December 07, 2011 08:17 PM by Ryan Haidet
It’s the battle we’ve all been waiting for on Survivor: South Pacific. David vs. Goliath. The tortoise vs. the hare. Cochran vs. Ozzy. The nerd vs. the dominator. Could Cochran, the self-described weakling in challenges, finally win something? Or did Ozzy wipe the sand with the translucent nerd? The duel was intense and very close! On top of all that, there was loads of drama stirred up after Brandon’s dad made a visit with the castaways. Read on for all the details on what went down!
The episode kicked off with Cochran arriving at Redemption Island. After discussing Cochran’s demise with the Te Tuna tribe, Ozzy started talking like he already had the duel in his back pocket. “All you’ve got to do is vote for me if I make it,” Ozzy told Cochran.
Prayers & Love From Home
Day 31 at Te Tuna, the drama was thick. It started when Brandon asked everybody to gather together for a group prayer. “I’m just gonna excuse myself since I’m not really part of this tribe,” Edna said. She walked off and cried to herself as the rest of Te Tuna joined hands around the fire and prayed together. Even weirder, Brandon prayed for Edna and asked God to soften her heart.
After that was all over with, Edna spent some time alone with Coach in the shelter. With tears in her eyes, Edna expressed all of her frustrations. She kept saying she didn’t like being treated like a second-class citizen. She also told Coach that she couldn’t believe that Brandon, a 19-year-old drop out who admitted he is crazy, would help dictate her destiny. As she tried to unload her feelings, Brandon loudly interrupted by yelling about the treemail they had received — messages from home on a Sprint phone. All gathered around the phone, everybody cried as they watched their loved ones’ messages.
A Close Battle
Before the duel began, Probst promised a twist that would come after the big battle. The challenge consisted of two parts. Both guys had to use a grappling hook to retrieve three bags, which all had a ball inside. Once they collected all three bags, they had to take one ball and use it in a table maze filled with holes. Who was the first person to get the ball to the center of the table maze? It was a nail-biter. Ozzy had a massive lead and found himself at the table maze portion of the challenge as Cochran struggled with the grappling hook. With some encouragement from his former tribemates who were witnesses at the duel, Cochran got the hang of it and raced to finish the table maze.
As Ozzy’s ball inched toward victory, disaster struck for the Samoan Mowgli when it fell through one of the holes along the way. After starting over, Ozzy’s ball went through another hole. This gave Cochran a huge opportunity to pull off one of the biggest upsets in Survivor history — but then his ball fell through a hole right at the end of the maze. On their next attempts, Ozzy and Cochran both found themselves within inches of winning the challenge. As they each tipped their table maze, Cochran blew it for himself as the ball slipped through another hole. Seconds later, Ozzy won the duel.
After the duel was over, Cochran fought back tears while talking about his personal growth from being on the show. Jeff Probst offered some kind words to the Survivor nerd before he tossed his buff in the fiery urn.
I would be lying if I said I’m not a bit disappointed by this outcome. I was hoping Cochran would win when it mattered most. I wanted him to prove that he could do it by beating one of the best competitors the game has ever seen. In fact, I thought it was actually going to happen because the season has been edited in such a way that I was certain we were going to witness the underdog climbing to the top. I was wrong. Anybody else disappointed by this?
Now For The Twist…
Next up was the twist Probst promised. He brought all of the loved ones out, which brought huge tears as they all embraced one by one. The funniest moment came when Rick reached down and squeezed his wife’s booty as they shared a tearful hug.
After everybody settled down, Probst asked Ozzy to choose one person to spend some time with their loved one. He picked Albert. Then Probst told Ozzy to choose another person. This time, he picked Coach. But it wasn’t over yet. When Probst told Ozzy to pick one more person, he chose Brandon. When that decision came down, Brandon’s chin started to quiver immediately as he clenched his fist and showed his excitement. Then, with the Sprint phone in hand so they could take pictures, they all left with Ozzy to spend a day on Redemption Island.
Coach’s Plan & Brandon’s Dad
After we watched them all oogle over the phone, Coach spent some time alone with Ozzy to tell him about his final three scenario. Without much hesitation, Coach told Ozzy if he returns to the game from Redemption Island that he would align with him until the end of the game. Coach wanted both of them to fight it out at the final Tribal Council as “two noble warriors.” And we know Coach is serious about this because he gave his word as a “Christian man.”
Meanwhile, on the other side of the beach, Brandon stunned his dad by showing his lacking desire to win the game. Brandon admitted he could spit on $1 million because he wanted to represent himself as a man of God. His dad couldn’t believe it. He tried to convince Brandon that he needs to start playing the game smarter, but it wasn’t really working. So when he got some time with Coach, Brandon’s dad asked him to confirm that he would take his son to the end of the game. “You’re the single person that he has all his eggs in that basket,” he explained to Coach. Although Coach shook his head in seeming agreement, he didn’t like the way the situation felt — almost like he was being bullied.
Insert Foot Into Mouth
For the Immunity challenge, each player stood on a massive puzzle covered in yellow tiles. One by one they had to move to another yellow tile and flip over the one they had just been standing on. The last person able to make a move would win Immunity.
Albert was eliminated first with Brandon soon after. When Brandon grabbed his spot on the bench next to Albert, he tried to offer up a quiet explanation as to why he purposely surrounded himself on the board. Probst overheard and asked what was going on. In true Brandon fashion, he opened up and explained that he was trying to cover enough surface area to guarantee that a certain somebody would not be able to win. Without hesitation, Edna chimed in and asked Brandon to use her name instead of alluding to the fact that it’s her.
After that settled down, Rick was out of the challenge next; Sophie soon followed. Moments later, Edna ran out of moves to make and found herself out of the challenge. Her loss gave Coach Immunity.
Edna Pushes Hard
Back at camp, Sophie said in confessional that she thought Brandon was rude at the challenge and acted like a bully. We also (amazingly) got a brief confessional from Rick in which he basically echoed Sophie’s comments.
With several of them around the fire, Brandon apologized to Edna by saying he didn’t mean any harm by speaking up at the challenge. But Edna wasn’t going to just let it go. She made sure he was aware that his actions upset her. In confessional, Edna compared Brandon’s constant apologies like a guy who beats his wife. He commits the crime and then tries to act like nothing really bad happened. Sophie may have summed up the entire scenario best. In confessional she said that Brandon must feel like his sins are dissolved by asking for forgiveness. While she said that might work in church, the people on Survivor aren’t as forgiving as Jesus Christ.
With Tribal Council looming, Edna asked Albert, Coach and Sophie to save her at Brandon’s expense. She made the argument — a very strong argument — that Brandon has gone against their mantra of playing the game with honor, loyalty and integrity. They all sat there and listened, but no deal was struck.
Later on, Edna asked Coach one-on-one to give it to her straight. She wanted to know what was going to happen at Tribal Council. Coach basically told her that nobody wanted to send Brandon to Redemption Island to give him a shot at returning to the game. Trying everything she could, Edna asked Coach if he would play the Idol on her behalf. He declined. Without much from Coach, she tried her luck one last time with Albert and Sophie. She told them that she knew 100 percent that Coach was on board. She claimed to be so convinced that Coach was on her side that she would eat a piece of his poo. Oh, yummy. Dragonslayer poo.
I’ve never been a huge fan of Edna’s, but I really did find myself rooting for her this episode. She really tried hard to get people on her side and I admire her fight. Did you?
Another One Bites The Dust
At Tribal Council, Edna laid it out there that Brandon hasn’t been playing the game with honor, loyalty and integrity. To prove it, Edna brought up Brandon’s lie from early in the game involving Mikayla. When Probst asked Brandon to respond, he said Edna misconstrued quite a few things. Brandon said she’s simply taking personal shots at him, which actually hurt his feelings.
Although the editing clearly wanted us to think a big change was coming, the nonstop smirks on Edna’s face throughout Tribal Council was proof she knew her time was over. And it was. Her torch was snuffed and she found herself heading to Redemption Island.
Probst ended the entire episode with one awesome comment. “From the beginning you’ve said it would be the five of you. Now what?”
He’s absolutely right. They had the opportunity to solidify themselves a place deeper in the game by swapping alliances, but the fivesome never turned on one another. With the finale looming, who do I want to see win the whole game? I would love to see Coach win this season, but I think he will have a tough time earning some jury votes from the people he cut loose. I also think Sophie has a shot to take home the title.
What are your thoughts? Were you happy or sad that Ozzy beat Cochran in the duel? Did you think Cochran had a chance? Do you think Edna can beat Ozzy in the next duel? Who do you hope wins the game? Sound off and leave a comment below!
The finale of Survivor: South Pacific arrives on Sunday, December 18. Stay tuned with RealityTVMagazine for exclusive interviews from the red carpet!
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Photos courtesy: CBS