Last nights premiere of Survivor South Pacific did not disappoint! Filmed in Samoa amidst the gorgeous blue waters and white sandy beaches, 16 survivors arrived by canoe on a deserted island. Survivors gathered at the Redemption Island arena where Ozzy and Coach, former two-time contestants, were flown in by helicopter. The tribes of Savaii, the red tribe, and Upolu, the blue tribe had already been selected by production. As Jeff introduced Ozzy and Coach to the other contestants, he asked them to select an egg filled with paint. On the count of 3 they would break the eggs. The color inside would determine what tribe they were on. Ozzie joined the red tribe Savaii and Coach the blue tribe, Upolu.
The First Challenge:
Immediately a challenge was on. Ozzie and Coach had to battle for reward for their tribes.
The competition consisted of climbing up a 12 foot pole to retrieve a wooden turtle. Dig under a log and make it to the other side where you had to assemble a pyramid, piece by piece, one piece at a time, with never placing a bigger piece on top of a smaller piece. Coach and Ozzy had no trouble climbing the pole, or digging under the log until they reached the puzzle pieces. At that point Jeff Probst had to admonish them both for breaking the rules. It became apparent to Coach and Ozzy that neither one of them could immediately figure out how to work the puzzle within the rules and Ozzy called out to his tribe to guide him. Coach then did the same and the race was on. Ozzy won reward for his tribe. He won flint for fire and taro root, a staple food in the South Pacific.
Back at their respective camps Ozzy wanted to chill and relax and suggested his tribe go swimming. At Upolu survivors immediately started building their shelter and their fire pit. Savaii tribe members want Ozzy to be their leader immediately but Coach has a hard time winning over his skeptical tribe mates.
Among this years contestants are some characters. Brandon is the nephew of Russell Hantz, 3 time survivor contestant. Brandon likens that to being related to “survivor hitler” and vows that he will not tell any of his tribe mates who he is. This has already lead to the first “uncomfortable” moment for Brandon… when the helicopter containing Coach and Ozzy flew in, one of the contestants unknowingly leaned over to Brandon and whispered, “I hope it’s not Russell!” lol. Brandon sports several tattoos saying “Hantz” and is trying to find out a way to never reveal his back or one of his arms. Good luck with that Brandon!
Dawn is a middle aged English professor with 6 children who looks like she’s in excellent physical shape however on Day 2 she had a meltdown, crying and falling and basically becoming an emotional basket case. Ozzy as the veteran survivor player just talked her down and calmed her. She’s worried about appearing weak now and Mark, the gay, retired NYPD officer, doesn’t want Dawn to go home. He says they are the oldest there and they need to appear strong. Jim owns two medical marijuana dispensaries and holds an MBA but told his tribe that he is a teacher. First lies of the game people, gotta keep em straight!
Immunity challenge on Day 3:
Challenge consists of entire tribe running thru zig-zag maze, battling a coconut wall and then climbing over a 10 foot fence. One tribe member must dig in the sand and retrieve a machete which they will use to cut ropes that release an avalanche of coconuts. Three tribe members must shoot coconuts into a basketball hoop making it heavy enough to lift another net full of coconuts in order to release the tribe flag. On the Savaii tribe, Semhar (the resident poet) says that she’s great at basketball and wants to be one of the three who shoots baskets. The challenge is neck and neck! After all tribes are through the maze, through the coconut wall, over the fence, retrieved their machete and started shooting coconuts, Semhar shoots two coconuts and says “I’m tired, I can’t do this.” Ozzy asks Jeff if they can switch out positions and Jeff P. says “NO!” Semhar reluctantly continues. Rick, the 51 year old rancher on Upolu, does a great job of cutting the ropes for his tribe and gives them a tiny edge. Ultimately in the closest challenge in Survivor history (according to Jeff P.) Upolu wins immunity! Coach is relieved because he feels that he needs more time to bond with his tribe and didn’t want to be be voted out first.Upolu also wins a clue to the immunity idol (individual) back at camp. Their clue is hidden in their camp somewhere. (well actually it’s in that hole in that big ole’ tree, we saw it as they walked right by it!)
At the end of the challenge Jeff asks Semhar how she feels. She says “sorta bad.” Immediately Jeff P. stirs it up by pointing out that Jim is in the background rolling his eyes. He asks Jim what he’s thinking. Jim states, “Sorta bad? I feel sorta bad when I run out of milk, I feel really bad right now!” (ed note: I already like this Jim character.) Back at Savaii, Semhar immediately jumps on Jim and says he shouldn’t have been disloyal at the challenge and made them look stupid. Jim says he’s not the one that said he was a great basketball player and then didn’t live up to it. He finishes by saying he’s sure they all did their best.
Early on Ozzy had already stated that he thought Semhar to be beautiful to look at and wanted to make an early alliance with her. Ozzy started pushing to oust John Cochrane the law student from Harvard and self-proclaimed, bespectecled, nerdy, transluscent skinned geek. Jim told Cochrane (he wants to be called Cochrane because Jeff calls all the good players by their last names, lol.), and Jim rallied to have Semhar voted out. Jim stated that he felt like Ozzy was already making plans to have an alliance with the three young pretty women on the tribe.
At tribal council, Jeff did what he does best and sparked controversy among the tribe. Semhar defended her performance in the challenge and Cochrane defended his ineffective, weak place in the tribe. His debating skills won out and in the end Semhar was sent to Redemption Island to await the next evictee! Great choice Savaii tribe!! (Just had to throw that in there.)
Just for the record Ozzy and Coach both look really handsome and in fantastic shape for this season of Survivor! Until next week……..The tribe has spoken!