Survivor: South Pacific: Team Savaii or Team Upolu? And Did Rick's Tribal Vote Make Sense?

This week’s edition of Survivor: South Pacific examined an important question — and thankfully it had nothing to do with whether or not Edna’s blind loyalty to Coach would result in her eventually serving as Ozzy’s Chief Hiney-Wiping Officer. (More on that horrific image in a moment.)

No, as Jeff Probst so astutely framed it, Tribal Council asked the members of Upolu which type of tribemate they’d rather have heading into a possible merge: The physically stronger player (Mikayla) who could help them win the final pre-merge immunity challenge and enter a blended tribe with a numbers advantage, but whose loyalties were slightly questionable once they reached that point in the competition? Or the undeniable weakling (Edna) who might hurt their chances at the final challenge, but who also seemed willing to follow them into battle and carry out their most explicit instructions?

That debate caused a rift at Upolu — even among the Alliance of Five (Albert, Sophie, Coach, Brandon, and Rick). Coach wanted Mikayla ousted for not following his tepid command to stand down during the immunity challenge when her coconut-launching skills proved dubious, and he got Brandon and Edna to agree to his plan. Edna shouldn’t be on the chopping block, Coach insisted, because he believed in a post-merge scenario she would carry out his every order, even going so far as to follow Ozzy “every time he takes a s***” and “wipe his a**.” (File under: Visuals we could have lived very happily without.)

Albert and Sophie, meanwhile, approached Mikayla about sending Edna to the guillotine. In a Survivor draft situation involving Edna and Mikayla, pointed out Albert, “I’m going with Mikayla 11 out of 10 times” (Side note: Thank you, editors, for the many loving closeups of Albert during this portion of the telecast. I’m returning the favor with a bonus Albert photo below.) The divided tribe put the heretofore “seldom seen, and almost never heard” Rick in the swing-vote position. “This sucks,” he said, exhausting his vocabulary quotient for the episode.

Ultimately, though, Rick chose loyalty over strength, sending Mikayla to Redemption Island. At least she won’t be tempting Brandon anymore with her Dance of 1,000 Survivor Buffs. And at least we got Edna and Mikayla throwing amusing barbs as they held up their votes to the camera:

Edna: “I hope your time here has helped your future modeling career.”

Mikayla: “I don’t even know how you got this far.”

In other news this week…

* Ozzy threw a tantrum returning from the Tribal Council ouster of his hammock buddy Elyse, declaring himself a “free agent.” Dawn, rapidly becoming my favorite player, wasn’t having his indignation over being left in the dark about the blindside. “Give me a break, Ozzy,” she groaned. “There’s stuff that you’re withholding, and you know that.” Ozzy, in a move that was both infantile and strategically questionable, went all “Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah: I’ve got the immunity idol!” Cochran best summed up Ozzy’s woeful social game: “In all senses, he’s behaving like a stupid bitch.” But eventually Ozzy apologized to his tribemates, they had a kumbaya moment, and went on to win the immunity challenge and share a picnic lunch and natural waterslide adventure.

* At Upolu, Brandon found the clue to the hidden idol and shared it with Coach and Albert, not realizing that duo (along with Sophie) already had it in their possession. “Is withholding information lying?” the increasingly intolerable Coach wondered, trying to ease his guilty conscience. Albert, proving he’s got brains and beauty, made a strong case not to come clean to Brandon: “He’ll fly off the handle if he find we’ve been one percent dishonest.” Ding ding ding ding.

* An emotionally spent Christine won a game of Redemption Island Shuffleboard over Elyse, but not before flipping the bird to Rick after he cheered her efforts. Those Savaii folks should be rooting hardcore for Christine at the next duel, no?

* I loved how Jeff Probst described this week’s wacky-complicated immunity challenge — build wheelbarrow; maneuver it through maze and fill it with coconuts; turn wheelbarrow into slingshot; launch coconuts to break ceramic busts — as if it was the most mundane activity ever. There’s a reason this guy keeps winning Emmys, after all.

And that brings me to my two poll questions this week. First, are you Team Savaii or Team Upolu? (I’d have to go with the former, despite really digging Albert and Sophie on the latter.) And did Rick make the right call with his Tribal Council vote? (I’d say “no.” After all, Mikayla definitely trumps Edna from a physical standpoint, and I didn’t get any sense she’d flip to Savaii if she made it through to the merge.)

Weigh in with your votes below, then hit the comments to talk about this week’s Survivor. And for all my reality recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Sean says:

    My Random Thoughts:

    When Coach and Tree-Mail Visor Edna went looking for coconuts on the beach, they seemed to spend more time dodging crabs and complimenting each other. Coach told Edna that she is safe…for now…and that Mikayla would be the next one voted out. If you’re Edna, are you pleased about this? It’s not like he told her he was tight with her, just that she could last 3 days longer than Mikayla.

    Maybe she was too preoccupied with the bites/sores on her legs (did you SEE that?) to consider that this was a pretty crappy deal. Either that or she was hypnotized by the smoke coming off of whatever Coach was burning on a stick over the fire.

    There were a lot of underlying messages at Tribal Council: Coach said that they lost because they didn’t compete as a team. (Translation: Mikayla sucked.) Jeff asked Edna why she always sits out at challenges? (Translation: Can you do anything?)

    There was a big discussion of Loyalty vs. Strength. Albert says screw loyalty, you have to get to the merge with numbers. (Translation: Why save Justin Verlander for Game 1 of the ALCS when you haven’t yet won the ALDS vs. the Yankees?)

    Brandon said “I love you Mikayla” (Translation: You’ll need a restraining order for the Live Finale), but begged his Tribemates to vote for her.

    Coach said that it is possible to be too honest, and that some cards can be revealed at a certain time, and that doesn’t mean you’re being disloyal. (Translation: Brandon, don’t be p1ssed at me when you find out I had the Idol.)

    After you’re done here at TVLine, I hope you’ll check out the rest of my recap at, or you can just click my name.

  2. davey says:

    Didn’t I just read the EXACT same comment from you on How many sites do you post your “thoughts” on?

  3. Mark says:

    Edna’s vote out comment to Mikayla about the modeling career, sarcastic or sincere? I thought the latter but my friend disagreed.

  4. satirex says:

    My favorite thing about this Survivor season is that neither team is running up the score. They’ve been trading off wins, and each week the winning teams feels great and the losing team goes through a crisis of confidence. It’s a lot more fun to watch than having one team gloat week after week while the other falls apart.

    Another thought: I could watch Ozzie and Albert on my TV for a LONG time.

    • Gee says:

      I concur with everything you said especially with watching Albert and Ozzie every week.

    • Kevin says:

      I really wish Ozzie would go away already. I’m so sick of the past contestants.

    • shaunna says:

      I am glad Ozzie is on. I’d like the next survivor to have Parvati Shallow be on again. She is my fav- Her web show ” Around the world for free” is best thing I have seen on the internet. If producers read this- please bring Parvati back next season or devise a new show of her own.

  5. Luis M. says:

    Albert is so hot!

  6. tom says:

    It is so obvious Coach has a crush on Edna

  7. Tim says:

    I can’t stand Coach and hate all his groupies–I was glad Mikayla got voted out cause she has no stategic game whatsoever. I hope Christine kicks her ass.

    • Snsetblaze says:

      I hope so to. But I wonder if the reason Rick chose to send her to redemption over Edna is that she has a shot at beating Christine if its a challenge that requires skill.

      • Dana says:

        I totally agree!! Christina kept giving Rick and Sophie the evil eye and she’s made no bones about her dislike for her former tribmates. If she comes back, that spells big trouble for them. If I were Rick, my thinking would be that a) there have not been a lot of endurance challenges (i.e. let’s all stand and balance on this pole for 5 hours) and one of those might be due very soon — which Edna might not be terrible at, and b) Mikayla might be able to kick Christina’s butt right off of Redemption Island and onto the next plane home. Either way, I’m completely rooting for Savaii at this point, so I hope they lose the next one.

  8. topsyturvy says:

    “The increasingly intolerable Coach”?!! Um, he’s been intolerable since his first season of SURVIVOR.

    Albert. Mmmmmmmmm! (I’m waiting for the “in the water in your underwear” challenge.)

  9. Gabe says:

    Savaii is probably my favorite team, but my two favorite players are Albert and Sophie right now.

  10. Juliana says:

    I’m loving Dawn too! And I think she has a solid chance to go deep, as the stronger men will likely be early targets post-merge. My only concern is that those remaining will realize she is a threat to win (because she is likeable) and boot her around 4th or 5th place (a la Holly Hoffman from the Nicaragua season). I like Albert too, but I think he is toast post-merge, which is too bad. My dream Final Three would be Albert, Dawn, and Sophie at this point.