Survivor: South Pacific
By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analyst
November 15, 2011
The challenge is pretty uneventful for the most part. There is some banter back and forth between Jeff, the eaters and the players. Jim is the first person out of the challenge. As he drops, Brandon throws his arms up in the air (stay classy, there big guy). The eaters than offer encouragement to Dawn and Whitney to keep going in the challenge (so they can eat more, I'm sure.) Dawn says that she'll do her best to stay up there so they can eat. It sounded sarcastic as hell to me, but when asked to explain, she says that she feels that they really are one tribe and she was seriously trying to stay there so they could eat more. This elicits several "Dawn is the best" type comments from the Upolus. But it was a really weird exchange, if you ask me.
Both ladies make it to the next round, where the beam gets narrower. While they fight this out, I will say that this is one of those Survivor challenges that heavily favors the women in the game. Rick, Coach and Albert would have had next to no chance to win this challenge, due to much larger feet that make it harder to stay on the little boards. I still wouldn't have sat out, but I can understand...a little. As the eaters grow weary, the ladies start to wobble. And despite her mastery of these "test of wills" type challenges, Dawn finally does bow out, leaving immunity for Whitney. As they head back to camp, Albert tells us that he's not thrilled with how inclusive the tribe was with Dawn at the challenge and he wants to nip it in the bud as soon as he can. Hmmmm...someone's paying attention and thinking a little. Let's see if he can pull it off.
We come back from break to a game of what I think is "It's anyone but Jim." As if the whole tribe sitting out of a challenge didn't upset me enough, the first thing we see is Cochran prancing around in Coach's trademark black jacket. He's doing some strutting and break dancing. In the middle of this, Jim tells us that Cochran is playing the most brilliant third place game ever (though I think Rob Cesternino might disagree here). Cochran now has Rick's cowboy hat on and Coach and Edna are cheering him on as one of the tribe now. Seeing him with Rick's hat, I only have one thought...the lack of a hat is going to make Rick real hard to find on the Where's Survivor Waldo game board.
Jim tells us that regardless of Cochran's game, he's in trouble and really only has one last shot to avoid Redemption. And even though he doesn't say it, you know the fact that Ozzy will be there waiting is weighing heavily on his mind. So he makes his move by drawing out a very nice graphic in the sand for Albert and Sophie, showing who he thinks is in which corner. He says that Coach has Edna, Brandon and Cochran under him. He also mentions that Rick has given his word to Coach and he feels Rick is the only one who wouldn't go back on that. So that gives Coach five people and Sophie and Albert on the outside looking in. And looky here, he has three people ready to join an alliance and change the game.