We're moving Forums to the Community pages. Click here for more information and updates.

And the Winner of Survivor: South Pacific Is...

That's right, a young upstart who watched the first season of Survivor when she was only 11 years old beat out three-time Survivor veteran Coach for the title. Sophie's victory capped off a relatively shrewd game that included a number of individual immunity wins, alignment with power players, and establishing herself as a primary strategist within her alliance without getting entangled in too much of the accompanying drama. Meanwhile, longtime frontrunner Coach discovered the doubled-edged nature of the religious fervor he'd been stirring up all season when some of his former disciples suddenly realized he'd been swearing on the Bible without always keeping his word.

Despite Sophie's victory (and Coach's open-hearted contrition), much of the two-hour finale and post-show reunion revolved around Ozzy's close-but-no-cigar return from Redemption Island. After knocking Brandon out of the game in an endurance challenge in which the two men literally clung to wooden poles, Ozzy immediately won immunity, watched Rick get the boot, and then nearly won immunity again only to blow his huge lead while Sophie swooped in for the win. Despite a last-minute reminder to Coach that he'd pledged to take only the strongest warriors with him to the finale, Ozzy saw his torch snuffed in favor of a particularly oily and unconvincing Albert (who then received zero votes from the jury).

All in all, despite an occasionally aloof awkwardness that some castaways found condescending, Sophie's victory was the right decision. Coach's game may have been solid, but his quest to play honorably, religiously, and deviously all at the same time left him tied up in knots by the time an angry jury came calling for apologies. Which he gave... over and over again. Poor Coach! Ultimately he just seemed like a nice guy who probably overestimated his scheming abilities. Better luck next time? (Just kidding, please no more veterans PLEASE).

The question we asked before this season began was, after 23 seasons, does Survivor still have enough life left in it to keep clinging to that pole? If Survivor: South Pacific is any indication, that answer is a resounding yes. Even with conventions as tired as returning veterans and the stakes-lowering, unexciting Redemption Island, this season still managed to seem surprising even though in retrospect very little of it actually was. In fact, the preview for Season 24 makes it clear that the producers are looking to address this season's lack of surprises head-on.

Survivor: One World promises to be the first season of Survivor in which both tribes will live together on the same beach, a scenario that will hopefully weaken alliances and prevent the post-merge massacre that occurred in South Pacific. Also, it isn't confirmed, but rumors have it that neither Redemption Island nor returning veterans will be featured next season. Whew!

Other highlights from the reunion special?

Keith and Whitney are indeed living the dream. (Sorry, Whitney's former husband, sometimes a person just can't ignore those jungle drums, you know?)

 

Edna's knocked up!

 

Cochran's both single AND America's second favorite player. Unfortunately, second place gets no cash prize from Sprint.

 

Ozzy seems cool with his fourth-place finish, as it will keep him working hard at his job (waiting tables). You know, after his $100,000 America's Favorite Player cash gets spent!

 

Russell Hantz is still awful.

 

Brandon Hantz's reaction to his uncle's criticisms was absolutely heartbreaking. Obviously Brandon played an awful game and created some of the most awful TV of 2011, but he's nowhere near as awful as his uncle. I never thought I'd say this, but I actually felt bad for Brandon here.

 

Stacy's still rockin' her braces. She and Christine talk on the phone every day and occasionally refer to themselves as Salt 'n Pepper. Also she remains my favorite player from this season.

No updates on Mikayla, Papa Bear, Rick, Semhar, or Elise because Jeff Probst straight-up ignored them the whole show. But Mikayla's hair is super dark now, so that's something.

All in all, a solid conclusion to a solid season. What did YOU think?

Comments (23)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
I would have liked to see Coach win this time. He did try to keep the tribe working as a team and he seemed to try to be fair to all of them. Maybe he will get another chance later.
Reply
Flag
Sophie deserved to win as did Coach. a lost a lot of respect in Ozzy, when he won the immunity final five, they went to tribal, and Ozzy called Sophie a brat that was so far from the truth its unreal, then when it came to the juries questions and comments he did it again, IMO Ozzy is the childish brat not Sophie also I gain a lot of respect for Coach this time around, don't started on Brandon, and for Cochran he had no business being their in the first place, no sense in explaining it was plain as day why!!
Reply
Flag
I used to hate Ozzy but I kinda liked him at the end. It's funny that he kalled Sophie condescending, because that's exactly what he did in his whole first season and the whole time before the merge. Never saw his second season. He is without a doubt the best survivor to ever be on the show, that's why he deserved to win.



I didn't like Sophie at all, but to be fair she won a couple of individual immunities and that's why she deserves the win. Everybody is a backstabbing bitch in this game, that's what the rules want. But I still think it was not a good game by the Upolu tribe. They should've gotten rid of Coach at one point. You don't take a veteran to the final.



Brandon is ... I'm not so sure. I think he can easily be manipulated. Being a gang member once and now almost hysterically religious. That's the stuff that makes suicide bombers. Believing is great, but the blind faithfulness of Brandon is worrying. You don't let God play through you. You play for God. If you lose a challenge you don't have to thank God, it's a sign that you don't deserve to win and you should ask yourself why. Brandon lives in extremes, I hope he finds his balance.



Redemption Island was and is pretty pointless. Why go through all the trouble when in the end you're faced with a strong top 4 or top 5 who know exactly the survivor of Redemption Island gets a lot of votes? RI would make sense if it would guarantee a spot in the F3. People would be willing to go to RI. But nobody is able to win 3 individual immunities in a row to survive RI and the 2 last tribals. Ozzy came close but even he couldn't win. I don't think he was supposed to by the producers (who seem to have helped him with various balance and endurance challenges). If the last II had involved swimming he would've won without a doubt.
More+
Reply
Flag
I prefer Ozzy to win, he was a good survivor winning 8 duels in redemption island. But then it's fair enough for Sophie to win. From all the Upolu Member, She was the toughest and fair player in this game.
Reply
Flag
I used to like Ozzy, but now I feel like he's just full of himself. I was also rolling my eyes and falling asleep during his long winded speech that would not end. Cochran deserved the $100,000 soooo bad.
Reply
Flag
Why does a Harvard law student (which means he basically gets 200.000+ a year once he's finished) who made a lot of poor choices, who never one a challenge but lost many, who despite calling himself a Survivor expert knew othing about the basics of surviving, ... why should this guy deserve the 100.000 more than the best physical player this game has ever seen? Who is a waiter for maybe 24.000 a year.



I don't even think Cochran made a mistake when he switched. He would have been kicked out at the final 6 for sure. With Upolu he at least had the chance to get further, even though it actually made him leave earlier. But even at Upolu his strategic game was stupid. Instead of talking people into voting off actual threats (like Coach) he wanted to talk people into getting rid of Rick. Who wants to get rid of a weak player?



Coach played just as stupid. He had some opportunities to get rid of some competition. For him it would've made sense to form an alliance with Edna and Cochran. But he chose to stick to his original 5. That's not playing the game. If you decide something on day 1 and stick with it to the end.



I think Coachs plan was to build a cult like Boston Rob did but without people knowing they are in it and that he thinks of himself as the leader.



There's one thing I still don't get. Albert was sure to be voted off at the first F5.Why didn't he get booted at the second F5? Why did they change to Rick, who had no chance of winning an II for the F3? Ozzy got it right when he wanted to vote off Sophie because she was a bigger threat.
More +
Reply
Flag
Staff
Seriously, I like Ozzy, but the whole thing about encouraging kids to fall out of trees (or whatever) got a little old. And wasn't it so cold how Jeff Probst made it sound like Cochran would win the Fan Fave award only to say he got 2nd? Felt kinda bad for him.
Reply
Flag
I felt so sorry for Brandon, it's no wonder the guy gets so confused sometimes look at his freakin' family! And as always I loved Cochran at the reunion show I hope they bring him bakcin a later season (not next season). Ozzy was cool beans as always.

I think the the "One World" change next season will be really interesting, can't wait to watch.
Reply
Flag
I am a fan of Survivor and have been since its inception. I only missed the ending of Heroes vs Villains which I am still pissed about. I personally love seeing returning players try again, especially since the deck is stacked against them. I was rooting for Ozzy all season, even though he did do a few off putting things, like the tantrun he threw when his ally was voted off. Since, he didn't make the final 3 then Im glad that Albert got no votes because he was too shifty and I am also glad that Coach didn't win because he talks of honor, warriors, and God but does not live up to his word. I don't like when they do the fallen cast member walk, but I noticed that lately they have not been eating strange delicacies which needs to be added back.
Reply
Flag
The whole annoying thing about Redemption Island is that they got rid of reward challenges. Sometimes you get rewards for winning immunity challenges, but mostly not. It just means the whole game is much less physical than it used to be because players only have to do one immunity challenge every three days instead of one immunity challenge and one reward challenge. Let's face it, despite high stakes the duels on RI are boring. Maybe because they have to be limited to that arena. Also: Last season the family members were allowed to be either with the RI contestant or the tribe. I don't know who it was but he gave up his right to see family so that Boston Rob and his bunch could. Why wasn't Ozzy given the same choice?
Reply
Flag
Sophie deserved to win. She seemed like she was floating early, but she seems very intelligent and won more immunities than the guys combined. Not to mention that she killed Coach and Albert in the jury questioning.
Reply
Flag
Survivor should go back to its roots, like have reward challenges, have those social challenges that stir up drama, have great challenges (challenges are becoming weaker), have the final 3 ritual of passing by the fallen comrades, and the final challenge should ALWAYS be about endurance, just so everyone gets a fair chance!

As for next season, I think it will be interesting, especially if there is only 1 hidden immunity idol for both tribes. Also if the reward challenges are back, it would be fun to see how they share them!
Reply
Flag
Staff
Absolutely. The rewards (especially food) really stoke jealousy among the players, and people would even cut deals with each other to share each others' prizes. Really hoping those get brought back.
Reply
Flag
This was the first season of Survivor I watched since maybe the 3rd (possibly second).



None of the changes I saw were positive (No reward challenges, Redemption Island, etc). Was there always 3 people in the final? I remember only 2? 2 seems better.



Taking out rewards challenges seems to remove half of the episodes as well, nothing really happened on the show other then immunity challenges.



I will try again next season, as this one wasn't terrible, but they need to make the episodes more interesting if I am going to watch. It was all very predictable as far as the player interaction/voting (minus the episode with Cochran flipping).
Reply
Flag
Staff
There have been 3 finalists for a number of years now. From what I've heard, the reasons for having 3 finalists are it somehow makes it easier to keep the winner a secret, plus it means the final vote will often be closer (didn't happen this time though). I also prefer 2, but what do I know?
Reply
Flag
WHEN the h e l l are they gonna go back to a final 2???? The third person never gets a vote anyway. I hate it.

I kept yelling at Jeff to SHUT UP about the horrible idea of Brandon vs Russell. Gee, I wonder who would win.....

I LOVED how Sophie brought up the fact that the idol had been found and was in coach's possession as Brandon was scurrying around everywhere looking for it! I didn't see who Brandon actually voted for, does anyone know?

I did like Edna's comments about being duped. That ultimately is the game.

I did NOT miss the tributes to the fallen players, I hate that crap!

I was actually very surprised that nobody took Rick to the final 3, since most people didn't even know who he was, so they wouldn't be able to write down his name....

Oh and kids, remember ~ Keep falling down and getting back up!

Reply
Flag
Staff
Seriously, when Jeff joked about a Russell vs. Brandon season I was like NO NO, NO NO NO. They are TV poison.
1
Reply
Flag
By the time season 23 ended, I managed to watch all Survivor seasons including this last one.

Happy for Sophie that she won. I would be very sad if Benjamin won. He is the worst of the worst. And if Rick was there instead of Sophie,he would've won!

Ozzy was amazing again. I love veterans on the show. Bring them back.

Lots of people say Russell is evil, but Benjamin is the real evil here. No wonder he was in villains tribe in season 20.



Russell is "killing" me with those eyes. Every reunion he has those sad eyes(and holding back tears) and to watch that scene between him and Brandon was very difficult.

From what I observe, Russell put his soul into this game and he sometimes go too far and has his ego outta control, but people are wrong about him. Rob was in season 22 also lying and doing pretty much the same stuff as Russell and he won.
Reply
Flag
Jim really needs to move on and get over the whole "Cochran cost me the game mentality" he displayed. Brandon and the girls who were in the previous season proved that Survivor isn't a game for the teens/barely out of the teens with the rare exception.
Reply
Flag
I liked this season. I actually like Coach now. He seems like a real human being and not an arrogant ass anymore. I still don't really like Sophie but I think she deserved it. I love Cochran. He is so funny, and such a sweetheart. As a fan of the game, I love anyone who could possibly be a more loyal fan than me. Cause that is hard to do. I did feel bad for Brandon. He played such a stupid game but that is no reason for your family to disown you. Russell may have never won, but he at least played strategy. Good season but please don't bring back anymore veterans, and Redemption Island just removes the reward challenges, so if you could dump that too, that would be great. Can't wait for next season!

Reply
Flag
I had the same feeling regarding Brandon. He is stupid, but I felt sorry for him, having such a terrible family. His father is a bully, just like his uncle. And Ozzy should have won. Sophie, Albert and that cowboy who's name I don't remember where invisible the whole season. Boring!
Reply
Flag
I actually think Coach should have won it (sadly, if it couldn't be Ozzie). If you're a veteran that means you have a bullseye on you from the start, and the fact that he made it to the final 3, lies or not, tells me he deserved it. Let's face it, he had all those people wrapped around his fingers the entire time. Sort of like a less evil, more religious Russel Hantz. And I'm trying real hard to remember what Sophie did all season. Albert getting zero votes makes perfect sense.
Reply
Flag
Staff
She mostly flew under the radar and pretended to pray when the rest of her tribe did, but she did a great job of avoiding all the lies and double-speak that Coach got caught up in. Sometimes NOT making enemies is just as hard as making friends.
Reply
Flag

Like TV.com on Facebook

  • 8:00 pm
    Survivor: Kaoh Rong - Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty Now's the Time to Start Scheming
    NEW
    CBS
  •  
    Heartbeat Permanent Glitter
    NEW
    NBC
  •  
    Arrow Genesis
    NEW
    CW
  •  
    The Middle Not Mother's Day
    NEW
    ABC
  •  
    Rosewood Sudden Death & Shades Deep
    NEW
    FOX
  • 8:30 pm
    The Goldbergs Smother's Day
    NEW
    ABC
  • 9:00 pm
    Criminal Minds The Storm
    NEW
    CBS
  •  
    Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Fashionable Crimes
    NEW
    NBC
  •  
    Supernatural Don't Call Me Shurley
    NEW
    CW
  •  
    Modern Family Promposal
    NEW
    ABC
  •  
    Empire The Lyon Who Cried Wolf
    NEW
    FOX
  • 9:30 pm
    Blackish Super Rich Kicks
    NEW
    ABC
  • 10:00 pm
    Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders The Matchmaker
    NEW
    CBS
  •  
    Chicago P.D. In a Duffel Bag
    NEW
    NBC
  •  
    Nashville The Trouble With the Truth
    NEW
    ABC