'Survivor: South Pacific' votes off John Cochran, ousts Whitney & Dawn
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/01/2011
Survivor: South Pacific's merged Te Tuna tribe voted John Cochran out of their tribe during Wednesday night's broadcast of the eleventh episode of the CBS reality series' 23rd edition.
"The big move I made at the merge in jumping over to Upolu in retrospect may not have been the best move. I absolutely feel like Upolu used me. The fact that they did absolutely nothing to show any sort of gratitude apart from lip service is insulting to me," Cochran, a 24-year-old Harvard Law School student from Washington, DC, said upon arriving at Redemption Island.
In addition, previously voted off castaways Dawn Meehan and Whitney Duncan lost the season's eighth Redemption Island duel to Oscar "Ozzy" Lusth, a former Survivor: Cook Islands and Survivor: Micronesia -- Fans vs. Favorites castaway, and were permanently ousted from the game. However, they will become the third and fourth members ofSurvivor: South Pacific's jury.
"That anything is possible -- that anything is possible. Honestly, I think that's going to be fuel for me and my family and my kids. I feel like if one of my kids says, 'Hey, I've got this pipe dream,' I'm going to say, 'Let me hang on and let's go.' I hope that the people that I'm around will feel this energy that I felt from seeing the impossible become possible," Dawn, a 41-year-old English professor from South Jordan, UT, told Survivor host Jeff Probst when asked what life lesson she had learned from her experience.
"Just proving that you can do this. It was amazing and it was hard, but you make it through it and you push through on those days that you don't think you can. My family is going to be proud and my friends will be proud, and so I'm going to be proud. Twenty-eight days is a long time," Whitney, a 27-year-old country singer and former Nashville Star finalist from Nashville, TN, told Jeff when asked what the adventure was about for her.
As the game's newest Tribal Council victim, Cochran will now take Dawn and Whitney's place on Redemption Island, where he will battle Ozzy, a 30-year-old currently residing in Venice, CA, in the game's next duel and attempt to eventually earn a chance to rejoin the game's other remaining castaways and resume competing for Survivor: South Pacific's million dollar prize.
Survivor: South Pacific's eleventh broadcast began on Night 27 with the former Upolu members and Cochran -- the only remaining castaways in the game -- returning from Tribal Council after voting out Whitney and starting to worry about who was safe in the game and who was not since they only had their solid alliance or "family" left.
In addition to Cochran, the castaways -- Sophie Clarke, a 22-year-old medical student from Willsboro, NY; Albert Destrade, a 26-year-old "baseball/dating coach" from Plantation, FL; Brandon Hantz, a 19-year-old oil tanker crewman from Katy, TX; Edna Ma, a 35-year-old anesthesiologist from Los Angeles, CA; Rick Nelson, a 51-year-old rancher from Aurora, UT; and formerSurvivor: Tocantins and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains castaway "Coach" Benjamin Wade, a 39-year-old currently residing in Susanville, CA -- knew they would have to turn on one another eventually.
Edna especially said she didn't know who was really in the final four, but she had a bad feeling it wasn't her.
"Tribal Council made it clear that I was the person going in seventh. After surviving another night, I am aware that the family could turn on me at any moment, so I'm really re-evaluating what I need to do to get further in this game and make sure I'm not taken out by the family," Cochran said.
On Day 28, Sophie said she understood why people had gotten so annoyed with Cochran. She was frustrated about how talkative he was with her fellow tribemates.
Cochran said he needed a plan to stay in the game and hoped he'd get jury votes in the end if he made it that far because he had made the big move of swapping tribes earlier in the game. He then talked to the group as a whole and told them it was his birthday in three days and he really wanted to stay and celebrate with his tribe.
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Cochran reminded them that he had sacrificed a lot for the tribe, was committed to them and would like to believe they'd remain loyal to him and thank him through their actions. The former Upolu members made it clear they had a very tough decision to make.
"Cochran said, 'I know a lot of you feel indebted to me.' I don't feel indebted to you. Screw you. He made an awful move. He should have stuck with his tribe!" Sophie said.
"Albert and I both see that we do owe Cochran another day in this game if we could just pull one more vote to keep Cochran. We've gotten down to seven. Everybody is fighting to be standing at the other end," Coach explained.
Later on, Jeff met with Ozzy, Dawn, Whitney, and the whole Te Tuna tribe for the game's eighth duel and explained the rules.
Ozzy, Dawn and Whitney were required to balance ceramic dishes on a long, wobbly arm. The more dishes they stacked, the more difficult it was to keep them stable. When a person's dishes fell, he or she would be out of the duel and out of the game for good. The first two members out of the duel would be eliminated from Survivor: South Pacific, while the winner would stay alive in the game and remain on Redemption Island.
The castaways then squared off in the duel and Dawn was the first person out. Whitney was the next person to drop her dishes, allowing Ozzy to win the duel and remain a threat to get back into the game.
"From this point on, I'm even more excited to go into the duels and beat people that are my enemies in this game. I have to rely on myself winning, but that is what I do best and that's the way that I want to win this game," Ozzy said.
The following day, while Ozzy fished and claimed he was getting stronger by the day on Redemption Island, Albert thought everyone at the Te Tuna camp concentrated too much on cleaning clothes and supplying food -- thinking those gestures would continue to earn them spots in the game -- instead of really playing the game Survivor, which meant doing well in challenges, creating a great strategy and executing a good social game.
Cochran and Brandon went fishing for the tribe and Edna, who was washing everyone's clothes, grew frustrated because Albert allegedly didn't do anything around camp but relax and eat the food others would gather. Coach joked that Albert was "hand-fed and hand-clothed since the age of two."
Edna was also disturbed at the idea that she may be on the bottom of the totem pole -- sixth out of the seven-person alliance. She then asked Coach if Cochran was the next castaway to get voted out, and Coach said "Yes."
"Keeping Edna and Cochran would be the best thing for me to do because they're never going to vote me out. So it's really like a catch 22 -- which side should I go with at this point? Do I want to honor my word, be a man of integrity, stick with the five, or go another route? Nothing is for sure in this game," Coach said.
On Day 30, Coach enjoyed being Cochran's teacher and felt he owed him all the help he could give. As a result, Coach taught him Tai Chi and they performed some moves together on the beach. Cochran felt good after the session and believed he had a real shot at winning the upcoming Individual Immunity Challenge.
That day, the Te Tuna tribe met with Jeff again, who then explained the rules to what would be their sixth Individual Immunity Challenge. Jeff told the castaways they would be required to toss sandbags and attempt to land them ontop of crates in the first stage. The first three castaways to get one sandbag on each of their crates would move onto the final round, where they then must use a slingshot to fling coconuts at targets.
The first person to knock down all their targets would win individual immunity and aSurvivor spa day complete with a massage and fresh-water shower.
Rick, Albert and Sophie advanced past the first stage and fought their way to the finish. It finally came down to Albert and Rick, and after Albert knocked down his final target, he was declared the winner. Jeff then revealed Albert could choose one person to join him for the massage, and he chose Coach.
Albert then decided to give up his own reward of the spa day to Cochran, because Cochran claimed his birthday was coming up. In addition, Albert said he wanted to express his gratitude for Cochran flipping.
"Albert offered his reward to me. There are really only two possible explanations for his decision. One, he wants to work strategically with me and [do me] a favor, which would be the ideal option. Two, that it was just kind of a sweet farewell gift to make me like him before I inevitably join the jury. Either way, I hope that I at least get to spend one more night in the South Pacific," Cochran said.
On Day 30, Coach and Cochran enjoyed Albert's reward. However, Cochran admitted his birthday was six months prior to that moment and he only lied to help gain pity and potentially keep himself in the game. During their massages, Coach assured Cochran he would fight until the end to save him.
Afterward, Albert sat down with Cochran and told him it didn't look good for him, but he said Coach wasn't ready to make any big moves. Cochran tried to convince him that Coach wanted to get rid of Rick, and Albert was actually thrilled with the idea because he wasn't a fan of Rick himself.
Word around camp was that Rick called Albert "prince Albert" and talked about him behind his back, so Albert said he would definitely join in on the vote to eliminate Rick if Coach went along with the plan as well. Cochran and Edna really wanted to get Coach in on voting for Rick, and in the process, Edna told Cochran she felt indebted to him for swapping and the pair seemed to form an alliance.
Cochran then told Coach they wanted to vote off Rick and they would have four votes behind it if he opted to participate and join their side. Cochran brought up how Rick wasn't acting much like a family member.
"My decision tonight and which way I go is going to determine the rest of this game. There's a tide that's coming. I either take it and go with a new alliance or stay with my first five," Coach said.
That night, Survivor: South Pacific's castaways arrived for their fifth Tribal Council as a merged Te Tuna tribe.
Coach told Jeff things were crazy around camp and Cochran admitted he felt like everyone was scrambling to gain a better position in the alliance.
"I'm sure it's going to fill the jury with glee to know that I'm in great danger tonight and I feel like an idiot kind of. I don't mean to sound greedy, but I'm here to collect the debt. I gave life to this tribe and to just be targeted for seventh, it's a little humiliating. I feel a little bit duked. The massage was one nice way of paying off the debt, but I feel like I'm entitled to at least one more night in this game," Cochran said.
Albert said he didn't want Cochran to regret his decision of swapping, and Coach explained how the Upolu tribe was only in good standing because Cochran had made a "bold and courageous" move to give them the numbers they once needed. Rick said if Cochran played his cards right, he could be one of the six alliance members.
Edna then got emotional because she said she felt like she owned the sixth spot, which was not a good feeling. She told Jeff she had been blinded into thinking everyone on the tribe was equal when they really weren't.
Brandon then attempted to put a stop to the mayhem and openly admitted he was going to vote out Cochran and then Edna at the next Tribal Council. Brandon pushed the idea that he was trying to play a black and white game with no gray in between.
A frustrated Cochran said he wouldn't want to come up with strategic ideas with Brandon, because Brandon simply couldn't handle the stress or mental game. Brandon then got emotional and started to explain how he wanted to do "wrong things" but felt something "bigger in him" that wouldn't allow it.
Sophie felt confident in her decision making and position in the alliance, so she said she wasn't concerned with the layers. However, Cochran brought up the idea of Edna possibly winning Individual Immunity, because that would force her plan to change.
Cochran then told Jeff he thought it would be humiliating to get voted out during that Tribal Council because it would have meant he flipped on his former Savaii tribe for no reason. If he got ousted from the game, he would have made it to the same point in the worst case scenario had he stuck with his former tribemates.
Cochran, being such a hugeSurvivor fan, admitted he wouldn't look like the smart "savvy" Survivorplayer he wanted to be for so long if he got voted out then and there. However, Cochran's wishes were not granted.
Jeff then revealed the votes and four people voted for Cochran, while two castaways voted to send Rick to Redemption Island. Cochran's torch was extinguished and he left the premises.
"Jeff Probst just snuffed my torch. This is unreal!" Cochran said.
The show's closing credits revealed Rick, Brandon, Coach, Sophie, and Albert all voted for Cochran, while Cochran and Edna voted for Rick.