Survivor: South Pacific
By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analyst
November 8, 2011
Okay...a quick break in the action, because I find this all fascinating. Cochran is a frickin' Harvard Law Student. You don't get into Harvard Law without being a really smart dude. But Coach, Albert and Sophie are SO much smarter than him in this game it's almost embarrassing. In ten seconds you can tell what he's all about and they just feed him line after line of everything he wants to hear. Hell, even Brandon is feeding him what he wants to hear. Although, in Brandon's case (and maybe Coach's), I think he means every word he says. By the time they're done with him, it's no wonder he wants to switch. They've welcomed him in as one of their own...probably promised him some sort of deal if he flips and they are essentially telling geek that he can show those bullies once and for all. And Cochran is buying every bit of it.
Or is he? I'm going to gloss over the part where he calls himself a strategist, nay...a mastermind (but not an evil mastermind) to get to the part where he actually gives Ozzy his idol back. As he does this, he tells us that he felt he had to give it back as he hasn't decided which way he's going to go. He is, however, excited to think that he holds the keys to his own game now. And he's even more excited that he will have a say in how the entire season of Survivor: South Pacific will play out. And there it is! He's such a fan of the show that I don't think he cares how he finishes, as long as he makes his mark. He doesn't seem interested in being Natalie White, Danni Boatwright, Chris Daugherty (I'll save you the Googling...they're past Survivor winners). He's more interested in being Russell, Johnny Fairplay or Rupert. Someone who's remembered. Regardless of what they're remembered for.
We come back from break and Cochran is pow-wowing with Dawn. He tells her that he's voting with Savaii on the first vote no matter what. He says that he doesn't want to pull rocks and he might switch on a second vote. Dawn is leaning toward being with him. She says that they've treated him very badly and she doesn't care for it. She tells us she feels like she should have stood up for Cochran at some point, but she's protected her own interest up until now. He tells her that so far in the game, his fate has been in the hands of other people. And he would rather take control of his own destiny instead of leaving it in the hands of rock drawing. As soon as Dawn gets herself together, they come back with Tree Mail announcing the first individual immunity. As we head to the challenge, Dawn tells us it's time to stand up even if it hurts her footing in the game.
Probst sighting!! He starts by learning that the new tribe name is Te Tuna. Keith says it has something to do with how a coconut came to be. Yeah, and what did Murlonio mean again? Anyway, today's challenge is a test of wills. Each person will stand on a narrow beam holding a set of ropes balancing a coconut. After a length of time, the rope length will increase. Last man and last woman still on the beam holding a coconut will win immunity. And we're off. Cochran wobbles as soon as the challenge starts. We're only a few seconds in when Edna loses her coconut and Cochran loses his balance. They're out of the challenge. Everyone else makes it to the rope lengthening. A few seconds into the second round, Whitney drops out. Then Sophie. This leaves Dawn to win immunity for the women. Coach, Rick, Jim and Keith all drop out before the next round. This leaves Brandon, Ozzy and Albert. They'll stand now until there's a winner. Brandon's the first to drop out. And after a little while, Albert finally loses control and Ozzy wins immunity.