Oh Survivor Philippines I love you. Even this episode that was supposed to be predictable and boring (Abi-Maria is out after throwing a few more temper tantrums) was not and reserved us a few surprises. What was not a surprise after a few seconds into the episode was that Abi-Maria was not going to go home today. Sometimes the editors are just too obvious. Like showing a clip of Denise saying that a miracle will be needed for Abi-Maria to survive the next tribal council. After that it was obvious that she was going to survive. The surprise was who was going to go home and how.
– Abi-Maria Gomes: After bashing her for an entire season, I have to give her at least some credit today for not giving up and having the smarts to buy the advantage during the auction. Of course, right after she had to go at it after Penner again and be obnoxious again. I guess some people just can’t help it. One detail. Some people (at least Dalton Ross) say that the other players were dumb letting her do and waste their money on food when she clearly stated she wouldn’t bid on food. Well, I disagree. The advantage usually given for the immunity challenge is not that huge and while a stronger would have obviously taken advantage of it, it was safe to assume that advantage or not, Abi-Maria would suck at the challenge. Except that she didn’t (well, she didn’t suck at untying knots). Now, what to think of her pretending she found another hidden immunity? Mmm… I think she came out too strong with it and that nobody believes her. Seriously, if she had found another idol, even if she’s obnoxious and has no social skills, she’s not dumb and she wouldn’t have come to tell Malcolm right away. And her performance reading the paper pre-challenge was a bit too obvious too. She’s not a good actor. I guess she’s too honest for that.
– Carter Williams: Strange how Carter and Penner have become so close. I mean, I guess it makes sense as they were together since day one, and never really had any problem with each other. Carter going after Penner earlier in the season was just him having no strategy and following Jeff. I feel bad for the guy during the auction though. He never won anything for himself. And I’m not sure he won some jury votes (if he makes it to the end – which he won’t) either. This is what’s unfair with those “one for you, or one for the tribe”. Being selfish will piss off people and may send you home. Being selfless will be met with a thank you and will be forgotten soon after. Now that he’s alone, I wonder what his options are? I guess winning every immunity is his only one. Actually it even makes me wonder whether he won’t be voted out next, as he is a challenge threat and Abi-Maria is not.
– Denise Stapley: Denise is still playing the best game out there, and she’s been a bit less invisible for the past two episodes, so maybe she will be the winner after all (Sophie Clarke too was almost invisible during mid-season). She has one big hurdle though: getting rid of Malcolm. That would make me sad, but it’s won’t be that hard actually.
– Jonathan Penner voted out: Last week, I pondered whether it was a mistake or not for Penner not too commit to a final three deal with Lisa and Skupin. Everyone saw that as a big mistake. I was not necessarily convinced. Well, I was wrong as this is pretty much what sealed his fate. Out of the three seasons that Penner played, I really liked him the most this season. How to not like a guy who loves and respects the game so much and played such a great way, despite making some beginner mistakes (actually I think that makes him even more endearing). I used to like Penner, now I call myself a fan, and I hope to see the guy around somewhere again. Also, his exit was hilarious, from his vote to his “walk of shame” (best walk of shame ever? I think yes). On little detail. The fact that he yelled Denise’s name as he voted tells us that he knew he was going home and he hadn’t convinced Lisa or Skupin. Otherwise, a blindside for Denise was needed as Malcolm could have played the idol to save her. The fact that he said Denise’s name, plus the fact that Malcolm didn’t seem to even consider to play his idol, shows that there was no suspense on the outcome of that vote.
– Lisa Whelchel: She drives me nuts. Please Lady, stop being a hypocrite! I don’t know if she’s lying to herself (probably) or just plays it to the camera, but it really annoys me that she doesn’t own up to her behavior and her moves. Come on, you are cutthroat, you are merciless, and that’s OK, that’s the game. So stop crying every time like this! If you’re about to vote for me, please either blindside me or tell it to me in a way that shows me that you own your actions. Coming to me and say that you’re sorry and that you wish it could be different and blablabla with a lot of tears is lame, weak and hypocritical! The problem is that I’m afraid that she’s going to cry her way through until the final tribal council (her edit seems to be indicating that too). And even if she has played an amazing game, I really hope she doesn’t win because of that constant hypocrisy. Actually, I think the jury will demolish her for that very reason.
One personal note to Lisa if she ever reads this (yes, since the day I learned that at least two Survivor contestants have laid eyes on this blog, I like to imagine all of them having subscribed to it and avidly waiting for the next post every week. A man has to have dreams, right): After our mini exchange on Twitter earlier, yes, I know this is heavily edited, and I should blame the editors more than you – maybe. I genuinely think that you’re a very good person, but you have to understand that your behavior in the way you are portrayed is getting somewhat tiresome, even more so because you are playing a great game.
– Malcolm Freberg: He’s still playing an amazing game, but now people are more and more aware that he is dangerous and that he’ll be hard to beat in the final tribal council. He has to be very cautious with every steps he makes until the very end now. Good luck!
– Michael Skupin: Another thing that has been annoying me with editing this season: Skupin. First I thought we didn’t see much of him because he was just happy to be out there injuring himself in the wild and was not really playing the game. Thing is that he has. And he has played pretty well actually. He’s had this alliance with Lisa from day one. He also obviously had an alliance with Penner, seeing how they spoke to each other when it was just the two of them. And yet, we still don’t see much of his thinking, we’re just left to guess it through what he does and doesn’t do. Could he make it to the end? I believe he can. Can he win? I seriously doubt it, too many people dislike him in the jury.
Next time on Survivor:
What’s up with this preview. What did Malcolm’s brother say? Why would it jeopardize Malcolm’s game? I feel that I missed something. However, I assume this is just misdirections.
Who will be voted out next?
This time it should be Abi-Maria, right? Although now that she’s really powerless and that the end is near, if people can deal with living with her just a few more days, they really should consider her for the goat position. So Carter (no alliance, individual immunity threat) and Malcolm (most likely to beat anybody else in the final tribal council) should be watching their respective back (and Malcolm should consider playing that idol sooner than later).
I’m still with Denise for the win. Malcolm and Lisa are still contenders. Skupin too, but no.
Before you go anywhere else, check out these great blogs and sites:
– Stephen Fishbach at People (will come soon)
– More will come as the season advances and I find them. I won’t always have time to update this list before the following week and post, but follow me on Facebook or Google+ (my Twitter account is not just for Survivor, so you may or may not like it, feel free to follow me there too if you want) for links to the best Survivor blogs I read/find.
As usual sorry for the typos (one day I’ll actually proofread myself) and if you like what you read, please share.