Survivor: South Pacific: Is There Any Way a Savaii Member Can Win?

This week’s installment of Survivor: South Pacific followed the philosophy that two super-predictable Tribal Councils in an hour is better than just one — especially if you can surround those sleepy voting tallies with scenes of open hostility, gradually simmering tensions, and Albert’s impressive abs (pictured below, for totally non-prurient reasons).

Things kicked off with the blindsided former members of Savaii wreaking verbal revenge on the nerd (Cochran). Jim called Cochran “a poor excuse for a man,” Whitney hissed “you disgust me” right into his face, and Ozzy took to the confessional to declare that Cochran’s change of allegiance was “how a wiener plays.” (Is it, Ozzy? Is it?) Jim packed more venom per word into his ranting, though, and thus Cochran told his Upolu buddies that, on a personal level, the medical marijuana dispenser would be his choice for elimination. That plan went up in ganja smoke, though, when Jim won immunity in a challenge that went something like this: crack coconuts; fill mouth with coconut water; run through obstacle course; listen up for Jeff Probst innuendo (“Sophie is sliding down that pole!”); fill clear plastic tube with water from mouth; try not to vomit (sorry, Sophie); and then “Jim wins immunity!”

Jim then came up with a cockamamie plan to give his immunity necklace to Ozzy, and make an impassioned speech to sway at least two members of the original Upolu six to join the remaining Savaii in voting against Cochran. Alas, though, Jim’s rally-the-troops speech made less sense than a Brandon Hantz monologue. Jim’s flawed logic was that by booting Cochran, the residents of Survivor: South Pacific had an opportunity to prove to all future castaways that “you can go through this game honorably, and if you’re a turncoat, you’ve got no place in my tribe — except for that time I led Savaii to blindside Elyse!” Um, dude, a Survivor without duplicity, scheming, and blindsides is a Survivor that gets replaced by weekly reruns of A Gifted Man!

Thankfully, Coach saw Jim’s plan as sending a different message altogether to future Survivorists: “If you stick up for yourself, you’re gonna get screwed.” And just like that, Jim realized it might be kinda sort of a good idea to hang on to that immunity necklace. Thus, it was Ozzy who got sent to join Keith at Redemption Island; good thing the Survivor vet had room for his inflated ego in his knapsack — the better to boast about the inevitability of winning every Redemption Island duel, and his plan to prepare a “nice fish” for all his future opponents, then “send them on their way.”

By the bye, I loved this exchange between Brandon and Cochran as they discussed the idea of ousting Ozzy for the second time in the South Pacific season:

Brandon: How many chances do you get to vote him out of this game?
Cochran: Apparently, two.
Brandon: (Totally blank stare)

Anyway, the Upolo Six (and Cochran) skipped the next immunity challenge — balancing a ball on a bow while balancing on a beam — in favor of gorging on pastries and iced coffee, leaving Jim, Whitney, and Dawn to duke it out. Funniest moment of the episode came when Jim fell off his perch, Probst gave an enthusiastic play-by-play that “Jim has no shot at immunity tonight!” and Jim retorted “I KNOW!” in the most disgusted, petulant tone I’ve heard all season.

And speaking of surly, Hot Albert wasn’t happy with the way his alliance members cheered for sweet, tough Dawn over Whitney and Jim. “Personally, I didn’t really like the way we treated Dawn at the challenge,” he said in the confessional. “I thought we were a little too inclusive with her. I wanna nip this in the bud as soon as I can.” Awww, Albert, but Dawn is so darn likable! (Which is why, in fact, you may have a point.)

Tribal Council turned into a hotbed of Brandon-fueled crazy: Dawn said if Savaii had the numbers edge, she’d have competed in the challenge anyway, prompting Brandon to respond as though she’d spat in his mother’s face and kicked his dog in the groin. “I promise you, Jeff, none of us are gonna stop,” seethed Brandon, “until that whole Savaii tribe is completely [makes dismissive arm gesture]. Tonight we dine in Hell!” That, naturally, made Whitney weep openly that the members of the Upolu alliance “don’t accept us as real people.” And then Jim was voted out and sent to Redemption Island with Keith and Ozzy. (Side note: Don’t you think all future Redemption Island duels should be limited to two players, not three or more?)

Tribal ended with a cryptic little message from Probst: There was a lot said at Tribal Council, he noted, but “was anything revealed that might help Dawn or Whitney?” If there was, I sure didn’t hear it.

So here’s my question to you: Do Whitney or Dawn have any kind of chance to earn the title of Sole Survivor? Or, for that matter, any of the gents on Redemption Island? Post your scenarios for such an unlikely victory in the comments, 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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38 Comments
  1. nodak says:

    If Rick, Sofie and Albert were smart, they’d use Dawn and Whitney to break up the Coach-Edna-Brandon-Cochran group. Coach is going to want to go to the finals with those weaker players, and Rick, Sofie, and Albert won’t have the numbers to avoid being eliminated.

    • dcmjlive says:

      The preview for next week shows that Albert is scheming to get the votes of all Savaii. But to be able to do that, he does have to think about post-Savaii elimination game first. Given he’s thinking that he’ll get to the top easy, I doubt he’ll be able to think of that.

      But yeah, Albert, Sophie and Rick don’t have the numbers on their side and their best move would be to bring Dawn and Whitney for the ride.

      • Sean says:

        My Random Thoughts:

        Coach basked in the glory of the Upolu victory with a prayer and some Tai Chi, while talking about being “confident but not arrogant”, and “humble but not weak.” He thinks he has a good shot at going all the way, and I have to say I agree. This season is looking more and more like last season with Coach in the role of Boston Rob.

        Let’s assume that Brandon makes it to the dreaded “Loved Ones” episode…who do you think his “loved one” will be? His wife…or Uncle Russell?

        After you’re done here at TVLine, if you’re looking for more to read on Survivor, I hope you’ll check out the rest of my recap at http://sfurfaro.blogspot.com/2011/11/survivor-south-pacific-recap-pastries.html or you can juct click my name.

    • jhg says:

      they probably hope to get brandon when they tell him about the idol and coach not being honest with him

    • Denise says:

      Or, maybe Edna and Cochran will smarten up and realize they are at the bottom of the Coach-Sophie-Albert-Brandon unit and try to join up with Dawn and Whitney going forward. Of course, for that to happen, they would need to persuade Rick or Albert to join them, and I don’t know if I see that happening. I personally think that Sophie believes she’ll go to the end with Coach, but could see Albert flipping and making some moves. I hope something happens, I’m still rooting for Dawn so I hope she can stick around.

  2. Magically Suspicious says:

    What Dawn and Whitney can take away from Tribal to use is any hints as to where there is dissention in the ranks. This is the point in the game where the remaining Savaii are useless to themselves, but vital to someone wanting to stage an uprising. At this point, the smart player will think proactively about when their tribe is forced to turn on themselves and make a move to pull in Whitney and Dawn to form a new alliance. Especially if they are being mindful of the fact that Ozzy stands a lovely chance of coming back into the game at some point. When that happens, I’d rather be on his side than against him as the numbers dwindle. So, yeah….a Savaii can still go pretty far in the game. They are valuable votes right now and all that has to carry them is through a couple of eliminations until the playing field is basically leveled.

  3. dcmjlive says:

    What I’m not getting with these amateur players is how their not thinking two steps forward. In the last season, Rob greatly exploited this, which led him to an almost perfect win. Coach is doing exactly the same thing, except for one little detail, he hasn’t struck as much fear to his tribe as Rob did. This is a flaw that might bite him in the neck. If the Upolu members don’t realize that, especially Albert, Sophie and Rick, they’ll be eaten up alive.

    I’m most disappointed with Cochran. He went into it without thinking of the totem pole. Given that he started with playing the game surviving day to day, he retained that mindset when he voted Keith off without understanding the ramifications. He’s at the bottom right now and once Whitney and Dawn are gone, him surviving is bleak and if he does survive, he’s already villified by his old tribe. The kid has got no ambition or balls.

    • Mike says:

      I just find it amusing that the dude who called Cochrane a coward, didn’t have the balls to follow through on his own genius plan to hand the immunity necklace to ego boy Ozzy. Who’s the coward now?? At least Harvard had the guts to follow through on his plan, knowing the crap he’d (continue to) face from his original tribe.

      • Totally Agree! says:

        I thought the same thing! Ozzy looked surprised when Jim said he was going to keep immunity, it looks like Jim was doing a little double speak too. I think a Savaii member could easily win. If they do Redemption Island like they did last season and a Savaii member makes it to the end of RI they would then only have to win one or two immunity challenges and BAM there they are and they could easily win because Savaii outnumber Upolo on the jury.

        • jhg says:

          how exactly “Savaii outnumber Upolo on the jury”?
          6 upolo + cochran = 7 against 5 savaii. even if it is final 3 and there are 2 upolo and 1 savaii, still gives us 5 vs 4

      • Snsetblaze says:

        The people who say I’ve played with honor and integrity or honestly generally have not. Jim included. He may not have betrayed his “tribe” but he turned on Elyse and Ozzy who were in his original alliance and he would have betrayed his tribe if he had to since he’s a strategic palyer. Whitney too – she turned on Ozzy and Elyse. Ditto for Brandon and basically almost everything he’s done this season except befriend Cochran. Another example is Coach and his whole deal with praying for an immunity idol that he already has and presenting it to three members of his tribe as if he just found it.

    • eduardocarochio says:

      Cochrane was also at the bottom of the Savaii alliance, so why was switching such a bad move? It was the smartest move for himself. Savaii talks about how many times they “saved” him, but honestly, if you see your name written down as many times as he did, you would’t be comfortable with that alliance either. Whitney’s cryfest disgusted me after I saw how she spoke to Cochrane!

      • dcmjlive says:

        Better to be in the bottom totem of 6 than 7.

        • jules-bl says:

          Except that if Cochran had stayed with the 6, he’s pretty much a confirmed 6th placer (unless Jim re-establish the Jim-Cochran-Dawn alliance). Being 7th with the Upolu, he had more wiggle room. He now has higher chance to get to the end because the other players think that he would not win.

      • tripoli says:

        Because if he some how manages to get to the end, he may have gotten a few votes. He deserved every vote he received. He’s one of the most useless people to play the game, both physically and strategically. I was rooting for him in the beginning, but he became so annoying and pathetic, I couldn’t wait for him to get the boot. Dreaming of playing Survivor for 11 years doesn’t mean a thing, unless you’ve got some skill to make your place in the game worth while. He’s pretty delusional if he thinks he’s got any chance of winning. If for some odd reason he’s kept around, he may, like Jim said, get third place, but he’s never getting the million. And as much as I can’t stand him and his switching, the anger and such was a bit over board. But pretty enjoyable to watch the little punk squirm. Karma’s a bitch ain’t it Cochran?

  4. Snapy says:

    I really want someone from Savaii to win. They were my favourite tribe. Damn that Cockring! Ugh!

    • Tommy says:

      I wonder if CBS put Cochran up to this move because I can’t imagine someone being that ungratful. He would have been gone weeks ago without help. I can’t believe a Harvard Law Student would be that dumb!!

      • dan says:

        I doubt CBS is looking for a lawsuit regarding manipulation of a game valued at $1M for the winner and $100K for the runner-up. After season one they got sued by a female contestant (Stacy?) who was a lawyer; her position was that the producers manipulated her into voting for somebody she didn’t want to vote for. To my knowledge the case never went to trial and it got settled. I think that is why there are cameras all over the voting area so they can film everything the contestant does when they go to vote and make sure there is no interference from a producer standing out of the camera shot.

  5. ATLgroove says:

    I just want someone to tell Brandon to shut the f*ck up during his incessant diatribes. And then, I’d be perfectly happy with which ever way this season plays out.

    • jhg says:

      I am with you!

    • PR Diva says:

      I was screaming the same thing at the TV….Brandon does not realize he has NO chance of winning the game at this point. NO ONE….I mean NO ONE will vote for him. Brandon is a worst player than his uncle. Both, Russell and Brandon did not think about the Jury. Brandon doesn’t see the member he votes out must vote him the money; and even Ozzy on his way out attempted to let the members of Coach’s tribe see that.

      I was NEVER a Benjamin (Coach) fan; however, at this point he is playing a good game. Not getting the Jury members mad at him; but when Brandon realize he needs the voted out members it will be too late.

  6. JenB says:

    For me, this is the WORST SEASON EVER. I have grown sick of Coach (who I always like, and did this season up to a few episodes ago), Brandon is a psychopath and he makes me want to punch him in the face. And don’t even get me started on Cockroach…he has single-handedly ruined this season. I felt so bad for Whitney last night at the 2nd tribal council. Oh…and if I was Dawn/Whitney/Jim, knowing that one of us was going home regardless, I would have played rock/paper/scissors to decide who was going to win immunity and had all of us go out right away so that the cocky asshats on Upolo wouldn’t have time to get more than 2 bites of food.

    • nodak says:

      I said the same thing while watching last night. They should’ve dropped the balls at the start and kept the Upolo tribers from enjoying one bite.

      • tripoli says:

        Agreed. But that would mean that Dawn would have to stop being a spineless, flip flopper. She has no loyalty, just tries to play the sweet, slightly older, care taker role, hoping it will get her further. Which to her credit it has, but she’s still terrible, much like Cochran.

  7. gillian says:

    what i want to know though, is what Ozzy wrote on his vote…all you saw was COC and the rest was blurred out. anyone notice that?

    • dcmjlive says:

      I watched the episode again and I saw that what was written was “COCK UP” Yep, it was blurred and I didn’t even notice.

      What I don’t understand is Whitney and Dawn voting for Ozzy. I know it’s to gain some Upolu trust but… yeah, you’d call Cochran disgusting for destroying the tribe alliance but once it’s destroyed, you’ll jump ship when there’s no need to? I mean, there’s six votes sure to send Ozzy out.

      • tripoli says:

        Had the same thought. It’s a pointless move and shows a lack of commitment and loyalty. Not surprised Dawn did it, she’s been playing that way all along, but was surprised by Whitney’s vote.

  8. Magically Suspicious says:

    I loved that, when confronted by Ozzy and Whitney at Tribal Council about how they ever made him feel small, his answer was that they made him feel small by writing his name down at each of the first few Tribal Councils. Hello? I thought he’d seen this game before? If you are forced to go to Tribal Council, you HAVE to write a name down. Guess what, Buttercup…..you’re the weakest link. It’s not about whether you like someone or not. If you are forced to vote out a member of your tribe, you have to think about getting rid of the person that is the least beneficial to the group. I wanted to root for Cochran in the beginning, but he’s just not that endearing with his whining. If you want to make the power move, then have the balls to stand behind it. Stop whining and looking for protection from your new best friends, who….by the way…will throw you to the wolves at the first opportunity. Way to make yourself the most dispensible person on the island. He’s a perfect example of book smarts not translating to common sense.

    • dcmjlive says:

      I was thinking the same thing. For a guy who has watched the show for 22 seasons, he took the first vote so out of context. It was plain and simple, he wasn’t in the core alliance. The guy lacks one bit of practicality and game savvy and just a whole lot of fandom and quid pro quo. And his name wasn’t even written down once by anyone in the first tribal council except for Semhar’s vote. He should of all fans know about the totem pole and building core alliances but instead tried to play the social game wherein he has no talent whatsoever in. What happened to “I’ll be the puzzle solver” and then he didn’t know how to operate a single hook.

      But other than Cochran ranting. Savaii were full of slip ups that led to the inevitable pagonging. First, Jim decided to vote out someone trustworthy in Elyse for someone who is a loose-cannon (Cochran) and unpredictable (Dawn). He played an endgame move TOO early, when plays such as that should only arise post-merge. Second, Ozzy decided to risk himself instead of sending weasel cockring to die under Christine’s hands. I do believe Christine would be more loyal to Ozzy than Coach, simply because the girl hates Coach’s guts. The whole act was just so stupid, Upolu saw through the ruse.

    • tripoli says:

      Best comment and best name, goes to Magically Suspicious. Well done!

  9. cmac says:

    its not about “writing his name down” he was reminded constantly about how “weak” he was and they took none of his ideas seriously. he was treated as a second rate player. so he made a move to a unit who treats him better. plus, knowing how Badly he is now disliked by some jury members.. he is an easy opponent in the final 3. is moving from a potential 6th place to a potential 3rd place a bad move on any game?

    • tripoli says:

      If you decide to have a tribe discussion before tribal council about what vote is best for the tribe, then the truth is gonna come out. He often brought about those kinds of comments by commenting on his own weak performance. Truth hurts, but that’s how it works in the early rounds. Cut the weak, keep the strong til the merge. Second rate player? Hardly. Dude, isn’t even in the arena.

  10. red says:

    They should when they get to final ten still keep red-island and keep playing and let the losers play against each other and the winner keep playing and put the losers somewhere island for the jury and keep playing til one,s left then they join the final two..let the jury stay at ri instead going at a hotel..this by far is the worst show since survivor started..cochroach is weaksauce dawn is such a butt kisser cowboy needs to saddle out.jim got what was coming after voting out elyse also keith whitney weak sauce they screwed there selves…like coach but when they ate instead ..well quess for now there safe why not eat but a true leader would fight for there tribe eat later..hope ozzy comes back and kicks all there asses..can’t wait til brando finds out. What a fool Shannon was searching for the idol before they told him..lmao…the baby russell will flip..

  11. Pearl says:

    Cochran make the best move off the season. The guy was certainly out in the first week, and look where he is. The sawaii member would never consider take him to the final, because they only think that he is a weak and weird guy. But the opulu member, read Coach and Brandon, will be all up for it. He made a move to go to the finale. At least. Coach will keep Brandon under his wing, so he doesnt’ find out about the idol thing, and he might replace Edna for cochran, only because he is more fun (Edna and Rick are blank screens).
    And if Cochran makes into the finale, even with Sawaii hating him… I dont think they would vote for an opulu. Because, when they are out, and they see the piucture, they will see that was brilliant, just like people did with Rob, and he played a lot of guys. Go for a no-chance to finalist and possibly win this all thing, he is a smart guy. Play weak make you go all the end, but is play weak, social and smart. He made a big move, all by himself, he saw the ship turning and he went for it. He gave the Sawaii plan a chance, didnt work, so on the second voting he flipped. He made things right, and he could turn the ship again, if he was the one to really with dawn and whitney, and bring Brandon and Edna. He could throw Coach out. But i dont think he is THAT smart…

  12. stamone says:

    One of the two girls has a big chance to last longer than Cochran. All they need is an individual immunity in the next-next episode to get to the part where people start backstabbing each other and re allying.

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