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"Survivor: South Pacific" Recap Episode 3

Jeremy Fuster |
September 30, 2011 | 2:46 a.m. PDT

Staff Writer

On this week's "Survivor," the first Redemption Duel took place, Savaii's pecking order was solidified, and Brandon Hantz was declared certifiably insane.


The episode started with Christine arriving on Redemption Island, complaining about how Coach had it out for her from the beginning.  Well, no kidding, Christine.  You called him a "temporary player" the moment you met him.  In other words, you were saying, "I'm going to get your torch snuffed early."  But you didn't do that, Christine.  Instead, you alienated most of your tribe with your hidden idol hunting while Coach was actually building alliances.  How can she be even the least bit surprised she was targeted?

Well, at any rate, we move on to the first Redemption Duel between Christine and Semhar.  In the duel, the two women had to balance an idol on a pole and at certain time intervals add new pieces to the pole, making it higher and more unstable.  The first person to drop their idol would go home.  Before the duel, Semhar did another beatnik poem to get pumped up.  Thankfully, that poem would be her last, as Christine outlasted Semhar in the test of balance to stay in the game.  

This was a great outcome.  Both women had a 'woe-is-me' attitude upon being voted out, but while Semhar hasn't gotten over it yet, Christine has and looks very focused.  If she comes back, she will need to reach the merge if her return happens before then, and then she will need to ally herself with Savaii to avoid a revolving door at Tribal Council.

After the Duel, the fallout over Brandon's rumor spreading at Upolu reached a boiling point.  Feeling uncomfortable about his position in the tribe, he finally revealed he was Russell's uncle.  What a bad move.  At some point, Brandon was going to have to reveal his secret, but he shouldn't have revealed it now.  He should have done it once he had given his tribe mates reason to trust him.  Now Brandon is only known amongst his tribe for two things: spreading rumors to get rid of Mikayla for some strange reason, and for being related to a devious villain.  

Brandon made things even worse when Mikayla confronted him about why he targeted her.  Brandon couldn't stand the heat, and he called a tribe meeting in an attempt to make Mikayla look like a drama queen and to isolate her from the rest of the tribe.  The plan backfired, and the entire tribe saw Brandon as emotionally unstable.  And they're right.  Brandon got into this game because of his last name, but he should have never been picked to be on this show.  He's constantly talking about how he's having trouble being a "Christian man," and his paranoid feelings towards Mikayla are completely unfounded.  Combine that with the pressure of his reputation, and Brandon is just not mentally fit to play this game.  

Brandon still has Coach's support, but even that is being tested.  Coach  wants to honor the promise he made to Brandon, but also knows that associating himself with someone as bipolar as "Little Hantz" might be dangerous.  Brandon's departure from the game is no longer a question of "if."  It's a question of "when."

Over at Savaii, Cochran, Dawn, and Mark realized that they were outnumbered by Ozzy's new alliance of beautiful, strong people.  But unknown to them, deals were still being made within the red alliance,  and Ozzy decided to reveal his own little secret.  He pulled Keith aside and revealed that he had the hidden immunity idol, hoping to gain his trust.  Of course, ten seconds later, Keith pulls aside Whitney, telling her about the idol to gain HER trust.  Now, Keith has put a possible dent in Ozzy's power by possibly setting up a blindside later on.  It's dangerous, but it could work.  

On to the next immunity challenge.  In this challenge, players had to run across a floating bridge to grab bags containing long banners.  Once they got them, they had to climb on a bodyboard attached to a rope, and the rest of the tribe would crank the rope back to shore.  Once all five bags were retrieved, two tribe members would climb up to a tall ledge, retrieve the bags off the ground with grappling hooks, take out the banners, and arrange them to form their tribe's logo.  First tribe to complete their logo would win immunity, a hidden clue to the idol's location, and jars containing chocolate, cookies, and coffee.

The challenge was very close, with both tribes taking the lead back from each other multiple times during the first portion of the challenge.  Dawn particularly stood out for Savaii as she was able to quickly retrieve bags.  But when it came time to gather the bags with the grappling hooks, Coach used excellent skill and dexterity to easily retrieve the bags, and Upolu won their second immunity challenge.

Back at Savaii, there was no doubt who was going home that night.  Mark, the oldest member of the tribe, struggled at the challenge, and Ozzy's alliance decided to oust him.  For some strange reason, they told Mark that they were going to vote Cochran out, but Mark instantly knew they were lying and told Cochran about their deception.  Anxiety once again set in for the "Survivor" fanboy, as he knew that even if he avoided elimination tonight, he would probably be sent packing the next time Savaii lost immunity.  

In the end, Savaii's second Tribal Council went without any surprises.  Mark was voted out by a 6-1-1 vote, and was sent to Redemption Island to face off against Christine in the next Duel.  The Ozzy alliance once again asserted their power, and Cochran found himself on deck for elimination.

But on next week's episode, the first truly big move of "Survivor: South Pacific" might take place, as Cochran makes a plan to convince his tribe mates to backstab Ozzy!  Can the fanboy bring down the veteran?  Will Brandon's status amongst his tribe sink even lower?  Find out next week!

Reach writer Jeremy Fuster here

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