There were no epic arguments. There was no hilarious ineptitude. There was no brilliant twist, nor a jaw-dropping blindside to save us from an obvious vote. So what I’m about to write next may shock the buff right off of you. (By the way, if you’re actually wearing a buff right now, how nerdy are you? Don’t answer that, Cochran.) I LOVED last night’s episode of Survivor: South Pacific. I found it thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable. Yes, I know this may come as a shock to some, especially those who think I nitpick too much — speaking of which, how can that count as a new record for Brandon and Jim in the immunity challenge if they were unable to hold all 240 pounds? They dropped it! Just sayin’… — but this was one of those episodes that served to remind me why I fell in love with Survivor in the first place. While it was not an episode filled with big moments, it had several satisfying little ones. How much did I dig this hour? Let us count the ways…
1. Shifting tribal alliances
It started with a hilariously flirty query from a seemingly lovestruck girl. “Is everyone in your family as outdoorsy and athletic as you?” Elyse asked Ozzy. (“No,” came the ever-so-humble reply.) In the normal world, this would have been a cute and sweet scene between two hotties on a hammock, or, more likely, a pre-sex mood setter in a soft porn film. (Something Ozzy certainly has some experience with.) But this is Survivor, where everything has repercussions. And watching those repercussions play out was an absolute delight. First Jim started to worry about Ozzy having too much power already and figured a way to take away some of that power would be to take away his new island plaything. Jim is such a devious bastard. And I mean that as a compliment of the highest order. Love it. But the ripples were only beginning. Jim then went to John who, being clearly on the bottom of the tribe pecking order, was more than happy to take the target off himself and onto someone else. After some awkward shadow-boxing and Jim’s even more awkward cries of “Ooooooh, she’s so freakin’ hot!” John was in.
But this potential turning of the tide was not over. After Jim and John left to go see the Redemption Island duel, Ozzy made a comment about being happy to be rid of Jim and his constant strategy talk. For some odd reason which I still have yet to comprehend, this enraged normally mellow Dawn. It was Ozzy that Dawn went to with tears in her eyes on day two looking for comfort when she wasn’t fitting in. It was Ozzy that spoke glowingly about how great she did in the last immunity challenge while retrieving the puzzle pieces from out in the water. I assumed Dawn liked Ozzy and was ready to do whatever he said. Ozzy probably assumed the same. Looks like we may have both been wrong. Now, aided by this seemingly innocuous comment, John was able to bring Dawn on board for the plan to oust Elyse. Amazing. A hammock cuddle here. A harmless comment there, and now there is at least the possibility of a major tribal shift in the works. God, I love this game.
NEXT: Brandon goes on an apology spree