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"Survivor South Pacific" Episode 10 Recap

Jeremy Fuster |
November 18, 2011 | 1:46 a.m. PST

Staff Writer


This week on "Survivor: South Pacific," Coach held reign over his cult, and there was a lot of bark but absolutely no bite.

We begin on Redemption Island where Jim, Keith, and Ozzy, the former alpha dogs of Savaii, take part in what has become a ritual after being voted off this season:  sit around in the middle of the night muttering about your defeat and cursing Coach for being the obvious leader of his cult….I mean alliance.  It happened pretty much every time someone got voted out of Upolu before the merge and now the ritual has been passed on to the former members of the red tribe.  

In fact, now you don't even have to be voted out to be a part of this trend!  After returning from Tribal Council, Whitney was already calling out the Upolu alliance for doing whatever Coach told them to do despite Coach's attempts to convince her otherwise.  Look, Whitney, you're probably right, but the way you were acting before the merge, you probably would have done whatever Ozzy and Keith told you to do if Cochran hadn't flipped.

We now go to the Redemption Duel between Keith, Ozzy, and Jim.  Well, actually, a duel is defined as "a contest or race between two people," so technically this isn't a duel.  So in this Redemption…challenge….contest….whatever, the the three players must balance two heavy poles between the backsides of their hands and a large board posted over them.  The person that can balance their poles the longest stays in the game.  The other two will become the first two members of the Jury.  

As the challenge goes on, Jeff Probst asks Te Tuna who they want to see win.  The majority of the tribe picks Jim, while Whitney wants Keith to win.  Probst points out that no one wants Ozzy to win, and that he is all alone.  That gets no reaction from him.

Then, after 15 minutes, Jim moves his wrist for a slight second and his pole falls.  It's down to Keith and Ozzy, and it's very close.  The two are struggling to keep their hands still, and their poles are barely touching the boards above their heads.  It's a close battle of endurance, but after half an hour, Keith loses control and falls, which means that Ozzy stays alive in the game while Keith and Jim go off to grill some burgers at Ponderosa.

Next, we get to see Ozzy be gorgeous, manly, sexy, and pretty much the Survivor equivalent of Hercules.  He goes snorkel fishing in the gorgeous offshore reefs (hey, rich, recession-proof millionaires, call your travel agents!), cooks plenty of fish on a strong fire, and climbs up coconut trees to get food.  Oh, and then he stands on top of the coconut trees so the helicopter camera crews can make him look epic and the surrounding beaches look picturesque (seriously, call your travel agents NOW!!!). 

But over all of this, Ozzy makes a very good point about how being on Redemption Island could be a benefit for him.  Eventually, the bond that has gotten the Upolu alliance to this point will have to break up, and people are going to be betrayed.  Ozzy, on the other hand, only needs to worry about winning challenges.  The only things required on Redemption Island are survival skills and physical prowess, and Ozzy has both of those in spades.  To stay in the game, Ozzy only needs to keep winning.  He doesn't need to negotiate or backstab, which may prove useful if he can get to the end because he won't have to worry about a bitter jury like other players would (coughcoughCochrancough).  Another advantage is that he only has to get enough food to nourish himself, which puts him at even more of a physical advantage.  His point is only proven even more when we head back to Te Tuna, where we see that Rick and Brandon are struggling to get fish and the tribe's coconut supply has been depleted.

Right now, Ozzy is in prime position to not only return to the game, but also go on a hot streak and win every Immunity Challenge until the end of the game.  Better watch out.

Speaking of Immunity Challenges, it's time to head there now.  In today's challenge, the players must fill a bowl with rice and balance it on their heads without touching the bowl.  Then, they must walk across two seesaws and pour the rice into another bowl.  If they drop the bowl or touch the bowl with their hands while walking, they must go back to the start.  The first person to fill up his or her bowl wins Immunity.

From the beginning, most of the players struggle with the bowls, but Sophie, Dawn, and surprisingly, Brandon get the hang of it and begin moving rice easily.  They pull away quickly and the challenge becomes a three-way race.  Dawn and Brandon get close to victory, but Sophie takes a big gamble and completely fills her bowl of rice to the brim, making it difficult to balance.  But she pulls it off and the extra rice gives her just enough to win immunity. 

So Sophie has immunity, and Dawn has the feeling that she will be the one to get booted off tonight.  But then something interesting happens.  Albert informs Cochran that the current plan is to vote him off after Whitney and Dawn.  Cochran, of course, is not happy that he pretty much sacrificed his tribe for a seventh place finish.  Recognizing this, Dawn and Whitney approach Albert, Sophie, and Cochran and offer to make a final five alliance.  They consider voting out Edna, and Albert particularly reacts positively to this, since he feels that Edna has done nothing so far in the game except latch onto Coach.  He also recognizes that if Coach continues to hold onto both Edna and his hidden immunity idol, he will be able to cruise right to the million dollars.  It looks like Dawn and Whitney have found cracks in the Upolu Six…

…until Coach catches wind of the plan and gives his alliance members a verbal bitchslap.  He declares Albert's plans "unacceptable" and that "if anyone goes against the family, they're dead."  Albert, Sophie, and Cochran immediately lay down their torches, get to their knees, and beg for forgiveness from their savior, the Dragonslayer.  As their penance, Coach orders them to kiss his sandal-bound feet, his imaginary gold ring, and his real-life rear end.  The tribe then builds a wooden throne for him to sit on and carries him on the throne to Tribal Council where they vote out Dawn by a 7-2 vote.  And they cast the votes by writing Dawn's name on the parchment with their own blood.

Okay, okay.  Except for Coach's threat and Dawn's elimination, that didn't happen.  But it might as well have!  What gives?!?  The Redemption Island Mutterers are right!  Coach is totally running this show!  Earlier in the season I thought that Albert and Sophie would have challenged Coach harder for his leadership position, but instead so far they have just rolled over and blindly declared that Coach is not their leader.  Yeah, sure, and Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.  COME ON!  ADMIT IT!  Upolu is a puppet show and Coach is pulling all the strings.  Last season, we saw the Ometepe tribe become the Brotherhood of Boston Rob and basically hand Rob a million dollar check.  Now we are seeing the same thing with the Cult of Coach, but it's even more painful because this time there are players who could actually stop the brainwashing!  Stop teasing these big moves if you aren't going to go through with them!  GAH!!!!



By the way, that photo above was from 'Survivor: Tocantins', when Coach was reciting a poem before being voted out.  Go figure.

Well, after Dawn's departure, Probst drops one more twist: they will not head back to camp.  Instead they will have another Immunity Challenge followed by another vote.  The challenge is a basic quiz about survival skills.  Get a question wrong and you're out.  Last one left wins immunity.

Albert, Rick, and Edna go out on the first question, Cochran and Brandon on the second, and Coach on the third.  That leaves Whitney and Sophie.  The fourth question is, "Although they are delicious, South Pacific clams should not be removed because they are dangerous.  True or False?"  Sophie guessed false while Whitney guessed true.  False was the correct answer, and Sophie won her second straight immunity.  The Upolu alliance then unanimously voted out Whitney, leaving Cochran as the only remaining Savaii member of Te Tuna.  

Next week, CBS will air a recap episode of the season so far for Thanksgiving week.  Next week, I will write up an analysis of where all the players stand so far and what i think they need to do to win.  On the next real episode in two weeks, Brandon becomes a target, and Cochran scrambles to make a big move.  With only seven players left, the next vote will be pivotal.  Will Coach keep his hold on his cult followers, or will someone finally grow a pair and challenge him?  Please let it be the latter...

Reach writer Jeremy Fuster here

Read Jeremy's Episode 9 Recap here

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