Survivor: South Pacific is here! In the interest of full disclosure, I fell off the Survivor bandwagon for a while, so I’ve never seen Ozzy or Coach in action. But I’ve YouTubed it! Oh, I’ve seen some YouTubes. And I know Coach is called the Dragonslayer, which is awesome. Like last season, this season is all about redemption. And I’m so glad they’re doing Redemption Island again!

First, we have this law school guy, John, who has seen every episode. Maybe he’ll be awesome? The yin to his yang is Elyse, who is relying on pretty and her “ancestral background.” There’s this cowboy fellow, Rick, who is immediately my favorite (I SAID IT), and my other favorite, Stacey, who is a sassy funeral director.

Russell’s nephew, Brandon, is on the show! But it’s a seeeeecret. He says he doesn’t think Hitler’s nephew would run around identifying himself as such, and that is totally fair. I can not even soak this in enough. The new tribes situate themselves in front of Jeff, and Jeff says two more people are joining them.

“I hope it’s not Russell!” says a woman in a business suit (what was she thinking?) TO RUSSELL’S NEPHEW! Brandon swears he will take this secret to the grave, except he kind of talks like Russell and he has not one but TWO tattoos that say Hantz on them. So he just has to keep his shirt on for 39 days. “That would … suck,” Brandon agrees, unconvincingly.

Ozzy and Coach step out, and everyone hopes they get Ozzy, who was born to be wild. Coach is wearing his finest dragon blazer, though. A blonde woman identifies them as “temporary players,” and John insists on being called Cochran by Jeff, because he wants the godfather’s blessing. I love this guy. I love him. He is my boyfriend.

Ozzy and Coach smash their paint eggs, and Ozzy is on the Orange-ish Red team with Cochran. Coach is on the Blue tribe with Rick the cowboy, Brandon, and the blonde who identified him as “temporary.”

Ozzy vs Coach
For the first challenge, Ozzy will square up against Coach! They’re climbing to the top of a pole, crawling under a log, and building a pyramid puzzle. I would totally know how to do that puzzle because I play Professor Layton on my DS. Also, I am sitting on my couch and feeling pretty confident!

Of course Ozzy is a complete beast at this challenge, climbing up the pole like Mowgli and wriggling under the pole with ease. But then the puzzle is hard because neither of them listened to the directions on how to do it. The tribes help their heroes, and it’s looking good for Ozzy, whose head is not filled with cotton candy. It’s Russell and Rob all over again. Ozzy wins, and his tribe embraces him. Coach sits a good three feet away from the rest of his tribe.

On their way back to camp, Business Suit Lady Edna offers Coach a helping hand. She’s DEVIOUS.

Camp Sweet Camp
Back at camp, Savaii, the orange tribe looks to Ozzy for guidance, and he welcomes that strategically. The tribe has Cochran the law student, a songwriter, and Semhar, a spoken word poet (who Ozzy and I immediately have crushes on). They all go for a swim, and Cochran doesn’t feel great about stripping down to his underwear and translucent skin. Cochran is the best.

At Blue Camp (Upolu), Coach tells everyone he is NOT a threat, but that’s what threats say! Blue tribe has another baseball coach, and a Russian Economics major. Damn, girl. Edna, the lethal anesthesiologist has decided to team up with Coach pretty much immediately. And of course, that snakey blonde, Christine, runs off not-so-subtly to look for the immunity idol. You don’t have to be Cochran to know that’s a dumb move on Day 1.

Jim, the medical marijuana dispenser (yes!), is excited for all the hot ladies on his tribe. He also told everyone he was a teacher when really he has an MBA and two dispensaries and has won two poker tournaments. Mark, a retired NYPD Detective is gay, and loveable, and hairy. I love everyone except Christine! Savaii is not so good at getting work done, though. Not with this medical marijuana guy around and all these potential clients. Dawn, the English Professor, is worried. Methinks Ozzy is stretching out his usefulness for maximum results.

Among his two Hantz tattoos, Brandon has “Loco” tattooed on his neck. He is ashamed of maybe all his tattoos, but the ladies love crazy. Mikayla, Upolu’s hot chick, is the object of desire. She is a lingerie football player, after all (that’s a job?). Brandon likes her, but he’s also married and is looking straight into the boobs of temptation. He is immediately in love, and in trouble with the Lord. Damn you, lingerie football!

As the stars come out, Upolu admires them as they make fun of Coach. He advises them to have a strong five and go out there and have fun and, you know, just live. But this is “Sneaky Coach 3.0” talking. We’ll see how well this goes for him.

Dawn Breaks
The next morning at Savaii, Crazy Dawn tries to boil water and puts the fire out. She is already going nuts. They haven’t even been there 24 hours, and she is losing it. She talks to Mark, who is like “us old people need to stick together,” and Dawn tries to pull a vine down to prove she’s not old but it just made her fall down and look crazier. She can’t handle not being in control. Dawn is already crying, cracking, and quitting. GET YOURSELF TOGETHER, DAWN!

Ozzy calms her as much as possible. But she’s so frazzled. All the young people are like, “uhhhhh okaaaay,” and Mark is like, “sh*t.”

So Ozzy decides to help his tribe out by actually setting up camp. There’s no way they will get rid of Ozzy because he’s helpful and good at things, and there’s no way they’ll get rid of Cochran at this point because he is hilarious and entertaining. And Cochran is hoping he can get by on charm alone.

At Upolu, Brandon is going fishing, having made his shirt into a bolero top to cover his Hantz tattoos. But you can’t just wear a bolero top in the South Pacific anymore these days. Sophie, the Russian Economics student knows he’s up to something pretty much immediately.

I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts: The First Immunity Challenge
The tribes will race through pathways and a “web of coconuts,” scale a wall, chop some ropes releasing a bin of coconuts, then launch said coconuts into a basket to raise a flag. You had me at web of coconuts, Probst.

In Savaii, everyone wants to shoot the coconuts, including this guy who looks like a young Peter Gallagher. But we’ll worry about Sandra Bullock saving him from almost certain Chicago Elevated Train death later. Upolu is actually doing this challenge pretty well, since they strategized the wall better, while Savaii was arguing over shooting coconuts.

Ozzy is a freak, man. He’s pulling this tribe on his shoulders. It’s Ozzy vs. Rick at the machete hack, but Rick just beats him releasing those coconuts. Ozzy, Semhar, and Young Peter Gallagher (Keith, apparently) all get to shoot coconuts. Semhar is not doing very well, even though she was emphatic about her abilities to do it.

“Can we switch, Probst?”
“NO!” Awesome.

Upolu wins immunity, and Savaii is probably wishing they’d spent less time hanging out in the sea. It was close, though! Jeff reveals a twist to Upolu, the first clue to the hidden immunity idol is hidden at camp. They have to find the clue, first.

Jeff asks Semhar, whose fault it is they lost, how she feels, and she plays with her pretty hair, complaining about the coconuts being heavier than she thought or whatever. Marijuana Jim is BAFFLED AND PISSED. He wants Semhar out, but he doesn’t know that Ozzy has a crush on her so she might stay.

The Game Has Started
Back at Upolu, everyone is trying to act casual about searching for the hidden clue. Stacey takes on a strategy of “looking and looking like I’m working at the same time.” And she totally found it but didn’t know she found it, but she knew she might have done just that. Stacey!

At Savaii, Semhar unleashes on Jim. She is not making herself look good here. Cochran could have a chance! Can’t we keep worthless Semhar around and get rid of crazy Dawn? Mark has agreed to align with Dawn, because of age, and they’re both hoping Semhar has attracted enough negative attention.

Of course, Ozzy is fighting for Semhar to stay, and Cochran to leave. No! Ozzy is a little devious, and not being completely honest with us. But what does Young Peter Gallagher have to say about all this?! I’m glad that Secret Marijuana Jim told Cochran about Ozzy’s plan. This is turning into a real game, y’all! Mark likes an underdog, so he’s also pulling for Cochran, in addition to Unstable Dawn.

Cochran says what we’re all thinking, “this is insulting! They’re going to kick me off when I’m here with Papa Bear, and Semhar, all these girls?!” Ahhh, Cochran, I hope you stick around.

Savaii Gets Fire
First Tribal Council here we go! Jeff asks Dawn if she has thought about Redemption Island and that first person being there alone. What Jeff already knows is that Dawn has thought about EVERYTHING. She promises she’s better now, though.

Is Jim your favorite? He’s definitely one of mine (but I have like, ten favorites). Whitney the Songwriter is just happy to be here. Semhar and Cochran are identified as targets, and Mark is now identified as Papa Bear. Oh, and Cochran is NOT HAVING IT. He has worked too hard, watched this show too long, to go home now! I don’t like the way that Keith/Young Peter Gallagher is laughing at him.

I guess we can see why Semhar does spoken word poetry and not written poetry, since she spelled it “Coachran.” You can tell Cochran got a kick out of participating in a Tribal Council at all. In a surprise twist, Cochran gets one vote (well, “Coachran” gets one vote), and Semhar gets the rest of them! Excellent. Have fun on Redemption Island! She cried the whole way, and Ozzy immediately regrets not teaching her how to make a fire. That really is too bad.

Next week we meet “New Cochran” and Brandon can’t fashion a bolero shirt over the secrets eating him from within.

Who do you love? Who do you like? Who do you hate? Would you trust the returning players?

(images courtesy of CBS)

Carla Patton

Writer, BuddyTV

Originally from Seattle, Carla recently took a husband and moved to Austin, Texas, where she is finally using her television “problem” to her advantage. It’s sort of like Dexter, but boring and less murdering. Carla’s favorite shows include 30 RockThe Amazing RaceProject RunwayModern Family, anything with murder, and pretty much anything gross and weird (CSIThe BachelorToddlers & Tiaras, etc.). Favorite canceled shows include: Arrested DevelopmentVeronica Mars and Average Joe. In her spare time, Carla leads tours of downtown Austin on a Segway (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!), blogs about Netflix Instant, and visits elementary schools telling children they don’t need math to succeed (just kidding, stay in school, kids).