Survivor: South Pacific
I Need Redemption
By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analyst
September 19, 2011
Hello, good people, and welcome to the premiere of the BOP Survivor: South Pacific recap! I'm Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analyst, and I'll be your guide through the sometimes wild and wacky world of Survivor: South Pacific. We're back in Samoa again for the 23rd season of the granddaddy of Reality Shows. This is the third season (out of the last five) to be filmed in Samoa. We'll also be watching the return and retooling of the Redemption Island twist. While we will have Redemption Island this season, Jeff Probst has promised that there will only be 1-1 duels on RI and we will not see any of the "as long as I'm not last" challenges from the previous season.
The last two seasons to be filmed in Samoa both featured David and Kim's favorite villain, Russell Hantz. So it's only fitting that a return to Samoa features the return of the Hantz. But this time, it's Russell's nephew, Brandon, donning the buff in an attempt to win the million dollars. Aside from winning the game, Brandon is also there to clean up the Hantz name. And what better way to do that than to begin the game by lying about who he is?
Also along for the ride this season are two "favorites" from seasons past. First up is everyone's favorite soccer coach/orchestra conductor/world kayaker/pygmy fighter/dragon slayer, Coach Ben Wade. Having failed in two previous attempts (Tocantins and Heroes vs. Villains), Coach is back seeking redemption. He still feels that Survivor can be won with integrity and honesty and he's out to prove it.
Joining him this season, from Cook Islands and Fans vs. Favorites, is Oscar "Ozzy" Lusth. Ozzy was a madman in the Cook Islands, not just winning, but dominating challenges. He also was a complete jungle man, climbing palm trees and fishing as though he was born doing it. He made it all the way to the end that season, but lost to one of the best ever, Yul Kwon. Ozzy came back a couple seasons later in Fans vs. Favorites. This time around, Ozzy bought into his own hype and fell victim to the Amanda/Parvati steam roller that completely owned that season. He left that game early AND with an immunity idol in his pocket. Ozzy's back seeking that one thing that's eluded him, the million dollars and title of Sole Survivor. He claims to have grown up and thinks he has the social game to match up to his physical game.
As the episode begins, we join a helicopter on its way to Survivor Island. Inside are the two returning players. With Ozzy in the foreground and Coach in the background, it was no surprise to see Coach inch forward on his seat to command a little more of the screen. And with that, the game is already on. As Coach and Ozzy are being flown in like some sort of Island VIPs, the rest of the cast can be seen down in the water on rafts, working their asses off to paddle to shore. The tribes seem to be broken up by color, with one tribe donned primarily in red, the other in blue.