The veteran "made one of the biggest moves" in show history, Stephen Fishbach writes

By Stephen Fishbach
Updated October 27, 2011 10:00 AM
Monty Brinton/CBS

“The Way of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death.”
– Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of the Five Rings

“You’ve got to make big moves in this game,” Ozzy says. On Wednesday’s Survivor, he made one of the biggest. With an idol in his pocket, and his tribe vigorously protesting, Ozzy asks to be voted off of Survivor.

It could be a stroke of genius. If Savaii merges down numbers, they risk being picked off one by one (“pagonged”) by a united Upolu. As a challenge beast and team captain, Ozzy would be an obvious early target. By voting himself out of the game now, Ozzy sets his tribe up for a fighting chance in the merge.

“Sometimes you’ve got to, like, sack up and go for it,” he says.

I’ve always said, that because you can never know what the next day will bring on Survivor, the best thing you can do on is minimize randomness. On the other hand, you can’t win unless the jury knows you played hard. Ozzy lost the Cook Islands by one vote because the jury thought Yul was the brains behind the Aitu 4. Now, if Ozzy makes it to the finals, he’ll have a clear narrative for why he deserves the million.

But the Oz-Father is making some fairly enormous assumptions here. How does he know when the merge is coming? Or when the Redemption Island winner returns to the game? Redemption Island could go on straight until the final five. He could get caught playing carnival games against Albert, Jim, Brandon and Rick.

And that’s another thing: so far the RI challenges haven’t exactly been epic contests of physical prowess. What if the next challenge is bocce or skee ball? Ozzy could get ejected from Survivor for not being able to accurately guess Jeff Probst’s weight and age.

More than anything, you have to question Ozzy’s decision to give the idol to Cochran, of all people. Where Ozzy advocates the big blind move, Cochran has the opposite philosophy. “I’m not here to be a hero,” he says. “I’m here to make it as far as I can, whether that means slithering on the ground or whatever.”

If the merge is next week, suddenly Cochran’s challenge weakness becomes an enormous asset. With an idol in his pocket, there’ll be lot of room for slithering.

If Ozzy’s Cook Islands experience seems to be guiding his decision, so does his epic blindside in Fans vs. Favorites. More than anything, Ozzy seems gun-shy about the merge. “At least I’ve gone out on my terms,” he says.

No matter what the results, you have to respect Ozzy’s boldness. In a clutch situation, he’s putting his fate in the game on the line. It’s also one of the first times that a player has actually factored Redemption Island into their game strategy. For that, Ozzy wins this week’s Fishy Award.

Is this the worst reward in Survivor history? You’d think things couldn’t possibly be less inspiring than sitting through Jack Black in Gulliver’s Travels. But Sophie’s face said it all. Shock. Horror. Sleep. If Jack and Jill is God’s reward for winning the challenge, you may want to question His bounty.

At least Coach is willing to pay lip service to product placement. “Jack and Jill? Loved it!” he raves. And he claims to play this game with honor and integrity!

When Coach wasn’t giving glory to Jack and Jill, he spent this episode giving glory to the Lord. So much so that he was tackling anybody within arm range and yanking them to their knees to do homage.

Did anybody else see the return of “Coach Classic” – the maestro we all knew and loathed on Tocantins?