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"Survivor South Pacific" Episode 9 Recap

Jeremy Fuster |
November 10, 2011 | 6:19 p.m. PST

Staff Writer


This week on "Survivor: South Pacific," the decimation of the Savaii tribe continued in a double elimination episode.


Let's kick things off with ten minutes of uncomfortable tension!  After being backstabbed at Tribal Council by Cochran, the Savaii tribe all got in line to chew out the nerd for sealing their fate.  Jim was particularly vocal in his anger, saying that he helped save Cochran multiple times before the merge and was now repaid with betrayal.  But Whitney probably had the whiniest rant, telling Cochran, "You disgust me" and complaining to Ozzy that Cochran "had just wasted six weeks of my life for nothing."  Uh, honey, you've barely done anything notable in the game up to this point.  Have you done anything so far in this game to make yourself more memorable this season than Cochran?  No.  You've just been riding coattails through most of the game.  I think you've done a good job of wasting your Survivor experience on your own.

Coach, on the other hand, is in the best possible position a player can have in this game.  He now has six players surrounding him in a solid alliance, and he is the only person with a hidden immunity idol.  And how does he celebrate?  With some tai-chi.  Thank goodness, for a minute there I thought he was going to hold another revival tent, praise-the-Lord-and-pass-the-immunity Christian prayer-a-thon with his Upolu tribe mates.  

Immediately, we go straight to the Immunity Challenge, which signals that two people will be voted out in this episode.  This challenge has two stages.  First, all the players stand  several feet away from a hole and must toss a coconut into the hole to advance.  First four to do so move on.  After a few throws, Whitney, Dawn, Jim, and Sophie move on.  Ozzy, on the other hand, has lost his chance at immunity and by the look on his face, he's ready to hear Probst tell him, "bring me your torch."

In the second half of the challenge, the four remaining players must break open coconuts using a rock, and then fill up their mouths with as much coconut water as possible.  With the water in their mouths, the players must navigate a series of obstacles and then empty the water into a tube.  The first person to fill their tube with enough coconut water to pass a line on the upper part of the tube will win immunity.

From the get-go, the challenge became a one-on-one race between Jim and Sophie. The two were neck-and-neck, but the physical exhaustion of the challenge became too much for Sophie and she puked up her coconut water, giving Jim the time he needed to get the last mouthful of water into his tube for the victory.  Jim won immunity, and there was no doubt in anyone's mind who was going next.

Back at camp, Jim and Ozzy tried frantically to convince the Upolus to vote out Cochran, but they had none of it.  Still, Coach was having qualms about voting out Ozzy because of their shared status as veterans.  He talked to Ozzy before getting ready to leave for Tribal Council and told him that he respected Ozzy's fighting spirit.  This was the first time this season that we've seen Coach and Ozzy have a one on one moment, and it really was a great moment to watch.

At Tribal Council, Jim appealed to the Upolus' sense of honor and told them that if they truly value people who play the game with honor and intensity, then they should vote out Cochran instead of Ozzy.  He also noted that even if they vote out Cochran, Upolu will still have a 6-4 advantage.  Despite this, Brandon declared that Upolu would not accept the plea: "We're sticking with Cochran, no matter what."

And with those words, Upolu proceeded to vote Ozzy out and send him to Redemption Island.  In the Survivor Fandom, the process of one tribe voting off members of the other tribe one by one after the merge is called "Pagonging," and the term comes from the Pagong tribe, which suffered this horrible fate in season one.  Now, 22 seasons later, we're seeing it again in full swing.

But Ozzy isn't fazed by his elimination.  Before the vote, he pointed out that once he is on Redemption Island, he will only have to fish for himself, not the entire tribe, and that will allow him to rest, exercise, and prepare for every Duel.  "If you get voted out, then you can come down, I'll make you a nice fish, and then send you on your way."  Mighty words from Ozzy.  Let's see if he can pull through. 

After the vote, Dawn recognizes that she is in a very bad spot, so she tries to buy herself some time by befriending the Upolus and playing nice with them.  It seems to be working with most of the tribe, especially Edna, but Albert doesn't buy the act.  In fact, Dawn's acts of kindness only make her more of a target in his eyes because he fears that her status as "tribe mom" will allow her to slide through Tribal Council after Tribal Council and will allow her to undermine his alliance.

Interestingly enough, we bypass the Redemption Duel between Keith and Ozzy and go straight to the immunity challenge.  And this one has a twist.  In this challenge, the players must balance a ball on a wooden bow while standing on a slanted balance beam.  The balance beam is divided into segments of varying width, and at various intervals each player must step forward onto a narrower segment.  If a player falls off the beam or drops the ball, he/she is out.  Last one standing wins immunity.  

Here's the twist: The players can chose to not take part in the challenge and instead enjoy a feast of pastries and iced coffee.  Predictably, Jim, Whitney, and Dawn took part in the challenge while Cochran and the Upolu members and Cochran went for the feast.  Coach looked uncomfortable when presented the feast because he wanted to compete, but decided to feast with his fellow Upolus because he felt it would show solidarity with the tribe.  Yeah, sure Coach.  C'mon, just admit the muffins looked really good.

So with only three players in the challenge, we were off.  Whitney made the smart move by removing her shoes before the challenge, which gave her a good grip on the beam.  Jim's large stature ended up costing him as he was unable to balance his body on the tiny beam, and he was eliminated.  After moving to a thinner beam, Dawn too wasn't able to keep her shoes on the beam, and she fell off and gave Whitney individual immunity.  Congratulations, Whitney.  You've finally done something noteworthy in this game.

So back at camp, the Upolus were deciding whether to vote out Jim or Dawn.  Jim's trying again to convince the others to vote out Cochran instead.  Uh, Jim, Cochran's strutting around with Coach's Dragonslayer shirt and Rick's cowboy hat.  Do you really think they are considering your plans?  No, it's going to be Jim or Dawn.  Albert tries to convince his alliance partners to vote out Dawn because she could interfere with their plans if she is allowed to linger around, but Coach has a solid grip over how this tribe is being run, and the target is clear and simple.

At Tribal Council, talk turns once again to Cochran's betrayal of Savaii, and Brandon begins yet another TC tirade.  This time, he goes off on Savaii, calling them bullies and declaring that Cochran was justified in turning on them for how he was treated.  Whitney responds by saying that he is trying to vilify the Savaii players to make it look like Upolu is doing Cochran a favor and "saving" him from his tormentors.  Hmm…looks like Whitney has decided to do more in this game than sit around and look hot.  I like it…even though she was crying during her speech.

Finally, in another predictable vote, Jim was voted out and sent to Redemption Island.  How ironic.  Keith, Jim, and Ozzy, the three strongest physical players and the men that were once the kings of Savaii, now find themselves together on Redemption Island.  And it's all because of the nerd.  

This was probably the most boring episode of the season so far, but that's to be expected when one tribe is Pagonging another.  Good job by the producers to have two Savaii players voted out in the same episode to speed things up.  But the next episode looks to be much better.  Next week, Albert plans to shake things up in his alliance, Coach plans to squash a possible mutiny within Upolu, and Ozzy decides to climb up palm trees, go snorkel fishing, and generally do stuff on Redemption Island that makes him look awesome and sexy and the South Pacific look gorgeous and inviting.  HOORAY FOR FREE TOURISM ADVERTISING!!!

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Read last weeks recap from Jeremy here

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