Survivor Review: An Explosion of Moves

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Ozzy and Cochran and Dawn, oh my! What an action packed episode we were treated to this week on Survivor. How do you choose where to begin when discussing it? So much happened after Ozzy’s plan worked, it seems like an after thought.

Survivors in the Water

For starters, I believe that Cochran made the right move. Or, as he said, a move that puts him in some control of his fate. Even if the former Savaii had survived the rock selection that occurs after a tie, where would that have left Cochrane? He’s still on the bottom of a six-person alliance.

By going with the former, Upolu Cochrane assures himself at least the top seven. Yes, seventh is not the goal of Survivor. What is important about the top seven is that he gets four more weeks to not worry about going home. Four more weeks to figure out how to crack the Upolu six. 

That may seem difficult now, but history shows that the game of Survivor rarely falls in to place the neat “top six” or “top three” places that the contestants promise to each other. Rather, as one tribe whittles down the other, they start to think about life when it’s just them and scheme how to get ahead.

This is exactly where Cochrane will be most in control of his future. If the next four weeks fall down tribal lines and we’re left with Cochrane and six Upolu members, it is not unreasonable to assume Cochrane will be the swing vote in a three-three scenario. Suddenly Cochrane’s at the top four, again, at worst.

What if, as I said before, things do no fall down tribal lines? This is where Dawn comes in. 

For starters, she should recognize the power that a duo can be in the game of Survivor. If she had flipped with Cochrane, they become a force to be reckoned with going forward. As the nine contestants around them start to question each other, the certainty of Dawn and Cochrane voting together will become an attractive pair to have on their side.

With Dawn on his side the pair could really start to dictate the game. If the other survivors don’t come to them for their vote, it’ll quickly become obvious who to target.  Say Ozzy and Jim are the next two sent to Redemption Island. While Upolu thinks they’re targeting Whitney, Cochrane and Dawn can grab Whitney and, say, Edna and Rick and flip the script on the remaining Upolus.

Before Cochrane even got the opportunity to flip sides, Ozzy inadvertently set him up for it with his well-intentioned and almost perfectly executed plan. A crazy plan that seemed to be completed when Ozzy won at Redemption Island. One thing they never considered was that Cochrane was given carte blanche to talk with Upolu as much as he wanted without suspicion.

Would things have been different if Ozzy hadn’t oversold the plan at Redemption Island? Maybe. Would Coach’s speech have been any different? No. Would its effect have been any different? No.

The end result is that Savaii’s poor treatment of Cochrane set up his switching a long time ago. Even Ozzy’s bold plan probably could not have saved them from Cochrane feeling too low on the Savaii totem pole. 

Of course, if Savaii simply sent Cochrane to Redemption Island, they would have had a more loyal player in Christina on their side. Oh, the irony.

More from this episode:

  • We know Ozzy does not have a future in Hollywood. That was awful.
  • Getting back to last week’s topic of leadership, you have to appreciate Coach’s plea to Cochrane. I’d call it a sales pitch, but that would imply some sort of deception to the process. He really meant what he said.
  • I can’t decide if I like the effect of the hidden immunity idol on the post-merge tribe. On one hand it makes for great theater. On the other, unsuspecting soles like Rick get targeted simply because of the randomness of it.
  • Finally, Brandon does something positive! I loved seeing him stand up for Cochrane.


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (14 Votes)

Ozzy didn't do it out of any deep love for Cochrane, yeah. He wanted Cochrane out since the first tribal council, and it's people like Jim and Dawn and Keith and Whitney that he remained there despite having near to no social or physical ability. Honestly, Samhar, Papa bear and Elyse brought more to the tribe than Cochrane. Remember Chet? Cohcrane is the Chet of this season, not even Edna. Cochrane is Chet reincarnated into something even more socially inept. Then, after he helps blow a trial for the umpteenth time, Ozzy volunteers to get voted out in his place! Who does that? Who puts their life on the line for a guy they don't even like all for the sake of keeping six Savii strong? Who gives you there immunity idol "to hold on to"? That's a gesture of epic trust in my book. The epicness of somebody showing that amount of trust in you has to mean something. Even if you hate that person's guts, you have to feel some kind of need to prove that you have some kind of moral ethic and can be trusted. There has to be some kind of Pygmalion/Galatea effect there... Yeah, survivor is about lies and deceit and having little to no moral ethic, but not even Fairplay would have flipped like that. People say ballsy, but i say monstrously disgusting. Cochrane is the lowest, most gullible belly-crawler I think ever to pass through survivor. Most of the physically weak people always turn to schemes and manipulation, but damn... He's making a show about how every spits on him, but when did Jim or anyone ever abuse him? They pointed out that with respect to keeping the tribe at it's competitive strongest, they should vote him out. (He's less useful than Dawn - the woman who cries and calls herself useless). And Coach with that crap spew about superior people - my God. In five minutes, Coach had him drinking the Kool-aid out of his palm. He's mentally superior to who? Survivor obviously isn't about academic intelligence or else Edna would win. It ain't about actual survivor skills or Ozz would be a two time winner. If cochrane makes it to final two i'm done.


Wow. AN episode without a Brandon freakout!? @youngnan : You say Jim, Keith, Ozzy have "proven themselves" to Cochrane? They basically called him gutless and questioned his every move the last few episodes. Even blaming him for *letting* Ozzy get voted off (yet they voted for him...) rather then taking the chance himself of going to redemption island. I like that Coach figured out Ozzy's plan pretty quickly, would have sucked if that was a turning point with his theatrics at the challenge, explaining everything that went on without being prompted by Jeff.

Mr probst

@youngman - I understand the point you're making, but did Ozzy really sacrifice himself for Cochrane or for his tribe? His plan was designed to give Savaii six at the merge, not prevent Cochrane for being eliminated. I don't think Cochrane owes Ozzy nearly as much. @mp - Cochrane is seventh spot for now, but do you see Upolu staying strong the entire way? I don't, not with Brandon around. @Kayla27 - You're right, of course. I wrestled with whether to write it as weeks vs. days. I figured weeks was easier for readers to get my point vs. actual elapsed time. @symph2001 - I couldn't agree more. Ozzy and Jim should be coming to Cochrane now to try and save their own souls, not the other way around. Despite making a good move, in the end I'm not sure Cochrane can get out of his own way no matter what he does.


I was hoping when it started last night that Oz would go home BUT I have to say the look on his face at tribal was worth the earlier disappointment. The only annoying thing was Cocheran saying he could explain after the vote was over. Dude when you make a ballsy move DO NOT APOLOGIZE for it. Your tribe was unmercifully mean to you and they deserved the backhand dealt. Did he think they were gonna pat him on the back and ask him into the clubhouse if he did what they wanted? Ah, no. They would have treated him worse and topped it off by pointing out how stupid he was for doing it. Go with the newness. Convince your new alliance that you'd make a fantastic swing vote closer to the end.


I agree with everything said in the review.
Just a correction though: it's not "4 weeks". It might be 4 weeks for us, but on the island, it's 7-8 days. Not much.


But he is still on the 6th spot , 7th with the other tribe so I do not think it was clever at all.Not an ozzy fan but Ozzy saved his behind last week and made sure the tribe had 6 to the merge. They could have easily managed to get 1 of the other tribe out and. dumb move. He just wanted to make a big move. well congrats.


It only confirms what Ozzy was saying in the very beginning about him, that no matter what, the guy has no sense of moral code. Come on, somebody goes to redemption island and allows themself to get voted off to keep you in the game, instead of wager on Christina, how do you betray that the first opportunity you get? Why would you trade sure friends who've proven themself to you - Dawn, jim, whitney, kieth, ozzy, based on one speech of promise-land from Coach? He was top six, now he's top seven. Smart move.
Hope ozzy wins every effing challenge.


I totally agree. Cochrane really made the best choice for his sake. His tribe would have mistreated him either way. At least he can spend the next while among people who will treat him like a human being. Of course, if his tribe ends up being the jury, he'll have some work to do, to get any votes...if he makes it that far. Coach's move (befriending Cochrane) was surely significant in changing the fate of Upolu. So far, Ozzy is just cute to look at but not really a very impressive leader. His move was not nearly as big as he thought it would be, most viewers could easily have seen how he completely overlooked the fact that Christina hated her tribe anyway. I think he gives himself too much credit. If Dawn wanted to make a smart move for herself, she would jump ship too. She needs to start being a little more daring if she's going to get anywhere. Or perhaps she'll wait too long, as she did with accepting Cochrane.

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Survivor Season 23 Episode 8 Quotes

You just witnessed Survivor history. Ozzy descended from the heavens and came up with this miraculous plan to sacrifice himself.


I consider myself a mastermind, but not an evil mastermind.