The beginning of this week’s episode reminded us of what happened last week. Skupin made the decision to flop on the Tandang tribe in order to break up the powerful alliance of Abi, Artis, and Pete by sending Artis home. Skupin informs us that he is aware of the fact that people must make big moves in the game of Survivor in order to make it far, and this is just the first one he intends on making. Let’s see if he capitalizes on any opportunities this week.
I understand how Lisa is trying to play the game. She feels the need to explain every move she makes to everyone. Clearly, she is trying to make herself out to look like a hero. She wants everything to be justified so she can be rewarded the million dollar check at the end of the game. Lisa decided to side with a final six alliance with Penner, Denise, Skupin, Malcolm, and Carter. These five individuals have “shown her more grace” than her previous Tandang alliance, so the new alliance makes her feel better about herself than aligning with this season’s biggest villains. I also wanted to point out that when Lisa was “breaking up” with Abi, I could not help but notice that Abi was drinking out of something that looked like a wine bottle. Where did this even come from? Is it water? Is it wine? Did I miss something?!
Honestly, the challenges this season are boring. This week’s reward challenge consisted of two teams. The red team was Abi, Carter, Malcolm, and Pete. The yellow team was Denise, Lisa, Penner, and Skupin. The object of the challenge was for the teams to flip over three drums (basically tires with a cover), and the fastest team to do this the three times would win the reward. This is the point in the game where the winners are rewarded a spa day: showers, massages, and an afternoon lunch. The teams were tied two and two, but the red team pulled out the win. I know that if I ever participated in a challenge like this, the only thing I would really be worried about winning would be the food and drinks. Jeff Probst, you had me at “cocktails.” Game on!
Upon returning back to camp, Abi immediately started rubbing people the wrong way. She was very adamant about informing the other castaways of every detail about spa day. If she has ever watched the show before, she should know that gloating about reward wins is a huge Survivor no-no. It’s just common courtesy to be as humble about the experience as possible. In addition, she also mentions that since she knows that she will be leaving soon, she will not be cooking for the tribe for the remainder of her stay. She believes that it is time for someone else to step up to the plate since she had been the personal chef for the previous 26 days. I am not sure what kind of game Abi is trying to play. She constantly complains about every aspect of the game. She even picks fights with people for no apparent reason. Is it likely that she wants to be considered one of the biggest villains of all time? If so, then this wish is coming true. Is her plan to be so obnoxious that she gets taken to the final three? Honestly, if I was playing the game with her, I know that I would gladly take her to the final three with me. She is so disliked by everyone else that she has absolutely no chance at winning the game. If we have learned anything in seasons past, one part of the game is making it to the end, but the other part of the game is “jury management.”
I love how proactive Malcolm is being. Malcolm proposed to Skupin a final four deal that would also include Denise and Lisa. I think this is a huge, huge move that Skupin and Lisa should make. They were originally at the bottom of a final six alliance. Now, they have an opportunity to make it to the final four. However, Lisa is skeptical about Malcolm’s position in the game. She is more interested in being in a final three alliance with Skupin and Penner. I can see how final three sounds better than final four, but it truly depends on who you go to the finals with. Lisa claims to be a huge fan of the game, but often times makes moves that make me question that. Going into the finals with two veterans is almost like a death sentence. I do not see Skupin winning this game. However, Penner has not had to lie. In addition, he has triumphed over adversity considering people have been trying to get rid of him from the very beginning of this game. Lisa might not get votes from Pete, Artis, or Abi considering she broke her alliance with them. So, in my opinion, Lisa is in way over her head if she thinks she can beat Penner in the finals. Lisa approaches Penner about the final three alliance and Penner informs her that he doesn’t want to make any promises. She eventually decides that the final four alliance with Skupin, Denise, and Malcolm is her best bet. I completely agree with this decision.
The individual immunity challenge allowed Denise to prove herself yet again. I truly believe that she is one of the most dominant female competitors this game has ever seen. Denise, Carter, and Skupin made it to the final leg of the challenge with Carter winning individual immunity. Prior to the start of this week’s episode, I had a feeling that it would be Pete or Carter going home this week. Carter is a huge physical threat considering he has won two individual immunity challenges this season. I definitely see him going home as soon as he does not win one. As far as Pete’s concerned, his alliance with Abi really is the thing that sealed his fate.
If the six of Carter, Denise, Lisa, Malcolm, Penner, and Skupin wanted to get rid of Pete or Abi this week, the best move they could possibly make would be to split the votes three and three. We all know that Abi has a hidden (or not-so-hidden) immunity idol, so why not split the votes to ensure that one of them goes home? Abi could use the idol on herself thus ensuring Pete’s fate. Or, she may not use the idol, the votes will be tied, then they decide to vote her off – - getting rid of the biggest pain in the game, as well as flushing out the hidden immunity idol.
Pete came up with an amazing idea this week. He knew that the plan was to the split the votes. Why not try to get someone from the other alliance to flop? He approached Skupin about the idea of voting off Malcolm. Malcolm is arguably the most charismatic guy on the show this season. His entire tribe (with the exception of Denise) was wiped out. He is a huge physical threat, and he has a hidden immunity idol. It only makes sense to blindside him at this point in the game. He is feeling secure enough at this point that he will not play his idol. So, Pete’s brilliant plan would flush out two idols and get rid of someone who no one should want to sit next to in the finals.
Abi was completely destroyed at tribal council this week. This was the very first time throughout the entire season that I actually felt bad for her. Probst blamed cultural differences and unawareness on why Abi expresses herself differently than everyone else on the cast. She says that she had no idea that no one liked her, that she was perceived as an idiot, and was not supposed to interact with others the way that she does. Denise mentions that Abi is someone who she would not want to take the finals because she does not believe that Abi is deserving. She believes that the absolute best players should be the ones in the finals. Honestly, I see how this can be viewed as noble, but I would play the game in order to win the million dollar prize. Being one of the best players, in my eyes, is playing strategically enough to know who you can beat at the end. So, I completely disagree with Denise in regards to this aspect of the game.
Abi ended up playing her hidden immunity idol. Skupin did not flop on his alliance, so Pete was the 11th person to get voted off this season. I do not agree with this decision. However, there are too many people who are too worried about how they are being perceived and too worried about “making the right decision” that they aren’t willing to make the big moves. As aforementioned, Skupin stated that he knows you have to make big moves in order to win this game. I’m beginning to wonder when he is going to start making some big moves. I am very interesting to see what happens from here on out, though. I would love to see Abi win the individual immunity challenge next week so the other six would have to start eating each other. Until next time. . .
Eliminated: Pete Yurkowski, the 24-year-old Engineering Graduate from Holmdel, New Jersey
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