Friday, November 2, 2012

Survivor Philippines Episode 7 Insights: Dang Rain!

Before delving deep into this episode, I have to profess right here, right now that this is probably the best merge episode we've seen in a long time. Blindsides, alliances, strategy, idols... so much to cover! Shall we get started?

Image: CBS
The episode opens with both tribes reading a note from their treemail announcing that they have made the merge and they need 10 minutes to gather as many supplies as they can and bring it to their boat, wherein they will be taken to a new beach. Mad chaos ensued as castaways gather their personal belongings, carry all essential survival supplies, and in the case of Malcolm, dig his buried immunity idol. Both tribes seem to be pretty excited about making the merge, and most especially the Kalabaw tribe who are looking to get a new lease of life at the game in the hopes of seeping through the cracks of the dysfunctional family that is Tandang.

Everyone seems to be playing nice as both tribes make it to the new beach at the same time. Of course, the casual introduction and the merge feast were enough to keep everyone in a festive mood, but it is only a matter of time until the backstabbing ensues. 

Everyone seemed to break up in pairs or groups, some in the water discussing strategies, while others were walking off to the forest to seemingly collect firewood and water. But we know it too well. Malcolm and Denise, thankfully, solidified their alliance and I was ecstatic that Denise brought up the idea of working together with Malcolm. Of course, it was a smart decision for her knowing that his biggest ally in the game has Matsing's immunity idol so that will be their ace in the game. 

Involuntary Alliance

For a while there, Malcolm did a great job at keeping his hidden immunity idol a secret from everybody else, except for Denise. But Lisa, being the motherly figure that she is, was at the right place at the right moment when she started hanging everybody's clothes and stumbled into Malcolm's idol. 

Smart move for Malcolm to pin her down. I saw Denise's confessional video, though, and she described it in the best way noting that it was the "best worst case scenario" for them. I think that Lisa would be a great addition to their alliance, although Malcolm is very much aware that he'd have to work doubly hard to ensure that they don't beat him in the end, if they make it to a final 3. But that is a solid number for now, and with a merged tribe that's got a lot of loose ends and cracks, the 3 could be a magical number, especially if they remain solid.

The Drama Continues

The drama between RC and Abi-Maria won't let up. And I think the former members of the Kalabaw tribe are smiling at the idea. It is fairly easy to pit them against each other with that level of animosity. I have never seen anyone in the game of Survivor with such personal vendetta against the other person. Abi is just a loose canon, as she's always been, and the fact that she got more people on her side only makes her all the more confident without thinking about the backlash of her action. Is she playing to win? Or is she simply cool with outlasting RC? Don't know her real plan is at this point.

Double Immunity

Image: CBS
I had to give the challenge production team props for their idea at the challenge this week. It was original and fun to watch! I also liked the idea of having two immunity necklaces - one for the women and one for the men - because it is difficult for women to outlast men with this kind of challenge. Although by looking at how well Denise held up, I think she might've given Jeff and Carter some good competition. So, let me just take this opportunity to congratulate Denise for winning individual immunity. That was her first ever win in the game so far! And what a time to come? Maybe she can get her momentum going and I do think she has a sure shot of winning individual challenges because she is extremely athletic for her age.

One funny note about the challenge though: Probst's comments after Penner let go of the rope during the immunity challenge. Anyone whose seen Penner play before is aware that he and Probst can butt heads. Penner isn't one to be shy about letting others know what he thinks. So, when that exchange happened, I thought it was pretty funny. 

Also, Malcolm did a good job at letting go of the rope, too. He has been doing well in the past few challenges so it was a smart move to let go of the rope right after Pete and Penner did. Trying to fight for that immunity necklace will put a much bigger target on his back. Another brilliant move to let go knowing that he is temporarily safe and not needing the immunity necklace just yet. And with more men left than women, there will be several others like him that might be perceived as a challenge threat.

First Juror

I won't lie about it - I am bummed that RC got voted off. I hate seeing super competitive players get voted off but it was a smart move for the sake of the others left. I did not feel like she did enough scrambling to save herself, though. She could have built friendships and social connections, or at least try to get people to think about strategy from her standpoint. It was simply her or Penner and as the latter had the idol, it was over for her. 

It was an interesting move for Jeff Kent, though. I did not think he would go after Penner right after the merge happens. If he would've done that, he might be better of keeping Katie than Penner, then. Why not vote him off sooner when he was going to get him out the next time? I, for a while there, though he was going to use Penner's idol to his advantage. But now, he simply flushed it out and unless Penner can work his magic, his days are numbered.

Next week should be exciting. Penner has got no more idol on his pocket. And with no alliances left, he is on his own and that immunity necklace is the most valuable thing he could possess right now. What would happen to Skupin now that his closest ally is gone? Will he be the next target once the dust settles on Penner? I know - it's interesting! 

Check this space again to read about my new power rankings. It'll be interesting to assess how the remaining castaways fair in the competition.


  1. This merged episode was very good, so many potential alliances that could have and did form.

    Jeff has got a huge problem, a very huge problem, I believe he is more concerned about not letting Penner or Skupin win than he is winning himself, will remain to be seen how he plays from now on but he does seem in control of his actions so far. He did not go after Penner, he actually voted for RC and seemed very surprised when Penner got so many votes, I was surprised Skupin voted for Penner and not Pete as I would have thought.

    Malcolm was very smart ousting out of that IC early, he is a very smart thinker and knew he was not in danger and Abi was all smiles once RC was out of the challenge as well.

    Unlike you I was not saddened to see RC go, I don't know what she brought to the game, socially she was not prepared for someone as bitchy as Abi, was very non-confrontational after so many accusations from Abi and she declared her strategy was to remain in the background until the merge, that was her main downfall after what I thought in the first 2 episodes she would be a driving force in a power alliance.

    If I was Pete I would not be taking things calmly just yet, it would be a great blindside for him to be ousted next, he believes he is this experienced power players who controls Abi and Artis but I don't think anyone controls Abi, she's such a little stirrer I just love how CBS are portraying her.

    Be interesting to see how Jonathon goes about surviving past next week, hopefully he'll find his way into another alliance and lasts some time, he is good entertainment.

    Great recap once again Bianca, love your work.

    1. I get your thoughts on RC. Yes, I am disappointed to see her go because I loved her competitiveness in challenges but I was not happy that she didn't do anything to put herself in a good position. She made herself an easy target for ouster.

      I was about to point out, too, that the votes were a bit haywire. I was particularly surprised that RC and Skupin did not have the same vote. It seems as though RC was on her own there.

      Ahh, lots of possibilities next week. Should be exciting! That preview is another intriguing one, too.

  2. I'll be surprised if Penner won't win immunity next week. Usually, an underdog in this game will win the necklace the moment they needed it the most. Remember what happened to Shii Ann in All-Stars, Brett in Survivor Samoa, Troyzan in Survivor One World?

    These are only three of the many names who won immunity. They successfully used the pressure to dig deeper. Penner is such an awesome competitor in challenges, especially when it involves puzzles so I'm expecting him to be in his 200% and win that necklace.

    If this prediction happens, I can't stop thinking what Jeff Kent will do next. His overall strategic game was simply impressive even without a hidden idol inside his pocket. His superior ability in group interactions will be put into test again.

    I don't completely understand why many people dislike the idea of Kent eliminating RC. It wasn't a personal vote. Kent only did it to make sure Penner play his hidden idol. As I said in my post, RC was a sacrifice. It was an unfavorable sacrifice though it still works.

    * * *

    I'm looking forward for your power ranking. Right now, if I have to put someone at the top of the list, that would be Jeff Kent. Malcolm probably came second. Lisa is third and I'm fence between Carter and Denise for the fourth position.

  3. Enjoyed reading your recap. I especially appreciated the insight that Malcolm most likely bailed out of the Immunity Challenge on purpose.

    SurvivorTalk with D&D

  4. I'm bummed about RC too - the merge seemed timed to help her & Skupin unite with Kalabaw, but Kent's all-consuming need to get rid of Penner vetoed any chance of that.

  5. This was a very good episode. And the start to a great season. I hope that survivor takes notice on what happened here. 3 tribes, several alliances, this season has the potential to go anyway. And with that being said, it in fact did go every way. So much scrambling. So much paranoia. Great entertainment value.

  6. Last week the boldest move happened when Skupin sided with the what I call MAT-KAL alliance which is Carter, Denise, Malcolm, and Penner. That made them vote off Artis in a big shocker! I LOVED IT! I wanted the tandang 5 to go down! And hopefully that is what will happen! Now as far as the game goes, it’s a tough one to call still. Its 4-4 or 5-3(depending where skupin lies) and then there’s Lisa who’s messed up her chances of winning at all! She wont win! She has ruffled too many feathers already. She shoulda stayed quiet and made it far quietly, but NO! She had to reveal secrets and make shady deals. Pete is in trouble this next episode. Abbi is in trouble BUT SHE HAS AN IDOL! And who knows what will happen. AN IDOL IS ONLY GOOD TIL THE FINAL 5 so we’re at final 8 so it has to be played within these next 4 tribal councils, both of them, UNLESS THERES a blindside,…ooh so many possibilities. TONIGHT is important. Alliances might shift or stay in tact, who knows. ALL I KNOW IS, this season is one of the most exciting and UNPREDICTABLE survivors since survivor 20, which is amazing to say. The other seasons in between were interesting and exciting, but PREDICTABLE! This season you don’t know whos going home or wats gonna happen. Pretty nice!

    P.s when Abbi indirectly hit Skupin with a coconut! Hahahaha omg Skupin is so accident prone! He is like bad luck all together lol.


Thanks for your comment. Looking forward to hearing what you have to say! :)