Survivor fast-forwards through two Tribal Councils and disgusting behavior

Survivor South Pacific delivered the series apparently now-standard post-merge fast-forward episode, burning through two immunity challenges and two Tribal Councils in less than an hour. While that sent Ozzy Lusth out of the game once again, and had some pretty baffling behavior, it was largely predictable and definitely a step down from the crazy drama of last week.

Overall, the episode can be summed up in one word for me: anticlimactic.

The “frosty reception” Cochran received upon returning to camp after switching his allegiance and voting out Keith consisted mostly of Ozzy expressing his disappointment in his Ozzyish way (“you just stabbed me in the back so hard”) and was primarily amusing because both Jim and Whitney’s heads nearly exploded because they were caught up in their emotional responses to being played and basically decided to give up. Really?

Immunity challenge number one was anticlimactic. In a bit of a misstep, it eliminated nearly everyone after a single throw of a coconut, meaning Ozzy couldn’t fight for his life in the game. Instead, we just got to watch Sophie vomit coconut water, which she was attempting to carry in her mouth through a series of obstacles. Jim won immunity,

Back at camp, Ozzy said, “I don’t want to go,” and it was clear that he would. For a moment, Jim decided it would be brilliant for him to give his immunity to Ozzy because, he reasoned, “I really don’t have many nights here.” Way to play the game. Of course, when it came time to do that, he changed his mind, settling instead for a speech about honor and getting rid of Cochran. When even Coach doesn’t buy your bullshit about honor, you know you’ve lost. It wasn’t anywhere near as inspiring or dramatic as it was in his mind, and the tribe–including Whitney and Dawn!–voted Ozzy out.

That brought us to immunity challenge number two, which to me was more disgusting than the one where they tore a pig apart with their mouths–and I’m a vegetarian. And it wasn’t just the Tuna tribe stuffing their faces with muffins, although the fact that they ate like pigs illustrated how gross their behavior was, deciding to opt out of the challenge because they feel so secure. We’ve seen these challenges before (and I don’t just mean that this was basically a version of last week’s challenge), and it’s interesting to see who feels secure enough to opt out and eat instead.

But this challenge had no consequence whatsoever, since the original tribe alliances were sticking together, another reason that we desperately need next season’s big twist. Coach wanted to compete, he said, looking angry at the prospect of being forced to sit out because his tribe is of one hive Jesus mind, but when questioned by Probst when he had a mouth full of muffin, he seemed to be okay with sitting out.

Brandon took a break from stuffing his face to rest his head against Cocrhan’s shoulder, desperately trying to stoke the flames of the bromance that began earlier when Brandon protected Cochran from Ozzy (“I just wanted to make sure that nobody’s being aggressive with him,” prompting Ozzy to say, “We’re not like gangsters on him out here”) and that brings us to Brandon 3.0, who distracts himself from the magnetism of womenparts by cuddling with nerds.

When Jim took a tumble off of the thing he was balancing on and, ultimately, right out of the game, Jeff Probst said, “Jim has no shot at immunity tonight,” and Jim barked back, “I know.” It kind of looked like he was just going to walk off-camera and directly to Redemption Island, which is now populated by three people who’ve been voted out but are still here because Redemption Island is awful. Probst did promise us, however, that duels will only have two people, which I hope means two of those three exit. After seeing the preview with epic shots of Ozzy diving through water and mounting a coconut tree, I’d guess he’ll be exiting the game. Again.

Before Tribal, there was a minor attempt to convince us that Dawn might be at risk too, with Coach using animal kingdom metaphors to say that Jim was a rhino and and Dawn was a snake, and “they can both kill you.” I’d say that dumping the guy with the short fuse isn’t a bad idea, except Dawn has proven herself to be decent in challenges, and although she was ready to give up on, like, day two, she hasn’t seemed ready to throw up her hands in defeat like her former tribemates have.

At Tribal Council, drama queen Whitney bawled, “they don’t even accept us as real people,” prompting a pretty stunningly on-point reply from Brandon, who said, “we were excluded until we got power, then we were the villains.” Yes, Whitney, it’s tough going from mean girl to meaningless girl. But that’s Survivor.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.