I've decided that this week's recap will feature LEGO minifigure versions of the remaining 7 contestants. Coach had so much fun with the Greek god comparisons, I want in on the game, too!
After voting out the remaining Steve Vai members, The Family that is the former OompaLoompas + Cochran return to camp. Cochran is concerned, as tribal council made it clear that he's the next to go, & he knows he has to try to shake things up if he wants to avoid the poisoned Kool-Aid. So what does he do? He tells another childhood anecdote about 5th grade prank calls where he would tell girls "I want to trade sperm with you." At this point, Cochran is to embarrassing stories as Coach is to incorrect quotes.
Sophie admits she felt bad for Cochran at first, because it seemed like he was getting bullied, but now she can see why people were annoyed with him. "I don't like him." Cut to Sophie going medieval on a coconut with a machete. No more stories, Cochran.
Cochran says out loud what we've all been noticing from home: "There has kind of always been this cult-like quality to the Upolu family." Cochran is reminded of the Manson family. Cut to a prayer circle!
|Father, guide us. Where can we find Kool-Aid in the South Pacific?|
"Brandon in particular seems almost obsessively devout, to the point where it seems like he's trying to oppress something a lot more scary. I don't want to be Sharon Tate in this scenario." Wow, this could be more fun than coming up with everyone's Greek God alter ego...if we're doing this, Edna is without a doubt Squeaky Fromme.
Cochran sits everyone down & pleads his case. He made a big sacrifice in order to put their tribe in a better position, & he just wants to be saved for 1 tribal council. Just 1!
|Oops - supposed to be the LEGO version, sorry!|
|It's my birthday in 3 days, you guys!|
At Redemption Island Arena, the challenge involves balancing dishes on a wobbly pole. It seems like there are a lot of balancing challenges this season, & hardly any puzzles, something Cochran could excel at. Dawn is out first, & she starts crying because her adventure has....nope, can't have your moment yet, Dawn. Just have a seat & try to forget that you are out of the game for really reallz, & act like you care about the rest of this challenge. 3 person duels suck.
Whitney's dishes fall, & now Dawn's tears can flow freely. The lesson Dawn learned is that anything is possible. She will leave here, & support her children - all 6 of them - whenever they have a pipe dream. I'm sure that will turn out well. Probst delivers his for really-reallz line, "Dawn, your adventure has sadly, for you, come to an end." Dawn lifts her head high & declares tearfully, "But I got to take it." She could have just stayed home & watched UP, if this is the lesson she needed. The background music soars to The-Balrog-has-just-taken-Gandalf-down-with-him dramatic heights as Dawn exits.
Whitney's departure is less theatrical, but there's one golden moment. "My family's gonna be proud, & my friends'll be proud, & so I'm gonna be proud." That leaves only person not proud of Whitney: her secret, jilted husband. "Whitney, this part of your life's adventure has come to an end." Now go home & get on with the adventure of divorce! Don't feel too bad for Whitney - she's off to Ponderosa where Keith's eyebrows are waiting to waggle at her.
Throughout this challenge, Ozzy was calm & collected. "I have to rely on myself winning, but that is what I do best, & that's the way I want to win this game." Back on Redemption Island, Ozzy is in his own personal paradise. He's hanging out in the treetops & swimming around the reefs, amongst the ocean life. "This is my home...there's no one better suited to be out here than me." No arguments here.
Back at The Family Compound, Edna is doing laundry while Albert is looking handsome in the hammock. Cochran helps Brandon fish, & ends up holding a fish with teeth, which makes Cochran proud. "Whatever it takes to feed our tribe, I'm willing to put my life & limb in danger...I didn't physically catch it, but I am physically holding it, & I'll be the one that they hoist upon their shoulders."
Albert decides he's going to help with the laundry, & ends up dumping the water on the fire, putting it out. Edna is infuriated. "Albert does pretty much nothing but lie around & eat fish & wait for other people to wait on him." But he does all that in his underwear, so...
|LEGO just would not do this man justice.|
|You can't deny it - the resemblance is striking.|
Cochran finds himself on the beach doing "Coach Chi", & Coach tells us that the reason he coaches, & even why he plays Survivor, is to find that one student who wants to learn.
|You're why I do this, Hercules - not the million dollars.|
The Immunity Challenge also comes with a reward: a spa day. The first 3 to land 3 beanbags on their targets move on to coconut slingshots. Albert, Rick & Sophie move on, & Sophie doesn't hit a single target. Rick is in the lead, but Albert comes from behind to win. And what does he do? He points to the heavens. Not Albert, too! He's been love-bombed by The Family, & has been sugar-bombed by the cyanide-laced Kool-Aid that God provided for them. Prayer circles work!
Probst tells Albert he can share this reward with someone, & Coach is the lucky guy. Then he asks if he could pick one more person - denied! Then he declares he will give up his reward so that the birthday boy, Cochran, can have it. Coach Chi works! When Albert announces this, it is hilarious to watch the reactions of everyone else. Brandon claps wholeheartedly, Rick & Edna reluctantly nod & clap, & then there's Soph-a-Loph. She stares blankly at nothing, & if you could convey "what the fuck?" in polite clapping, she just did. It is fantastic.
Probst asks Cochran if he's looking forward to the massage. "Yeah. I mean, I've given my Mom massages over the years, but I've never actually received one." Cochran, stop with the stories! Stick to your quick wit & adorable charm - no more anecdotes, because they are going above & beyond self-deprecating. Now you're bullying yourself!
Back at The Family Compound, a shower, massage tables & lovely ladies are awaiting Coach & Cochran. Coach is enjoying the shower, & Cochran watches to make sure he doesn't use all the water.
Cochran tells us, "I'm thrilled to see that some stupid little white lie about when my birthday was, which actually took place 6 months ago, is helping me at least somewhat in this game, even if it's just to get a free massage." Not even his birthday. I love it. Cochran enjoys the massage, saying, "Having a beautiful woman stroke the insides of my legs is a new experience for me." This is followed by the least flattering angles for anyone - squished faces poking through the massage table. Coach is having such a great time, he promotes Cochran from Student to Young Warrior. It's all very awkward.
Albert is on board with voting out Rick, who he thinks is "as sharp as a bowling ball", instead of Cochran. "Dude, you don't know how happy it would make me to see you go farther than Rick in this game. It would make me ecstatic." Edna makes Cochran wait an extraordinarily long moment in between "Dude" & "I'm on board", but Coach is silent when presented with this plan. After all, it's not his plan. Coach can't give up his power like that! He worked so hard for it!
"My decision tonight & which way I go is going to determine the rest of this game. There is a tide that is coming. I either take it & go with a new alliance or stay with my first five. As William Shakespeare says, 'There is a tide that comes in the lives of men that when taken leads to great fortune, but when omitted, all the rest of their lives are bound in shadows and misery.' I want to make sure that I make the right decision. I want to make sure that I take the right tide so that I can ride that tide all the way to the end of this game that I love so dearly."
I have to say, that one was pretty close. First off, he got the author right. And the quote itself is not far off from the actual line in Julius Caesar: "There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows & in miseries."
At tribal council, the jury enters, & Keith must have his sister's suitcase by mistake because last week he wore a hideous green skirt to tribal:
|My skirt totally makes my goatee pop, right?|
& this week he's upgraded to skinny jean capris. I mean, I think it's an upgrade? Well, at least he shaved off that ridiculous facial hair. Whitney comes in all smiles - must be honeymoon time at Ponderosa, which would make this her second secret honeymoon. Zing! Nailed it.
Cochran doesn't want to sound greedy, but then demands to be paid for his flipping. "I gave life to this tribe & to just be targeted for seventh, it's a little bit humiliating. I feel a little bit duped." Edna is emotional because she knows she's 6th & says she'll just keep trying to change that.
"Jeff?" Oh no - Brandon has something to say! "Everybody out here knows what's going to happen with these 2. That's why tonight I'm voting out Cochran, & the next night, my vote is for Edna." Albert is shaking his head & Vader is screaming "Noooooo!" in his head, but it's too late. "Try not to be so grim about it, just get it out there because I believe there is black & white & I think if you're grey then you might as well be lying, to be honest with you." Well, of course you're going to be honest with us. That's your thing, to a fault.
Let's play again - if Survivor was The Walking Dead, Brandon would absolutely be Hershel. Coach = Dale, Albert = Shane, Sophie = Andrea, Cochran = Carl, & no, Rick would not be Rick, even if he comes with both the name & the hat. No. Rick & Edna = zombie extras that shuffle along in the background, lasting way longer than they should.
Jeff points out that Brandon is a huge problem, because he's not malleable. Coach says it's both a blessing & a curse. "If you're with him, you know that he's not gonna turn on you, but you're also afraid that he's gonna spill the apple cart." Now Brandon is crying & tells Jeff he's exhausted. "I wanna do wrong things - I'm human. But there's something stronger inside me that won't let me. Anything worth having's not gonna be easy." OMG, does Brandon have a light passenger? He's the reverse Dexter! Or he could just be a kid who was told he was bad too often, & now he's overcompensating with a crazy over-the-top idea of what it means to be "good". Either way, he should probably see a professional.
Cochran must have decided right then was the perfect time for the best quote ever in Survivor history, because this is what he says to Probst: "Brandon has revealed that he's probably not the best person to be in a strategic partnership with. Talking strategy with Brandon is like talking to you about shirts that aren't blue." AMAZING.
Sophie remains cavalier about Brandon & any problems he might cause. "The way our tribe is, I'm not concerned about anything happening in the game..."
Cochran: "If Edna wins immunity, what happens?"
Stacey: "Blam!" Oops, Stacey's gone. That was just in my head. On a side note, I think there should be a pop-up Stacey in every episode, giving her comic book soundbites when called for.
Sophie shrugs & says, "Then it starts." Whatever, I'll worry later. Sophie's gone surfer zen! Probst comments on how eye-opening tribal has been. Sophie shakes her head no. Island living has made her carefree.
Probst turns his attention to someone who has been paying attention to how well his shirts match his eyes. Do you think that's easy to pull off? "Cochran, how frustrating is it if the move you made was for naught?" Um, very? Cochran makes a comment about possibly being in a worse position than if he had stayed with Steve Vai. After Jim left the game, he revealed that everyone wanted Cochran in their final 3, so yeah, 7 would be worse. "I pride myself on being a Survivor expert. Otherwise this will go down as one of the most idiotic moves in the history of the game."
"Well, it has been one of the most interesting & revealing tribal councils of the season." No matter what you say, Sophie. Brandon leaves to vote first & I wonder why the rest of them don't just say, "So, we're voting Brandon now, right?"
When Rick votes for Cochran, he says "Cochran, thanks for making the big move when you made it. Happy Birthday." Damn, that's one cold cowboy.
Coach walks by the jury & Dawn looks at him in complete disgust - what is that about?
My beloved Cochran is voted out by everyone except Edna, & I am sad, but then my husband notices that Whitney & Keith are actually holding hands in the jury, so that took the sting out a little. Cochran is not as sad as I am. "Jeff Probst just snuffed my torch! This is unreal! Dream come true!" Turns out Elyse was right about him enjoying that experience. Then Cochran, turning to say goodbye, almost falls down the stairs. Adorable, but seriously - take care of yourself.
Next week we'll have Ozzy vs Cochran in the Redemption Island Duel. It's no secret who I'll be rooting for. I will holding prayer circles in my house every night at 9:30pm to pray for a puzzle challenge, if anyone would like to join me.