September 28, 2011 07:13 PM by Ryan Haidet
The duel was set. No, I’m not talking about the first battle on Redemption Island between Semhar and Christine like you might be thinking. Instead, tonight’s episode of Survivor: South Pacific put much of its focus on Brandon Hantz’s internal struggle. His own personal battle of good and evil brought him to tears at one point as his troubles within Upolu kept bubbling up. But before we get there, we did have our first official elimination of the season as Semhar and Christine squared off at Redemption Island. Who became the first person booted from Survivor: South Pacific as a result of the duel? Read on to find out!
Semhar Vs. Christine
It was day 6 when both tribes were summoned to select two players each to witness the first Redemption Island duel. Coach and Stacey represented Upolu as Ozzy and Elyse were selected by Savaii.
When they all arrived in the sandy Redemption Island duel arena, host Jeff Probst explained how the challenge worked. It was a simple concept that required endurance, focus and steady hands. Each woman had to place a wooden totem on top of a pole and balance it for as long as possible. They each then had to add extra sections of poles throughout the battle as Probst instructed them to do so, which made it harder to balance. Simple concept, but effective.
Moments before the duel ignited, Semhar broke out into a crazy poem that was apparently supposed to help ease her anxiety. Here’s how it went: “There isn’t anything that I wouldn’t do for this man. I would even take off my clothes and give him a private show to the tunes of his soul because he’s all that I need and more. I would give birth to 10 of his children without using any drugs to help ease the pain and then I would give him one more just because our love is that insane. There is not one thing that I would not do for my lover, my best friend, my honey, my boo. I can’t wait to meet him.” After that, she was ready to battle. Huh? What the hell was that all about? I bet Phillip Sheppard’s jaw dropped as he watched the show from his own living room after Semhar’s goofy poem.
When the challenge began, both women seemed focused, but something I found to be extremely interesting is that Semhar didn’t look up at her totem very often. After adding several sections of poles, Semhar lost control and her totem fell to the sand. With that, she became the first official elimination of the season leaving Christine behind to live another day on Redemption Island.
Day 7 at Upolu was a big struggle for Brandon as he spent lots of time thinking about the lie he told while targeting Mikayla for elimination. He felt everybody — including God — was disappointed with him. Saying he doesn’t want to be deceitful anymore, he took his shirt all the way off for the first time, which uncovered both of his “Hantz” tattoos. With the entire Upolu tribe present, he admitted that he is Russell’s nephew. Stacey and Mikayla seemed to be the most shocked. In confessional, Brandon continued to express his concerns with lying. “I love God. I love Jesus Christ and I shouldn’t be ashamed of the fact that I’m a different person than my uncle.”
Later on, Mikayla and Brandon spent some time alone as she questioned him about his desire to get her voted out first. Brandon basically said he wanted to get her out because he doesn’t like her. Their discussion quickly sparked into a small argument before Brandon asked her to come with him for a chat with the entire tribe. As he expressed his feelings about Mikayla in front of everybody, Brandon asked if anybody else wanted to speak up. When nobody did, he walked away from his goofy gathering. Sophie felt like he was simply a “loose cannon” who is torn between following his religious beliefs and battling his bloodline, which consists of being a “devious jerk.”
In confessional, Brandon shed some tears as he explained his daily battles with good and evil. “Just Lord, please don’t let me sin anymore,” he said. While Coach has said numerous times that Brandon is an important ally for him, he was suddenly very worried about the uneasiness Brandon was creating within Upolu. All this makes me wonder what Russell would say about Brandon’s strategy — or lack thereof.
With the hidden Immunity Idol in Ozzy’s possession, he felt like it was time to tell Keith — his strongest ally. Ozzy felt this would prove he truly is a trustworthy player in the game. But Keith didn’t keep Ozzy’s secret quiet for very long. He quickly told Whitney what Ozzy had just revealed. Might want to look deeper for allies, Ozzy.
The Immunity challenge was a fun one to watch. It consisted of several steps — one involving a body board in which some contestants were yanked back to shore by their tribemates. The challenge was a close race — until the final portion. That’s when Upolu pulled ahead and claimed victory, which also meant they won Reward consisting of coffee, tea, sugar, milk, chocolate and cookies.
Who To Vote Out Next
Back at Savaii, the tribe was licking its wounds after losing the challenge. Ozzy said the decision was simple — they needed to get rid of people who don’t help the tribe. The clear targets for him were Papa Bear and Cochran. They both knew it, too.
On one side of camp, the alliance of five (Ozzy, Keith, Whitney, Elyse and Jim) all agreed to take out Papa Bear. They even told Cochran about their intentions while trying to deceive Papa Bear by telling him they were targeting Cochran. Papa Bear didn’t believe them for one second. So he rushed into the woods and started a mad hunt for the hidden Idol. When his time searching didn’t pay off, he manufactured his own fake Idol, stuffed it in his underwear and told people back at camp he had found it.
Another One Snuffed Out
The most interesting aspect of tonight’s Tribal Council came when Papa Bear pointed out the obvious pecking order at Savaii. By calling out the five-member alliance, he made it well known that he, Cochran and Dawn were the outsiders. There was also discussion of the Idol possibly coming into play, but none of that mattered. When the votes were tallied Papa Bear was sent packing to Redemption Island where he will square off against Christine next week.
What did you think of tonight’s episode? Did you like Semhar’s poetry before the duel or did you think it seemed crazy? What are your thoughts on Brandon? Sound off and leave us a comment below!
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Photos courtesy of CBS