Survivor: South Pacific: Which Remaining Player Do You Hope Will Win It All?

“This is the time to make a big, big move.” So said recent turncoat Cochran, contemplating another blindside against a veteran player, on this week’s installment of Survivor: South Pacific. And for a brief, exciting moment, I thought the Harvard Law student was going to team up with fellow former Savaii members Dawn and Whitney — plus seemingly savvy Upolus Sophie and Hot Albert — to stage a coup against self-described “old mob boss” Coach.

It certainly made sense: With nine players left in the mix (not counting Redemption Island), Dawn and Whitney, the last remaining players outside the Circle of Seven, were free agents ready to give their votes and their loyalties to anyone who asked. Didn’t Albert and Sophie remember how Brandon, Edna, and that mustachioed guy who never speaks all voted with Coach, not them, when Albert and Sophie had lobbied to keep Mikayla in the game a few weeks back?

To steal a quote from Whitney: “I don’t understand how these smart people can be so stupid.”

Now, with Dawn and Whitney on Redemption Island, it seems like Coach will continue to dictate play. And he’d be daft not to take deplorable Brandon and useless Edna to the finale. Really, would either of those two get a single jury vote if they make it all the way? As Albert said of Edna, the object of the game isn’t to “outorganize, outclean, and outgather.” And in the case of Brandon, it’s not about outcreeping, outseething, and outmood-swinging.

If you happened to miss the episode, a few other points of interest that you missed: Ozzy snuffed out Keith and Jim’s dreams in a Redemption Island duel that involved balancing two poles and a plank on the tops of their hands; Ozzy responded to his win with (justifiable?) arrogance and interminable yammering about playing with “passion and ferocity”;  Sophie eked out a win over Brandon and Dawn in the first immunity challenge that called for players to balance bowls of rice on their heads as they raced over teeter-totters; Coach laughably declared at Tribal Council, “I’m not running this alliance. I’m not running the show.” (as if he’s fooling anyone); Dawn got booted (when even Brandon’s vote of “Don” counted against her); another instant immunity challenge took care of Whitney (who lost to Sophie thanks to a question about the dangers of giant Pacific clams). If I were Whitney, I wouldn’t have bothered for a vote, marched over to Probst, and snuffed out my own torch, thank you very much.

Question for all of you: Anyone else wish the producers had skipped the rice race in favor of one of those challenges where players have to wipe each other out and ultimately reveal the tribe pecking order? I always feel like those types of revelations prompt the kind of delicious outrage, scheming, and backstabbing that make this show so much fun to watch.

And of course, this week’s other question: Who are you rooting for? I’d have said Albert or Sophie, had either one shown the courage to upend Coach, but now I’m going to have to hope Dawn survives Redemption Island and comes roaring back to an upset win. How about you? Sound off in the poll below, and for all my reality commentary, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!