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Philippines – Episode 5: “Got My Swag Back”


Sorry, sorry, I’m late for this Survivor analysis. I hope you can forgive me, but I was taking a few days of vacation on a (not exactly) deserted island (if you care about my life when I’m not obsessing about Survivor, got check out my other blog: Ogijima). I’m back now, and ready to analyse the hell out of this episode.

Oh, before we begin, some bragging: I know for a fact that Mike Skupin read my blog last week and that he liked it enough to retweet it! So thank you Mike for that. It is to my knowledge the second contestant to ever read this blog, the other one being Dawn Meehan (Hi Dawn if you’re still here).

OK, with that being said, let’s get started, it’s not like I’m late anyway.




 Tough week for Kalabaw. Losing a player because of a health issue is never fun and always seems worse than losing one at tribal council (because it’s more random I guess), but usually, there’s at least no tribal council that week. This time Kalabaw really was not spared, and as Penner said, I’m pretty sure Kalabaw wouldn’t have lost the immunity challenge hadn’t they lost Dana the day before (Katie and Dawson would have suck the same, but Abi-Maria would have sucked too and slowed down Tandang.



Carter Williams: And just like that Carter became the invisible man again (or at least the mute man). Seeing how little we have seen of Kalabaw members so far, I more and more have the feeling that a bunch of them will be gone without making an impact on the game (that’s already the case for Dana and Dawson, Katie and Carter could be next). However, Carter seems safe until the merge and if anything he seems like a solid vote in his alliance. However, when merge comes, he will most likely be the one targeted by Tandang at the first vote (and seeing the numbers, he could be easily out).

– Denise Stapley: She got the short stick compared to Malcolm in terms of what happened to her this episode (no hidden immunity idol, a tribe that doesn’t worship her instantly, and some clueless girl even targeting her). However, I believe that she is safe right now and until the merge (Katie is next to go from Kalabaw if there is no merge). The question is, what will happen at the merge. I’m pretty sure Malcolm and her will stay tight. Both of them were smart enough to not mention the other one after they were sent to their new tribes, but I’m positive that they won’t turn on each other anytime soon. The only issue right now is that when merge comes they could be targeted as soon as it is clear they are still tight. They have to make a couple of moves and avoid a couple of mistakes then to really take control of the game, but more about that in due time.

Dana Lambert med-quitting: I gotta admit that while she played much better than I ever expected, I had a hard time having any sort of interest in her, and her lack of storyline was a clear indicator she was going to leave the game soon without impacting it. I get it that for a few seasons now, the editors pick a certain number of “characters” to follow, the rest becoming more or less extras. Even if I hate that trend, it seems that it won’t be going anywhere soon. My main problem with it is that we know now early in the game who will make an impact and who won’t.

Jeff Kent: Still not a big fan, but he can actually play the game, so props to him. He made two very good moves this week. First bring Denise in his alliance. Second, target Dawson instead of Katie when he started feeling that she would out him.

Jonathan Penner: Strangely not much of him this week.

Katie Hanson: She spoke! We saw her! I miss the time when she was invisible. What a useless player (and I also hate her voice).

Sarah Dawson voted out: Last week I said I was “kinda disappointed in her” this week, I really am. Pregame she had everything to be a very memorable player. Not the best one, maybe even a bit on the troll side, but I expected her to make some big moves, do some crazy things, and even become a returnee one of those days. Well, not… She sucked… A lot… She was a follower when I thought she was going to be a leader. She sucked at challenges as much as she sucked at strategy, and the worst part is she misused the only asset she had (knowing who Jeff Kent was and draw some heat on him) as it pretty much got her voted out instead of possibly saving her.




Tandang continues on its path of dominance, stronger than ever with now the addition of Malcolm. Yet, the cracks are there, I can’t wait to see them make the whole thing explode (although it could happen late in the game)



 – Abi-Maria Gomes: We barely saw her this week, and I have to admit that it was quite resting. I mean, you know how entertaining I find her when she goes all paranoid and crazy, but I have to admit that she’s quite tiring (I can’t imagine how it is to have to deal with her 24/7), and she takes quite a lot of air time that could be used for more useful things. I liked how Jeff called her out for sitting every challenge but two, although it’s not her fault but the producers. Nowadays that reward challenges are scarce, I think the rules for sitting out back to back should be changed.

– Artis Silvester: I can’t remember anything of importance about him this week either. Funny how he’s always being mentioned as part of the Abi-Maria, Lisa and Pete alliance, but I feel that I have never seen him with them except during challenges.

Lisa Whelchel: Not a whole lot about Lisa either today, although her confessionals show how insightful she is and that she has recovered from her early breakdown.

– Malcolm Freberg: After being so down for the past two weeks, he’s on top of the world right now (seeing his pas confessionals, I kinda suspected this was gonna happen). He has a hidden immunity idol, he’s loved my his new tribe when they should fear him and target him (a telling sign that this tribe is not united at all and that things will be funny after the merge), members from the dominant alliance telling him their secret, members of the minority alliance courting him, a strong ally on the other tribe. What else could he ask for? Cookies? He even has that. I’ve said several times that I don’t see him winning, but right now, he even gets something that looks like a winner edit, so who knows? He definitely is the most powerful player right now (and possibly the strongest physically and one of the smartest), if he does everything right, he could easily go to the end.

Here is what could happen: Let’s say the merge happens soon (maybe Katie is out next week). Malcolm, Denise ally themselves with Mike and R.C., screw the rest of Tandang over and pagong them with the help of Kalabaw, who gets destroyed next not aware of that secret sub-alliance between those four. Plausible, isn’t it?

Michael Skupin: Not much on Mike this week. One little detail (bragging warning), I loved how he recognized that Malcolm has more Survivor experience than him at this moment in the game. Wasn’t it my point last week? 😉 However, even if he likes Malcolm (who doesn’t at this point?) he doesn’t seem to realize that his addition to the tribe put an even bigger target on Skupin back, now Pete will be even more willing to vote him out that he doesn’t need his muscles as much. Will Mike realize this? Right now, I have no idea where he stands strategically (is he aware that he’s in a minority and on the chopping block?) and that bothers me.

Pete Yurkowski: LOL. So Pete, you have a new player coming to your tribe, one player you should be very careful about (very strong, managed to survive the extinction of his tribe, etc) and what do you do? Tell him all of your secrets! How smart of you. I can’t wait for Malcolm to ask for your idol, for you to give it to him and for him to backstab you. That would be awesome.

– Roberta “R.C.” Saint-Amour: Malcolm’s arrival in the tribe gave her some hope. Good. I’m not ready to see her go just yet. Will she able to bank on this and make him ally with her? Maybe, maybe not.


Next time on Survivor:

Mmm… 12 players left… Time for a merge isn’t it? However, the preview doesn’t hint one, and even show a team challenge (it could be a reward challenge and the merge could happen before immunity, actually this is what usually happens, right?). It could also mean a final two and a merge at 10 players. Mmmm.

Apparently we have a Survivor first next week. It seems that things get personal between Artis and Jeff Kent (I think it was Jeff). Did the latter make a racist comment? Did Artis get mad and they start having a physical fight that get they both (or the one who threw the first punch?) expelled from the game?

Who will be voted out next?

If Kalabaw goes to tribal, Katie is so out, there’s no suspense about it.

If Tandang goes, R.C. and Mike are in big trouble, unless Malcolm manages to screw Pete. Not this early though. Mmmm… I actually doubt Tandang will go to tribal.

If there is a merge, Carter is in trouble.

What do you think?

Winner Prediction:

Still Denise, although Malcolm could really win it.


Before you go anywhere else, check out these great blogs and sites:

Dalton Ross

Jeff Pitman at True Dork Times

Stephen Fishbach

– 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.



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