‘Survivor: South Pacific’ Recap: All About the Benjamin

Last Week: Dawn won a challenge by carrying lots of weight, Jim and Cochran decided to target Ozzy’s date, and Stacey got to Brandon, but it was a little too late.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Here are the tribes as they currently stand…

The Savaii Tribe (wearing red)
Cochran – 24, Harvard Law Student
Dawn – 41, English Professor
Elyse – 27, Dance Team Manager
Jim – 35, Medical Marijuana Dispensary Owner
Keith – 26, Water Treatment Tech
Ozzy – 30, Slayer of Challenges
Whitney – 27, Country Music Singer

The Upolu Tribe (wearing blue)
Albert – 26, Baseball/Dating Coach
Brandon – 19, Oil Tanker Crewman
Coach – 39, Slayer of Dragons
Edna – 35, Anesthesiologist
Mikayla – 22, Lingerie Football Player
Rick – 51, Rancher
Sophie – 22, Medical Student

Currently Residing on Redemption Island (wearing hatred for Coach)

Christine – 39, Teacher
Stacey – 44, Mortician

The episode starts off with the touching reunion of Stacey and Christine at Redemption (not an) Island. Stacey lets Christine know that Upolu is going to hell with gasoline drawers on.

Are you kidding me?! That’s gold! Why are we just hearing from Stacey right now?!

The following morning, Brandon lets us know that his feelings are hurt because Mikayla doesn’t like him because he’s a Hantz. Yes, that’s the only reason she doesn’t like you.

Then Brandon breaks down and sheds a few tears. It’s like the dude’s trying to top Sugar’s “Most Times Crying in a Season” record.

And we’re off to Redemption Island for the duel. Albert and Mikayla are attending for Upolu, while Whitney and Dawn accepted the invitation for Savaii.

Before the challenge kicks off, Stacey spills the beans to Savaii about who’s in charge at Upolu. They go out of their way to specifically refer to Coach as “Benjamin,” because that’s what adults should call him.


Redemption Island Duel: The players will drop balls into a winding chute, as time goes on they’ll add more balls. First person to drop a ball is eliminated.

Note: If memory serves me, a similar challenge was used in the final three in “Survivor: Tocantins.”

The challenge starts up and there’s not a lot to describe except for me giggling at some of Probst’s ball-centric commentary. Christine does a better job timing the placement of her balls and wins.

Back at Upolu beach, Albert tells Coach about the great information exchange at Redemption Island. In perhaps my favorite moment this season, Brandon chimes in by asking, “Who’s Benjamin?”

Coach has a bit of an odd moment where he says he’ll snap if anyone calls him Benjamin to his face. Apparently his parents have been calling him Coach since he was eighteen.

Over at Savaii, Elyse tells us that she’s perfectly comfortable riding Ozzy’s coattails. Ozzy then shows Elyse what a terrible idea that is by asking Cochran how he spells his name. Cochran understandably takes that the wrong way. Seriously, that’s like asking your wife for her friends’ phone numbers.

Then, after Whitney and Dawn tell everybody about the pecking order at Upolu, Ozzy says if Coach was smart he’d get rid of Albert soon. Keith understandably takes that the wrong way.

Ozzy, buddy, you’re Bizzaro Coach and Keith is Bizzaro Albert. Why don’t you just go around individually insulting everyone’s mothers next?

At Upolu, Albert is really annoyed that Stacey let Savaii know that he and Coach were a team. He’s worried that this will make him a target after the merge. Dude, you’re built like a Mack Truck, you’re going to be targeted either way.

Albert decides to improve his cause by going on an idol hunt. Sure enough, he uncovers a clue. He shares the information with Coach and Sophie.

Coach goes on a hunt of his own but has no luck. So, he prays…and promptly finds it! I wonder if Matt Elrod is jealous that God has a new favorite.

Immunity Challenge Time: Each team has a roasted pig. All of the players will have their hands tied behind their backs. They’ll run to the pig, bite off pieces, and spit them into a bin. The tribe with the most meat in their bin at the end of ten minutes wins immunity, vegetables, spices, bread, an immunity idol clue, and probably trichinosis.

I know I said that the dunking wheel challenge in “Nicaragua” and “Redemption Island” was the grossest challenge ever…but it’s definitely been topped. This was just saliva and hunks of pork being spit into a bin. I seriously may never eat again. And to top it off, pork would get stuck in someone’s teeth and a tribe mate would have to bite it out of their mouths.

Oh…and there was a bin-cam so it looked like the Survivors were spitting directly into my living room. Awesome.

In the end, Savaii had 22 pounds, 12 ounces of gross, while Upolu had 22 pounds, 14 ounces of disgusting. Upolu wins immunity, reward, and apparently over 45 pounds of drool-covered pork.

Politicking around Savaii centers around the Alpha Betas gunning for Cochran and Dawn, Cochran, and Jim targeting Elyse.

Jim realizes he needs a fourth vote, so he approaches Keith about Ozzy’s “Coach needs to get rid of Albert” comment. Keith is torn because Ozzy was his first alliance in the game.

That night at Tribal Council, Ozzy tells J-Pro that he wants to keep the tribe as strong as possible. Elyse thinks that being strong means being strong physically and socially.

Cochran says that the novelty of Tribal Council has worn off and he’s sick of seeing his name on votes.

Elyse sympathizes with Cochran because she assumes he was always picked last for teams. Throw it to Lucas!

We also learn that the challenge left everyone with bloody lips and even a few missing teeth. So gross.

Voting Time: Jim votes for Elyse, Ozzy votes for Cochran, and the rest of the votes are gonna wait for the next paragraph…

Probsty tallies and returns; one vote for Cochran, one vote for Elyse, one vote for Cochran, one vote for Elyse, two votes for Dawn, and the fifth person to be sent to Redemption Island is…Elyse.

Whoa! Where’d those Dawn votes come from?! Are Whitney and Keith going to pretend that there was some miscommunication with Ozlyse?

Verdict: Bit of a shocker there at the end, but it’s nice to see the Savaii tribe doing some strategizing. A bit of a boring Upolu week, but I’m sure Brandon has plenty of crazy waiting for us next week.

Who’s Going to Win? Sophie. Bet on it.

Power Rankings Update: The Cardinals beat the Brewers, and I beat Andrea. I had Elyse in spot fourteen, while she had her in spot twelve. We both predicted Christine would keep her Redemption Island run going. The current score is Team Boehlke 61, Team Holmes 64.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

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