'Survivor: South Pacific' Finale Live Recap: And the Winner Is ...
'Survivor: South Pacific' Finale Live Recap: And the Winner Is ...
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
The endgame of Survivor: South Pacific is here. Ultimate survivalist Ozzy and super crazy Brandon are on Redemption Island while the remaining members of the original Upolu 5 (Coach, Albert, Sophie and Rick) await the results. The finale will pack one duel, two more tribal councils, a final jury vote and a reunion all into three hours, and I'll be here the whole time with my thoughts. I'm just really hoping it's not a repeat of last season where Coach wins using the exact same strategy Boston Rob used.

Survivor is available on Amazon Prime.


Of course, before we get to Survivor, viewers on the East Coast must suffer through the second half of 60 Minutes because of football. Without Andy Rooney, it just isn't the same.

Previously on Survivor: Looking back at a six-minute retrospective on the season, I'm reminded just how boring it all was. Yeah, Ozzy sacrificed himself and Cochran flipped, but the Upolu 5 was formed on day one and made it to the end, which makes for a pretty dull series of events without much excitement or big moves.

The Final Duel: First of all, they should NEVER let people like Brandon on this show, because he's totally fine with his absolutely moronic move. If I were a Savaii member, I'd be pissed that this idiot got to play as long as he did, wasting a spot that should be taken by someone who actually wants to compete. The only good part is the way Ozzy treats Brandon, which is the kind of cautious, falsely cheerful way you'd interact with a psychotic murderer, humoring him so he doesn't wear your skin like a jacket.

The duel is just about holding onto a pole, and whoever stays on it longer wins.

OZZY WINS THE FINAL DUEL.

Of course Ozzy wins the duel. That's like saying the sun rises in the morning. Christine won the first five duels and Ozzy won the last six. Brandon goes out thinking he won because he had a one-on-one chat with God on the island. Again, I don't like Survivor castaways who think that way, because the truth is that he lost. And now Ozzy rejoins the tribe to play for real.

Ozzy's New Tribe: The wild man is back and Coach claims he wants to take Ozzy to the end and will try his hardest to protect him. Ozzy wants to take Coach to the end, mostly because Ozzy knows he'll beat anyone at the end. For that same reason, Ozzy is very suspicious of Coach's honesty about wanting to keep him. Coach is also getting a big head about how it's his game to lose, which is a potential sign of his inevitable downfall.

The First Immunity Challenge: They must balance a board with one arm while building a huge house of cards with the other. This looks painfully hard, and it's reason #5,347 that I will never be on Survivor, because I could not do it. Sophie uses too many pieces and runs out before she reaches the height. Ozzy suffers the same fate. Sophie drops her house and then begs Albert to quit and help her. He doesn't want to, and Jeff Probst chimes in that it's not allowed anyway. There are plenty of collapses, but it's basically between Ozzy and Coach the whole time.

OZZY WINS IMMUNITY.

I think I'm going to get tired of writing that sentence tonight. It's one of the primary reasons I'm against Redemption Island, because Ozzy can literally build an entire game around winning every competition. He only needs to compete against, at the most, four people at any given time. He's not really outwitting anyone, he's just outplaying them all.

The First Tribal Council: Ozzy clearly loves his position. Rick becomes the target because Coach delivers the most ridiculous theory ever that Rick is the biggest threat to win the game. Come on, Coach, NO ONE will vote for that utterly useless guy at the end. I don't think the members of the jury even know who Rick is. Meanwhile, Ozzy correctly points out that Sophie is the sleeper threat, and she really showed her true colors during this latest challenge. But he also throws Coach under the bus by revealing his deal with him to Albert. OK, I'm actually starting to like Ozzy's metnal game, but he doesn't really need it at this point.

At Tribal Council, Jim has the biggest smile on his face after seeing Ozzy wearing the immunity necklace.Please, Survivor, bring Jim back as an All-Star. Sophie's argument is that she's the best competitor while Ricks argument is that he's worthless. Coach is definitely playing fast and loose with honesty and integrity when Ozzy tells everyone about his deal with Coach. Sophie has no problem hating on Ozzy, and I'm loving how she's really coming out of her shell at this point. She even has an emotional breakdown, which the cynic in me thinks is half-real and half-playing for the jury.

RICK IS VOTED OUT.

Whew, that was close as Sophie got two votes, but clearly Albert and Coach weren't persuaded by Ozzy. Rick also makes it clear he has no respect for Coach and won't vote for him to win since he now thinks the honesty and integrity stuff is nonsense.

The Final Immunity Challenge: Ozzy's only strategy is to win the last challenge to make the finale. He admits he has no back-up plans. Ozzy and Coach clear the air about their mutual lack of trust given how many times they've been burned before. The new players are getting screwed out of screentime since CBS is obviously only interested in telling the stories of Ozzy and Coach's redemptions.

The last challenge is a giant obstacle course where they need to grab five puzzle bags and then put it together. This looks insanely fun with cargo nets and ropes courses. Ozzy takes an early lead and never gives it up during the first part. But when it comes to the puzzles, Sophie steps it up.

SOPHIE WINS IMMUNITY.

YES!!!!!! The girl kicks some serious butt. She just outwitted Ozzy on a puzzle and is obviously the most deserving winner. She beat three athletic guys and this marks her third individual immunity win. I hope the jury recognizes her skill.

The Final Tribal Council: Well, Ozzy's plan didn't work out, and since his only real plan was winning immunity, he's screwed and he knows it. Coach even dubs Sophie the new Dragon Slayer, since Ozzy was the dragon. We get an interesting change of perspective when Albert describes Ozzy as the season's big villain. It's proof that history really is written by the winners. Ozzy's only goal is to convince Coach to split the vote and let him battle Albert for one last chance. Ozzy uses the word "warrior" about one thousand times in campaigning for himself.

Once again, Jim's face at seeing that Ozzy DOESN'T have the immunity necklace is perfect, like his eyes are about to pop out of his head. There's a lot of talk about tying the vote and going to a fire-making challenge between Ozzy and Albert.

OZZY IS VOTED OUT.

That;s what you get when you decide to completely ignore the "Outwit" portion of the game's tagline. He gets applause for his exit and claims he played the best social game he possibly could've. If that's true, then he's not as good at Survivor as he thinks he is.

As far as I see it, Albert has no chance of winning, so it's just between Coach and Sophie, and they agree with me, except Albert who is delusional because he thinks he truly deserves to win. I'm thinking/hoping that Coach has alienated enough people by claiming to be all about honor and integrity, then eliminating people like Cochran, Edna, Rick, Brandon and Ozzy.

The Jury

Oh no, Ozzy is wearing some Pippi Longstocking pigtails on the jury! I hope to God he lost a bet.

Albert's Opening Statement: He plays up the "social experiment" angle and panders to Brandon by talking about how a higher power brought them all together on the island. Is he talking about Jacob from Lost?

Sophie's Opening Statement: She explains that she outplayed in challenges and outwitted with her alliance and social game. Now that's a speech to win Survivor.

Coach's Opening Statement: He talks about compassion and respect and plays up the concept of redemption and family.


Ozzy's Question: He calls Sophie a privileged, pretentious brat and Albert a useless and lucky guy. He essentially says Coach deserves to win just because they're both returning players. Coach then explains that he's sad he had to break his word at times.

Jim's Question: He wants to know why Coach and Sophie don't deserve to win, and Albert loses him immediately by throwing Jim a suck-up compliment. Albert's only argument is that he made stronger bonds to the jury.

Dawn's Question: She wants to know why Sophie chose to be in her alliance, and she explains that she chose to work with Coach because he's like a young girl who cares less about the game and more about integrity.

Rick's Question: He gets Coach to apologize for stabbing him in the back. He also points out that Albert's using God to get Brandon's immunity necklace was B.S.

Brandon's Question: Like Rick, he wants to know why Coach voted against him even though he swore on God that he wouldn't. Then he demands a "Yes or no" answer from Albert about whether he knew Brandon was going home. Albert obfuscates a lot until weakly saying "No."

Whitney's Question: Albert is sleazy, Coach used Christianity to instill fear and Sophie was condescending. Wow, these Savaii members are just being brutal. Sophie explains that her stand-offishness is just how she is.

Edna's Question: She points out that using religion to manipulate and dupe people is as old as time, so no one should be surprised.

Keith's Question: He wants to know if Coach had any intention of using his immunity idol. Sophie uses the opportunity to reveal the truth about how they staged the discovery of the idol, totally throwing Coach under the bus to Brandon.

Cochran's Question: He's the typical fanboy for Coach, except for the fact that all his talk of "honor" is just a big, fat lie. Coach tries to escape doing bad things all season under the guise of honor by apologizing. He pretty much says he's no good at this game.


My prediction is that Ozzy, Cochran and Edna are all voting for Coach while Jim, Rick,Dawn and Keith will go for Sophie (mostly because they seem to hate the other two more). I'm unsure of Whitney and Brandon, but I could see Whitney going for Sophie just out of gender loyalty. I think Brandon was really turned off Albert and Coach by their answers, so he could go for Sophie too. I can't imagine Albert gets any votes.

Wee see Cochran vote for Coach and Dawn vote for Sophie. Cochran makes a better speech about why Coach should win than Coach did.

The Final Vote

The first vote is for...COACH.
The second vote is for...SOPHIE.
The third vote is for...COACH.
The fourth vote is for...SOPHIE.
The fifth vote is for...COACH.
The sixth vote is for...SOPHIE.
The seventh vote is for...SOPHIE.
The eighth vote is for...SOPHIE.

SOPHIE CLARKE WINS!

YAY!!!!!!!!! She totally deserves it. She flew under the radar but still played hard, won more individual immunity challenges than anyone and did a great job. However, it definitely seems more like Albert and Coach lost than Sophie won. Coach could've won if he wasn't so apologetic for breaking his word and embraced the fact that he fooled people better than anyone. But I'm thrilled because Sophie has been my favorite for a long time and it's nice to see a newbie win over a returning player.


Check Out the Best Moments from the Survivor: South Pacific Reunion>>


(Image courtesy of CBS)

News from our partners