November 30, 2011 08:14 PM by Ryan Haidet
The first few minutes of tonight’s episode of Survivor: South Pacific set the tone for the entire hour. It started out with Cochran telling the Te Tuna tribe about goofy prank calls he made in the fifth grade. “I didn’t have a very good understanding of how sex worked, so I was calling these girls and saying things like, ‘Hey, I think you’re so hot. I really want to trade sperm with you.’ Then I’d hang up and think that was a successful prank call.” While most of the tribe laughed, Sophie looked pissed. “When I first came here I felt kind of bad for Cochran,” she said in confessional. “It seemed like people bullied him, but I can see now why people got annoyed with him. I get frustrated by the kind of air he puts on. I think he’s really proud of the move he made and I think he still thinks that somebody will take him to the end. I don’t like it.” With his neck on the line as the lowest person on the totem pole, could Cochran spare himself from elimination? Read on to find out!
Cochran said the cult-like feeling around camp was reminding him of the Charles Manson clan. “Brandon in particular seems almost obsessively devout to the point where it seems like he’s trying to suppress something a lot more scary,” he said in confessional. “I don’t want to be Sharon Tate in this scenario and I need some sort of plan or else I’m gonna be exterminated. I’m gonna be given the poison Kool-Aid and meet my untimely death. I’m hoping to remind my tribemates of the risks I took to convince a few of them to vote my way.”
So, he did just that. Cochran gathered the tribe together and asked them to pay him back for the big move he made, which gave them so much success. With his birthday coming up in three days, he said that he wanted to celebrate it with them in the game. After he walked away, Albert and Coach said they would be willing to give Cochran another day in the game since he did help them, but Sophie wasn’t so excited about the concept. She thought Cochran made a stupid move and should have stuck with Savaii. She was ready to get rid of him next.
How High Can You Stack?
At Redemption Island, Ozzy, Dawn and Whitney battled it out for survival in a challenge we’ve seen in previous seasons. All three of them had to stack dishes as high as they could without dropping any. The last person standing would be the only person left alive on Redemption Island. The other two contestants would become the third and fourth jury members.
After the stack of dishes reached a decent height, Dawn wobbled and it all came crashing down. As soon as she realized that was the end of her game, Dawn started crying immediately. A few dishes later, Whitney dropped her stack next. Much to my dismay, Ozzy gets to stay alive again. Ugh!
Prior to the combined Reward/Immunity challenge, Coach led Cochran on yet another meditation session. Coach was hoping it would give one of them enough strength to win Immunity.
The challenge consisted of two parts — both of which we’ve already seen this season. Round one had all of the castaways throwing sand bags onto a series of crates. The first three people to successfully complete that task would move on to the second round. Those three just so happened to be Albert, Rick and Sophie. The second part of the battle involved each player trying to knock down three tiki targets by firing coconuts with a big slingshot. Although it looked like Rick was going to win the challenge, Albert came from behind and claimed victory. Why would we expect Rick to do anything this season?
After putting on the Immunity necklace, Albert was told he could share his Reward of a spa day at camp with one other person. Following a lame speech about everybody being a family, Albert selected Coach. But then Albert pulled out the strategy card and asked Jeff Probst if he could possibly have one more person join them. When Probst said no, Albert chose to sacrifice his own Reward and gave it to Cochran — especially since his birthday is coming up.
When the Te Tuna tribe returned to camp after the challenge, a pair of massage tables were there waiting for Coach and Cochran. They also had a shower to use. While he soaked up all the benefits from the Reward, Cochran came clean in confessional about lying that his birthday was coming up. He said that his birthday was actually six months ago and he lied to try and gain some sympathy votes from the rest of the tribe.
The most interesting element from the massage came when Coach vowed to keep Cochran alive in the game. “I will fight for my man, Cochran — with my last dying breath. Now that you can be assured, my young warrior.”
With Coach apparently on his side, Cochran started working to get more support in a plan to vote Rick out next. In a discussion with Albert, Cochran revealed that Rick had been calling him “Princess Albert” because he doesn’t do a whole lot around camp. It definitely bothered Albert and he said he would agree to take Rick out as long as there were enough votes.
Next up was Edna. Cochran asked her if she would align with them to take Rick out. Of course she agreed. Finally, there was Coach. After Cochran set the plan up, Coach didn’t offer a definite answer. He actually stood there in silence with his eyes closed for a moment — almost soaking in all the possibilities. “There is a tide that is coming,” Coach said in confessional before heading to Tribal Council. “I either take it and go with the new alliance or stay with my first five. … 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.”
Cochran said that he didn’t want to seem greedy, but he is there to collect the debt he is owed for sacrificing so much for Upolu. He felt they owed him safety from elimination for turning on Savaii and voting on their side. As they did back at camp, Albert and Coach both let it be known they were appreciative of Cochran’s decision to join their side. Then suddenly, Probst noticed that Edna was very emotional and asked her why. She said that realizing she is going to be voted out at the following Tribal Council really hurt. She felt betrayed.
Then, once again, we got more tears from Brandon. He started crying after openly admitting he was going to be voting against Cochran and then Edna. He was sticking to the plan no matter what. “Anything worth having is not gonna be easy,” he said.
When Sophie was talking at one point, Cochran interrupted her and flat-out asked, “If Edna wins Immunity what happens?” Probst was pleasantly stunned by Cochran’s question to which Sophie simply responded, “Then it starts.”
After the votes were made, Coach came back and grabbed his seat with a big exhale. Then he winked at Rick. Something didn’t seem right. When the votes were tallied, Coach had turned on Cochran and voted him out with the majority of the tribe. The only vote that Cochran had on his side was Edna’s, which definitely shows the tribe is sticking to their guns. “Jeff Probst just snuffed my torch, this is unreal,” Cochran said as he left for Redemption Island to face Ozzy. “A dream come true.”
He was right. The poison Kool-Aid was his to drink — and it was served up in a large glass from the cult-like family’s leader.
Cochran’s elimination really surprised me tonight. I didn’t see it coming at all. I thought the way he was edited and showcased — especially in last week’s special rehash episode — that he would squeak by another vote. But nope! Coach didn’t do the “honorable” thing this time around. He kept telling Cochran that he would do everything he could to spare him. But then, Coach voted against his buddy, the kid he dubbed “Hercules.” I’m not exactly sure what Coach was thinking here, but there must be some pieces to this puzzle missing. I have a feeling that Coach told Cochran he was going home before the votes were made. I don’t picture Coach leaving Cochran out to dry because they truly did bond. Coach is playing a different game this time. A better game.
So here’s what I’m hoping for. I hope Cochran puts Ozzy to shame at next week’s duel on Redemption Island. I think it would be awesome to watch the underdog show Ozzy he can actually succeed at something. It only makes sense that this will be the outcome based on the relationship we’ve seen thus far between the two of them. Ozzy has been set up as this challenge king who uses Cochran as fodder for jokes. Cochran, on the other hand, has been displayed as a weakling in all challenges. Plus, I think it will be fun to watch Cochran come back into the game with the desire to get revenge against Coach. Do I want Cochran to win? Not necessarily. I’m still rooting for Coach. I just think it would all make for great television. Don’t you?
What did you think of tonight’s episode? Were you surprised that Cochran was sent packing? Did you think Coach would truly fight to keep Cochran in the game? Who will win next week’s duel? Who do you think will win the entire game and claim the $1 million prize? Sound off and leave a comment below!
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Photos courtesy: CBS