October 24, 2012 07:33 PM by Ryan Haidet
After multiple recent boring editions, Survivor: Philippines has proven to be a damn good season. Something about this season feels like we’re back to the mode that made the show so compelling from the beginning. The characters, the storytelling and the unpredictability this time around have ratcheted Survivor: Philippines into one of the best seasons ever. Tonight’s episode was no exception as a very unexpected decision unfolded at the Reward challenge and became a first in the show’s 25-season history.
The Reward challenge was a mud explosion as the two tribes went toe to toe for sandwiches, soup, potato chips, brownies and more. But when the battle began in the first round, the tribes realized how exhausting it was going to be to try and push a giant ball into a goal. One hour had passed with nobody really doing anything as the first round seemed endless. Instead of dragging it on and wiping themselves out, Jonathan Penner suggested everybody quit the challenge and negotiate for the prize. Penner and Mike Skupin ultimately agreed that it would be fair for Kalabaw to take the Reward while sacrificing all of their rice to Tandang. After polling their respective tribemates, the deal was done and Jeff Probst called the challenge off.
I’m guessing the amount of rice Kalabaw possessed was a portion of the discussion that didn’t make it on the air because I can’t fathom either tribe agreeing to that deal if there was no rice whatsoever. If it wasn’t discussed, then Tandang is stupid. Plus, I think Kalabaw made the better decision because I think they can sense that a merge is coming soon. Having the opportunity to scarf down copious amounts of protein instead of plain, ol’ rice was the better choice.
When Kalabaw arrived at their negotiated Reward, they rejoiced as they sunk their teeth into the array of food. “Hopefully this will give us some kind of advantage, some kind of momentum,” Carter said in confessional. But the food was just a small piece of the prize because Penner found letters from home for each of them. Denise said this was definitely better than food and worth giving up everything.
Strangely, Carter started expressing his dislike for the decision his tribe made despite agreeing to the entire thing himself just hours earlier. Plus, I don’t recall him whining about giving up their rice when he was crying over his letter from home. Trying to prove they made the right choice to give up their rice, Penner spent lots of time fishing with their Hawaiian sling. But his efforts only returned two tiny fish, which impressed nobody.
Artis was pissed when Tandang returned to camp because he was strongly opposed to quitting the challenge even though he didn’t 100 percent vote against it. He didn’t think Mike was a valuable tribe member and their decision to quit was proof of that. When their new bag of rice arrived, there wasn’t very much inside. After Artis, Abi-Maria and Peter bitched and moaned about their choice, RC went to Mike and dished all the dirt. This was her best move because it shows Mike that she can be a loyal asset when they are forced to start voting against their own — especially since she’s been in such a volatile relationship with Abi-Maria.
Malcolm Hits The Top
At the Immunity challenge, Tandang chose to sit Abi-Maria out once again, which Probst pointed out once again since she’s only competed in two challenges this entire season. Hey, Abi! This is a wake-up call! Clearly, your tribe doesn’t have the confidence in you. I wouldn’t either. If complaining were the basis of the challenge, Abi-Maria would win every time.
The multiple-round challenge as both tribes fought to catch slingshot-fired balls in their nets was just a duplicate concept we’ve seen many times before. In the end, Malcolm really shined and led Tandang to victory.
Jeff and Carter really struggled with their strategy on who to take out next. Penner? Katie? Jeff felt like this was the perfect moment for them to flip on Penner and get him out of the game early. But in the end, they stuck to their alliance as everybody voted Katie (who?) out of the game. The moment her torch was snuffed, Katie was extinguished into reality obscurity because most viewers won’t even remember her by finale night. Wait… Katie who?
What are your thoughts on tonight’s episode? Were you surprised the tribes quit the challenge? What would you have done? Are you happy Katie was voted out? Sound off and leave a comment below!
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Photo Credit: CBS