the individual game. So to all of them so far, I say, "Well done."
Until now. Next time on Survivor: Apparently Johnny Cochs is trying to take on the role of mastermind and as we see him shaking hands with Jim, it appears he's making a move on Ozzy. Meanwhile, the Brandon Show will continue on Upolu as he's whining about Mikayla (who'd a thunk?), Albert and Sophie having "something going on." Good lord (have a shot) please put me out of my misery and send Little Hantz home. Until next week, kids...take care.