‘Survivor: Philippines’ Recap: Abi or Not Abi?


'Survivor: Philippines' (CBS)

XFinityTV is blowing up their coverage of “Survivor: Philippines.” Every Tuesday I’ll be squaring off against “Survivor: One World” favorite Kat Edorsson in this season’s Power Rankings challenge. Every Wednesday briefly after the show we’ll have a full episode recap and every Thursday we’ll have an interview with the latest eliminated player.  Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for all the updates!

Set Your DVR to Record “Survivor: Philippines”

Last Week: Skupin and Lisa wanted to align with Kalabaw, but Penner got cold feet, Abi went into great detail about everything she had to eat, Malcolm and Denise joined a final four that will be tough to beat, and poor engineer/model Pete met a bitter defeat.

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Let’s take a look at the tribe as it currently stands…

The Dangrayne Tribe (wearing black)

Abi-Maria – Business Student, 32
Carter – Track Coach, 24
Denise – Sex Therapist, 41
Lisa – Former ‘Facts of Life’ Star, 49
Malcolm – Bartender, 25
Michael – Professional Speaker, Author, and Coach, 50
Penner – Writer, 50

The fun starts off the morning after Tribal and Abi is not thrilled with how she was treated. She browbeats Michael, which fortunately doesn’t leave him bruised or bleeding.

Denise lays out an early favorite for Understatement of the Night by saying that Abi will be the next to go home. However, if Abi can win immunit, it’ll be Penner. Gah…Penner’s gonna regret not joining up with Skup and Lisa.

During a trip to get tree mail, Malcolm lets Abi know that he feels bad about how rough Tribal was for her. I’m sure he feels that way, but it’s good strategy too.

Reward Challenge Time: Food auction, baby! Everyone has $500 and they’re not allowed to share food or money.

OK, before we get into this, if they’re serious about getting rid of Abi, they won’t let her buy the advantage. Most of the remaining players are just too smart for that.

Pancakes and bacon go to Denise for all of her money. What did I just say about Abi and the challenge clue?

Skupin immediately bids $500 on a plate of wine and cheese. What did I say?!

Malcolm wins iced coffee and donuts for $200.

Fun Fact: “Survivor” catering’s iced coffee is amazing. Amazing.

A mystery item goes to Penner for $100. It ends up being fried chicken and French fries.

A second mystery item goes to Carter for $200. It’s a loaded baked potato. Probst gives him the opportunity to trade it for rice and beans for the tribe. He makes the trade.

A third mystery item goes Lisa for $320. It’s a sandwich. It’s also impossible for anyone to outbit Abi now.

And…the next item is the clue. Abi immediately bids all of her money and wins. That sound you hear in the distance is a “Survivor” recapper banging his head against a coffee table in Philadelphia.

Carter wins the final mystery item for $200. It is revealed to be veal shanks for the entire tribe. The catch is they have a minute to eat them and they can’t use any silverware. The eating that follows is pretty gross.

Back at camp, Abi is looking for an apology from Penner for destroying her at Tribal. Penner tries to diffuse the situation, but Abi is being less than friendly. However, they do end things with a hug, so good on her for remembering that she’s going to need friends at some point.

Abi sneaks out to read her auction advantage. It turns out she’ll get a free pass to the final round of the immunity challenge.

Not content to just have a one-in-three chance of winning the next challenge, she comes up with a secondary plan. Abi starts sneaking around as if she was really given a clue to an idol. I like this. Although, at the challenge it’ll be obvious that the advantage wasn’t an immunity idol clue when she zips ahead to the final round.

Immunity Challenge Time: Players will be attached to a rope and have to maneuver around a hitching rail. The first five to the end will advance. Then, they’ll have to maneuver around a series of bamboo poles. The first two to the end will advance. Then, the final two along with Abi will have to work their way around a multi-level structure. First one through wins immunity.

Also, they’ll have to answer trivia questions. If they get them wrong, they’ll have to carry around 5% of their body weight. That’s kind of random and weird.

Probst tells Abi to read her advantage and she LIES and says that there are two messages and that she only has to read the one about the immunity challenge. She then TEARS THE NOTE TO PIECES! Hate her all day and all night, but she’s trying.

Round One: Lisa and Denise both get the trivia wrong, so they’ll have to carry extra weight. It doesn’t matter to Denise though as she’s the first one through. She’s followed by Carter, Skup, Malcolm, and Penner.

Round Two: Carter, Skup, and Denise both missed the second trivia question. Carter and Penner advance to the final round.

Skup doesn’t think Abi can win because she can’t climb.

Round Three: They aren’t attached to a rope this time; instead they’ll have to untie several rope barricades. Apparently Abi’s tiny fingers are perfect for this task because she zips through it and wins immunity.

Well, now things are interesting.

Afterwards, Malcolm’s psyched because he doesn’t view Abi as a threat and this is an opportunity to send Penner packing.

On the other hand, Lisa’s having doubts because she still feels connected to Carter and Penner. She talks to Penner and tells him that she wanted to align with him, but he turned it down. She then confirms that he’s next on the chopping block.

When Penner asks what he should do about it, her only response is that he should go work his magic. Well, Penner has proven he has some magic this season.

That night at Tribal Council, Abi admits that it was her plan to save her money for the clue. Really? That happens at like EVERY auction. (Sorry for the overuse of caps tonight.)

Penner then outs the final four alliance. He’s annoyed because he thought they were all working toward a common goal.

Malcolm calls him on this, saying they turned on him because he wouldn’t align with them.

Penner makes a direct appeal to Lisa and Skupin saying that they’ll lose in the end if they align with Malcolm and Denise.

Abi must be loving this.

Probst asks Lisa if she can compare this situation to something in her real life. She says she can, but it’s too personal to talk about. She then goes all Sugar on them with some waterworks.

Also, Carter was there.

Voting Time: Abi votes for Denise, Penner votes for Denise (and makes a point to say it loud enough so everyone can hear it), and the rest of the votes are not shown.

J-Pro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone would like to play an idol…and nobody does.

We’ve got two votes for Denise, two votes for Penner, one vote for Denise, one vote for Penner and the twelfth person to leave “Survivor: Philippines” and the fifth member of the jury is…Penner.

Verdict: This season is on fire. Easily the best since “Heroes vs. Villains.”

Shame about Penner though. It’s rare that you get such a perfect portrayal of where someone’s game went wrong.

Who’s Going to Win: Now that Abi’s advantage clue has given her seven immunity idols, I don’t see how she can lose.

Power Rankings Results: Kat’s still cutting down on my monster lead. She had Penner in spot six while I had him in spot five. So, the current score is Team Kat: 122, Team Awesome Thunder: 123.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

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