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Dawn tweeted this pic of herself and her crew. I'm guessing none of these people win tonight. Check out more of her pics @meehand. (And obviously I was wrong about none of these folks winning. Go Sophie!)

*Update* My girl Sophie did it! I didn’t see her beating Coach, but he broke too many promises — after basing his game around “honor and integrity” — and she gave great straight-to-the-point final jury answers. No ass kissing. No tears. Maybe she wasn’t the ideal choice to win, but I can definitely see why she won. *End update*

The “Survivor: South Pacific” finale was supposed to start at 8 p.m. but, as usual, CBS had to push its Sunday night content back for football. This happens every dang week, as fans of “60 Minutes,“The Amazing Race” and “The Good Wife” know too well.

Is it weird if I kinda hope Brandon wins the duel?

Anyway, once this puppy gets going I plan to document the Coach vs. Ozzy showdown. Does anyone think the non-veterans even have a chance? Does anyone else mind that idea? It doesn’t seem fair, just like it seemed almost cruel for Boston Rob to steamroll his newbies on “Redemption Island.”

This has not been my favorite season — it’s all been downhill since “Heroes vs. Villains” — but I can live with Coach, Ozzy or Sophie winning, especially Coach or Sophie. Coach has made too many promises and Ozzy + Ego have coasted on a pure physical game, but what else do we have? It’s not ideal — or even fair — but so be it.

*** LIVE BLOG BEGINS *** (refresh for updates)

8:34 p.m.: Recap of the season. Big focus on Ozzy so far. I had forgotten about Coach’s “Christian man” promise to Ozzy to take him to the end with one other person. Recap ends around 8:40.

8:42 p.m.: Brandon arrives at Redemption Island – aka Ozzy’s Pleasure Dome! Brandon feels betrayed, but he forgives Albert. Ozzy realizes Brandon wasn’t blindsided, as he said, he was just foolish to give up his immunity necklace. He was playing a “blind faith” game.

Oh Brandon. Oh well.

8:44 p.m.: Oooh! Coach is PISSED at Albert. He’s tearing into him for lying and bullying and knowing that Brandon was going to go home and pulling that move anyway. Albert is basically dead to Coach. That feels a bit harsh considering Coach has been making deals left and right too.

8:46 p.m.: Duel time! Ozzy will miss Redemption Island. He’s had it sweet over there. The challenge: They have to hang onto a pole for as long as they can. Oh that could take a while. Remember “Palau”? What was that, like an 11 hour challenge or something? But Jeff said they’ve never had such a narrow foothold before.

8:51 p.m.: What are the odds — Ozzy wins. He gets to go back in the game. Will Coach honor his word and take him to the end? Could he be that crazy? Why did he make that promise? In the meantime, Brandon is talking about his heart-to-heart with God.

8:52 p.m.: What, wait? Jeff just told Ozzy he has been an underdog from day one. Really? He’s been a dominating leader from day one.

Ozzy is clearly the challenge king, but what about the rest of his game? His strategy was just to focus on the physical aspect. Is that enough? Boston Rob was Ozzy + Coach in one. To me, Coach has the edge for getting Cochran to turn and helping his whole tribe get to the end.

8:57 p.m.: Albert said it’s definitely strange to have Ozzy back among them. It’s 4 against Ozzy. Everyone knows it. They all want to beat him in the next challenge, but how likely is that? Now it’s Ozzy talking to Coach. Coach said he doesn’t think Ozzy is going anywhere. Oh Lord — Coach said he has the hidden idol and if he wins immunity he’ll give it to Ozzy if he thinks he’s in danger. Ozzy doesn’t buy it. To his credit, he said why would Coach want him in the end? But to Coach’s face he said he thinks it should be the two of them in the end. As if it was pre-ordained once they signed up. Coach tells the camera “it’s my game to lose” because everyone wants to take him to the final 3. Is that true? If so, what does that say about how easy they all think it will be to beat Coach.

9 p.m.: Challenge time! It’ s a card balancing challenge. House of cards. Where are the big, physical challenges of yore?

9:04 p.m.: What are the odds? Ozzy wins the immunity challenge. Ugh. I guess I’m the only one bored by his domination. So will he be the next Boston Rob? Will they vote out Coach? Who does Ozzy want to sit next to in the end? I’d get rid of Coach and Sophie and sit next to Rick and Albert. They are the easiest to beat.

Is it just me or does Rick Nelson kinda look like JT Thomas in 20 years?

9:09 p.m.: Ozzy is stoked. He plans to facilitate the process of the Upolu’s turning on each other. He wants to stay the “good guy” in their eyes. He’s making Boston Rob-esque speeches. Foreshadowing? Coach tells Albert that Rick has the best bet of winning the game, which does NOT seem to be the case from here. Ozzy made a pitch for Sophie to leave. Wait, is there another immunity challenge coming? How are they going to get down to three? Rick compares Coach to an attorney, he skirts around the truth. Coach told Albert that Rick was a threat, but he just told Rick that he would never vote for him. Uh-oh. Albert just talked to Coach and Coach said he can’t wait to vote Ozzy’s ass out of there, which is in direct contrast to his “Christian man” promise. Oh Coach. You are digging your own final Tribal Council speech grave right now.

9:15 p.m.: Time for Tribal Council vote. This is the last time Coach can play his hidden idol and he’s planning to do it. I really hope Sophie wins the next immunity challenge, if only to wipe the condescending smirk of Ozzy’s face. SHE’S pretentious? Right. Even Brandon is shocked by Coach’s “bonding” “family” stuff when it comes to Ozzy. Ozzy is airing all of that to the jury. Sophie said Ozzy has disrespected her from day one. He does have a history of being not-so-nice to women. He thinks Sophie is a spoiled “brat” and has been sitting around? What about Prince Albert? Why her? Everyone has challenged Albert. And Ozzy IS arrogant. Sophie is right on this. She’s hurt and tearing up. Ozzy is a jerk sometimes. No one ever calls him on it and even Jeff is just going with the “thin skin” argument. The jury is eating this up. Except for Dawn. Dawn is nice. WHOA. Jeff tells Sophie her crying is a big reason to get rid of her? Way to editorialize, Jeff. You didn’t do that for Brandon and his 9 million emotional breakdowns.

Still Team Sophie. Deal with it. How come Coach never wears a full shirt? Every other guy manages to do it.

9:22 p.m.: Rick is voted out. The final four are Ben “Coach” Wade, Oscar “Ozzy” Lusth, Albert Destrade and Sophie Clarke. Rick was NOT happy with Coach. Coach stood up to give him a man hug goodbye and Rick told him to SIDDOWN. He wishes he had made a bigger move in the game but he was just blinded by the idea that Coach was true to his word. Rick: “Ozzy’s got my vote.” Crap.

9:30 p.m.: Ozzy can “sense victory.” His plan A is to win. Plan B is also to win. His entire strategy all season has been to win challenges. But that’s not the entirety of “Survivor.” Coach is now mad at Ozzy, feeling betrayed because Ozzy outed his “Christian man” speech. He didn’t want that out there. Now he feels stabbed in the back, which is rich considering Coach told Albert he can’t wait to vote Ozzy’s ass out. But Ozzy just made a SMART move in playing the “I was hurt in the past” sympathy card. That’s right up Coach’s alley. Coach said he wants it to be him vs. Coach in the end and he wants Sophie and Albert to make fire, as in tie in the final vote and have to do a fire-making showdown. No purple rocks?

Ozzy had a huge lead in the challenge, going into making the puzzle. Jeff said it was the hardest puzzle of the season.

YES! Spoiled brat, eh? Ozzy grinned at the idea that she was his biggest competition to win the final challenge but it turns out she was right. As usual.

9:33 p.m. OK, now THIS is the final immunity challenge. It’s a physical challenge obstacle course, just like I like ’em. They have to bring back five bags and work on a puzzle. Ozzy had a huge lead but lost it to Sophie when it went from physical to mental. My point exactly. Sophie wins final immunity.

GO GIRL! Ozzy looks so pissed. Awesome. Dump Ozzy and keep Coach and Albert. Coach may still win, though.

9:44 p.m.: Ozzy said his mind turned inside-out at the puzzle. He’s just not a mental player. Coach declares Sophie the new “Dragon Slayer” because she slayed Ozzy. So Coach is kissing her ass now and is totally turning his back on Ozzy. But Coach goes to talk to Ozzy and Ozzy said he wants a chance to do a fire challenge against Albert. Right. Coach said it’s going against his word. But Coach has given his word to everyone. Coach doesn’t know what to do because, from the beginning, he said he wanted the “warriors” in the end and Ozzy is certainly a warrior. So it’s not easy for him to write his name down. Coach is damned either way at this point. He’s backed himself into a corner.

Only your old friends clapped for you, Ozzy. If you had attempted a social game with Cochran it would've been your tribe in the finals.

9:52 p.m.: It’s the final vote! I love the shocked and disappointed faces to see Sophie with immunity instead of Ozzy. Ha ha. Ozzy called it “a million dollar puzzle.” Ozzy brings up his fire-making challenge idea again. All Ozzy has is the challenges so it’s no wonder he keeps playing that one card. He has no alliances. He has no strategy. He has his own physical strength and skill — as long as it isn’t mental. “Pride comes before the fall,” Albert says as he votes for Ozzy to leave. Uh-oh. Maybe that applies to Sophie too. She voted for “Ozzy” and said “because I’m the new Dragon Slayer.”) YES! Ozzy is gone. He said he had a good run and some of his former tribe-mates applauded, but not Dawn or Cochran since he never really had a great social game with them. Albert thanked God. God is orchestrating this win.

10:04 p.m.: The final three are Sophie, Coach and Albert. It’s “an Ozzy-free camp.” Coach may be in trouble. They are going to beat the crap out of him in the final jury speeches. Coach is on Cloud 9. He quotes Shakespeare or Mark Twain or whoever doesn’t want to wake from a dream. They wake up to a huge breakfast feast.

10:06 p.m.: Aaaaaand the honeymoon is over. Sophie and Coach think it should be down to the two of them. They plan to talk bout Albert’s “squirrely” side. Sophie wants to keep her emotions together so no one thinks she’s a nut job. She’s going more logically than emotionally. Sophie talks to Albert and they kind of knock Coach too. Albert tells the camera he thinks he played a much better game than the other two. When was this? Which season of “Survivor”? This one? Nope. There was a time when I thought he was a great bet to win, but from Prince Albert to his “squirrely” behavior, I think he’s out of the running. No?

10:09 p.m.: Time for the final vote. The power has shifted to the jury, which now includes Ozzy wearing pigtails.

The final 3 during opening statements to the jury. Sophie kept to logic, like she said, while the other two made flowery pageant speeches.

Albert said he is honored and privileged to be there. He says the game in essence is a “social experiment.” It’s not a game about chess pieces, it’s a game about people. A higher power brought them together. He thanks them for being part of a journey they will never forget. He’s thankful for the opportunity. Total job interview.

Sophie cuts to the chase. It’s outwit, outlast, outplay. She won three immunity challenges. For strategy, she made a five person alliance from the beginning and kept it to the end. Socially, she’s not a used car salesman but she worked on her social game and she was as honest as possible.

Coach says wow he can’t believe he’s up there. Redemption Island was built for someone like Ozzy whereas Coach is a bit of a character. Last time he played the game with arrogance and this time he tried to change and play with compassion. This time he tried to not bend others to his plans he just looked around at the others. When you open up yourself to others you receive back tenfold. (Yeah, you receive anger at broken promises…)

10:16 p.m.: The (bitter) jury speaks!

Ozzy announces that no one wants to vote for any of those guys — as if they ALL wanted to vote for him and his pigtails. He insults them all, tween girl hair and all, and asks about how Coach played the game. Coach admits he played honorably most of the time but not always.

Jim asked Albert why Sophie and Coach shouldn’t win the game. And he told Albert not to start with a compliment. So Albert started by complimenting Jim’s question. Albert said he and Sophie carried Coach to the end. Albert said Sophie did not play as good a social game as he did.

Dawn asked Sophie why she aligned with Coach and Albert. Sophie told Dawn she wished she was a man because they can get two young girls to follow them around. Coach was like a young girl to her because he said his loyalty is worth more than a million dollars. He wanted actual redemption. With Albert, he was into strategy and she liked aligning with someone who could talk strategy. But as time went on, her relationship with Albert soured. Albert is still there because keeping him gave her a better shot at getting to the end than Rick.

Rick said Coach wanted to play with honor. Does he have anything to say to Rick? Coach just said “I apologize.” Rick called Albert on playing the God card with Brandon, which was a bunch of bull. Rick said Sophie lied; she said her name is worth a lot and she only lied when necessary and it hurt her most to lie to him. Rick is bitter!

Brandon said Coach told him he would never write his name down. Coach said he believes Brandon should be there. He said he elevated them all? Albert said he would do anything to win but he would never compromise his relationship with God.

Whitney said Albert is “sleazy” and he buttered people up when he knew they were leaving the game. She said Coach used God as strategy. She called Sophie the most condescending person she ever met. (Has she met Ozzy? Ozzy loves pretty girls but he’s condescending to everyone else, like Cochran and Sophie.)

Edna said the most historic way to manipulate people is through religion. (Nice!) She said they shouldn’t hold any hard feelings against them duping them because they signed up for it and they were successful. Love it.

Keith asked why Coach didn’t play the individual immunity idol at all. Coach said he did think it was a tribe idol. Coach almost used it at the 6/6 tribe meet. He didn’t play it because he didn’t need to play it. Sophie said Albert found the clue with the help of Sophie and others distracting. They were going to keep it for the three of them but they staged a discovery of the idol.

Cochran said more than anyone he was a fan of Coach and Coach tricked him. He played on his ego. Cochran said he loved that. (I knew he would! Good for him.) What Cochran didn’t appreciate is how often Coach talked about honor. Coach said he came into the game wanting to do the right thing but he ended up doing all the wrong things. Coach also called himself “a terrible strategist.” Sophie said he was his strategist. Albert said it was he and Sophie together.

10:33 p.m.: The jury votes. It’s almost time for Jeff to take whatever crazy transportation he can for the LIVE finale.

Cochran votes for Coach. He hopes they aren’t super bitter and vote for Coach too. I knew Cochran was a true gamer and would appreciate Coach’s move. But the other are bitter.

Sophie voted for Dawn, as I figured she would after that Q&A.

Wow, Albert looks so different without hair.


10:35 p.m.: The finale is live in L.A. … we don’t see Jeff do anything more than walk the votes into the studio. No chopper? No boat?

1st vote: Coach

2nd: Sophie

3rd: Coach

4th: Sophie

5th: Coach Wade

6th: Sophie (tied 3/3 right now)

7th: Sophie

8th: The winner of “Survivor: South Pacific” – Sophie!

*** REUNION ***

Sophie had just graduated college about four days before getting to the island. And now she is the new Dragon Slayer.

Jeff said Sophie played a quiet game. She said she probably had her finger on the pulse of the game the entire time. They created this religious framework and being loyal and trustworthy and she worked around that. She said in real life she does tend to be more of an observer. She’s now Facebook friends with everyone in her small town of Willsboro, N.Y. On the topic of being a spoiled brat, Sophie said she’s going to try to be more like Dawn. Dawn is pretty cool.

I do feel bad for Coach, but he has a lot to be proud of — and he got the redemption he wanted. This is good PR for him.

Jeff asks about all the prayer out there — not just general prayer to God but specifically for winning challenges or for someone to find an idol. Coach said it became a prayerpalooza.

Jeff asks if Coach had brought Rick to the end instead of Sophie, would Coach win? Yes, he would’ve. He would’ve gotten the four votes.

Jeff asks if Ozzy got to the end, would he win? Yes. But Sophie won thanks to that million dollar challenge.

Ozzy calls Sophie one of the smartest players to ever play the game. He was very kind to her. Jeff said he dominated, dominated, dominated and then a puzzle came up — his bread and butter. So what happened? Ozzy said he didn’t focus when he needed to. He beat himself. I think he did OK, it’s just that Sophie’s mind works a different way. He had the physical part down but her skill was in the mechanics of solving complicated puzzles.

Ozzy makes a speech (a long one!) about falling down and getting back up again.

Thankfully Jeff asks Ozzy about Cochran — someone else who didn’t want Ozzy to win. Ozzy only says he maybe regrets not giving Cochran the idol. So he doesn’t regret treating Cochran like crap, condescending to him? That’s all he had to do — treat Cochran like an equal.

Because Jeff worships Ozzy (at Sophie’s expense, even though she won), he finds a gushing Sanjaya girl in the audience and has her ask Ozzy how he does it — how does he climb those trees like they are nothing? How is he just sooooo super dreamy and perfect? Good God.

Here's a blurry shot of the reunion group.

Cochran, I don’t hate you! I think you made a smart move, then blew it when your ego exploded and you had no follow-up plan. Cochran is not getting any loving out there. No dates. He wants women to “come at me.” Ha!

Brandon said not everybody in his family is happy — “especially Russell,” who is in the audience. The rest of Brandon’s family isn’t there. “I don’t think a lot of people are very proud of me.”

Jeff talks to Russell in the audience. Did Brandon restore the Hantz family name? Russell said he is Uncle Russell, but he is also Russell from Survivor. He will sit down and shut up if Brandon wants him to. But Jeff wants Russell to critique Brandon’s game. Russell said Brandon went out there to change the family name, but “I made greatness. I brought the game to a level that is — you can’t even comprehend.” (Ugh.) What did Brandon do wrong? “Everything,” Russell says. Jeff said (joking?) that next season should be Russell vs. Brandon. NO MORE HANTZES. Just bring them onto your new talk show, Jeff, since you love them so much.

By the biggest margin in history, Ozzy won Player of the Season. Cochran was second, but not even close.

Whitney and Keith are now a couple. She was in a relationship when the show started. It made People Magazine headlines and all. “Survivor” is a condensed dating show.

Edna’s husband loves the new Edna and now she’s pregnant.

I feel bad for Brandon that his family has turned against him, but he was so wrong for this show — from Mikayla to the breakdowns to giving away his immunity idol.

Jeff gave Sophie the check for $1 million. They’ve never done that before. So is she not going on TV in the morning?

Next season will be “Survivor: One World,” starting in February. Two tribes will live together on one island.


Catch up on my “Survivor” stories in this little archive.


Go back to the Tai Chi, it was more authentic.

*Update* Read my live blog of the finale here. Go Sophie!

God should sue “Survivor: South Pacific” for misrepresentation. His name keeps being taken in vain — not in swears as much as excuses. It wasn’t me, it was “God’s will!” I prayed and God told me to dump your ass in the next vote.

It must be convenient to not have to take responsibility for your own decisions. Last I heard, God is all about free will. And chances are He couldn’t give an arse about who wins pizza or a necklace in a “Survivor” challenge.

Please, no more Hantzes on "Survivor."

Because I’m so tired of the past two seasons turning into “Survivor: The Biggest Martyr,” I’m going to support the people who haven’t gone for that cheap argument. That means my girl Sophie Clarke — playing a very smart game — or my boy Rick Nelson — playing a likable cowboy game.

Rick is just sort of there and really shouldn’t win anything, but at least he’s not going crazy while he’s there, like Brandon or Phillip “The Crispy Rice” Sheppard last season. I love the guy. Love the mustache. Love the cowboy look. He’s like JT Thomas in 20 years or so.

But I don’t see Sophie or Rick making it to the end. I see Coach getting to the end with his immunity necklace. I see Ozzy coming back from Redemption Island. And I see them choosing to sit next to Albert Destrade because Albert is sneaky and at this point he is probably the best third player “goat” in contention, even though playing the prayer card and keeping Brandon’s idol was smart and saved his own butt.

Brandon was a great goat option too. I don’t understand the idea that he was the most trust-worthy, godly guy and a threat in the end. Are you kidding me? I can’t imagine anyone voting for him to win. But he was too much of a loose cannon to keep around. (Just like Uncle Russell!) He’s right, he was not made for this game.

You never give away your immunity necklace — especially not at the final 5 when you don’t have security. And especially not how Brandon did it. He was ticked at lying Albert and tried to ignore Albert’s desperate gotta-save-my-butt babbling. Then Albert said Brandon had closed his heart to him. Well, that was definitely playing Brandon the right way. Brandon replied that his heart wasn’t closed to his brother. He thought about God and forgiveness and how he himself was flawed and then — poof! — on a dime, he not only forgave Albert, he decided out of nowhere to hand over his hard-won immunity necklace. Crazy.

I give this season's "next time on Survivor..." promos credit — they try hard to make it seem like someone will beat Ozzy at Redemption but instead every result has been completely predictable.

Not to speak for God, but Sophie didn’t even lie or do anything wrong so she didn’t even need forgiveness. Is that not worthy of being saved too? Do you HAVE to do something wrong to be worthy of sticking around?

After giving up his immunity necklace at tribal council, Brandon went on to suggest that Albert could maybe give it back to him because he wasn’t safe after all. Albert wasn’t having any of that. And of course Brandon wasn’t safe at all. Coach dropped him like the Times Square ball at midnight.

Brandon is a mess of a “Survivor” player and I’m glad to be through with his speeches (until Sunday’s final tribal council) but I was on his side this episode when it came to the convo he interrupted between Coach and Albert. Coach got all high-and-mighty as if Brandon was being just like Russell with his “bullying,” but all Brandon did was wisely — for once — ask what Coach and Albert were talking about at camp. They weren’t just talking about jury votes, as Coach said. They were talking about Albert wanting to vote out Sophie and Coach wanting to vote out Brandon.

Brandon — or God — must’ve sensed the danger and sent him over to check what was up. Brandon was right and yet Coach — maybe feeling guilty or boxed into a corner — acted like Brandon was in the wrong to question his integrity.

I'm crossing my fingers for you, Sophie. Maybe it will work as well as praying.

Will Brandon still vote for Coach to win? What about Edna? Edna seemed to feel more betrayed. Probably everyone in the jury will vote for Ozzy if they can, but should they?

Edna and Cochran were also a good third place options, but they were voted out instead. Can’t use ’em anymore.

Someone — anyone — should’ve flushed out Coach’s idol because he’s just going to coast to the end and, in my opinion, he has the strongest argument to win, fake “integrity” and all. I’m a big fan of the strategic game and Coach is the chief orchestrator of this season.

Maybe “South Pacific” was filmed concurrent to “Redemption Island” and they didn’t see how Boston Rob did it, but Coach is basically the Robfather 2.0. He owned his tribe and had them convinced he was untouchable — I don’t even think they ever WANTED to get rid of him. They fought with each other instead of planning to get him out.

Ozzy? Ozzy could easily win. People love Ozzy. I really don’t know why. I think Coach should win over him. Ozzy’s argument seems to be that he’s sitting out all the office politics over there on Redemption Island and just using each challenge to win his way back in, without making any enemies. But he’s basically been sitting out for most of the game. He missed all the stuff that makes “Survivor” “Survivor.”

If Ozzy wins I won’t be ticked off, but I think Coach deserves it more. He’s had to hustle out there, while retaining total mind control over his alliance. His tribe dominated. He’s won immunity while having his own “secret” idol on the side. He convinced Cochran to turn on his own kind. Cochran, as a serious “Survivor” gamer, should admire that strategy and reward it with a win.

Having said all of that, I hope if there is a 24th season that they don’t keep bringing back all-stars. Rob, Coach and Ozzy are showing that it’s too easy for them to dominate their tribes and use their experience and leadership roles to get to the end. It’s not fair. Better to do all veterans, all newbies or half and half like “Fans vs. Favorites.” But not two tribal leaders.


Catch up on my “Survivor” stories in this archive.

You didn't just look ridiculous this week, Savaii. Here's Keith Tollefson, Dawn Meehan, Ozzy Lusth, Whitney Duncan, Jim Rice and John Cochran, of the Savaii Tribe during the immunity and reward challenge.

In the vote between “stupid” and “iconic,” Ozzy’s decision to 1) give his immunity idol to the guy who lost his tribe’s most important challenge, then 2) send himself to Redemption Island so his ego could grow even bigger — my vote goes to “stupid.”

I don’t care that Ozzy had a very special dream about redemption. I wouldn’t even care if Phillip Sheppard’s grandfather appeared to him in a vision and told him to go to Redemption Island and share the crispy rice. It was a dumb move.

*UPDATE* Ozzy pulled it off. He won the duel in time to re-enter the game at the merge. God, his ego is going to explode now! *END UPDATE*

But that’s just what happened on the “Survivor: South Pacific” episode “Trojan Horse.” Christine Sheilds Markoski is kicking butt over on Redemption Island and the Savaiis are under the mistaken impression that if the tribes merge the next day, Christine will immediately run back into the welcoming arms of the Upolus who voted her out to begin with. That would give Upolo the majority and they could just pick off the Savaiis. As if that’s the way it always goes every season.

One thing challenge-ruining Cochran could’ve done to help the Savaiis would be to go to Redemption Island, convince Christine to switch to Savaii if she won and then no matter what happened his old tribe would get one extra member. She’s basically a free agent at this point. But Ozzy — who previously declared himself the free agent — is unlikely to do anything but grandstand on Redemption, then either win or lose the challenge.

Go, Christine, go!

As Jeff Probst pointed out, if Ozzy loses the Redemption Island challenge to Christine, he’ll look like even more of a fool than he did on “Fans vs. Favorites” when he was voted out with an idol in his pocket. I would take it a step further — he already looks like more of a fool. Because he handed the idol to Cochran, who should’ve gone to Redemption and instead has Ozzy’s idol.

There’s no real reason to think Ozzy will win the duel over Christine. That’s just his ego talking out of his tushie. Christine has proven herself to be very adept on that “island” and the challenge could be right up her alley. Remember last season when Andrea won the last Redemption challenge over all the other guys? You never know.

But not only is Ozzy assuming he’ll win, he’s assuming the merge is the next day. And they told Jeff about it. If I were Jeff — one of the producers — I’d go back to my producing team and say “Come on in, guys!” (Just for fun) Then say “How about we teach Ozzy the lesson he should’ve learned last time and delay the merge. They think they know this game? They think we’re predictable? Suck it.”

What if Ozzy loses? Does Cochran get to keep the idol? His speech about not wanting to be the hero should’ve been a warning that this guy isn’t going to give up The One Ring of Power so easily. He’s a nerd, but he’s not Frodo.

However, if I were anyone on Savaii — not just Cochran — I’d be laughing my ass off. The biggest threat on your tribe just volunteered to leave and he gave up his idol, all assuming there’s a merge coming and he’ll be back the next day. Well, that’s exactly when you WANT to dump your biggest physical threats. Thank you, Ozzy. Why would they want him to come back when it’s an individual game? So he can win and win and win his way to the end — like Boston Rob? Is he the Ozfather? Better to have Christine come back on their side. She doesn’t get along with her old tribe and there’s little chance anyone would vote for her to win if she got to the end.

And really, Coach? “Jack and Jill” had a great family message that applies to your tribe? Nice try. I wish Coach and Ozzy were at Redemption together so they could drive each other crazy with their speeches.


Catch up on my very incomplete group of “Survivor” stories in this archive.

Brandon has a serious hero/villain complex and I don't want to deal with it. He needs to stop blaming pretty girls for being pretty while he's a married "man of God." That's his problem. Not theirs.

This is how women end up in burqas.

“Survivor: South Pacific” player Mikayla Wingle is an attractive, confident 22-year-old girl with a hot body and major athletic chops. That’s a problem for Brandon Hantz, a married 19-year-old who apparently blames her for the fact that she’s scantily clad— On a beach! On Survivor! In the South Pacific! The nerve! — flirtatious and proud of her body. He doesn’t trust her. Because he doesn’t trust himself.

The name of the second episode was “He Has Demons” and that’s how Coach tried to explain Brandon’s extreme discomfort around Mikayla. Apparently he was naughty in the past and he wants Mikayla gone so he won’t be tempted again. Or something.

Brandon calls MikaylaParvati” and means it as a serious diss. But don’t get him wrong! He doesn’t want people to think he’s like his uncle Russell Hantz, whose name will undoubtedly come up every single episode, thanks to the kid who doesn’t want to be linked to him. He wants to redeem the family name. Right after he lies to Coach, insults women and somehow decides Parvati screwed a lot of guys just because she played smart social and strategic games. (Russell is the one who screwed Parv out of the H&V win. She went down with his ship.)

At least Brandon came clean at the tribal council — admitting that he lied to Coach when he said Christine and Stacey were going to vote for Mikayla — but … what’s his issue? Is it just genetic or has he spent way too much time with Russell and he just can’t help himself?

It just shows that people have to be careful what they say in this game. Episode 2 and Brandon is already pegged as a liar — and a fool for going after one of the strongest members of his tribe. (The women gave the men a head start in the immunity challenge; the guys are the ones who screwed that up.)

And Christine? Christine was a victim of her own mouth on the premiere, saying Coach and Ozzy were temporary players. For a lot of veterans that would mean nothing, but Coach’s ego is wafer thin and he never forgets any slight — real or perceived. She had to go. But having Christine voted to Redemption Island doesn’t make me too confident in these spoilers.

Catch up on my “Survivor” stories in this archive.

Here are Dawn, Albert and Whitney, one list's final 3. True? False? Way too early to say.

*Update* Read my live finale blog here.

Bless them for trying, but they’re already on shaky ground. The whole Redemption Island twist makes “Survivor” spoilers harder than ever, but arc168 jumped head-first into the fray on the Spoilers Sucks board and released this “Survivor: South Pacific” boot list on Aug. 26:

Out before MERGE:

JOHN COCHRAN re-enters the game at merge
MARK CARUSO med-evac right after merge (at camp im told)

Out AFTER merge (Upolu “pagonging”):

ALBERT DESTRADE re-enters the game at F5


Albert/Dawn/Whitney FINAL THREE.

Semhar just left (to go to Redemption Island) on the premiere and Rick is doing fine. So ... already wrong?


The same poster added these teasers:

-A male tries to oust Ozzy early but it backfires bigtime
-A male dominates redemption island similarly to Matt last season
-One of the girls uses the flirt card 10x more than Parvati ever did
-There is one medevac near the merge

-For Coach’s fans out there, you will probably be satisfied with his placement
-One of the older women plays a very aggressive, strategic game while maintaining a “motherly” image kind of like Tina. I think she will be a new Sucks favorite. [Guess: Dawn?]
-A male is idoled out of the game shortly following the merge. maybe one of the better blindsides in recent seasons? Very possibly.


But Semhar was just voted out on the Sept. 14 premiere, not Rick. It sounded like the poster was definitive about it being Rick as the first boot, not the first Redemption boot. Still, there’s a good chance we can read this as Rick being the first *official* boot if he is voted out next week and Semhar beats him at the duel.

If that final 3 is accurate, would Albert get a win for actually using the Redemption Island twist for redemption?

Get to know the full cast here. I’m rooting for John — excuse me — “Cochran.” He’s a charmer!


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