‘Survivor: Philippines’ Recap: Lisa Whelchel’s Wake-Up Call?


'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: Actually, the less we talk about last week the better. I miss me some Penner.

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

Abi approaches Carter immediately after Tribal to get his thoughts on the new four-way alliance. True to form, he doesn’t seem that worried about it. Abi’s a bit freaked out because she thinks the others hate her because she’s too honest. Yes, that’s why they hate you.

Carter tries to put Abi’s mind at ease by reminding her that she has an immunity idol. Also, she’s married to Morgan Fairchild. (If you get that reference you are old. But it’s cool, cause I’m old too.)

Reward Challenge Time: Wait, already?

Anywho, it’s family visit time. Skup’s son Michael comes out first and nearly breaks his ankle. Wow, keep that kid away from the fire.

Carter’s mom is next. From what he tells me his whole family is super into fitness, so they’re my pick to win this shindig.

We then get to meet Denise’s husband Brad. She breaks down a bit…my eyes might be getting a little moist too.

Lisa’s little brother Justice comes out…and you thought you’d seen Lisa cry before! Wow, she loses it.It’s like a solid .9 on the Sugar Scale.

Also, the Whelchels make good-looking kids. Also again, I was kind of hoping for Mrs. Garrett.

Abi’s mom is next.  She doesn’t speak English, so she’s a bit confused with everything that’s going on. Hopefully Abi found time to explain to her that people don’t like her because she’s too honest.

Malcolm’s brother Miles is last and he’s a huge “Survivor” fan. It’s hilarious because Malcolm is super tan and Miles is beyond white. Although, in Miles’s defense this was shot in April.

For the challenge, the players will toss muddy bags to their loved ones. The loved ones will use the bag to try to knock down targets. First team to knock over all of their targets gets to have their loved one sleep over.

Not much to describe here except for muddy bag tossin’. It comes down to Team Malcolm, Team Skupin, and Team Carter with the Freberg Brothers picking up the victory.

Malcolm gets to pick two more people to have their family members tag along. He chooses Lisa and Skupin. Oy…if I ever go on “Survivor” I’m throwing the loved ones challenge. No way I’d want to make that decision.

Back at camp, Skup has his son climb a tree with a machete. It’s seriously a miracle that kid has made it this long. I’m sending the Skupins some bubble wrap for Christmas.

Lisa explains everything that has happened to her brother. She believes she could’ve played a great game, but she wasn’t as comfortable lying as she thought she would be. Justice floats the idea that they could blindside Malcolm if he trusts her. Shut up, Justice!

Actually, Justice has some solid strategy chops as he reminds Lisa that Malcolm didn’t lose it when she tried to get him out before. He thinks Malcolm will respect her if she blindsides him.

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will race across a balance beam, then use a hook to retrieve three bags from the bottom of the ocean. Once they have all three bags they’ll swim to shore and use the contents of the bag to create a pole. Once their pole is long and strong enough, (grow up…) they’ll use it to poke a target. (Like in “Friends” when they had to poke Ugly Naked Guy). First one to poke their target wins immunity.

Carter’s the first to retrieve all three bags. Behind him is Skupin, Lisa, Malcolm, and Denise. Abi is going super slow. Probst lets her know about it…he’s not subtle.

Lisa’s the first to get a pole together, but it’s not strong enough to set off the target. Skup and Carter can’t get it done either. Finally, Malcolm gets some good poking done and wins immunity. In your face, Justice.

Lisa’s bummed that she won’t get to make her big move. But at least we got to see her do a Jeff Probst impersonation. It was decent.

At Dangrayne, Malcolm points out that he’s safe now and will be allowed to play his idol at next week’s Tribal. Final four, baby.

Lisa starts talking about how it’s the Lord’s will that Malcolm won immunity. However, Skupin’s more interested in a large ant on a tree.

Politicking around camp revolves around booting Carter because he’s a challenge threat or Abi because…well…you know.

Carter approaches Malcolm and Skupin as they debate the pros and cons. They fess up to what they were discussing and Carter makes the pitch that they keep him around in honor of competition. That’s beautiful…in theory. Either way, nice to see Carter playing.

Abi helps make Carter’s point by being a pain in the tush at dinner. She also lets them know that she intends to play her make-believe immunity idol.

Malcolm compares Abi to a soul-sucking Dementor from Harry Potter.  He’s prepared to Expecto Patronum her Brazilian posterior in the name of peace around camp. My money is on Malcolm’s patronus having beautiful wavy hair.

We’re getting off topic.

That night at Tribal Council, Malcolm says he trusts his final-four alliance but is still glad to have immunity.

Carter knows that he or Abi is going home. He again pushes to keep the strongest players around.

Skup thinks voting off Carter will be like voting off his own kid. But remember, he gave his kid a machete and had him shimmy up a tree, voting him off should be easy.

Abi again brings up her mystery idol. Denise points out that they’ve never seen it.

Denise thinks her relationship with Abi has improved, but Abi doesn’t deserve to go to the end and can’t win.

Voting Time: Carter votes for Abi, Abi votes for Carter, and the other four are lost to the magic of editing.

J-Pro gets his tally on. He asks if anyone would like to play an immunity idol…and Abi does not. You know, cause she doesn’t have one.

We’ve got one vote for Carter, one vote for Abi, two votes Carter, and the thirteenth person to leave “Survivor: Philippines” and the sixth member of the jury is…Carter.

Verdict: Not a shocking vote this week, but they can’t all be exciting. Nice to see Lisa prepared to finally make some moves.

As we head into the final stretch, it’s kind of cool to have a final five where I’d be fine with four of them winning. And to be honest, if Abi won it would still be impressive that she managed to pull it off after being hated for so long. Color me excited.

Who’s Going to Win: If Malcolm can win the final four immunity challenge, he’ll be a millionaire and my streak of making bad pre-season predictions will be over. All of my fingers are crossed.

Power Rankings Results: Kat and I both nailed it. We both had Carter in the sixth position. So, the current score as we head into the final round is Team Kat: 128, Team Awesome Thunder: 129.

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

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