Coach is still firmly in control of the merged tribe, but some cracks are appearing as both Whitney and Cochran are talking about how to improve their positions in the tribe.
First up, the Duel. Keith, Ozzy, and Jim have to stretch their arms out and hold a pole on the back of each hand. Those poles hold up a board. If they move their hands at all, the poles will fall and so will the board. The last person with his board still up in the air wins and stays on Redemption Island while the other two go to the jury. While they compete, Brandon admits that he's rooting for Jim (the only one he knows at all) and Whitney says she's rooting for Keith (which is what I read about in the tabloids this week). No one is rooting for Ozzy. Doesn't matter because Ozzy wins and Jim and Keith go to the jury. Back at Redemption Island, Ozzy has gone native and, as usual, is emphasizing how awesome he is and how terrible everyone else is. He doesn't mention, however, that he's already been voted off twice.
Dawn and Cochran discuss the possibility of cooking up a plan to shake things up. What that will be remains to be seen. At the Immunity Challenge, the contestants must transport rice in bowls on their heads across two seesaws and fill a bowl. First to fill the bowl enough to lift a weight wins immunity. It comes down to Dawn, Brandon, and Sophie, and Sophie wins.
Albert decides to make his big move. He wants to gather together Cochran, Dawn, and Whitney to vote out Edna. Albert knows that Edna won't vote for him on the jury no matter what, and also hopes that this move will secure jury votes from the former Savaii. The problem is, he needs Sophie to make it happen, and she's not sure she wants to make a move against their alliance at the moment. In the end, Sophie doesn't flip and Dawn is voted out and heads to Redemption Island.
BUT WAIT! There's a twist. They are going right into another Immunity Challenge and vote. The Challenge is to answer survival-related questions. One wrong answer gets you knocked out for good. It comes down to Whitney and Sophie (though I think Coach threw it, or else he's really dumb). Sophie wins, and Whitney knows she's signed her death warrant with that loss and she is, in fact, voted out immediately. So now it's just the former Upolu plus Cochran left, with the threat of someone returning from Redemption Island at an unknown point. Let the games begin.
Redemption Island. Night 24. Ozzy sleeps on the ground while Keith sleeps in the shelter because they are two chill bros but they don't snuggle at night because they like chicks, not dudes. How dare you? The recently ousted Jim walks in and says hello, then jokes that he thought they were supposed to be the final three. Didn't we see this last week? Jim fills them in on the challenge where Upolu all sat out and stuffed their faces and then says that Coach has the whole tribe under his thumb. They all agree that Coach will probably take Cochran and Edna to the finals and win, unless someone shakes things up. Ozzy says, "I hate to say I told you so, gentlemen, so I won't say it." I don't get it. What did he tell them? He didn't predict any of this. He didn't predict Cochran flipping. If he had, he wouldn't be on Redemption Island with his comrades.
Te Tuna. Night 24. Having just returned from Tribal Council, Coach gathers everyone for a little pep talk. He tells Whitney and Dawn that Jim is "the worst kind of person" because he seems really nice and friendly but he would not have your back when you need it. He also assures Whitney and Dawn (I guess, everyone is assembled there but I assume he's talking specifically to them) that they have nothing to worry about. Really? So they're NOT going to be voted off at the first opportunity? Somehow I doubt that. Are they buying this crap? Coach interviews that it's important to keep the people on the bottom of an alliance feeling secure, or they will scramble and make moves to overthrow those higher up, and blindsides happen all the time, so he's going to keep preaching unity and respect.
Coach continues to babble on about how he doesn't dictate anything and how they all offer suggestions and discuss votes. Whitney interviews that none of these supposedly smart people seem to understand that all seven of them can't go to the finals, and she doesn't understand why they're letting Coach run the show. She has a point. Presumably, they all believe that Coach will take them to the end. I don't know if he's explicitly made promises to anyone, but they have to know that people always want to take weaker opponents to the finals. That said, it's easy for me to make these pronouncements, given that I have full information and interviews; it would be tough to know when exactly to make a move.
Te Tuna. The morning of Day 25. Coach and Cochran do tai chi together on the beach, with Coach providing instruction. Cochran interviews that he hates to admit it, but he's drinking the Coach Kool-Aid, because he knows that if he's not on Coach's side, he's signing his own death warrant. Coach is getting worried because he feels like Albert and Brandon are getting squirrely. Coach promises that he'll do what he can to keep Cochran around, but Coach is worried that he himself might get blindsided. So suddenly that makes Cochran worried about his place in the game. THAT makes him worry. I wonder what Cochran thinks his place in the game is exactly? Has Coach promised to take him to the finals? Has Coach talked about how exactly he plans to make that happen? I just think it's weirdly naïve of Cochran to only now be worried about his place in the game. I mean, as far as students of the game go, Rob C. is probably the most famous, and if anything, he did TOO much plotting. But at least he was plotting. Supposedly Cochran is a huge student of the game, but he doesn't seem to have any plan beyond, "What happens today?" I get taking it one day at a time but at some point you need to have a plan for the end game.