Thursday, December 22, 2011

Blogging Survivor: South Pacific: "Don't be pissing down my back and tell me that it's raining"

After making the stupidest move in Survivor history in which he gave away his Immunity Necklace immediately before getting voted out, Russell's Nephew refused to admit his mistake and instead blamed Albert for not giving it back to him. "I made a commitment to Albert. I forgive him, I love him. I hope he learns from what he's done."

Personally, I'm not exactly sure what Albert did wrong for Russell's Nephew to forgive. Giving Albert an Immunity Necklace when he was almost certain to get voted out and then expecting him to give it back is kind of like lending Chaz Bono and condom and then asking him to return it unused...okay, bad example, but you get where I'm going with it.

Upon hearing how Russell's Nephew got voted out, Ozzy was less than sympathetic. "He wasn't blind-sided, he gave up the freakin' Immunity Necklace. Whenever you give up the Immunity Idol, you're going home...(Russell's Nephew) is playing this game like he's playing with God, but he's not. He's playing with human beings who are greedy and want that money."

Coach took things a little more personally. "I'm sick of people coming out here and trying to look holier than thou and have people bully me...When people bully me, you're cut off. I've been made a fool of in my life enough over this game."

The Redemption Duel consisted of Ozzy and Russell's Nephew climbing a pole and trying to hang on the longest. Both had extensive training for the contest. Ozzy's tree climbing in the jungle, and Brandon's pole grabbing in jail. Ultimately Russell's Nephew's grip wasn't strong enough, and Ozzy outlasted him and sent him to the Jury.

The Immunity Challenge involved holding a rope to balance a tray, and then building a house of cards to a specific height on that tray the fastest. When Jeff asked whether any of the competitors liked to build houses of cards for fun, Sophie eagerly responded by saying, "I do, I have a book on how to build them," which instantaneously lowered the cool factor for any guy who has dated or will date her in the future.

While most college age girls spend their time playing beer pong, experimenting with their sexuality or both, Sophie's lame hobby seemingly gave her a huge advantage. However, she initially built her house too strong and ended up running out of cards before reaching the top.

Forced to start over, Sophie knocked her cards over, causing her inner bitchiness to come out when she demanded, "Albert, drop your stack and pick up my damn pieces! I'm going to beat you!" In the end, Sophie should have spent more time in college exposing her side-boob and less time on old fashioned games and puzzles, as Ozzy was able to defeat her at her own game to win Immunity.

I'm calling for Mose from Amish in the City to make an appearance on Survivor. However, Sophie will be sad to see that while Mose has left the Amish way of life, he married a city girl who likes to play with his "beano stick." 

An increasingly cocky Coach proclaimed that it was his game to lose. He discussed the possibility of voting out Rick with Albert. Rightfully so, Rick was skeptical of Coach's integrity. "Coach is really good about skirting the truth. You've really got to listen to his words, he's kind of like an attorney." Trying to stir up tension within the Upolu Alliance, Ozzy told Albert about Coach's promise to take him to the end in a secret alliance "as a Christian man."

At Tribal Council, Ozzy took things further and outed Coach to the entire tribe for trying to make a deal with him after Coach began talking about his tribe as "family." When Sophie accused Ozzy of being disrespectful towards her by not talking to her, he told her that she was a "freaking brat" and "pretentious." Showing her strong feminine side, Sophie then broke down in tears and bawled for the rest of Tribal Council.

Ultimately Coach got his way and the tribe voted out Rick. However, when Coach got up to shake his hand Rick snarled, "Go have a seat...Go have a seat, man. Go have a seat." He explained his hostility. "All that honesty, integrity and all that, and Coach stood up, 'oh, don't be that way.' It's like, sit down. Don't be pissing down my back and telling me that it's raining."

Following Tribal Council, Coach confronted Ozzy about outing their secret alliance. Ozzy responded by telling him how he had been burned in the game in the past by trusting people and that "I felt like I couldn't trust you yesterday." Coach, having also been burned by trusting too many men in his past was obviously moved. "When I saw that in Ozzy, my heart broke for him," and when all was said and done the two reaffirmed their plan to take each other to the end.

The final Immunity Challenge required the contestants to navigate an obstacle course and grab five bags with puzzle pieces and then solve that puzzle. Coming off of her embarrassing upset while trying to build her house of cards, Sophie redeemed herself and won immunity.
While Coach and Ozzy had discussed deadlocking their vote and sending Albert and Sophie to build fire to break that tie at Tribal Council, Sophie's win made Ozzy the logical target for eviction since Coach still had a hidden Immunity Idol.

Ozzy pressed Coach to adhere to their agreement to take each other to the end, but Coach was torn. "You know what I'm battling against, I'm battling against my word (referring to his alliance with Albert and Sophie)," which caused Ozzy to exclaim, "You gave me your a Christian man."

At Tribal Council Ozzy reminded Coach of his word, and asked him to consider splitting the vote so he and Albert would end up tied and compete to build fire in order to stay in the game. This caused Albert to say, "I know how to make fire, but that's like saying I know how to drive and expecting me to beat Jeff Gordon in a race."

In the end, Coach broke his word to Ozzy (but kept his pledge to Albert and Sophie) and voted Ozzy out, who left to applause from the Jury. "The Jury clapped for me. That was such an awesome feeling." That left Coach, Albert and Sophie as the final three competing for the $1,000,000 grand prize before the Jury.

At the final Tribal Council, Albert, who was convinced that he had played the best overall game of the final three, emphasized his social game play in his speech to the jury.

Sophie noted her strong physical game and how she dominated several challenges, as well as her strategy and honesty in picking one alliance and sticking with it to the end.

Coach stressed his leadership, claiming that he lead with "compassion, love and appreciation" instead of being "self righteous and arrogant" as he had been during his two earlier appearances on Survivor.

After calling Sophie a privileged and pretentious brat, and saying that Albert did nothing in the game except be in the right place at the right time, Ozzy gave Coach a chance to win his vote by asking him if he thought that he compromised his word. Coach agreed, saying that he had overextended his promises, which caused him to come to several crossroads in the game in which he was forced to be dishonorable.

Jim asked Albert to explain why Coach and Sophie did not deserve to win, but warned him not to start with a compliment. Apparently trying to lose the game, Albert began by saying, "Great question, I love your approach to the game," before ultimately saying that Coach was not a leader as he claimed to be, and that he was instead carried to the end by his tribe.

Dawn asked Sophie something about being the only woman...but I honestly stopped listening to her question about three words in.

After scolding Coach when he got voted out, Rick pressed Sophie about lying to him as well. Sophie tried to justify her deceit by saying that she only lied when she "felt like it was justified to get to the end," which was pretty much the entire game as Rick had implied.

Russell's Nephew, who was betrayed by his religious mentor, asked Coach if he had anything to say to him. Coach answered cryptically by saying, "I know you were hurt, and I want to make it up to you." Russell's Nephew also asked Albert for a "yes or no" answer on whether or not Albert knew that he was going to get voted out. Albert continued to botch his questions in front of the Jury by trying to answer with an explanation four times before he finally answered with a "no."

Whitney added little to the Jury debate, calling Albert "sleazy," accusing Coach of using his religion to manipulate the game, and calling Sophie "condescending."

Edna followed Whitney's comment up by noting how religion has historically been the most successful way of manipulating people, and she congratulated Coach on duping everyone.

Keith's question concerned Coach's use of the Immunity Idol, but Coach got hijacked on the question when Sophie blurted out how Coach had initially found the Idol and concealed it from Russell's Nephew, who looked at him like a confused puppy who had just been kicked by his master.

Cochran used his Jury question to talk about his experience as a child with The Second Mile. "I did 'Coach-Chi' with you with only my underpants on and a sweater vest. You say the word honor so frequently, it really means nothing to me."

Back at the live finale, where everyone strangely always looks much worse after they've been allowed to bathe and groom themselves (except Cowboy Rick, who looked exactly the same), Coach and Sophie sat with the Chinese dude who was re-cast as Albert to wait for the final vote.

While Brandon got confused and voted for Mikayla, Coach's numerous betrayals ultimately did him in and Sophie was voted winner of Survivor: South Pacific despite her inferior strategic game play.

After Sophie was announced as the winner, Jeff asked the Jury how Coach would have fared had he taken Rick with him to the end instead. When the Jury overwhelmingly indicated that they would have voted for Coach in that scenario, Coach made a face like he had just crapped himself...probably because he did.

Survivor aficionado and historian Cochran admitted to Jeff that he had overestimated his game play until he returned home and Googled himself on the internet. "When I go on the internet like an obsessive freak, everyone hates me." Not surprisingly, he also announced that he's still single.

While Brandon stressed that he was proud of the way he played the game, he acknowledged that upon returning home he was not welcomed or even accepted by his family. "I don't think anyone from my family is really proud of me."

Only on the "mean streets" of Katy, TX do two guys, a dog and a .22 constitute being in a "gang." I'm just disappointed that the old guy in the camouflauge vest didn't have Brandon Hantz's back the time he got jumped by that possum for wearing dayglow orange.  

To rub salt in his wounds, Jeff had Russell in the live studio audience, who was eager to offer his analysis of his nephew's game strategy. "I think he went out to change what I did...I made greatness." When asked what Brandon did wrong, Russell snarked, "He didn't do one thing right...he didn't live up to the Hantz family name," which anyone aside from Brandon would probably take as a compliment.

In the end, fan favorite Ozzy was announced as the winner of the Audience Vote for $100,000. It was also revealed that Keith and aspiring country music singer Whitney were now dating, which earns them the Nashville appropriate couple name of 'Keith-Whitney."

With Sophie becoming yet another in a long line of undeserving Survivor winners, I have a theory on how to remedy the problem of the best players getting voted out of the game early. I think that a future "twist" should involve a "reverse merge," with the game starting with only one tribe, and a second tribe being built from the members of the original tribe who had been voted out. This would force the original tribe to vote out it's weakest members out of fear of giving the rival tribe an advantage when it comes to strength.

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