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:
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.