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Who will win Survivor: South Pacific?

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Written by : published Sunday 18th December 2011

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Tonight is the 2-hour Season Finale of Survivor: South Pacific, and we find ourselves with 6 players still remaining in the game.  Who will win?  What can happen?  It is usually impossible to predict Survivor, but let’s try anyways!

Entering tonight’s episode, there really are two over-powering storylines…Ozzy and Coach.

Can Ozzy win his way to a million dollars?  When Ozzy went to Redemption Island the first time it was by design…a daring (stupid?) decision to willingly go there in order to beat Christine, who had won several challenges in a row.  Ozzy’s plan worked brilliantly, only to be backstabbed by Cochran.  Cochran’s move ultimately resulted in Ozzy being sent back to Redemption Island, where he vowed that he would return to the game by winning as many challenges as needed.  In the back of our heads, we all thought that this was possible, but I for one counted Ozzy out…there were just too many challenges and too many variables to think that his return was possible.  Now, Ozzy finds himself 1 challenge away from returning to the game, and 3 challenges away from winning his way right into the Final 3.  With a jury made up of 5 Savaii members, you’d think he’d at least have 4 built-in votes to win (considering that Cochran may or may not vote for Ozzy given their history).  Knowing how big of a threat he is, Ozzy will assuredly be voted out immediately upon losing a challenge…but could he possibly have 3 more challenge wins in him?  It could be worth a million bucks.

Can Coach not screw it up?  The other big plotline this season has been the emergence of Coach as a master-strategist and social game-player.  His decision-making down the stretch though has given us some doubts as to whether or not he can pull it off.  “This is my game to lose,” Coach says in the Finale preview video, and he’s right.  If you consider, right now he is in Final 5 entering tonight.  Per Survivor rules, he only has one more opportunity to use his Immunity Idol, which should assure him Final 4 (he will use his Idol, right?  To do otherwise would be a death sentence for him in the game).    That means Coach should be assured Final 4, and regardless of who wins Immunity he should have the loyalty of Sophie and Rick, who may find themselves in a position stuck with choosing Ozzy or Coach to go to Final 3 with.  Given that choice, Coach should be the pick.  Coach’s worse-case scenario would actually be to vote out Ozzy/Brandon first, because Sophie and Rick at that point may decide that they stand a better chance to win by keeping Albert around.  Everything is in motion to get Albert out next, and Coach’s chance at a million may come down to how persuasive he can be in assuring that this happens.

Let us not forget that there are in fact 4 other players still fighting for Sole Survivor.  Let’s look at their best and worse-case scenarios:

Brandon.  The truest long-shot of them all, Brandon just handed his game away when he handed over his Immunity Necklace to Albert.  First off, he has little to no shot against Ozzy at Redemption Island.  If he were to pull the upset, Brandon would still be in the minority at camp.  Like Ozzy, he would need to win a few challenges, but unlike Ozzy, he may only have to win 2 (not 3).  Consider Brandon beats Ozzy (win #1), and then wins Immunity (win #2).  Albert would likely go home if Coach played his Idol.  Even if Brandon lost the next Immunity Challenge, and provided that Coach didn’t win it, Sophie and Rick would then be in a position where they’d be choosing to take Coach or Brandon with them…they may decide to take Brandon, as nothing guarantees a million bucks more than having a Hantz sitting next to you at Final 3.

Rick.  Let’s not spend too much time on Rick.  In many scenarios, he can very well make it to the end, but in zero scenarios can he actually win.  In any Final 3 combination, the jury will find Rick to be too invisible and too much of a follower to make a difference.  For those Rick-lovers out there though, I believe his best chance at winning (so say, .00001%) would be up against Brandon and Albert, although I don’t see how that scenario could even play out unless Rick turns on Coach…an unlikely scenario in and of itself.

Albert.  Boy Albert really got caught in a trap last week.  He played a dangerous game, making promises that he didn’t have to, and getting caught lying.  After last week’s explosion, Albert has nearly no chance of winning, as I don’t see him gaining any winning votes from the remaining players or jury members.  Albert is currently on the outs, and will be gone first tonight provided that he doesn’t win Immunity.  If he does, it makes things slightly more interesting, but Coach, Rick, and Sophie would likely just vote out Ozzy/Brandon in that scenario.  Depending on how poorly he is able to handle last week’s situation, Albert could find himself as the goat-pick of Sophie and Albert, who may rather want to sit against Albert than Coach in the end.  Like Rick though, he has little chance of winning over the jury at this point.

Sophie.  Sophie is the most interesting of players left simply because I think she is the only new player with any shot at winning the million.  Given her current position, she’s in an amazing spot to make it to Final 3, and given the right opponents, Sophie could win.  She’s also the only player left who I can see not winning any more Immunities and still finding her way to the end.  Consider, upon Ozzy/Brandon’s return to the game, she will not be the next target, putting her in Final 4.  I think her best case scenario would be for Ozzy to return, but then not win Immunity and get voted out first.  In a Final 4 with Albert, Sophie could find herself blindsided by Coach and Rick if they decide to team up with Albert whom they may see as easier to beat in the end.  But given Coach’s “honor, loyalty, integrity,” I can see him riding things out with Sophie and Rick.  On the flipside, if it is revealed that Sophie is closer to Rick than Coach is, Sophie and Rick would really be in the position of power.  I see Sophie as the clear winner up against Rick and Albert, with a chance to win still if it is Coach and Rick/Albert sitting alongside her.  Her worst-case scenario would be for Ozzy to find his way to the end, with an ultimate worse-case being a Final 3 against both Coach and Ozzy.


However it shakes out, Survivor: South Pacific ends tonight!  Who do you think will win it all?


Be sure to check back tonight for my weekly “bonus analysis” of tonight’ s Finale and Live Reunion Show.

Follow me 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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