November 14, 2012 07:36 PM by Ryan Haidet
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Survivor: Philippines is one hell of an amazing season! I seriously can’t get enough of it. Much like last week’s episode, tonight’s was damn good with nothing but entertainment from start to finish. With Jonathan Penner still considered to be a dead man walking since his alliance with Carter, Malcolm and Denise was outnumbered by the Tandang five, he pushed a plan to pull Mike and Lisa over to their side. In the midst of it all was Abi-Maria and her constant negativity, which I find absolutely fascinating. Don’t you?
Penner’s Reward Challenge Strategy
Before competing in the Reward challenge, the castaways were divided into two teams of four. But since there were still nine contestants left, the random schoolyard-style pick left Abi forced to sit out of the challenge since nobody chose her to join their foursome. Shocked? I’m not. At this point, I wonder if it’s obvious to her that nobody there would ever vote for her to win the game. Do you think she’s aware enough to realize that? I don’t. I believe Abi is so unaware of her attitude that I would be willing to bet she thinks she’s got a real shot at walking away with the $1 million prize. As much as I can’t stand her negativity, I love watching her on the show. I remember thinking Jerri Manthey was pure evil on the second season, but Abi has blown her away. She truly is unlike any other personality we’ve seen and her character adds a strange dynamic to the complicated structure of this stellar season.
Anywho, the challenge was tons of mud-filled fun, but it also showcased how quickly Penner thinks on the spot. One element in the soggy obstacle course forced the contestants to dig in a thick mud pit for a series of bags. Instead of just sloshing around looking for his bag, Penner, who went first for his team (which consisted of Denise, Malcolm and Carter), took the extra time to find the three other bags and set them aside so his tribemates wouldn’t have to do any searching. That move may have put his team behind for a tad, but it was an extremely smart decision because his move propelled them to victory.
For winning the challenge, Penner’s team was taken to a local village where they delivered school supplies and toys. Upon their arrival the villagers welcomed the four filthy castaways with open arms before placing a massive spread of food before them. Once they started scarfing down copious amounts of greasy goodies, the four intensely discussed the importance of getting Mike and Lisa to vote on their side. They felt like it might be easy, too, since the two are playing with Abi, Peter and Artis — all of whom seem very hard to get along with.
Back at camp, Abi suggested to Pete and Lisa that their obvious target should be Penner. Suddenly, Abi’s suggestion turned into a lecture against Lisa as she criticized her recent moves in the game before labeling her as a gullible person. Again, this is why Abi is so compelling to watch. She is pushing to keep the Tandang five as a solid block, but quickly unleashes a verbal attack on somebody she is asking to stay loyal. Fascinating, isn’t it?
Trying To Pull Off A Switcheroo
After Mike won Immunity (a challenge that seemed extremely tough conceptually), Penner was knee-deep in strategy. Working to pull Lisa to his side, he started telling her about how the audience will portray the story from this season. He told her that she and Mike should vote on his side because they can join good side of the storytelling and leave the bad guys behind. Although she really hasn’t been a fan of the personalities of her other allies, Lisa really struggled with the concept of not being loyal to her five-way alliance. She admitted to Mike that Penner was making tons of sense and said she was actually considering switching sides. It seemed Mike was on the same page.
At Tribal Council, Artis spoke up and said that everything was moving in the direction it should because the Tandang five is one of the strongest groups on the show’s history. Huh? What game is he playing? Denise openly disagreed with his remarks, which led Artis to a foreshadowing-filled statement. “I’m not saying I’m totally 100 percent comfortable and safe. I totally understand that at any moment in this game I could be blindsided just like anybody else.” Uh oh. Remember Kat Edorsson from last season who said she loved blindsides right before she was surprised to be booted from the Tikiano tribe?
That’s exactly what happened this time as Artis was voted out by 5-4. The reason Penner’s alliance chose Artis instead of Abi or Pete was because they didn’t think Abi’s selfish nature would ever lead her to giving him her hidden Idol. But I’m left wondering why Malcolm’s Idol wasn’t given to Penner at such an important turning point in the game. Since it was clear the Tandang cluster was targeting him, why not secretly give Penner the Idol and send Artis packing that way? The editing made it seem as if Penner’s alliance wasn’t absolutely certain they had convinced anybody to switch sides, so why not make the vote a tad more comfortable? Just a thought. Also, it’s important to point out that Lisa held true to her loyalty with the Tandang group by voting against Penner. The fatal blow against Artis actually came from Mike’s vote. I also find it very compelling that Lisa and Mike voted differently because they have held a constant gameplay throughout their time together. Naturally, Abi was infuriated that somebody had flipped sides as she sent nasty glares at both Mike and Lisa unsure which of the two had turned on her. Absolutely amazing. What a fun episode!
What are your thoughts on the episode? Are you happy Artis was voted out of the game? Are you surprised Mike switched sides and not Lisa? What are your thoughts on Abi? Who do you think is most-deserving of winning the $1 million prize? Tell us your thoughts by sounding off and leaving a comment below!
Want more? Follow our tweets on Twitter and like us on Facebook!. Click here for more information about Survivor. For other great reality TV news, please feel free to check out SirLinksALot: Survivor Philippines.
Photo Credit: CBS