XFinityTV is blowing up their coverage of “Survivor: Philippines.” Every Monday Jeff Probst and I will tackle a wide variety of topics with the “Survivor” Question of the Week. Every Tuesday I’ll be squaring off against “Survivor: One World” favorite Kat Edorsson in this season’s Power Rankings challenge. Every Wednesday briefly after the show we’ll have a full episode recap and every Thursday we’ll have an interview with the latest eliminated player. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for all the updates!
Last Week: Pete made an error when he believed Malcolm didn’t have an idol, Lisa called a Tribal Council change-up, Penner threw a brushback at Abi, and Skupin’s checked swing resulted in former NL MVP Jeff Kent being thrown out.
39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog
Let’s take a look at the tribe as it currently stands…
The Dangrayne Tribe (wearing black)
Abi-Maria – Business Student, 32
Artis – Computer Engineer, 53
Carter – Track Coach, 24
Denise – Sex Therapist, 41
Lisa – Former ‘Facts of Life’ Star, 49
Malcolm – Bartender, 25
Michael – Professional Speaker, Author, and Coach, 50
Penner – Writer, 50
Pete – Engineering Graduate, 24
We meet up with some shell-shocked Dangrayners after Tribal. Michael is amazed because he thinks Lisa’s move was done solely to save him. I think the move was made so Lisa can go to the end with the hated AMAP alliance (Abi-Maria, Artis, Pete).
True to form, Abi-Maria chews out Michael for voting for her even though he didn’t. Penner steps up and admits that he was the sole Abi vote. Love me some Penner.
Carter breaks down the vote math and Penner realizes that he blew it for the non-Tandangers. Doh… And here we were all thinking Penner was an evil genius.
Later, Malcolm and Lisa kiss and make-up. Lisa feels bad about breaking her word and is super appreciative toward Malcolm for being so gracious. She then busts out a solid Sugar impersonation and starts crying.
The next morning, Penner tries to get in good with Lisa. He pulls some serious psychological mojo and starts digging into her past. He’s reading her like an immunity clue. It makes sense, though. The dude’s probably been dealing with actresses for a long time.
Lisa lets us know that she spent her whole life being “Little Miss Perfect” and it’ll be tough for her to be judged by others if she hasn’t done the right thing. Wait, isn’t there a thing at the end of this show where people are judged…
Reward Challenge Time: The tribe will be split into two teams. One player from each team will run through a muddy obstacle course. They’ll then dig through the mud looking for a bag of balls. From there they have to crawl through a bin of rice. Once the tribe has four bags of balls, they’ll have to shoot them into a basket. First tribe to get all twelve of the balls into the basket wins a trip to a local village where they’ll deliver school supplies and toys to the kids.
Quick Aside: Aww…yay. I always like when “Survivor” does this. It’s been too long.
The villagers will then hold a feast for the winners.
Looks like we’ve got Skupin, Artis, Lisa, and Pete (the yellow team) vs. Penner, Carter, Denise, and Malcolm (the red team). Nobody picked Abi? What’s the opposite of surprising?
Actually, I kind of hate that someone doesn’t get a chance for reward because they weren’t picked. They should do the thing where they let her bet on the winner.
We get started and Penner decides to dig up all four of his tribe’s bags. That’s different. We’ll see if it works.
Sure enough, the person after Penner, (Carter) finds the bag super quickly. Their team now has a huge lead.
All four of the red members get through in record time and have sunk ten balls before the yellow team has shot their first one. Yellow stages a bit of a comeback, but it’s way too late. The red team wins reward.
Later, we meet up with the Kalasing alliance as they’re greeted by the villagers. There’s an adorable moment where Jonathan introduces himself to some kids. They say “Jonathan.” Then he says that his name is normal in the United States. They respond, “Normal.”
Strategy is discussed during the feast. They want to try to get Skupin back on board. I think that’s a dumb move for Skupin. His goal has got to be getting to the end with Abi-Maria and Pete.
Back at camp, Pete is frustrated that he’s forced to work with Skupin. That’s why you’ve got to be nice to the people on the bottom of your alliance. At some point you’ll need them.
Abi tries to butter up Lisa by saying that Lisa is just “gullible” and “naïve.” Wait, what’s the opposite of buttering someone up?
Immunity Challenge Time: Players will balance an oversized paddle. They’ll then try to roll a ball down the paddle and into a hole. They have to do this six times. First person to have six balls in place at the same time wins immunity.
Umm…this looks impossible. Challenge Producer and “Survivor” Hall of Fame Executive Voting Committee member John Kirhoffer is a sick man.
I take it back, Skupin managed to pull this off. He got all six while most people didn’t even have one. And he didn’t break his neck in the process.
Politicking around camp seems to center around Tandang targeting Penner and Penner scrambling to find any way out of this mess.
Skup lets Malcolm know how awesome it is to be safe. This is followed immediately by Abi accidentally clubbing Skup in the head with a coconut.
OK, not that I’m glad to see Skup get hurt, but it’s nice to get to break this out again…
The Kalasing alliance is going to target Artis because they think Abi would never give him the idol. How do they even know she has the idol? Oh wait, she showed them for no apparent reason.
Penner goes back to work on Lisa, and gets all meta on us as he asks her what story this season of “Survivor” will tell about her. He thinks the audience won’t be pleased that she’s helping the AMAP alliance. So smart.
That night at Tribal Council, Lisa is thrilled that she was respected for her gameplay by the people she turned against.
Lisa also says the people she turned on were much more graceful than Abi has been. Uh-oh. If looks could kill, Abi’s eyes would have just smacked Lisa with 100 coconuts.
Some guy named Artis isn’t surprised Tandang is still together because of how strong they are.
Denise thinks it’s a risk to think Tandang will stick together.
Artis doesn’t think he’s safe, he knows he can be blindsided like anyone else. Famous last (and first) words?
Skup and his glittering, mystery shoulder wound were both very grateful for Lisa’s move last week.
Lisa doesn’t think she can play the game without getting emotionally involved.
Abi is worried that Tandang doesn’t have the numbers, specifically calling out Lisa. Oh man, Pete’s hating her right now. RC on the other hand is finding all of this hilarious.
Voting Time: Pete votes for Penner (and gives him mad props), Denise votes for Artis, and the rest of the votes aren’t shown.
“Survivor” Hall of Fame Executive Voting Committee member Jeff Probst tallies and returns. We’ve got one vote for Artis, one vote for Penner, one vote for Artis, three votes for Penner, two votes for Artis, and the tenth person to leave “Survivor: Philippines” and the third member of the jury is…Artis.
Whoa! Looks like Skup was the flipper.
Verdict: This season has been on fire since the merge. Between Lisa, Malcolm, Denise, and Penner you have four serious strategists. Skup’s one of my all-time faves. Abi is an awesome villain. Pete’s the straw that stirs the drink, and Carter has an appealing physique and is allowed to talk occasionally.
Who’s Going to Win: Lisa? Right? No wait…Malcolm still has the idol. But Penner just won’t die. Sorry…no…Denise is a champ…
Power Rankings Results: Kat had Artis in spot seven while I had him in spot six. So, the current score is Team Kat: 108, Team Awesome Thunder: 110.
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes