Last night was the finale to the 23rd season of Survivor, named Survivor: South Pacific.
I was Team Ozzy from the get-go. His second season I didn't like him so much, but I loved him his first season. The only reason he didn't win that season was because he was up against the genius Yul in the finale.
Ozzy is a monkey. He's a monkey who wins challenges. He beat everyone who crossed his path on Redemption Island. He owned that island. They should rename it Ozzy Island. He's better than Matt from Season 22. There were a few challenges where Matt was against two other people and only had to not lose, but when Ozzy was against two others he had to win to survive. Instead of two surviving, only one did.
Ozzy did not win the challenge he needed to. He lost to Sophie. Sophie the brat. I hate Sophie. She cried when Ozzy called her out at tribal. She acted like she'd never had anyone say anything negative about her character before. Does she live under a rock? Seriously. What a load of bull. If I was a jury member I would never in a million years have voted for her (well, if she was up against Russell Hantz I'd do it, but only then!).
What Ozzy said was the truth. Sophie was a brat. The tribal council in which Ozzy told her was after he won immunity. It was Sophie, Albert, Ozzy, Coach, and Rick. Each contestant had a platform they had to keep steady. On one end they had to build a house of cards (it was more a house of dominoes) up to a certain point. Sophie said she had a book on building houses of cards at home. This was her challenge to lose. Her stack fell down; if she went to pick up the pieces she would lose hold of her platform and lose even more of her work. She yelled at Albert to drop his stack and pick up her pieces. It wasn't sarcastic or funny. She was dead serious. If I was Albert I would have told her to shut the hell up. I think he did. I don't quite remember. After Ozzy won she got mad and was all "I should have won this." It wasn't like "darn it, I should have won." It was all "that was my challenge and how dare that [bad word I can't think of] win it."
The final three was Sophie, Coach, and Albert. Albert got there by sheer luck. There were so many tribal councils where his name floated around. He would have been voted out if not for someone better coming along. He didn't do much around camp. I'm not sure he did anything actually.
Coach, I think, played an awful game. In the middle of the season I started rooting for him, but the last few episodes he really played awful. He should never have promised Ozzy a seat in the final three. He didn't need to. He should have just kept his mouth shut. That was a dumb move and cost him at least one vote. It either cost him because he made a deal with the "devil" or because he went back on his word as a Christian man.
That's something that bugged me. I am a Christian. I love seeing Christian acts displayed on television, like praying. But, I felt that this season they mocked it. I don't know if Brandon Hantz was genuine or if Coach was genuine or if anything was genuine. They all act and say it was, but no one can know for sure. Last season it was true for Matt. He talked about Christianty. He had his Bible. He really made a connection with another contestant over religion. It wasn't praying to God to make him win the challenge. He prayed for God's will to be done. This season, they prayed for God to make them win, give them certain things, blah blah blah. It doesn't work that way. In sports, God doesn't answer prayers to win. To play your best, to not get hurt, yes pray for that. You can't pray to win. I feel that's what they were doing. Every teeny little thing they did they acted like they asked God about it. Nothing wrong with that, but I don't think God would intervene in a competition like this in the way they acted He did. It felt wrong. It felt mocked.
At the final tribal, Albert and Sophie hung on the idea that Coach was not the leader. They were on the idea that they did some of the work, too. In some seasons being the leader is bad because despicable moves were made and the leader gets trashed for that. In other seasons being the leader is good because it means you did the work, the thoughts, the ideas, the plans. Sophie and Albert felt it was the latter and they needed to show they did not ride on Coach's coattails. They acted like Coach just thought he was the leader. Truth is, Coach was the leader. He led. His team flocked to him (after being upset that he was on their team to begin with). There may have been things not shown on television, but they can't hide what they did show.
The winner of this season was big brat Sophie. How in the world she convinced them to vote for her I'll never know. I wouldn't have voted for her. It doesn't have much to do with what we saw that the contestants did not see. It has a lot to do with how she acted in the challenges, around camp, and at tribal council. She cried when Ozzy called her out. "I could be voted out, let me bring on the tears." She didn't do anything around camp or at least they didn't show it on TV. She just hung around Coach. She was annoying.
Next season, they didn't say where Survivor was going to be, but they said it would be titled "Survivor: One World." Both tribes will be living together in one camp. I think that's good so all the contestants get to know each other. At the very least for the jury. Some of the jurors, I feel, don't have a good vote because they never really got to know the people they're voting for. Also, this gives the contestants different strategies. They can form alliances with the other tribe from the get-go. Throw challenges because they want to save their friends on the other tribe? It could happen. It's a different twist that we haven't seen. I like how Survivor likes to shake things up. Some things work, some things don't.
I like Redemption Island. I only ask for one change. They bring the contestant back twice, like they've done. The first time is at the merge, like they've been doing. The second time is at the finale. The finale could be made up of three like it was this season and some seasons in the past, but one of those three is the Redemption Island winner. I like that idea a lot because it keeps Redemption Island in play until the very end. It allows Redemption Island to have more of a role. The winner of Redemption Island comes back into the game and is back on the chopping block. Unless they win immunity, there's a wicked good chance they're going home. This might really make them think twice about who they send to Redemption Island.