|Survivor: South Pacific|
|Presented by||Jeff Probst|
|No. of days||39|
|No. of castaways||18|
|Runner-up||Benjamin "Coach" Wade|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||15|
|Original release||September 14 –|
December 18, 2011
|Filming dates||May 30 –|
July 7, 2011
Survivor: South Pacific is the twenty-third season of the American CBS competitive reality television series Survivor. The season was filmed from May 30 through July 7, 2011 and premiered on September 14, 2011. Applications were due on January 11, 2011, approximately 800 applicants visited in various states, from there 16 contestants were chosen as participants.
Samoa was not initially selected as a location for this season, as the show had already filmed two seasons (Samoa and Heroes vs. Villains) in the area. The production team withdrew from their original locale, Tonga, due to economic problems. The season was filmed in the vicinity of Upolu and it served as the location for the next season and this was the third season to be filmed in the country, tied with Panama. Redemption Island, first introduced in the prior season, returned for this season.
Sophie Clarke was named the winner in the final episode on December 18, 2011, defeating Benjamin "Coach" Wade and Albert Destrade in a 6–3–0 vote. Ozzy Lusth won $100,000 as the "Sprint Player of the Season", winning this honor by the largest margin since the award's inception in Survivor: China, and earning the fans' vote over John Cochran.
This season features 16 new Survivor contestants and two returning players: Ozzy Lusth from Cook Islands and Micronesia, and Benjamin "Coach" Wade from Tocantins and Heroes vs. Villains. Shane Powers of Panama was contacted, however he declined and was replaced by Lusth. Notable contestants include Brandon Hantz, nephew of three-time Survivor contestant Russell Hantz; country singer Whitney Duncan, a finalist on the fifth season of Nashville Star; and beauty queen and dancer Elyse Umemoto, who was Miss Washington 2007 and 2nd runner-up at Miss America 2008.
The players were initially split into two tribes of nine, each with one returning player: Savaii and Upolu, named after the two main islands of the independent nation of Samoa. When the tribes were merged into one, they chose to name their new tribe Te Tuna, after a Samoan legend about the origins of the coconut tree.
|Contestant||Age||From||Tribe||Main game[a]||Redemption Island|
|Semhar Tadesse||24||Los Angeles,
|Savaii||1st voted out||Day 3||Lost duel 1||Day 6|
|Christine Shields Markoski||39||Merrick,
|Upolu||2nd voted out||Day 5||Lost duel 6||Day 19|
|Mark "Papa Bear" Caruso||48||Forest Hills,
|Savaii||3rd voted out||Day 8||Lost duel 2||Day 9|
|Stacey Powell||44||Grand Prairie,
|Upolu||4th voted out||Day 11||Lost duel 3||Day 12|
|Elyse Umemoto||27||Las Vegas,
|Savaii||5th voted out||Day 14||Lost duel 4||Day 15|
|Upolu||6th voted out||Day 16||Lost duel 5||Day 17|
|Oscar "Ozzy" Lusth
(Returned to game)
|Savaii||7th voted out||Day 18||1st returnee||Day 19|
|Te Tuna||8th voted out||Day 21||Lost duel 7
2nd jury member
|Oscar "Ozzy" Lusth
(Returned to game)
|9th voted out||Day 22||2nd returnee||Day 36|
|10th voted out||Day 24||Lost duel 7
1st jury member
|Dawn Meehan||41||South Jordan,
|11th voted out||Day 27||Lost duel 8
3rd jury member
|12th voted out||Lost duel 8|
4th jury member
|13th voted out||Day 30||Lost duel 9
5th jury member
|Edna Ma||35||Los Angeles,
|Upolu||14th voted out||Day 32||Lost duel 10
6th jury member
|15th voted out||Day 35||Lost duel 11
7th jury member
|16th voted out
8th jury member
|Oscar "Ozzy" Lusth
Cook Islands &
|Savaii||17th voted out
9th jury member
|Upolu||2nd runner-up||Day 39|
|Benjamin "Coach" Wade
Heroes vs. Villains
- Elimination order is based on when the contestant was voted out at Tribal Council
Brandon Hantz, John Cochran, and Dawn Meehan returned for Survivor: Caramoan. Jim Rice and Mikayla Wingle were included on the public poll to choose the cast of Survivor: Cambodia, but neither was chosen to compete. Ozzy Lusth played for a fourth time on Survivor: Game Changers. Cochran also made a special appearance in the fifth episode of Game Changers, where he gave advice to a contestant who was exiled. Sophie Clarke returned to compete on Survivor: Winners at War.
Sixteen new castaways, previously divided into two tribes, Savaii and Upolu, were joined by returning contestants, Oscar "Ozzy" Lusth and Benjamin "Coach" Wade, with Ozzy joining Savaii and Coach joining Upolu by random draw. Redemption Island was again in play: voted out players would be sent to Redemption Island and participate in duels, with the winner remaining there until either the next duel or until two specific points where players were brought back into the game.
Both tribes rallied under the leadership of Ozzy and Coach. Ozzy's style was somewhat more aggressive, establishing a rift between the majority of his alliance and others, specifically the weaker Cochran. Coach, having reflected on his past performances on Survivor, had a more open style, which most of the group readily followed, including Brandon, who later revealed himself to be the nephew of former Survivor castaway Russell Hantz, and had feared revealing this lest he draw his tribe's ire. Both Ozzy and Coach found their tribes' respective Hidden Immunity Idols.
The two tribes fared equally at challenges and retained similar numbers, and as they approached the perceived merge, Ozzy offered a plan to volunteer to be voted to go to Redemption Island, where he would likely win the challenge over Christine, a former Upolu member, assuring that the tribes would be equal at six members each when merged. This plan went as expected, and the newly merged tribe named themselves Te Tuna. However, Savaii's former rash behavior to Cochran was seen as an opportunity by the former Upolu members, and they were able to turn Cochran to their side on the first vote after the merge, voting out former Savaii member Keith. The Upolu members and Cochran would continue to dominate at Tribal Council, sending the remaining Savaii members to Redemption Island, starting with Ozzy, who dominated at Redemption Island subsequently.
With no other Savaii members remaining, Cochran was voted out next, followed by Upolu outsider Edna. In the subsequent challenge, Brandon won immunity but offered it to his closest ally Albert, who was the intended target of the vote. Brandon was voted out instead and defeated by Ozzy the next day at the final Redemption duel. Ozzy returned to the game and won the subsequent challenge; at Tribal Council, Sophie broke down into tears but affirmed her commitment to the game, and Rick was voted off. In the final immunity challenge between Coach, Ozzy, Sophie, and Albert, Sophie was narrowly able to defeat Ozzy; she and her former Upolu members voted off Ozzy for the third and final time. Coach, Albert, and Sophie faced the final Tribal Council, where Coach was criticized for manipulating his tribe while simultaneously preaching the importance of honor and Albert was considered to have given his former tribe members false hope. The jury awarded Sophie the title of Sole Survivor over Coach and Albert in a 6–3–0 vote, respectively.
|Episode||Redemption Island||Challenge winner(s)||Voted out|
|No.||Title||Original air date||Winner||Eliminated||Reward||Immunity||Tribe||Player|
|1||"I Need Redemption"||September 14, 2011||None||Ozzy[a]
|2||"He Has Demons"||September 21, 2011||Savaii||Upolu||Christine|
|3||"Reap What You Sow"||September 28, 2011||Christine||Semhar||Upolu||Savaii||Papa Bear|
|4||"Survivalism"||October 5, 2011||Christine||Papa Bear||Savaii||Upolu||Stacey|
|5||"Taste the Victory"||October 12, 2011||Christine||Stacey||Upolu||Savaii||Elyse|
|6||"Free Agent"||October 19, 2011||Christine||Elyse||Savaii||Upolu||Mikayla|
|7||"Trojan Horse"||October 26, 2011||Christine||Mikayla||Upolu||Savaii||Ozzy|
|8||"Double Agent"||November 2, 2011||Ozzy[b]||Christine||None||Dawn||Te Tuna||Keith|
|9||"Cut Throat"||November 9, 2011||None||Jim||Ozzy|
|10||"Running the Show"||November 16, 2011||Ozzy||Jim||Sophie||Dawn|
|11||"A Closer Look"||November 23, 2011||Recap Episode|
|12||"Cult Like"||November 30, 2011||Ozzy||Dawn||
|13||"Ticking Time Bomb"||December 7, 2011||Ozzy||Cochran||Ozzy[d]
|14||"Then There Were Five"||December 14, 2011||Ozzy||Edna||Brandon
|15||"Loyalties Will Be Broken"||December 18, 2011||Ozzy[b]||Brandon||None||Ozzy||Rick|
In the case of multiple tribes or castaways who win reward or immunity, they are listed in order of finish, or alphabetically where it was a team effort; where one castaway won and invited others, the invitees are in brackets.
- This player won the hero challenge, earning reward for their entire tribe.
- Returned to game upon winning the Redemption Island duel.
- Albert chose to give his reward to Cochran while keeping immunity.
- Ozzy won a reward for finishing the duel first. He was allowed to pick three people to join him on the reward; he chose Albert, Brandon, and Coach.
- Brandon kept his reward, but chose to give his immunity to Albert at Tribal Council.
|Rating/share (18-49)||Original air date||U.S. viewers|
|336||1||"I Need Redemption"||6.4/10||3.4/10||September 14, 2011||10.74||#9|
The sixteen new castaways rowed rafts ashore to the Redemption Island Arena to await the arrival of two mystery players by helicopter. Coach and Ozzy disembarked. To determine which tribes the two returnees would join, each randomly drew a paint-filled egg. Crushing their eggs, Coach discovered his was filled with blue paint, meaning he would join Upolu; likewise, the paint inside Ozzy's egg was red, meaning he would join Savaii. While all of Savaii was openly pleased that Ozzy was part of their tribe, Coach's welcome to Upolu was cold, with only Edna showing him kindness. Amidst the ceremony, John requested that Jeff call him by his last name, Cochran, in the vein of past castaways that Jeff was fond of.
Jeff explained that Redemption Island was in play and that a reward challenge would begin immediately between Coach and Ozzy representing their tribes. They both struggled with the Tower of Hanoi puzzle, requesting help from their tribes. Savaii's assistance was pivotal and Ozzy took the win. When Upolu arrived at their campsite, Coach tried to charm his tribe and overcome his cold greeting. Meanwhile, Christine went off to look for the hidden immunity idol, which roused suspicion among her fellow teammates. Brandon found himself struggling with a secret, being the nephew of the infamous Russell Hantz -- a fact which would be a daunting challenge for Brandon to hide for long as he had the words "Little Hantz" tattooed on his back and arm. During a nighttime conversation, Coach formed an impromptu alliance with Albert, Brandon, Rick, and Sophie. Over at Savaii, Mark asked to be called "Papa Bear", which the rest of his tribe thought was odd but accepted nonetheless. On day 2, Dawn had a minor emotional breakdown, which concerned Papa Bear and Ozzy.
The first immunity challenge was won by Upolu in a close match. In addition to tribal immunity, Upolu received flint and was told that a clue to the hidden immunity idol was hidden at their campsite. When Savaii returned to camp, Semhar and Jim had an argument about Semhar's effort and Jim's criticism at the immunity challenge. Most of the tribe wanted to vote out Semhar due to her failure at the coconut throwing stage of the challenge, for which she had volunteered. Ozzy, however, having bonded with Semhar, suggested that the tribe consider voting out Cochran for being physically inept. Jim was suspicious about Ozzy's reasons for keeping Semhar in the game. Ozzy told Semhar that she needed to lobby the others in voting out Cochran. Jim told Cochran about Ozzy's suggestion and Cochran became paranoid that he would be voted out. At Tribal Council, the tribe debated if Semhar or Cochran was to remain in the tribe. When the vote came, the tribe decided to vote out Semhar unanimously and she became the first resident of Redemption Island.
|337||2||"He Has Demons"||6.3/10||3.2/9||September 21, 2011||10.46||N/A|
On Redemption Island, Semhar recited poetry to comfort herself over feeling abandoned by her tribe. At Upolu, Coach, not having forgotten Edna's earlier kindness toward him, allowed her to join his alliance, albeit as a sixth, outlying member. In keeping his relation to Russell Hantz a secret and with guilt eating at him, Brandon revealed his secret to Coach and asked him to keep it to himself. Brandon gave his word that he would stick with Coach and their alliance. Christine found the clue to the whereabouts of the hidden immunity idol, but her persistent efforts to find the idol further alienated her from the rest of the tribe. Brandon continued to project sinister and sordid motivations in Mikayla's simple camp activities and felt very uncomfortable around her, saying that she reminded him of Parvati Shallow. Because of this, Brandon wanted Mikayla voted out as soon as possible. At Savaii, Ozzy used his past Survivor experience and looked for things out of place and discovered the hidden immunity idol. Jim put forth a "3 plus 2" alliance plan of himself, Keith, and Ozzy as a core alliance with Elyse and Whitney as the "plus 2".
At the combined reward/immunity challenge, the men of Upolu blew a huge lead going into the crate stage of the challenge, allowing Savaii to come from behind and win the challenge. Back at camp, most of the core Upolu alliance had settled on targeting the outsider of the tribe, Christine, but were also wary about the possibility of her having found a hidden immunity idol -- so Coach suggested to his alliance that they protect themselves by splitting their votes between Christine and her only ally, Stacey. Brandon, however, expressed his desire to vote out Mikayla instead. Coach, trying to maintain control of the alliance, insisted that they stick to the plan of splitting the vote. Still wanting to eliminate Mikayla first, Brandon lied to Coach and told him that Christine and Stacey would vote for Mikayla. At Tribal Council, Coach confronted Christine and Stacey about their votes. Christine and Stacey denied they had ever said they would vote for Mikayla. When they asked who Coach had heard that from, Coach refused to say until Brandon confessed to telling the two women to vote against Mikayla. When the vote came, the alliance of six along with Mikayla followed Coach's plan and split their vote, casting four against Christine and three against Stacey. Having failed to find the idol, Christine was sent to Redemption Island.
|338||3||"Reap What You Sow"||6.4/10||3.2/9||September 28, 2011||10.71||#25|
Day 6's tree mail announced the first Redemption Island duel. The tribes were instructed to send two members to witness the duel; Upolu sent Coach and Stacey while Savaii sent Ozzy and Elyse.
Before the duel started, Semhar recited more poetry to calm herself, but it did not help and she lost to Christine. On day 7 at Upolu, Brandon felt guilty about lying to his tribe during his push to vote out Mikayla. He finally told them the truth about his family, displayed his tattoos and apologized for continuing to lie to them. In private, Brandon and Mikayla discussed why he wanted to vote her out. After Brandon felt threatened by her demeanor, he gathered the rest of the tribe and told them all that he was very upset at Mikayla's approach, that she did not appear to have much of an alliance, and to keep him out of all tribal drama. Coach was concerned that Brandon's outburst would cause friction within the tribe and his alliance. At Savaii, Ozzy decided that he had to trust somebody with the knowledge of his hidden immunity idol discovery and he decided upon telling Keith. Keith then told Whitney in order to gain her trust.
The tribes were neck-in-neck until the grappling hook stage of the challenge; while Elyse and Whitney struggled with their grappling hook, Coach and Edna blazed far ahead of them and won the challenge for Upolu. Back at Savaii, Cochran and Papa Bear shared their fear that one of them would be going to Redemption Island after Tribal Council and that the other would go at the next Tribal Council. The rest of the tribe decided on voting out Papa Bear, viewing him as their weakest link, but would tell him that they would be voting for Cochran. Ozzy told Cochran about the plan in an attempt to preemptively quell any paranoia from Cochran. When Jim and Ozzy told Papa Bear that Cochran was going home, Papa Bear saw through their lie and he went to search for the hidden immunity idol in a last ditch effort to save himself. Elyse and Jim followed Papa Bear into the woods to watch him look for the idol. Failing to find the idol, Papa Bear decided to create a false idol in order to fool the tribe into thinking he had one. Papa Bear then set his plan in motion, telling Jim that he had found the idol. Cochran correctly surmised that Papa Bear's idol was fake, but Cochran was still concerned that everyone else would fall for Papa Bear's scheme and shift the vote from Papa Bear to Cochran. At Tribal Council, the tribe ultimately voted to call Papa Bear's bluff and he was sent to Redemption Island.
|339||4||"Survivalism"||6.3/10||3.1/9||October 5, 2011||10.72||#24|
Jim was concerned that Ozzy and Elyse had a tighter bond than people realized and that he could not vote out Ozzy, so he confided with Cochran about a plan to vote out Elyse next. Cochran agreed as that would leave him in the game for at least another three days. At Upolu, Brandon was still feeling tormented by his actions and decided to be a better more honest player. He apologized to Mikayla for his recent outburst in front of the tribe. He then confessed to Edna that she was not actually part of the core alliance of Albert, Brandon, Coach, Rick, and Sophie, but merely a sixth, disposable member, much to Edna's shock and disappointment. Cochran, Jim, Brandon, and Edna went to observe the Redemption Island duel.
Before the duel started, Brandon apologized to Christine for his rash behavior toward her during Upolu's first Tribal Council. Acknowledging the apology, Christine edged out Papa Bear to win her second duel in a row. Once Brandon and Edna returned to camp, Edna, now on edge about her status in the tribe due to Brandon's earlier confession to her, decided that she had to emphasize the social aspect of her game by being cordial and polite. However, she overplayed her "be nice to everyone" strategy; due to her constant talking and laughing, Edna just ended up irritating Mikayla and Stacey. At Savaii, Cochran approached Dawn about voting out Elyse next.
At the combined reward/immunity challenge, Savaii chose Dawn, Jim, and Keith to be the weight bearers while Upolu chose Albert, Brandon, and Stacey. Keith dropped out first after 26 minutes and 180 pounds (82 kg). Albert was out next at the same weight. Jim and Brandon surpassed the Survivor record of 220 pounds (100 kg) held by Rupert Boneham in Survivor: Pearl Islands and James "J.T." Thomas Jr. and Brendan Synnott in Survivor: Tocantins by going to 240 pounds (110 kg), but both dropped their poles shortly after the last 20 pounds (9.1 kg) were added. Finally, Stacey dropped her pole at 140 pounds (64 kg), leaving Dawn as the last weight bearer standing, also with 140 pounds (64 kg) as her final weight held total, giving Savaii the win. Stacey expressed her frustration over being the next target for elimination in her tribe due to her previous ties with Christine, even though she believed she had proven herself to be a strong competitor with her performance in the challenge. Stacey appealed to Coach, implying that she deserved to stay over Edna, whom Stacey viewed as annoying and weak. However, Coach confessed that while he "understood" Stacey and where she was coming from, she was still not safe. Stacey then tried to stir things up by lying to Brandon, telling him that he needed to watch out for Albert, Mikayla, and Sophie, because the three of them might have formed their own secret alliance. Panicked, Brandon relayed the news to Coach, but Coach cut him off and told him that Stacey knew she was getting voted out next and would say anything to save herself. Annoyed about Brandon's actions, Coach and Sophie mulled over the possibility of kicking Brandon out of the core alliance at some point. At Tribal Council, Brandon broke down emotionally for feeling that he had something to prove by being Russell Hantz's relative and that he had to reclaim the family name in a positive manner. The tribe then discussed their issues of trust and loyalty. When the vote came, the core Upolu alliance followed through with their plan and Stacey was sent to Redemption Island, angrily rebuffing her tribe's efforts to hug her as she was leaving.
|340||5||"Taste the Victory"||6.6/11||3.2/9||October 12, 2011||10.69||#23|
When Stacey arrived at Redemption Island, she vowed to tell Savaii at the Redemption Island duel that Coach was in control of Upolu. At Upolu, Brandon felt offended by Mikayla's answer during the previous Tribal Council that she disliked him because he was a Hantz. Albert, Mikayla, Dawn, and Whitney went to witness the Redemption Island duel.
Christine and Stacey lambasted Albert and Mikayla, and told Dawn and Whitney that Coach, whom they declined to call Coach, but instead used his real name, Benjamin, was in complete control, Albert was Coach's right-hand man, and the entire tribe were liars. Christine won her third duel in a row. When Albert and Mikayla returned to camp, they told the tribe about Stacey's venting, which upset Coach as he felt it would put a target on his back. Albert found the clue to the hidden immunity idol, but when he couldn't find the Idol itself, he told Coach and Sophie about the clue to enhance their trust in him. Coach found the hidden immunity idol and told his new sub-alliance of three.
The combined reward/immunity challenge was won by Upolu by a slim 2 ounces (56.7 g), continuing the trend of alternating tribal wins. Back at the Savaii camp, Ozzy wanted to vote out Cochran while Jim, Cochran, and Dawn wanted to blindside Elyse to break up her close alliance with Ozzy. In an effort to get the majority fourth vote, Jim approached Keith about voting out Elyse. Keith talked to Whitney about how to vote out Elyse without breaking their alliance with Ozzy. Whitney thought about letting Jim, Cochran, and Dawn vote for Elyse, but she and Keith would vote for anybody but Cochran. At Tribal Council, Keith and Whitney threw their votes against Dawn, allowing the alliance of three to blindside Elyse, sending her to Redemption Island.
|341||6||"Free Agent"||6.7/11||3.3/9||October 19, 2011||11.24||#23|
When Savaii returned to their camp, Ozzy felt betrayed by the tribe's decision to go behind his back and vote out Elyse, declaring himself a "free agent" in terms of no alliances with the tribe. Feeling that he wanted to put everything out in the open, he declared that he had the hidden immunity idol. The rest of the tribe felt that Ozzy was being childish about the blindside. Over at Upolu, Brandon found the clue to the hidden immunity idol and shared it with Coach and Albert. Brandon went on the hunt without knowing that Coach already had the idol. Coach and Albert agreed that telling Brandon that they already had the idol would cause him to fly off the handle.
Sophie, Rick, Ozzy, and Keith witnessed Christine continue her domination at the Redemption Island duel with her fourth win in a row. Over at Upolu, Edna continued cozying up with Coach in order to improve her outlier status with the core alliance of five. On day 15, Ozzy realized that his temper tantrum after Tribal Council was a mistake and tried to patch things up with the tribe.
At the combined reward/immunity challenge, Savaii struggled during the first half of the challenge, falling way behind Upolu. When Mikayla missed several shots with the slingshot, Coach told her to sit out and let someone else shoot, but she refused and stubbornly kept trying, continuing to miss. Meanwhile, Jim and Keith proved to be adept with their slingshot, allowing Savaii to overcome the deficit and take the win. Coach angrily blamed Upolu's upset loss on Mikayla and privately expressed satisfaction that he wouldn't have to deal with her for much longer, as she was the core alliance's next target. Albert, however, having befriended Mikayla and believing her to be an asset to the tribe, began a campaign to keep Mikayla, arguing that Edna should go instead. Sophie agreed with Albert to vote out Edna. Brandon, however, refused to go along with Albert's plan, arguing that the core alliance had a duty to stay true to their original agreement to vote out Mikayla next. Albert and Sophie then tried to convince Coach that Edna was their weakest link and the tribe still needed Mikayla's strength. However, Coach remained steadfast in his decision to vote out Mikayla, claiming that Edna was much more trustworthy than Mikayla, and he felt that was more important going into the merge. With the alliance split, Rick became the swing vote and Coach and Albert each lobbied hard to win Rick over. At Tribal Council, Brandon once again acted out, this time livid over what he perceived to be a breakdown of loyalty within the core alliance. In the end, Rick sided with Coach, Edna, and Brandon, sending Mikayla to Redemption Island.
|342||7||"Trojan Horse"||7.1/11||3.5/10||October 26, 2011||11.79||#17|
Upon returning to camp after their heated split vote at Tribal Council, the remaining members of Upolu made amends with each other, promising to stay united going forward. Though soon thereafter, most of the tribe expressed concern that Brandon's recurring blowups at Tribal Council could potentially jeopardize their future in the game. Edna, however, secretly hoped that Brandon's behavior would continue, as it might shift the next target from her to him.
Sophie, Albert, Ozzy, and Cochran witnessed the duel between Christine and Mikayla. Despite the verbal support that Mikayla received from Albert and Sophie, Christine won her fifth Redemption Island duel in a row in a closely fought match. With Christine's continued domination at the duels and the possibility that Savaii might lose the next challenge, Ozzy began to consider volunteering to be sent to Redemption Island so that he could defeat Christine ahead of a tribal merge. A win by him would mean that the tribes would go into the merge in equal numbers. He approached Cochran about his plan and also offered to give his hidden immunity idol to someone to hold for him while he was at Redemption Island. At Upolu, Coach tried to inspire his tribe by having them all "find" the hidden immunity idol. Coach, Albert, and Sophie staged a hunt for the idol for the others. While passing the tree mail stand, Coach and Sophie found a package announcing the upcoming challenge, so they took the opportunity to announce they had "two pieces of great news": the upcoming challenge and the "finding" of the hidden immunity idol.
Both tribes considered the reward/immunity challenge to be crucial, since they had correctly suspected that it was the final tribal challenge of the game and the tribe that won it would secure all of their members going into the merge, and would potentially have a numbers advantage depending on who returned from Redemption Island. Upolu chose Coach and Rick as their callers/rope handlers, while Savaii used Jim and Cochran. The tribes were neck-in-neck through most of the challenge, but on the final heat, Cochran struggled to get Ozzy and Whitney properly hooked into their rope. Savaii fell behind and never recovered, and Upolu ecstatically took the pivotal win. Cochran's entire tribe was extremely upset over his incompetence in the challenge, which concerned Cochran that Ozzy might renege on his plan to volunteer to go to Redemption Island. Sure enough, when Savaii got back to camp, they blamed the loss on Cochran and told him that he could redeem himself at Redemption Island. However, by the next morning, the anger at Cochran had subsided. Ozzy retrieved the hidden immunity idol, presented it to the tribe, and put forth his volunteer plan. Jim and Keith were concerned about Ozzy volunteering to be voted out since if the merge did not happen the next day, the tribe would be weaker with Cochran competing in the next challenge rather than Ozzy. At Tribal Council, Ozzy offered his plan to volunteer with the twist that he would tell Christine that Cochran had found the hidden immunity idol and used it to blindside Ozzy. Before the votes were read, Ozzy handed the idol to Cochran and made Cochran promise to give it back to Ozzy in the event that Ozzy won the right to return to the game. When the votes were read, Savaii's plans were set in motion as Ozzy was sent to Redemption Island.
|343||8||"Double Agent"||7.0/11||3.6/10||November 2, 2011||11.95||#18|
When Ozzy arrived at Redemption Island, he spun his planned tale about being blindsided by Cochran to Christine. Both tribes arrived to witness the Redemption Island duel and Upolu was stunned to see Ozzy in the duel. When asked by Jeff if he was surprised to be here, Ozzy laid it on thick with the resentment towards Cochran on being voted out, but Albert and Coach were suspect about the act. After Jeff announced the rules of the duel, he announced that the winner would return to the game. Ozzy crushed Christine at the duel when he retrieved all his keys and walked through the doorway before Christine was able to retrieve a single key. Jeff told Ozzy that he was back in the game and that the tribes had merged. After the traditional merge feast, Cochran took Coach aside and attempted to infiltrate Upolu's ranks, as per Savaii's plan, but Coach saw right through Cochran's lies and laid out exactly what the former Savaii members were scheming. Assuring Cochran that Upolu wasn't going to fall for Savaii's trap, Coach then gave Cochran a choice: either stay with Savaii and leave the elimination at the next Tribal Council up to chance after an evenly split vote, or truly defect from Savaii and vote with Upolu, guaranteeing Cochran's safety in the dominant alliance. Cochran decided to leave his old tribe and he told Upolu all about Savaii's plans and tribal politics. Cochran kept his word and returned the hidden immunity idol to Ozzy. Cochran and Dawn talked about being an outsider within their own tribe and she considered flipping tribes with Cochran.
At the individual immunity challenge, after other players were eliminated, Dawn beat out Sophie while Ozzy beat out Albert. When the tribe returned to camp, the former Savaii gathered to congratulate themselves on their pre-merge plan working and to vote for Rick. They thought Upolu would vote against Whitney, so Ozzy would hand the hidden immunity idol to Whitney at Tribal Council. Little did they know that Cochran immediately told Sophie about Savaii's plan. Dawn asked Cochran what he was going to do and he told her that he was thinking of flipping tribes. While she had earlier considered joining Cochran, she now wanted to stay loyal to the tribe and warned him to not flip. At Tribal Council, Upolu declared that they saw through Savaii's charade at the Redemption Island duel. Ozzy told them to call their bluff. Before the votes were read, Ozzy played the hidden immunity idol for Whitney. But thanks to Cochran having earlier spilled Savaii's entire plan to Upolu, Whitney received no votes and Savaii's idol was wasted. Instead, the vote was split along tribal lines with six votes apiece against Keith and Rick. Jeff called for a revote with the castaways only being able to vote for Keith or Rick. On the second vote, Cochran flipped to the Upolu alliance, sending Keith to Redemption Island. Immediately after the vote, Cochran confessed his betrayal to his now-former Savaii allies.
|344||9||"Cut Throat"||6.5/10||3.2/9||November 9, 2011||10.80||#22|
When Te Tuna returned to camp, Ozzy, Jim, and Whitney ripped into Cochran over his betrayal. Cochran retreated to his new Upolu alliance. Coach asked Cochran who he would like voted out next and he responded, "Ozzy" because he was a threat at challenges or Jim on a personal level.
At the immunity challenge, Dawn, Whitney, Jim, and Sophie made it to the second round. In the second round, Jim beat out Sophie after Sophie gagged on the mouthful of coconut water that would have won the challenge. Back at camp, Jim came up with a plan to stir up Tribal Council by giving the Immunity Necklace to Ozzy and then making a rousing speech to get two of the Upolu tribe to vote against Cochran. When Tribal Council came, Jim and Ozzy made several rousing speeches, but Jim did not hand over the Immunity Necklace because Upolu threatened him before Tribal Council that if he gave his Immunity Necklace to Ozzy, he would be voted out. This sealed Ozzy's fate and he was sent back to Redemption Island, with Dawn and Whitney voting with the Upolu alliance.
After Jeff announced the rules for the immunity challenge, Jeff offered the castaways to opt out of the challenge by choosing pastries and iced coffee. The former Upolu tribe, and Cochran, opted out of the challenge in order to feast, leaving the immunity to be decided between Dawn, Jim, and Whitney. Whitney beat out Dawn to win Individual Immunity. Knowing that he was most likely going to be voted out next, Jim approached Albert and Sophie about joining the remaining former Savaii members in blindsiding Edna, but Albert and Sophie weren't budging. Albert came up with an alternative plan to vote out Dawn, seeing her as a bigger threat than Jim; Dawn was endearing herself to the Upolu alliance, and Albert feared that she might find a way to infiltrate their ranks. He discussed the plan with his alliance, but the reception was lukewarm. At Tribal Council, the Upolu alliance stuck with their original plan and Jim was sent to Redemption Island.
|345||10||"Running the Show"||7.0/11||3.3/9||November 16, 2011||11.66||#20|
On day 25, Cochran tried to cozy up to Coach by joining him in a session of tai chi on the beach. Coach told Cochran that he would do everything he could to keep Cochran in the game longer than seventh place and that he was concerned that Albert might be plotting something.
At the Redemption Island duel between Jim, Keith, and Ozzy, after Jeff explained the rules of the competition, he revealed that only one person would move on, and the two losers would become the first and second members of the jury. Jim faltered first and became the first member of the jury. Keith dropped out next to become the second jury member. On Redemption Island, Ozzy thought the situation of no stress and abundant food allowed him to recharge and be a bigger physical threat towards the end game. Over at Te Tuna, Cochran thought about trying to regain some of the trust he lost from Dawn and Whitney by helping them last further in the game.
At the immunity challenge, Sophie beat out Dawn and Brandon while the rest struggled. After Jeff awarded the Immunity Necklace, he said that there would be a twist at Tribal Council. Back at camp, Dawn and Whitney talked to Albert and Cochran about blindsiding one of the Upolu alliance. Albert considered blindsiding Edna which would curry favor from the former Savaii jury members. Albert told Cochran that he would be voted out seventh and his plan to blindside Edna. Albert also told Sophie about his plan as she would be the swing vote. Coach, however, became suspicious of Albert and decided that he needed to lay down the law, threatening that anybody who betrayed the Upolu alliance "would be dead". At Tribal Council, the Upolu alliance stayed intact and Dawn was sent to Redemption Island.
After Dawn left, Jeff announced that the twist would be an immediate immunity challenge followed by a second round of voting. The Upolu alliance barely avoided having to turn on one of their own when Sophie prevailed over Whitney in the final question. The Upolu alliance then proceeded to pick off the final Savaii outsider, sending Whitney to Redemption Island.
|346||11||"A Closer Look"||4.6/8||1.9/6||November 23, 2011||7.98||N/A|
|Recap episode of the first 27 days including bonus scenes.|
|347||12||"Cult Like"||6.6/10||3.1/9||November 30, 2011||11.05||#9|
Fearing that the original Upolu tribe would turn on him now that all the other former Savaii members were gone, Cochran appealed to the core Upolu alliance of Albert, Brandon, Coach, Rick, and Sophie. Cochran requested that they keep him in the game for at least one more Tribal Council as he felt that they owed him for flipping over to their side, giving them the pivotal vote that they needed to defeat Savaii. To further strengthen the guilt trip that he was trying to lay on the core Upolu alliance, Cochran also told a lie to them that his birthday was near and he wanted to celebrate it in the game. After Cochran left, the Upolu men mulled over the possibility of sparing Cochran from the next vote, getting rid of Edna instead. Sophie shot the idea down, however, arguing that Edna had seniority in the Upolu alliance over Cochran, and that the core members were just as indebted to Edna for her unwavering loyalty as they were to Cochran for flipping.
At the Redemption Island duel, Ozzy beat out Dawn and Whitney, who became the third and fourth members of the jury. On day 29, the tribe became frustrated with Albert's laziness around camp. Edna asked Coach for advice on how to make it further than sixth place ahead of Cochran. Coach found himself second-guessing his original plans, as he felt that he could trust Cochran and Edna the most.
At the reward/immunity challenge, Albert, Rick, and Sophie moved on to the final round. In the final round, Albert beat out Rick. After the challenge was over, Jeff told Albert that he could choose somebody to join him in the reward and he picked Coach. Albert then asked if he could choose another, but when Jeff told him that he could not, Albert asked if he could give up his reward. Jeff allowed that and Albert, believing Cochran's earlier birthday lie, gave up his reward to Cochran as a gift. During the massage, Coach told Cochran that he would fight to keep Cochran in the game. After returning from the spa trip, Cochran tried to convince Albert to vote out Rick and Albert agreed if Coach and Edna would join them. Cochran then told Edna about his and Albert's tentative plans and she excitedly agreed to it, seeing it as a much-needed opportunity to further herself in the game. When Cochran told Coach about the plan, Coach was unsure of whether to stay loyal to his original alliance or create a new one with Albert, Cochran, and Edna. At Tribal Council, Cochran again pushed his feeling that the Upolu alliance owed him a debt. Edna voiced her sadness in being "a junior member" of the Upolu alliance. When Brandon openly declared that he would vote out Cochran and then Edna next, as per the core Upolu alliance's original plans, Brandon's lack of strategic play was discussed. When the vote came, Albert and Coach decided to stick with their original alliance and voted against Cochran, sending him to Redemption Island.
|348||13||"Ticking Time Bomb"||6.8/11||3.3/9||December 7, 2011||11.59||#16|
When Cochran arrived at Redemption Island, he felt insulted and used by the Upolu alliance. Ozzy asked for Cochran's vote at the Final Tribal Council, but Cochran would not commit to that as he felt insulted by the implication that he would lose at the Redemption Island duel. On day 31, Edna expressed her anger and frustration over being the core Upolu alliance's next target, being especially livid that Brandon, whom she greatly disliked, was playing a role in dictating her fate in the game. In the middle of Edna making a tearful plea to Coach to spare her from the next vote, Brandon interrupted the conversation when he burst into camp, yelling that the tribe had received tree mail with a Sprint HTC Evo 3D. The phone contained video messages from the castaways' loved ones: Coach's brother Pete, Sophie's father Thurston, Edna's sister Debbie, Brandon's father Shawn, Albert's mom Annie and Rick's wife Katy.
At the Redemption Island duel, Jeff took the phone back and announced that there was a twist to the duel, but that he would get to it later. While Cochran struggled during the grappling hook stage, he caught up during the labyrinth game and was just barely edged out by Ozzy. After Cochran departed the Redemption Island Arena, Jeff brought out all of the castaways' loved ones. Jeff then tasked Ozzy with choosing three people to spend some time with their loved ones. Ozzy picked Albert and his mother, Coach and his brother, and Brandon and his father. After Edna, Rick, and Sophie left the Arena, Jeff handed the phone back to Ozzy and told the seven that they would be spending their time at Redemption Island. During the visit, Coach took the opportunity to promise Ozzy that "as a Christian man" that they would go to the final three should he return to the game. Brandon's father tried to convince Brandon that he needed to play to win, not to always play with honor. Brandon's father then told Coach that Brandon would follow any orders Coach would give as long as he took Brandon to the final three, but Coach was annoyed at the attempted manipulation.
During the immunity challenge, after Brandon made his final move, he announced that he was making moves to prevent "a particular person" from winning immunity. Edna, irked by his statements, cut him off and told him to go ahead and just name her. In the end, Coach beat out Edna by a wide margin to take Individual Immunity. When the tribe returned to camp, Sophie and Rick expressed their disapproval of Brandon's actions toward Edna during the challenge. Brandon attempted to apologize to Edna, but Edna did not accept it as she thought it was insincere. Edna appealed to Albert, Coach, and Sophie to follow the tribe's mantra of playing with "Honor. Loyalty. Integrity." and to vote Brandon out for going against those values. Edna then took Coach aside, asking him to either pass the Immunity Necklace to her or give her the hidden immunity idol, but Coach refused, saying that he would potentially ruin his own game if he did. Not giving up, Edna went back to Albert and Sophie, proposing that the three of them and Coach make a final four pact. Believing that Edna would be an easy person to beat in the finals, Albert took her plan into consideration. At Tribal Council, Edna lambasted Brandon for his erratic behavior and his rudeness toward her. Edna then argued to the rest of the Upolu alliance that if they truly believed in their mantra, they would keep her and vote out Brandon. Despite all her efforts, however, the core alliance of five stuck together and sent Edna to Redemption Island.
|349||14||"Then There Were Five"||6.5/11||3.1/9||December 14, 2011||10.87||#16|
Determining that Sophie was becoming too dangerous to keep in the game, Albert decided to blindside Sophie at the next Tribal Council. Albert figured that Rick was the least dangerous and it would be to his advantage to go with him and Coach to the final Tribal Council.
At the Redemption Island duel, even though Edna received verbal assistance from the remaining castaways, Ozzy was able to continue his win streak at the duels. When Te Tuna returned to camp, Albert talked to Brandon about blindsiding Sophie. Meanwhile, Sophie told Coach and Rick that they had to send Brandon to Redemption Island as Brandon and Ozzy were the most dangerous players in the game. Albert approached Coach about voting against Sophie, but Coach figured that Albert was running scared. When Brandon interrupted Albert and Coach's conversation, Coach thought Brandon was bullying the two of them and became angry at Brandon. Coach felt that Brandon was acting like his uncle, Russell, and that he had to be voted off next. After Coach apologized for bringing up Russell, Brandon asked for reassurance that everything was okay.
At the immunity challenge, Brandon beat the tribe to win Individual Immunity. After putting the immunity necklace around Brandon's neck, Jeff handed Brandon a pizza menu and told him to select one person to join him. Brandon, declaring that his selection was from the heart and not strategic, selected Rick. Brandon's win scrambled Coach and Sophie's plan to vote out Brandon so they switched their target to Albert. While Brandon and Rick were enjoying their reward, Sophie told them that she was voting for Albert. Rick told Sophie and Brandon that Albert told Rick that they were going to the final three together. This led to a four-way argument between Albert, Brandon, Rick, and Sophie over who made what promises to whom and who was lying. Albert went into damage control with Brandon. Brandon felt Albert did not intend to deceive him, that he deserved forgiveness, and that God was telling him to keep Albert in the game. Brandon went as far as offering Albert his Individual Immunity at Tribal Council figuring that neither Albert or Coach would vote against him and he would be safe. When Brandon told Coach about his plan, Coach sought his own divine wisdom about whom he should vote against. At the outset of Tribal Council, Brandon declared that he wanted to give up his Individual Immunity. A stunned Jeff and jury watched Brandon hand over the necklace to Albert. Brandon explained his actions by saying that he was staying true to the commitments he had made and he would give up his own place in the game to keep those commitments. Rick revealed that Coach had the hidden immunity idol. When asked by Jeff if he would give the Individual Immunity back to Brandon if he felt Brandon was in danger, Albert said that he did not feel Brandon was in danger and would not give the necklace back. Coach said he had received word from God about whom to vote for and was at peace with the decision. When the vote came, Brandon was indeed in danger as Coach cast the deciding vote against him and he was sent to Redemption Island.
|350||15||"Loyalties Will Be Broken"||7.3/11||4.0/10||December 18, 2011||13.07||#7|
When Te Tuna returned to camp, Coach ripped into Albert for what he perceived as jury politicking by Albert at Tribal Council.
In the final Redemption Island duel, after 40 minutes, the two castaways began to struggle to hang on, with Brandon finally sliding down to the bottom of the pole. With his sixth straight win, Ozzy re-entered the game. When the five returned to camp, Coach took Ozzy aside to tell him that he wanted to take him to the final three and would be willing to give Ozzy the hidden immunity idol if necessary. However, Ozzy was suspicious if Coach would really go through with the deal. Coach was unsure of whom to go with as all of the other castaways had told him that they wanted to go to the final three with them.
At the immunity challenge, during the middle of the challenge when Sophie was ahead of Ozzy, but had a partial collapse of her tower, she ordered Albert to drop his own efforts in order to help her pick up her dropped blocks. However, Jeff cut off the order by stating that the castaways could not receive any help from other castaways. Sophie never recovered, allowing Ozzy to beat out Coach to win Individual Immunity. When the tribe returned to camp, Coach wanted to vote out Rick as he thought Rick would be a threat for jury votes. Ozzy suggested to Albert to vote out Sophie. Rick also suggested to Coach that they vote for Sophie. At Tribal Council, Coach wore the hidden immunity idol around his neck, leaving the choices of votes to Albert, Rick, and Sophie. The three made their case to stay in the tribe in order to beat out Ozzy. Ozzy told everybody that Coach promised to take him to the final three. Ozzy and Sophie argued what they perceived as personal character attacks against each other. Sophie broke down and cried over the stress of the attacks against her character. After the votes were cast, Coach did not play the hidden immunity idol, and Rick was sent to the jury.
On day 38, Coach told Ozzy that he was upset that Ozzy let out his plan to go to the final three together as it was supposed to be a secret between the two of them. Coach thought he was being disrespected by Ozzy. Ozzy told Coach that his actions at Tribal Council were due to being burned earlier in the game by people he trusted and wasn't sure he could trust Coach. At the immunity challenge, Ozzy retrieved all of his puzzle pieces first, but struggled in getting the puzzle started. Once Sophie had the first piece of the puzzle locked in, she quickly caught up and passed Ozzy to win the final immunity challenge. With the loss, Ozzy knew that he was likely to be going home, but he made a pitch to Coach to force a tie at Tribal Council by appealing to Coach's desire to take warriors to the end. At Tribal Council, Coach was torn between staying loyal to his original alliance or allowing Ozzy to take on Albert in a fire starting challenge. In the end, Coach voted against Ozzy and he became the final member of the jury. Albert, Coach, and Sophie enjoyed the traditional day 39 breakfast. At the final Tribal Council, the jury ripped into the final three for actions or questioned their strategies in the game. Albert was criticized for sucking up to the jurors while they were still in the game, giving them false hope of improving their positions in an attempt to win their votes. Sophie was accused of being condescending and pretentious. Coach was blasted for going against his "honor and integrity" mantra, manipulating people's religion to his advantage, and hiding behind Christianity, while never owning up to his actions.
|351||16||"Reunion"||5.8/11||3.0/8||December 18, 2011||9.92||#20|
|Months later, it was revealed that the jury had cast the majority vote (six) for Sophie, crowning her as the Sole Survivor. Coach was the runner-up with three votes, with Albert in a distant third, receiving no votes. The castaways return to discuss the season with host, Jeff Probst. Notable members of the audience were Joey King, who asked Ozzy a question, and Brandon's uncle and former contestant Russell Hantz, who commented on Brandon's game.|
|Original tribes||Merged tribe|
|Tribe||Savaii||Upolu||Savaii||Upolu||Savaii||Upolu||Savaii||Te Tuna||Te Tuna||Te Tuna||Te Tuna||Te Tuna||Te Tuna||Te Tuna||Te Tuna||Te Tuna|
- The first Tribal Council vote resulted in a tie. Per the rules, a second vote was held where the castaways involved in the tie would not vote and the remaining castaways could only vote for those who tied.
- Rick and Keith were ineligible to vote in the second round of voting.
While not to the extent of its predecessor, Survivor: South Pacific was generally panned by the time it ended, with the primary criticism being the return of the Redemption Island twist. Dalton Ross of Entertainment Weekly criticized the season's "same twist of two returning players, Redemption Island, the predictable vote-offs, and no real water challenges," but reserved some praise for several of the cast members, including Cochran and Brandon. Ross ultimately ranked the season 21st out of 40 (as of May 2020). In 2014, Joe Reid of The Wire ranked it as the 5th-worst season, criticizing both of the returning players as continuing "their already tedious tendencies towards self-aggrandizement and shoddy strategy." In 2020, it was ranked as the 5th-worst season by Survivor fan site "The Purple Rock Podcast", saying that "there were so many unlikable people that you almost forget about the enjoyable ones." They also criticized the two returning players as mostly "terrible choices, and the Redemption Island gimmick was every bit as much of a failure here as it was the first time it was used." Another prominent fan site, "Survivor Oz", ranked it as the 6th-worst season in its first annual poll ranking all seasons of the series in 2012, and thus originally considered it to be the best post-Heroes vs. Villains season at the time; however, in both 2013 and 2014, South Pacific dropped on the list and was consistently ranked as the second-worst season, only ahead of its predecessor, Survivor: Redemption Island. In 2015, a poll by Rob Has a Podcast ranked South Pacific as the 6th-worst season with Rob Cesternino ranking this season 18th out of 30 seasons. This was updated in 2021 during Cesternino's podcast, Survivor All-Time Top 40 Rankings, ranking 29th. In 2020, Inside Survivor ranked this season 30th out of 40 saying that the season's "dull endgame ultimately prevents it from being a great season of Survivor. Still, its memorable characters help elevate it above the other 'Dark Age' seasons that came before and after it."
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