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Philippines – Episode 8: “Dead Man Walking”


What a great episode. I’m sure you’ve already read it elsewhere, but that’s not a reason to say it again here: that was one of the best episodes in recent memory. That tribal council reminded me of some of the crazy tribal councils from Heroes Vs Villains.  I don’t know about you, but I really had no idea who was going to go home tonight. I hope the rest of the season goes in that direction.

This is what you get (a good season) we you have a bunch of players who play to win (and not just one or two), take note producers.



The axis of evil?



 – Abi-Maria Gomes: What an idiot. First, her paranoia must drive everyone crazy on the island. Even her number one ally Pete gets annoyed by it. Also, the woman really has no idea how to play the game – but she thinks she does, as opposed to many previous contestants who were clueless. Lisa giving her a Survivor 101 lesson during tribal was priceless. Abi revealing to Macolm and Mike that they were not really part of the alliance, even more so. Abi telling she has an idol for no reason whatsoever was gold. As a person to be around she must be insufferable, but her entertainment value is great. Actually, at this point, she’s pretty much a sure lock for the final three as the ultimate goat.

– Artis Silvester: Still not much about him. I’m sure he may have spoken to complain about something at some point (probably about Skupin), I can’t remember.

Carter Williams: He still doesn’t seem to really have a mind on his own. After following Jeff blindly, I guess he will be following Denise blindly now. I guess.

– Denise Stapley: We haven’t seen enough of Denise motives and intentions during the past two episodes and that annoys me. We know she’s a strategic player, and we know that she doesn’t just follow. I’m still not sure what was her idea about voting against Penner last week, and I’m still not sure of her thoughts about this week. Did she even have a confessional in the past two or three episodes?

Jeff Kent voted out: Well, he had it coming, after making two incredibly stupid moves for the past two tribal (first voting against Katie, while allowing Penner to get a hint, then going against Penner and putting himself from top of his alliance to bottom of Tandang in the process) his chances of survival were slim to none. I wish the plan to vote Pete out had worked, but it’s no surprise it didn’t really.

Jonathan Penner: This episode summarizes why I love Penner. Even after becoming a Dead Man Walking, he doesn’t give up, he keeps on playing the game, doesn’t needlessly antagonize everyone else (Hello Troyzan) and when the wind finally blows his way (thank you immunity), he does all he can to secure a safer spot and even a alliance that makes sense. Now, the question is why did he vote for Abi? Was it a throwaway vote (thinking that Skupin was onboard and that Pete was out no matter what)? Was it in case Abi gives Pete her idol and he plays it (thinking that the other votes were against Malcolm and that he would play his idol too)? Was it something else? No idea. But apparently, Penner said on Twitter that he doesn’t want to explain just yet, because it may play a part next week. We’ll see.
Apart from that, I believe that he got himself more than just three more days. Now, he is needed by Kalabaw (well, by Carter, Denise and Malcolm) if they want to not be picked one by one.

 Lisa Whelchel: She really impressed me this week. Sure, I didn’t like all the moves she made (I’d rather see her play with Malcolm than against him), but she made big moves. Maybe it was too early to throw Malcolm under the bus, but that was her only way to save Skupin as she needs him to further her game, and if Pete hadn’t been so dumb, blindsiding Malcolm would have worked. However, even with that plan failing, she still managed to force Malcolm to reveal he has an idol (and she even know where is Tandang’s idol now) and she still managed to have plan B work. At this very moment – even if it may not last very long – she is in control of the game. Kuddos to her, even if the backlash maybe violent.

– Malcolm Freberg: As I was afraid last week, he got screwed by Lisa, but he played it the best possible way. First when facing Pete (and actually managing to have Pete reveal more than he should have), then during tribal with a bluff that worked (revealing that he has the idol, announcing that he’ll play it, and then not play it), plus gaining information from Abi that he was at the bottom of Tandang. Sure, now, he doesn’t have many options (basically staying tight with Denise, and bringing Carter and Penner in their alliance, and hoping that Skupin will finally join), but he still can regain control of this game, although it’s going to be harder than expected.

Michael Skupin: I don’t understand why he keeps voting with Tandang. Doesn’t he realize that they’re going to vote him out as soon as they can (they almost did this week). The only explanation I have (beyond: he sucks at strategy) is that he’s even tighter with Lisa than we imagine and she convinced him to vote with her. He’s got to realize that he’s being played by many people. I guess he can’t, the game really has evolved much more than he imagined since his last time around.

Pete Yurkowski: Interesting to see how he sees himself as a mastermind, when he’s definitely not, and yet, his plan (or what he thinks is his plan) if always carried out in the end. Apart from that, his game play is not that great really, even laughable at times. If he planned to cut Malcolm from his alliance sooner than later, why go confront him about what Lisa said and alert him in the process? Had he not spoken to him, Malcolm would have expected nothing and would have been blindsided.



Next time on Survivor:

Apparently the Axis of Evil bullies her again, and she finally joins ranks with the “good guys”? What about Skupin? Does he too?

Who will be voted out next?

Could it be the beginning of the end for Pete, Artis or Abi-Maria? Or will Tandang stay together once again and vote out Malcolm or Carter?

Winner Prediction:

My vote is still for Denise or Malcolm, but Lisa is now in the picture too.


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

Dalton Ross at EW

Stephen Fishbach

– Jeff Pitman at True Dork Times

Rob has a Podcast and a few cool bloggers

– 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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