Survivor Insights 104: South Pacific – Who Are Your First Impression Favorites?

1) The Return of Coach & Ozzy – It looks like this season can still be a complete season without these two. When Boston Rob won the first season in which Redemption Island was introduced, I kinda want to watch a season without returning players but there’s still Redemption Island. You see, it’s quite bias to have those returning players. Of course, they got the upperhand. They have the experience, they played this game more than once and they might or might not help improve the TV ratings.

The only biggest problem here is, this season has diverse new personalities to get to know with. Just by watching the hour and thirty-minute long pilot, five or six new names stood out even without listening to Coach’s lengthy, verbose, deeply insightful confessionals and seeing how physically competitive Ozzy is. I sensed a quite different Coach after losing the first reward challenge and be betrayed by his group. He regrouped well and came back strong. As for Ozzy, he’s still the same apart from his “Bob Marley” hair which I got no idea why he did it. He wanted to vote out Cochran than Semhar and still voted against Semhar. This confuses me!

Just imagine if those minutes of editing stolen by these two were given to other castaways, this episode would have been better. I’m not saying the pilot was bad, it was a blast even, one of the best pilots in twenty-three seasons but it could have given more airtime to those who stayed below the radar.

2) Albert & Mikayla – These are the two new names that stood the most while I read their CBS bios. The way they described themselves and gave their reasons why they should be the sole survivor are what I want to read. When asked “Why you think you will be the sole SURVIVOR” Albert responded: “I know that I possess a unique combination of attributes that would make me a favorite in this game. I’m athletic and very socially adept. I’m calculated and self-aware…” Take a closer look in his answers and the most important keywords are Unique Combination of Attributes (could be interpreted as being dynamic), Calculated (has the ability to take risks without digging his grave) and Socially-Adept (if he’s good at socializing then that means he’s well-aware what’s happening around him). In Probst’s assessment, Albert is his dark horse. It will be just difficult to say how strategically consistent he is when he’s starting to get so hungry and everyone views him as the silent threat.

Mikayla considers herself the independent woman when asked “Why you think you’ll survive SURVIVOR.” At twenty-two, she loves sports, she’s a competitor at heart, she reminds me of Stephenie LaGrossa and she’s the hottest woman of the season. It’s awesome the editing loves her too (I saw a hardworking Mikayla at the camp and a feisty Mikayla during the Immunity Challenge = What can you ask for???). It’s just absolutely funny how Lil’ Hantz’s nephew got scared of her. Brandon is still a teenager and I understand what he’s going through. (Just don’t vote her out Brandon – like what your uncle did to Marissa in Samoa). Probst called her the female version of Boston Rob who’s not afraid to flirt but you know what, it’s still hard to deny it. I’m not too confident if Mikayla could still hide her outspoken personality when it’s needed to. If she dislikes liars and dishonest person while playing this game, this can put her in a real danger.

Even when they are not in an alliance yet, Albert and Mikayla own this Immunity Challenge and they received the right amount of editing they deserved to have. Upolu won this challenge because of these two (Brandon as well).  Their unparalleled desire to compete and win was absolutely incredible.

3) Cochran & Jim – Cochran is labelled as the season’s nerd. Anyone out there who considers themselves nerd but did brilliantly in school can absolutely relate to Cochran’s insecurities during the pilot episode. He’s a Harvard law student in real life, very smart, but it does not mean he’s also too confident to show off what he got. Cochran is the type of person who spends a lot of his time reading books and surfing the Internet inside the library and not certainly the beach guy who carry the heaviest dumbbells inside the gym just to get chiseled chest and six pack abs. Cochran is the fan of the show and he’s after of the knowledge he will learn.

Why you think you will be the sole SURVIVOR: He answered: “Sure, I’m bright and have an extensive knowledge of Survivor, but none of that does any good unless you’re able to figure out the reasons why other people do the things they do.” Should Cochran used what he has learned from watching the show for twenty-two seasons, I’m sure he’ll have the swag to equal the intelligence of Ron Cesternino (Amazon) or Stephen Fishbach (Tocantins).

Jim Rice, is he related to Nicaragua’s Chase Rice?

If he is or not and even he’s Ozzy’s tribemate – to be honest, he’s more interesting than Ozzy and Chase. Next to Cochran, Jim stood out from the rest of Savii. He lies when he needed to, he got a strategic game going on, he earned five MBA’s in real life, he’s excellent in playing poker and he admired Ethan (Survivor Africa Winner) as the SURVIVOR Contestant He Most Like. Jim might be the most complete player but the unluckiest one should he not win.

4) Semhar’s Exit – Semhar was exhausted. This was her reason why she lost the Immunity Challenge not for herself but for her tribe as well. As I see it, her biggest mistake was the part in which she volunteered to “shoot the coconut” during the Immunity Challenge but having inconsistency to finish strong when her tribe was almost winning.

Pilot Episode Rating: 10 of 10 stars

Photos courtesy of: CBS

9 thoughts on “Survivor Insights 104: South Pacific – Who Are Your First Impression Favorites?

  1. It was a good opening episode and the new castaways are very diverse and mostly interesting. I agree with you on Mikayla, she’s the second coming of Stephenie LaGrossa and I think she’ll do well at challenges and if she’s there post merge I can see her going far, her social skills have yet to be shown fully but I do hope she does well, even winning.
    Jim and Cochran I like too, the former reminds me of Marty, he’s not afraid to say what has to be said and I can see him stepping up and becoming the unofficial leader, while Ozzy still believe he is. I mean he’s won that many poker tournaments, he can read people, like an intelligent version of Jean-Robert. Cochran is smart in the knowledge of Survivor, but is he smart in the way it is played, he was extremely lucky he’s not at RI right now, he can thank Semhar for that and her outburst post immunity challenge with Jim. But once he learnt his name was on the chopping block, we saw no scrambling from him but he did just feel sorry for himself, oh to be the first voted out..etc, it’s happened to 22 before you, it has to be someone. I think Semhar deserved to go first, but as much as I like Cochran, he needs to lift and prove to Savaii that they didn’t make a mistake by voting for Semhar
    Coach and Ozzy had interesting beginnings, Coach loses the reward challenge but gains the respect of his tribe later and when they win immunity, that just topped it off but for Ozzy, everything was obviously different but when Ozzy was pushing for Cochran to go, I believe it’s not that he wants to keep the pretty young girls but I think he sees Cochran as a strategic threat, he knows the kid is smart and he could be threatened by him, I guess we’ll see how the episodes and cast develop as the season progresses.


  2. I was almost very upset when Cochran could have possibly left.

    It’s weird but it seems Ozzy is already making mistakes while Coach is building something strong. Ozzy is already thinking about cuddling with Semhar then thinking who could benefit him in the game. While, Coach may have got a good 5 person alliance going on.

    I like Jim as well. I feel like he has a good influence on his tribe because he wanted Semhar out and Ozzy wanted Cochran out and Semhar ended up leaving. I don’t think either returning player will have an easy go around. The new castaways seem willing to play and beat these new guys.

    I’m still very interested to see what happens to Brandon. I feel like even though he says he isn’t like Russell, he actually is. When he talks about Mikayla he seems nervous that if he did hang around her, he would end up cheating on his wife (not saying Russell ever cheated on his wife). But I feel Brandon can backstab, lie, and deceive is way to the end if that’s what it took. I just hope he doesn’t get voted out soley because of who he is related too.


  3. It will be amazing to see those new players blindside Ozzy and Coach. I can see Cochran blindsiding Ozzy should he side with the right person in his tribe. The only downside with this strategy is, if Ozzy stayed in Redemption Island, I see him winning all duels like Matt did the previous season and there’s no way of stopping him if he’ll get back.

    The Upolu tribe can still win challenges even without Coach. They don’t need him. If I am one of those four, it’s better to create another plan and have Mikayla on board. Oust Coach! I don’t want any returning player making the finale.


  4. I think Jim is going to be willing to get rid of Ozzy. And I don’t want to give to much credit to Matt at Redemption because he had a bunch of duels that consisted of 3 and 4 people and all he had to do was not finish last. But yea I can see Ozzy winning a bunch of duels. However, if he gets out early then it would be hard for him to stay until the end. And agree with you on Coach. I just hope this season isn’t predictable.


  5. I have lots of thoughts about this episode, but for now I just wanted to comment on Semhar. I think it was admirable on her part that she volunteered for the challenge. I just did not appreciate the fact that she gave up. They were all tired but she put herself in that position in the first place; it’s not that the tribe elected her to shoot the coconut. It only shows that she lacks the mental strength to push through in this game, you know that ability to push your body to go further even when your mind is telling you you can’t. She should thank her tribe mates for voting her out first because it seems to me she lacks the willpower to go all the way. Hate to see another Purple Kelly and Naonka who quit with only a few days left in the game. That would suck right? But who knows, it could be just the editing? I just did not appreciate the fact that she was still all too cocky about it knowing that she was the reason why they’re all going to the tribal council. Just allow yourself to be humbled.

    As for Cochran, I like him. He’s a breath of fresh air. And hopefully, Savaii will win the next immunity so he can stay for a bit longer and maybe learn more about the game to actually start playing it. I think Cochran is still a bit too overwhelmed and hopefully his game will mature, too.


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