Survivor recap: Learning to Love Coach |

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Survivor recap: Learning to Love Coach

He's beyond bonkers and perhaps the most maddening Survivor contestant in history, but it's time to embrace the insanity

Benjamin Wade

TAKING HIS LICKS Coach tried to take "kiss and make up" to the extreme.

(<p>Monty Brinton/CBS</p>)


Season 18, Ep. 9 | Aired Apr 16

At the start of the season, I picked Brendan to win it all. He seemed like the guy with the brains, brawn, and social skills to go all the way. So, naturally, I rooted for him somewhat so I could look smarter than I actually am in predicting him to be victorious. Until about halfway through this episode, that is. And then I was done with him. Why, you ask? You know why! The crime in question — a crime punishable by immediate death in the game — was when Brendan decided to try to strike up an alliance with J.T. Nothing inherently wrong with that. But it was his reason for wanting to align with J.T. that was so infuriating. It wasn’t to get himself farther, it was to get J.T. to the finals. Brendan realized that he couldn’t beat J.T. in the finals, but wanted to bring him there anyway! Why? “Me winning in this game is about getting to an outcome at the end of the game that is going to satisfy me,” explained Brendan. “If he wins it, that’s like me winning this game.” No. No, it’s not. Not in the least, in fact! This reeked of Colby Donaldsonism (another rugged, attractive guy who made an awful strategic decision in taking Tina to the finals). Don’t get me wrong — statements like this show that Brendan is most likely a great guy, but I’m not interested in rooting for someone who isn’t even interested in winning. It’s a freakin’ reality TV show where they’re giving away money, not ethics 101! It’s also something of an insult to the thousands of people who would scratch, claw, and much worse to be able to get on the show and have a chance to win. You don’t care, Brendan? Than neither do we.

Just to be absolutely clear — I like Brendan. Would love to go out and grab a beer (or weird nature food or whatever the hell he’s into) with the guy. But having sleepless nights worrying about “How do I get J.T. to the finals?” ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!? Sleepless nights? I can’t even express how frustrating that was to hear. But you know what the good news is? According to my man Coach, “no matter how bad it gets in your life, there is always something that’s gonna make it much worse.” (How’s that for a truly ass-backward inspirational motto?) Coach then attempted to illustrate upon the point by telling everyone how once when he was in the Amazon he was attacked by some tiny natives who tied him up and…wait a minute. I’ve heard this story before. It’s Gulliver’s Travels! The dude is totally ripping off Lilliput! But he made the Lilliputians extra nasty in his version, accusing them of beating him with a club, until he escaped and paddled away. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight, of course you did, Coach. Let me just say this here and now, and be absolutely 100 percent clear when I say it: That is one of the most idiotic freakin’ stories I have ever heard in my entire life. You seriously expect them (and us) to believe that you were attacked by Peruvian dwarfs? Again, Peruvian dwarfs! But you know what the most unlikely part of the entire story was? When he added that National Geographic wanted to follow him on his adventure but he turned them down. Coach saying no to cameras? Not bloody likely!

NEXT: Why Coach should win…seriously