And here we are, in the last stretch before the end of what was an amazing season. Let’s get into the heart of things right away:
– Abi-Maria Gomes finally voted out: Wow, that took long enough. I was really starting to be afraid that she would make it to the end. Oh not win, definitely not win, but you know, be the goat and all that. Actually I’m quite surprised that they voted her out. I was convinced that Denise was about to get betrayed. Sure it was all misdirections, but when Malcolm refused to give her his idol, I thought that she was toast. But no, Abi-Maria was that insufferable that nobody wanted to keep her one more day, even if that’s gonna cost them a million bucks. Actually, one can wonder why they didn’t want to keep her as a goat. I think that – although it’s never shown because it’s supposed to be a surprise for Sunday night – everything seems to indicate it’s going to be a final two, and the remaining players are starting to do the math. And while, it’d be silly not to bring Abi-Maria to a final three, it’s a bit too dangerous to keep her around for a final two, especially when this means your former allies have a good chance to be pissed at you (not mentioning the other people you previously voted out). However, when Abi-Maria started to insult Skupin, it was really tempting to suddenly wanting to keep her. From that and the jury’s behavior, it was obvious that she’d never get a single vote, even with a pissed off jury in a final two. In any case, who cares now? She’s finally gone.
– Denise Stapley: I really thought that Denise was going to be out this week. First Malcolm making this (real or fake?) final three deal with Skupin and Lisa, then with Abi-Maria trying to “plant seeds” in Lisa’s mind, and finally this vampire/spider/strange bite (I’d say spider). But no, she survived it all. The type of survival that shows that you’re a true survivor, right? That nobody can vote out out? That could indeed be taken as some sort of winner edit, but we still see way too little of her that even if she should be the winner, I believe it less and less. Out of all the remaining contestants, she’s the only one we never hear talking about the end game. What is her current strategy? What is her ideal final three? Is she still very tight with Malcolm? We don’t know, and that really annoys me.
– Lisa Whelchel: And if we hear so little about Denise’s stream of thoughts it’s because that time is used for Lisa. Let’s admit it, she has been playing a great game. However, possibly because of all the crying and whining beforehand, I don’t really want her to win, although she’s currently getting the winner edit more than anyone else (except maybe Malcolm). That being said, since her brother’s visit, she really has her head on her shoulders and is actually playing the game without whining about it. And I’m actually pretty surprised that she decided to keep Denise over Abi-Maria. Those four ones could actually be really tight, but Lisa has been the one most likely to team-up with Abi-Maria, and she has also talked about getting rid both of Denise and Malcolm. I think that she is indeed planning for a final two with Skupin at her side. Another reason why she (and Skupin) voted against Abi-Maria and not with her could be that they assumed that Malcolm would give his idol to Denise if things started to seem like she was going home.
– Malcolm Freberg: I also wonder what Malcolm’s end game is at this point. During reward, I think he somewhat meant it when he said he wanted Lisa, Skupin and him to be the final three. Denise will win against anyone, although it still could argue that he’s been more proactive than her (is that true though? we’re seeing so little of Denise). He still has more chances against Skupin and/or Lisa though. However, both of them “fear” him and may want to vote him out next tribal if he doesn’t win immunity. But with that being said, Malcolm seems to be on an immunity run now. Actually I wonder if he didn’t lose a few on purpose early after the merge to not appear as a threat too early.
– Michael Skupin: Skupin was pretty hilarious this episode, something that – like Malcolm said – doesn’t seem to happen a lot with him. His strategy simple though – and pretty old school – making alliances and sticking to them. However, even if he makes it to the end, I don’t think that he has any chance to win. Very few people in the jury will want to vote for him (Jeff Kent doesn’t want a returnee to win, Pete, Artis and Abi-Maria hate him, Penner may not respect some of his game play, etc.) He could actually be the less obvious goat this season.
Next time on Survivor:
Final two? Final three?
I bet for a final two. But in any case, I’m happy with this final four (I don’t think I have said that in many seasons) and it should be a great ending of a great season.
The next vote could be very very intense and full of surprises. Nobody wants to draw a rock.
Who will be voted out next?
Seriously, I have no idea.
I also have no idea. From their game play, I’d say Malcolm or Denise. From editing I’d say: Malcolm or Lisa.
Seems that everything points to Malcolm then…
Before you go anywhere else, check out these great blogs and sites:
– 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 just read, do not hesitate to share with your friends and contacts.