Survivor: South Pacific - Ozzy's dream (spoiler alert)
There was a whole lot of praying going on within Coach's Upolu tribe on Wednesday's Survivor, but it seems to me that Savaii had the more vaguely biblical storyline.
First we have Ozzy, sacrificing himself for the good of his tribe and seeking to redeem himself on Redemption Island. And the meek, i.e. Cochran, if not quite inheriting the earth, at least inherited the hidden immunity idol.
What are we to make of this move on Ozzy's part to have himself voted out? Gutsy? Audacious? Risky? All of the above. The dumbest move in Survivor history? Possibly, but we'll have to wait till next week to find out.
Here's the thing: Ozzy may be fast and strong, but not for a minute do I think he'll just steamroller over Christine in the next Redemption Island duel. The woman has taken out five opponents, including Mikayla on Wednesday, who didn't strike me as a pushover.
And don't forget, Russell Hantz was a pretty formidable challenger last season, but he got his butt whupped in a duel. If Ozzy loses, he'll "go out a bigger fool than you did last time," in Jeff Probst's words.
If Ozzy's crazy scheme works, the tribes will merge on next week's episode, Ozzy will beat Christine and return to give Savaii an even chance against Upolu's six members. If he loses to Christine and the merge goes ahead, Savaii isn't necessarily dead in the water since Christine has such a hate on for Coach she'll likely do what she can to sabotage him.
In the very worst case scenario, Ozzy loses, the merge doesn't happen and the weakened Savaii has to face Upolu in a challenge, with the likelihood they'll lose another member and go into the merge two people down.
Come to think of it, I'm not sure who's crazier, Ozzy or his tribe mates for agreeing to vote him out.
All I can tell you is I'll be glued to my TV come 8 p.m. next Wednesday.
In the meantime, let's talk about this week's episode.
Ozzy's plan first took shape after he watched Christine beat Mikayla in a duel that involved pulling planks off a box, using them to build a bridge, then ripping them up again to build a puzzle. It wasn't a romp. Christine won only after Mikayla mixed up a couple of her puzzle pieces.
"If we lose the next challenge, it might be worthwhile to send someone to Redemption who can beat Christine," Ozzy mused, the most logical someone being himself. He let Cochran in on the plan on the walk back from the duel. Cochran was impressed that Ozzy had "gone from this bitter, free agent, temper tantrum-throwing baby of a few nights ago to a new man," but mostly Cochran was impressed that he'd get to stick around a while longer.
Over at Upolu, Coach had a plan too, but it had nothing to do with self-sacrifice. After a combined prayer and tai chi session, Coach decided the best way to restore his tribe's bruised spirits was to reveal the hidden immunity idol, but that didn't mean that Coach -- who doesn't let his status as a man of God stand in the way of a good lie -- was going to come clean about having already found the thing. Instead, he and Sophie pretended to find it while going to fetch the tree mail, as the rest of the tribe was scouring trees hunting for it.
"We asked God for help to find the idol," crowed Brandon. "Not only did they get the tree mail, they found the idol not five minutes after we got done praying. It's definitely an advantage having the big guy upstairs on your tribe."
Back to the tree mail, the tribes were advised to use paint and "attire" to turn themselves into sets of identical twins. That was so the immunity challenge could be tied into the new Adam Sandler movie Jack and Jill, in which Sandler plays his own twin sister (yawn). The winners of the challenge would watch the movie at the "Survivor: South Pacific Cinema," basically a large thatched-roof hut, and get to gorge themselves on popcorn, candy, hot dogs and pop, surely more of an attraction than the film.
To win, one set of "twins" from each tribe had to use their voices to guide two other sets of twins, blindfolded and attached to a rope, through an obstacle course to bags of masks. Once all four bags had been obtained and untied, the blindfolded pairs had to match up the masks two by two, using only touch.
It was looking like anybody's game until Cochran blanked trying to unharness Keith and Dawn from their rope and connect Whitney and Ozzy. Things got so tangled that Ozzy and Whitney were delayed getting back onto the course and then got tied up again on their way back with the last bag, which allowed Upolu to vault ahead and win.
Temper tantrum Ozzy was back, slamming his hand into a table and kicking a wall in his frustration at the loss. "Ozzy, this is the most intensity I've seen yet in a season that is very intense and very close," commented Jeff. He could also have just said that Ozzy was being a sore loser, but he's more diplomatic than that.
By the time Savaii got back to camp, all thoughts of self-sacrifice had flown from Ozzy's head. It was agreed that Cochran had to atone for his mistake and go to Redemption. What was laughable was how his tribe mates tried to make their lust to punish Cochran seem like they were doing him a favour, in what Cochran described as "this kind of weird kumbaya rationale for voting me out."
"Don't be afraid, you've got to push fear out," chirped Christine. Ozzy actually suggested Cochran try to intimidate Christine when he got to Redemption: "Christine's gonna be, like, 'Crap, I'm done.'" Tough, Long Island teacher Christine vs. Harvard weenie Cochran? Not a chance.
Luckily for Cochran, Ozzy had a restless night during which he dreamed about going to Redemption Island. By morning, his mind was made up. He retrieved the immunity idol from its hiding spot, slung it around his neck and told his tribe his plan to take one for the team.
Jim, Keith and Whitney all expressed serious misgivings. Nonetheless, Ozzy was standing firm by the time they got to tribal council. He revealed the scheme to Jeff, saying, "I saw my chance at my own redemption, which has been haunting me since the last time I played (when he got voted out by holding onto an immunity idol). This time, my heart and my gut is saying, 'Get your ass to Redemption Island and prove to your tribe that you are worth keeping in this game.' It's my chance ... to play the biggest, craziest game that I want to play," he told Jeff.
I thought the rest of the tribe would chicken out and oust Cochrane after all. They defied Ozzy to vote out Elyse and this was bigger stakes. But they stuck to the plan, making Ozzy the seventh person voted out this season ("Lucky 7," he said cheerfully). He sprinted off happily after entrusting the immunity idol to Cochran.
"You just made one of the biggest moves in the history of this game based on one big assumption, that the merge is next," said Jeff. "We'll find out soon enough if you're right."
As the episode ended, Ozzy was on Redemption enacting the other part of his plan, making Christine believe he had been blindsided by "little smart weasel" Cochran.
Of course, the biggest question next week is whether Ozzy can beat Christine (and if there are spoilers out there saying which way it goes, I'm not reading them; I want to be surprised). We do know the duel is a familiar one, with the opponents in makeshift cages, using sticks tied together to retrieve a key to unlock their doors.
The promo also raised the possibility of Cochran reneging on his promise to return the idol to Ozzy if he survives the duel, with him chortling, "First you get the egomaniac out, then you get his idol, then you get the million dollars."
All will be revealed. Tune in Wednesday at 8 p.m. on Global TV and look for the recap here.