“I spent about 10 minutes in the water getting refocused and it was like, boom! And everything just clicked. This is about me now.” —Coach
I’m not gonna lie: There are a lot of good parts to this quote. But the best is that it assumes it hasn’t always been all about Coach. As if Coach has the capacity to ever make it about anyone else but him. He’s probably the most egotistical Survivor contestant ever, just edging out Richard Hatch, Boston Rob, and Johnny Fairplay (although Fairplay’s was more an act than anything else). But there has been a noticeable shift these past few weeks in the way that producers have been handling the fired soccer coach. At the beginning they were just showing him straight up, and, as a result, we all were pretty much despising him. Seriously, I cannot remember anyone getting universally hammered more than him on these here message boards. (Ya’ll are cold.)
But now the editors are having fun at his expense. They mocked his weather prognosticating skills to hilarious effect, and then this week showed him doing his yoga-like meditation alongside booming orchestral music, and flashes of lighting and claps of thunder. In effect, they have made him a cartoon character. And now, instead of hating him, we’re merely laughing at him. It’s amazing, really. I feel little to no animosity towards Coach anymore, because he has simply become his own little self-contained sitcom. (Oh, look, here comes wacky neighbor Tyson over for a visit! What shenanigans could they be up to next?!) Of course, that could all change if he starts yelling at women again, but for now, producers have found their sweet spot with the Jedi wannabe.
Which brings us back to the latest episode. After completing his morning meditation, Coach went over to give Erinn a backrub. Watch out, Coach — you might catch cancer! She’s in danger of infecting the tribe, remember? Over at Jalapao, meanwhile, the tribe was down to just four members. “We’re just Jala. We lost pao,” joked Taj. And things looked to be getting worse. Joe’s infected knee was starting to resemble a huge zit just waiting to be popped. Joe insisted it was looking better, although his power of positive thinking also probably had him making passionate love to Sydney underneath the Tree Mail statue and we saw how far that got him.
Speaking of tree mail, both tribes received a message alerting them of a feast. “I get excited when I hear anything that starts with an F,” said Taj, and while that could be construed as being a bit on the dirty side, I have to heartily concur. Fudgesicles, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Fonzie, the criminally underrated Fletch Lives — they all make a strong case for the letter F being the mightiest of alphabetical properties. But the real letter in question was M, as in merge. Would they? They would! But we knew that already from last week’s preview, so I don’t know why I just got so excited. However, it wasn’t just any merge — it was a merge with superdope lime green buffs. They say it’s not easy being green, but I beg to differ: Those things were stylin’. Coach, of course, put the merge into his own unique and somewhat skeezy terms, comparing it to getting a new girlfriend, because “there’s all kinds of things to explore.” It’s times like this when you wish you kept a vomit bucket next to the couch — you know, just in case.
NEXT: Coach channels Marc Singer