If anything, week 9 of Survivor proved one thing; Coach is not only one of the craziest participants to ever play the game, he may also be one of the most powerful.
I missed the first few minutes of the episode, but I did catch the tail end of Coach sitting around the campfire in the middle of the night telling the tribe about the time he was dropped-off by a military helicopter and later kidnapped by a native tribe while kayaking down the Amazon River many years ago. According to Coach, the helicopter ride was free because he “pulled some strings.” After enduring days of beatings at the hands of his captures, Coach escaped, found his kayak and “paddled like hell” leaving his hands bloodied until he was safe. OK…I thought this was reality TV!
Needless to say, nobody was buying Coach’s story and his antics (more Tai Chi and meditation) seemed to be alienating him from the rest of the tribe. On day 22, after his morning stretches, Coach informs the tribe that he is not doing Tai Chi, rather he is partaking in the ancient Chong Ran exercise that is only passed down verbally or by visiting the monastery where it is studied. Knowing that there are no computers or wi-fi networks around, Coach suggests his tribe-mates Google it to learn more (Note: I performed this Google search and found no concrete evidence of this form of meditation. Apparently the verbal translation hasn’t made its way online as of yet).
The reward challenge itself was fairly uneventful except for the resulting fallout. A team of Brendan, JT and Debrah won the incredible opportunity to go white water rafting down the Rio Novo where Brendan and JT bonded – is there nobody in this game that JT won’t form an alliance with? I think he’s probably starting to loose count of all the promises he’s made along the way. Brendan declares that he will do whatever it takes to get JT to the finals, even it means losing the million bucks himself.
For some reason, Steven was chosen to go to Exile Island where he struggled to make fire, find food and survive. Overcoming his inner-geek, Steven prevailed proving that even the biggest city-slicker, Yale grad, business consultant,Jewish boy can make fire. Mazel Tov!
The immunity challenge is a tangled rope maze where the players have to pull themselves through a series of obstacles while tied to a long rope. Tyson manages to wiggle his lanky body through the maze and win his second immunity challenge in as many weeks.
Back at camp the scheming is in full force. Brendan tries to resurrect the cross-tribe alliance he had with Sierra, Taj and Steven by adding JT to the mix in an effort to eject Coach. JT and Steven try to remember all the agreements they’ve made and contemplate who they will vote for. Tyson and Coach remind their alliance that they will be splitting their votes between Brendan and Sierra just in case the idol is played by Brendan.
When all is said and done, Brendan does not play the idol which proves to be a bad move. The votes come out just as Tyson and Coach had predicted. The dragon (Brendan) has been slayed by the self-proclaimed dragon slayer. The look on Coach’s face is one of satisfaction as he watched host Jeff snuff-out Brendan’s tiki torch.
Truth is, Coach is really not in control of the game at all. Tyson is clearly the leader of his alliance and will either decide to bring crazy Coach along as a distraction and potential finalist that nobody would vote for or he will eventually stab Coach in the back and join forces with Steven and JT. Either way, as long as Coach is in the game it should remain interesting.
The Scribe has spoken…