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Surviving the South Pacific, Episode 2: “I’m the Biggest Fool in This Game”by David Bloomberg -- 09/22/2011
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Welcome back to Survivor! Last week, in the season premiere, we met some new contestants and re-met Ozzy and Coach. Ozzy won the first challenge, and so his Savaii tribe seemed to assume they were invincible. They partied while Upolu worked and schemed. But then Upolu won the challenge – thanks in large part to Semhar’s erroneous claims of being able to do well in the challenge. After some internal debate, they stood united in voting out Semhar (you can find out if it was only because of her challenge performance or if there were other reasons in my Why Semhar Lost column). So she headed to Redemption Island to wait for victim number two.
We begin this episode as Semhar arrives at her Redemption Island campsite. She feels abandoned by her tribe after she gave them “every last strength” and they voted her out. Welcome to Survivor, Semhar.
Semhar reads the posted information about life on Redemption Island – nothing we don’t already know. Then she gets back to whining about not understanding “how people can be so cold-hearted.” Seriously, Semhar, did you not understand the point of this game before you signed up?! But she’s going to turn her pain to positivity through poetry. Sorry, but I’m not going to recap her poem. Even the hermit crab runs away and hides in its hole.
Meanwhile, Savaii returns from Tribal Council. Cochran tells everybody that it means a lot to him that they kept him around. He tells us that Tribal Council was a bit of a disaster for him. He was in fight-or-flight mode and he went with “fight,” which turned into “anxious debate” from him, which he believes was not helpful (you could say that). He needs to “turn on the cool, mellow Cochran” instead of the antsy, paranoid one.
Ozzy tells us they decided to let Cochran redeem himself and that he identifies with Cochran’s passion for the game. At the same time, Cochran needs to put in the effort around camp and in the challenges. He talks to Keith, who says he thinks Cochran will really shine when the challenges turn more towards a combination of physical and mental portions. They also think Jim is smart and can do puzzles well, plus he’s a great worker – they need to keep him around. Considering that I predicted Jim as the winner (with Cochran in the finals), both of these are good news to me!
Keith tells us an alliance with Ozzy will help the tribe stay strong, but he also recognizes that Ozzy has played before and is there to win the game, so he needs to “watch him like a hawk.”
The following morning at Upolu, Coach is talking to Edna, saying he felt some bad vibes from some of the young women on the tribe right off the bat. But it felt like she had his back from the beginning. He adds to us that he was on the outs right off the bat but he feels like he has a second chance. He has a “solid alliance” with Rick, Sophie, Brandon, and Albert. He figures you can never have too many friends, though, and Edna seems like a genuinely nice person.
So he starts plying her for information to see if she thinks anybody has found the hidden immunity idol. Edna thinks Christine may have done so, as she was digging around for hours, but now she isn’t. Also, Edna has noticed how close Christine is with Stacey.
Edna tells us she believes she’s near the bottom in tribal ranking. She’s not strong physically so she needs to align with a stronger male. Hello, Coach! He tells her they want to keep the tribe strong but loyalty is the most important thing to him. He adds to us that loyalty sometimes outweighs strength in this game, so he’s going to protect her.
He ensures with her that she is with him 100%, but also admits he’s “stupid in this game. I’m the biggest fool in this game because I’m always hopeful that I’ll find somebody out here that’ll play honorably.”
Back as Savaii, Cochran is hacking away at a coconut and tells us that it’s part of “the new era of Cochran” as he’s cutting coconuts without having to be asked to do so. He says his mom is going to have mixed feelings – she’ll be proud of his work ethic, but she told him she didn’t want him handling a machete without supervision. And he shouldn’t run with scissors either. Or go in the water until 30 minutes after eating. And he should sit up straight at Tribal Council. OK, I may have made up those last three – but I wouldn’t bet against it!
Cochran wants the others to see him as a provider. He knows he’ll never be Ozzy or Keith or Jim, but at least he can be “a new Cochran.” Unfortunately, he keeps going on and on to several of the others about how much he’s working. It’s annoying me and I only had to listen to it for a few seconds – I can’t imagine how grating it may be for his tribemates.
Ozzy says he’s going to go spear fishing, but in fact he’s looking for the hidden immunity idol. He believes it’s on the beach somewhere and, even though he doesn’t have a clue yet, he is looking for anything that might be a sign. He starts climbing trees and looking in stumps. As he gets to the top of a twisted tangle of branches, he wonders what a rock is doing in the middle of a tree. Good question! The answer? It’s covering an immunity idol! As he tells us, “Three times around, you start learning what to look for!” Ha!
Ozzy tells us he had an immunity idol once before but was stupid enough not to play it. He’s not going to let that happen again! But he can’t let anybody know he has it or they might try to flush it out. He wants to make it to the merge, use it at the right time, and hope that it’s a ticket to winning.
We head back to the other returning player as Coach tells Brandon he was trying to cuddle up to him at night and gave him some sort of blanket to keep him warm. Brandon tells us Coach is a really good guy who played with honor and integrity, and Brandon himself wants to play the same way. But at the same time, how much of an ungodly hypocrite is he to have made an alliance with Coach without telling him about his family pedigree? It doesn’t feel right.
So Brandon quotes the Bible, which says if you have a problem with your brother, you should go to him and tell him. He hadn’t done that, but now he needs to do it. So when the two of them are alone, he asks Coach if he wants to see something cool, then pulls up his sleeve to show the “Lil Hantz” tattoo. Coach is confused, asking if that’s his last name. Yup. He ‘fesses up to being Russell’s nephew, but asks Coach to keep it to himself.1 2 3 4 Next-->
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