The Benjamin Wade Era - breathe it in. Bask in its absurd glory. There will never be another era like it on Survivor. Coach, over the course of one hour last night, became one of the most dynamic, unreal and engaging characters we've ever seen on Survivor. If you were to try and explain the Coach Experience to someone who hasn't watched Survivor this season, you would be at a loss. There's no way you could do Coach's unique brand of insanity justice. Watching last night, hearing his stories, the unapologetic way in which he spouted blatant lies, how he wore his arrogance with disturbing pride, the thought that perhaps Coach was playing a big joke on America crossed my mind. But, there's no way - he would have to be the greatest method actor alive to pull off a stunt like that. There's no other rationale - Coach is a delusional buffoon, bordering on clinical insanity and maybe the funniest Survivor castaway in history.
When the self-proclaimed Dragon Slayer told his story about being
air-lifted into the Amazon by a military helicopter (he pulled some
strings, but denied National Geographic the chance to come along and
document the trip), I burst out laughing. But that was just the
beginning. He told the story like an 8-year-old who had just rode the
Jungle River ride at Disneyland. Blood-thirsty natives? Check.
Captured and tied to a stake? Check. Beaten senseless with clubs?
Check. A daring kayak escape in the dead of night? Check. The
audacity of Coach's story is a wonder in and of itself. To tell such a
grandiose lie requires an incredible amount of self-confidence (and,
yes, self-delusion). I can only dream of being confident enough in
myself to tell a group of relative strangers a preposterous adventure story
without batting an eye.
You know that CBS has an incredible amount of footage ready to go for
Coach. They've been slowly pulling back the curtain on this charlatan,
and it's been fun as hell. I thought, given the inordinate amount of
screen time Coach received last night, that it was almost certainly his
time to go, that they wanted to use the best footage they had for his
swan song. The fact that Coach didn't go home has me even more excited
- the editors must have much more incredible footage of Coach being
As virtuous and likable as a Brendan/JT alliance would have been, you
can't fault JT for what he did. Brendan would be a tough man to go
against near the end of the game, especially with that immunity idol
still out there. Having Coach as an alliance partner is a safe bet -
if JT somehow gets into the final tribal council with Ben Wade at his
side, JT will win the final vote in a landslide. Even before that, the
targets will be off JT and Stephen's backs. Regardless of strategy, do
you really think anyone would vote off JT or Stephen before the
atrocity that is Coach Benjamin?
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of CBS)