This episode began with Jim joining his boys Keith & Ozzy at Redemption Island. Jim reflects on the former OompaLoompa tribe: "This is a cult unlike any I've ever seen before." The devotion to Coach really is quite impressive, especially when you take into account how unwelcome he was at the beginning of the game.
Over at Te Tuna - ACK! Giant centipede shot! Why, oh why, do you do that to me when I'm eating Udon noodles? Also, a friendly reminder to not search for photos of centipedes because screenshots from a certain film are all up in there, & Mom, just don't do it, OK?
Over at Te Tuna, Coach is trying to make Whitney & Dawn feel comfortable. "Jim is the most dangerous kind of person, because to your face & to the surface, he looks like the best friend of everybody. But when the chips are down, he wouldn't do shit for you." Whitney isn't buying it, & like Jim, thinks its all cult-like, except the cult she likens it to is Christianity. "Coach is running the show like he's Jesus. All of them think they're gonna go to the end? Obviously 7 can't go to the end. I mean, it's so frustrating. I kind of want to laugh at them & be like, Um, y'all are so smart - Cochran went to Harvard, Sophie's going to Med School - I don't understand how these 'smart people' can be so stupid." Yes. She did the air quotes.
Question: if you were a huge Survivor fan, wouldn't Tai Chi on Beach with Coach be on your bucket list? No? It's just me & Cochran? Well, at least one of us can cross that off. Coach's fist is so longer shaking - it is calm & steady & pulling that imaginary bow back.
Cochran admits to drinking the Coach Kool-Aid, but "taking little, delicate, ginger sips. If I'm not on the cult leader's side, I'm gonna meet my untimely death, so I gotta obey the father of the family. Side note: I'm sure in 1978, it was horrible for the Kool-Aid company to find out their product had become synonymous with the cult suicide of the Jonestown Massacre, but look at all the free advertising over the years! That's taking your lemon(-lime)s & making lemon(-lime)-aid!
Everyone goes to the Redemption Island Arena to watch the Duel, or technically, a Challenge, since there are 3 competitors for the first time this season. Probst informs them that only the winner of this challenge will stay at Redemption Island - the losers will become the first 2 members of the jury. The challenge is to balance 2 poles on the top of their hands, applying pressure against an overhead board. No relaxing those arms at all.
Brandon roots for Jim for some strange reason, & Whitney roots for Keith because why? Oh yeah, because it was revealed that she & Keith fell in love, despite Whitney being secretly married! Twist! In my head, Cochran is screaming, "You yelled at me for throwing my tribe under the bus? For a vote? In a game? And I disgust you?" I'm just overwhelmed with the honour & integrity from Steve Vai's tribe.
Ozzy wins this challenge, with Jim the first jury member, & Keith the 2nd. 2nd in the jury, & 2nd...nope, I'm not gonna do it. Ozzy is triumphant in that weird monotone surfer declaration voice of his: "I'm sitting in the best place." How's that? "Well, I don't have to rely on people's trust, & I'm sitting there at Redemption, eating my heart out, getting ready for the next person to come in. I'll be nice, I'll make you fish, make you fruit, & then I'll come & beat you & I'll be sitting at the end, too, & we'll see who's back-stabbed who & who has taken the higher road, if you will."
Time to say goodbye to Jim & Keith, & again I'm reminded how much I don't like Redemption Island. When Jim fell out of the challenge, he knew he was gone. Out of the game for good. But he has to go sit down & watch the rest of the challenge before anything happens. Then it's time to leave, & he just throws his buff in the fire after hoping there was a secret double Redemption Island. Maybe it's the daylight that makes it much less dramatic. It just seems like such a non-event, which isn't fair. Keith throws his buff into the fire In the Name of the Father, the Son, & the Holy Spirit, which seemed a little weird when I watched it, & now it seems even weirder.
My husband is a big Ozzy fan & doesn't know how anyone could dislike him, but I just think he's really full of himself. I admire his survival skills & athleticism, absolutely. But that's about it. Now all alone again on Redemption, Ozzy reverts to his natural form, an otter-monkey. First we are treated to gorgeous underwater shots of Ozzy diving into the reefs, being tossed about by the waves, & looking as comfortable as I am on the couch. And he does it all with a snorkel - there are no oxygen tanks or scuba gear involved. Closing his nostrils much like an otter does is the only explanation. Next he shows us his monkey side as he scales a tree & tosses coconuts to the ground. Of course, he poses patiently at the top of the tree until the helicopter can circle him.
Dawn is screwed, & trying to find a way out, & has the balls to say this to Cochran: "I was realizing this morning again how frustrated I am that I jeopardized my own game & didn't out your game plan when our group could have shook it up. I feel like you could reciprocate." Pardon me? Cochran offered you a chance to be part of that big move & you didn't take it. Then you were dumb enough to not say anything, even while knowing it would mean Steve Vai getting picked off one by one. You sabotaged your own game, Dawn. Cochran ponders returning to Dawn & Whitney, thinking it might earn him more jury votes, but I think it would make him look flippy-floppy.
At the Immunity Challenge, Probst asks for the necklace back, & Whitney walks over & just turns her back on Jeff, making him take it off her. "You're not gonna help me at all, are you?" Probst asks. "Nope. I don't want to let go of it." Immunity means more to Whitney than her secret wedding vows! Zing! The challenge involves balancing a bowl of rice on your head over teeter-totters, to pour your rice into a big bowl. When you have enough rice to tip that teeter-totter, you win. Probst tweeted that he loves Survivor challenges you can play in your backyard. New project, honey: we need 9 teeter-totters built by the finale.
|I'll hit Costco.|
Sophie does well throughout the challenge, & with a last bowl that is overflowing with rice, she wins Immunity. Probst warns there will be a twist at tribal council. This makes Dawn hopeful, but rarely are tribal council twists a good thing for those on the bottom rungs. Cochran starts worrying, & thinks the twist may be a double elimination. Suddenly, there's scrambling.
Dawn & Whitney need someone to talk to. Whitney's fair assessment is that Brandon's a loose cannon, Rick's not even playing the game, Edna is far up Coach's butt, but Albert seems like a good guy. Albert it is! Albert is a thinker & knows now would be a great time to make a big move - but it would mean going against his alliance. "My only real chance to win this game is to secure every Savaii vote I can get." He wants to get Edna out, which will move Cochran up the ladder, & curry favour from Dawn & Whitney - 3 potential votes for Albert in the end.
Coach is walking throughout camp, looking stressed. He knows Albert has been talking to Whitney & Dawn. Brandon feeds the paranoia: "Coach, I thought it was our thing not to talk to these people." Cochran & Albert talk strategy while they play checkers on a homemade set. Via twitter, I asked Albert what it was made from, & he replied that the pieces were left-over accessories from a challenge, & a box they had won coffee in. Resourceful!
Albert shares his thoughts with "Soph-a-loph" which may be the cutest nickname for a Sophie ever. She isn't sure if they should make a move, & says "Albert is showing his true colours more & more, which maybe are similar to my true colours: that I'm strategic & I want to win this game." Albert presses on with why they should vote Edna out. "This game's not out-organize, out-clean, & out-gather. It's frigging Survivor." Best line of the night.
Coach is turning from cult leader into mob boss. Gone are the days of love-bombing. "Albert right now is playing for Albert, & that's a dangerous game to play out here...he's either trying to come up with a last second plan, or he's trying to curry jury votes, & neither one of them is acceptable, in my opinion...If anybody goes against the family, they're dead."
At Tribal Council, the first jury members come in. Jim looks normal, & Keith...does not. He's wearing a bright green skirt & has shaved his patchy beard into facial hair that only Johnny Depp & the Count of Monte Cristo can pull off.
As Cochran starts speaking, Jim & Keith behave like cartoon villains, narrowing their eyes, shaking their heads...it's good stuff. Coach starts a long monologue with "I don't do a lot of talking. Contrary to popular belief, I'm not running this alliance, I'm not running the show, but I'm always thinking in the back of my head that people have to make big moves in order to get further in this game & so I worry, I stress, I believe, I trust - all those emotions, all day long. It drives me crazy." It's hard being Coach, you guys. Seriously, though, Coach has been impressive this season. He said he was going to be strategic, & he really has been. Definitely more stressed, though.
Nobody has the hidden Immunity Idol - we know Coach still has one, but have Whitney & Dawn not been looking for the hidden one at all? Probst reads the votes - at one point we have 2 votes Edna, 2 votes Dawn, & 1 vote Don. Don? I know there's always spelling mistakes at tribal, but DON? My husband & I wager who wrote it. I say Brandon, he says Rick. (I won). Dawn is voted out & as she heads for Redemption Island & some tasty fish courtesy of Ozzy, Probst announces they are going right into an Immunity Challenge, with another vote to follow.
Probst asks Sophie for the Immunity necklace back, & what do you know, she takes it off & hands it to him herself. Amazing! Immunity challenge is trivia, & Cochran looks giddy. They had multiple choice for some of these, but I'll just provide the questions & correct answers:
1. To prevent dehydration, it's recommended Survivors drink how much purified water? 1 gallon.
3 people are out.
2. True or False: A Coconut Crab gets its name because its favourite food is coconut. True.
2 people are out.
Coach is out, leaving only Sophie to prevent Whitney from winning Immunity. The pressure is on!
4. True or False: Although they are quite delicious, you should not attempt to remove giant South Pacific Clams from the ocean as they are considered dangerous.
Whitney says True, Sophie says False. Sophie wins! Hooray Soph-a-loph! Whitney is off to share some tasty fish with Ozzy & Dawn, & write 2 country songs: 1. Y'all Vilified Me. 2. I Left My Secret Husband For The Bonus Jonas.
This episode was the first time this season that I've been able to watch Survivor live, due to a musical theatre production I've been in. If any of you have been watching live, don't miss the tweeters from Survivor that live tweet the episodes. If you'd like to tweet along with the most informative/entertaining Survivor tweeters, follow @JeffProbst, @SurvivorCochran, & @SurvivorAlbert. They're my favourites, & I'm sure they'll be yours, too.