"Survivor South Pacific" Episode 6 Recap
This week's episode of "Survivor" was all about loyalty, as the two alliances that have controlled the game thus far began to splinter.
After seeing his arm candy Elyse get voted out at Tribal Council, Ozzy decided to become the petulant whiner that we saw him become the last time he played this game. He went nuts on his tribe mates and declared that the Savaii Five-O alliance was done and that he was a "free agent." The rest of Savaii rolled their eyes at this, and rightfully so. As a vet you would think Ozzy would learn from his mistakes, and he hasn't. Doesn't he realize that if the tribe could blindside Elyse they could have blindsided him, too? And then he makes things even worse by revealing to the entire tribe that he has the hidden idol. What a bad move. For two weeks he is in control of the game and now he cracks at the first sign of adversity. Why do people love this guy? WHY?!?
But for the other veteran in this game, things couldn't get any better. With the idol in his possession and his alliance sticking together, Coach was top dog at Upolu. But then Coach's confidence was shaken by a new development: Brandon came up to him with a clue he found to the idol. Coach had not yet told Brandon that he had already found the idol, and was starting to wonder if he was breaking his promise of honesty by not revealing that information to the little Hantz. Well, Coach is going to find out what Brandon might think of that later on in this episode…
On to the Redemption Duel, where Christine and Elyse will face off in a game of shuffleboard. Each player has four chips on the board. Using a shooter chip, the players must knock their opponents chips off the board. First person to knock off all four of their opponent's chips wins.
At the start of the game, Christine got off to an early lead by knocking off two chips, and Elyse made things worse when she knocked off another one of her own. But then Elyse rallied to knock off three of Christine's chips in a row. With only one chip each remaining, Christine set up her shot perfectly to knock Elyse's final chip off the board and send her packing.
Christine is becoming a serious threat now to Upolu's alliance. If she comes back, she could change the entire game. I feel bad for Elyse. She could have made this game so awesome. Especially in water challenges. Ooh, yes. But sadly we must say goodbye to that sweet, sweet…STOP IT! You are a professional writer, now! You must move beyond that! Curse you! Curse you, you lingering adolescent hormones!
I apologize. I must now look at pictures of a shirtless Jimmy Johnson.
Okay, I'm over it now.
Anyway, we now go back to Upolu, where Edna continues to work her tribe so she can get off the chopping block. After discovering at Tribal Council that her tribe mates don't like hearing her talk, she shifts gears and focuses solely on Coach. And it's working. Coach says that he has absolute trust in Edna and sees her as his ace in the hole. She pledges loyalty to Coach and they promise to go far in the game together. I don't think the rest of the alliance will like this.
At Savaii, Ozzy realizes what an idiot he has been since Elyse's elimination and decides to make amends. He goes to Keith and apologizes for his outburst and hopes that the two of them can rebuild their alliance. Keith agrees to this, but other members of the tribe aren't so willing to let things go. Jim still sees Ozzy as a threat that could blow him away if he stays in the game too long, and Cochran wants Ozzy ostracized from the rest of the tribe so that he is less of a target. Right now, there's no telling where Ozzy stands on the new Savaii totem pole.
Challenge time. The two tribes are divided up into teams of three. The first team must build a wheelbarrow and push it through a log maze. At two points in the maze, they must load coconuts into the wheelbarrow before continuing. At the end of the maze, they will dump the coconuts into a trough, and the second team of three will take apart the wheelbarrow and use the pieces to create a giant slingshot (now that's cool. Good job, production crew!). The second team will use the coconuts and slingshot to knock down six targets, and the first tribe to knock down all the targets wins immunity and a picnic at the Sliding Rocks, a waterfall lagoon that also serves as a natural water slide.
In the first part, Rick, Sophia, and Brandon got Upolu out to an early lead while Ozzy, Cochran, and Dawn struggled to get the wheelbarrow through the maze. But when the tribes reached the target range, the momentum tilted in the opposite direction. Mikayla was firing the slingshot with one hand, and despite Coach's demands that she stop shooting, she refused and continued to miss. Albert knocked down three targets for Upolu, but Keith and Jim knocked down target after target to comeback from the early setback and win Immunity for Savaii. Once again, the challenge was a thrill to watch and a major help for Savaii, who used the reward to try to reunite as a tribe after the controversy of Elyse's blindside.
At Upolu, Coach's feeling of security was once again tested when his alliance partners had a dispute over who to vote out. Coach wanted to vote out Mikayla, who was the only remaining Upolu member that was not part of the alliance. In addition, he went on a tirade against her, saying that she wouldn't listen to his demands that she stop shooting coconuts, all while conveniently forgetting that he didn't hit any targets either. I think we are seeing some of the old Coach again.
But not everyone was on board with that plan. Albert and Sophia wanted to get rid of Edna because of her lack of physical ability and work ethic around camp. Albert also noticed that Edna was pretty much tied to Coach at the hip, and that keeping her in the game would only be beneficial to Coach. To get the swing vote, Albert went to Brandon for help. Brandon responded by saying that although he realized his initial impressions about Mikayla were wrong and that she was a strong competitor, he was still going to vote her out to keep his word to Coach. This left the swing vote in the hands of Rick, the rancher that has up to this point been pretty much invisible this season. But now he holds the fate of Upolu…and his alliance…in his hands. Will he keep the tribe strong and vote out Edna, or will he stick to the alliance's original plan and vote out Mikayla?
At Tribal Council, a debate emerged about how the vote should play out. Albert claimed that the vote should be based on keeping the players that will keep the tribe strong and give them the challenge victories needed to have the numbers advantage in the merge. But then Brandon responded passionately to his claim. And by that I mean that he completely blew his top. He declared that loyalty and honesty should be placed above anything else, and that by not being truthful to one another at all times the tribe is compromising that honesty. You could almost see the gears turning in the heads of both Coach and Probst. It looked like Probst was going to get up and yell, "WHAT ARE YOU THINKING, KID?" Coach looked like he was going to sink lower in his seat now that he knew that Brandon was not going to just shrug his shoulders if he found out that Coach had the idol the whole time while he was searching the entire camp for it.
After yet another moment of bipolar insanity from Little Hantz, it was time to vote, and when Probst read the votes, Rick had chosen which side he was on: Mikayla was voted out by a 4-3 vote. Once again, Coach had orchestrated the elimination of a strong woman, but this time it may have cost him the unity of his alliance. And even if Mikayla manages to eliminate Christine on Redemption Island, she may just take up Christine's old plan and sabotage Coach's formula for victory.
We are now six episodes into this season of 'Survivor,' and so far it has been very enjoyable. Savaii and Upolu are evenly matched tribes, and every challenge has been exciting and close. Also, neither Coach nor Ozzy have the complete dominance that Boston Rob had last season over his spineless Ometepe tribe. They are part of tribes that are open to the possibility of working with the veterans, but are not against the idea of backstabbing them if they need to. It has already happened with Jim's blindside scheme at Savaii, and it nearly happened with Albert's plan at Upolu.
Things are setting up for a very interesting merge. Coach's alliance has eliminated all of the people outside of their alliance, and will have to take out one of their own if they lose another challenge. Savaii's dominant alliance has been shattered, and there's no telling how the next vote will play out, especially considering the fact that Ozzy's possession of the idol is now common knowledge. And when the merge does come, there is the possibility that the merged tribe could consist of five Upolu and five Savaii, with the eleventh member of the merged tribe being the player that returns from Redemption Island. If that happens, then the redemmed player will have all the power in the world and can decide who will be outnumbered in the second half of the game. It's gonna be close, it's gonna be cutthroat, and it's gonna be good!
Jeremy can be reached here
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