Season 23 Finale
Survivor Season 23 Episode 14 (12/18/11)
The finale of Survivor: South Pacific started with the much awaited final dual. The match up, Ozzy vs. Brandon, wasn’t nearly as exciting as seeing if Ozzy could fulfill his goal of winning the game almost exclusively with challenges. The first step was returning from Redemption by winning the dual and he outlasted Brandon in a hard fought battle to simply hang on to a pole.
With Ozzy back in the game, Coach immediately goes to work on Ozzy with his plan to take Ozzy to the finals. However, Ozzy is understandably skeptical of Coach’s words. Why would Coach want to take Ozzy to the finals? Ozzy would almost certainly win.
The rest of Coach’s alliance was singularly focused on eliminating Ozzy and the easiest step is to prevent Ozzy from winning immunity. Despite having only a theoretical one in five chance of winning immunity, Ozzy is able to defy the odds and win the challenge which had the survivors build a house of wooden cards on a balance beam.
Having secured immunity Ozzy tries to kick the hornets nest back at Upolu camp. He starts with Albert, playing on his insecurities towards Sophie to motivate him to vote her out. Unsure of his impression on Albert, Ozzy starts talking about Coach’s promises to him, while telling Rick as well.
Ozzy’s goal of creating uncertainty within the Upolu alliance seemingly works on the surface, but as expected Rick is sent home at the ensuing tribal council. Coach tries to console the cowboy on his way out, but Rick wants nothing to do with Coach after being betrayed.
Tribal council was not entirely uneventful as Ozzy took the opportunity to out Coach to the entire tribe on his promise to take him to the finals. Back at camp Coach feels betrayed by Ozzy because he asked him to stay quiet about the promise. Ozzy falls back on being uncertain on whether he was being played or not and the two successfully clear the air.
The difficulty for Ozzy is that he’s looking at a two on two vote at best if he doesn’t win immunity and potentially a three on one ouster if Coach does not stay true to his word. Thus it was vital for Ozzy to win the final immunity challenge to have a shot at winning the game.
A multi-faceted final challenge faced the remaining four contestants. After navigating five different physical challenges to collect five bags of puzzle pieces a rotating, difficult final puzzle awaited. Ozzy built himself a significant two bag lead on second place Coach, but Sophie ripped through the puzzle before the returning contestants for an unlikely win.
Without immunity, Ozzy relied on Coach’s word and vote to force a two-two tie in votes and give him a chance to move on via a fire building challenge. However, taking Ozzy to the finals almost certainly meant Ozzy would win, so Coach went back on his word and let Ozzy become the final member of the jury.
Only the final tribal council remained for Albert, Coach and Sophie. After the trio gave their opening statements to the jury, they were subjected to the typical wrath of bitter jury members. Rick shocks pre-tribal council favorite Jim as the most bitter, but by in large the finalist escape unscathed. Both Coach and Sophie, however, have moments where they realize things were not perceived they way they thought they were.
In the end Sophie’s late surge in the game propelled her to a 6-3 victory over Coach.