Philippines – Episode 7: “Not the Only Actor on this Island”


There are two types of merge episodes. The boring ones, where everyone sticks to their alliance and usually that means a pagonging is about to happen. And the exciting ones where betrayals happen and lead to quite good ends of season. This one was obviously a very exciting one as scrambling and betrayals happened even before the immunity challenge.

However, the episode left me a little bit disappointed. Why did Kalabaw betray Penner? Why did Denise and Malcolm side with the evil ones? Why did RC have to be the collateral victim?

But really it doesn’t matter, it was a great episode, and what remains of the season should be along the same lines and as long as Abi-Maria, Artis, Pete, Jeff or Carter don’t win in the end, I’ll be happy.

One other thing. Isn’t it the first time that they merge at 11? Does it mean we will have a final three with eight jury members? Or a final two with nine jury members? I kinda hope for a final two. What do you think?



Before we go any further, I have a message for Survivor’s producers (because they read this blog… obviously). Here it is: Please Survivor producers, stop letting the contestants choose the name of the merged tribe. Those people are starving and sleep deprived, they’re not in their right mind and season after season that gives us terrible names, that are either impossible to remember or impossible to not laugh at. This one is both impossible to remember nor to not laugh at.



 – Abi-Maria Gomes: Not much from her today, but she delivered some at tribal council when she explained why she couldn’t trust RC, and she thought she was making a good point, while she was being utterly ridiculous. The only problem is that the result of the vote will comfort her in her position and attitude. She’ll keep on being annoying, but her attitude and paranoia should lead to interesting moments. I’m a little afraid that she may make it to the end though, as a goat if not anything else.

– Artis Silvester: Still not much about him, except to hear him complain about I forgot what (I guess Skupin and/or R.C.). I understand that editing tends to forget about him because he’s not that interesting of a character – and he won’t win – but when someone as such a hatred against someone else, I wish we were at least shown why.

Carter Williams: While we’re having a great season, with great game play so far, I hate it when we have a Carter. Completely non-interesting character, but now in a great position. He could win many individual immunity challenges, and being Jeff’s right hand man like this, he could go to the end with him and then win, because the jury will despise him less than Jeff at this point. I hope that won’t happen.

– Denise Stapley: I’m a bit confused as to why Denise has betrayed Penner. I thought they would form a great alliance, with Malcolm and a fourth and fifth one (Skupin and RC for example). I guess that when she realized that Jeff and Carter were going to betray Penner, she had no choice but to do it to if she wanted to stay in the majority. Or maybe it’s just wishful thinking from my part, I just wanted all the players I root for to form an alliance together.

Jeff Kent: I still can’t figure out if Jeff’s game is very good or very bad. Last week it seemed that he shot himself in the foot when voting out Katie instead of Penner or Denise. This week he alienated Penner for good. However, he positioned himself as a leader of some sort, as everyone followed his plan and he’s now in a somewhat dominant. However being so obsessed on voting out returning players is not a good long term strategy and it doesn’t seem that he has an end game plan beyond voting out Penner and then Skupin.

Jonathan Penner: I guess Katie voting against him last week saved him, as he realized that if she voted against him, it means that Jeff and Carter led her to believe Jonathan was going home, which means that they must have considered the idea. What are his chances to stay much longer in the game now? If he gets mad at everyone, Troyzan style, the way the promo seems to imply, I’d say not much, as soon as he doesn’t win immunity, he’s done. But I believe that Penner is better than that. While he has a difficult road ahead of him, she can survive long term if he manages to find the weaker links among the remaining players and convince them to vote with him. Not impossible, but hard.

 Lisa Whelchel: That’s luck or I don’t know it. Lisa’s position in the game has always been uncertain. Even if she’s supposedly part of the Abi-Marie, Artis, Pete alliance, she’s never mentioned when their alliance is. Now, while finding Malcolm’s idol by complete chance, she has secure herself in another alliance. Add to that the fact that she’s pretty much under the radar and she’s in a pretty good position right now. That being said, I think she didn’t make any sense during tribal council.

– Malcolm Freberg: I have the feeling that if Malcolm doesn’t make it to the end that’s because he’s gonna get screwed by something or someone that he had no control over. There, maybe we have it with Lisa finding his idol. Now he has no other choice than to invite her in his alliance, which may not be the best plan for him at the moment. Let’s wait and see.

Michael Skupin: When I saw five votes against Penner, I wondered who was the fifth one. I can’t believe it’s Mike. What is his logic in that? Does he think he won’t be targeted next if he helps everyone vote Penner out? I just don’t get it. The only thing I could think about is that he learned about Tandang’s plan, and he voted against Penner hoping that would save RC. Mike he’s a good guy, but I believe more and more that he sucks at strategy.

Pete Yurkowski: This week is actually somewhat in control of the game, but he didn’t seem very pleased to see two votes against him. Not sure what’s going to happen next, but I’m pretty surprised that everyone is going along with his plans so far. I have no doubt that this will blow up in his face somehow.

– Roberta “R.C.” Saint-Amour voted out: I feel bad for her. She basically got screwed because she made the wrong alliance on day one (with psycho-Abi) and had no way out of it. Sad, because she could have been a great memorable contestant I believe.



Next time on Survivor:

Penner decides to pull a Troyzan? Will her collect himself and try to find some people who would vote with him, or is he pretty much toast?

Not sure.

Who will be voted out next?

It doesn’t look too good for Penner right now.

Winner Prediction:

My vote is still for Denise or Malcolm.


Before you go anywhere else, check out these great blogs and sites:

– Jeff Pitman at True Dork Times

Stephen Fishbach

– More will come as the season advances and I find them. I won’t always have time to update this list before the following week and post, but follow me on Facebook or Google+ (my Twitter account is not just for Survivor, so you may or may not like it, feel free to follow me there too if you want) for links to the best Survivor blogs I read/find.



2 Responses

  1. Micfi Jasan says:

    Some thoughts on your post:

    I will say I agree with you on Denise. With her being in such a similar position to Kent/Carter, why was she not shown in the decision-making process? It absolutely dumbfounds me, especially relating to someone who was so solid strategically in Matsing. She must have had a conversation with Kent about the vote, but since it wasn’t shown, it could have been her idea for all I know.

    Mike definitely figured how the Kalabaws were voting, there’s just no other explanation. Since I’m assuming he did, then there’s really no harm going with the majority in voting for Penner. At worst, he’s in the exact same position as before, and at best, Lisa’s speech about flipping turns attention to the Kalabaws and he slides through a couple more tribals.

    By the way, Lisa’s Tribal Council arguments made perfect sense from a gameplay perspective (think about what happened to John from Samoa, Brandon from Africa, and even Cochran; flipping generally gets you nowhere), although her target audience (I’m guessing Skupin and RC, possibly the rest of Tandang) probably pays little attention to her. If nothing else, I fear it could foreshadow the fall of Jeff Kent.

    And I completely disagree about Carter. He and Jeff are tied at the hip strategically. If one goes down, the other will go down as soon as he’s vulnerable (even more true for Carter than Kent). This move does not guarantee them good positions. We can assume they’re ahead of Skupin and Penner for the moment, and behind Artis, Abi, and Pete. But with Lisa, Malcolm, and Denise in the middle (and possibly a strong 3 themselves), there’s no telling where they truly stand.

  2. David says:

    Thanks for your comment.
    Yeah, I don’t understand why they didn’t show Denise’s and Malcolm’s thought process here. I guess they knew that Jeff was unmovable in his position, so why stir the boat now?

    For Mike, indeed, there is no other explanation, but if they told him “It’s Penner” why didn’t they (or he) told RC? The fact that she voted against Pete with Penner implies that that was the plan that Kalabaw (+Mike, RC) had told Penner and RC they would do.

    Concerning Carter, maybe I didn’t express myself correctly. The move doesn’t guarantee anything, but I think that IF both Jeff and him make it to the end, he may have a better chance of winning. Because if they make it to the end, that means they will get there through a lot of backstabbing and will face a pissed off jury, but it may be angrier at Jeff than at Carter.
    Now, I think that it’s very unlikely that they make it to the end.

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