Survivor Recap: So Long Savaii!

On last night’s Survivor, the cavemen Savaii trifecta find themselves on Redemption Island, Coach continues to preach (literally) about the importance of unity and loyalty (in a game that can have only one winner) and the former Upolu continues to drink the Kool-Aid while the Savaii are picked off one by one.

Marijuana Jim joins Keith and Ozzy on Redemption and Ozzy refrains from telling him “I told you so” after hearing about the Upolu’s latest bakery fix while the three remaining Savaii tried to save themselves. Back at camp, Coach reminds his congregation that they are a family who has just voted out the most dangerous outcast. Really? MJ is dangerous? Crass, sure. Immature, definitely. But dangerous? Please. In his interview Coach stresses how important it is to make everyone feel comfortable so they won’t be ready for an upset. I wonder if that’s what Jesus did…NOT.


Cochran is grasping at straws learning tai chi from the revered Coach. He is trying to secure his spot. Coach worries that Albert is showing signs of dissent and he promises to make sure that Cochran is safe. It causes the little guy to worry about his status in “the family.”

Everyone is present at the Redemption Island duel. The challenge is to balance two rather bulky poles between the top of each man’s wrists and a two-by-four far above his head. Keith, MJ and Ozzy are competing to stay on Redemption Island, with the other two becoming the first members of the jury. Jeff polls the crowd and Brandon Hantz Crazy Pants is rooting for Jim. Not surprisingly, Whitney is pulling for her boy Keith. No one seems to care about Ozzy. Marijuana Jim is quickly out of the running (hello, jury!), but it’s a tight battle between the remaining two before Keith lets a pole fall. Clearly Ozzy doesn’t need the support of the tribe… but he seems to have secured the support of the two inaugural jury members. Whitney cries as Keith burns his bandana. That is true love.

Ozzy is treating Redemption Island like his own personal five-star seafood restaurant and jungle playground. He’s happy, fed and doesn’t have to deal with the more annoying members of Te Tuna. He’s drama free and a good fisherman… looks like Redemption Island is his resort while the group at the beach is suffering like a bunch of middle schoolers at summer camp. Dawn admits to Cochran that she wishes she had outed him to their Savaii tribe, and because she didn’t, she expects his loyalty in return. Cochran promises her he will keep his word, but Cochran’s word is about as stable as my bank account.

The immunity challenge consists of balancing a bowl of rice on the player’s head, racing over a see-saw and depositing the rice in a basket. If the contestant touches the bowl, or if it falls off, the person must return to the starting line. The first person to fill his or her basket wins. Many players must return to the starting gate, but Dawn immediately finds her groove. People are dropping rice left and right. Dawn is the one to beat, followed by Sophie and BHCP. Sophie makes the risky decision to take nearly twice as much rice as any competitors and it pays off — she wins immunity.

Jeff promises a twist at the evening’s tribal council and Dawn is hoping it will be enough to keep her and fellow outcast Whitney in the game. Back at camp, Cochran approaches Coach about getting rid of Dawn or Whitney. Coach feels that Dawn is a true threat that could win if she sticks around. I am guessing that Cochran has already forgotten about his earlier conversation with Dawn. Dawn is convinced she’s next on the chopping block, consequently Whitney and her decide to try to infiltrate and change the Upolu alliance. Cochran’s a lost cause, and Brandon’s a loose cannon, so those two are out of the ladies’ running. Coach is clearly the puppet master with Edna attached to his hip, and, as Whitney so eloquently puts it — Rancher Rick isn’t even playing the game. I hadn’t noticed till now but he really isn’t. I feel like I’ve maybe typed his name five times the entire season. Maybe that quiet man is on to something strategy-wise. He’s very under the radar.

The women decide to approach Albert, but Cochran’s right there with him. Doesn’t anyone remember that he’s a practiced double agent? Albert’s sights are set on voting off Edna. Coach and BHCP point out to Cochran that Albert has violated the “don’t get friendly with the Savaii ladies” rule. Albert manages to get into Cochran’s head that he’s the first one off once the “family” rids Te Tuna of the former non-Cochran Savaii. Cochran is livid that the Upolu tribe, who he shifted his entire allegiance for, would consider Edna more valuable than him. Perhaps it’s time he switches again.

Albert and Cochran approach Albert’s (maybe) lackey Sophie, who has no worries tonight thanks to winning immunity. While Sophie thinks Albert is showing his true colors, she thinks that maybe their true colors are very similar. However, she is wary about turning against the father, I mean Benjamin, er Coach. Benjamin Coach is not blind to all this sneakiness and is prepared to cut ties with those disloyal. The violins are playing, and Albert may find a horse head in his hammock if he’s not careful.

At tribal council, the topic is Cochran being at the bottom of the Upolu alliance. Jeff thinks that now is the time to make a big move, but will it actually happen? For the fifth or sixth time in the episode, Coach once again reiterates that he isn’t “running the tribe.” Albert states he believes Coach isn’t necessarily the leader but more of a figurehead. Non-leader Coach seems to take a bit of an issue with that statement. A pan of the jury (aka Keith and Marijuana Jim) reveals that MJ has shaved off his beard. I’m guessing if you know you aren’t going to win the cool mil, a nice bed and shower is the place to be.

It’s a tight race between Edna and Dawn, with Dawn joining Ozzy at Redemption Island. I haven’t seen the actual vote yet, but I’m guessing Cochran didn’t make the big move he was preaching about earlier. Jeff’s twist is that there will be an immediate immunity challenge among the remaining castaways, followed by another elimination. The Te Tuna must use an “answer cube” (a fancy die, really) to answer survival questions. If a player answers a question incorrectly, he or she is out of the game. Quickly, it becomes a game of wits between Sophie, Coach and Whitney. Whitney and Sophie end up head-to-head in the trivia competition, but Sophie ends up prevailing on a clam question.

Sophie wins immunity for the second time in the episode and former Upolu make good on their plan to vote out all the non-Cochran Savaii. Does he not assume he’s going to be next at this point? Whitney goes to meet her former Savaii friends, Dawn and Ozzy, at Redemption Island. I will say the reunion among the three cast-off Savaii seems way more “united and loyal” than any Upolu gathering… and these three know that only one will make it through to the next step of the game.

Next week, the Upolu tribe turns on Crazy Pants and Coach wants the tribe to start calling him Zeus. Um, EXCUSE ME?