by Josh Wigler
And then there were six. Well, technically, eight. But pretty soon we’ll be at six… err, seven, I mean. Man, this Redemption Island thing gets kind of confusing, doesn’t it? Regardless of the numbers, we’re absolutely in the end game of “Survivor: South Pacific” with just a few episodes remaining. After the jump, let’s weigh in on where we’re at.
Alas, poor Cochran — we knew him well. Easily one of the most compelling contestants this season (which, really, says a lot), Cochran’s exit is definitely a loss in terms of entertainment value. Of course, he’s not out yet — but the seemingly unstoppable Ozzy stands in his way of redemption.
I won’t be so quick as to say that Cochran can’t beat Ozzy next week. The human fish is as tough as competition gets, yes, but all it takes is one challenge that he’s not particularly suited for and it’s over. Then again, anything Cochran can do, Ozzy can likely do better (save for sparkling in the sunlight; Cochran has that on lock, and not in the sexy “Twilight” way). But even if the unlikely occurs and Cochran beats Ozzy — which would really be some kind of cosmic justice in my mind for what it’s worth; no disrespect Ozzy, but you did treat this guy like absolute ass — does he have what it takes to go on a three-win streak and get back in this game? Odds are very, very low, I think. Sadly, the days of NuCoch are most likely at an end.
I was sorry to see Cochran go this week, but surprised? Not so much. On paper, he was the perfect candidate to bring to the end game: the Savaii heavy jury hates him, so he automatically loses their votes pretty much across the board. How can you resist bringing him along as a third place goat? The tricky thing is, unless all or the majority of Upolu agreed to keep Cochran over Rick — which means Sophie and/or Brandon needed to be on board with Coach and Albert — it would be detrimental to the individuals who decided to cannibalize one of their own in favor of hanging onto someone the jury despises so much. If Coach and Albert kept Cochran around over Rick, for example, and they made it to the final round next to someone like Sophie, who didn’t vote to keep Cochran around, then she’s more likely to pick up Savaii votes for not rewarding the guy who betrayed them, even if it was only for one extra round. Even though Cochran seems like the ideal guy to have sitting next to you at the end, actually getting Cochran to the end poses a whole bunch of problems, and could really catapult one’s game if not played extremely carefully — and I don’t think there’s a single player currently out there with smooth enough moves to make that happen without kicking a whole lot of bees nests in the process.
So, no more Cochran. Who’s left? The Upolu Six remain strong at the end of it all: Coach, Albert, Sophie, Rick, Brandon, Edna. Of those remaining, the only people I can see winning the game are Coach, Albert and Sophie – they’ve all played decent to good games in their own right, and have had enough screen time to make them at least somewhat memorable winners (Coach would be the biggy, of course). Rick’s first words of the entire game were uttered in this latest episode by my count; the folks in the editing room would not be doing their jobs very well if he was the guy holding the million dollar check at the end of the day. Brandon is too much of a nuclear bomb to stand a chance in that final council; as Cochran so hilariously put it, “Talking strategy with Brandon is like talking with [Jeff Probst] about shirts that aren’t blue.” He might make finals, but he won’t take the bacon. And Edna? It’ll take a miracle for her not to go home next.
Smart money says the season belongs to Coach, Albert or Sophie… assuming Ozzy – or, dare I say it, Cochran – doesn’t swoop back in to spoil their fun, that is.
Who do you think will win the season?
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