Survivor Philippines – From Brazil With Love

Photo courtesy of CBS.

Photo courtesy of CBS.

Tonights episode, which I have affectionately entitled Survivor Philippines – From Brazil With Love, wasn’t a terribly exciting episode but it did serve to show us what alliances are strong and how the ending of the game is starting to shape up.  (spoilers after the jump)

Abi made a classic mistake several weeks ago by making it known that she has an immunity idol.  Once that is known, the rest of the cast members will work to try to flush the idol.  In tonight’s episode, that is just what they set about doing.

Jonathan Penner, who just 2 weeks ago had to play an idol to stay in the game, is now directing the main alliance and is seemingly in control of the game.  He devised the plan to split the vote between Abi and Peter and if Abi didn’t play her idol, they would just re-vote for her and vote her out.  If she did play the idol, then they get their 2nd choice, Peter, voted out of the game.

Peter recognized that this was the plan for tribal council and he began a pretty smart play to get someone to flip.  All he and Abi would need is just one person to flip to them and they could have voted Malcolm out of the game.  He smartly went to Skupin who could be considered to be on the bottom of the Penner alliance.  Would Skupin flip?  We wouldn’t know until tribal and given how bad a player Skupin is, no one could say for sure.

Tribal council was pretty brutal.  Abi was apparently unaware that she is the most hated player in the game but she sure found out during tribal.  She was attacked by everyone to the point that she was speechless and crying.  I don’t like Abi at all but I did feel bad for her because it was pretty brutal and she really didn’t understand why everyone hated her.

The vote went as planned by Penner and Abi did play her idol which mean that Peter was voted out of the game.  Penner now seems to be in total control of the game but his alliance isn’t very strong.  I don’t think Penner can win this game unless he starts dominating immunity challenges, which he hasn’t done any of.

Let me tell you who I think is the dark horse to win this game.  This lady:

Photo courtesy of CBS.

This is Denise Stapley.  She’s 41 and while it’s not surprising that an older woman is making it to the end of the game because that is the only real winning formula in this game (be non-threatening in every way possible and you can win).  What is surprising about her is that while she is flying under the radar, she is actually one of the top physical players in the game.  She is also playing a very smart game and has a good grasp on the strategy of the game.  She is a wild-card on the Penner alliance and she is just waiting for a good opportunity to make her move and take over the game.

If people don’t start to recognize her as a threat, she will get to a point that she can’t be stopped.  I don’t think people are going to recognize the threat that she represents because they are too busy looking at others like Penner and Malcolm.  Don’t be surprised if Denise is cashing a million dollar check at the end of this show.

2 Comments on Survivor Philippines – From Brazil With Love

  1. I think your pick of Denise as the winner is a good one. She’s strong, smart and, as you said, is flying under the radar. I’ve got to say that I LOVE this season. I’ve never seen someone play the game like Lisa Whelchel. It doubtful her game will get her to the end and she’s got her “old” age against her, but I’ve always wondered what kind of a player I would be, and she’s it. In this episode, Lisa breaks off her alliance, face to face, before tribal council. (What?!) She probably won’t leave a millionaire, but she’ll leave with her head held high and maybe being on Survivor will lead her to other career opportunities. And Penner…. he’s awesome. If you close your eyes and listen to him talk, he sounds EXACTLY like Alan Alda. Right?!

    • Midwest Mike // November 23, 2012 at 11:57 am //

      Old is never a problem for women players unless you are really old. If they make it past being the first or second ones voted out, they will last a long time in the game. We have seen several seasons where older women have won the game without ever having won any immunities or challenges.

      I don’t think Lisa is going to win because she has been so unreliable. She is burning people that are going on the jury now. While it used to be in this game that people would still vote for people that played the best game, even if they had screwed them, that is not the case any more. Now the jury votes only out of anger so you have to do what you can to minimize the anger on the jury.

      Penner is one of the best tactical players that has played the game. He reads everything exactly right and he has a great read on the people. He was about to get voted out 2 weeks ago and now he is in control of the game. Penner is not going to win though. Alliance leaders rarely win the game because they are the ones making decisions and again, that makes people mad who are then on the jury.

      I am leaning towards Denise because she has the older woman advantage of flying under the radar, she doesn’t have to make any of the decisions that are going to make people angry on the jury, and she is actually strong enough to hold her own in challenges. If she makes it to the final 4 or 5, she is going to be tough to beat. Her name has never come up in any discussions either which makes me think she will be around for a while.

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