Last Week: Savaii ripped into Cochran the turncoat, Brandon wore his heart on his sleeve, and Jim and Ozzy were booted.
39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog
Here is the tribe as it currently stands…
The Te Tuna Tribe (wearing yellow)
Albert – 26, Baseball/Dating Coach
Brandon – 19, Oil Tanker Crewman
Coach – 39, Slayer of Dragons
Cochran – 24, Harvard Law Student
Dawn – 41, English Professor
Edna – 35, Anesthesiologist
Rick – 51, Rancher
Sophie – 22, Medical Student
Whitney – 27, Country Music Singer
Currently Residing on Redemption Island (wearing hatred for Cochran)
Jim – 35, Medical Marijuana Dispensary Owner
Keith – 26, Water Treatment Tech
Ozzy – 30, Challenge Destroyer
The episode kicks off over at Redemption Island with Jim predicting that Coach will lead his cult to victory and claim the million dollars. Who’d have called that at the beginning of this season?
Meanwhile, Coach tells the Te Tunians that he’s glad Jim is gone because he didn’t really care about any of them. He lets them know that he’s looking out for all of them and they all have an equal share in the tribe’s business. Whitney disagrees. She thinks Coach is running the show and that everyone thinks they’re going to the end with him. Is this a rerun? I feel like I saw the same show last spring except the Coach character was wearing a Boston Red Sox hat.
The next morning, Cochroach (the nickname for Coach and Cochran – thanks @SherriErwin) are doing some yoga. Cochran informs us that he is totally drinking Coach’s Kool-Aid.
Fun Fact: Cochran referred to Coach as a “lunatic” in our pre-game interview.
After the session, Coach confesses that he’s worried about the alliance. He thinks Albert and Brandon might be plotting against him.
Redemption Island Duel: The players will balance poles on the back of their hands. The last person standing stays in the game. The other two will join the jury.
Yes, I’m aware that three people can’t compete in a duel.
The challenge starts and Crystal Cox is immediately eliminated. Oh wait, that was in Gabon.
We’re about ten minutes into it and Probst starts asking the observers who they’re rooting for. Brandon is pulling for Jim, while (brace yourself, this is shocking) Whitney is rooting for Keith. Sadly, nobody wants Ozzy to win.
Jim is the first one out, then after some tense minutes he’s followed by Keith. Ozzy wins and stays in the game. He also probably won two jury votes.
Back at Redemption Island, Ozzy once again breaks down his strategy for the rest of the season; eat, chillax, and wipe out new people as they show up. I’m still not on board with this. The challenges are so random. How does he know Whitney isn’t a whiz at Operation or Monopoly or whatever weird event Challenge Producer and “Survivor” Hall of Fame Executive Voting Committee member John Kirhoffer throws at them?
Over at Te Tuna, Dawn tells Cochran that she regrets not blowing up his grand deception. She hopes that Cochran will return the favor and work with her. Cochran’s open to this as he knows that he needs to improve his standing with Savaii jury members.
Immunity Challenge Time: The players will balance a bowl of rice on top of their heads. They’ll then race across a pair of teeter-totters. Once they’re across, they’ll dump the rice in a container. First person to fill their container with rice wins immunity.
Not much to describe here except for a lot of rice being wasted. Brandon, Dawn, and Sophie are neck-and-neck-and-neck in the end. But, Sophie manages to pull off the win by loading a ton of rice (not literally) into her bowl. So-Phine wins immunity.
Before they head off, J-Pro lets them know there will be a twist at that night’s Tribal. Dun dun dun…
Politicking around camp centers around Dawn and Whitney. Coach wants Dawn to go first because he thinks she’ll be impossible to beat in the end. True that.
Cochran assumes that the twist will be a double elimination and that if he doesn’t win the second immunity he’ll be in trouble.
Whitney gets in the understatement of the night when she lets us know that she’s open to making a move.
Meanwhile, Albert is hatching a plan to win some favor with the Savaii jury members. He wants to boot Edna (who wouldn’t vote for him), while rewarding Cochran’s loyalty, and keeping the Savaiians around for a while longer. Makes sense, but is it worth inspiring the wrath of the Dragon Slayer?
Brandon doesn’t like Albert discussing strategy with Savaii as apparently there’s an agreement where you don’t make yourself available for conversations with people who are on their way out. Man, Coach’s following this Boston Rob blueprint to the letter.
Later, during a game of island checkers, Albert tells Cochran that he’s seventh on the totem pole.
In other news, they’ve built a checkers set.
Albert and Cochran take Sophie aside to pitch their eliminate-Edna plan. She doesn’t tip her hand either way. So-Smart.
That night at Tribal Council, Keith shows up wearing super bright green pants. Yow.
Dawn thinks the bottom of the Upolu totem pole is content with their place in the game.
Whitney thinks Cochran is on the bottom of the Upolu alliance.
Probst tells Cochran that as a fan of the game, he has to know he has to make a move or settle for seventh place.
Coach admits that he’s worried about a blindside, but that he trusts his alliance. He also claims that he isn’t the tribe’s leader. Whitney disagrees.
Voting Time: Whitney votes for Edna and the rest of the votes aren’t shown.
Probst gets his tally on and returns. We’ve got one vote for Dawn, one vote for Edna, one vote for Dawn, one vote for Edna, two votes for Dawn, and the eleventh person to make a trip to Redemption Island is…Dawn.
OK seriously, one of those votes was spelled “Don.” Is it wrong that I automatically assume that Brandon cast that vote?
Look out! It’s a twist!
Surprise Immunity Challenge Time: Probsty will ask some survival-related questions. If you get one wrong, you’re gone. Last person standing wins immunity.
First Round: Survivors should drink one gallon of water a day. Albert, Edna, and Rick are gone.
Second Round: A coconut crab gets its name because its favorite food is coconut. That’s weird, they don’t call me Reese’s Sticks Gordon. Anywho, Cochran and Brandon are gone.
Third Round: The flesh inside the stalk of a coconut is called heart of palm. Coach is eliminated.
Fourth Round: It isn’t dangerous to remove clams from the ocean. Whitney is wrong. So-Phabulous wins immunity.
Voting Time…Yet Again: No votes are shown.
One vote for Cochran, four votes for Whitney, and the twelfth person to make a trip to Redemption Island is…Whitney.
Verdict: And that is what you call an Upolu sweep. Hopefully things will pick up now that they’ll have to turn on each other.
Also, am I the only one who is beyond shocked at Coach’s turnaround this season? I left Samoa thinking he’d be Russell’d out of there quickly and here he is leading the dominant alliance. Expectation Slayer.
Who’s Going to Win: So-Phirst Place
Power Rankings Update: Andrea had Whitney in spot eight and Dawn in spot nine. I had Whitney in spot nine and Dawn in spot eight. However, she picked Jim to win at Redemption Island and I picked Ozzy. So, she gained seventeen points while I grabbed eighteen. The current score is now Team Boehlke 137, Team Holmes 140.
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes