warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

"Survivor South Pacific" Episode 7 Recap

Jeremy Fuster |
October 28, 2011 | 3:11 p.m. PDT

Staff Writer

Jeff Probst summed up this week's episode of "Survivor: South Pacific" easily: "You just made one of the biggest moves in the history of this game, all based on one big assumption."


The episode starts off right away with the Redemption Duel between Christine and Mikayla.  The two women must remove the planks off of a crate and use them to form a bridge.  The frame of the bridge has holes with different spaces between them, so each plank will only fit on one specific place on the bridge.  Once the bridge was completed, the player must cross the bridge and then remove the planks to look for ones with white markings on them.  Those planks will then be used to form a puzzle.  The first person to complete the bridge and the puzzle stays in the game.

The game was pretty evenly matched at the start, with Christine and Mikayla quickly building their bridges.  But when it came time to complete the puzzle, Mikayla kept forming the wrong pattern with the planks.  Christine, however, took her time to complete the puzzle and won her fifth straight Duel.  Jeff told her she was becoming a legitimate force in the game, to which she replied, "I've been a legitimate force my whole life."  If Christine makes it to the merge, it will be interesting to see how she does in the challenges.   Could she pull off an immunity streak the same way she has pulled off a Duel streak so far this season?

Ozzy recognized her athletic skill and became worried that she would be a threat in the challenges.  So after the Duel he came up to Cochran with an idea.  A bad idea.  An idea that could change everything.

Ozzy proposed that he be voted out and go to Redemption Island to eliminate Christine from the competition.  Then, if the merge happens afterwards, Ozzy can rejoin the game with both tribes entering the merge at even numbers.

I'll give you a moment to absorb the sheer stupidity radiating from Ozzy right now.

I mean, what is he thinking?!?  Christine clearly said that she has no plans to rejoin Upolu's alliance if she gets back in the game because she is so sick of Coach!  If anything, Savaii should want Christine to get back in the game because she could help swing the numbers in their favor.  Ozzy is committing potential Survivor suicide for no reason.  Cochran, of course, has no problems with this idea because it benefits him as much as it screws Ozzy.  That's because in addition to taking the fall for Cochran, Ozzy said that he would hand over the hidden immunity idol he found to him in case he didn't come back.  So if Ozzy's plan fails, then Cochran gets the idol and sees a physical threat eliminated from the game.  Cochran could be one of the luckiest players ever.

At Upolu, Coach took part in probably his scummiest moment in the three seasons he's been on the show.  With his alliance divided by the 4-3 vote at the last Tribal Council, and Brandon was once again on an unstable streak that could explode if he found out that Coach had broken their trust and not told him about finding the Immunity Idol.  So he came up with a scheme I will call Operation Revival Tent. 

He gathered the tribe together and told them that they needed to find the idol in order to have an advantage over Savaii, so he told the group to join him in a prayer to God to help them find the idol and then sent them off on a search for an idol that had already been found.  Then, while he went with Sophie to collect Tree Mail for the next challenge, they would take a detour and come back claiming that they had just found the idol.  The scheme worked, and Brandon began praising the Almighty for helping his chosen messenger Coach guide them to the promised land…or something like that.

Look, Coach always made me laugh in the first two seasons with his ridiculousness, but this move is just low.  He claims to be a devout Christian man, but he clearly has no qualms about lying to Brandon despite promising that he wouldn't.  Whenever a situation comes when his claims to Christian virtue are compromised, he simply shrugs and says, "hey, it's a game."  Sorry, Coach, but Polly don't like that cracker.  He is not afraid to just casually jump between devout man of faith and Dragonslayer without a pause for thought, and he's going to do it again in this episode.

At the challenge, the players come dressed in this awesome tribal attire with paint on their bodies.  Wow, it sounds like there is going to be another great challenge on 'Survivor,' right.  Well, Probst quickly kills that hope by announcing the reward that comes with winning immunity in this challenge: the winners will attend a sneak preview of the upcoming Adam Sandler film 'Jack and Jill.'  

Ugh.  Let me tell you something.  I LOATHE product placement in 'Survivor'.  The car awarded as a prize in a reward challenge is tolerable since the "Curse of the Car" has become a part of the 'Survivor' folklore. But when they blatanly add products into the game such as shelter-building kit from the Home Depot or bags of instant coffee from Folgers, it ruins the feel of the game.  'Survivor' is a game that should feel like it's totally cut off from modern civilization and is taking place in its own environment.  Throwing products in ruins the illusion more than accidentally revealing that the whole show takes place on a TV set.

Hey didn't Family Guy do that?  

Anyway, in the challenge two pairs of players will be blindfolded and clipped to a rope.  A third pair will stay behind as callers to guide the blind towards four bags set around the shoreline and out in the water.  When one team comes back with a bag, the callers must unclip them from the rope and clip the second team of blindfold players to the rope.  Once all four bags are retrieved, one of the blindfolded pairs must pull the masks out of the bags and, using only their sense of touch and with no help allowed from the other players, they must sort the masks into matching pairs in order to win.

Both teams seemed to get off to a good start, but when attempting to clip Ozzy and Dawn to the rope to get the final bag, Cochran struggled to clip them in correctly, and the two found themselves tangled when they ran out into the water.  This mistake by Cochran gave Upolu the edge they needed to complete the challenge and gain a one man advantage with the merge possibly occurring in the next few days.  

Then…things got…crazy.  As Upolu celebrated another hard-earned victory, Coach suddenly yelled, "On your knees! On your knees!"  I first thought that Coach had gone into some delirious state and thought his tribe had lost the game and was going to ritually sacrifice one of his tribe mates as punishment.  No, instead they all got together to thank God for their big victory.  Guys, I think that God would have more things to concern himself with than a bunch of middle-class Americans on a reality show.  While this little "hallelujah" moment was taking place, Ozzy threw a massive temper tantrum and did a Kung-Fu Panda kick to the wall.  Suddenly, Cochran was worried that his failure in the challenge may lead to the Ozzy Suicide plan falling through.

So Upolu goes to a "Survivor Cinema" in the middle of the woods and watches the movie preview with some popcorn and soda.  Spoiler alert: IT'S GOING TO SUCK.  Moving on!

More interesting things are transpiring at Savaii, where the tribe is seriously discussing voting out Cochran.  They spend a load of time giving the poor guy a pep talk and telling him that he can win the Duel if he believes in himself.  But this only makes Cochran feel even worse since he hasn't shown the slightest bit of competence in any of the challenges.  It seems like after over two weeks of dodging the bullet, Cochran's fate has finally been sealed…

…until the following day. The next day, Ozzy comes out and says he had a dream that he was going to beat Christine in the Duel and get back in the game.  The dream has inspired him to go through with his suicide plan, and he hands over his idol to Cochran in front of the whole tribe.  Jim and Keith are shocked by this move, and they feel nervous about this gamble.  They are worried that if there is no merge after the next Duel, or if Ozzy loses, then the tribe will have lost its strongest physical competitor and will have kept its weakest for absolutely no reason.  Ozzy really wants to go through with this plan just because of a dream he had?  Gee, that must have been a strong dream.  Maybe God does care about 'Survivor' after all…

At Tribal Council, Ozzy explains his master plan to Jeff, who is just as dumbfounded as I am.  He says that when he arrives at Redemption Island, he is going to tell a story to fool Christine and the Upolu tribe.  He will tell them that they had planned to vote out Cochran, but Cochran had found the idol and played it, resulting in him being voted out instead.  Now Cochran is the sneaky threat and the other tribe doesn't know that the Savaii Idol is still in play.  Probst walks him through the risks he is taking with this move, including the possibility that there is still one more tribal challenge before the merge and the fact that, in his words, "If you don't win the Duel, you go out an even bigger fool than you did last time."  Ozzy responded to this by pointing out that he is basing this move on his gut instinct, which he ignored when it told him to play his idol the last time he played the game.  And if he does get embarrassed and loses the Duel, it will be on his own terms.  

And so…despite the worries held by some of his tribe mates, Ozzy was unanimously voted out.  And after his torch was snuffed, he ran, not walked, to Redemption Island to face Christine in the next duel.  

So here we go.  The biggest Redemption Duel is next week.  Will Ozzy survive or be humiliated?  If he comes back, will Cochran give him back the idol?  Will the tribes merge? Will we see a face from Probst as hilarious as this one?











"Ozzy say WHAAAA????"


We'll find out next time...

Reach writer Jeremy Fuster here

Best way to find more great content from Neon Tommy?

Or join our email list below to enjoy the weekly Neon Tommy News Highlights.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.