I would like to reiterate that if Skupin is ever going to have an opportunity to make a big move, it will be during this week’s episode. Malcolm has a hidden immunity idol that he must use before the final four, which means there are only two more tribal councils that he will be able to use his idol. At this point, Malcolm is feeling extremely comfortable because he seemingly has a final four alliance with Denise, Lisa, and Skupin. Any fan of Survivor will tell you that the best blindsides occur when people feel comfortable. I would love to see the remaining members of Dangrayne blindside Malcolm tonight. He is sitting comfortably. He could potentially win the entire game if he makes it to the final three. Skupin will finally be able to make the big move he has always dreamed of. Simply put, blindsides are brutal and beautiful. Let’s see if the remaining castaways have what it takes to make this game-changing move.
The episode opens up with Lisa having an epiphany. She has an understanding that going to the final three with Malcolm is a death sentence. He is likable, strategic, very physical, and has battled against adversity. I’m excited that these players are realizing why it would be brilliant to get rid of Malcolm at this point in the game.
Tonight’s reward challenge allows us to see into the castaways’ souls, as poetic as that may sound. It is the tear-jerking, always-emotional family visit. Skupin is welcomed by his son, Michael. Carter’s mom, Bianca, follows. Then we get the meet Denise’s husband, Brad. Lisa’s reaction to her brother, Justice, being on the island was priceless. I have watched every season of this show, and I have never seen anything like this. It truly was heart-wrenching to see Lisa react to her own flesh and blood in a way I have never seen before. Abi is greeted by her mom. There was a very interesting dynamic between the two of them considering Abi’s mom knows very little English. Last, but certainly not least, the universe gets a glimpse at Malcolm’s home life by seeing is eccentric younger brother, Miles.
In my exceedingly candid opinion, the most important aspect about this part of the game is not being able to see a loved one after being away from home for 31 days, but whether or not it is smart to even win the reward. There are two options one can take. First, don’t try in the challenge whatsoever. It is as simple as that. Whomever doesn’t win does not have the responsibility to make any decisions regarding what happens next, whether it is to bring someone else on the reward with you, be selfish and keep the reward for yourself, or to look like the hero and to give the reward away – - whichever the circumstance may be. Secondly, if you do try to win, be strategic about what decision you do make. Talk it over with your alliance members on who you would take, that way there is no resentment involved. I think I would be the person who wouldn’t try in the challenge. This is a million dollar game. I wouldn’t want someone not rewarding me a million dollars at the end of the game just because they resented me for not allowing them to see their loved one. I would tell my loved one that I would see him/her when I got home, and there is no doubt in my mind that they would understand. At the very least, they got a free trip to an exotic island that they’ll probably never see again. Right?!
Malcolm and his brother, Miles, ended up pulling out a win. Malcolm had the obligation of choosing two couples to join him on the reward. He sided with Lisa, Skupin, and their loved ones. Considering how much he and Denise have been through, I am very surprised that he didn’t choose her. I am wondering if they planned this out. Maybe this was Malcolm and Denise’s way of solidifying a final four deal with Skupin and Lisa. I’m not sure we will ever find out the answer to this, but I’m banking on it.
The reward allowed the family members to join the castaways back at camp. Almost upon immediate arrival, Justice and Lisa has a very insightful, intriguing, and potentially game-changing conversation. Lisa explains why she has been playing the game the way she has. She informs us that it is much easier for her to say that she would like to play the game dishonestly than it is to actually play the game like this. Justice reminds Lisa why she signed up for this life-changing opportunity in the first place and seemingly lights a fire under her. Lisa remembers why she does not want to go to the finals with Malcolm. She continues the same conversation with Skupin and Skupin Jr, regarding blindsiding Malcolm.
Immunity challenge time! I was surprised by Denise’s performance tonight. She did not perform as well as she normally does. Abi’s performance was lackluster to the point that CBS was playing background music that even made the Three Stooges seem intelligent. The final seconds left me hoping that Carter was going to pull out yet another win. How drastically different is this from past few weeks? I am actually rooting for Carter?! Malcolm ends up winning his first individual immunity which automatically sends him into the final four. I am expecting Carter to get his far overdue walk to Ponderosa. Despite the fact that Abi is one of the most obnoxious people to ever play this game, I don’t think they are going to vote against her tonight. If she actually had an idol, then she would single-handedly decide who would be going home. Why risk that? The smart thing to do is to get rid of Carter tonight.
The past few tribal councils have been incredibly unpredictable, interesting, old-school-esque, and have caused me to scream at the TV thus resulting in my neighbors thinking I am a raving lunatic, evident by the looks they give me when I pass them in the hallway (that was a mouthful). However, the past few tribals have made the castaways sound like broken records. There is constant talk about remaining loyal and taking the best people to the end of the game with you. Well, Abi did not play an idol, shocker, so in a vote of 5 to 1, Carter was booted from the Dangrayne tribe. Carter was the thirteenth person voted out and became the sixth member of the jury. Who in their right mind would have ever predicted that the Kalabaw tribe would have become extinct before the Matsing tribe?
I received a text message from my dad after the episode aired. He was upset that Carter was ejected from the game because my dad viewed Carter as “nice and loyal.” Well, in Carter’s exit interview he stated that the others started playing with their heads instead of their hearts. I agree with this one hundred percent. Playing with your head and not with your heart is how you win this game. I guess it is interesting to see how radically different my dad and I would play this game. Until next time. . .
Eliminated: Carter Williams, the 24-year-old Track Coach from Shawnee, Kansas.
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