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Uncommon Survivor 23 - Week 15: Finales Will Be Broken

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So, what happened was... something that rhymes with spleen duke. It's always a looming threat.

Despite this, I've managed to stay completely in the dark as to what happened, so while we will never get those hours back, let's just pretend none of this ever happened and you're enjoying this recap at the same time you always have.

A double voice-over intro? That is disorienting. Look how young everyone looked. A rapid-fire edit of Jeff announcing challenge winners shows I've captured all three of Jeff's shirt types in just two episodes. Albert's immunity necklace falling off after Brandon gets voted out is pretty funny. Maybe it was those prank Survivor gods who were extinguishing people's torches just before they'd get voted out in seasons passed.

More rapid-fire voice-overs? Is there someone new handling editing or do they just have a lot of content? Brandon ain't even mad at Albert for betraying him. Ozzy can't believe it, calling Brandon's game a blind one. Oh, a blind faith one. Eh, what's the difference?

Coach is sick of people coming out here trying to look like their holier-than-thou. More comical words have never been spoken. Coach dresses down Albert like he's his dad and Albert embarrassed him in the grocery store.

Ozzy is as pumped up as he's ever been. He's been living it up in exile and it's probably been the best spot for anyone to be in. Next season, I expect the isolation area to be somewhere that doesn't feature a full beach-front buffet. He probably hasn't even lost any weight!

Redemption Challenge Time! Hey, Look at Jeff's Shirt!


Mmm, Endurance Bear Hug Challenge! I believe this challenge comes from the top 100 list of Chinese Tortures. After 20 miuntes, Ozzy begins to readjust, suggesting he's tiring, but after about 40 minutes in, both men are fidgeting and squirming. Ozzy invents a sexy move called "Kissing the Pole" where he presses his lips to the pole and uses the power of love to stay aloft. Brandon's slow descent to loss begins and he doesn't have the arm strength that Ozzy does to position himself. Brandon's loss met with what I, as an amateur psychiatrist, can only describe as a manic episode. Naturally, he attributes this to his religion. Nonetheless, Ozzy is back in.

Everyone welcomes Ozzy back to camp, but Coach simply walks away. Then he circles back around to signal Ozzy to come walking off with him. Not suspicious at all. Coach tells Ozzy he'll give him an idol if he feels he's in danger. Ozzy isn't buying any of this, but he plays it cool. Coach has a strong network of people that want to take him to the final three. This is the point where I wonder why we're all not voting out Coach.

Immunity Challenge Time! Hey, Look at Jeff's Shirt!


It's One-Handed See-saw House of Cards. Sophie's got the book on this, so she's got the inside edge. Rick and Albert can't even make a level surface. Ozzy and Coach are leading, but Jeff makes note of it so it falls immediately. Sophie has a solid house, but she runs out of cards, so she has to plan again. Ozzy gets close, but he too is a few cards short so he tears down and begins again. Sophie suffers a small collapse that sends some of her cards flying to the ground. Frustrated, she demands Albert drop his stack and help her, since she's going to beat him. Albert hesitates just long enough for Jeff to inform them all that there can be no helping.

"If you want Ozzy out of this game; beat him."

So good. Coach and Ozzy are the only ones who seem to have any focus at this point. Sophie's lost composure nets her a few more collapses. In the end, Ozzy gets his house of cards to the mark and wins. You knew that would happen.

Now in the catbird seat, Ozzy's going to spend the time until the next vote pitting everyone else against each other. Coach has a good Coach moment when Albert tells him that Sophie almost won. "Nuh uh, dude, I was like totally gonna win twice." Yes, Coach, you're the greatest player that never won.

Ozzy's first victim is Albert, convincing him that Sophie is actually who he should vote for. The pitch sells brilliantly to Albert, whose brain has been performing at a low level for some time now.

Rick tries to prod Coach for information about the vote. With a lot of beating around the bush, Rick finally gets Coach to answer some direct questions. He would vote for Sophie, and he won't vote for Rick.

Ozzy resumes his work on Albert, telling him about Coach's promise as a Christian man and it being why he needs to vote out Sophie now. This sends Albert flying back to Coach to talk to him about how funny all this is. Hilarious. When he asks Coach if this didn't happen, Coach replies with an honest "I can't wait to vote his ass out." Albert asks him again directly, and Coach shakes his head with his eyes averted while he walks away. It really inspires confidence.

Tribal Council Time! It's creepy that they all smile like goofs at each other. Coach has declared he's playing his idol. Albert fancies himself someone who can compete with Ozzy, a claim met with bewilderment by Ozzy and the jury. Sophie claims that she too has a chance at beating Ozzy and it's why she should stay, while Rick takes the opposite approach, he can't beat anyone, therefore he's valuable. I guess he's valuable to Ozzy, but that's it. The discussion takes a turn when Ozzy lays out Coach's plans. Sophie can't seem to let this air out because she wants Ozzy gone so bad. The next few moments are tough as Sophie calls out Ozzy for not respecting her, then he tells her it's because he's heard she's a brat and that she's talked about him behind his back. The one thing that sticks out to me here is that Ozzy is actually arrogant. I don't think saying so should be a crime, especially when he's on the other team. It all piles up on Sophie when she thinks that everyone might actually be against her. It's a tough enough few moments to even get Dawn's tears flowing.

Voting Time! Coach doesn't play his idol when the time comes. Good Christian Deceitful Coach; where pride is better than honesty!

Rick, Sofie, Rick, Sophie, Rick!

Coach stands to give him a hug or something, but Rick don't want none of that sissy stuff.


"This is my serious hat." via

The next morning is nothing but cold shoulders between Ozzy and the rest. No sharing of any kind. Nobody seems pissed off that Coach lied, though. Oddly enough, Coach is the one that feels lied to, because he told Ozzy not to tell anyone about his promises, and Ozzy didn't do that. Coach "felt like" he had given Ozzy the truth and been betrayed for it. Ozzy chalks it up to being burned before, so Coach decides he can feel sorry for Ozzy and all is well in the universe again. They hug after talking about letting Sophie and Albert build a fire to see who wins. If it comes to that, I've got my money on Sophie.

Dramatic Rainfall Final Immunity Challenge! Hey, Look at Jeff's Shirt!


Anomalous Shirt Detected!

The Challenge: A Flowery Obstacle Course Puzzle Race! Weird theme for a finale if you ask me. Ozzy dominates the course while Albert pretty much just harasses Sophie while falling down. Ozzy's lead disappears when Sophie catches up and locks in her first few pieces. Ozzy begins to lock in a few more, but Sophie is coming down the home stretch too fast for him to catch up. Sophie wins the final immunity challenge! Ozzy is distraught. All that victory he tasted... ripped right from his mouth.

Ozzy can't even get his sob story in to the confessional without the cheers of the competitors interrupting him. In a surprising move, Coach decides that he must relinquish the title of Dragon Slayer to Sophie. After the title ceremony is over, Coach tells them all not to go buddy up with Ozzy. Then he does the opposite of that, allowing Ozzy to get all inside his head and crawl around in there, hitting all Coach's favorite hot buttons. Coach is left grappling with the decision to honor his word and Christian man and all that crap or give himself and the others a better shot at winning the game. He's a tortured soul. If only all the lies he's told, and been told, never came back around.

Final Tribal Council Time! Rick looks at Coach like he's disrespected his mother, his daughter, and civil war reenactors everywhere. Hey, Look at Jeff's Shirt!


Gee, what's the special occasion, Jeff?

What it comes down to is Coach placed himself into a situation wherein there are unreasonable demands expected of him. This is, of course, entirely his own doing. Throughout the whole council, he's trying to pull his whole face off, as if that would lead him to a solution to his predicament.

Voting Time! "Because I'm the Dragon Slayer." Awesome. Good footy of Rick scowling at Coach when Coach goes to vote, too.

Ozzy, Alberto, Ozzy, Oz. Coach wants to cry more than Ozzy does.


"Hey, Survivor didn't pan out, can I surf your couch for a bit, bro?" via

Coach gets back and he's all celebratory that they've come back to an Ozzy-free camp. He was the only one that wanted Ozzy there at all! He was the reason there was even some doubt! What an ass.

Final Day Brunch! Oh man, look at that, fruit.... some bell peppers. Sausage. Pancakes. Breads. Champagne, of course.

Sophie wants to keep her composure and stay sane at the vote.

Albert feels like he's played the best game of everyone. [Let's all fake laugh here together for a minute.]

Coach is doing his evil tai-chi. He became the dragon and now that he was burned in flames, he will arise anew like the phoenix. Man, he can frame a mythical story around anything.

I hope somebody puts that fire out after they've gone.



I give Albert's opening speech a C. Very plain.

Sophie's speech is a B+. She stuck to the Outwits, the Outplays, and the Outlasts.

Coach is all touchy feely and he loves everyone because that's what good leaders do. B-.

Ozzy's only question was a useless one to Coach. Wasted.

Jim's question at least offers some sparks, asking Albert why the others didn't deserve to win.

Dawn asks Sophie about her game, and this is the first time she's mentioned being a woman at all. None of that "isn't it amazing how far I got even though I'm a girl?"

Rick's time is ultimately good for nothing. He just hates everyone.

Brandon asks Coach about his promises, which Coach converts into compliments about God, and calling him brother. Albert is unfairly asked why he used God to get to the end, because I guess nobody did that.

Whitney just berates Albert, Coach, and Sophie. Sophie's the only one who gets to respond. Another wasted interrogation.

Edna is the only one who actually sees above the rest of them. High five for her.

Keith brings up the fact that Coach didn't play the idol. Sophie gets to reveal that Coach kept the idol a secret the whole time. A crushing blow.

Cochran really loved being Coach's buddy, but he hated the honor talk. Coach tried to make so many people happy that he made none of them happy.

Voting Time! Jeff leaves with the votes. Then what does everyone do? Does someone tell them to go home?

Then Hollywood Jeff appears. Nice set, CBS. Coach looks like a thin Penn Jillette.

The Results: Coach, Sophie, Coach, Sophie, (by now Albert has to realize he's out of it), Coach, Sophie, Sophie, Sophie.

Your Survivor South Pacific Winner! Sophie Clarke!


All in all, a deserving winner. I am pleased.

Let's talk Reunion!

Jeff has switched over to a much calmer hosting sweater.

Sophie mentions it's stupid to tell someone that a reality show changed their life. I wonder how many people, in the history of reality TV, have truly had their lives changed. Something tells me the Insert-Male-Occupation-Here Wives haven't changed much.

Ozzy would have had the whole thing wrapped up, no doubt. It's not a secret he wins the fan favorite money.

Russell doesn't really look pleased to be here.

If I had to drink a beer with Ozzy, I think I'd be really annoyed after just the first beer. Him telling kids not to be afraid doesn't really account for people like Cochran, who have to deal with the Ozzys in their life.

Russell still looks pissed. I have to admit at this point the only reason I'm still watching is because Russell looks so pissed.

Cochran is a pro at analyzing himself. What I mean by that is he's the opposite of Albert. Going through this experience has given him the confidence to talk to women now, but he's gotten zero dates since the show ended. Ladies...

Brandon has zero scale of what a "bad past" is. Then Brandon says nobody is here from his family? Does Russell not count? Speaking of Russell, he's still himself. Russell from Survivor absolutely reveres Russell from Survivor.

A Brandon vs. Russell Survivor has to wait. Maybe in Season 26.

Another blow dealt to the Cochrans of the world; Ozzy wins the popularity contest by the landiest slide of all landslides. No matter how fearless you are, kids, it's not going to help you beat Ozzy.

Whitney pretty much finds soulmates wherever she looks.

It's pretty awesome that Brandon's performance in the game has caused a serious rift in his family. Like, did that happen with anyone else? There needs to be a Maury show with that whole family. Please.

Next year: Survivor 24: Sharing or Caring aka One World. See you then!