Survivor recap: Recapping the Recap
A collection of deleted scenes show a stronger (and surlier) Coach, a chicken-obsessed Brandon, and some good ol’ fashioned island lovin’
What kind of loser spends his Thanksgiving eve recapping a recap episode? THIS LOSER! I used to dread the Survivor recap episodes because they used to just show you what you’d already seen, but back in Tocantins the producers actually began putting their hundreds upon hundreds of unused hours of footage to use and started making the recaps a showcase for scenes and storylines originally cut from the season. As a result, there are always things to be learned. So without further ado, here’s what I learned from this season’s “A Closer Look” recap episode. (My other idea was to honor the spirit of the episode by making this entire column deleted outtake paragraphs from my previous recaps, but seeing as how those were the Milwaukee’s Best-fueled ramblings of a madman, this seemed better.)
1. Coach knows when to seek a higher power
It’s almost mind-boggling how well Coach is playing considering how poorly he played the last two times out, but perhaps he was at his most impressive when he found a way to get his message across to Brandon after the youngster had another one of his Tribal Council freak-outs. Instead of lecturing Hothead Hantz on keeping his cool, Coach was smart and savvy enough to know the best way to deliver his message — through prayer. “Lord I have so much faith that you are smiling down on us right now, Father, “ Coach prayed with his schizophrenic sidekick. “So I ask for a spirit of peace for Brandon. Give him unbelievable self-control when it comes to his tongue.”
This was pretty impressive. At the same time, I couldn’t help but be disappointed that Coach didn’t take it a few steps further. After all, if you can make Brandon do pretty much anything through the power of prayer, why not take advantage? “Dear Lord, please give Brandon the strength to give me foot rubs every hour on the hour. And my Father, allow Brandon the courage and humility to dig latrines for the entire tribe so we no longer have to go out in the ocean and perform ‘aqua dumps’ when nature calls. Lastly, God, please grant Brandon the gift of forgiveness so that when I vote his ass off he will still be able to find it in his heart to vote for me to win the million dollars. For forgiveness is the greatest gift, oh Lord…next to a million dollars, of course.”
In any event, props to Coach, although I will not give him much credit for seeing through Ozzy’s ruse. “I would screw my tribe over,” Ozzy told Zeus in an effort to get him to flip sides and give Savaii the numbers advantage at the merge. “You have my word, me and you to the end.” This acting was about on par with Ozzy’s tour de farce of a performance in Redemption Island Arena when he tried to convince Upolo that Cochran had used an idol to blindside him — although using a word that also is part of the title of an Oscar winning film (The Blindside) and Ozzy in the same sentence for some reason just feels wrong.
NEXT: Cochran tries to talk to women
2. Coach still has a dark side
Remember back in Tocantins when Coach was a divisive force in the tribe and kept accusing people of being a cancer? We haven’t seen a lot of that with the new school Kumbaya Coach, but we did get a few peeks last night. First he channeled scoop-of-the-crispy-era Phillip Sheppard by fuming at how many spoonfuls of cream and sugar Mikayla used in her coffee, even going so far as cooking, eating, and pretending to barf back up some pig fat to make the sick Mikayla lose it again. Then he went nuclear after seeing the job Ozzy had done on his tribe’s shelter. “Ozzy, no wonder you’ve never won Survivor. No wonder you always get blindsided. Because you’re a frickin idiot.” But he wasn’t done. He then complained to Edna about his fellow returning player. “This is pathetic. You cant to call yourself an All-Star Survivor and then you build a shelter like that? You should be ashamed of yourself.” Okay but ummm, how many fish have you caught lately, Coach?
3. Don’t take advice on how to pick up women from Papa Bear
Papa Bear claims that the lessons for heterosexual men hitting on women are the same as those for homosexual men hitting on men. He then proceeded to instruct John that the keys to hitting on women are a super-tight t-shirt and complimenting her earrings. Let me be clear: This is the worst advice I have ever heard. This is not to imply that I know anything about hitting on women anymore. Hell, I’ve been married so long the last time I tried to hit on someone it was a different century and my hair was blue — and that someone would end being my wife. (Hey, it worked. Maybe that’s the secret. Quick, Cochran, go dye your hair blue!) But a tight t-shirt and earring discussion? Now, see those are far more damaging words than anything Keith or Jim said to poor John. Papa Bear is the real bully here!!!
4. Cochran likes to talk about pooping in his pants
That story Cochran told Elyse about crapping himself while in kindergarten? He told me the exact same one before the game. (And you can see it for yourself in the video at the end of the article.) Dude, I have some advice on how to pick up women. STOP TELLING THAT STORY!!! No lady wants to get down and dirty with someone who has been, well, dirty down there. Abort, Cochran! Abort! But perhaps more amazing than the fact that John not only went to the bathroom all over himself and insists on telling everyone about it is the fact that he is not the only member of this Survivor cast to poop on himself. See the video at the end to see who else dropped a self-inflicted deuce wound. Any guesses?
NEXT: Brandon versus the chicken
5. Brandon is, in fact, capable of going on a killing spree
Chickens usually don’t fare so well on Survivor. They could just lay some eggs and be released once the players leave, but most end up in the stomachs of hungry contestants. I don’t want to know what exactly was going on with the chicken that appeared to be simulating some sort of sexual act with Cochran — no nickname puns, please — but I do know that there was no happy ending for that bird, in any sense of the phrase. However things are different when Brandon Hantz is involved. Apparently, Coach forgot to ask God to improve Brandon’s chicken-handling skills, for when the youngster made the executive decision to eat a bird and tried to pick that bird up by the feathers — instead of the legs — the chicken scooted away to freedom. Whoops! Unfortunately, the next chicken was not so lucky. When executive decision #1 did not work out so hot, he moved on to executive decision #2 and killed the tribe’s last egg provider. No doubt Brandon had ulterior motives for these would-be slayings. Perhaps the chickens were sexily tempting him, what with their plump, juicy breasts and irresistible thighs. One man can be only so strong!
6. Keith & Whitney really suck at hiding their true feelings
Hey, don’t mind us spooning in the hammock over here. We’re totally not into each other. It was interesting when reports broke two weeks back that Whitney had left her secret stash of a husband to shack up with new boy toy Keith, because while they appeared to be coupling up on the show, their romance was never made into a plot point. However, for them to think that others living with them wouldn’t notice their attraction is pretty humorous. As was Whitney’s declaration that she did “not want to snuggle up next to Cochran.” What, that line about the earrings didn’t work?
Okay, that’s it for this recap of the recap. Time for me to make like Brandon and go eat some bird! Looking forward to the home stretch of episodes and seeing who goes next. John? Edna? Brandon? Whom are you rooting for to go and to win the million dollars? Hit the message boards and let us know. Also make sure to check out the video below where the cast members reveal their most embarrassing moments ever (including that second mystery pants-pooper). And for more Survivor news and views, follow me on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss. See you next week with another brand new scoop of the crispy! Happy Thanksgiving, ya’ll.
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