Those people who really know me know that I am a huge Survivor fan. I have watched every season and rarely have I ever missed an episode. I do have to admit that before last season my interest in the show was starting to wane but Boston Rob‘s brilliant game really re-energized my love for the show. I must admit that when this season started up and they used the same gimmicky crap as last year and were bringing back two former stars of the show I was a little put off. And when I saw that the two former stars were Ozzy and Coach I was watching with my finger on the remote and ready to change the channel faster than Jeff Probst can don a blue shirt.
I had no problem with Ozzy. The guy can catch fish in the desert and climb a tree like someone was chasing him. He also is probably one of the most physically gifted people who have ever been on Survivor. A truly dominant force in all the challenges. So I knew that he was going to fit right in on whatever gang he was “jumped” into.
Coach…Freakin’ Coach, Man.
I told Deb, who really didn’t watch the show before I kind of made her last year, that Coach was going to be right up there in the Crazy Stratosphere like “Pink Panty” Phillip from last year. This guy had been the epitome of Douchebag in earlier seasons and I knew he wasn’t going to disappoint this year either. I was pretty sure we would all see his morning routine of “I saw this on TV and I pretend to know what I am doing because it makes me look deep” Tai Chi while half-naked and alone on a beach. I was also confident we would all be subjected to his constant Sun Tzu, Shakespeare, [insert your own long dead but highly quotable figure from history here], etc. quotes during his confessionals to let us all know just how much smarter he is than the rest of us.
And he didn’t disappoint either. I was surprised at how much he toned down the more outrageous aspects of his personality but for the most part it was the same old Coach Wade.
The one aspect of the show this year that I did not see coming was Jesus.
Not sure which one is scarier
The real name of the show for season 23 should have been Survivor: The Cult of Jesus. Holy shit, was there a ton of praying on this season or what? There was so much Jesus-freakery that I almost tuned out at about mid-season. I know that it was all because of the God-Warrior Schizo Brandon Hantz. This kid got his entire
cult to get in a circle and pray for everything. And I mean everything. They prayed before and after absolutely everything. I am gonna go out on a limb here and say that I am pretty sure that the entire group was getting in a circle and praying before someone headed off into the woods to take a coconut laced dump. It was almost unbearable.
And if you wanted to have a shot at any money this year you had to drink the Kool-Aid and get in there and get your Jesus-hands dirty. If you didn’t bow your head and thank Jesus every time the wind blew you were going to be ostracized and have zero chance at seeing the endgame. It was all pretty sickening. I felt like I was being forced to watch a version of Survivor that was somehow taken over by the 700 Club every Wednesday night.
I wish the producers would have had the foresight to stick some Jewish or Muslim players in the mix. It would have been incredibly entertaining to see a Holy War erupt on that little island in the South Pacific.
I would like to point out that I did correctly make the prediction that every bit of prayer would stop once Brandon got the boot. There wasn’t one mention of God by the other players once he was kicked to the curb. Thank God.
And then there was Ozzy.
When the season started I wanted nothing more than to see him voted off early. Especially when my lady kept getting all school girl crushy on him because he looked to be a mixture of Chris Cornell and a dirty pirate. But about 5 or 6 weeks ago I started really pulling for him to win. The little beach-hippie was not only surviving over on Redemption Island, he was prospering. This cat was catching and eating more than the rest of these chumps combined. So he pretty much had energy to spare at every duel and it really showed. Ozzy just stomped every single competitor into the ground on his way back into the game when there were just 5 people left.
You could almost smell the fear in the other four remaining members of The Jesus cult when Ozzy got back into the game. And you could almost taste it when he won that next Immunity challenge. It seemed like there was no stopping the Ozzy train as he just steamrolled over everyone on his way to the million dollars.
I have to give credit to Coach, Sophie and Albert for their smart decision at that Tribal Council. They had to get rid of Rick. He had no shot at winning at the next challenge and they needed to make sure Ozzy did not win immunity because if he did he would have won the game outright. That jury wasn’t going to give the money to anyone but Ozzy if he was in the final three and everyone knew it. So because Sophie was more of a man than Rick…he had to go.
And it turned out to be a brilliant move because Sophie bitch slapped Ozzy right out of the winner’s circle at the next Immunity challenge and pretty much sealed both of their fates. If they voted Ozzy out…Sophie was going to win, hands down. She did the least amount to piss off the members of the jury and at this point in the game that is what it is all about. I honestly don’t think there was any way she wasn’t going to win if Ozzy was voted out. But…..
The Final Three
Coach could have made things a bit interesting and even given himself an outside chance at winning the game if he just had the balls to stand up to his convictions. Albert had about the same chances of seeing his name on any of those votes as he did seeing mine because he had pissed off every single member of the jury and there was not going to be any forgiveness during that last tribal council. The only way Coach had a shot at winning was to vote against Albert and tie up the votes at 2-2 with Ozzy. He could have (and should have) made a big “Dragonslayer” production out of that vote and make it known to everyone on the jury that he wanted to live up to his “play with the best” credo that he had preached since day one of his first season on the show.
Had Coach voted for Albert and forced the tie-breaker the most likely outcome would have been that Ozzy would have made his fire faster than Albert and been in the final three. But there really would have been no difference to Coach if Albert or Ozzy were sitting next to him and Sophie up there at the end…he wasn’t going to win.
Oh FFS! More praying?
Now, had Albert beaten Ozzy in that tie-breaker then the outcome of the game would have most likely completely changed. The jury would have seen Coach live up to his honor and integrity mantra instead of just wading around in the bullshit that it became. The jury would have seen Coach take a gamble and give Ozzy the shot to win his way to the million. So because Albert beat Ozzy in the tie-break, the same three people are still sitting in the Final Three but this time I honestly believe that Coach would have received every single vote from the jury for the payday.
Coach making that move (with the Albert beating Ozzy stipulation) was the only way he could have won. He had to know he wasn’t going to beat Sophie…I knew it, so he had to. So I don’t see why he didn’t at least give himself a fighting chance.
All in all it was a pretty entertaining season. I could have done without the constant browbeating by a 19-year-old kid that was replacing his addiction to drugs/booze/gangs/tattoos/etc. with a Jesus addiction but overall it was enjoyable.
I guess I will be back again next year.