SITS' Big "Survivor: South Pacific" Topic
A new season of Survivor has begun! This time, it is:
“Survivor: South Pacific.
As the producers have done before, this season features the return of two past players, both of which failed to win the game in their two previous outings:
~~ Coach, the nutty “warrior” that always plays the game with “honor and integrity” … yeah … right …
~~ Ozzy, the young, personable guy and superb athletic player that excelled in physical challenges, but lacked the skills of strategy
The location is Samoa, which has been used a few times in the past. The cast is the usual mix of hotties and hunks, some older, some younger, a wide variety of social and personality types, and a few oddballs. Let’s examine them, via the bios from the official CBS Survivor website:
~~~~~~~~~~ Savaii Tribe ~~~~~~~~~~
>> Name (Age): Oscar “Ozzy” Lusth (30)
Current Residence: Venice, Calif.
Previous Seasons: “Survivor: Cook Islands” and “Survivor: Micronesia”
>> Name (Age): Whitney Duncan (27)
Current residence: Nashville, Tenn.¬
Occupation: Country Music Singer¬¬
>> Name (Age): Keith Tollefson (26)
Current residence: Edina, Minn.
Occupation: Water Treatment Tech
>> Name (Age): Dawn Meehan (41)
Current residence: South Jordan, Utah
Occupation: English Professor at Brigham Young University
>> Name (Age): Mark “Papa Bear” Caruso (48)
Current residence: Forest Hills, N.Y.¬
Occupation: Retired NYPD Detective
>> Name (Age): Semhar Tadesse (24)
Current residence: Los Angeles
Occupation: Spoken Word Artist
>> Name (Age): John “Cochran” Cochran (24)
Current residence: Washington, D.C.
Occupation: Harvard Law Student
>> Name (Age): Elyse Umemoto (27)
Current Residence: Las Vegas
Occupation: Dance Team Manager¬
>> Name (Age): Jim Rice (35)
Current Residence: Denver
Occupation: Medical Marijuana Dispenser
~~~~~~~~~~ Upolu Tribe ~~~~~~~~~~
>> Name (Age): Benjamin "Coach" Wade (39)
Current Residence: Susanville, Calif.
Previous Seasons: “Survivor: Tocantins” and “Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains”
Occupation: men’s soccer coach
>> Name (Age): Edna Ma (35)
Current residence: Los Angeles¬
>> Name (Age): Sophie Clarke (22)
Current residence: Willsboro, N.Y.
Occupation: Medical Student
>> Name (Age): Albert Destrade (26)
Current residence: Plantation, Fla
Occupation: Baseball/Dating coach
>> Name (Age): Christine Shields Markoski (39)
Current residence: Merrick, N.Y.
>> Name (Age): Rick Nelson (51)
Current residence: Aurora, Utah
>> Name (Age): Mikayla Wingle (22)
Current residence: Tampa, Fla.¬¬
Occupation: Lingerie Football Player
>> Name (Age): Stacey Powell (44)
Current residence: Grand Prairie, Texas
>> Name (Age): Brandon Hantz (19)
Current residence: Katy, Texas
Occupation: Oil Tanker Crewman
“I Need Redemption”
The first episode opened as it did number of times before, with the two previously-formed tribes arriving at a picturesque tropical Samoan island. They paddled ashore on two large bamboo rafts, and gathered in a sort of compound fashioned of stone and bamboo to meet host Jeff Probst, and to learn how the game would begin.
The first thing they learned was that their tribes would each be augmented by another player. Ozzy and Coach arrived by helicopter in dramatic fashion. Their first interaction with the new players was prompted by Jeff, who seemingly picked random players to express their thoughts about the arrival of these two past players. Christine hemmed and hawed a little, and then pronounced them both as “temporary players.” This prompted some “ooos and ahhs” and soft catcalls.
John was chosen next to speak. He IMMEDIATELY committed a HUGE strategic error, revealing that he was an ardent Survivor fan, a student of the show who had closely examined each season.
He asked Jeff to refer to him by his last name, “Cochran,” saying, “I know the players that you really like, you call them by their last names. I was hoping that you’d call me ‘Cochran’ …” as he further rattled off several examples of past players whom Jeff had addressed that way. Laughingly, Jeff acceded to this request. Continuing, Cochran pointed out that this was Ozzy and Coach’s third outing, that both were strong players, and he felt that they would be assets to their teams. Jeff immediately commented about how well he seemed to know Survivor lore, which Cochran acknowledged.
This was curious, as any student of this game knows that information like that is best kept from other players. A fundamental Survivor skill is knowing how to keep useful information like that in one’s pocket, and not share it with others. It’s usually better not to let people know too much about you. In Survivor, information is ammunition. But Cochran acknowledged his deep knowledge of the game, but divulged that for whatever reason, he chose to put this out in the open.
A random drawing assigned Ozzy to Savaii Tribe, and Coach to Upolu Tribe. Ozzy was accepted with open arms by his new tribe-mates. Not so with Coach.
Jeff then explained that the concept of Redemption Island would once again be a part of the game (which also explained the compound that they were gathered in) : “That means when you are voted out of your tribe, you are NOT out of the game. You will be sent to Redemption Island where you will live alone. When the next person is voted out, they’ll join you on Redemption Island, and the two of you will return here, to Redemption Island Arena, where you will square off in a duel. The winner stays. The loser is out for good. At a certain point, the person remaining on Redemption Island will re-enter the game and continue their quest for the million dollars.”
That having been said, there were no further preliminaries. The two fully formed teams were then put to their first challenge. This very first challenge would be only for the two so-called “heroes” of past seasons, who would compete on behalf of their new tribes against each other.
The challenge would have three parts:
~ Climb a twelve-foot pole to retrieve a small figurine of a turtle placed at the top
~ Dig under a log far enough to be able to slide under it from one side to the other
~ Work a puzzle comprised of the turtle, a five-layered pyramid sitting on a table, and two additional tables – the pyramid sections must be moved between those tables, only one section at a time, always placing smaller pieces on top of larger pieces, until the pyramid is reconstructed on the third table with the turtle on top.
(That’s hard to visualize this by the verbal description, I know …)
The reward for the winner, and the winner’s tribe, would be a basket of Caro roots, a food staple of the South Pacific, described by Jeff as the equivalent of potatoes … and fire, in the form of a flint … a gigantic advantage to begin with for the winner and his tribe.
This was an interesting challenge. Ozzy’s quick lead through the first two parts immediately evaporated at the puzzle, which was obviously complicated, and would require time to solve. Both respective tribes were allowed to shout instructions to the players from the sidelines, which seemed to both serve, and also hinder the players at the same time. Ultimately, Ozzy and his tribe won, combining their efforts in a way that certainly helped to establish tribe cohesion, and certainly helped to endear Ozzy to his new tribe-mates. The opposite seemed to be the case for Coach as each tribe departed for their separate campsites.
Ozzy immediately stepped into a leadership role with Savaii Tribe as they began to get to know one another. He suggested that they kind of relax a bit at first, and take a swim in the balmy waters of their tropical paradise beach. During that swim, Mark revealed that he was gay, and gave himself the new nickname “Papa Bear,” which was gladly adopted by the other tribe-mates.
Cochran, confirming that his appearance of a cliché “nerd” was completely accurate, was reluctant to swim in his underpants and show his blindingly white “translucent” skin to the others. (You’d think that as a student of the game, the Harvard law student would understand that skimpy clothes and sultry climates were essential aspects of Survivor.) He was hilarious as he took to the water still wearing his nerd glasses amongst the bikini babes.
The one discordant note struck in Savaii Tribe was by Dawn, a self-described “planner” who was badly bothered by the lack of “organization” shown by the tribe, and the lack of concern for building a shelter. She wasn’t taken too seriously by the others.
Coach had entirely justified fears for his well being. Upolu Tribe had been coolly reserved when he joined them, and he’d just single-handedly put them at a disadvantage by losing the first challenge, but at least one of his tribe-mates, Edna, seemed to have an affinity for him. Rather than relaxing, this tribe set to the task of building a shelter, and willingly accepted whatever Coach’s past experience could offer them in doing that. Christine announced she was going “to look for firewood,” I laughed, knowing that this obviously meant she was going to look for a Hidden Immunity Idol. Her clumsy attempt at subtly wasn’t lost on her tribe, who immediately noted what she was up to. Between her snide remark about “temporary players,” and this blatant move, she placed herself in Coach’s crosshairs. He declared, in a private interview: “No question about it. Christine is target number one.”
Friction developed between Brandon, who is religious, and Mikayla, a very saucy number. Brandon, in a private interview, voiced his discomfort of being around her, feeling that she was flaunting her sexy looks. (She was.) Mikayla was completely unaware of his concerns as she took an active, and very useful, part in the construction of the tribe’s shelter, climbing up on the big tree branch the shelter was being built over.
That first evening, Coach proposed an alliance of five, with Sophie, Rick, Brandon and Albert. (Surprisingly, this did not include Edna, who had been the only tribe-mate to show friendliness at first.) It remains to be seen if anything will come of Coach’s proposal.
Back in Savaii Tribe, the morning of Day Two was furthering the tense emotions that Dawn was feeling. Puttering around with a pot of boiling water, she found a way to let the pot over, extinguishing the fire. That didn’t seem to bother the other tribe-mates all that much – it was simply an accident – but the incident left her wondering, in a private interview, if she was having a “mini-breakdown.” Of setbacks to be incurred in this game, spilling water into a fire is pretty minor, and if such a minor incident can cause her to be that stressed, she’ll have difficulty lasting. She was already in tears, confiding in tribe-mates that the stress was getting to her, and getting the standard Survivor “you gotta be strong” speech in return by Ozzy. Not a good sign for Dawn’s game. It seemed obvious that she was one of the inevitable players simply not emotionally equipped for this game. We’ve seen them before. They usually get eliminated quickly during the early stages. Stress management is a crucial ingredient for playing Survivor.
Day Two also saw Savaii Tribe plunging into camp life, and the construction of a shelter. A very amusing tableau of the development of camp life took place. Ozzy, hearing the familiar sound of chopping, took note that Elyse was expertly wielding the machete, chopping the end of a coconut off to get to the nourishing milk inside, and he loudly praised her for this display of skill. Cochran then decided he had to try this himself, and cracked everyone up with his utter nerdish inability to wield the machete. He was fortunate not to have amputated an appendage in the process, but after gingerly chopping away at the coconut with very timid strokes, he was able to get to the milk inside. Onlookers were laughing.
Cochran continued to present a strong image of being VERY incapable of anything of a physical nature. He confided in a private interview that he was relying on social skills to overcome his lack of physical skills.
Brandon is trying to somehow conceal the fact that he is the nephew of the infamous and evil Russell Hantz. The only problem is that the name “Hantz” is emblazoned in a large tattoo on his back. He’s trying to keep this secret concealed from the others. This attempt is doomed to fail. Sophie already perceives, intuitively, that Brandon is up to something, concealing something.
The first Immunity Challenge was a race to complete a number of separate steps, one leading to the next. The reward would be, of course, Immunity, and also a clue to the whereabouts of a Hidden Immunity Idol. (Jeff later explained that this clue would be hidden somewhere in the area of the victorious tribe’s camp, which meant that a hidden clue would need to be found first in order to help locate the Hidden Immunity Idol after that.) In addition, since Upolu didn’t yet have a flint for making fire, they were playing for that, as well. The losing tribe, of course, would be subjected to Tribal Council, voting one of their members out of the tribe, and sentencing them to a stay on Redemption Island.
The challenge worked like as follows:
~~ Step One: A run through an obstacle course, sections of which were separate for each tribe, but also with sections where the courses crossed, with one tribe having to run through the course of the other (This is the only section of the challenge where both tribes were combined on the same area of play – the remaining parts were completely separate courses)
~~ Step Two: A run through a course of hanging strings of coconuts
~~ Step Three: A climb over a ten-foot wall
~~ Step Four: A chosen tribe member would dig in a sand pit to find a machete, used to chop through a set of five ropes which would release a big pile of coconuts into a shallow pit
~~ Step Five: Three chosen tribe members would shoot the coconuts, as if basketballs, into a hanging basket, which, when it contained enough weight, would tip a balance, and raise the tribe’s banner signifying victory.
Each step would have to be completed by ALL of a tribes members arriving on a mat together before they could push off to the next step.
The tribes were allowed a short time to confer and strategize. And then, as he always does, Jeff raised one arm, shouted:
“Survivors ... GO!” …
… while dropping his raised arm and lifting the other.
Upolu quickly got off to a lead, and the climb over the wall, requiring cooperation amongst the tribe-mates, was a particularly difficult obstacle for Savaii, but when the two tribes reached the last step, the shooting of coconuts like basketballs, Upolu had lost a little bit of that substantial lead. While Mikayla, one of the three shooters for Upolu was constantly on target, Semhar, a shooter for Savaii, was particularly ineffective. Upolu came up with the victory.
This was essentially a physical contest, and it revealed the limitations of a number of individual players, notably Semhar and Cochran in Savaii Tribe. This was kind of expected for Cochran the Nerd, but Semhar didn’t help her standing in Savaii by the fact that she’d touted herself as a good shooter during the pre-challenge strategizing. In a private interview, Jim focused directly on this fact.
Coach, on the other hand, provided valued experience for his tribe, explaining clearly just how the wall should be tackled. When they got to it, because of his instructions, they were able to sail over it.
So faced with Tribal Council, Savaii Tribe had three very obvious targets for elimination:
~~ Semhar, who was the biggest factor in the loss of the Immunity Challenge
~~ Cochran the Nerd, an obvious physical liability for the team
~~ Dawn, with somewhat of a deficit of physical skills, and an excess of emotional baggage
Upon returning to camp, Upolu members were beset upon with a mixture of moods. On one hand, they were celebrating their victory, and basking in the comfort that the other tribe would be at Tribal Council, not them. But on the other, they were all aware of the fact that somewhere hidden in their camp area was a clue to be found, a clue for a Hidden Immunity Idol. This fact immediately began to sow the seeds of paranoia within the tribe.
The fur began to fly within the Savaii Tribe upon their return to camp. Apparently, Jim’s animosity for Semhar wasn’t disguised, and she immediately attacked him for letting that show. Petty bickering broke out between the two.
Dawn and Papa Bear formed a natural alliance apparently based on their similar ages. In a conversation between them, and in a private interview, Dawn acknowledged her vulnerability, based mostly on her overt emotional difficulties with the game. The two of them chose Semhar as their target.
Ozzy held a small conference in the clear water of their beach with Jim, Elyse, Whitney, and Keith. He voiced the opinion that it would be for the betterment of the tribe to jettison Cochran. It was a hard sell with Jim, still harboring a smoldering resentment for the way that Semhar had called him out earlier, and having a well-founded argument based on her performance in the Immunity Challenge.
This lead to a private interview with Jim in which he voiced his concern that Ozzy, with his “charm,” might have an alliance going with all three of Savaii’s pretty young girls, including Semhar. He was searching for an explanation as to why Ozzy would want to keep her around, and that was his answer.
A bit later, Ozzy coached Semhar, advising her that “It’s between you and Cochran. If you wanna stay here, you gotta do some work. You gotta do some politicking … like seriously.” Semhar took that advice to heart, as well she should have, and immediately began lobbying other tribe-mates.
Jim is playing the social and strategic games very badly. He began a campaign against Semhar, conferring with Cochran and Papa Bear, divulging to both that Cochran was being targeted. This is a dangerous, poorly considered game for a multitude of reasons:
~~ First, he let himself be seen as loud antagonist rather than keeping a low profile. If Semhar survives his assault, he’ll have someone actively working against him, rather than a potential future ally.
~~ Second, he’s letting the petty bickering with Semhar that resulted propel him into playing the game without thinking it through.
~~ Third, he’s taking actions that are at odds with Ozzy, the most powerful person in his tribe.
~~ Fourth, he’s revealing the workings of a conspiracy from one group to another group, an act that is sure to breed resentment and distrust from the group he’s betraying.
~~ And finally, by revealing that conspiracy, he’s proving himself untrustworthy to the people he’s revealing it to.
What should Jim have done?
First, he should have just kept his feelings about Semhar, and her blowing the Immunity Challenge, to himself. Second, he should have not let himself be drawn into a petty argument. And last, he should have just kept quiet about the conspiracy against Cochran, and let that conspiracy run its course knowing that Semhar’s poor performance would be something that players would remember at a later time. This demonstrates a well-known Survivor axiom: The nail with its head up often gets hammered down.
As a result of all of this maneuvering, quite typical after the loss of an Immunity Challenge, when the tribe entered into Tribal Council, there appeared to be two factions that had formed up: one led by Jim, and targeting Semhar, the other led by Ozzy, and targeting Cochran. Jim’s faction apparently numbered four (Jim, Cochran, Dawn and Papa Bear), while Ozzy’s numbered five (Ozzy, Semhar, Elyse, Whitney and Keith). There didn’t appear to be any possible swing voters.
In Tribal Council, Dawn continued to play the game badly by allowing herself to discuss her weaknesses, although she tried to negate that by stating that those problems had “gone.”
Prompted by Jeff, Jim let his desire to send Semhar packing be put front and center. And prompted by Jeff, Dawn reluctantly allowed that Cochran was also a target for votes. Cochran attempted to acquit himself, and his poor performance in the Immunity Challenge, saying, “I flew through that net portion [of the challenge] like a hummingbird … everybody had a little bit of a snafu climbing up that wall … it was, maybe, like a half a second …”
(Not so. Cochran’s trouble with the wall was only second to Semhar’s inability to shoot coconuts in the reasons for Savaii’s failure to win the challenge.)
Surprisingly, Papa Bear, who had seemed to be a solid ally of Cochran’s, reacted to that by saying, with a note of sad resignation, that Cochran had, indeed, hurt the tribe significantly during the challenge: “Like, for two seconds, he got confused … he goes, ‘What do I do? What do I do?’ … so literally, me and Ozzy, we pushed him over the wall!”
Cochran was left literally with his mouth hanging open as Papa Bear summed up, looking at him, and saying: “That’s basically what happened … you hesitated …”
Attempting to defend himself from this unexpected assault, Cochran said: “Yeah … was that fatal, like a fatal mistake?”
This didn’t help his rapidly deteriorating situation any, as Papa Bear continued: “It wasn’t a fatal mistake, but I’m just saying, you make a decision, you go with it … and sometimes, you need direction. I’m sorry …”
It was interesting that the program had already seen fit to have Dawn, an ally of Cochran’s, prompted by Jeff to be the person that brought Cochran’s vulnerability front and center, and now Papa Bear was also voicing something far less than support for him. Suddenly, there was a significant suggestion that perhaps the Dawn/Papa Bear alliance of two had switched factions, joining Ozzy’s faction, and leaving Cochran and Jim dangling alone.
Poor Cochran was just completely dumbfounded by this turn of events, and this apparent turn of allegiance. Jeff increased the pressure by asking Semhar to comment about the fact that somehow, the focus had shifted from her to Cochran. She piled on by claiming that people saw him as a weaker link than her.
Again, Cochran attempted a defense that seemed to backfire, asking rhetorically and sarcastically, “Has anybody said that, directly, though?”
She replied, “Your name has come up. I will just say that.”
Poor Cochran winced in pain hearing that. He somehow injected a note of humor into his torturous inquisition at that point, tickling Jeff and others by looking at Jeff, and saying, “You better not say ‘It is time to vote’ right now …”
Jeff answered, “Cochran, we will stay here as long as you want to. This is your Tribal Council.”
Struggling for something … ANYTHING … to say in his defense, Cochran hilariously attempted an indictment of Semhar … first forgetting her name, then professing he was “so nervous right now …” As well he should have been, as it was obvious that he was learning that he was about to receive the dubious distinction of becoming the Survivor “expert” that became the first player voted out of Survivor: South Pacific.
He continued his futile defense by accusing Semhar of lacking work ethic around camp, a charge that though futile, had merit. This degenerated into an amusing bout of petty bickering.
Realizing that accusing Semhar was not working as a defense, Cochran made a last-gasp attempt to save himself with a pathetic “Hey, I’m not really THAT worthless” defense: “But I’m just saying, this is a‘growing pains’ period, and I’m an eager student. I’m building a knowledge base. I cut open my first coconut! I wouldn’t have been able to do that two days ago! It’s not like I’m perpetually having to RE-LEARN things I learn. I learn it once, and then I do it …
Jeff interjected with a question: “Are you a learner, by nature?
“Yes! That’s my instinct. I mean, this is the culmination of eleven years of passion for this game, and so, to be even a possibility for the first person to be kicked off is just heartbreaking, and mortifying.”
At this point, Tribal Council had been reduced to one of those times when a player is literally begging for his life. Jeff threw a bone to the doomed Cochran, asking: “If you survive tonight’s vote, what needs to change tomorrow morning?”
Looking directly at Ozzy, his executioner, his sunburned nose glowing bright neon red, Cochran pleaded: “I will absolutely do anything I have to do around camp. I’m gonna be your genie in a bottle. You don’t even have to rub, actually. I’ll just come out and do it. You’re gonna see a whole new Cochran. My eyes have been opened to this perception of me, and I’m taking it into account, and I don’t think that Semhar has that same passion for being part of Survivor …”
Semhar gave a pointless reply, and the two renewed the pointless bickering, not worth of recapping here. At this point, Keith joined in, against Cochran, and Cochran’s final moments became just a display of meaningless agony, the last thrashing before the death of his game finally, and mercifully, enveloped him.
Jeff finally stepped in and ended the cruel display of what appeared to be Cochran’s last agonizing moments of his first, and last, Tribal Council:
“With that, it’s time to vote.”
The actual voting was a complete shocker!
Cochran actually survived this terrible flogging, and Semhar was voted out! I nearly fell out of my chair! You must hand it to the producers of Survivor for the masterful way this ending was edited, and the way they went about to show this shocking turn of events!
Cochran looked sick, like he was about to faint as Semhar was ceremonially dismissed, her torch extinguished, and she was sent packing off to Redemption Island.
(My essay continues after a note …)
I wrote this essay while watching a recording of Episode #1. I would watch a portion, and then stop the recording, and write in reaction to that. Then resume, stop, and write. Sometimes I’d go back in the recording to check something, or to make a minor change in the essay. But essentially, my viewing of Survivor, and the writing of this essay, occurred simultaneously.
I wrote this next paragraph after Semhar left the game, but before the final segment where the actual players’ votes revealed to viewers. A commercial falls there, and I stopped the recording and wrote the following paragraph.
Essay continues …
And my analysis of Jim’s game play, which I wrote while I was actually watching this first episode, and which I leave intact as I wrote it …
… was obviously completely … TOTALLY … WRONG.
Now I write in reaction to the very last segment, where the individual players show their votes.
Essay continues …
Holy crap! (laughs)
A shocker WITHIN a shocker!
~~ Jim shown to APPARENTLY be conducting what appeared to be a horribly misguided ploy against Ozzy …
~~ Ozzy shown to APPARENTLY have suffered a shocking upset by Jim …
So not only was Cochran miraculously spared …
But neither of those other two things actually happened! It only LOOKED like they happened!
In truth, this was one of those famous “blindsides” that Survivor is noted for. But in this case …
THE VIEWERS WERE BLINDSIDED!
So what the HELL actually happened!?!?!
I’m really not sure. I doubt there was ANYONE that could have viewed the program, as it was presented, and then predicted that the vote would be unanimous against Semhar.
As the conspiring within Savaii Tribe was first taking hold, it first appeared that this was going to be a tribe-splitting five-to-four vote, as follows:
~~ Voting off Semhar:
~~ Voting off Cochran
Viewers were shown that scene of that little conference with Ozzy, Elyse, Keith, Whitney and Jim. That scene was followed by a private interview with Ozzy, where he stated that it wasn’t “fair” to blame Semhar for the challenge loss. And it was followed by the private interview with Jim, where he was noting that Ozzy seemed to be forming an alliance with all three of the pretty young girls, including Semhar, that he was wondering what Ozzy’s strategy was, and he stated: “It scares me that [Ozzy] already has a reason to keep [Semhar] around.”
And don’t forget that scene where Ozzy was actually coaching Semhar that she needed to “work,” to be “politicking” for her survival.
Holy crap! Was Cochran the Nerd ACTUALLY IN ON THIS!?!?
The Survivor producers REALLY messed with my head this time!
A GREAT opening episode of Survivor: South Pacific!
Sables: lol damn I missed it, thanks for the blow by blow Sits..I won't miss the next ones as I enjoyed our chats last time!
The finish was such a shocker!
First, they made it appear that Tribal Council was gonna be a 5-4 split, with Cochran the Nerd getting voted off.
Then in Tribal Council, they made it look like there was a good chance that there was gonna be a defection, with two votes changing sides, but still, Cochran the Nerd getting the heave-ho.
Finally, Jeff started counting votes, and suddenly, it was Semhar that was voted out. That was already a shocker.
But then, in the last segment, they showed that it was a unanimous vote against Semhar, something that was COMPLETELY unexpected!
It was really entertaining, but in a way, it sort of felt ... dishonest. The viewers were OBVIOUSLY being manipulated by the producers of the show.
"He Has Demons"
First, a disclaimer:
Unfortunately, I screwed up my recording of this episode, and only got the second half or so. This left me with the necessity of going to the CBS website, and attempting to watch the episode via the internet. Either their website is screwed up, or the interface between their website and my computer isn’t working right, because the picture portion of their video was essentially useless. The sound worked, and I had only that to refer to. Additionally, any attempt to manipulate the video, pause it, back it up, etc. just caused massive difficulty. I spent a couple of hours trying to get some regular use from their video, and finally, I simply had to resort to letting the video play from start, with nothing visual, and use a pencil and paper to jot down notes based only on what I could hear. So the first portion of my essay here won’t be nearly as detailed as it should be.
Okay, I’ll just do the best I can.
After the standard recap of last week’s episode, viewers were taken to Redemption Island, as Semhar, voted out by her Savaii tribe-mates, arrived, and read over a short message left for her that described the fate of those sentenced to Redemption Island. She was crying, crushed with her loss, and unable to understand why she’d been cast out of her tribe. “I gave them my every last strength, and the sent me to Redemption Island … I don’t understand how people can be so coldhearted.” It should have been easy to understand why she was booted out. She was weak in challenges, and she’d been the biggest factor in her tribe being sent to Tribal Council. Someone had to go, and they chose her. But I suppose it’s not as easy to see that when it happens to you.
When Savaii returned to camp, poor Cochran was groveling, thanking the tribe for sparing him. While they were kind to him, they were also stern. The facts were made plain. He has to become more useful around camp, and he has to improve in challenges if he wants to survive. Becoming useful around camp is one thing. Improving in challenges is another. Cochran has a long, tough road ahead of him, and his future remains gravely in doubt.
Savaii seems to be settling into a fairly civilized and orderly way of life, seemingly without a great deal of devious scheming and targeting of individuals for elimination. This is probably mainly because of Cochran, who is obviously in the weakest position in the tribe. But beyond that, the tribe seems focused on trying to have a good life in camp, and be strong against their rival tribe in Challenges. But the realities of the game are, of course, being taken into account.
In a private interview, Keith expressed his satisfaction with Ozzy’s leadership, saw him as a capable and valued ally, and was pleased to have seemingly formed a friendship with him, but he acknowledged the realities of the game, and emphasized that although he liked Ozzy personally, he’d have to “watch him like a hawk.”
Jim explained to viewers, in a private interview, his “3 + 2” plan. He perceives a solid alliance of the three – himself, Ozzy and Keith, augmented by Elyse and Whitney. This seems to be a reasonably workable plan, as all three are fairly capable in all aspects of the game. It appears to be a pretty solid, stable alliance. But there is a small undercurrent of scheming within that alliance. Jim thinks he’s in control of it, but doesn’t realize that Ozzy and Keith have formed a tight bond, and have discussed, between the two of them, that when the time comes, Jim is expendable.
Over in Upolu Tribe, Coach’s outlook seemed far rosier than it had earlier. His tribe had been victorious in the first Immunity Challenge, and he seemed to be counting on the alliance that Episode #1 showed him apparently putting together with Rich, Sophie, Brandon and Albert. Coach was able to talk one-on-one with Edna, who, when Coach first joined up with Upolu, seemed to be the only person to show him friendliness. This friendship with Edna seemed, at first, genuine and solid, and Coach is hoping that combined with the others, this relationship will strengthen his alliance with Rich, Sophie, Brandon and Albert. In a private interview, Edna confided that she was aware of her petite physical stature and athletic limitations when it came to Challenges, and it appears that she’s decided that she needs to compensate for that by taking the risk of showing loyalty. Loyalty has its value, but can also come back to haunt a player when they get blindsided by it.
Coach and Edna discussed Christine, her not very subtle efforts in hunting for the Hidden Immunity Idol, and the obvious threat that represented. (Others in Upolu were noticing Christine’s obvious search, as well.) Coach gave Edna a fairly bullshit-laden speech about the importance of “honor” and “loyalty,” which Edna seemed to accept. In past games, while Coach has talked up honor and loyalty a great deal, he has also shown a willingness to lie and break promises just like anyone else when it is necessary, so I was not too impressed with his speech.
In Savaii Tribe, Cochran made good on his promise to try to be productive and helpful in camp. He’s giving it his best, awkwardly cutting open coconuts and offering them to his tribe-mates, but truthfully, he’s simply not cut out for the rough life of Survivor. I don’t see how he can last. Even considering that he’d make an ideal player to take to the end so that he’d be a guaranteed loser in the last Immunity Challenge, he’s just such a liability in so many ways that I don’t see how he’ll survive another Tribal Council. But he’s trying his best, I’ll give him that. His translucent, pale skin is turning bright pink as he slowly boils like a lobster in the tropical sun.
Ozzy went looking for the Hidden Immunity Idol, and noticed a rock in a tree. Experience had shown before that something incongruent, like an out of place rock in a tree, is something to investigate, and sure enough, he found the idol, which he then hid far up in a tree. Ozzy confided in a private interview that he knows that he can’t afford to let anyone know he’s found the Idol, and that if they think he might have it, his tribe might try to “flush it out.”
In Episode #1, Upolu Tribe’s Brandon, the nephew of the infamous Russell Hantz, had been determined to keep that information a complete secret, but he wavered, and for some mysterious reason, confided that fact to Coach. Not a smart move. Coach, in a private interview, remembered how Russell had also touted his Christian values as the means to engender trust, and he recounted that this had been nothing but a ploy from the notoriously back-stabbing Russell. While he pretended to be impressed with Brandon’s trust, and willingness to confide in him, in his private interview, he told viewers that he has absolutely no trust in Brandon, and that he actually has a “plan” to send him to Redemption Island. (So much for Coaches “honor” and “trust.”)
Brandon has quickly become my least-liked player in this game. He’s sanctimoniously Christian, and has, for no apparent reason, just decided that Mikayla is his enemy. She’s done nothing to deserve this loathing other than to show herself as being extremely capable in Challenges (she was a major factor in sending Savaii to Tribal Council). She’s very useful and industrious around camp (and was quite helpful in the construction of the tribe’s shelter), and she’s easy on the eyes.
Brandon lamely explained in an unbelievably twisted private interview: “I don’t feel comfortable around her … you can tell the way the acts … ‘I’m gonna be a model’ … you know, blah blah blah. I call her ‘Parvati,’ because she’s using her … seductive ways and her ‘young girl’ attitude to kinda get people in. It’s the one’s that are good looking and seductive that you need to get rid of. Being a married man, I have to stay away from that kind of stuff. I’ve made some pretty bad decisions in my life, but I swear to you, I will get her voted out of this game. Ain’t no chick in this world getting’ in the way of me, my family, and a million dollars … EVER.”
That was a gross mischaracterization of Mikayla. While she’s a very lovely and sexy girl, she certainly has not been portrayed by the producers of Survivor as “seductive,” or in any way, flaunting her attractiveness. Brandon’s interview was just … CREEPY. There’s something seriously WRONG with that guy.
Christine, as mentioned before, was on a hunt for the clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol that Upolu won when they beat Savaii in the Immunity Challenge. As she recounted, Jeff had explained to Upolu that although they’d won this clue, they would have to find it first, and then let the clue lead to the Idol. Christine, without any subtlety, set out on a search for that clue. This prompted a little conference between Coach, Brandon, Sophie and Stacey. Sophie told this group: “I’m worried about the Idol. I think Christine has it.” Coach, although trying to remain pokerfaced, showed an obvious satisfaction that this suspicion was being shown to the person that had been his main antagonist thus far. Coach was not forgetting how Christine, during the first moments of the game, stated flatly that he was only a “temporary” player. And, indeed, Christine found the clue, although not the actual Idol.
The Immunity Challenge was, as usual, quite exciting, and as usual, had several steps:
~~ Step One: Four players would work to unravel what was essentially a classic “Maypole,” unwinding long ribbons that were, on one end, fastened to the players, and on the other, anchored to the top of the pole, and braided around it in a woven pattern that would require the players to duck in and out of each other to unbraid the ribbons as they circled the pole. At the top of one ribbon was a ring of four keys, which would slide down that ribbon when each of the four ribbons was unwound, and that particular ribbon was freed.
~~ Step Two: Those four keys were to be used to unlock the other four players who would then work together moving large, very heavy pieces of what was essentially one of those classic games where tiles are slid around, up, down, and sideways, in order to put them in a particular order.
~~ Step Three: In this case, getting those large sliding pieces moved around into the right order would allow the largest of the pieces to be slid completely out of the puzzle and carried a short distance to a finish platform for the win.
In addition to Immunity, there was a reward factor in this Challenge, which was comfort in the form of pillows, blankets, a hammock and a mat. And one last factor was the reward of a clue to the whereabouts of a Hidden Immunity Idol.
In order to make it an even “8 vs. 8,” Upolu had to sit out one player. Edna was chosen for this. The two tribes were given a short time to choose which players would work the first phase of the Challenge, and which players would work the second/third phase, and strategize how they’d execute their play. Obviously, the physically stronger players would be needed to push around the heavy pieces of the puzzle. The players were organized thusly:
On the “Maypole” :
Savaii: Dawn, Whitney, Elyse and Cochran (underscoring Cochran’s lack of physical strength)
Upolu: Stacey, Sophie, Christine and Mikayla.
Working the puzzle:
Savaii: Ozzy, Keith, Jim and Papa Bear
Upolu: Coach, Brandon, Rick and Albert
Upolu jumped out to a quick lead, with Cochran, unsurprisingly, seeming to be the main cause in Savaii’s difficulty with the Maypole (but to be fair, it appeared to me that Cochran’s difficulties seemed to be emphasized in the way this segment was edited, and that the others were having difficulty, as well). It was Dawn’s ribbon that held the key ring, and she struggled with getting herself unfastened from her ribbon to free the ring. And when Elyse took the keys over to the lock holding in the puzzle-solvers, she too struggled with her task, continuing to lose valuable time as Upolu’s lead grew substantially.
But once Savaii started working the puzzle, Upolu’s lead quickly evaporated. Savaii not only seemed to quickly figure out the nature of the puzzle, but they were also seemingly possessed, and were able to push the heavy pieces around much faster. They quickly overcame Upolu’s lead, and won the challenge. (That segment of the program ended with Brandon, in a private interview, vowing: “I’m gonna make sure that Mikayla goes home tonight.”)
Once Upolu returned to camp to lick its wounds and prepare for the unpleasant reality of an impending Tribal Council, the dysfunctional quality, a total lack of cohesion amongst its members, immediately surfaced, and manifested in numerous ways. This was truly an amazing display of dysfunction and utter lack of the social skills needed for success in Survivor. Upolu came from that defeat like a drunken blind man, stumbling around in circles, bumping into things, falling down …
Of course, the scheming and strategizing immediately began in earnest. This should come as no surprise, of course. But the nature of how Upolu was going about the process of choosing, or rather, NOT choosing, the sacrificial victim showed a tribe with no soul, no heart, and certainly, no brain.
Coach gathered three from his alliance, Sophie, Brandon and Albert, and proposed flushing out the Idol by splitting the votes into three groups of three. According to this strange plan, amongst the six players – Coach, Brandon, Sophie, Albert, Edna, and Rick (who wasn’t present during this conference, but presumably, would be a part of the plan), their votes would be evenly split between Christine and Stacey. He noted that Christine and Stacey were tight, and he wanted to get rid of one or the other. And, of course, he noted to viewers, in a private interview, Christine’s “temporary player” shot at him, as well as her obvious hunting around for the Hidden Immunity Idol.
Coach explained to that group: “Edna is totally loyal. She’s on a ‘need-to-know’ basis’ – PERIOD. I’ll tell her at the last second: ‘Vote for Stacey.’ (Again, Coach demonstrated that his “honor and loyalty” that he touted to Edna is essentially bullshit. He’ll show her honor and loyalty only when it serves him to do so.)
Coach noted Brandon’s unspoken, but obvious, reluctance to go along with this plan. Brandon’s weird, creepy loathing of Mikayla came out again as he agreed to go along with the Coach’s plan, but shared his twisted feelings about Mikayla as he and Coach spoke privately with each other:
“I got my doubts … Mikayla … because I’m faithful to my wife. It makes me feel uncomfortable being around her a lot of times. I have a bad feelin’. All I can think about is ‘Parvati. Parvati.’ She’s screwed many a man. And bein’ strong like that, like she is … but I’m goin’ with the team … I think that’s our best bet.
In a private interview, Coach acknowledged the irrationality of Brandon’s twisted fixation on Mikayla: “Mikayla’s our strongest female player, but Brandon has a wife and family, and I think she makes him uncomfortable. A young, good looking girl, I understand … but to vote her off immediately … come on! I just think that he has demons that we don’t know about, that he’s facing on a daily basis.” Personally, I’ve never been all that impressed with Coach as a player, but I think in all likelihood, his assessment of Brandon is accurate. As the title of this episode says, “he has demons.”
Brandon’s weird loathing for Mikayla continued as he tried his best to upset Coach’s plan by going to Rick and Sophie, continuing his creepy “I Hate Mikayla” rant with them: “We gotta get her out of the game. She’s not to be trusted. She needs to go first.”
It was pretty obvious that his hate-fest was falling on deaf ears. Sophie noted this to viewers in a private interview: “For some reason or the other, Brandon wants to get rid of Mikayla. I don’t know what his deal is. Maybe Brandon’s threatened by Mikayla ‘cause she’s a strong woman, and if that’s the case, it worries me because I think that I’m quite strong, as well.”
Then, during a big conference with Coach, Rick, Sophie, Edna, and Albert, Brandon again pitched his desire to vote off Mikayla. Coach was obviously shocked that Brandon wasn’t following Coach’s program as he’d agreed. While Coach digested this for a moment, Sophie said: “Truthfully, I think Mikayla, right now, would vote Christine if we told her to. I just feel it.”
Coach stepped in with what verbally was an explanation – “I do think that we need her in another challenge. That’s the only thing that I’m thinking about. – but his body language and nuance of that statement was pretty clear. He was telling Brandon, in no uncertain terms, that his craving to kill off Mikayla was not going to happen.
While this silly power-play was occurring, Christine noticed that there was a gathering that she’d apparently not been invited to, and she brought this to Stacey’s attention. And Christine noted, with alarm, that Edna was taking part in that group. [Note: This little moment seemed to indicate that there had been some comraderie between Christine, Stacey and Edna previous to this, as Christine found it surprising that Edna was now over there talking to them.]
As Coach continued to try to reason with Brandon – “Christine is not good in challenges, but Mikayla is.” – the group dynamic of Upolu got REALLY twisted when Mikayla walked up to the Conference of Six. As Mikayla walked up, and suddenly, the talking went silent, Coach said, “Mikayla, can you give us a little bit of privacy?” This was followed by an extremely awkward, uncomfortable silence as Mikayla’s mouth dropped open.
And to make things worse, Stacey chose that moment to walk up, as well. Coach finally just said: “I’m just gonna walk this way …” and simply walked off. Edna, looking both distraught and disgusted, muttered: “I’m getting my bag …” and walked away, as well. Brandon uttered the totally obvious: “I think everyone’s paranoid right now.”
This situation left Coach standing off by himself, as if his acolytes were going to dutifully regroup around him, and left Mikayla standing with Albert, Rick and Sophie. “What’s Coach’s deal?” Mikayla asked.
Albert said, sardonically: “I think Coach is getting useless right now. I don’t think he trusts anyone … I don’t think he trusts you [Mikayla] or her [Sophie].”
Off in the background stood Christine, obviously wondering: What in the hell is going on over there with those people?” The thing is, those people were also wondering: “What the hell is going on?” with those people.
In a private interview, Mikayla underestimated just how dysfunctional and paranoid Upolu had suddenly become: “It’s like a mad scramble right now, and all of a sudden, they think that I’m not trustable, and I’m like, ‘Are you kidding me? I didn’t even do anything! You’ve gotta be kidding me.’ ”
This was followed by a small conference between Stacey, Christine and Edna, in which Christine bluntly asked Edna: “What were they talking about?” As Edna tried to deflect that with a non-commital “I don’t know, I was just [unintelligible] …” Christine again, bluntly – rudely – demanded, “What were they saying?”
Edna lied to Christine, unconvincingly: “I think that they were talking about Sophie, to begin with …”
Christine immediately caught this clumsy lie: “No, Sophie was over there too.”
Edna, caught in a bald-faced lie, just hesitated and said, “Oh …”
Christine continued to grill her accusingly: “You’re messin’ up your story REALLY big time … so get it straight …”
Edna, in frustration and embarrassment, tried the best she could, and with a tone of irritation for being interrogated as she had been, snapped back at Christine: “I don’t know what the story is” and then just slunk away.
In a private interview right after that, Christine said: “We’re just about ready to leave for Tribal, and … I have no idea what’s going on. I mean, you’re supposed to vote off the weak, so I was leaning more towards Edna. But now, it might be me for all I know.”
Yet another little group met for another dysfunctional, useless talk, this time Christine, Brandon and Rick, obviously Christine cornering those two and trying to pry information from them, and Brandon continuing his “I Hate Mikayla” campaign as Stacey joined the group in a totally incoherent, useless exchange.
Brandon: “It’s a [unintelligible]” for everybody right now.”
Christine: “And who are you voting for?”
Brandon: “Mikayla. Do you think she’s a bigger threat than anybody right now?”
Christine: “Well … she’s very good. You let me know and I will vote for …”
Stacey: “Keep your eyes open. Keep your eyes open …”
Brandon: “I’ll just say vote for the person who you think is the biggest threat in this game.”
(Rick simply remained mute and took this all in with a look of semi-disgust at this pointless exchange.)
Christine, in a private interview, said: “Brandon told me to vote for Mikayla, and honestly, it confused me. Why Mikayla? It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.”
Totally clueless, Stacey and Christine mulled that over.
Stacey: “If we don’t agree with him, it’ll be one of us that goes home.”
Christine: “I feel that one of our heads is on the chopping block right now.”
Christine confided in a private interview: “I’m just worried about myself, right now. I have a Hidden Immunity Idol clue, and I think my heart says I better start looking.”
Coach continued to try to get his troops in line. With Edna looking on, speaking to Brandon, he tried to lay down the law: “We gotta lock it down now because there’s still confusion. Right now, you …?”
But Brandon was anything but cooperative. His reply: “Mikayla. Period.”
Then Brandon blatantly lied to Coach: “Stacey and Christine just told me they’re voting Mikayla.”
In a private interview, he explained: “I hate to do this to people, but I just walked up to Coach, and I lied to him. If Christine and Stacey vote for Mikayla it’s because I told them to. Look, I don’t like Mikayla. I don’t trust her. She’s got every guy around here wrapped around her finger … but me. And it’s just not gonna happen. Mikayla will be goin’ home tonight.”
Coach confided with Sophie: “These people are amateurs! It’s crazy!”
He spoke to viewers in a private interview: “I hear that Christine and Stacey are gonna vote for Mikayla, and that pisses the heck out of me because she’s done nothing wrong. But Brandon just wants to control the situation. And if he wants an outcome, he’s willing to risk X, Y and Z to get that outcome.”
Coach made a nonsensical little speech to some of his tribe members, including Rick, Brandon, Sophie, Albert and Mikayla: “It doesn’t need to be like this, by the way. The game is simple. You find people who are loyal to you, and that’s it. I mean, that’s just simple. You’re loyal, or you’re disloyal.” And with a smug look of self-importance, he walked away.
In a private interview, he continued his delusional rhetoric: “I hope and pray that these people that I’ve aligned myself with have the character that I judge them for. If not, there’s gonna be an ass-whipping at Tribal Council tonight.”
So that was the atmosphere in Upolu Tribe. One little crazy meeting after another, in every combination of players possible. One act of non-cooperation after another. One ineffective speech after another. Scheming. Lies. The only person that seemed even remotely sane was Rancher Rick, and perhaps that was only because he never uttered a word for the entire episode.
The dysfunction, already at a head-spinning level, actually increased once Upolu arrived at Tribal Council. The mayhem began innocently enough with Jeff asking Brandon if he thought he’d made a good impression on his tribe. Brandon figured he did. Coach gave a facial expression that showed some doubt about that.
Jeff then went to Coach with the same question. He acknowledged that after losing the very first Challenge of the game, the head-to-head against Ozzy, the impression he’d given was “pretty bad. But I think that there was a line being drawn early on that I certainly felt. Then I thought, ‘Let’s try to pick up the pieces, and keep the tribe strong,’ because it’s a long way until we get to the merge …”
As Coach continued, the fireworks began:
“And so, before we started walking to Tribal tonight, you know, I had heard that Christine and Stacey wanted to vote out Mikayla …”
Mikayla’s eyes went wide. Brandon had an expression of “Oh, shit …! Christine and Stacey, of course, wore expressions of “What the hell …?”
Coach continued (in third person, no less) : “Don’t look at me like I’m crazy because Coach, in Tribal, just lays everything out on the table, okay?”
Christine and Stacey began to object, of course, with Stacey saying, “Did I talk to you about that? I didn’t talk to you about things …”
Coach: “You guys did not talk to me about that …”
Stacey: “Okay … okay …”
Coach: “… because you guys have not talked strategy to me since Day One …”
Stacey: “But what you just said was NOT SAID!”
Christine: “I never mentioned Mikayla’s name!”
Brandon was turning red as his obsession with Mikayla seemingly began blowing up in his face. But somehow, instead of this leading to a revealing of how Brandon had been lying, etc. this just turned into a sort of general conflagration, with Stacey lashing out at Coach, and Coach pompously trying to put her down.
Stacey: “Before he finished, he loses his memory, what he was talking about …”
Coach: “No … can I talk … without being interrupted?”
Brandon was showing a little hopeful relief, as if he might miraculously be spared from being shown to be a lying troublemaker.
Coach: “As I said, the gloves are off, and let’s get down to business.”
Jeff: “So glad you’re back, Coach!”
Coach: “It’s great to be back.” (Christine rolls her eyes.) He continued his pompous lecture: “So … Survivor’s a very simple game. You find people that are loyal, and you try to stick with those people. I tell you the truth right now. I don’t want Mikayla to go home tonight. I’m putting a bigger target on my back, but I wanna see this tribe win the next challenge.”
Jeff asked a simple question that perpetuated Brandon’s lie: “Mikayla, does it make you a little nervous, there might be two people who were talkin’ bout gettin’ rid of you?”
Mikayla: “Of course it makes me nervous. You never want to hear your name come up. Like Coach said, we definitely want the strongest people. We don’t wanna be down-numbered when the merge comes. So this is goin’ through my head, and I don’t get it.”
Jeff: “Stacey, Coach just threw it out there, and said that you and Christine are lookin’ to get Mikayla.”
Stacey, continuing to think that Coach was, for some reason, falsely accusing her and Christine of plotting against Mikayla, said: “I never even talked to Coach about Mikayla … because honest [unintelligible] … just failed.”
Coach: “Of course, I didn’t say that they talked to me.”
Stacey: “Okay, where did you get it from, then?”
Coach answered that with silence.
As Brandon resumed his “Oh Shit” expression, Christine added, “I never even mentioned Mikayla! From WHOM … did you hear that from?!? … Mr. Honesty!?!”
Brandon made a hilarious attempt to keep his name from being uttered: “Simmer down, Guys! Come on …”
(In response to that, Stacey and Christine, sitting on each side of Brandon, began ranting in an incoherent manner that defies transcription.)
At this point, Albert stepped into the fray: “For the record, I mean, not to be fact checked out here, but I’ll tell ya right now, I didn’t tell ‘em, Coach, that you guys [points to Stacey and Christine] were voting for anybody, ‘cause none of you guys ever told me who you were voting for. But I’m just saying, if you’re gonna question the idea of loyalty, think about how you’re going about that. Him [Coach] not saying who told him that is him demonstrating loyalty …”
Neither Stacey nor Christine were smart enough to counter that illogical line of “logic” by pointing out that Coach was certainly not demonstrating “loyalty” by divulging Stacey and Christine’s (non-existent) plan to vote for Mikayla.
Albert continued: “… and I think the force of paranoia, Jeff, was the whole idea of the Idol, and, if somebody did find the Idol, how would you handle it … I think that was the raindrop that started the monsoon, so to speak …”
Hmm … weird metaphore. Jeff kept the ball rolling …
Jeff: “Coach, was there a lot of talk right off the bat about ‘do we look for this as a group,’ or did you see people scattering about?”
Coach: “I know that Christine looked for it the first day, and I know that I saw her today, Christine lookin’ like she was goin’ and diggin’ in a couple different places.”
Jeff: “Christine, he just threw you under the bus for a second time …”
Christine: “He’s good at that …”
Jeff: “Does it make you uncomfortable? First, he says you wanna vote out Mikayla. Second, he says you’re lookin’ for the Hidden Immunity Idol …”
Christine: “Obviously he’s threatened by me …”
Coach: “Not really.”
Jeff: “Christine, do you think that any of this stuff might go back to Day One, when out of the gate, you said, ‘Mr. Dragonslayer, you’re gone’ ?”
Christine: “I think so. I think … [she mocks Coach, pretending to cry] … I think he feels hurt that he’s … temporary.”
Jeff: “There’s one question that hasn’t been asked tonight, and it’s not a question I haven’t asked. It’s a question YOU haven’t asked, Mikayla. And I’m so surprised. You’ve not asked Christine or Stacey if they said it. If you go home tonight, it will be the quietest exit I’ve seen in a while.”
Mikayla (looking at Christine and Stacey) : “Is it on your mind?”
Both flatly denied saying that they were planning to vote her off, saying “Never! Not me! No!” and Christine, more emphatically saying, “Never did I say I was going to write your name down … EVER!”
Stacey: “So … you can look at me, in my eyes, and know the truth of that.”
It was hilarious watching Brandon, the liar that caused all of this to happen, as the dialogue tipped him toward the precipice, then pulled him back, then pushed him toward it, and then pulled him back to safety, over and over, as he kept waiting for someone to say that it had been HIM that was behind the lie, hoping that it wouldn’t happen.
And then, the idiot decided to bust himself, and raised his hand to be called on by Jeff. Maybe he figured it would be a safer strategy to just come out and admit he was behind this, given how crazy the dialogue had become, and how heated tempers had gotten. Maybe the pressure was just too great. Maybe he was just an idiot.
Brandon: (sighs) “I gotta come clean, man …”
Numerous people leaned forward, expressions of confused expectancy on their faces. “What in the HELL was he about to say,” they wondered collectively.
Looking at Stacey and Christine, he continued: “I kinda told you guys to vote for Mikayla …”
Stacey: “He’s the one that said ‘vote for Mikayla.’ ”
Christine: “No, we were not voting for Mikayla! No votes were EVER going for Mikayla!”
Coach had an expression saying: “Oh shit, you idiot!” Jeff looked dumbfounded, and then amused. Sophie looked totally confused.
Stacey: “You see how the lie comes out?!?”
Christine: “I knew who I was voting for. It wasn’t Mikayla … EVER!”
Jeff: “Mikayla, welcome to “Survivor!”
Mikayla: “You’re tellin’ me!” (laughs)
Jeff asked Christine: “There’s so many fractions within this [sarcastically] big happy family. How do you make sense of everything that’s happened tonight?”
Christine: “I think they are a happy family. I thought I was part of that.”
Jeff: “You don’t know that you aren’t …” (Christine shrugged.) Albert, you never really know who’s telling the truth, what’s a put-on, what isn’t. Does this worry you that this tribe is in such disarray?”
Albert: “I think we’re all getting a little bit more information than we bargained for this evening, but it’s great when things come to the surface and people kinda reveal themselves, ‘cause a person’s personality will creep in, and a person’s character will creep in to the surface a little bit despite how hard they try to they try to mask that.”
With that, Jeff brought this display of dysfunction to an end: “Alright. I have no idea what is about to happen. It is time to vote.” There was, of course, no Hidden Immunity Idol to be played.
The vote reinforced the notion that this tribe is one completely lacking in cohesion, and the producers played that up with the order in which the votes were read by Jeff:
(At this point, I wondered if it was going to be a nine-way tie. The vote continued …)
The last vote was for … and the second person voted out of Survivor: South Pacific was … Christine.
Christine did an actual double-take on that. Coach looked smugly satisfied. (What happened to his ridiculous plan for a “3-3-3” vote to “flush out the Idol”?) Brandon looked relieved. Mikayla looked EXTREMELY relieved.
This episode graphically showed how one single dysfunctional person, in this case, Brandon, can infect an entire tribe. It’ll be interesting to see if they can overcome this, and in this tangled web of lies, deceit and paranoia, pull themselves together.
I doubt it.
Here’s how the individual members of Upolu voted:
Stacey voted for Sophie.
Christine voted for Edna.
Edna voted for Stacey.
Rick voted for Stacey.
Sophie voted for Stacey.
Mikayla voted for Christine.
Albert voted for Christine.
Coach voted for Christine.
Brandon voted for …………………. Christine … not Mikayla. (laughs)
Sables: Upolu, well lots of interesting going ons there, very disorganized and not well played ...Brandon, well I don't understand why he has such a hate for Mikayla...unless she temps him too much, or strong women bother him as she wasn't being flirtatious or seductive...lots of uncomfortable moments especially when the girls walked up to them while they were discussing who to vote off, and the way it played out at the elimination lol
Edna has her butt covered for the time being, I think she played that well, but she is not a liar which is obvious by her not being able to think quick enough to cover up when she was interrogated by the girls so I think that will cost her in the long run, unless she gets voted off because of her size....but she would be good to keep around till the end as she would easily be beaten ...
I don't like Brandon as well...if he is so unsure about himself that he has to vote off what temps him..........Mikayla is a strong ally to have in their camp to help get them through the challenges
Brandon is a tribe killer. His influence on his tribe is destructive.
It's inevitable for a tribe to be subjected to Tribal Council, and have to jettison one of their members. But the IDEAL way to make the best out of that tough circumstance is somehow do that in a way that the entire tribe is united in the decision, and rather than using that vote in a big, ugly hatefest that splits a tribe into competing factions. The IDEAL outcome of a Tribal Council is a unanimous vote.
The preview seemed to suggest that Brandon is going to become even more twisted in the future.
Sables: for some reason so far I am routing for Upolo (sp?) they did great on this last challenge, but that Brandon sure has his demons to wrestle with, not a very smart move on his part outing himself and then telling Mikayla that the reason he wanted to vote her out because he just didn't like her, lol not very christian of him at all and then getting angry well he just seems to be a little wishy washy I think he is a loose canon....
it was obvious that papa bear or cochran were going to be the ones put up...at first I thought it was a good move on papa bear's part to try and fake them out on the idol and the one that really has it isn't going to let it out that he had found it...but it didn't help him out in the end....Cochran really needs to suck it up and prove himself a worthy player or he will be gone....
can Cochran pull up his socks
and can Brandon control his demons
stayed tuned for another riveting show....
am loving this one too!
(Edited by Sables)
“Reap What You Sow”
The third episode began with Christine arriving on Redemption Island, and meeting her new friend/competitor Semhar. These two women have something in common, besides being kicked out of their respective tribes. Both are a bit delusional as to WHY they got kicked out. Semhar, as she explained last week, thinks that she was booted because her former tribe is “coldhearted.” In her case, she was kicked out because she had proven herself to be a huge liability in Immunity Challenges. Christine felt that her tribe ejected her because Coach “had it out for me from the beginning.” This, of course, ignores the fact that within moments of Coach meeting his tribe, Christine referred to him as a “temporary” player.
Upolu arrived back in camp with Coach smug and satisfied that he’d managed to persuade a five-vote majority in his tribe to vote out Christine. Poor Mikayla was, needless to say, quite upset, and completely confused as to why she’d been targeted for such treatment by Brandon. She didn’t realize that for no sane reason, she just seemed to be the person that Sir Brandon the Deranged had chosen as his enemy. While she was standing in the darkness, thanking Coach for coming to her defense in Tribal Council, Brandon walked up.
The producers chose that moment to feature a private interview with Brandon. The guy is seriously deranged. After trying so hard to orchestrate Mikayla’s demise, for no reason whatsoever other than that he perceives her as attractive (she is), he suddenly did an about face, and gave this pathetic, moronic regretful confession that he was feeling guilty about lying, that he wasn’t of the same sort as his villainous Uncle Russell, saying, “I’m guilty, completely guilty of the way that I acted, and I reap what I sow.” (That makes two episodes straight that were titled from Brandon quotes … not a good sign …)
The next day both tribes received Tree Mail instructing them to designate a pair of representatives to witness the Duel between Semhar and Christine. Upolu sent Coach, who specifically asked his tribe to send him so that he could (hopefully) witness the end of the ride for his nemesis Christine. The also sent Stacey (who was Christine’s closest ally). Savaii sent Ozzy and Elyse.
Before the Duel began, Jeff had a sort of mini-Council with Christine and Semhar. He began by asking Christine: “Ugly Tribal Council. Any animosity toward the two people that are here today?”
She gave a sort of rambling justification for starting the feud with Coach with her remark that Coach was only a “temporary” player: “He didn’t like me from the beginning. I just articulated what everyone else was saying …”
(That was, of course, nonsense, because when she said that, Coach had been in the tribe’s presence literally for only seconds. It was the very first thing that any one said.)
“… and then he disliked me. I think that was his objective, to get to me out as soon as possible.”
(Can you blame him?)
Semhar just stated the obvious, that being marooned alone on Redemption Island wasn’t much fun.
The Duel then began. It was fairly simple. Each player was provided a collection of short poles, a couple feet in length, about as thick as a broomstick. Each of the poles was fashioned with a sort of sleeve on one end that would allow another section to be fit to it, extending the length. They were also given a carved totem which was to sit on a tiny platform fastened to the top end of the first pole section. The point of the game was to balance the totem on the end of the pole, and when instructed by Jeff, to add another section to the pole, and then another, etc. increasing the length of the poles until someone’s totem fell. That person would lose, and be sent permanently out of the game. The winner would, of course, remain on Redemption Island, awaiting the next person sent there after a Tribal Council.
Before actually beginning the Duel, Semhar performed a sort of ritualistic improvised uttering of one of her annoying “spoken word poems” while everyone glanced at each other with expressions ranging from derision to “WTF?”. It was of no help to her, as her totem was the first to fall. Thankfully, we won’t hear any more of her terrible poems (which would probably fit in well in the Wireclub Poetry Forum). We did, however, have to endure one last weepy “poor me” speech. As Coach watched in obvious disappointment, Christine departed the Duel arena for her camp, and Semhar departed … period.
The program returned to its focus on Brandon. While it’s hard to figure out what sort of weird shit he has in his heart and head, religion seems to be a significant part of it. Similar to last season’s delusional Christian nutcase Matt, Brandon speaks one-on-one with The Lord, and just like Matt, what The Lord is saying doesn’t seem to do much for improving one’s game: “This morning God was chastising me, big time. He was not pleased with me. I was not pleased with me. I know my family wouldn’t be pleased with me. I LIED BLATANTLY! I knew that my tribe would believe me, and I lied to ‘em. They wanted Christine to go home, but I wanted Mikayla to go home. (begins crying) There’s just certain things that I just can’t allow myself to continue on. I don’t wanna lie any more. I don’t wanna play games anymore with these people.” That guy apparently has some nasty, twisted psychological baggage, some obvious guilt, some sort of weird shit from the “real world” that is weighing on him in the game …
He then went through this show of revealing his tattoos to the entire Upolu tribe, laying it on the table that he is the nephew of the evil Russell Hantz. Suddenly, Brandon was now only concerned with “making friends” and being completely honest.
“I’m Brandon Hantz. I’m ME. I love God. I love Jesus Christ, and I shouldn’t be ashamed of the fact I’m a different person than my uncle.”
He followed that little performance by privately apologizing to Coach for not revealing to him ahead of time that he was going to come out that way. Coach assured him that there was no ill will, but in a private interview, Coach provided a peculiar contradictory reaction: “I still trust Brandon … absolutely … but it’s just maybe not in with both feet now.”
To her credit, Mikayla simply cornered Brandon, got him alone, and confronted him, point blank, which led to yet another display of weird semi-psychotic behavior and lying on his part
Mikayla: “I just want to know what you have against me.”
Brandon: “I … uh … I wanted you to go home.
Mikayla: “I just think it’s funny … you know, if you have a problem, you say, ‘Mikayla, what’s the deal?’ Did you come up to my face? No, you hide and do sneaky stuff behind my back. So are you just trying to mess with me because you don’t like me?”
Brandon: “Yeah, I was.
Mikayla: “Is that what it was?”
Brandon: “Yeah, it was. It really was, and I’ve made that known to everybody.”
Mikayla: “That you didn’t like me … why don’t you like me?”
Brandon: “Cause of this … I mean, just the attitude … I don’t know why we’re having this conversation, because it seems like you’re still not getting the fact that I’m trying to apologize to you.”
Mikayla: “Apologize?!? You just told me you didn’t like me!”
Here, Brandon lies: “Before me even doin’ anything, people didn’t trust you. It’s not just me!”
(Of course, no one other than Brandon is having any problems with Mikayla.)
~~~ Cut to: Brandon in a private interview:
“Mikayla was comin’ at me like a bulldog, like she was gonna attack me. But, as a Christian, I’m supposed to be meek. I’m supposed to turn the other cheek …”
~~~ Cut back to Mikayla and Brandon, as Brandon hails the entire tribe:
Brandon: “Hey guys, can we gather around for a second?
~~~ Cut to Brandon, in the middle of a rant, publically, with the entire tribe as an audience:
Brandon (to Mikayla): “… but I’m tellin’ ya, as a man, that I wanted you out of this game, really bad.
Brandon (to the tribe): “… and then she walks up to me the way that she did. I was very upset. What I’m tryin’ to explain to her is why, is she’s wonderin’ why I wanted to vote her out, okay? And you might wanna look around and see who’s really loyal and who’s really not …”
Brandon (to Mikayla): “… because it sounds like, to me, you don’t really have much of an alliance … period.”
Brandon (to the tribe): “Anybody have anything to say?” [A long uncomfortable silence follows that question.] I don’t want no more of this. Everybody! Just respect that, from me. Keep me out of this drama. [Another long uncomfortable silence.] There ya go. That’s it.”
(Note that in his totally dramatic outburst, Brandon demanded that the tribe “keep him out of this drama,” drama that is entirely of his own making, and being perpetrated by him, and no one else.)
~~~ Cut to a montage, with sad music playing, showing Mikayla sitting by herself, crying; Brandon, crying, confessing in a private interview: “I was told by my Paw Paw, by my dad: ‘Do not lose your temper.’ And it’s plain and simple. Bein’ a Christian, I shouldn’t have lost my temper.”
~~~ Montage images focus on Brandon lying in the dirt, sand and debris all over his face and in his eyes, lying motionless, catatonic …
Brandon’s continuous delusional disruption of the tribe is not going without reaction. During his ridiculous speech, the Survivor cameras captured various tribe members that, while remaining silent, registered facial expressions that clearly show that they’re concerned with this irrational nutcase in their midst. The program highlighted Sophie’s reaction in a private interview: “God! Oh my God! I was in so much shock! We all just did not say anything after that. He is a loose cannon, and there’s a lot of tension between Brandon and Mikayla. In his biblical terms, he’d probably call her ‘The Whore of Babylon.’ I think Brandon, right now, is just really torn between following whatever crazy religious beliefs he has, and yet, at the same time, he is a devious jerk.”
Survivor producers seem to be subtly showing viewers a growing concern about Brandon amongst his tribe-mates by focusing on Sophie, who was also shown in the last episode expressing concern and criticism for him. They continued this by showing a conversation between Coach and Sophie, in which Coach said about Brandon: “What you’re not supposed to say is ‘Come on, let’s just lay it all out. Screw you …’ and then you spook your whole alliance, and then you spook Mikayla. I mean, that basically did nobody any good. I hate to say it, but I do see a little Russell in him.”
Sophie replied with: “I just hope it doesn’t bit us in the butt.”
Coach continued his thoughts in a private interview: “This situation greatly concerns me. It is the epitome of snafu. I worried that Brandon’s outburst caused uneasiness in the tribe, uneasiness in the alliance, and we are all hoping and praying that he has no further such outbursts. It’s a different kind of aggression than Russell’s, but it’s an aggression, nonetheless.
The Survivor producers are slowly and methodically building up a picture of Brandon as being mentally unstable, as having some weird, twisted tangle of zealous Christian beliefs and some troubling, secret (possibly sexual) aspects of his real, non-Survivor life that are causing him trouble in his game, causing him to lash out against Mikayla for no reason other than that she’s attractive, and causing mayhem in the tribe. There seems to be a hinting that in his past, Brandon may have had some sort of infidelity in his marriage, or something along those lines. With that in mind, consider this Brandon utterance, said while he was sobbing his confessional, confused feelings about Mikayla in a private interview:
“I should have been able to control myself, and I didn’t. I just let my flesh get a hold of me. I mean, I struggle every day. This is a constant battle for me. Good-evil. Good-evil. Good-evil. I really want to do good. Lord, please don’t let me sin any more.”
There is a palpable sense that viewers are being led along, that this is building up to something very dramatic that will be revealed in the future.
Over in Savaii Tribe’s camp, life seems much more relaxed … but as Papa Bear acknowledged in a private interview, “… in every tribe, there is a pecking order.” He summed up the obvious, that there was an alliance of five that he, Dawn and Cochran were not a part of, hence, they were more vulnerable.
Ozzy made a questionable decision to confide in Keith, his single strongest ally, that he does, indeed, possess the Hidden Immunity Idol. But apparently, Keith isn’t quite as trustworthy as Ozzy thinks, as he immediately confided to Whitney that Ozzy has the Idol. Keith explained: “I’m mad that Ozzy has the Idol because it gives him all the power … or most of the power right now. It gives him a better hold on the alliance. So I told Whitney because I want her to trust me just in case, down the line, somethin’ were to happen where I needed numbers ‘cause I thought Ozzy might be makin’ a move.” He, of course, swore Whitney to secrecy. While life in Savaii Tribe is relatively calm and free of trauma, there are, of course, conspiracies, secrets and lies. This is, after all, the game of Survivor.
It was time for another Immunity Challenge. This time the two tribes had an equal number of players, so there was no need to sit anyone out. Besides Immunity, the tribes were playing for the reward of a stash of coffee, powdered milk, tea, sugar, cookies and chocolate, as well as another clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol.
This Challenge was basically divided into two parts:
Part One (involved six of the eight players on each tribe) :
In front of each tribe a long, very narrow floating bridge stretched out into the water, leading to a platform containing five cloth bags hanging on a rack. And on the beach, before each floating bridge, was a large reel of rope, with a crank handle on each side. Attached to the end of that rope was a body-board. The task was for the tribe to send one person, carrying the body-board, pulling out the rope as they went, out along the length of the unstable, bobbing, floating bridge while other tribe members unreeled the rope. When that person reached the platform at the end of the floating bridge, they would then have to untie knots to free one of the cloth bags, and carrying that bag, climb onto the body-board, whereupon other tribe members would turn the cranks, reeling in the body-board along with the player riding on it. That task would need to be repeated for each of the five bags, and each of those five bags would have to be placed in separate narrow wooden baskets that were partially buried in the sand so that they were standing upright.
Part Two (involved the two remaining players in each tribe) :
Once all five bags had been placed in their respective baskets, the two remaining players, Coach and Edna for Upolu; Whitney and Elyse for Savaii, would complete the Challenge. They were stationed at the top of a very tall platform, and their task was to throw grappling hooks on ropes down to snag, one at a time, each of the five baskets containing the bags that had been placed there in the first part of the Challenge. Once all five bags had been retrieved in that fashion, the bags would need to be opened by untying the knots. Inside of each bag was a long strip of cloth rolled up on a length of wooden rod. Once unrolled down the wall of the tall platform on which they stood, the final task would be for those two players, as instructed by the others on the ground below, to arrange those strips in the correct side-by-side order to depict a picture of a typical South Pacific totem for the win.
The Challenge began with Ozzy vs. Brandon as the first two players designated by their tribes to run out the floating bridges and retrieve the first bag. As was quickly learned, the big reels were much like a typical reel found on a fishing rod. If the reel is unwound faster than the line is taken away from it, it quickly becomes a snarled, tangled mess. Savaii had to learn this the hard way, and found itself falling behind. Ozzy, who otherwise would have easily outpaced Brandon with his superior agility and athletic skills, was frustrated, prevented from reaching the platform as the reel-crankers dealt with their snagged and tangled rope fastened to Ozzy’s body-board. Upolu, on the other hand, seemed to quickly comprehend how to reel off the rope just fast enough to let Brandon run out the length of the floating bridge, but not so fast as to cause the tangled mess that was bedeviling Savaii. Savaii was also troubled by the fact that of the four tribe members designated as crankers (two on each side of the giant reel of rope), Cochran, and to a greater degree, Papa Bear was having trouble with keeping up the motion along with the stronger and faster Jim and Keith. As Brandon reached the platform, freed one of the bags, and was being reeled in, Savaii was causing Ozzy to fall further and further behind.
The second pair of players to run the floating bridge was Albert for Upolu, and Dawn for Savaii. Upolu then snagged their reel, allowing the race to become somewhat even again. Savaii then seemed to figure how to work their reel better, and began to open up a bit of a lead as Ozzy and Mikayla were the runners in the third leg. Then in the fourth leg, Dawn was caught up to by Brandon. The last leg was Ozzy and Albert running the bridge in a virtual tie. Uncharacteristically, Ozzy flubbed, and accidentally let go of the body-board and rope, which was yanked out from under him as he was being reeled in. As Ozzy swam after it, burdened by the bag he was carrying, Albert was pulled out front by his team, but the lead narrowed again as both players reached the beach.
It was in the next section of the Challenge where the contest was actually decided. Coach was clearly much better at wielding the grappling hooks than his competition, and he quickly built up a significant lead. When he had retrieved the fifth of his five bags (with Edna standing by, basically handling the grappling rope for him), Savaii was still struggling. Whitney was having to make repeated tosses of the grappling hook to get the last basket. She was still tossing that hook when Coach and Edna got the five strips arranged to win the Challenge.
Having lost the Challenge, Savaii was now faced with the inevitable unpleasant task of deciding which tribe-mate to sacrifice. Savaii has a clear-cut division between two factions: the Alliance of Five (Ozzy, Keith, Jim, Whitney, Elyse), and the other three stragglers (Cochran, Dawn and Papa Bear). Dawn was fortunate. She’d performed pretty well in the Challenge, so it was obvious that it was going to be a choice between Cochran, the physically inept, somewhat incapable nerd, and Papa Bear, the paunchy, slow somewhat incapable gay ex-cop. They conferred, sharing their senses of futility.
The decision was made by the Alliance of Five based on Papa Bear’s performance in the Challenge, which had been slightly worse than Cochran’s. They informed Cochran that his game life was going to be spared. This point of the program prompted me to look back to the way Episode #1 ended, and to wonder about that amazingly, shockingly unpredictable vote in that first episode.
To recap that first episode, before Savaii got to Tribal Council, the show’s producers made it seem like Savaii was split down the middle, with four players planning to vote off Semhar, and five planning to vote off Cochran. Than once Savaii was actually at Tribal Council, they made it look like two people had jumped sides to make it a 7-2 vote to vote off Cochran. Finally, in the very last segment, it was revealed that it was a unanimous vote against Semhar. This prompted me to wonder if Cochran, who was being pummeled unmercifully during that Tribal Council, was a knowing partner in the plan, knowing that the actual vote would be unanimous against Semhar. Since then, in the recaps for both Episode 2, and this episode, it’s been made to seem like Cochran really was in danger, though.
But now, with Savaii having to kill off one of its tribe-mates for a second time, this little exchange occurred:
Ozzy: “Just so you know, we’re telling Papa Bear it’s you, but it’s Papa Bear.”
Cochran: “So this is happening again?”
That seemed to suggest that in the previous Tribal Council, Cochran had been coached that it would APPEAR he was going to be voted off, and that in this upcoming Tribal Council “this is happening again.” But that exchange was left undefined, a tantalizing hint of a POSSIBILITY of what had happened, rather than the definitive account of what actually DID HAPPEN.
Regardless of the reality, Cochran had, with good reason, trepidation about the vote. He understood the reality of the situation, that he’s not in the Alliance of Five, and that there is good reason for Savaii to vote him out. So he was only able to take scant comfort in hearing that the victim would be Papa Bear. He was well aware that he could be getting set up.
And Papa Bear understood things quite clearly, as well. Even when told by Jim and Ozzy that Cochran was the designated victim, he carefully probed for what information he could get, asking why Cochran had been chosen. Taking no chances, making no assumptions, Papa Bear did what he could. He furiously set out on a hunt for the Hidden Immunity Idol, actually RUNNING off from camp into the woods, looking for the Idol or a Clue. Elyse witnessed his hasty departure, and followed him, carefully remaining out of view, and saw him digging around, looking for the Idol or Clue. She dutifully reported this to her Alliance.
Papa Bear was, of course, unsuccessful in his search. As viewers know, Ozzy possesses the Idol. Again, Papa Bear wisely did what he could. He fashioned a fake Idol, just a rock wrapped in a palm leaf and his Buff, and stuffed it in his pants with the intention of seeming like he’d found an Idol. He augmented that bit of fakery by informing Jim that he’d found it. This charade, while worthwhile given the circumstances, was essentially an act of futility. The only way to convince someone you REALLY have the idol is to show it, and even doing that isn’t a hundred percent, as people have been fooled in the past by carefully crafted fake Idols. But it did inject the situation with a variable, a possibility that his tribe would have to contend with. The only person that could know with a certainty was Ozzy, the person that actually did possess the actual Idol, and of course, he was amused by this charade. This, of course, caused poor Cochran concern, though. He was well aware that by Papa Bear’s doing that, his own likelihood of being voted off had just increased dramatically.
Once Savaii actually arrived in Tribal Council, Jeff opened up the discussion by asking Cochran about the last time they’d been there, and the aftermath of that vote. Cochran used that opening as an opportunity to remind his tribe-mates that he had been making great efforts to be more productive in camp, and to present himself as having turned in a reasonably decent performance in the Challenge. Jeff then asked Papa Bear what Cochran’s liability was. Papa Bear, again, working with what little he had, but making the best of it, answered: “I think that physically, he’s gonna be a threat to himself.”
Prompted by more questions, Papa Bear acknowledged the existence of the Alliance of Five, and acknowledged that he was vulnerable because he wasn’t a part of it. Dawn also acknowledged the reality that she, Papa Bear and Cochran were all on the outside of that alliance.
Discussion, prompted by Jeff, drifted to the Hidden Immunity Idol. The talk was frank, the realities were acknowledged, but no revelations occurred. This was a tame, civilized, well defined Tribal Council, totally devoid of fireworks. Everyone knew it was going to be either Papa Bear or Cochran, and the only nervous players were those two. After the votes had been cast, Jeff informed the players that if anyone was going to play the Hidded Immunity Idol, it was time to do so. When Papa Bear remained seated and mute, Cochran smiled, knowing that although he still wasn’t completely safe, his chances of survival had just improved dramatically. With single votes being cast for Cochran and Jim, four votes were enough to send Papa Bear off to Redemption Island, where he’ll face off against Christine. Tribal Council is never much fun for a tribe, but this one was about as civilized and non-traumatic as they come.
The individual votes were cast as follows:
Jim voted for Cochran.
Papa Bear voted for Jim.
Cochran voted for Papa Bear.
Ozzy voted for Papa Bear.
Whitney voted for Papa Bear.
Elyse voted for Papa Bear.
Dawn voted for Papa Bear.
Keith voted for Papa Bear.
As he headed for Redemption Island, Papa Bear declared that there was no possibility for him to return to his tribe. He is, in effect, a new member of Upolu now.
Now that I've recognized how the producers are slowly building up the way they depict Brandon's psychotic behavior, I'm really curious what we'll see next. I have this sense that somewhere along the way, whatever the source of his "demons" is will be revealed. I'm guessing that he has some sort of personal history. Maybe he once cheated on his wife or something. His mixture of weird psychological baggage, his Christian beliefs and his willingness to just be a lying asshole seems likely to lead to something really big.
The short preview of next week's episode seems to suggest that he's going to cause some sort of ruckus by telling Coach:
"We got a problem on our hands. Albert, Mikayla and Sophie have somethin' goin' on ..."
The question is: Is he lying to Coach, or do they really have "somethin' goin' on"? Probably he's lying to Coach.
He's just so crazy. He's such a liability. I'd guess that unless something else really dramatic happens, at the first opportunity, Upolu will get rid of him.
Sables: this is a pain in the ass having to scroll up and down in here, why don't we have pages??
I agree with you on Brandon, he alluded that he had stepped out on his marriage in the second episode, I almost wonder if the man needs to have some kind of medication...he is pmsing worse than a woman, angry one minute, apologetic the next and then crying, he really has some demons that he is wrestling with.
For the scrolling, try just tapping your "End" key. It should take you to the bottom of this page, just like tapping the "Home" key should take you to the top of it.
I wonder if Brandon is Bi-Polar or something? Actually, I suspect that he's just a big jerk.
I have a new laptop and have not figured out this thing yet, had no end on it but as I look around on the upper far right there is a home button and that worked for me
Maybe "Shift-Home" works the same as "End" ...
Ask one of the computer nerds around Wireclub. I'm very un-computer-knowledgable ...
The fourth episode of “Survival: South Pacific” was quite subdued compared to the three preceding episodes. There were no shocking surprises. The show is always good, but this episode lacked the fireworks that have marked the other episodes this season.
While it isn’t exactly romance, Savaii is showing a pairing of two couples: Ozzy and Elyse, and Keith and Whitney. This shouldn’t be seen as surprising. They’re all about the same age, and quite good looking. There’s no kissing and hugging (nor sex), but they do seem to be paired off.
This is not going unnoticed by Jim, who is winding up as the odd man out in the Alliance of Five. As a result, the wheels in his head are turning, and the willingness to scheme we’ve seen before is being displayed again. He’s recognized that Ozzy and Elyse are spending a lot of time together, and wisely, he knows that a tight pair can present a certain level of peril to other tribe-mates. He assessed the situation in a private interview: “I’m kinda thinkin’ right now that maybe Elyse and Ozzy have a tighter bond than is realized. I know the game well enough to know that a pair is very, very powerful. The thing is, Ozzy is powerful enough as a physical presence in this game that you can’t give him that physical presence and that voting presence ‘cause he would then run it like Rob did last year. So I’m thinkin’ … I’m not gonna get Ozzy out. But Elyse has gotta go.”
Being an odd man out, and having a willingness to scheme, it was only a matter of who Jim would pick to scheme with. He picked Cochran. He cornered Cochran and proposed getting rid of Elyse. The way he went about it, his demeanor … was just sort of cheap and sneaky. He didn’t present any real significant logical reasoning other than that the pair represent power, and tried to ply Cochran with the idea that it was a “Survivor Move.” The method in which he presented this to Cochran just made him come off looking like a sleazy, conniving phony. Cochran easily recognized the two-faced nature of Jim’s overture, but given his tenuous position with Savaii, any talk about anyone else being targeted is comforting to Cochran, even if it’s being given by a phony. While he pretended that Jim was persuading him, he wasn’t buying Jim’s obvious fake friendliness for even a moment.
In Upolu camp, Brandon’s presence continues to be a destructive element for the tribe. In a private interview, he continued to hint at some sort of inner demons that are at work within him:
“This game, to me, is so jacked up when it comes to people’s feelings. I came to this game with good intentions, but it was ruined by my pride. I let my pride get to me. I started gravitating towards lying to people, and … Every day’s a struggle. I can’t tell you tomorrow I won’t get upset, but from here on out, I’ve decided to be a better person, a better player, a better survivor.”
Brandon embarked upon a campaign to rehabilitate his disruptive image in the tribe, but with no real success. He’s damaged goods. His tribe views him as somewhat crazy, and more than somewhat unreliable and untrustworthy.
His campaign to repair his image began with Mikayla. Speaking privately to her, he offered an apology and an attempted explanation for his actions.
Brandon: “I really shouldn’t have did that. I just got a little bit upset and I shouldn’t have let my temper get control of me like that. I apologize, and I hope you accept my apology.
Mikayla: (nods) “I appreciate it.”
While it was wise of Mikayla to accept that apology, she was much less acceptant in a private interview: (as if she’s speaking to Brandon) “You know, I understand that, like, you’re doing the right thing by apologizing. But, Dude, like, maybe you should think two or three times before you talk. Because it’s, like, he does this thing that he shouldn’t have done, and he apologizes. It just makes him look like a fool. But … his uncle … look who his uncle is. That’s what always gets me. Look who is uncle is.”
Brandon went to Edna next. Not just content to apologize to her, for some reason, he seemed to have a need to demonstrate to her, at the expense betraying others, how badly he felt.
Brandon: “I know I’m screwin’ this up for myself as far as the game is concerned, but I care about you.”
Not content to just apologize, Brandon began needlessly divulging information to Edna about what he knew of other tribe-mates intentions for Edna: “You’ve been a very good friend to me, and this whole time I’ve known that the people that you trusted – including me – lied to you. And I can’t lie to anybody any more. There’s definitely a core-five … like I said, this is probably the worst game strategy for me in the world …”
Edna: “So there’s only a core-FIVE, not a core-SIX?”
Brandon: “There’s all kinds of cores …”
Edna: “I know. It’s like an onion …”
Brandon: “I’m sorry, and I hope you’ll accept my apology.”
Edna: (shaking her head in bewilderment, blinking back tears) “I’m just kind of surprised by this … all five of them …”
Brandon: “Are you upset?”
Edna: “Yeah …”
Watching that, I found myself trying to figure out just what Brandon is up to, if anything, or if he’s simply nuts. He obviously knows he’s damaged his standing in the tribe with his self-destructive crazy behavior, and the apologies are obvious attempts to repair that damage. But why go further with Edna? Why reveal this to her? If it was ANYONE else in the tribe, it would make sense. But Edna has absolutely NO POWER WHATSOEVER in Upolu. Revealing that to Edna was very dangerous because if any of those other people learn that Brandon has betrayed them that way, they’ll IMMEDIATELY kill him off. Either Brandon is an idiot, or he’s crazy. Or both. I think he’s both.
For Edna, it was a shocking dose of unpleasant reality. In a private interview, she explained: “Brandon pulled me aside, and said that I was not actually part of the Alliance of Six. He said that the other five people in the alliance have basically just tolerated me, and that given the opportunity, I’d be the next to go. It was a terrible feeling because you’re believing you’re a part of the group, and it’s easier to believe a lie sometimes than it is to accept the truth.”
Both tribes received Tree Mail in the form of regular bathing suits. No longer would they have to swim in their undies, which made a few people much happier. Most of the players seemed to delight in having actual, real swim wear. Elyse and Whitney (looking quite stunning) were prancing about in their new, skimpy bikinis while Keith and Ozzy struck studly poses in theirs. Dawn had mixed feelings. On one hand, being a conservative Mormon, she was glad to now have a reasonable (actually very attractive) one piece suit instead of her undies to swim in, but on the other, this also caused her at least a little self-consciousness, as she is some twenty years older than Elyse and Whitney, and is the only “older” player in either tribe now that Papa Bear was voted out.
The Tree Mail also delivered the standard instructions for each tribe to send representatives to Redemption Island to witness the Duel between Christine and Papa Bear. Curiously, none of the Savaii members showed much interest. When Cochran shrugged and volunteered, he was met with a long, awkward silence before Jim reluctantly said: “I’ll go.” People actually thanked Jim for going. Poor Cochran pathetically voiced out loud: “Nobody wants to be alone with me.” Jim explained in a private interview: “I wanna go, but at the same time, I don’t like Cochran and I both goin’ at the same time because nobody knows Cochran and I are together, and guilt by association …”
More evidence of Jim’s growing alienation from the Alliance of Five began to show even before Jim and Cochran went off to witness the Redemption Island Duel. Ozzy and Elyse were lounging around, and Jim approached, wanting to talk strategy versus Upolu.
Jim said: “Here’s my thought process. We have an opportunity with the other tribe thinking that we’re weak. It might give us some kind of play. I just wanna make sure we’re all on the same page so that if it comes up …”
It appeared to me that this was just more manuveuring on Jim’s par5t. He had already broken a trust with the Alliance by scheming with Cochran to break up the pairing of Ozzy and Elyse. Now he was trying to reassure those two that he was a solid trustworthy Alliance member.
Ozzy’s response probably didn’t reassure Jim all that much. With a distinct tone of disinterest, Ozzy replied: “I really think it’s too early at this point …” Had Jim been witness to what followed, he would be wondering how well his machinations were working, and concerned that he was becoming more vulnerable.
In a private interview, Ozzy said: “If you plan on going far in this game you definitely try to stay a few steps ahead, but Jimmy’s trying to play the strategy point too much.”
As Jim and Cochran left, Ozzy mockingly said, as others laughed, “Yay! They’re gone! Strategy, strategy, strategy … Jim, calm down with the strategy …” Overheard by Dawn, she noted, in a private interview, that while Ozzy seemed to be downplaying efforts to strategize, he was certainly strategizing himself when there were less people around.
The Duel witnesses for Upolu were Brandon and Edna, who joined Jim and Cochran to watch the contest. Asked by Jeff how it felt to have Jim and Cochran, who’d voted him out of the tribe, now on hand as witnesses for the Duel, Papa Bear leveled with them that if he was able to return to the game, he’ll be joining their opposition.
Brandon used the opportunity continue his crusade of craziness: “I would like to say something to Christine, if you don’t mind …”
Christine looked anything but enthusiastic about hearing what Brandon had to say. Jeff added: “She’s not looking up, but I’m guessing she can hear …”
Brandon continued: “Well, alright. I just wanted to apologize to you for the way I handled that Tribal Council. And I came clean to everybody. I feel real bad. For seven days I’ve played this game. I played it ruthless, and I turned over a new leaf, and I’m sorry, Christine. I hope you do well.”
Reasonably, Christine was not too impressed. This display of craziness was definitely noticed by Jim and Cochran. (Brandon’s craziness is now getting to the point where it’s feeding information to the rival tribe.)
The Duel was simple. There was a set of ten wooden crates set out in an array, at varying distances, before the two players. Each player was given a pile of small sandbags which were to be tossed, the object being to land a sandbag on each of the ten crates. First player to accomplish this would survive the Duel. It was a very close contest which Christine finally won, her second Duel victory in a row. Papa Bear became the second person removed from Survivor: South Pacific.
After the Duel, the program focused a bit on Edna. She has, from the very start, seemed completely out of her league in this game, and learning from Brandon that she was basically being kept around as fodder, to be voted out when it was convenient for her tribe-mates to do so, only seemed to increase her level of social awkwardness. Social interaction is so very important in this game, and Edna seems to be clueless as to how to play it.
Her reaction to Brandon’s warning was to suddenly become annoyingly and overbearingly friendly to everyone, to go overboard in an attempt to suck up to her tribe-mates in any way possible. She developed a very insincere sounding laugh, and laughed with it in reaction to every situation possible, to the annoyance of everyone. Her laugh had a contrived, disingenuous quality to it which quickly got under people’s skins. She augmented this with a cloying display of acute interest in the most trivial and banal aspects of anything anyone would say, and began peppering everyone with endless questions intended to show them how interested she was. It was a pathetic performance. Edna is a nice woman, and it’s impossible not to like her, but she’s in over her head in this game. Her days are numbered.
Upon return to Savaii camp, Cochran probed Dawn if there had been much “chattering going on” when he and Jim were gone. Dawn described how Ozzy had mocked Jim about the “strategizing.” Dawn expressed an opinion that Ozzy was essentially trying to keep people from talking.
The producers chose to tantalize viewers with the possibility of an anti-Ozzy/Elyse move. In a private interview, Cochran ran down his analysis of his standing in the tribe, and how that relates to Jim, and to Jim’s idea to target Elyse: “Jim and I have developed a good partnership, moving forward. But numerically, it doesn’t seem completely straightforward that were gonna be able to get rid of Elyse, ‘cause right now, there are only Jim and I who are on board with voting out Elyse. So we’re gonna have to find somebody that’s gonna be willing to do this or else we’re screwed.”
In an edit, the program then cut to Cochran as he was talking with Dawn, probing her for how she felt about voting off Elyse. Dawn, while not nearly as enthusiastic about the proposition as Jim and Cochran, certainly was aware of the unpleasant reality that she is not a part of the Alliance of Five, and thus, was willing to consider a move that might even the odds against her and Cochran. Continuing with the private interview, Cochran speculated: “It turns out Dawn is kind of on the same page and wants Elyse out, and for somebody like me, who thrives on big strategic moves, and loves seeing that in a game like Survivor, I’ve been dying to be a part of something like this. And getting rid of Elyse is going to devastate Ozzy and make the other pretty people feel a little less secure. This is finally gonna be the time when Savaii makes a move that’s gonna change the course of the game, and it’s gonna surprise a lot of people.
Not likely, Cochran. Let’s count heads:
~~ In this new, fragile Alliance Against the Pretty People: Jim, Cochran and Dawn
~~ In the Alliance of Five: Ozzy, Elyse, Keith and Whitney (Remember, Jim has become a turncoat, and although he’s a part of the Alliance of Five, he’s betraying them.)
For the Alliance Against the Pretty People to work, they’ll need to get one of those pretty people to turn against the others. Right now, the Pretty People are two COUPLES, so in reality, they’ll need to turn TWO of them.
That is a very unlikely possibility. Cochran and Dawn are far more vulnerable, and it’s very unlikely that either of the Pretty People couples will join with them against the other couple.
It was time for an Immunity Challenge. It was one of those kinds of challenges that appeared to be all physical, but actually required a little strategy, as well. It was essentially a barbell contest … with a twist. Each tribe chose three members (two men, one woman) that held the “bar,” a pole, across their shoulders, and weights, in the form of ten-pound bags of sand (twenty pounds added at a time), were added to the bars until the person could no longer hold the weight. The weights would be added at regular intervals of time. A simple test of strength and endurance. But there was the twist: the OPPOSING tribe would determine which player received the weights when it was time for weights to be added.
The contestants chosen by Savaii were Keith, Jim and Dawn. For Upolu, it was Brandon, Albert and Stacey.
Both tribes chose essentially the same strategy, which was to weigh down the men more than the women, putting them out of the contest, and leaving the two women to fight it out.
Dawn won the contest when Stacey could no longer hold the weight.
At stake was, of course, Immunity from Tribal Council. That was augmented by a cage with a rooster and two chickens, and the always present clue to the location of a Hidden Immunity Idol (The clue was a moot point, of course, because Ozzy has already found Savaii’s Idol).
Upon return to camp, the defeated Upolu Tribe listened to a speech from Coach. He counseled that they shouldn’t take the defeat to heart: “Let’s not get too down, huh? What’s done is done. We gotta pick ourselves up and live to fight another day. We gotta put it in the past.” An empty speech, considering that in the very near future, their tribe would be numbering one less when they killed someone off.
Paranoia set in, and people began wondering just who would be sacrificed. If this was an orderly, unified tribe, everyone would already know. But apparently, Upolu is anything but orderly and unified. So the little secret conversations began in earnest. It seemed like it was sifting down to a choice between Edna and Stacey. Edna was clearly unable to contribute much of ANYTHING in challenges, and Stacey had previously made the error of hitching her wagon to Christine, which placed her on the outside of Coaches Alliance of Five … Alliance of Six … whatever it was. Stacey had also, from day one, displayed a real lack of any kind of warmth or friendliness for anyone. The only person she seemed to have even a little connection with was Christine, who was marooned on Redemption Island.
Edna seemed content to just meekly remain quiet, stay out of everyone’s way, and just hope for the best. Stacey was more active. She first probed Coach for information, and received only transparent reassurance that didn’t reassure her in the least. She then tried to stir the pot a little, suggesting to Brandon that Albert, Sophie and Mikayla were plotting as a threesome.
Brandon took that bait. He approached Coach, and some fireworks were set off as Coach unsuccessfully attempted to get control over Brandon. As he had a number of times before, Coach used this situation in an attempt to establish himself an undisputed leader of Upolu that could issue orders to Brandon, and have those orders followed. Brandon didn’t cooperate.
Brandon: “Coach, we gotta problem on our hands.”
Coach: “Another one?”
Brandon: “Yeah, buddy. We don’t have a five-alliance. It might be the end of the road as far as that goes. Stacey just came up to me while you were gone. She came up to me and said that Albert, Mikayla and Sophie have somethin’ goin’ on.”
Coach immediately, and sternly ordered Brandon: “Stop it! Stop it!
Brandon: “I’m tellin’ you …”
Coach: “No! I want you to stop it! Stop it! Look at me! Look at me! This game is gonna get so much crazier than this, and if you believe somebody that is on death row, like Stacey knows she is, over somebody that is in our core alliance, then you might as well throw in the towel right now. I’m tellin’ you! I don’t care what she says! You have one person telling you something, outside of our alliance, and you’re bitin’ it, every time. I can see it. You’re already takin’ it as fact. Don’t worry, man …”
Brandon demonstrated that Coach’s attempt to gain control was failing by just starting to walk away, leaving Coach hanging mid-sentence
Coach, in a gesture of semi-futility, tried to continue: “Now look at me just for a second. Don’t worry man.”
The conversation kind of trailed off from there. The obvious gist of it was that yet again, Coach was trying to gain a position of superiority over Brandon, to pull rank on him, and once again, he had failed. The relationship between these two flakes is just so bizarre. While they were preoccupied in this little dance of non-unity, Sophie happened to come walking up, and witnessed it. Both she and Coach were shown in private interviews expressing their grave concern about Brandon, and what a destructive force he is within their tribe.
Once Upolu arrived at Tribal Council, Jeff opened the proceedings by asking Stacey about her losing performance in the Challenge. There really isn’t much someone in that position can say, and Stacey offered a typical “I did the best I could” reply. Prompted by Jeff, Coach agreed that Stacey shouldn’t be criticized for her performace, but also, dropped a blatant reference that it was going to be a choice between two people, as well as giving us a taste of the semi-incoherent, hackneyed “warrior” dialogue familiar from his past appearances in Survivor.
Coach: “You know, I think that if we were trying to choose between two people solely based on their warrior spirit, would I say that Stacey was on the fence today? No, and we all take our hats off to her for how she performed in the Challenge today.”
Jeff tried “a little group therapy” with the tribe. For this therapy, Jeff would address a player, and then, in reference to another player he chose, have them complete the statement:
“The most annoying thing about [name of a player] is …”
“Rick, the most annoying thing about Albert is …”
Rick shrugged, and harmlessly said that Albert snored. There were a couple of other inconsequential turns in this little exercise. And then he went to Mikayla.
“Mikayla, the most annoying thing about … Brandon … is … ?
I leaned forward in my seat, waiting for the explosion that was sure to follow.
But Mikayla blew it. Brandon has made her Survivor life miserable from Day One by unjustly and hatefully targeting her for elimination for no good reason whatsoever, lying, conniving, trying everything possible to harm her … Now she had the opportunity to haul this right out into the open where it could be dealt with, where Brandon could be exposed as the creepy psychotic hater he is. Instead, she made a lame, and unfair, reference to his Uncle Russell.
Mikayla: “Um … he’s a great kid, but it’s always in the back of my mind who his uncle is. He says he’s nothing like him and this and that, but there’s just one thing that’s like, darn! You’re such a good kid, but why does it have to be your uncle?”
Jeff asked the obvious question (with undisguised annoyance): “Well, if he’s such a good kid, what difference does it make who his uncle is?”
Mikayla shrugged and answered lamely: “Still … blood’s blood.”
It was such a stupid move on her part. She had the opportunity to put on display, front and center, all of the crazy psychotic unjustified crap Brandon had inflicted upon her. Instead, she allowed him to portray himself as being victimized by her. Brandon reasonably insisted that he was not his uncle, and it was unfair to say he was. Brandon has been victimizing Mikayla mercilessly from the very beginning of the game, but with that exchange, she made it possible for Brandon to portray HIM as being victimized unfairly by HER. I couldn’t believe it!
Jeff continued on the Brandon/Russell theme: “How difficult is it, Brandon, to hear people talk ill of your uncle?”
The obvious emotions of having to answer that question unleashed those Brandon demons for everyone to see again as he delivered a rambling, incoherent speech while on the verge of tears …
Brandon: “It’s tough. You know, he’s my family. It’s just … sometimes we fall to temptation. Sometime we just … this can get hard for everybody …”
Jeff: “What’s upsetting to you right now?”
Brandon: (lets out a deep sigh, and begins to choke back tears) “Because, man, I just wanna be (sobs) somebody God’s proud of …”
Jeff continued to pry the lid off of Brandon’s BIG-CAN-OF-DEMONS: “What’s making you think you aren’t?”
Brandon (crying outwardly) “I don’t wanna be misrepresented, that it’s my family! Because it affected my family, big time, when this whole thing went down with Russell, and you can only protect him from so much stuff … I mean, when you see what he done, it’s like, the proof’s in the pudding, you know. You can’t help somebody who’s done that to himself, but … what do you do? What do you do?”
Jeff: “So you feel a responsibility to reclaim the family name in a positive light?”
Brandon: “I’m gonna do it. If I haven’t told him already, I’m gonna do it. It’s not how ya start. It’s how ya finish.”
With only a little more inconsequential talk about trust, the group therapy session was over, and it was time to vote.
After all of the disunity shown by Upolu since this game began, and in this episode, somehow this time the tribe FINALLY showed purpose, and made the vote unanimous. Other than Stacey’s single vote for Edna, all other votes were for Stacey. But once again, Coach made an attempt to show leadership that flew back into his face. As Stacey was gathering her belongings and her torch, Coach whispered to the tribe: “Let’s give her a hug, yeah?” As he stepped to Stacey, arms beginning to encircle her, she physically pushed him away, leaving Coach in the most awkward and embarrassing situation.
As she stepped over to Jeff with her torch, he said: “After all that, they offered you a hug …”
Stacey: “Hm-mm. That’s not real. That wasn’t real. Everything was a lie. So … I will be back …”
Jeff: “Stacey, the tribe has spoken.”
And so it had.
All that was left was one last little rant by Stacey when she rendezvoused with her buddy Christine on Redemption Island:
Stacey: “Tribal was a joke today. And they talk about loyalty? You need to be loyal to nobody but God. They all got loyalty to their God – Coach. When we get together and the other tribe comes, I’m gonna spill everything that’goin’ on over there.”
Sables: lol Brandon is crazy and Edna is desperate, omg she was running off at the mouth like a soup sandwich lol I thought she was going to loose it
That's soooo funny!
Do you really think Brandon is crazy? Why do you think that? He probably is crazy. I'd like to hear your views on that because I'm so interested.
That's sooooooo funny!
How did you come up with soup sandwich? Is that something you heard somewhere? Or did you invent that? You're so witty!
(Christ, can you imagine what it must be to have that hovering around all the time?)
Desperate ... exactly.
She's a nice woman. She's probably make a great next-door neighbor, someone you worked with, etc.
But she has just has NOTHING in the way of the skills needed to play the game.
Have you noticed Rick the Rancher?
Mr. Silence. He just lurks under the radar. Says nothing. Stays out of the way. Is never involved in any Survivor drama.
I was SHOCKED that he actually said something in Tribal Council.
Sables: yes me too actually I thought where has he been hiding....but you know sometimes....the silent ones are the ones to watch out for lol
Actually I am amazed that Edna made it on to survivor, she is so...bland no personality per say usually they have some kind of a quality you know bring something to the group whether it be looks brains, conniving......
but like you say she seems to be a great neighbor to have she is very unassuming, but maybe that is a good thing, unless she keeps up with the verbal diarrhea and they decide enough is enough and she is gone....
she is the typical asian woman very unassuming and subservant, but then maybe that is what she wants us to think
She's next in line for elimination in her tribe. The next time Upolu loses a Challenge, she's gone. The only thing that could possibly save her is if Brandon manages to come up with something even more destructive to his tribe than he's done so far. They are unbelievably tolerant of him. Why, I have no idea. But unless he figures out a way to become even crazier than he has so far, Edna will be sent packing the next time they lose a Challenge. And if that happens, unless the Duel is 100% mental, 0% physical, she's history.