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Survivor: South Pacific Episode 14 - Why Brandon's sacrifice may have saved him

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Written by : published Thursday 15th December 2011

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If you feel bad about missing church on Sunday, don’t fret…you can get your weekly dose of God-talk each week on Survivor.  Tonight’s episode showed a lot of internal struggles, and mortal men trying to find answers from up above.  Now I personally think God has better things to do than to help out reality show contestants, but if he did play a hand in tonight’s outcome, it’s pretty clear that he is still not prepared to let a Hantz win it all.

But what a great episode, truly.  Please catch up by watching Episode 14 of Survivor: South Pacific, and then read my weekly Survivor Examiner episode recap before the following “Bonus Analysis” coverage.

I want to hit on two things this week:  First, Brandon’s decision to give away the Immunity Necklace, and Second, where each player stands going into this Sunday’s 2-hour Season Finale.

Brandon’s Decision.  It’s easy to laugh and call Brandon’s move “dumb,” as Rick did as he voted him out.  This is the 2nd time (that I recall) that someone gave away their Immunity Necklace, the first time being on “Fans vs. Favorites” when Erik famously gave away his Immunity Necklace to Parvati’s alliance before getting shamefully voted out in front of a gang of cackling women.  Brandon’s situation was quite different, although it had similar results.  Erik was flat out duped, whereas Brandon chose to make a bold move that he felt would solidify his character.  Ironically, I argue that he did more than that…he may have just saved his game.  Despite Sophie and Coach calling him a “dangerous player” to take to the end, Brandon had no shot – no shot whatsoever- of winning Survivor.  But presume for a minute that Brandon beats Ozzy (surely he has a better chance than any of Ozzy’s prior opponents).  Back in the game, Brandon just showed to the jury that he is the most trustworthy and loyal person out there.  He would have ousted Ozzy, which should earn him some favor, but moreover, he suddenly looks like the underdog, instead of the snobby religious dude.  I think Brandon’s move, if he can return, may have been his only path to actually being a contender in a Final 3 scenario.  This may have been God’s plan all along, right?  And we know that what doesn’t kill you or burn your buff only makes you stronger.

The Others.  On the other hand, Ozzy is only 1 win away from returning to the game, and if he makes it to the end he is this season’s only bona fide winner, no questions asked.  He’s got a stacked jury in his favor, and his impressive run will surely make him the Sole Survivor.  But getting back into the game is only the first step, he would then have to win 2 additional Immunity Challenges.  If anybody could do it, it’s Ozzy.  Short of that though, can you see anybody else being crowned the winner other than Coach?  With the Idol in his possession, he is assured the Final 4, since he can only use the Idol at the next Tribal Council (assuming he does use it).  Albert will assuredly be the first to go if he doesn’t win Immunity, sadly having screwed up his game in tonight’s episode by getting caught in multiple lies.  He really has no shot to win at this point, even if he makes the finals.  Rick?  Please.  No chance.  That leaves Sophie, who I think only stands a chance of winning if she is up against Albert and Rick…a scenario that seems unlikely since she talks as if Coach is in her Final 3 plans.

To flip it around for a minute, how could Coach not make the Final 3?  The only scenario I could see is if he was stupid enough to not use his Idol.  Barring that, he is in the Final 4, meaning that he only needs to survive one last vote to make it to the end.  That Immunity Challenge is quite simply for a million bucks.  But presuming he doesn’t win the Final Immunity, it will take Sophie to come to her senses and realize that she won’t win against him.  The odds are totally in Coach’s favor to win it all, and only he can lose it for himself at this point.

So who do you think will win Survivor?  Coach?  Ozzy?  Brandon?  Rick?  Sophie?  Albert?  We will soon know, this Sunday, December 18th at 8:00 EST only on CBS.  It’s the 2-hour Finale followed by the 1-hour Live Reunion Show.

Check back here on Sunday night for my final analysis of the Final Episode and Reunion Show, and next week we will look back at the season as a whole.  In the coming weeks, we will also get you ready for the 24th installment of Survivor premiering in February 2012.

See you Sunday night!

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

About the author SurvivorTom

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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