If you don’t know how we arrived at this season’s finale episode, take a look at last week’s recap.
The final episode of the season begins (after a season recap) on Redemption Island and Brandon’s arrival. He says it hurts that he was stabbed in the back by his friends but he stands by his convictions. Ozzy doesn’t have much sympathy for a blind faith game. Human beings are greedy and want that money! Back at Te Tuna, Sophie thinks Tribal Council was fantastic. Brandon is gone, and Albert chickened out in front of the Jury by not giving back the Immunity Necklace. Coach rips into Albert for lying to him, declaring he will not be made a fool. Albert, for his part, knows he needs to get back in the good graces of his tribe.
The next morning, Ozzy and Brandon read Tree Mail implying they will need to “hang on” in the final Duel. Ozzy tells the camera that he is psyched for the Duel because he has loved RI so much. They head into the Arena. Probst reiterates that this is the final Duel. For the Duel, the guys must hold onto a pole for as long as they can. Survivors ready…go! Probst notes that this is the most narrow foothold they’ve ever had for this challenge: only 1/4″ wide. Twenty minutes elapses, with Ozzy stretching out just on his toes. After forty minutes, Ozzy readjusts and looks like he is going to lose it, but then Brandon starts to fall and has no footholds. Both players are moving a lot up and down the pole. Brandon starts to slide down, and then a bit more. Finally, Brandon falls, and Ozzy stays alive! Jeff notes that Brandon seems jubilant. The latter says he actually won because seven days in, he had a heart to heart with God and was told to hold bitterness toward no one. Brandon places his buff in the fire and departs. Ozzy thanks the others for sending him to RI so he would push himself to get back into the game.
The castaways return to their beach. Coach tells Ozzy that if he thinks Ozzy is in jeopardy, and he wins Immunity, he will give his Immunity to Ozzy. Ozzy isn’t that dumb though. “Why would anyone want to take me to the end?” Ozzy wonders to the camera. Coach confesses that he wants to bring Ozzy to the end, but his alliances are so entrenched. It is his game to lose because everyone else wants to take him to the end. But will they after the…
…Immunity Challenge #1. For the Challenge the players will steady a balancing board with one hand, and with the other, build a house of cards. Survivors ready…go! Sophie says she has a book on how to build houses of cards. Ozzy, Coach and Sophie jump to the lead. Sophie, unfortunately, runs out of pieces and must start again. Coach’s stack falls. Ozzy plays his last piece, but it’s too short. Sophie gets close, but loses half her stack. She then commands Albert to drop his pieces and pick up her lost ones. He refuses, and when she pleads, Probst says it is an individual Challenge so he can’t help her anyway. Coach is getting close again, as is Ozzy. Ozzy is one tile away, places it, and wins. Ozzy wins Immunity!
Back at the beach, Ozzy recounts his victory, much to the chagrin of the others. He feels great being able to finally shove it to the others. Coach thinks its terrible that they have to vote someone out, but loyalties will be broken. Coach and Albert suggest they send home Rick because he is the most likely to win (what?!?). Ozzy, attempting to sow dissent, tells Albert they should get rid of Sophie. Albert confides that Sophie maybe should go as she’s won a couple Immunities and will be persuasive in front of the Jury. Coach tells Rick that Sophie has turned on him, which gives Rick a really bad feeling. He does get Coach to say he’ll vote for Sophie, but Rick’s not so sure Coach will follow through.
Albert tells Ozzy that they should go for Rick. Ozzy responds by telling him that Coach swore as a Christian man to take Ozzy to the end. Albert confronts Coach, but all Coach says is that he wants to vote out Ozzy. Albert thinks he may have to listen to Ozzy at the…
…Tribal Council. Ozzy, you knew you had to win, right? Yup. Probst calls out Coach’s HII. Coach says he’ll play it as it is the last chance to so do. Albert says he should stay because he can beat Ozzy in an Immunity Challenge. Sophie says she’s won more Immunities than the others, so she can beat Ozzy. Rick says to keep him because they will all beat him in the Final Three. Coach says they are still a family so they should get rid of Ozzy when they can. Ozzy calls him out as wanting to take him to the end. Sophie doesn’t care about honesty as Ozzy treated her like crap from the beginning by calling her a spoiled brat. Why does she care when she speaks about him behind his back? She says that it is personal because it was an attack on her character. Sophie begins to cry, saying that she never did anything to attack other people and has kept her character in tact. She regrets coming to the game because Ozzy said other people thought the same things about her. Probst tells her that the way she is acting will make them want to get rid of her. Does she want another opportunity to tell the guys why she should stay? Nope, let’s vote.
They vote, and Jeff collects the ballots. Coach doesn’t play the HII. The votes come back Rick, Sophie, Rick, Sophie. Jeff reads the final vote, “The sixteenth person voted out of Survivor: South Pacific…Rick!
Day 38. The Final Four wake. Ozzy wants to win so bad, it is his Plan A and his Plan B. Coach tells Ozzy that he is mad Ozzy outed their deal at Tribal Council. Ozzy says that he has been burned many times in this game because he has trusted people. So, now, he is quite guarded about his alliances. Coach takes him at his word and no longer feels betrayed. Coach asks who Ozzy wants to go home, and Ozzy says he wants Albert and Sophie to have to make fire! In the end, though, he doesn’t care, because he is about to have his final…
…Immunity Challenge. For this Challenge, the players must race through a flower shaped obstacle course to collect five bags of puzzle pieces. The first to solve it wins Immunity and a place in Final Three. Survivors ready…go! Ozzy is the first back with a bag. Albert and Sophie come back with their first bags. Albert is the first back with his second bag, but is quickly followed by Ozzy. Ozzy is back with bags three, four and five, and starts the puzzle. Coach comes back with his fifth bag, as does Sophie. Probst warns that anyone can win. Albert is back with his final bag. Ozzy’s huge lead evaporates as he can’t get his first piece in. Sophie gets her first piece, and then second. She places her third piece, as Ozzy gets his first and second. Ozzy places his third piece, but Sophie locks in her fourth and fifth, and then the sixth and seventh. One more to go…Sophie wins the final Immunity!
Back at the beach, Ozzy has words of congratulations for Sophie. He’s not surprised he lost on a puzzle. Yes, Coach said he wanted to go to the end with Ozzy, but Ozzy figures Coach will change his mind. The Upolu Three loudly cheer the slaying of the Ozzy dragon. Sophie confesses that she is a bit worried that Coach will vote for Albert to send it into a tie. Ozzy puts that possibility front and center to Coach. Coach tells the camera that from the first day he wanted the strongest players at the end. Now, he’s faced with yet another heart-wrenching decision at…
…Tribal Council. The Jury looks upset that Ozzy didn’t win Immunity. Sophie, how does it feel to have the final Immunity? Amazing! Ozzy keeps replaying the puzzle over and over in his head. Coach knows how it feels to come so close. Ozzy says it was no secret that he and Coach spoke about having the two of them in the Final Three. Further, Coach knows what Ozzy wants to go to a fire making challenge. Albert is confident he can make fire, but is he skilled enough to beat Ozzy? That he’s not sure. Albert is a bit nervous, but he hasn’t seen anything that would make him think Coach will turn against him.
It’s time to vote. They do and Jeff collects the ballots. The first vote is for Ozzy, the second for Albert. Vote Three is for Ozzy. “The seventeenth person voted out of Survivor: South Pacific and the final member of the Jury…Ozzy!” He receives a round of applause from the Jury, and runs off into the Blue Light of Death. The Final Three return to their beach and celebrate the Ozzy-free camp. It ended up being an easy decision for Coach to vote Ozzy out and keep the family together.
The next morning, they receive their feast. The three gorge themselves and share a hug. Sophie tells Coach that she wishes it was just the two of them, and wants Albert to own up to being the wormy player he is. She will try to go into the final Tribal Council logically and not emotionally. Albert, for his part, thinks he played the best game of the three. Coach talks about how he became the Dragon Slayer his first season, then the Dragon in Heroes vs. Villains, and now the Phoenix. After burning their shelter, the Final Three head to the…
…Final Tribal Council. Albert makes his opening statement, saying that the game is a social experiment about people, and thanks for being part of his incredible journey. Sophie says it is about outwitting, outplaying, outlasting. She won three Immunities, played well strategically, and made some genuine friendships in the social game. Coach can’t believe he is up there. As a veteran, he had an uphill battle and tried to play with love and compassion, instead of arrogance. He is blessed to have received a piece of everyone with whom he played the game.
Tribal Council then turns to the Jury’s questions:
Ozzy: Good news and bad news. The good news is that the game is not yet decided. the bad news is no one on the Jury wants to vote for any of you. Sophie is a pretentious brat. Albert just happens to be in the right place at the right time. Coach gets credit for being a veteran and getting to the end. He has the only chance to win. Coach explains he tried to play with honor, but had to compromise his word to continue advancing.
Jim: Albert, tell me why the others shouldn’t win. Don’t start with a compliment. Albert begins by complimenting Jim, and then saying Coach shouldn’t win because Albert and Sophie brought him to the end, not the other way around. Sophie didn’t play a social game.
Dawn: Sophie, what was your strategy and why an alliance with those guys? Sophie wished she was a man because they always get two young women to follow him blindly. Coach was like a woman because he wouldn’t vote against her. Albert was a similarly minded strategist.
Rick: Coach, you said they were men of honor. Anything to say to him? Yes, Coach apologizes. Albert, when you took the Immunity Necklace, you lied. Sophie, you lied the entire way. She replies that she, honestly, feels worst about lying to Rick.
Brandon: Coach, you said you’d never vote him out. Coach thanks him for raising the bar for everyone. He wanted Brandon there. Albert, how do you feel to use God to get to the end? Albert says that he didn’t; he is now closer to God. Brandon forgives him, but wants to know if Albert knew he [Brandon] was going home. Albert falters, and tries to give an explanation, but Brandon just wants yes or no. Albert eventually says no.
Whitney: Albert, you’re sleezy and had no intention to make a move. Coach, you used Christianity to manipulate people. Sophie, hard to vote for you because you’re very off-putting. Sophie admits that is true.
Edna: All here to play Survivor, and manipulation is part of it. Religion is the historical way to do that. No hard feelings for being duped. Congratulations.
Keith: Coach, were you going to use the HII for the team or individually? He was going to play it at 6 vs 6. Sophie says Albert found the clue, and then Coach found the HII with Albert and Sophie distracting the rest of the tribe. They then staged finding the HII for Brandon’s sake.
Cochran: Coach stroked his ego, and he loved it! You say “honor” so much it means nothing. Please explain your strategy. Coach apologizes for backstabbing everyone, but he wanted to win the million dollars. He’s a terrible strategist because he is not that way in real life.
Time to vote. Cochran votes for Coach. Dawn votes for Sophie. Jeff collects the ballots and brings them to…
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