Sophie Clarke, Jeff Probst
If anyone understands the importance of an immunity challenge it would have to be Sophie Clarke. As one of the final contestants left on Survivor: South Pacific, the 22-year-old medical student from Willsboro, New York, was no frontrunner. But after winning the last immunity challenge of the season and ousting fan favorite and Survivor veteran Oscar "Ozzy" Lusth at the 11th hour, the game was suddenly Clarke's to win. We caught up with Clarke right after she beat out Benjamin "Coach" Wade and baseball coach Albert Destrade for the grand prize of $1 million to find out what she was thought her chances of winning were after the final tribal council, how the show changed her life and why she would return to Survivor in a heartbeat.
[SPOILER ALERT: The following story reveals the winners of Survivor: South Pacific.]
As Survivor's 23rd season came down to its final four, it was Coach and Ozzy, two Survivor veterans — and two of the games fiercest competitors — as well as Albert and Sophie.
Gail Simmons, Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio
They say "Everything's Bigger in Texas," which happens to be the episode title for the premiere of Bravo's Texas-set ninth season of Top Chef (10/9c). And it also may explain why a ginormous platoon of 29 chef-testants descends on the historic Alamo for the first round of competition, and why the process of narrowing the field to a Top 16 can't even be contained within the first pulse-pounding episode.
Snooki and Butt-Head
Our top moments of the week:
14. Worst Homage: Susan struggles in her "super-edgy" community college art class on Desperate Housewives when the instructor asks the students to paint a nude model. When Susan's teacher points out her discomfort, Susan goes
a little a lot overboard to compensate for her nerves — and comes to class naked when she misinterprets something her teacher says. The scene would be funnier if it wasn't almost an exact retread of her accidental nude streak in Season 1.
13. Can't Have It Both Ways Award: Top Chef: Just Desserts' Sally chooses showpiece master Orlando to make her showpiece for the finale — based on her design, of course. At Judges' Table, Johnny Iuzzini lays into...
Benjamin "Coach" Wade, Ozzy Lusth
Blindside me once, shame on you. Blindside me twice, shame on me. Blindside me three times? That's what it's coming to on Survivor.
The reality series comes back for Season 23 with two new returning favorites, Oscar "Ozzie" Musth and Benjamin "Coach" Wade, in tow. But after the success of Heroes vs. Villains in 2010 and "Boston Rob" Mariano's applauded Road to Redemption last spring, recruiting beloved former players for another tour of duty is becoming standard practice for the aging competition series. But is it really the right move? As much as we enjoy watching the Russell Hantz's and Jerri "Black Widow" Manthey's have to face (and sometimes apologize for) their past power moves and manipulations, are these familiar faces really adding to the game or detracting from it? We look at three reasons it's time to throw the vets' buffs in the fire once and all...