“You just made one of the biggest moves in the history of this game based on one big assumption,” said Jeff Probst at the end of this week’s Survivor: South Pacific Tribal Council, and yowza, that was an understatement.
In a nutshell, after watching Upolu outcast Christine win her fifth straight Redemption Island duel, Savaii tribemates Ozzy and Cochran began reviewing worst-case scenarios — one of which included Christine staying loyal to Upolu if she lasted long enough to get reintroduced into the general population after a merge. Ozzy declared that if Savaii had to go to Tribal Council, he’d be willing to “sack up,” get voted out, and try to oust Christine in a duel — thus ensuring a 6-6 Savaii-Upolu post-merge balance. A gallant gesture, but a flawed one, too.
The big assumption, of course, was that the merge will actually occur next week. And then, of course, there was a second assumption: That the Redemption Island champ will return to the game at the same time as a merge.
Naturally, Savaii lost the immunity challenge to Upolu — thanks to an error by hapless Cochran, while a so-intense-he-alm0st-exploded Jim screamed on — causing a full-scale Ozzy temper tantrum and a general consensus that the tribe would be sending the court jester to duel Christine, instead of Trojan Horse Ozzy. But Ozzy woke up the next morning after having some “crazy dreams” that told him he needed to head to Redemption — and seek a larger sense of Survivor redemption, perhaps to erase his rep as the guy who got voted out while possessing an individual immunity idol during his Survivor: Micronesia run. His tribe agreed to the plan, which naturally gave Jeff Probst an opportunity to present the one scenario that no one seemed willing to talk about: “If you don’t win the duel tomorrow, you go out a bigger fool than you did last time.”
In other words, don’t count out Christine, a woman who’s gone from the brink of emotional collapse from her Redemption Island isolation to a newfound sense of competitiveness. I loved this exchange she had with Jeff after she’d ousted Mikayla in a crate-bridge-puzzle challenge.
Jeff: Christine, you have single-handedly sent five people out of this game. You’re becoming a legitimate force.
Christine: I’ve always been a legitimate force — my whole life.
Oh grrrl, those are some fighting words. In a season where every duel has had a sort of mundane, “let’s get through this and move on to the good stuff” vibe, the start of next week’s episode should absolutely be a can’t-miss experience. As Ozzy himself said it, “The move to get myself voted out is probably the stupidest thing I could’ve done, or one of the most iconic moves in Survivor history.” Take our poll below and tell us which of those options is more likely.
Before you do, three notes on Upolu. Was anyone else completely creeped out by Coach’s post-challenge freakout — screaming “on your knees! on your knees!” at his tribemates as if he was about to perform a military-style execution (as opposed to wanting them to give thanks to God for their win)? And how come everyone was so excited to see Coach with the immunity necklace in his hands, when, y’know, in the event that the tribes don’t merge, dude will be the only one of the six folks on Upolu who’s safe from elimination? And to erase any bad memories of the heavy-handed Survivor: South Pacific Cinema shilling for Adam Sandler’s new movie, I’ve taken the liberty of including a bonus photo of Albert. You’re welcome!
What did you think of this week’s Survivor? Take our poll, then hit the comments and expand on your thoughts!