Survivor recap: He Who Blinks First | EW.com

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Survivor recap: He Who Blinks First

Upolu and Savaii engage in an old fashioned game of chicken, and before all is said and done, someone is clucking

Survivor Cochran

ROCKS ARE SCARY John switched sides rather than possibly pull a colored rock

(Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS)

Survivor

Season 23, Ep. 8 | Aired Nov 02

Don’t mess with Kevin Bacon on a tractor! That, to me, was pretty much the moral of Footloose. That, and something about the power of white boy break-dancing used to heal old wounds. Sitting here now, I can’t help but be reminded of that awesomely absurd scene where Bacon and some dude start riding tractors right towards each other. Don’t even try to pretend you don’t remember it. While Bonnie Tyler croons about “Holding Out for a Hero,” Bacon attempts to master both the tractor controls and his nerves while generic-local-bad-guy-douche comes barreling at him in a bizarre 1980’s rural game of chicken. Of course, the other guy finally loses his guts and jumps off, leading to lots of awkward celebration from a cowboy hat wearing Christopher Penn.

I bring this up because the infamous Survivor colored rock is — not unlike Kevin Bacon’s tractor ride to small town glory — one big game of chicken. It goes a little something like this: If a tribe votes the same amount of times for two people, then they revote for only those two people. But if the vote is tied again, then everyone except those people voted for, and anyone with immunity, has to pull a rock and whoever pulls the purple rock (like poor Paschal in Marquesas) is automatically out. The question is, will anyone be chicken enough to change his or her vote? Meet John Cochran, everyone!

Jim was right. John is a coward. I’m not saying this to mean. It’s just the truth in this instance. It would be nice to pretend that this was about John finally fighting back against the bullies that had tormented him over and over again. Hell, I know what that’s like. I’m so scrawny and weak that growing up people used to call me “The Ethiopian Poster Child,” which was both humiliating and wildly offensive. But John was never really tormented. In fact they kept him around even when he kept screwing them up in challenges. No, John was just scared. He was scared of pulling a colored rock.  Don’t take my word for it; he said it himself several times. In a game of who blinks first, the neurotic nerd unfortunately had to play right into the stereotype and blink. And now he goes from being in 5th or 6th place in his own alliance to 7th place in a pre-existing one. Make no mistake, this was no strategic masterstroke or brilliant backstab. It was fear. And playing the part of the triumphant Kevin Bacon who caused the other guy to blink was none other than…well, we know it wasn’t Ozzy after witnessing his God awful acting skills — no, it was Coach. Coach called John on his initial lie, said they weren’t budging and he was perfectly willing to go to colored rocks, banking on the fact that John didn’t have the guts to do so. And he was right.

So let’s take it from the very top of the episode, which begins with…John’s boasting! “You just witnessed Survivor history,” he informs us of Savaii’s move to send Ozzy to Redemption Island. “If everything connects in the way that we hope it will, this is gonna go down in history as one of the single biggest and greatest moves in Survivor history.” Not really, since I have to believe Christine would have sided with Savaii anyway. Actually, think how much better Savaii would have been if they HAD sent John to Redemption Island and he had lost to Christine. A lot better off then they are now. But John is still too busy complimenting himself to notice. “If anyone in this game is capable of being a double agent, it’s me.” Although after hearing John’s Al Pacino impersonation, I’m not so sure.

NEXT: The Ozzy Lusth School Of Bad Acting

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