Friday, November 9, 2012

Survivor Philippines Episode 8: It's Ludicrous!

Just when I thought that the merge episode last week was really good, this week's crazy episode topped that. I am going to declare it right now, this is one of the best seasons in a long while. It is very refreshing to see new castaways playing as hard, oftentimes even harder, than the returning players. Coming into this episode, most of us might have thought that Penner was already a goner, but he threw us a curve ball and it sparked chaos in camp and during tribal council. 

Image: CBS

The episode starts off with Penner confronting his former allies at Kalabaw about the vote. He knows that he has to win the next immunity challenge, or else his idol only bought him three more days in the island. Pretty much the first few minutes of this episode focused on how the rest of the merged tribe were re-affirming their decision of voting off Penner next time now that he doesn't have an idol in his pocket. But in order to do that, he must not win the next immunity challenge. They even showed Jeff's confessional with him calling Penner a 'dead man walking' after he survived the previous vote. Clearly, it was a foreshadowing of some sort.

Image: CBS

Reward Challenge

I was excited to see this reward challenge because we haven't had a water challenge in a while. And it proved to be an exciting one with several exchanges of leads throughout the duration of the challenge. First, it was Lisa who messed up the yellow team's lead after being slow at the swimming leg of the challenge. Then, Skupin blew up the lead for the blue tribe when he was unable to untie the buoy. And of course, Denise being the beast in the water, she made up lots of time and gave the yellow team a slight advantage going into the digging part. But Jeff and Jonathan showed great teamwork at the puzzle portion of this challenge to give them the win. Jonathan's impeccable puzzle solving ability served him well at the most important immunity challenge of the game for him so far.

Image: CBS

Lisa Spills the Beans

Last week, I made a bad call. I said adding Lisa into the solid twosome of Malcolm and Denise is going to be a good thing for them because they now have a solid three, instead of two. But the sweet Lisa didn't turn out to be as loyal as she seems, as she turned on Malcolm and told Skupin about his idol. And the worst part of all? She even wants to blindside Malcolm! Uh-oh. I was sick to my stomach watching this scene play out.


Penner Does The (Seemingly) Impossible

Survivor tricked me yet again. For so long, I refused to be led on by the "Next time on..." previews because they either 1) show you the opposite of what is actually going to happen or 2) they are completely unrelated to what is actually going to happen. With his torch so close to being snuffed, Penner rallied his way to victory. I don't personally root for Penner, but you have to applaud his ability to dig deep. With his back against the wall, he came from behind to beat out Jeff and Pete at the immunity challenge - his first ever in the game. What a time to come!

This throws some chaos to their plan of voting off Penner. And this is where all hell breaks loose.

"It's Ludicrous!"

Lisa is finally showing us some game. This week, she orchestrated this major plan of blindsiding Malcolm. He pulls Pete aside to discuss how they are going to vote Malcolm off and also reveal the fact that he has Matsing's idol. But it seems that Pete is infatuated with Malcolm that he went rushing to him to confront him if he has Matsing's idol. This particular scene right here is very telling about both guy's aptitude in this game. 

On one side, there is Pete who declared himself as the "mastermind" within the Tandang alliance (who has the majority). He confronts Malcolm about the idol and when the latter didn't give him a direct answer, he sensed some nervousness and agitation. But oddly enough, he translated that agitation to confirm that Malcolm does not have the idol. Bravo! Great use of psychology right there, Peter!

On the other hand, there is Malcolm whose exemplified smart gameplay up to this point. He does not directly deny that he has the idol nor does he confirm it. Instead, he answers the question with a question! Malcolm has done an excellent job of keeping information to himself while absorbing information from others in this game so far. And this ability can be very crucial with so many cracks within this merged tribe. After realizing that it was Lisa who spilled the beans, Malcolm confronts Skupin and Penner about the idol and the rumors that is being spread around camp. Good thing that Pete was keen on voting off Jeff, which Malcolm agrees to right off the bat so it could take the heat off of him. 

Image: CBS

During tribal council, the issue about Lisa running around spreading information about Malcolm's idol was brought up. To clear the air of confusion, Malcolm shocks everyone at tribal (except Denise and Lisa, of course) when he showed everyone he has the idol. The reaction on Jeff's face was priceless. Thanks for making up for Eliza's crazed reactions at the jury section! But going back to the idol, Malcolm let it all out that he has the idol. He addressed the fact that his name had been brought up at camp and that the idol is definitely going to be played so anyone who might want to waste their vote should think twice. I do think that revealing Malcolm's idol at tribal was the best move for him at that time. He showed some major balls for revealing that and deciding not to play it anyway. It turned out to be a smart move because we didn't see Malcolm's name in any of the parchment papers, which means he keeps the idol for when it is most useful to him. However, he now has to play doubly hard if he wants to shift the numbers back to his side.

Lo and behold, Abi flushes her own idol at tribal, too. Malcolm's decision to do it might have made more sense... but this one? I don't know what got into Abi's head. By revealing her idol, it puts a target on her back. And now, after I had time to absorb all of that chaos that happened at tribal, Penner's vote for Abi made more sense to me. So, yes, I don't think it was a blind vote. Definitely, not Penner. We'd see more clarity about the reasoning behind this vote in the coming week/s.

Like last week, I didn't know for sure until the last parchment paper was revealed as to who was going home. Sadly, it was Jeff Kent... which means that is one person off of my initial bets. He was competitive and a good strategist, although his strategies might not be properly placed in most cases (note: pining so hard to get rid of the vets!). But it seems as though Penner got his sweet revenge as it was quite ironic that the person who was rallying for him to go home was sent packing the day Penner won his first ever individual immunity necklace. And don't even get me started on that exit confessional...

This is clearly the best episode of the season so far. Doesn't this pump you up for next week? I'm tired of making predictions anymore. This game (this season, rather) has thrown in one surprise after another. The only thing I am sure of is that the next one's going to be good. I can't wait for it to happen!


  1. I'm out of words to describe this post. This is your masterpiece and your best to date!

    You didn't miss a single point and I give you kudos for it.

    I know we already talk a lot about this episode. We're crazy about it, right? But I'm not satisfied. I want to talk more.

    Let me comment about Abi-Maria. I'm starting to feel regrets for choosing her as one of my first-impression bets. She's playing this game with wrong emotions and showing everyone that she got the idol was no strategy at all.

    It was an impulsive move and she's putting a big target on her back.

    But Abi-Maria will still be safe despite of all the mistakes she did. That's because of Pete. As long as she has Pete on her side, she'll be in good hands.

    1. Hi Dean,

      Thank you for the sweet words. You can really tell that I love writing or talking about this episode right? You're right, we've talked about it deeply enough and yet there are still more to cover. I expect even better things in the coming episodes. This is shaping up to be the best season in recent memory.

  2. Great blog Bianca and yes without a doubt the best episode this season, and certainly the best tribal councils we've seen go down in recent memory.

    I am glad you touched on Pete's self proclaimed Mastermind status, I mean how dumb is he, someone feeds you info on another having an idol and you choose to question it, then not believe it further based on his nervous stance he took.

    Tribal Council was a riot, one move after another, Lisa leading the pack as to why they should get rid of Malcolm, then him producing his Idol was priceless as was Probst' face that followed. Then I thought Probst said jokingly who else has one and boom, into her bag Abi digs and says that classic line...."yes I have it, I could not stop laughing it was so funny.

    I think if Malcolm passed his Idol to Jeff, Abi would have passed hers to Pete without thinking twice, go back and look at Penners face when he sees that did not happen.

    Once again, you have written a great recap of events, Skupin mentioned on Survivor Seasons it just gets better. I am sure it is going to.

    1. I totally agree! I think Jeff was just trying to play along.. he must've been as shocked as everybody else in that tribal council that Malcolm actually had the guts to show off his idol! But when Abi showed her idol, it only told you that she had little to no grasp of this game. Tsk

  3. Pete thinks he is running the game. Sadly he has to know if not by the end of this episode than by the next one, that his time is nearing its end. I don't understand his intelligence. I thought he was awesome for pitting RC vs Abi with the immunity idol clue. But, his confrontation with Malcolm gave him all of the clues to let him deduct that Malcolm had the idol, yet, he came away with the thought that he didn't have the idol and that Lisa was just making it up. Which goes to show you that they don't respect Lisa enough.

    Malcolm showing his idol was brilliant tho. I mean, he basically said "Come at me bro?" Then Jeff did what Jeff does best, and gets people to
    make themselves look dumb. I don't know why Abi showed her Idol. Maybe she thought people thought Malcolm was cool for having one. So people would think she is cool for having one too?

    Penner's "Boom!" comment was the best. The tribe was so in dis-array that they didn't know who to vote for. I thought that Jonathan's plea to the others was wasted when he voted for Abi, but I think that if both idols were played or passed off, he wanted Abi to go home. This was the best tribal council ever. So many things going on.



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