Survivor Review: Double Feature

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The biggest news of this week’s episode of Survivor, "Cut Throat," was that it was really two episodes. Beyond that, most everything that happened was fairly predictable. The question that remains is whether we, the audience, prefer the way that the presumed inevitable was presented to us.

Brandon Hantz and Rick Nelson

On the surface, going with a double episode seems to be the best way to do it. Why draw out what we already know will happen? We hate it when they try to build fake drama by showing us the fleeting plans of desperate people. 

Jim gave the producers all the material they needed with his harebrained plans. I’m glad they didn’t waste our time with hour long episodes each trying to make his plans seem possible.

After further examination, however, what happens the next time we’re presented with this scenario and we do not get a double episode. Should we assume that something is going to happen? Certainly seems that way.

Would we have been given a double episode if something actually happened this week? What if Albert and Sophie had a warm reception to Jim’s plan to vote out Edna (why Edna there? If you’re going to make a big move, make it worth while. No one cares if Edna goes home)? There’s no way they wouldn’t have given that idea an entire episode.

The Integrity Card
He still had some painful moments later in the episode, but amen to Brandon for calling out Jim’s attempt to paint Cochran as the only dishonorable person left in the game. Brandon (and likely the rest of the former Upolu tribe) saw right through what Jim was trying to do. 

Can’t blame him for trying, however. At least he was smart enough to realize it fell on deaf ears and he kept his idol. In the end it only bought him one extra day, as he anticipated, but history has shown that one extra day could make a huge difference.

I find it shocking that the former Savaii truly do not understand why Cochran chose the path he did. The former Upolu’s do not see it as dishonorable. As Coach said, they saw it as someone standing up for themselves. That’s very honorable. Not someone who bailed on their tribe.

Perhaps you agree that Cochran bailed on his tribe. As I wrote last week, I think he had good reason for it. He didn’t really articulate it, but he was last no matter which tribe he went for. At least he wasn’t reducing his fate to drawing rocks the way he was going (yes, I know he articulated this point). 

The ultimate irony of Jim’s attempt at the integrity card was that he conveniently forgot the lack of integrity that he and Whitney handled Cochran’s defection. Ozzy still struggled to see the forest for the trees with Ozzy’s move, but at least he didn’t get emotional about it. He just vented some frustration, but removed anger from his discussion.

Jim and Whitney didn’t and then had the gall to act surprised when they were accused of bullying Cochran. Whitney is so blind to her own actions that she started crying at the last tribal council over being made a villain. How could she forget what she said to Cochrane the night before?

Dawn’s Too Late
Last week, I mentioned that instead of trying to manipulate Cochran back in to voting with Savaii, she should have seen the writing on the wall and jumped ship with Cochran.  My rationale was that they create a power couple that would definitely impact the eventual split of Upolu.  They would both have been safer having each other’s back.

This week Dawn has clearly realized the need to distance herself from Savaii. The problem, one I didn’t anticipate but should have, was that her attempt would become detrimental to her future in the game. It might be too late for Dawn to be a part of what Cochran has done.

If Dawn had flipped with Cochran immediately, she would have become part of the Upolu family, just like Cochran did. There would not be an opportunity for Albert to realize what a threat she’d be posing and lobby for her ouster.  She may have survived this week’s votes, but she could be going before Whitney because of her delay.

More from this week:

  • I really want someone to call out Ozzy and his “I put my ass on the line for you” routine with Cochran. His decision to go to Redemption Island was as much about saving his tribe as it was Cochran.
  • The best thing that happened to Whitney this week was the randomness of the first part of the first immunity challenge. If Ozzy gets to the second part of the first challenge, he easily wins the first immunity. That means he’s in the second immunity and probably wins that too.  
  • What was Ozzy trying to accomplish by playing the food card at Tribal Council? And, if he’s truly the only person who can fish, why can’t anyone else fish?


Editor Rating: 2.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (13 Votes)

I really think people have underestimated cochrane. He has no physical ability so he's had to completely work the strategic side of the game. I don't think Jim had his back. Jim uses whoever he needs to, to get himself further. Cochrane used him, just as he used Cochrane. Let's not forget that Jim needed Cochrane's vote to get Ozzy's little female friend off. A move that Cochrane clearly saw as significant to advancing his own game. Keith and Whitney seem to think they deserve some special treatment, yet neither have them have made any significant moves other than buddy up to Ozzy, who hasn't done anything for either of them. Even when they had a chance to make a more challenging choice, they sat on the fence and voted (knowing their two votes would be insignificant) for a random third person. If we are simple minded, it's easy to pick on cochrane. Why not try to see the intelligence behind his decisions instead of always cheering for the easily likable,witty or charming people.


The author of this review has a clear bias in favor of Cochran. I get it - yay, cheer for the nerd. How about a review that points out the pure hypocrisy of everyone on Upolu. They sit on their pedestal, and tout the virtues of honesty and integrity, but conveniently dismiss those same virtues if it suits them (ie Cochran betraying the tribe he claimed to support, in order to advance his place in the game). The smugness and condescension is so painful, it makes Ozzy's childish fits seem downright entertaining. Also, to the author, Jim and Whitney did not betray any sense of integrity by berating Cochran for his decision. Make certain you have a good handle on the definition of the word before making such inaccurate judgements. Now can we all just agree to vote out painfully stupid Brandon and patronizing Coach? Now that would make for some entertaining television.


Can it really be considered bailing on your tribe when it was made clear from the start you were never really a part of it even when we ask you to spy for us? And he's not a part of the new one, not really, but at least they kind of stand up for him when the others turn hostile. This whole season has been hard to get into. No one really interesting. No masterful manipulations. No one to loathe. No one I would love to see win. Cocheran is always talking about how many years he's planned his big Survivor play and it's like even with all that planning he didn't realize he was probably going to be a small piece of driftwood in a churning river of deception and backstabbing. Hello dude, it's Survivor. The only ones that win are the one's that make it to the boat and stay on top of the river.


Cochrane acts like he's entitled to immediate love, come on! He has absolutely no physical ability, unless it comes down to a sewing challenge or something in the end... and yet, they kept him on Savii instead of other stronger people, and even keeping him around for a loyal vote didn't make sense, because he jumped ship at first opportunity. The guy did nothing at all to prove himself to anybody on that tribe. He gave ozzy back the idol, but only after he'd already masterminded his backstab routine. Do you get that even Christine would have been a better person for Savii to have around than him? Maybe it's just a personal thing with me, but I just can't work it through in my brain that Cochrane is still on this show, and that people like him. He's worse than Becky and Shandra and Chet and Fairplay, and two are the worse coat-tail riders in the history of coat-tail riders, one was and emaciated, sickly gay man, and one killed off his grandmom. Worse than all of them combined. He's calling a shot on Jim! Jim the one dude that had his back from day one! Almost starting to wonder where Survivor even gets these people, because they have one every season. Do they pay someone to be the sniveller? I can't believe that there's a real pool of people like him existing in America. What rathole do these guys crawl out of? And he's doing law in Havard? Totally not concerned about the name-tarnishing? Serious question. Also, what is Edna's gameplan? Or Sophie's, or Albert's? I don't follow the logic... I kinda feel sorry for Jim. He overplayed it in the beginning, but I can see that he's really a strategist. Almost like Jonathon but less savvy.

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Survivor Season 23 Episode 9 Quotes

Brandon: How many chances do you get to vote [Ozzy] out of this game?
Cochran: Apparently two.

He just lost me six weeks of my freaking life out here.