Friday, September 23, 2011

My Pick To Win Survivor: South Pacific

Years ago me and three of my friends used to have our own version of a Survivor betting pool.

Basically, we would wait until the second episode aired and after watching that episode, we would pick who we each thought would win the game. We waited until two episodes had aired, under the theory that by then we had some feel of the alliances and power structure. So it made the chances of all four of our pics going home right away was less likely.

We would then each put 20 dollars in a pot. As the season went on we would watch and wait, and taunt each other when our guy or girl was voted out. If one of our pics won the season, the winner of the pool would get the whole 80 dollars.

Obvious, most seasons no one would win the poll. Usually most or all of us would pickd did make the merge. But at the end of the day, it was still a one in 18-20 chance. The real reason we did it, is that we felt it added an element of excitement, giving us a genuine reason to root for someone.

Even though most of the time no one won, I did turn out to be the best at it. Not that I am bragging. (OK maybe a little.)

In the just over 10 seasons we did the pool, I was the only one to pick a winner twice. Considering the other three friends who played it only picked two winners between all three of them, I think it was a good accomplishment. I was also the one who most often had his pick make it to the final's.

For anyone wondering, my two winning picks were Amber from All-Stars, and Danni from Guatamala. There was a reason I was so good at picking someone who would go far, however.

It isn't an accident my two winning pics were women. I noticed early on that a LOT of winners of Survivor back when they went to the final 2, were younger girls who would play a low key game, and then win over someone who made more enemies.

Yes, I kind of got lucky with Danni, as she went to the end with Stephanie. But the idea was sound. Even when that strategy didn't win, it was a good way to make it to the end. As the goats always hoped taking someone who was semi-useless would help them in the end. It almost never did.

Once they went to the final 3, that theory went out the window. The "under the radar" strategy, especially with pretty girls, was still a good way to make it to the end. But with three players, it also meant if the jury hated someone in the end, they usually had a better second choice to argue played a good game. And make it look like they weren't simply voting against someone out of spite, rather then the best winner. Even if they were usually just fooling themselves.

As such, I have gotten MUCH worse at picking a winner. I have to make actual educated guesses now. Not as easy as figuring out the least threatening pretty girl.

My friends and I have stopped playing the pool as we don't see each other as often these days. But I still like to try and pick a winner after the second episode, just to see if I could have been 60 bucks richer. I have failed every time since we stopped playing, but I always try.

So for old times sake, here is my pick for who I think will win this season of Survivor.

It was a hard one. No one really stands out as the future winner. I was tempted to just pick Coach and Ozzy. Since coming back for a third time is showing to be experience that is hard to beat. But I will be less predictable.

Although the alliance of Coach, Brandon, Sophie, Albert and Rick seemed to be in a good position, I think Brandon's crap last episode will probably lead to a lot of fallout. Which will either split the alliance, or cause so much tension in Upolu that they will not make it to the merge with numbers.

So as it stands right now, I don't see the winner coming from Upolu. If they do, it will be because they were able to find a weakness in the Savaii tribe and exploit it post merge.  So barring a tribal swap, I think the winner will be someone on Savaii.

With that, my pick for the winner of Survivor: South Pacific is Keith.

Keith, despite his pacemaker that has yet to be mentioned on the show, is clearly a physical asset, but not so much as to over shadow players like Ozzy and Albert. I think he has the kind of likable, understated personality that will take him far.

Despite Jim's arrogantly taking credit for forming the five person alliance. The alliance of Jim, Ozzy, Keith, Whitney and Elyse are a solid alliance that could go far. Especially with Ozzy having the immunity idol.

Once in the Merge, Kieth seems like he would have the potential to go far in the game. What, with his ability to get along with people and the fact he should be good at challenges. I think he is the right balance of likable and skill, making him a good player to make it to the end, and possibly win it all.

Of course, we haven't heard that Elyse and Whitney are on board. For all we know Elysi will develop a "Beauty and the Geek" showmance with Cochran and the girls will ally with the weaker three. Hey, stranger things have happened... OK maybe not, but you never know.

So assuming I am reading things right, and no big twist or Redemption Island returnee changes the game. I think Kieth is the man to beat.

I may be completely wrong, as I usually am. But as of right now, I am calling it that Keith will take home the million. Keep watching Survivor and reading my blog to find out how horribly wrong I am.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Survivor: South Pacific - Episode 2 Review

And we are back for another episode of... Survivor. 

Previously: Probst reminds us that previously, 16 American's were marooned. He says each has a story to tell and we see Cochran telling us he is a hardcore fan, Jim that he won 20 poker tournaments and owns 2 medical marijuana dispensaries, and Mark is an openly gay retired NYPD police detective. I don't know why they chose to show Mark, that is literally the only time we hear from him all episode, but whatever. 

We are then reminded that Coach and Ozzy also are playing this game. Christine talked some smack while Edna becomes Coach's only friend. 

Coach tried to turn things around, he forged a bond with Brendon, then formed an alliance with himself, Brendon, Albert, Rick and Sophie. It says he worked his way into a conversation to form that alliance. His working himself into their conversation like wasn't shown last week. I guess showing Cochran's pale, shirtless self going swimming was more vital. 

Brandon has a deep dark secret that he hides under his shirt; which is followed by Cochran's pale, shirtless self swimming. Told you it was important, I just wish I knew who it was important to. 

Savaii lost the immunity challenge and went to tribal council. At the council, Cochran and the beautiful, sweet, in over her head Semhar were the targets. Jeff tries to tell us that Cochran saved himself at Tribal by promising to improve. 

Come on Jeff, Really? They ALL voted for Semhar. I guess we're supposed to believe they all did it based on Cochran's fumbling attempts to defend himself. And not that they made up their mind before going to tribal like they do 99% of the time. 

Synopsis: Semhar arrives at Redemption Island and reads the message telling the rules, which go like this... 

Starting after the next Tribal Council, the two people voted out (In this case Semhar and whoever is voted out this week) will compete in a duel. The loser of the duel will be out of the game for good, and will be sent packing. The winner of the duel will return to Redemption Island and await the next person voted out, and compete against them. The cycle will continue until at some point (last season it was the merge) whoever wins the final duel will be allowed back into the game. 

Clearly, the later you are voted out, the better your chances at getting back in; as you will have fewer people you will have to beat in challenges. Last season Matt ran the gauntlet, being voted out second and winning every duel until the merge, where he got back in. 

I really like Semhar, unpopular opinion I know, but I don't see her pulling off a similar feat. Last season few of the challenges were truly physical, but several had a physical element. As Semhar has shown, it would take a miracle for her to win a challenge where strength and endurance come into play. So it looks like this season we will get more than one person winning every challenge pre-merge, which will be a nice change. 

Semhar says that one of the ways she gets through her pain, is to turn it into poetry. She recites one of her poems, nice of Burnette and company to give her a chance to market herself. To be honest, I didn't really hear much of her poem. I got distracted by the cleavage shot we got as she settled down to sleep.

It's a shame we probably won't see Semhar after the next episode. She very easy on the eyes, and seems like she would be cool in any environment other than this one.

Back at Savii, Cochran is thanking everyone for keeping him. In an interview he acknowledges that despite not being voted out, he doesn't think his attempts to defend himself did him many favors. Jeff must not have given him the script. 

He says he is going to start being the cool, mellow Cochran and not the dorky and antsy one he has been. For my sanity, I hope he does. Enduring Brandon through multiple viewings is enough torture for me. 

Ozzy says he identifies with Cochran's passion to play Survivor, but if he doesn't shape up he will be gone. 

Keith and Ozzy are talking at the fire and mention that they think an alliance with Jim would be a good thing. They agree that tomorrow they will need to talk to him, and get the three of them solid. Remember this conversation kiddies. 

At Upolu the next day, we see Coach and Edna chatting. Despite having a solid alliance, Coach figures making friends with Edna can't hurt him. He remembers she was the only one who helped him last episode, and says she seems like a genuinely nice person. 

I agree, so far she does. Helping Coach, when following everyone else lead would have been the safer bet, won me over. It might not have been a sign of a good "player" but does imply she is a nice person. 

Edna and Coach speculate on whether or not Christine has found the idol. Both of them seem worried, and Edna tells Coach how close Christine and Stacey are. She then tells us in an interview that she knows she might be on the bottom of the totem poll, due to being physically weaker than the other girls. So she knows that she needs to get in good with a strong male player, like Coach. It's a strategy that has worked well for a lot of female players over the years, so can't fault her logic.

Incidentally, Jeff has said in some pre-show interviews that Edna's best chance, seems to me he thinks it's her only chance, is to turn on her flirty side. From that I deduce one of two things... 

1.) Jeff has issues with women, and thinks the only way they can get ahead is by amping up their feminine wiles. 


2.) Jeff wants to have sex with Edna. 

If it's the latter I can only say, "Run Edna! Run!". She can do so much better. 

Back on the show, Coach vows to protect Edna while Christine looks on suspiciously. Normally, when someone is looking on suspiciously, I assume it is an editing trick. But this time it looks like she really did see them. 

Back at Savaii, Cochran is cutting coconuts in an attempt to show he is a changed person. He then tells the camera man that his mom told him not to handle a machete without supervision. 

OH MY GOD?! Seriously? I don't know what's worse, that a grown man has a mother who would say that, or that he will admit to it on national television. I hope he was playing to the cameras, but he seemed serious. 

Ozzy makes an excuse to leave camp and begins looking for the immunity idol. He sees a tree with a rock propped in the branches, and his "immunity senses" start tingling. Sure enough, he finds the idol. Without a clue. So what is the point to hiding a clue, if someone could find the idol before finding the clue? 

Ozzy reminds us how he blew it with the idol last time, not using it and being voted out. He is hopeful he won't be so dim this time, and says he can't tell anyone he has it. 

Back at Upolu, Coach and Brandon are bonding. They make it look like Edna walked by and saw them, but they weren't in the same shot, so who knows. I am on to you editors!

Brandon feels it is ungodly and hypocritical to make an alliance with Coach but but keep his deep, dark family secret. Apparently God doesn't care if he is doing the same thing to Rick, Sophie and Albert. God only cares about Coach. 

Anyway, Brandon shows Coach one of his tattoos and reveals who his uncle is. It is because Brandon would rather people know him for him. Again, I guess Sophie, Albert and Rick aren't people. 

Coach is initially reluctant to now trust him because of his secret. But Brandon has nothing to gain from telling Coach the truth, so Coach decides to trust him. Coach and Brandon then bond over a prayer.
Coach acknowledges that he might be setting himself up to be duped again. But chooses to trust in the best. 

At Savaii, the trio of Jim, Ozzy and Keith go off into the boat to go fishing. Jim brags about how he brilliantly took the opportunity to instituted his "thee plus two plan". The plan consist of a core alliance of him, Ozzy, and Keith in it till the end, and then Whitney and Elyse because they are hot (he didn't actually say "because they are hot", but come on!). 

Keith agrees with everything Jim says, then mentions in an interview how he and Ozzy had basically come up with the same plan last night. He decides it is best not to let Jim know that, because it lets Jim and his ego think they are in control. 

Jim then brags about how the plan was in place, and he orchestrated it. It was Jim and all Jim, Jim is the puppet master, the mastermind, and he has control of everything! He then breaks his arm patting himself on the back. After doing this, Jim takes a minute to tell us that by his guess Pappa Bear, Cochran and Dawn are the next ones gone. 

If he, Ozzy, Kieth, Elyse and Whitney are in an alliance, then aren't they the only three left. So wouldn't it HAVE to mean one of them is gone next? Way to narrow it down mastermind. With statements like that I am not surprised that his "20 poker tournament wins" have been shown to be over exaggerated. 

We cut back to Upolu and get some character development with Mikayla, who agrees to go with the guys to fish. She reminds us  in an interview she plays full contact football and is somewhat of a tomboy. She says you got to have thick skin in this game, and can't be a little princess. She says she doesn't see herself as a girly girl and that should help her in this game. 

We then get Brandon saying he doesn't like Mikayla as he seemingly oogles her body. He says she is trying to be all "I'm gonna be a model" and using her seductive ways to lure guys in. 

As if that doesn't contradict what we have heard and seen so far, we also see a shot of her handing him the fishing gear. While doing it, she doesn't even look at him as she is too busy staring at the water looking for fish. Oh yeah, she is so working the guys with her seductive fishing skills. 

We hear Brandon going on and on about how he is a married man and needs to stay away from that stuff. While doing so he sees Mikayla using her seductive ways to... swim in the pool with the other girls. Oh yeah, she is really luring the guys in.

Brandon swears that he will get her voted out of this game. 

OK, on things like this I tend to remind myself that we are subject to the editors version of the truth. By that I mean, just because the clips imply that Mikayla is making no effort to use her "charms" doesn't mean she isn't doing it, and we just aren't being shown it. 

But based on what we have, every shot of Mikayla on the show this far has shown her with her hair up and not wearing that revealing of outfit. Yes, she has a bikini top on, but with the exception of secret boy, most of the guys on Upolu are running around with their shirt off. It's hot outside. Also, none of the shots we have seen show Mikayla moving around in a way that implies she is trying to "flaunt her body" or carrying herself in the way Brandon keeps implying.

It hasn't been mentioned on the show, but Brandon became a father at 17 and got married, I would assume, around the same time. I think what we have here is a kid who is still very young, and isn't mature enough to understand that his still teenage hormones reacting to a pretty girl isn't a bad thing. Just because he likes the way Mikayla and her hot body looks, doesn't mean he is wronging his wife and certainly not God. God doesn't want us to give into our temptations, he didn't say we were expected to not notice the other sex can sometimes be attractive. 

No one on this planet is going to find only their significant other physically attractive. The only people I have ever met who claimed otherwise, are teenagers who are lying to themselves. They say that because they think they are not good people if anyone but their true love is seen as a sexual being. Sounding familiar yet?

Brandon says he isn't letting any woman come between him and getting the money for his family. If he is so sure of that, what is he worrying about? If I was his wife I would be more worried that he can't be around a pretty girl without going on, and on, and on about temptation. 

But enough about Brandon. 

Christine decides she needs to look for the clue to the immunity idol. The rest of the tribe is worried she has already found it. Stacey says that if Christine had found the idol she hasn't told her about it. However, since everyone knows Stacey and Christine are close, none of them seem to put much faith in that statement. 

Meanwhile, Christine notices the clue in the same tree Stacy overlooked last episode. She reads it and it basically says, in amateur poetry fashion, that the clue is in the jungle, near the beach, and slightly out of reach. I assume that means it is also in a tree behind a rock. But I might not have drawn that conclusion had I not seen Ozzy find the other one. 

It's Immunity Challenge time. 

The two tribes arrive and Upolu sees that Semhar has been voted out. No one looks surprise. 

The challenge consist of four tribe members unwrapping four ribbons from around a large post. Once unwrapped a key will be freed from the ribbons and slide down to the players below. Once they get the key, they will unlock the other four tribe members. Those four will then move a giant sliding puzzle around until they can free the largest piece, which they will then move onto a platform. 

In addition to not going to tribal council, the winning tribe will win pillows, blankets, a mat and a hammock. The winning tribe will also receive a clue to the location of the hidden immunity idol. 

Upolu has one extra person, and decide to sit Edna out. Cochran, Dawn, Whitney and Elyse are on the poll for Savaii. Stacey, Sophie, Christine, and Mikayla are on the poll for Upolu. 

The girls on Upolu work well together and get a huge lead of Savaii, as Cochran gets tangled in the ribbons. Stacey quickly unlocks Coach, Albert, Brandon and Rick. Savaii finally gets their keys free, but Dawn struggled to get them out of the ribbon and slows them down even more. 

Upolu gets a big lead on the puzzle while Elyse has trouble unlocking Ozzy, Keith, Jim, and Pappa Bear (who despite getting a big mention in the recap has done and said nothing all episode). Eventually she unlocks the guys who run to the puzzle. 

Savaii hustles on the puzzle, and manages to close the large lead the girls gave the Upolu team. Savaii then takes the lead and moves their largest piece to their puzzle to the platform. Upolu finally gets their last piece in place, but it is too late and Savaii wins. 

Jeff gives Savaii their reward, and tells them about the clue to the hidden immunity idol. It doesn't matter though, as Ozzy already has it. 

Brandon vows in an interview to make sure Mikayla goes home tonight. That will teach her to be hot when she is around a married man! Stupid tramp, with her good genetics and desire to go to the gym and be healthy! She makes me sick!

during the commercials, they do the "player of the week" vote. I want to quickly say I am glad that this season they are making all players available to vote for. If they did it like previous seasons, it would probably have been a choice between Ozzy, Keith and Albert or some crap. 

Upolu goes back to camp humbled. Coach congratulates the women on their good job. Edna tells the guys that they did good also, the puzzle was just really hard. 

In an interview Christine shoots off her mouth once more, basically accusing the guys of dogging it. For the record, I think the guys had a harder part of the challenge, and definitley the more physically demanding part. And the truth is that collectively Jim, Ozzy, Keith and Pappa Bear are probably stronger than Brandon, Coach, Rick and Albert. 

Coach suggest that they all split the vote 3-3-3 as "they" are going to vote three. So his alliance should vote three for Christine and three for Stacey. I guess they are assuming that Mikayla will vote with Christine and Stacey, although this is the first we have heard of Mikayla being aligned with those two. Interesting the temptress who is trying to play the guys is believed to vote with a couple of girls. Isn't it Brandon?

Coach figures if they do the votes that way, then even if Christine has the idol and plays it, that will free them to get Stacey out. Rather then simply all voting for Christine, hoping she doesn't have the idol, and being screwed if she does. 

Coach wants Christine out for her catty comments about him on day one, and her scrambling looking for the idol. No doubt she has been playing a lousy game, and it might be about to bite her in the ass. Shame she didn't wait until she knew the rest of her tribes names before calling someone out. 

Coach says that he thinks Edna is totally loyal, but is on a need to know basis. He will tell her at the last minute to vote for Stacey. None of this will get Mikayla out, so Brandon is concerned. 

Brandon and Coach are alone and Brandon makes a play to get out Mikayla. Saying she should go "Beacause (he) is faithful to his wife". If he is faithful to his wife what is he worried about? He then compares Mikayla to Parvati and says she has screwed many a man. I laugh at the seemingly unintentional double entendre. Seems Coach got it too, as he chuckles a bit. 

Coach talks about how he understands why Brandon might be uncomfortable around a hot girl because he is a married man. I assume Coach is taking his age into account, because someone who is truly faithful should be able to handle being around a hot girl for 6 days considering the circumstances. He rightfully also sees that getting rid of one of their strongest females right away, when she has given them no reason to do so, is a dumb move. Because it is. 

Brandon goes to the rest of his alliance and makes a play with them to get rid of Mikayla and they don't get it either. Because it's a dumb move. 

Sophie theorizes that he might be threatened by Mikayla because she is a strong women. Seems his insecurities actually run even deeper than that. Who would have thought that theory was giving him too much credit?

Sophie worries that if that is true he might target her also, because Sophie thinks she is quite strong as well. And she is, but Brandon apparently doesn't think she is hot enough to feel threatened by her. Either way, no one is on board with going after Mikayla. 

Mikayla comes up to talk to them, and Coach rudely tells her to buzz off. Which has Mikayla taken back a bit. 

He might as well have said, "Mikayla we are talking about whether or not to vote you off, get lost". When actually, if he doesn't want them to vote out Mikayla he should be glad that she showed up and forced them to end that conversation. Stacey then comes over and Coach gets his panties in a bunch and wanders off. 

In an interview, Mikayla is shocked that they don't think she is "trustable". I don't think that is an actual word?

Edna roams over to Stacey and Christin, and Christine gets pushy asking Edna what they were saying. Edna tries to say they were talking about Sophie, but Christine points out Sophie was over there too. She then makes a snotty remark to Edna about her bad lying. Yeah, that will make Edna want to keep her. Indecently, Edna did not look convincing at all when she tried to say it was Sophie. I don't think she is a very good liar, which is not a good thing for playing Survivor. 

Christine and Stacey are shown next, talking to Rick and Brandon and ask Brandon who he wants. Brandon says Mikayla.

Stacey and Christine react to it about like everyone else does. They think it's a dumb idea. Because it is. But they decide that as long as it isn't them they should go along with it, although we don't actually see them agree to Mikayla out loud. 

Later, Coach and Edna are talking to Brandon. Coach wants to lock it down on who they are voting. Like a dog with a bone, Brandon won't let the Mikayla idea go. Even though it's clear no one else likes the idea and they are starting to get annoyed with him. Brandon then lies and says that Christine and Stacey told him they wanted Mikayla gone. 

He follows that by saying in an interview that he lied because he doesn't like Mikayla (really, I hadn't noticed) and wants her gone. He says Mikayla has every guy wrapped around her finger but him; even though Edna, Christine, Stacey and Sophie have also said they don't think Mikayla should go. I guess Brandon thinks he is on a tribe full of lesbians, except for Mikayla.

OK, the editing MIGHT be making this look worse than it is. Or Mikayla might be playing up her feminine charms, and we aren't seeing it because it would contradict the story they are trying to tell. But I really think that most of this is Brandon's own issues ruling his better judgement. At the very least he is not endearing himself to his alliance by constantly pushing for something, when it is clear no one else is on board with the idea. 

Brandon continues to say that Mikayla WILL be going home tonight. Although he might have made that statement before he began his actual campaign. 

Coach says he hopes the six people he aligned himself with vote the way he wants, or there will be an ass whipping. I am not sure what six he means. Obviously Brandon, Albert, Rick, Sophie and Edna are among them. But who is the sixth? Is he including himself? I guess he means Mikayla, but earlier he was worried she would vote with Stacey and Christine. Coach gives me a headache sometimes. 

But enough of Brandon's confused hormonal issues, Coach's funky math, and Christine's annoying attitude. It's time for Tribal Council. 

Jeff tells Upolu to get fire because it represents life. You know the drill. 

Jeff asks Brandon if he made a good first impression. He feels he does as he is a hard worker and tries to make friends. Several people nod in agreement as he says this... including Mikayla. I really feel bad for her, as she seems to respect him while he was basically running around calling her a slut. For reasons that, if what we are seeing is true, she has done nothing to live up to. 

Jeff asks Coach if he thinks he made a good impression. Coach quickly turns the question around and calls out Stacey and Christine, saying that they wanted to vote out Mikayla. Mikayla looks shocked, Brendon looks worried. Christine and Stacey are shocked, as they didn't say Mikayla's name and quickly point that out. 
Coach then says he doesn't want Mikayla to go tonight even though it might put a bigger target on his back. This actually might have been smart strategy, as saying that could make Mikayla feel Coach is the only one she trust and will thus become loyal to him. Especially since he knows the majority didn't want her gone, so he really isn't making much of a target. 

Jeff asks if it makes Mikayla a little nervous. Mikayla sayd "duh" and that she doesn't get why she would be a target. 

Stacey and Christine ask coach who he heard his ridiculous story from. They remind him about his honesty and Coach seems a bit unsure how to go about it, since he obviously doesn't want to tell who said it, but JUST finished talking about integrity. 

Brandon tries to get them to simmer down, clearly afraid Coach might mention his name. Albert jumps in and makes the argument that Coach not saying who he heard about the vote from is demonstrating his loyalty. Kind of self serving logic, but a pretty good way out. Good thing he came up with that excuse not to come clean, I don't think Coach was going to. 

Conversation moves towards the immunity idol and Coach immediately comes out and mentions Christines scrambling on day one. Jeff points out Coach threw her under the bus again. Christine says it's because Coach is threatened by her. To his credit, Coach doesn't crack up at that ridiculous claim, which is better than I would have done in his position. 

Jeff asks Christine if it might be because of her "temporary players" remark. Christine agrees, mocking she might have hurt his feelings. Instead of made him feel like he should get her before she gets him. But clearly people only go after Christine for reasons that make her look more awesome. 

Jeff then tries to light a fire under Mikayla, pointing out she hasn't really asked Christine and Stacey if they wanted to vote her out. Actually, if she doesn't think they have the votes to do it then starting crap could only hurt her, so she is probably smart to not pull a Cochran, and start freaking out because her name came up. But Jeff wants her to confront them with it because it makes for better TV. 

Mikayla finally asks the girls if it's on their mind. They immediately deny ever saying they wanted her gone, which is the truth. 

Brendon's Christina guilt apparently gets the best of him, and he decides to come clean and admits that he was the one who told them to vote for Mikayla. Coach and Sophie look like they want to take turns slapping him right then and there. I would pay to see that! He also undid whatever damage Coach tried to do to Stacey and Christine. 

OK, if I was Brandon's alliance I would kick him to the curb and bring in Mikayla. The guy tried so hard to get someone that no one else wanted out that he lied to everyone to do it. Which makes him hard to trust. Then he couldn't even keep to his deception, so he turns around and rats himself out due to guilt. which in some ways hurts his own alliance for something they weren't even part of. 

How do they know if he has to do something deceptive as part of their alliance, which is part of the game, that he won't lose his nerve and pull the same stunt? Brandon is a too much of a wild card. The door is open to bring in Mikayla and if the others are smart they should do it. 

Jeff starts asking if they are worried about the tribes seeming disarray. Albert comments on how it's good in times like this, that people show their true selves and their true personality creeps in to the surface. I assume he is talking about Brandon. Or at least I hope he is. This should be a huge red flag to everyone about allying with this guy. 

Jeff says it's time to vote. They all cast their votes and we don't see any of the votes this time. Jeff asks if anyone has the hidden immunity idol? Everyone looks at Christine, who shakes her head while clearly looking upset. 

Jeff reads the votes and for the first time in a long time, more than three names are read. Sophie and Edna each get one vote, Stacey gets three and Christine gets four. Christine is the second person voted out of the game. Jeff snuffs her torch, but tells her she will have a chance to get back in the game via Redemption Island. 

As to why Sophie and Edna got votes... I can only assume that after it became clear there was no plan to get rid of Mikayla, Christine and Stacey just threw a name out there. There was no reason for them to vote for Mikayla now, especially since they didn't want to do it in the first place.

So now on top of everything else Brandon and Coach's crap got Sophie and Edna a vote they wouldn't have gotten otherwise. It probably won't matter much. Although since they usually don't reveal tie breaker rules in advance anymore, Sophie and Edna better hope that it doesn't revert to going off previous votes cast. 

Jeff says that the issue for this tribe is clearly trust and lectures them about working it out. I love how Jeff is like a stern father figure in his final words to the tribe. 

Next week on Survivor, Savaii becomes suspicious of Ozzy having the idol. And on Upolu, Mikayla the bad ass football player is crying, Sophie thinks Brandon is a devious jerk, Coach thinks Brandon lets things get to him, and Brandon is crying about how this is a constant battle with him between good and evil. Holy crap, I hope this guy isn't going to be in it for the long haul. I don't know if I can take him all season. 

Christine arrives at Redemption Island and says she doesn't know what Coach's problem was with her. Oh I don't know, maybe the fact she said on day one he was a temporary player? I guess he was supposed to just be OK with Sophie wanting to vote him out from the get go. 

The votes are revealed and Stacey voted for Sophie, Christine voted for Edna, Edna/Rick/Sophie voted for Stacey and Mikayla/Albert/Coach/Brandon voted for Christine. 

Christine obviously voted for Edna because she was the weakest tribe mate. It makes some sense, even though Christine was clearly out of the loop, there was a chance that the majority might still decide to vote out Edna to keep the tribe strong. So her best chance of staying was to vote for Edna, even though it was a long shot. Don't know why Stacey voted for Sophie though, maybe she just doesn't like her. 

Thoughts on the episode: Christine has no one but herself to blame for going home this week. She actually seems to have a lot if common with Coach and the two might have gotten along, but she decided to draw a line in the sand right away. 

Clearly the majority of the tribe did not share her "Coach is a former player so lets be mean to him" outlook. At least not long term, so it set her apart. Immediately looking for the idol only made it worse. Even if she had found it, it only would have saved her this week. 

If she can get back into the game through redemption island she might be able to turn it around, but I don't know she will get that chance. Her odds of beating Semhar are good (although I would MUCH rather keep watching Semhar) but actually making it back into the game is a long way off. 

We didn't get much of Savaii this week, but it seems that while Ozzy might be in a dominant alliance, the others are clearly not about to bow down to him. They may think allying with him is a good idea now, but no one seems to be forgetting who he is and the threat he represents. 

By contrast, the majority seems to be following Coach's lead. He is less threatening than Ozzy because of his track record, but they still would be stupid to just all keep following him blindly. Hopefully, we aren't going to see a Boston Rob 2.0 but it is sure looking that way. 

I do think they made the right choice voting out Christine. Edna is the weaker link physically, but Christine was causing trouble and didn't seem to be the easiest to get along with. What little physical advantage she offered over Edna was not worth the dominant alliance getting rid of their own ally for. 

I honestly don't know what to make of the Brandon/Mikayla thing. As I noted above, the editors might not be showing stuff from Mikayla that would make his claims more valid. She is a bikini model as well as a football player, so there is no doubt she is aware guys think she is hot. 

But no one else seems to really get what Brandon saying. If she was truly flaunting her stuff and vamping it up, I would think at least some of the girls would be rubbed the wrong way by it. None of them seem to be and the one thing everyone agreed on when Brandon wanted her gone was, "Why the hell would we want to do that?"

Clearly Brandon has a lot of issues that he needs to work out, and he should be doing that before he came out to play a game he clearly isn't emotionally ready for. I guess it is good for him that he isn't on Savaii and he would have to deal with both Whitney and Elyse; with their hot bodies and seemingly more flirty nature. 

This was a good episode. While Christine and Brandon are rubbing me the wrong way this is mostly a good cast. Even Brandon, I can't deny the interesting story he is bringing to the table. And by that I mean the Mikayla thing, not the other thing that I still refuse to mention by name. 

There is still some risk of seeing a Boston Rob 2.0 redux. But this group SEEMS smarter than that, so hopefully they won't disappoint. 

I will see everyone next week, for another fun filled episode of Survivor. If you would like updates on this page, as well as when my episode reviews go live, you can follow me by e-mail by filling out the form on the right, like me on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Other Reviews For Survivor: South Pacific Episode 1

Never let it be said I don't give other people their due. Each week on Sunday I will be giving you guys links to other peoples reviews of the latest episode of Survivor.

I always enjoy reading other peoples thoughts and analysis of the episodes. So I try to read as much as time permits. Here are some of the ones I found for episode 1 of Survivor: South Pacific.

Hope everyone enjoys reading these as much as they enjoyed the episode, or more than you enjoyed the episode if you didn't like it. 

Come back here after episode 2 for my review. I will do my best to have it up a little earlier than last time. I am still working out a system for doing my reviews. I figure I will probably have it down just in time for the season to end. So I figure by season 24 I will be in the zone.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Survivor: South Pacific - Episode 1 Review

Synopsis: We start the season with a helicopter flying in Ozzy and Coach to the South Pacific. Because the special treatment will endear them to the new players.

Coach says that unlike the last two times, he plans to control his sense of self righteousness and judgment. He follows by saying that he will still show you can win with honor and integrity. He is not off to a good start with the self righteousness thing.

Ozzy tells us how he has always been the physical one who is good at challenges, but never was good at strategy. He says he is older and more mature and can do it now. He also mentions how he came close A FEW TIMES, which implies three but he only played twice. Must be referring to the time he played the home game with his drinking buddies.

Both Coach and Ozzy have played the game twice before, but in very different styles. There is one thing they have in common however. Their lack of being able to play the social game is their downfall. Have they managed to improve upon that after two tries? We shall see.

Jeff says that these two lovable rascals will be playing the game with 16 new players. We then see the rest of the cast rowing on small boats to the island

They highlight John, who says he is the most savvy Survivor player ever. He brags that he has never missed an episode. He is like me, except I don’t brag about it. I hide my Survivor adoration in the deepest depths of my shame. 

He also says in Harvard Law he wrote a prize winning essay on Survivor. Seriously? Harvard must not be as difficult as everyone says. I never believed the hype.

Elyse says she does not have an outdoorsy background. But she is Native American so she is hoping her past ancestors will impart their wisdom on her. If she walks around with a feather on her forehead ala Phillip, I will call this the greatest season ever.

Rick owns a ranch in Utah. He says if you didn't train and learn some outdoor skills before you came, you might as well spit in the wind. Clearly he doesn’t have Indian ancestors to fall back on.

Stacey is a funeral director and mortician. She plans to use her mothering skills to be nosy as hell and keep her eyes and ears open.

Brandon is someone’s nephew. It is a shocking development because who would have thought he had an uncle? Surprised Survivor never hyped that or anything.

Jeff then gives us his usual spiel to end this introduction. “Blah blah blah, strangers, blah blah blah, battling the elements and each other, blah blah blah, one will remain, blah blah blah 18 people, 39 days, one survivor!” You know the spiel. And if not, welcome to your first season of Survivor. 

Que the opening credits. 

When we come back, the 16 new players exit the boat and meet Jeff. He tells them that they are divided into two tribes. the surprise twist keep on coming don't they? 

He then tells them the tribes are not yet complete. He calls for the helicopter and Ozzy and Coach step out to make their grand entrance.

The contestants meet them with mixed excitement. Not surprisingly, they are a lot more excited to see Ozzy than Coach. Can’t say I blame them. No disrespect meant to Coach, but one of them is a challenge machine and skilled at camp. The other one tells stories of being hunted by cannibals. You do the math.

Christine, a teacher from Merrick, N.Y. is asked what she thinks of Coach and Ozzy showing up. She politely says that it's nice, sounding less than enthused. Of course Jeff pushes, so she tells Jeff “They’re temporary players.” A pretty ballsy thing to say when you don’t know anyone yet. She will be fun, I can tell.

Jeff asks John his name and he says he would like to be called by his last name, Cochran. Yes, he is a law student named Johnny Cochran.

He asks to be called that because all the greats such as Mariono, Donaldson, and Penner were all referred to by their last name. I will admit, he gets superfan credit for mentioning Penner.

Jeff seems impressed that Cochran knew both Coach and Ozzy played two times before. If that is all it takes to impress Jeff, he is very easily impressed.

Jeff has the returning players each draw an egg filled with paint, one blue on red, signifying which tribe they will be on. Coach breaks his egg with his bare hand, while super athlete Ozzy has to smash it into his chest three times before it finally breaks. 

Ozzy’s egg is red, so he is with the Savaii tribe. Coach’s egg is blue, so he goes with the Upolu tribe.

Ozzy’s new tribemates are excited, Coach’s… not so much. Christine is shooting daggers at him, and in an interview Rick thinks Coach’s dragon slaying is ridiculous because he is in his 40’s. Not sure why his age makes it less ridiculous than if someone a different age said it. Maybe Rick believes dragon's became extinct 60 years ago. 

Jeff explains the redemption island twist. I don’t want to bore everyone, since most of you probably already know the deal. Especially since it won’t really come into effect until the third episode. So,m I will just explain it as we go along, when it becomes relevant.

It’s time for the first challenge, and Jeff informs everyone it will be a “Hero Challenge” and Ozzy will square off against Coach. 

The challenge will have each player climb a pole to retrieve a wooden turtle. They will then have to dig their way under a log that is on a beach. Once that is done they will try to complete a puzzle that is so simple even a monkey could do it. Seriously, pretty much the same puzzle was in the recent “Planet of the Apes” movie.

The winner of the challenge will receive a basket of Tarro (I don’t know if I spelt that right) which is a potato like food, as well as flint. Sophie nods as Jeff explains Tarro like she knows exactly what he is talking about. She is smart you see. Real smart, or so we keep being told.

The challenge starts and Ozzy has the lead through the physical part. To Coach’s credit, he manages to stay right behind him and keep the lead minimal.

Both Coach and Ozzy have trouble understanding the puzzle at first. But the other players soon realize they can chime in and help their guys out. 

Ozzy starts to get the lead with his puzzle while Coach continues to flounder. Either Coach wasn’t following directions as good as Ozzy, or Savaii gave better instructions. Probably a little bit of both. Regardless, Ozzy wins and Savii gets exotic potatoes and flint.

I think the producers suspected it might come down with the tribes helping the returning players and potentially build a bond. It probably worked better for Coach than Ozzy.

As the tribes walk off, no one stops to help Coach gather his stuff except for Edna, the Anesthesiologist from LA. Coach realizes this does not bode well for him and he is in real danger of being voted out.

When Savaii gets to their camp they start introducing themselves. Whitney tells them she is a songwriter from Nashville. She actually is a Country Singer of minor fame, but chooses not to tell them that. I guess it's good none of them were hard core country fans, as apparently nobody recognized her.

Semhar tells everyone she is a “spoken word artist”. Must be what the kids are calling poetry now. Mark asks her to give them a sample of their poetry and she does. I was not hugely impressed by it, but I am not a fan of poetry.

Ozzy however, seems smitten and thinks she would be good to showmance. He doesn't use those words, but that is what I took him to be thinking. I can’t fault his taste, she's a cutie.

Ozzy discourages the tribe from building a shelter, and says they should go swimming and relax instead. Don’t know if that is a strategy, or if he is just being flaky as usual.

John is reluctant to take off his clothes and go swimming because he is so skinny and pale. The other all encourage him and he eventually goes along and takes off his shirt to go swimming. I hope this is the kind of not stop suspense we can expect all season long.

At Upolu, Coach tries to do damage control. He apologizes for losing the challenge, but likes it was a team effort. He then reminding everyone he is not a strategic player so they shouldn't feel he is a threat. Not sure how much good it did, but it was a nice attempt and probably the best he could have done.

They decide to go around and tell each other their occupations. Rick tells everyone he is a rancer, but we already knew that. Albert talks for I think the only time all episode, telling everyone he is a baseball coach.

Sophie tells the tribe she graduated college 4 days ago, and was a Russian and Economics major. Coach attempts to win her over with some Russian of his own. For some reason they subtitle the Russian… in Russian. Gee, that’s helpful.

Sophie doesn’t seem impressed with his limited Russian, since he mostly just knows how to politely say “hello”. To his credit, he is probably the only other person who knows how to say anything in Russian. And if most people only learn a few words of another language they usually learn how cuss, because it’s fun. Not how to say anything politely.

Upolu recognizes that Coach is useful in building their camp, as he as done this twice before. They follow his lead in building their shelter and It seems to come along quickly. Everyone is laughing and having a good time, and if the editing is to be believed the shelter is built at a steady pace. 

Christine makes a transparent attempt to search for the immunity idol, which doesn't seem to make a good impression on the others. Coach tells us she is “Target #1”.

Back at Savaii, Jim seems impressed with all the pretty young girls at his tribe. He then lies and tells everyone he is a science teacher. I swear, someday there will be a season where every player lies about themselves. He has chosen not to tell everyone he is an MBA, has won over 20 poker tournaments, and owns two medical marijuana dispensaries.

The implication is that he thinks it will make him a threat. But I think he was smart to not say all of that because no one would believe him. Apparently is's all true, but it sure would sound like a load of crap if you didn't know the guy. 

Semhar asks who all is married? Mark, a retired NYPD detective who’s last name is “Caruso” of all things, takes the opportunity to tell everyone he has a boyfriend and has been gay all of his life. He talks about being “Pappa Bear”.

Back at Upolu we learn about Brandon’s tattoo that says “loco”. He explains in an interview how he used to be crazy but has now found God and is ashamed of his bully past.

We then see a weird scene where Brandon talks about how he is not comfortable with Mikayla, a lingerie football player, because of the way she flaunts herself. He says as a good, married Christian, has to stay clear of her so as not to get into a situation that will get himself in trouble.

The thing is, all we see her doing is helping build the shelter while wearing a tank top and shorts. She is hardly flaunting herself or even looking like she is trying to be “sexy”. And so far she doesn’t seem to be trying to “temp” Brandon. We also saw him tell coach Mikayla was "Delilah" earlier, because she complimented his tattoo so clearly she wanted to seduce him to sin.

The whole thing was just weird. I tend to think even with Brandon’s comments, this was an editing slight of hand. Especially since Survivor has always tried to hit us over the head that Christian’s are over the top. What we saw just didn’t gel with what Brandon was apparently saying about Mikayla in the confessional. I assume it must be setting us up for something later.

We come back from whatever the hell that was to later that night. Sophie, Brandon, Coach, Rick and Albert are sitting and talking under the stars. Coach makes a very good point about how if the five of them were to take this opportunity to form a strong five person alliance, it could help them out tremendously. As a strong alliance like that can go very far even if they are down during the merge.

Coach also points out to the others that first day alliances are almost always the most strong. Everyone seems to agree and be on board. They actually have a good plan if they stick to it, because what Coach is saying is not wrong. Kudos to him for seemingly making such a strong strategic move so early on. Maybe he has learned a thing or two.

Personally, I hope this alliance sticks around and dominates. It would be the craziest group of misfits to form a power alliance in a long time. But I hope it doesn't carry Coach to the end, because I don't want this show to constantly become Veteran players beating new players every season.

Back at Savaii, the part of “Survivor who immediatley cracks under the living conditions" will be played by Dawn. She is not handling camp life well, and is already feeling old, scatterbrained, and an emotional wreck. Mark is concerned about this as he feels he and Dawn have to stick together, being the two oldest.

Ozzy gives her a pep talk that doesn’t look like it completely works. But Ozzy feels that if he can use this to gain her trust she might be a crucial ally. What he means is, “If I can take advantage of her weakness, I might be able to control her into doing my bidding.” Didn't know I spoke Ozzy did you? Coach and Sophie got nothing on me!

Several of their tribe mates seem to see this and be concerned. But honestly, the shots could have been taken from anything. So who knows if they really saw this exchange, or were simply edited to look like they did.

One thing I should warn everyone, I trust reality show editors about as much as I can throw them. Just thought this was a good time to mention that.

It is now day three, and Ozzy finally realizes that maybe they should get their shelter built. Gee Ozzy, you think? This is the wisdom two seasons of experience brings his tribe, "get the shelter done after three days." How could Savaii ever want to vote out someone with that kind of knowledge.

Back at Upolu, Brandon is catching fish to help build goodwill with his tribe. He is doing it with his shirt rolled over his head. He doesn't want anyone to see the two tattoos with his last name on them, else they will learn of his hidden shame.

He seems convinced if he can keep his shirt on, no one will find out about his uncle. I honestly don’t see how he can keep that up for 39 days. The fact he doesn’t have it off to fish already looks weird. Who swims under water with their shirt on? 

Sophie says she is suspicious of him. He is always covering his back, so either he's hiding a tattoo or has wings. OK, she didn't say that last part. But apparently she suspects he is hiding something.

It’s time for the immunity challenge!

The Survivors will run through a zig zagging maze of ropes which they will have to crawl under, then through a web of coconuts that doesn’t look like it would be hard to  navigate through at all. They will then work together to pull each other over a 10 foot wall. 

Once they are all over the wall, one of them will dig for a machete buried under sand. With the machete they will cut a series of ropes, that will open a bag of coconuts. Three players will then throw the coconuts into a basket until it is heavy enough to lift a pile of coconuts tied to it on the other side. Once they do it will raise their tribes flag.

The winning tribe will get a clue to a location of a the hidden immunity idol. The losing tribe will go to tribal council and vote someone out. Upolu will also get flint if they win, since they didn’t win it in the first challenge.

Jeff gives them a minute to strategies. Upolu seems to be gelling well in working out a strategy. On Savaii, Semhar, Ozzy and Keith are shown stepping up and volunteering to shoot for baskets. Semhar seems confident she can do it.

Both tribes get through the maze and the coconut web pretty quickly. Upolu gets to the wall first and starts to get a lead. They make me laugh when Rick pulls up Edna and almost tossed her over to the other side with one hand.

Upolu gets over the wall. While on Savaii's side Cochran struggles  to get over the wall and slows them down quite a bit. When they finally all get over the wall, Ozzy makes up some time with the digging. Both teams finally make it to the coconut basket neck and neck.

Brandon, Albert and Mikayla shoot for Upolu. Semhar tires out quickly on Savaii and starts missing the basket by a mile and whining about how she has nothing left. Ozzy asks Jeff if they can switch but he tells them no. Despite Semhar quickly becoming useless, the tribes stay neck and neck through the whole leg of the challenge.

Upolu eventually wins it, and Jeff makes a point afterwards to point out that Savaii was within one coconut themselves. Making it clear if Semhar hadn’t been so useless they most likely would have won.

Jeff tells Upolu that inside their camp is a clue to the hidden immunity idol. So first they have to find the clue, then use it to find the idol. What if they find the idol while they are looking for the clue?

And how is that a reward for the winners? For one thing he was standing close enough that I don’t see how Savaii didn’t already hear it. So now they both know. For the other, they are already going to be looking for the idol, so do they really need to be told there is a clue to look for. Even if they didn’t guess that, they would just find it while looking for the idol. At least in theory.

Jeff asks Semhar how she feels. She says she feels sort of bad for losing. Jim makes a face that Jeff calls him on, so he says he feels worse than “sort of bad.”

Back at camp, Upolu celebrates their awesomeness before they all scatter and begin looking for the immunity idol. Stacy mentions how she could very well have passed right by it and not known. Sure enough, we see her stick her hand inside of a hollow of a tree and the clue is right there. But she misses it and moves on while the camera man taunts her with a close up of the clue after she leaves.

At Savaii, Semhar decides that immediatley after being pegged with losing the challenge is the best time to call out Rick and make a scene. She must have figured that her target was not already big enough.

Dawn is worried she might be a targeted for eviction because of her breaking down early on. However, she has hope that Semhar will be a bigger target, after losing the challenge for them.

Ozzy is in the water with Whitney, Rick and Elyse talking about who to evict. Ozzy thinks that Shemar stepping up was noble and they should not target her just because she messed up on one challenge. I wonder if she would be so heroic to lose it for them, if she didn't do such a good job filling out a bikini?

Ozzy then tries to put the target on Cochran, mentioning how he is a weak link. Not that Ozzy doesn't have a point, but Cochran sure isn’t less of a physical liability than Semhar. If Ozzy wanted to deflect the attention from Semhar, maybe he shouldn't play the “physically weak” card.

Rick is not buying anything that Ozzy is selling. He also wisely suspect if Ozzy is so against the group mentality of voting out Semhar, than he is up to something.

Ozzy tells Semhar that she is on the chopping block, but he wants Cochran gone. He wants that because she will be much more fun to seduce. Or something to that affect! He then suggest Semhar really start campaigning.

She stars scrambling to gather votes, and meanwhile Jim goes to Cochran and tells him and Mark that Ozzy is trying to target Cochran.

The Survivor nerd is heart broken that the great Ozzy thinks he is such a liability. He then starts freaking and mentions how it's insulting he is about to be kicked out of a tribe with “Pappa Bear and all these girls.” 

News flash genius, Pappa Bear is stronger than you. Not sure some of the girls aren’t either. 

He better be glad he is not on Upolu, I have little doubt either Sophie or Mikayla could easily kick his ass.

Cochran keeps freaking out and worrying he will be the first one voted out. And he knows better than anyone, that means you become forgotten quickly. No being mentioned in the same sentence as Penner then.

As they head off to Tribal Council, it's clear that either Cochran or Semhar is going home. In my first look at the cast, I picked Cochran as the first boot out of his tribe, Jeff picked Semhar. So either I am right of Jeff is. 

Unfortunately for me, Jeff has had a front row seat to every season. So he is probably more likely to know what he is talking about.

At Tribal Council, Jeff questions Dawn. She comes clean about her mini-breakdown. She then uses to opportunity to assure the tribe it’s all behind her now.

Jeff asks Elyse who else she thinks should be worried. She is upfront and says Semhar. Jim then calls out Semhar for stepping up when she couldn't deliver. He makes a comment that he hates losing and “(he) thinks the only people who make good losers, are people who are good at losing.” 

Unnecessary! I hope he blows a challenge himself after that comment. Seeing the arrogant taken down a peg is always fun to watch.

Jeff asks Whitney if any part of her was thinking “thank god it isn’t me.”?

Whitney then says, “Well I was thinking I could do it, but Semhar kept saying she could and none of us got a chance! Semhar, Semhar, it was all Semhar’s fault!”

Semhar takes a subtle shot at how it's big talk from people who didn't step up themselves. Ozzy says he feels it's huge advantage to be willing to step up and say, “I can do this!”. Especially when the girl who steps up has long legs, and a top showing off her... charms.

Ok, I know Ozzy’s logic is self served and that's fine. But I don’t see how someone stepping up and saying they can do something they can’t, and then keeping someone who could have won away, it is a huge advantage in this game. Being willing to put yourself out there is an admirable trait to have in the real world. But this is Survivor.

Jeff asks Dawn if she thinks anyone else should be worried? Dawn reluctantly says Cochran might be a target. 

Cochran steps in and tries to defend that despite his “nerdy” appearance, he stepped up and did well in the challenge, so they shouldn’t judge him by his cover.

Mark and Dawn are quick to point out, however, that he did have trouble going over the wall in the challenge and then panicked and froze up.

Semhar admits that she is relieved some people felt Cochran was a weaker link. Johnny boy doesn’t like that and gets defensive. The two go back and forth about who is the weaker link. At one point, Cochran gets so nervous and flustered, he even forgets Semhar’s name.

That would bother me right there if I was on his tribe. His getting nervous and flustered when things go bad is not a good thing. If they get to a challenge where he needs to step up and it doesn't go well right away, is he going to panic then? Not saying that he is a better choice than Semhar, but Ozzy may not be completely wrong about him potentially being a liability.

Cochran says if he isn’t voted out, he will change and will do whatever they want, and follow their direction to be more useful and learn. He then makes some comment to Ozzy that he will be his "genie in a bottle", but Ozzy won’t have to rub him. I am sure Ozzy is relieved about that. 

Cochran then says their perception of him should not be based on what has happened so far. Keith and Semhar point out that they have known him for three days, what else should they base it on? Keith points out they have to base their perception on the last three days, that is all they have known anyone  for. They have a limited time to get to know people before making these decisions. Cochran hangs his head at Kieth and his annoying ability to speak the truth.

By Cochran’s logic, they shouldn’t perceive Semhar as weak either. After all, she has only appeared weak since the game started. Why should they base it on that?

Honestly, the guy is just rambling a bunch of nonsense to try and defend himself. And I don’t think he is changing anyone’s perception of him with it.

It is now time to vote!

We only see Cochran and Semhar’s votes, which of course were for each other. It seems clear from both of their reactions they knew Semhar was going. 

Semhar basically said she was really, really sorry but hopefully the vote would make Cochran step up more. Cochran said he was voting for her because she questioned his intelligence and his commitment to the game, the latter worse than insulting his mother I am sure. She did question his commitment to the game, saying he was too busy being in awe he was on Survivor with Ozzy, to truly be useful. But I don't remember her ever questioning his intelligence, unless he just thinks her disagreeing with him means she thinks he most not be smart. I hope not, or I will grow to dislike this guy quickly. 

The votes are read and sure enough everyone votes for Semhar to go. Jeff tells Semhar she will have a chance to get back into this game and sends her to redemption island. She leaves crying as Ozzy regrets not showing her how to make fire.

Jeff says that it seems that the tribe made the decision, to believe that a person could improve. Now get the hell out!

Ok, he actually said he hopes it applies to the whole tribe. But I would have died laughing had he said it like that.

Semhar arrives at Redemption and says she is hurt that her tribe mates lied to her, and she doesn’t understand how people could be so cold hearted. She then starts to cry again!

Semhar seems like a nice girl, I am sure in the real world I would like her. And I agree with Ozzy she is definitely nice to look at. But she clearly isn't made for Survivor. I don’t see her going much further on Redemption Island either. 

On the up side for Semhar, she will get at least three episodes out of it. In past seasons we would all quickly be saying "Semhar who?" 

We will still be saying it, but now we won’t start until two weeks later than usual.

The previews show us that next week, Cochran will try to counter the tribes perception by becoming a hard core worker bee. Also, Brandon will be tortured by his deep dark secret, and Coach will begin to realize something is up with him.  

Hopefully, Coach won’t decide he is hiding wings. I was joking with Sophie but who knows what conclusions Coach might come to.

Thoughts on the episode:  This was actually a really good season premiere. I liked that while Coach and Ozzy got plenty of screen time, this time it wasn't simply "The Coach And Ozzy Show".

A lot of people fell in love with Cochran before the show started. It is understandable for us internet Survivor fans, after all Cochran is "one of us."

But honestly, I found him annoying and he came off as being too overwhelmed with the fact he was on his favorite show sharing a tribe with Ozzy to focus on the game. His flustering when he found out he was a target and everyone didn't love him was also too much. 

It didn't seem to rub Ozzy and Keith the right way either. Which I totally understand, as him claiming they shouldn't base their opinions on him in the first three days, when three days in they had to vote someone else out. They are playing Survivor, not starting a society. 

Speaking of Ozzy, while the editing made it look like some were smitten I did notice he did not get what he wanted. Some people think that everyone is worshiping Ozzy, but I sensed it was more like him trying to win the favor of the other players. I think he is well aware that with Rob winning he could easily be an early target. 

I am sure a lot of people are criticizing Savaii for not voting out Ozzy, but I think they made the right choice. Don't get me wrong, the last thing they want is Ozzy going into the merge. But they are only one vote in, and already lost a challenge. Voting out their strongest player this early wold be a horrible idea. If they lose again maybe, but at this point they need and try to keep themselves strong enough to win challenges. 

Coach has so far controlled the crazy and been humble. His five person alliance has potential. But I do wonder, if they survive the first vote and seem to be in control will Coach go off the rails again? 

And finally Brandon made a mistake not telling them about his tattoos when he should have. I get his concern, but I don't see how he can keep his shirt on the whole time and not eventually get noticed. 

Had he been up front about his last name once his five person alliance was formed, and explained the reason was his concern for being judged too early, I think his confiding in them might have helped solidify his alliance. 

As it stands his waiting all this time not to tell will almost surely make it hard for people to trust him when and if they find out later. 

Well, that is it for this week. I will see you all back for my review of episode two.