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"Survivor South Pacific" Season Recap: Where Do They Stand?

Jeremy Fuster |
November 25, 2011 | 7:25 p.m. PST

Staff Writer

With just seven players left in the game, we take a look at the castaways still standing on "Survivor: South Pacific."


This week's episode of "Survivor" was a recap episode looking back at the season so far.  So instead of recapping a recap, I will look at each player still in the game and discuss what I think he or she needs to do to win the million dollars.  Prepare for lots of hypothetical situations and long paragraphs of strategical analysis of a reality show.  

Let's start off with the three players on Redemption Island:

OZZY:  His game plan is easy.  All he's gotta do is WIN, WIN, WIN, no matter what.  He's gotta have money on his mind and can never get enough.  And when people see him step into the building, everybody's hands go…OK, that joke didn't work.

But seriously, the only way for him to make it to the end is to get back into the game by winning every Redemption Duel, and then when he gets back in the game, he needs to win every Immunity Challenge.  Ozzy is a massive physical threat, and no one will willingly take him to the final Tribal Council.  He will need to rely on himself to make it to the end.  If he DOES make it to the end, he has a very strong chance of getting the million.  He can make the case that he was voted out, placed on Redemption Island, and used his own physical abilities to make it to the end, no backstabbing required.  He would most likely have the vote of every Savaii jury member, so all he would need is one Upolu jury member to vote in his favor, and considering how the Upolus are about to backstab each other, there should be at least one bitter Upolu juror that would be willing to vote for Ozzy.

WHITNEY and DAWN:  I'm putting these two together because they are in the same boat.  Both are Savaii members, both have won one immunity, and both are facing Ozzy in the next Redemption Duel.  If either one of them can pull off the upset, then that woman needs to go back to Te Tuna and either A.) win every Immunity or B.) Get back with Albert and Sophie.  They came close to breaking up the Upolu alliance before Coach broke up the attempt with his mind control powers, but a little more insistence might convince them to come to their aid.  If Dawn is the returning player, then she may have Cochran as an option as well.  Dawn and Cochran had a bond before the merge, and she may be able to use that to her advantage as a possible swing vote.

Now let's move on the players that still have their torches lit:

EDNA: She's a longshot to win, but is likely to make it to the end.  So far, her entire strategy from Day One was to latch onto Coach's coattails and hold on for dear life.  So far, that has worked, and since Coach is in a strong position, she is in a strong position too.  `However, plans may be brewing soon to weaken Coach by eliminating her, so she needs to be Coach's eyes and ears and work on uncovering any potential plots that may arise.

But even if Edna squashes all threats against her, she still suffers from her biggest problem in this game: no juror will ever vote for her.  She has done nothing in physical challenges, she annoyed everyone at Upolu except Coach, and we are long past the point where work ethic around camp is an argument for staying in the game.  Her only hope would be to attack whichever players are sitting next to her for any deceitful moves they may have done in the game.  She may also want to use the argument that the fact that she simply made it to the end shows that she is just as good a player as anyone, and that coat-tail riding should not be seen as a weaker strategy than lying just because it is "lazy."  This idea worked for Natalie in 'Survivor: Samoa," and it may work here too depending on who the Final Three are.

RICK: Aside from a swing vote early on in the game, Rick has done nothing in the game either.  But unlike, Edna, he hasn't latched on to anyone, so he will be forced to play from here on out.  I think that Rick will be the swing vote when the Upolus begin forming Final Three alliances, so he will decide his own fate.  If I were Rick, I would avoid making any promises to Coach, hitch up with Albert and Sophie, and fight to the end with them.  That way, at the final TC, he can argue that he has remained loyal to every deal he has made in the game and never backstabbed anyone.  He needs to watch his words so that nothing he says will be held against him by the jury, especially if he gets grilled by Brandon or Coach.

BRANDON: Little Hantz has dodged the bullet quite a few times this season.  But at this point, I think that Coach is the only one that is worried about Brandon's last name, and that is because of his bad history with Russell.  No, Brandon's problem isn't his lineage…it's his erratic behavior.  He's gotten into many confrontations at Tribal Council and is constantly paranoid.  Plus, if he gets to the end, he's going to have to answer to the Savaii jurors that he accused of bullying Cochran.  It's difficult to say where Brandon currently stands in the game, but if he can get into a Final Three with Coach and Cochran, he may be able to squeeze out the votes he needs to win.  But until then, he needs to avoid unwanted attention to himself, and given his game so far, that may be easier said than done.

COACH: The last episode proved beyond any doubt that Coach is in the driver's seat right now.  He seems to be the only one left that recognizes that only one person can win the game.  The others are just happy to have gotten as far as they have.  Coach has the hidden immunity idol as backup and the total support of Edna and Brandon.  The next vote coming up will be the last opportunity for someone to make a move against him.  If he survives this next vote without playing the idol or losing one of his main supporters, then he's through to Day 39.  

Once he gets to the finals, he's going to have to convince the Savaii jurors that his honor code isn't BS (it is), and that he isn't the leader of a Survivor cult (he is). And then he will have to convince the Upolus that he will inevitably backstab that his actions were necessary for victory.  But Coach is good at negotiating, so I think he will pull it off.  He just needs to follow the advice he himself gave to Russell Hantz at the end of 'Heroes vs. Villains': "Only the penitent man shall pass."

Coach is my odds-on favorite to win.

ALBERT and SOPHIE: Here's where things get interesting. I am placing both of these players together because, like Dawn and Whitney, they are in the same boat.  They are both strong players that have had chances to break up Coach's control over the game and have failed to muster the guts to go through with them.  This next vote will be their last chance to stop Coach.  The way I see it, Coach is going to make his Final Three alliance with Edna and Brandon, so Albert and Sophie need to convince Cochran and Rick to join together in an alliance, and they will need to figure out how Coach will play the idol so that their votes won't be wasted.  If they target Edna and Coach gives her the idol, their votes will go to waste. The best case scenario for Albert and Sophie is that Coach plays the idol for the wrong person and either he or Edna is voted out.  Albert and Sophie have the chance to show their skill as Survivor players in the next episode.  Following the Upolu alliance is no longer advantageous to them, but it's up to them to realize this and to make the big risky move to make it to Day 39.

COCHRAN:  Finally, there is Cochran.  How ironic that the biggest Survivor fanboy this show has ever had has become the key player of the season.  Now he finds himself as the only remaining Savaii member thanks to his big backstab against his former tribe, and he has the chance to make another big move in the next episode.  He needs to go out there and make a deal with someone.  Anyone.  Preferably, he may want to take a deal with Coach, but if Albert and Sophie offer a deal, then he should accept that too.  Right now, Cochran is in danger of being voted out next, and he needs a long term promise that will not only get him through the next vote but also through the rest of the game.  

And then there is his endgame.  Honestly, I don't see a situation in which Cochran could get the jury votes he needs to win.  A deal with Coach might be better for him because he could work the undercurrent of anger towards Coach to gain an advantage, but nothing is going to stop Jim from grilling Cochran if he gets to the end.  Savaii's anger towards Cochran for his betrayal will most likely result in his defeat, so Cochran's only hope is to get Upolu to turn on each other so they will turn vote his way.

So far, the first half of the season has been far more entertaining than the second half.  The neck-and-neck race between the tribes was far more interesting than seeing the Savaii players get picked off after the merge.  But next week, the Upolu alliance will be forced to break up, and it will be interesting to see who gets voted out and where the players place their allegiances.  

See you next week for the next recap!

Reach writer Jeremy Fuster here

Read Jeremy's last recap from episode 10 here.

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