Survivor: South Pacific
Free Agent
By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analyst
October 25, 2011

Soon to be seen co-starring in an Ozzy sex tape!

Hello, good people, and welcome back to another thrilling edition of Survivor: South Pacific. When last we hung out, things were not looking so good for Ozzy. The nerd and the old lady had teamed up with #5 (Jim) to vote out Ozzy's South Pacific girlfriend. I'd say "Survivor girlfriend," but Ozzy has a different one every season he plays. Keith and Whitney played the ultimate coward move by throwing away their votes on Dawn, allowing their alliance-mate Elyse to take the long walk to Redemption Island. Oh yeah, and Coach, Albert and Sophie have an idol and Brandon cried some more. I'm pretty sure I actually heard Rick speak last week too. It was only a couple words, but they were there, I'm sure of it.

This week's episode promises to be a whole lot of Ozzy. Ozzy bitching, Ozzy whining, Ozzy complaining and hopefully, Ozzy going home. Either way, though, he's pissed and will be declaring himself a free agent. And what better strategy in a game like Survivor, then to declare yourself as someone who will go to whatever side he feels like going to? How did this former hero become so annoying? My thought is that he believed a little too much of his own hype. Anyway, it does promise to be an explosive episode, so let's get to the Power Rankings so we can get to the show!

Coach - 4-1. Coach stays on top this week. He's the top dog in the power alliance on what seems to be the power tribe. He also has an idol that he plans to share with his alliance to get them all further in the game. Right now, and it's VERY early, this is Coach's game to lose.

Albert/Sophie - 8-1. The other two power players on Upolu move up in the rankings, but they still can't be separated. They all seem to be working together here, so neither Albert nor Sophie seem to have the upper hand on the other one. I know it's crazy unlikely with this much game to play, but seeing these two and Coach in the Final 3 wouldn't surprise me.

Jim - 10-1. Jim has set himself up pretty nicely over at Savaii. He orchestrated the big move to dump Elyse and he has himself in the position to either stick with Dawn and Johnny Cochs or stick with Keith and Whitney (not smart) and be part of a strong three person alliance within his tribe. They need to "just win, baby," though, if he wants to have a decent shot at making it to the end.

Ozzy - 15-1. While things are looking grim for Ozzy right now, he still has the potential to be in a good place, if he puts his ego aside. Having the idol could totally sway power back to him, if he hooks back up with Keith and Whitney and surprises Jim (or Cochran) at the next Tribal. Then he's in the power three person alliance, with the numbers. My concern here is that Ozzy has not shown himself to be smart enough to plan ahead like that.

Dawn/Johnny Cochs - 20-1. I put these two together now, because they are a solid 2 and 3 to Jim's 1 in their alliance. Unless Ozzy plays smart, they should be solid enough to cruise into the merge. Once at the merge, these two will be seen as lesser targets than Keith or Jim or even Whitney, which means they could fly under the radar for a little while before anyone really notices they're there.

Rick/Mikayla/Edna - 30-1. Once again, these three have done nothing to distinguish themselves. Rick never speaks. Edna speaks, but annoys everyone when she does. And Mikayla is still flaunting around her little girl parts and making Brandon feel funny in his shorts. Honestly, I wish one or more of them would do SOMEthing, because I'm running out of things to say about them in the rankings every week.

Keith/Whitney - 40-1. Our biggest droppers this week are Keith and Whitney. They completely screwed the pooch last week by taking the sissy way out and throwing their votes away on Dawn. At this point, who will trust them? Their only shot now is if Ozzy realizes his ONLY play is with them, or if they go on a crazy immunity run and go into the merge with numbers. Either way, Keith will be seen as a huge threat once the tribes merge and Whitney is exactly the kind of girl to REALLY send Brandon over the edge. So things aren't looking good for these two.

Brandon - 75-1. Should Upolu end up at Tribal tonight, I think it's time for Brandon to go. Coach is having Russell flashbacks with the kid and he's just too much of a wild card to keep around. The previews show Savaii having a hard time with the challenge, which means they'll probably have some improbable comeback which will send Lil Hantz off to Redemption Island.

Christine - 100-1. Okay, so I bet against her last week and that was a mistake. Christine is definitely on a mission. I keep saying that she's no Elrod, but after three big wins, that's EXACTLY what she seems to be. I don't see Elyse as being much of a challenge to her this time around and I think she lives to bitch another day.

Elyse - 1 million-1. It's not your fault, Elyse. You did most everything right. You just got a little too close to Ozzy. People are now afraid of couples in this game and you put yourself right into one. Also, you've been okay in challenges, but Christine is battle tested and ready to chew you up and spit you out. But don't worry, I'm sure Ozzy will call when the season's over.

We begin this week, as you would expect, by checking in with the Savaii tribe. As advertised, Ozzy is not happy. He's really upset with Keith and Whitney. He feels like he can't trust anyone now. He says he's done with alliances and he's a free agent. Keith comes back asking if he's saying that it's him versus everyone. Whitney doesn't get why he's taking it so personally.

Okay, now I'm kinda with Ozzy. Are you serious? You broke your alliance and dumped his girlfriend without telling him. What else could it be but personal?? Dawn, the first voice of reason, tells Ozzy to give her a break, he's withholding information and he knows it. "I've got the idol, how 'bout that?" Seriously? That's a rookie move, Oz. Boston Rob and even Russell think you're an idiot now. You NEVER tell the enemy you have an idol, what the hell is wrong with you??

He goes on to mention to the tribe that they seem to be forgetting about Redemption. Keith comes back perfectly, "If you want to go there, just let us know, man." Ozzy tells us that he's just gonna put everything out there and if it doesn't work out, he's always got Redemption. Yeah, give Matt Elrod a call and ask him how that worked out for him.

We come back from break to the Savaii tribe the next morning and Ozzy is out fishing. After getting a good night's sleep, he's still crying about the Elyse vote. He seems to be playing the "you'd better trust me or I won't feed you" card. The rest of the tribe is sitting around talking about what a crybaby Ozzy is. Dawn, Jim, Keith and Whitney all take shots at him, but it's Cochran that takes the biggest shot, "In all seriousness, he's just behaving like a stupid bitch." THAT'S what I'm talking about!

With Ozzy pouting on the beach, we head to check in with Upolu for breakfast. Coach is feeling pretty good with the numbers, a strong alliance and the hidden idol. He tells us that he's still hiding it from Brandon as he's worried that Brandon could freak out and tell everyone. Which is the lead in to Brandon searching for the hidden idol clue. Of course, he finds it. Must be in the blood, or something. Brandon is pumped to have the clue and he shares it with Albert and Coach. This, of course, leads Coach into a "grey area" as he promised Brandon that he'd play the game with him as Christian (drink) men, but he's not telling him about the idol, so he's actually breaking one of his own cardinal rules of the game. Personally, I think he could just start searching based on the clues Brandon read and "find" it again, share it with Brandon and hope that works out for him.

Anyway, what comes next is Brandon searching everywhere for the idol. Hell, he's so Hantz-like that the ghost of Russell shows up on the beach walking with him. Albert and Coach are afraid now that if they tell him they have the idol, he'll freak out that they hid it from him. Brandon even asks them if they think someone else may have found it. Coach is really torn on this one as he wants to play honorably, but Brandon is so channeled into Russell-mode right now that he's afraid to trust him with anything.

This leads us into a Redemption Island duel. Today's duel is a classic Survivor Shuffleboard challenge. I hate the shuffleboard challenges. They're boring as hell and they don't film well. There are a few highlights, but not big ones. Right off the bat, Elyse wins the toss to see who goes first and she chooses Christine. Christine, not wanting to go first, misses the pile seemingly on purpose. During the challenge, at some point, Rick is trying to cheer Christine on, and she gives him the ole "scratch my nose with the middle finger" move. Since you can't really see what's going on, I'll just take Jeff's word for it.

When all the pucks are slid, Christine emerges victorious for the fourth time. As expected, Elyse has to throw her buff in the fire and leave the game with dreams of Ozzy dancing in her head. By the way, Survivor producers...would you stop it with the crescendo-ing music right as someone is about to win a challenge. It kinda kills the suspense when we can close our eyes and just wait for the music and know who's gonna win.

We come back from break and Sophie tells us about the Redemption Island duel and how Christine is still pissed off at her tribe. Rick tells the group about the finger and then in a bit of foreshadowing (maybe), Sophie tells us how Christine would be the worst person to come back from Redemption. Next up is a scene of Edna cozying up to Coach to try to weasel her way into the main alliance. Coach tells us that he really feels comfortable with Edna. Essentially, he sees her as a loyal soldier and a vote in his pocket. He tells us that he wants to see Mikayla go before Edna and everyone knows it's because he sees her as a pawn in his endgame.

Over at Savaii, after several hours of stewing, Ozzy finally calms down and comes back to the tribe. He tells us he made a mistake and then goes to Keith to try to reset their alliance. It's about now that Ozzy realizes that telling about the idol wasn't a very good move on his part. He calls the rest of the tribe together to apologize to them and tell them that he wants to be part of the team and that's why he told them about the idol. Um, I guess. Whatever makes you sleep better at night, Oz. Jim tells us about Ozzy's tantrum and his apology and says that Ozzy is the perfect player for him right now. He'll help you win challenges before the merge and after the merge, he's a bigger threat than you. So he's loving the new Ozzy in the tribe.

We come back from break to a Probst sighting!!! Today's immunity challenge is a good one. Both tribes will choose three people to assemble a wheelbarrow. They'll maneuver it through an obstacle course, picking up two loads of coconuts along the way. Once filled, they will dump all the coconuts into a bin. The rest of the tribe will then take the wheelbarrow apart and use the pieces to assemble a giant slingshot. They'll use that slingshot to shoot coconuts at several targets. First tribe to knock down all the targets wins immunity and a reward to the slippery rocks waterfall place.

Dawn, Ozzy and Cochran work the wheelbarrow for Savaii and they are NOT having a good time with it. After sitting out Edna, Rick, Brandon and Sophie breeze through the obstacle course and turn it over to Coach, Albert and Mikayla. Ozzy and Cochran are STILL having trouble. Albert hits the first target for Upolu as Savaii FINALLY gets their coconuts to their trough. Keith scores for Savaii while Mikayla is only shooting with one hand and not even getting close to the targets. Coach tells her at least three times to use two hands or stop shooting. She refuses to stop or to use both hands and she continues to not even get close.

Albert has knocked down two more targets as this goes on, but Savaii has come back to tie the game. Jim and Keith each hit another one and take a 5-3 lead, with only one target remaining. Jim loads up one more coconut and score the huge comeback win for Savaii. I'm pretty sure I saw actual steam coming out of Coach's ears after this loss. What are the chances that's headed toward Mikayla? I'd say they're pretty frickin' good. As they head back to camp, Coach tells us that Mikayla has to go as she's not listening and being a team player.

We come back from break to join the Savaii tribe on their reward. As they pat themselves on the back for the victory, Ozzy seems to have put himself back in the good graces of the tribe. He tells us that he is now totally back in with the Savaii tribe and if he can't win the million, he really hopes it's one of the other five people on his tribe. We have some nice action shots of people jumping into the water and sliding down the natural water slides into the pool. Even Cochran gets in on the fun, despite being scared to death. After several more shots here, it's really time to check in with Upolu, because there's a game to play. It's called:

"It's Anyone But Mikayla." Coach breaks it down for us saying it's between Mikayla and Edna tonight. He feels that Mikayla is uncoachable; therefore, she must go. Albert tells Mikayla that he knows Coach will be going for her, but he's got her back and he'll convince Coach to vote with him. Albert goes to Rick and Sophie and tells them that even though they brought Edna in as their sixth, she's the weakest link in the tribe and she really needs to be the one to go. He also says that she's smart enough to know she's the sixth person which will make her likely to flip at the merge. With Rick and Sophie on board, Albert takes off to get Brandon to buy in on the Edna vote. Brandon tells him that if could go back in time, he wouldn't have voted for Mikayla and he agrees that Edna should be the one to go. He then tells us AND Albert and Sophie that even though he thinks Edna should go and Mikayla should stay, he's sticking to his word, which was that Edna is the sixth and Mikayla should go first.

Okay, so let me get this straight. Your alliance wants Edna gone. You want Edna gone. She's the weak link on the tribe and the most likely to flip after the merge. With all of that on the table, you're still voting Mikayla. Really?? Come on, man, you can't be that dumb...can you? Sophie is completely blown away by his faulty logic.

Albert and Sophie go to Coach to try to sway him to their side. Coach starts by claiming that he lost that challenge today, because no one was listening to him. He says he told Mikayla to stop shooting and she did not, which was a detriment to the team. He says that if Edna had been out there and he told her to stop, she'd have stopped right then. He feels Edna's loyalty is more important to the tribe and alliance than Mikayla's strength.

Albert tries to convince Coach that Edna is playing them, but because Edna is in his pocket, he will not budge on the plan to vote out Mikayla. Coach tells us that going into a merge, you need the numbers and loyalty. If you don't have loyalty, your numbers mean nothing. He tells us that Edna is loyal and if he has anything to do with it, she won't be going home tonight.

Okay, I guess now is the time that I have to introduce you all to Cowboy Rick. I'm pretty sure he just entered the game a couple days ago, because there doesn't seem to be any footage of him from earlier episodes. I'm introducing him because it would seem that fate has put him in the unenviable position of "swing vote" tonight. Coach, Edna and Brandon will be voting for Mikayla. Albert, Sophie and Mikayla will be voting for Edna.

That leaves the Cowboy as the deciding vote. So, everyone... this is Rick. Rick... this is everyone. Coach goes to Rick, as does Albert. They both try to convince him to vote with them. He's not too thrilled with that. He feels like he's damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. He really is in a "no-win" situation. Maybe he should have stayed invisible.

So Tribal begins with Jeff asking about the tough loss in the challenge. Coach says they didn't compete as a team. He says that he and Mikayla were missing shots and he asked her to stop shooting and she wouldn't. Naturally, she takes offense to this. Next comes a huge discussion about what's more important, numbers or loyalty.

As the tribe speaks, you can tell that Albert and Sophie are on the numbers side, while Coach and Brandon are on the loyalty side. The only sane argument here is made by Albert when he says that the problem with Coach's logic is that loyalty can be faked. You can't fake strength in challenges.

As Albert is speaking, Brandon raises his hand to speak. And you know if Brandon is raising his hand, he's about to say something incredibly dumb. He's already told us that the next challenge is "detrimental" to the tribe's success. What could he possibly have to say now? He says that they made a pact on who was in the alliance. And with all the talk about loyalty at the last two Tribals, he wants to hold everyone to their word and vote out Mikayla.

Albert tries to explain that it's a matter of opinion, not loyalty, but Brandon's on a roll, so we'll just let him finish up. "Vote me out today if we're gonna play disloyal." He goes on to say that he wants to keep Mikayla in this tribe, but he gave his word that he wouldn't vote out Edna and he is sticking to his word. Jeff finally gets to call him on the whole "vote me out" thing. He tells Coach to explain to Brandon why you don't want to say things like that. Coach says that there is a point of being too honest and that sometimes you don't want to share everything and it doesn't mean you're being dishonest. Brandon goes on about cigarettes, games, marijuana and lasciviousness and thankfully, Jeff asks them to vote.

We get to see Brandon's vote for Mikayla, Mikayla's vote for Edna, Albert's vote for Edna and Edna's vote for Mikayla. I'll give her some props for her comment, "I hope your time here helps your future modeling career." Heee...nice parting shot, Edna. And with that, let's tally Rick's vote.

As we expect, it comes down to a 3-3 tie with one vote remaining. And the cowboy casts his vote for... drum roll please... Mikayla. And Coach comes away with the victory in the first Tribal death match. It'll be very interesting to see how this affects the tribe moving forward. On the plus side, Mikayla heading to Redemption should finally end Christine's reign there. So we have that going for us.

Next time on Survivor: Ozzy is still talking about Redemption as an option. Coach is talking about putting a bullet in Brandon's head, if he has to. And the next challenge looks like a tough one that will come down to the wire. As we get closer and closer to the merge, I really think the players are doing a good job of getting rid of the bad television, which should make the stretch run of Survivor: South Pacific a fun ride. Til next week, take care.