Survivor: South Pacific

I Need Redemption

By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analyst

September 19, 2011

Yeah, I got voted off but Ozzy thought I was hot. That's how Amanda Kimmel got (somewhat) famous.

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As the tribes paddle in, we meet John. He looks like a reject from Lambda, Lambda, Lambda. He claims, however, to be a Survivor Expert...dare I say a Survivor Analyst? Nah. He's never missed an episode and he's written a prize winning essay on Survivor. Oh really? Try recapping every episode, big boy! I don't think you have it in you. Put that in your sweater vest and smoke it! We also meet a young girl claiming to be Native American who is counting on some sort of Indian-by-osmosis technique to help her excel at living off the land, despite having no actual skills. Normally, I would have laughed at that...but then we met great-great-great-great granddad, Jessem Herring, without whom Phillip would never have made the finals last season. Next up is a 51-year-old cowboy telling us that anyone who didn't train and learn to make a fire before coming out...well, you're just spitting in the wind. We meet a 44-year-old mortician who plans to use motherly ways to eavesdrop and spy on the rest of the case. The aforementioned Brandon Hantz introduces himself by comparing Russell to Hitler. "I don't think Hitler's nephew was running around telling everyone he was Hitler's nephew."

As the players continue their paddling, we prepare for Jeff's big finish to the season opener. Normally he's on the bank of a volcano, has huge waves blasting up behind him, or is sitting on the back of a helicopter as it goes in for a dive. I have to say that this season was quite disappointing as he's just kinda hanging out in Redemption Arena. But whatever the backdrop, after a long summer's absence, it's always special to hear, "Thirty-nine days, 18 people, one Survivor."


We open the show with the two tribes making their way to Redemption Island Arena to meet Jeff Probst and the two returning players who will be joining their game. As the helicopter lands, everyone is concerned about who it could be. Right off the bat a young lady in a business suit leans to Brandon Hantz and says, "I hope it's not Russell." All he can say is, "Oh my goodness. That would suck." He tells us in confessional that he'll have to keep his shirt on for the entire show as he has he name tattooed twice on his body and the last thing he wants is everyone to know he's related to Russell. As he finishes up, the helicopter doors open and Ozzy comes running out of the chopper to a rousing ovation. They can't wait for him to be on their team. Coach takes a much slower walk and gets a much less significant round of applause. Right off the bat some lady on the blue team reacts, "It's good to see them. It's nice. They're temporary players." Oooooh.

Jeff asks the Tri-Lamb for his opinion. But before he offers any, he asks Jeff to please call him by his last name, like Donaldson (Colby), Penner (Jonathan) and Mariano (Boston Rob). He feels that he'll fit in that lineage and so, at that moment, Cochran was born. May God have mercy on all our souls. He goes on to talk about their experience and that they've played twice. Jeff points out that he knew their history right off the top of his head. So Cochran comes clean that he's a huge fan of the show and that he even has a buff collection at home. Okay...if THAT'S what it'll take to get me on the show, you can frickin' forget it. I am NOT collecting buffs. I'm not that much of a whore...what's that? Jeff Probst on Line 1? Quick, someone get me my immunity necklaces!

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