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Survivor: South Pacific Episode 6: A house divided

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Written by : published Thursday 20th October 2011

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It was definitely a tale of two tribes tonight, with both tribes acting as yin and yang for the other.  At Savaii, we saw a fractured tribe end up in a solid state, whereas at Upolu, we witnessed a strong alliance crack down the center.  There was lots of talk of loyalty, and that to me, is the beauty of Survivor…taking a common virtue such as loyalty, and defining it in our own unique way.  Don’t you love this game?

Make sure you get caught up by watching Episode 6 of Survivor: South Pacific, and then take in my weekly Survivor Examiner recap before the following “Bonus Analysis” coverage.

Summary.  We learned a lot in Episode 6 of Survivor: South Pacific.  We learned that Ozzy still may have a fighting chance, but that he is clearly facing an uphill battle at Savaii.  We also got to witness where the true power lies over at Upolu, after an intense (or some would say awful) Tribal Council.  And if there was any doubt, that power lies with Coach after all.

Upolu.  So after getting virtually a week off of Brandon, we got a double-dose tonight.  The key development at Upolu was the power-play within the core alliance of five.  How Coach has ended up as the puppet master is still beyond me, remembering how shaky he started off.  I had a thought that maybe Albert and Sophie were the true power-players, but tonight we got proof:  Make no mistake, Coach is in the driver’s seat at Upolu.  Getting Rick to vote with him is huge, because it keeps Coach in the majority.  On one hand, he’s got his loyal follower Edna, and on his other he’s got the loose cannon Brandon.  Edna will become a strong extra number for Coach, whereas Brandon deflects a lot of attention, and is a person that Coach could win against in the end.  In fact, if he could pull it off, is there any way Coach wouldn’t win in a Final 3 with Brandon and Edna?  Plus, he’s still got the Idol.  Best of all?  The divide at Upolu seemed to be done respectfully, and I’m not sure that this rift will really mark the end of their 6-person alliance.  If anything, Albert and Sophie now need Coach more than ever.  Another thing to look out for?  Poor Rick, who was the swing vote, came down on the side of Coach.  But overall he is in a great position, although he may need to get back on the good side of Albert and Sophie.

Savaii.  At Savaii, it was more of a damage-control situation for Ozzy.  He made every bad mistake in the book following Elyse’s blindside, going so far as to reveal to all that he has the hidden Idol.  But hearing from Jim, it doesn’t sound like Ozzy is yet the target…he mentioned keeping him around to win challenges, and also sounded like he had plans for him post-merge.  If that’s the case, then who would be next at Savaii?  Ozzy could save himself and avoid becoming the target, by jumping on board with Jim, Cochran, and Dawn.  That would suddenly put Keith or Whitney on the chopping block next.

Redemption Island.  It is getting interesting the longer Christine stays in the game, although you would think she’ll have her work cut out for her against Mikayla.  How would Christine effect the game if she returned?  Would she get the Matt treatment, and get sent right back out of the game?  From her actions tonight, she clearly has no intentions of patching things up with her former tribe.  And although I like her as a character, her blunt social game will spell trouble for her down the road, adding to the fact that she hasn’t had any time to build personal relationships with any of the remaining players.  So although part of me would like to see her continue to win, I think the more interesting person of the two to return has to be Mikayla.  Mikayla herself would be a “free agent”, and personality-wise, I think that she could connect with the likes of Ozzy.  After a merge, you would have to think that a Coach or an Albert would be Jim and Cochran’s target first, before a returning Mikayla.  Suddenly, Mikayla and Ozzy (who still has an Idol), could become another power couple.  Things change very quickly in Survivor, so even though these two seem down and out…they are really neither, until their buff lands in the fire.

Bonus Speculation.  Hopefully you are following Jeff Probst during each episode on Tout.com, where this week he gave a massive tease for next week’s episode, saying that “one of the biggest moves in 23 seasons is made by one player.  You can't even guess what it is.  Couldn't guess if you tried."  So what could this mean?  And even though he challenges us to guess the move…does anybody want to wager that this could involve voting off Coach, with an Idol in his pocket?  Is there any other move that could possibly register as a “best ever” move?  Post your thoughts, and be sure to check back next week for a full analysis of what the heck Probst was referring to!

Be sure to follow all of my Survivor coverage on Twitter, @tomsantilli, and at tomsantilli.com.

About the author SurvivorTom


Tom Santilli is a respected journalist and member of the Detroit Film Critics Society.  He writes several on-line columns, most notably as the Detroit Movie Examiner and the Survivor Examiner for Examiner.com.  He also is a contributor as a Survivor-Insider to TVGeekArmy.com and writes exclusive Survivor in-depth episode analysis for TheTVKing.com. He has been featured on Rob Cesternino's "Rob Has a Podcast" and most recently landed the only exclusive Richard Hatch interview given since his latest legal trouble has surfaced. All of Tom's Survivor coverage as well as movie reviews can be found on his blog the "FilmSurvivor", at FilmSurvivor.com

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