April 17, 2008 09:02 PM by Ryan Haidet
Tonight’s episode proved why Survivor is still such a great show. Host Jeff Probst had been saying this week’s episode would show the biggest blunder in the show’s 16 seasons – it was worth the hype. The best episode in a long time led viewers along thinking one person would be getting voted out, but then delivered a huge shock – Ozzy, a fan favorite from the Cook Islands season, was blindsided and booted from the game.
But there’s a lot of ground to cover before getting to the jaw-dropping ouster.
First, the 9 members of the newly merged Dabu tribe arrived back at camp on night 24 after voting Eliza out. Everybody was questioning Jason on the fake idol that she had played. He said he felt silly being fooled by Ozzy, but said beating him in the first immunity challenge showed that “Ozzy’s not the only God-like competitor who can play this game.”
Then at the reward challenge, they were split into two teams of four via a school yard pick ‘em. The last player left, wouldn’t get to participate, but instead sent to Exile Island. Natalie and Jason were picked as captains at random. The teams were divided as Jason, Ozzy, Amanda and Erik (orange) against Natalie, James, Alexis and Parvati (purple). Cirie was sent to Exile Island immediately.
After they divided into their teams, Probst explained that this was a major game of memory. One at a time, a player from each team had to run through a net maze in the ocean, then go to a platform with a big board filled with symbols. They needed to remember how the symbols were placed and come back to the shore and try to duplicate what they had seen. After it was all over, the orange team (Jason, Ozzy, Amanda and Erik) won. Their prize was a trip to the island of Yap where locals would treat them to a feast and a dance. They would also be spending the night there.
The four winners boarded their plane and arrived at the village. Erik was astonished at how primal things were. He was also distracted that all the women there were topless. “That’s the most boobs I’ve probably seen my whole life,” he said. Then the locals performed their dance. Everybody thought it was a great experience. But maybe Erik had too much fun – he was puking all night long from a mixture of the local beer and Betel Nut (a tobacco-like substance).
Over on Exile Island, Cirie was miserable as the rain didn’t stop. There was no incentive for her to be there since Ozzy had already found the hidden immunity idol. She said maybe it was time to get rid of the powerhouse and flush out his idol.
Day 27 arrived for those at Dabu who didn’t get to go on the reward. James, the only one awake, started working and chopping wood. It woke Parvati up and she was mad that he had been making so much noise. James got frustrated that she would make a comment like that after he had been up all night tending to the fire. Shortly after, the reward winners arrived back at camp as Ozzy embellished on all the food they got to eat.
At the immunity challenge, Cirie returned from Exile Island just in time to compete in an old favorite that was first seen in Survivor: Africa and replayed in the All-Stars edition. They each stood on a log with their wrist tethered to a bucket filled with water above their heads. All they had to do was hold their arm up so the bucket wouldn’t tip. The last person standing would win immunity. Only 45 minutes in, Probst began teasing the players with snacks. Erik and Cirie bailed at the first temptation of candy. Not long after, Probst came out with another snack, but had not yet revealed what it was. Alexis, excited about the snack, dropped out. But she didn’t say that was her intention, so she didn’t get the cookie and milk. Then Natalie and James both dropped accidentally, neither of them getting the cookie either. One hour in, Ozzy dropped out for 3 chocolate glazed donuts, which made Jason happy to see his main competition gone. Amanda quit at the five hour mark because she had to use the bathroom.
It came down to Parvati and Jason. More than six hours had passed when the biggest temptation was pulled out – a plate filled with a pizza, candy, donuts, cookies, beer and more. The first person to drop would get the food and be able to share it with the seven other players. Natalie said she would not vote Jason out if he quit and shared the food. He said he would consider dropping out if he was guaranteed safety by everybody else. So, no big surprise, everybody promised him safety, some crossing their fingers as they made the promise. After some thought, Jason let his bucket tip over giving Parvati immunity. It was set up perfectly to make everybody think Jason was going home. Could he trust that they would stay true to their deal?
After the challenge, the plan was to turn back on their word and vote Jason out anyway. Ozzy and James said it was a stupid move on Jason’s part and that he was the next to go. Amanda agreed. But Cirie, who has controlled several votes now, wanted Ozzy and his idol out of the game. She got Jason, Parvati, Natalie and Alexis together in hopes they would all secretly vote for Ozzy. In a confessional, Parvati said if Ozzy and she made it to the final five together, that he would win the entire game.
At Tribal Council, Cirie said she didn’t bother looking for the idol because everybody knew that Ozzy had it. Then Probst addressed the immunity challenge deal. James said that maybe people just were trying to get Jason down so they could eat more – not to keep him safe. It wasn’t looking good for Jason. Then they all voted and James said, “I thought I was the dumbest Survivor ever,” as he voted for Jason. Just before the votes were read, Probst asked if anybody wanted to play their hidden immunity idol. Ozzy didn’t move. One by one the votes were pulled out and Ozzy looked smug as almost all of the early votes were for Jason (I was still convinced Jason was going home at this point). Then several with “Ozzy” written on them popped up until it came down to four votes for each of them. After the last ballot was read, Ozzy was blindsided and booted from the competition. Jaws dropped at Tribal Council (and in my living room). Ozzy had an immunity idol and didn’t play it, just like James didn’t play his in the China season. Although Jason had made some bad moves from thinking a stick was the real hidden immunity idol to dropping out of the immunity challenge, he was spared by half of the group who kept their promise.
After Ozzy Lusth was voted out of the tribe he said, “I’m an idiot. I should’ve seen it coming, but I got too comfortable. I felt like I could trust the people in my alliance and serves me right. I’m a fool. I’m a fool for thinking that. And to whoever it was in my alliance that voted the other way, right now, I pretty much hate you. So screw you, basically.”
What an episode. If you missed it, definitely head on over to CBS.com and watch it online.
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Photo Credit: CBS