Survivor recaps the season, gets dirty with Coach and Cochran

Wednesday’s episode of Survivor South Pacific was the traditional Thanksgiving week clip show. When Jeff Probst abandons the interactive living room, you know you’re in for a scintillating 42 minutes and 45 seconds of content the editors didn’t include in the previous episodes.

Although Jeff promised “19 new scenes from one of the most memorable seasons of Survivor” in the introduction, it mostly seemed like extended versions of scenes we’ve already seen. There was also a tremendous amount of attention given to both Coach and Cochran, which might tell us something about how well they do versus relatively ignored Ozzy. But even if there wasn’t any insight, there was a lot of entertainment, especially if you have a filthy mind like I do.

Here’s a rundown of highlights from the highlights:

  • In the introduction, when Probst said “winning,” we saw a quick image of Rick; when he said “losing,” we saw Cochran. I don’t think the editors play the games they did in the early seasons any more, but if they’re the final two (or two of three) and that’s the result, oh no.
  • Besides Rick, there was another sighting of a long-lost part of the show: the full opening sequence. It’s been sidelined because, Probst claims, they need the extra time, but I think the 30 seconds is worth sacrificing for such a well-produced sequence.
  • “I’m from Salt Lake City, hello,” Dawn said while objecting to taking off her clothes to get into the water with her tribemates, because as you may know, they don’t swim or disrobe in Utah.
  • In the early days, Coach admitted that if he was one of the newbies, “I’d rather have Ozzy on my tribe,” and he also mocked himself: “I’m not a great Survivor!” After the merge, though, he discovered that the opposite was true: Ozzy’s pretty much useless except to gather fish.
  • “I want to be known as an honest player, and if it’s my demise, so be it,” Brandon said, not realizing that he’s going to be known as a creepy player who blamed an attractive woman for his lust.
  • Papa Bear–remember him?–talked to us about Cochran. “It’s almost like I want to father him because I think this experience will be a good thing for him,” he said. I’m not sure they can show that on TV.
  • A hilarious sequence that included Cochran acting out the pick-up advice Papa Bear gave him ended with a straight woman ruining all the fun. “Don’t say that ever,” Whitney told Cochran. “Honestly, if you came up and told me that you think my earrings were good, I’d think you’re gay.”
  • You may have wiped your mind of the knowledge that the winning tribe at the vomit-inducing meat challenge got to take the regurgitated meat back to their camp to eat. Well, Coach ate it. Then he told us, “There’s a little bit of bile coming up into my throat.” Just a little? It turns out he was doing that just to torture Mikayla, who was feeling sick and about to be voted off anyway. Leadership by vomit.
  • Cochran shared a story about how he’s still suffering from childhood insecurities, and that included a delightful little story about shitting his pants. “Nap time ended, so I got up with everything in my pants, and sat down in my seat, everything squished all around,” he said, adding that the teacher then went around “sniffing each of our butts” to find the culprit. “She got to my butt, and of course, that’s jackpot.” I think there’s a Big Brother challenge in that story.
  • There was a scene with Rick and Edna talking, and then Rick sharing something in a confessional, but I missed it because the shock of Rick talking caused me to fall out of my chair, hit my head, and fall unconscious for a few moments.
  • Albert said that he and Coach “scenario-map,” which sounds fascinating and is something of Albert’s that we haven’t yet seen.
  • “Give him unbelievable self-control when it comes to his tongue,” Coach prayed for Brandon, although that sounded like a selfish request, if you know what I’m saying. ZING.
  • There was more than one reference to Keith and Whitney having actual sex, and those didn’t seem like jokes. For example, Cochran told us, “I just don’t know if nine months from now we’re going to discover the product of this relationship.” Again, this is all the more interesting now that we know about Whitney’s secret marriage.
  • “Let’s do this chicken,” Ozzy said. Amazing what the censors will blur and what they’ll allow to be shown.
  • Ozzy laughed during a confessional and told us, “I can’t help but have the image burned into my mind of Cochran standing there, holding it with his eyes closed and his mouth open.” Wow. No wonder Ozzy was upset when Cochran switched teams.
  • There was a lot of footage of indignant Coach, who I like. “Just because you’re a beach bum and you can sleep on the sand because you’ve been doing that your whole life, doesn’t mean you subject your tribe to the same kind of punishment,” he said, infuriated that Ozzy didn’t bother to punish him, too. I mean, help his tribe create a shelter.
  • After his rundown of which cast member resembled different gods, Coach told Cochran he was Hercules who “mounted the bull.” Cochran then said Coach “quite literally entered me.” If I was a reality TV show editor I’d end all sentences early just to make people with fourth-grade brains like me laugh. (The actual sentence ended “…into the pantheon of Survivor gods,” but who cares: he said “entered me.”)
  • Brandon Hantz, genius, let a chicken escape, which prompted Rick to say, “It’s a chicken. You grab it by the neck and you spin it around and you kill it. Or you bite its head off. If you want to be cool-looking.” And now we know why we haven’t heard Rick say a single thing all season.
  • Of the missing chicken, Jim said, “Maybe Brandon can pray for it to come back and it’ll show back up.” It didn’t. God’s involvement ends at challenges, apparently.
  • In the preview for next week’s episode–a real episode!–someone said, “There’s a reason they call him Prince Albert.” Glad to know the raunchiness won’t end with this episode.

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.


Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

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.