Welcome to the final installment of Survivor South Pacific! Congratulations to Sophie Clarke! Our brilliant medical student with the piercing blue eyes took home the big prize! Although at the start of last night, I was pulling for Ozzy, I have been team “Sophierce” for a long time and I think she was completely deserving of the money.
I have loved this season of Survivor. While it was a complete repeat of last season’s redemption island with the two returning contestants, I found this season to be riveting, while last season was stultifyingly boring.
I heard through the grapevine that (THANKFULLY) the redemption island twist is over after this season (hopefully never to be seen again, much like the Medallion of Power and the Outcasts). I hated that twist from day one because I always felt that once you’re voted out of Survivor that should be it. Your torch gets snuffed and then you’re out.
However, if the producers create a stupid twist, I always love to see the contestants utilize the twist to the fullest. I think it would have been a great outcome to the season if Ozzy had been voted out twice, dominated redemption island, and then come back and won it all.
I thought Ozzy was so much more astute this season (I guess there are some benefits to having played three times) and I loved his comments about Brandon after hearing how Brandon got voted out. “He wasn’t blindsided, he gave up the freaking immunity necklace.” Ozzy was right, Brandon was asking for it.
I was so nervous during that pole hanging challenge with Brandon. Brandon hung on for much longer than I thought he would. But Ozzy dominated. Brandon seemed relieved to be out of the game. Then Ozzy was back in the game at the final five.
I know there are a lot of Coach fans out there and I guess he was more likable this season than in his previous two seasons, but oh my god. When he was going on his rant saying how sick he was of people trying to look “holier than thou” in the game, I was gagging. Hi pot. Meet kettle. Seriously.
Has there ever been a player in the history of Survivor who has tried to look more holier than thou than Coach Benjamin Wade? I can’t imagine playing the game with someone like him and I think that Sophie was pretty amazing in how she handled him with kid gloves. She definitely deserves some credit in that respect. Does anyone remember how poorly someone like Sierra dealt with Coach? I would probably fall more into that category. He would drive me absolutely insane.
I loved the “house of cards” challenge this time, too. I know they’ve done that before, but never with the balancing aspect and the not having quite enough “cards” to make it to the top. I thought Sophie’s idea of getting Albert to help her was brilliant and I think had it been someone else (like an alpha male) who had that idea, Probst may have let it go. I mean, look at the immunity challenge the week Edna went out. Everyone ganged up on her! Also, there are “rope chopping” challenges and everyone always gangs up in those. I think Sophie’s idea was brilliant and Albert should have gotten right on it and then maybe Jeff wouldn’t have had time to think about it.
Although, I was glad to see Ozzy win (again!) and continue his domination. I wonder if Sophie really does have a house of cards book or if she was just saying that to get into everyone’s heads. That sounds like the kind of thing she might just make up.
Fairplay tweeted last night “wow, when Ozzy wins it’s cool, when Boston Rob won, it was boring.” It’s so true. I really felt like everyone was pulling for Ozzy this season.
It was pretty amazing that both Coach and Ozzy were “immune” at final five. I don’t know why the tribe let Coach get so far with the hidden immunity idol and never made him play it. I guess it turned out to be okay for Sophie but that would have made me uncomfortable.
What did everyone think of Sophie’s waterworks at tribal council? It is so emotionally draining to be out there for that many days. I know there’s “no crying on Survivor” (that’s what Ami and I would always say to one another, usually through tears) but it is so physically and emotionally tough and when you feel like you’re being attacked, sometimes you just have to cry.
So then that guy with the mustache, Rick, got voted off. We hardly knew you Rick, but I’m with you — don’t hug me after you vote me out. I loved his quote, “don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.”
We then got to see the interaction between Coach and Ozzy after Ozzy had called Coach out at tribal council and he said he’s been burned in the past on Survivor and he wasn’t sure he could trust Coach. I know some people thought that Ozzy was referring to Cochran, but that’s not how I took it. I think he meant Parvati and Amanda, who caused his blindside on Fans v. Favorites. It seemed pretty genuine to me (especially because we all know Ozzy is NOT that good of an actor — remember Redemption Island when he faked like Cochran blindsided him with the idol??)
Then we got to the final immunity challenge. The maze. I wish that our maze had a puzzle as hard as this one did at the Vanuatu final four, then maybe I would have had a shot to catch up, unfortunately it was just a simple word unscramble which said final three (come on guys, lame). This maze looked hard, but nothing will compare to the vertical maze we did in Vanuatu.
Ozzy knew the moment he lost that challenge that it was over. My heart broke for him. He said, “so close, yet so far away, again” and I really felt for him. He played a great game this time around in the best way he knew how. As he said in the reunion show, the only thing he could have done differently would have been to give Cochran the idol to play at the merge and then maybe Cochran would have stayed with them and forced the tie. Other than that, he probably couldn’t have done anything differently. I agree.
What do people think about “honor” and “integrity” on Survivor? Personally, I think it has no place in the game. I think someone like Sophie used it to her advantage because there were others who felt it was so important, but it was kind of an absurd theme this season. Coach preached it so hard and I think it ultimately cost him the win. If he had owned up to being sneaky and snaky and doing what he had to do to get to the end to win the game, maybe he could have done just that.
Is it just me or has Survivor gotten so easy? Did we see ANY real suffering this season? No one ever looked hungry. No one ever looked skinny. No one’s hair was falling out. It was just gluttony and comfort. I miss the days of hard Survivor seasons.
Once final tribal council began, did anyone have any doubt that (a) Sophie was going to win, and (b) Albert wasn’t getting a single vote? I loved when Sophie called Coach a little girl. She knows that men have the advantage on Survivor because they just pick women to follow them to the end and she was able to do it with two men. And SHE was the challenge dominator. She answered her final tribal questions with honesty and class. I also loved how she revealed how they really found the idol and then just gave a little shrug. She really killed it. I am so proud of that girl. My heart is bursting.
I thought Brandon’s jury question to Albert was great. Yes or no? YES or NO! YES OR NO! Haha. He certainly had me laughing. Albert totally blew that final tribal and joined the ranks of Stephen Fishbach, Sugar Kiper, Matthew (Sash) Lenahan, Dreamz Heard, Becky, Cassandra, etc. on Team No Votes.
A lot of people ask why jurors on Survivor give “bitter” jury speeches. Well, as a two time juror, let me answer that for you. First of all, it’s fun. You’ve been cooped up at Ponderosa for days (or weeks if you’re juror #1 like I was in Micronesia) and you’ve had time to plan our a great speech and it’s just great to get to give someone a piece of your mind. Also, you know it makes for good TV, and finally, you know someone is about to walk away with a million dollars, you want to make them sweat a little, and earn it!
Just a few comments from the reunion. I loved Cochran on the season and on the reunion. (I was glad Ozzy won fan favorite, but it didn’t surprise me Cochran was 2nd place, no matter what the margin was). Cochran said people were nice on the street and then he “goes on the internet like an obsessive freak and everyone hates me.” It’s so easy to hate someone from behind your computer screen, Cochran. I hope you don’t take it personally. Also, I loved the answer to Probst’s question about dating. “Come at me!” Ladies, he’s there for the taking.
Finally, I thought the Russell bit was overkill and I felt sorry for Brandon, but I felt more sorry for Papa Bear, Mikayla, Elyse, and the other people we didn’t even get to hear from who were ACTUALLY on this season.
All in all, I thought this was a great season and I had so much fun recapping it with you guys. I hope you’ll all join me for Survivor: One World in February. I’m so excited for the new twist and I think it’s going to make for a very interesting season! As always, between now and then I’ll be tweeting, and I am climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in January with Francesca Hogi, Ashley Underwood, and Annie Whittington and would love your support - any amount helps! Signing off for now, with an amazing female winner of an amazing season, xoxo, Eliza