November 28, 2012 08:11 PM by Ryan Haidet
Yes! One of my favorite components of the game popped up in tonight’s episode of Survivor: Philippines — the auction. Each castaway was given $500 in cash to bid with as Jeff Probst offered up a variety of items. Sadly, this auction wasn’t as exciting as it has been in previous seasons like we saw with Taj in Survivor: Tocantins (remember how awesome it was to see her genuine glee to learn her husband was there?). But just because the auction was a bit of a disappointment doesn’t mean this was a lackluster hour. Not at all. Abi-Maria concocted a unique scheme hoping to convince her tribemates that she had found a new hidden Immunity Idol. Did her plan work? The events that unfolded were very interesting as this stellar season continued to deliver everything Survivor fans drool over. Awesome television!
I’ve never been a big fan of the items in the auction that Probst leaves covered. I feel the secrecy takes a lot of the bidding battle out of it because nobody has any idea what it is they’re chasing after. The majority of the items this time around were covered, which was a total bummer as a viewer. Here’s how the auction broke down:
- The first item up for bids, Probst uncovered and revealed a stack of pancakes, bacon and a tall glass of orange juice. After a short bidding war, Denise quickly dumped the nonsense and gave up all $500. It looked delicious, but Skupin couldn’t get over the fact that she just spent $500 on a plate of food she could get from a diner for $1.99.
- Immediately after Probst pulled the lid off the second item — a plate of crackers and various cheeses — Skupin immediately bid all $500 he had. Huh? Strange choice — especially since it was accompanied by a tall glass of wine, which Skupin admittedly doesn’t even like drinking. And to be honest, the cheeses didn’t look that appetizing. It was probably worth $150, but blowing all $500 on this just seemed silly.
- Next up was a plate of donuts and a glass of iced coffee, which Malcolm won for $200.
- Penner paid $200 for a covered plate, which turned out to be fried chicken and fries. Totally worth it!
- Carter paid $200 for a covered item, which was actually a baked potato with all the traditional goodies tossed on top of it. But his item came with a twist. Carter was given the option to keep the potato or trade it for two big sacks of rice and beans for the entire tribe to share back at camp. Duh! That was almost a no-brainer. Trading a measly potato for short-term satisfaction or having the option to eat for the rest of the game while making yourself look like a hero to the rest of the tribe, is a ridiculous choice. Had they whipped out keys to a new car under that plate and gave Carter that same option, that would have been a compelling decision. This was in no way even close to being a dilemma for Carter. It wouldn’t have been a dilemma for anybody — not even Abi.
- Once again, the dish was remain covered as Lisa blindly bid $320. She wound up with a great reward in the form of a massive sub sandwich, which she gladly sunk her teeth into.
- Next up, Probst revealed to the group the next item was an advantage in the game. Within seconds of showing off the rolled up piece of parchment, Abi jumped at the opportunity and bid all $500. This is something that always stuns me. Why do none of the other players think to save some of their money for an item like that just to guarantee that their main target can’t walk away with it. Remember Dani Boatwright in Guatemala? Her buying the advantage changed the tides in her favor before ultimately winning the entire show!
- The final item shown on television was yet another covered plate. Carter won it for $200. Again, Carter had to share his item with the rest of the tribe just to appease the production team’s desire to watch the castaways act like absolute heathens. Carter’s prize consisted of veal shanks that the entire tribe had 60 seconds to scarf down using no utensils. It was actually quite stupid.
Everybody returned to camp in very high spirits after soaking in everything the auction had to offer — except for Abi. She was still pissed about the way she was treated at the previous Tribal Council and wanted Penner to apologize for “destroying her” as the rest of the tribe sat there and listened. Instead of apologizing, Penner basically told her that her actions can be off-putting and even suggested that she should try to be friendlier. When he told her it was her turn (basically asking for an apology in return), Abi said she had nothing to say. Despite saying her mouth was wordless, Abi wound up unleashing more drama (as usual) before the two hugged it out as the rest of the tribe sat inches away with their backs turned very awkwardly.
But what Abi did next was extremely fun to watch. As the rest of the tribe wondered what her advantage to the game consisted of, Abi used the opportunity to pretend it told her about another hidden Idol at camp. Here’s what it actually said: “Move directly to the final round in this challenge. You have a one-in-three shot at winning Immunity.” The next morning, Abi told Malcolm that she has some moves up her sleeve and wanted to have somebody on her side. “There’s a fourth Idol, baby. And I have it,” she told Malcolm as they spent time together in the shelter. Malcolm was surprised by her admission, almost as if he didn’t believe that she could have possibly found something that quickly.
Abi’s Next Lie
Realizing that she would have to read her advantage aloud at the Immunity challenge, Abi made a really smart move when Probst summoned her to reveal what the parchment said. Instead of simply revealing that she was automatically advancing to the final portion of the three-part challenge, Abi added her own spice to the mix. She declared that the parchment had two parts — only one of which she had to read aloud. She then read the advantage verbatim before ripping it into tiny pieces leaving some possibility that there was actually more to it. What a great, entertaining move.
In the final round, Abi faced off against Carter and Penner, the only two people not to be eliminated in the first two rounds. Right before the three began the race for Immunity, Skupin whispered to the others sitting on the sidelines, “She can’t win this. She can’t climb. But watch how good her knee is.” Insert foot into mouth. Despite everybody’s doubts, Abi skyrocketed through the vertical rope maze and untied her way to victory. “You gotta be freaking kidding me,” Denise said sitting on the sidelines. Wow. Probst was surprised — and almost seemed excited — with Abi’s victory. “What a journey it has been,” Probst declared as he put the Immunity necklace around Abi’s neck. “You went from being on top. To being on the bottom. To being an outcast. To being safe.”
“Hell hath frozen over. Abi won Immunity today,” Malcolm said in confessional back at Dangrayne’s camp. While most of the group was totally bummed she couldn’t be voted out next, Malcolm thought this provided the perfect opportunity to take out a major threat: Jonathan Penner. After Lisa’s alliance with Malcolm, Denise and Skupin agreed it was time for Penner to go, the former teen TV star found herself in yet another morality battle. She was really struggling with voting against Penner because of how close she has felt to him throughout the experience.
To face her internal struggle, Lisa went to Penner and Carter and said, “I’m not very good at this game. I don’t want to lie to you that I’m totally in.” Penner was surprised and exclaimed, “Cut the crap! Really?” Realizing this needed deeper discussion, Penner went for a walk with Lisa where she basically told him that her new alliance would be voting against him. Penner was very stern in his shocked response saying it was unbelievable that he was going to be knocked out of the game for not agreeing to make broken promises by forming the final-three alliance with her and Skupin a few days prior. Suddenly, Penner realized that was a potential game-ending mistake, which was a move that left many fans bewildered by — especially since Penner is such a strong strategist. Again, why not take any deal that’s presented to you whether your intent is to stay true to it or not?
Penner Or Denise
With his head knowingly on the chopping block, Penner went and told Abi and Carter, “Well, we’re gonna vote for Denise.” Abi hopped on board immediately. Carter, as usual, didn’t say a word. But Penner wasn’t done yet because he still needed one more vote to secure a majority. He went to Skupin. “Unfortunately for you my brilliant, wise, old chum, you’ve put yourself in the driver’s seat and you get to decide who you want to go forward with,” Penner said to him. “I mean, that’s just the way it is.”
Once they arrived at Tribal Council, Penner pushed hard to stay alive in the game by staring down Lisa and Skupin and asking for them for a deal right on the spot. When Malcolm called Penner out for not trusting Lisa enough before to make a solid pact with her, Penner quickly fired off a response by saying he didn’t want to make any promises with Lisa because he wasn’t 100 percent sure that he could place so much trust in her — especially since she had voted against him twice before. “I’m looking you in the eye saying please don’t vote me out,” Penner said intensely at Lisa and Skupin. “If you do vote me out tonight you will give a million dollars to one of these two people,” he added while pointing in Malcolm and Denise’s direction.
When the votes were tallied, it was close. In the end, Penner wasn’t able to spare himself and he was voted out by a vote of 4-3 (the others were against Denise). Wow. What an amazing Tribal Council once again. The crazy thing is, I didn’t want Penner nor Denise to go, which created a really intense, on-the-edge-or-your-seat moment for as the votes were revealed. After his torch was snuffed, Penner whistled his way into the darkness.
What are your thoughts on tonight’s episode? Are you happy or bummed that Penner was snuffed out of the game? Did you think he was going to be able to talk his way out of it? With only six castaways left in the game, who do you think is most deserving of winning the $1 million prize at the finale on Sunday, Dec. 16? How would you rank this season? Sound off and leave a comment below!
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Photo Credit: CBS