XFinityTV is blowing up their coverage of “Survivor: Philippines.” Every Monday Jeff Probst and I will tackle a wide variety of topics with the “Survivor” Question of the Week. 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!
Last Week: A reward challenge ended in a way that was lame, Carter slipped up and said the wrong name, and poor Miss Delaware was kicked out of the game.
Oh, and Jeff Probst put on a fake beard and wig and pretended to be a psychic. (OK, that wasn't last week, that was earlier today on "The Jeff Probst Show." I just wanted everyone to know.)
39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog
Let’s take a look at the tribes as they currently stand…
The Kalabaw Tribe (wearing red)
Carter – Track Coach, 24
Denise – Sex Therapist, 41
Jeff Kent – Former MLB Player, 44
Penner – Writer, 50
The Tandang Tribe (wearing yellow)
Abi-Maria – Business Student, 32
Artis – Computer Engineer, 53
Michael – Professional Speaker, Author, and Coach, 50
Lisa – Former ‘Facts of Life’ Star, 49
Malcolm – Bartender, 25
Pete – Engineering Graduate, 24
RC – Investment Banker, 27
We meet up with the Kalabatians after Tribal Council. Penner points out that Denise has been to every Tribal so far in the game. That has to be a record, right? Some kind of consecutive Tribal streak?
Penner is also wondering why Katie voted for him. He thinks it was a wake-up call that people could be lying to him. C'mon Penner, you've been around too long to need that kind of warning.
Kent knows that he'll cut Penner's throat or vice-versa, it's a just a matter of who does it first. That might be the best way to approach an alliance in this game; assume you'll have to turn, but hope you never have to.
The next morning at Tandang, Skup points out that it's the day he fell in the fire. Happy Anniversary, Skup! The festivities are interrupted by a boat and a letter.
Psychic Jeff holds the letter to his forehead and says…
Sorry, couldn't help it. I like to think that's how Jeff would look after 39 days on the island.
Tandang is given a couple of minutes to gather all of their stuff. Fortunately, Malcolm didn't forget where he buried his idol. That'd be embarrassing.
Same deal over at Kalabaw island. Penner hopes they can sway some Tandang folks over to his side. With Skup and RC on the outs, he might have a shot.
They all arrive at what I think is the old Matsing beach and are greeted by a feast. Ooo…and they get black buffs. Very slimming.
Later, Abi approaches RC with the idea of becoming a spy, but RC isn't comfortable with that due to the unrest at the old Tandang camp. Gah…might've been smart to go along and be a double agent.
Uh oh…while Lisa was doing Malcolm's laundry she accidentally stumbled upon his hidden immunity idol. Denise sees it happen and lets Malcolm know.
Malcolm takes Lisa aside and she instantly fesses up. She apologizes up and down, but he takes this as an opportunity to bring her into his alliance with Denise. Lisa agrees to join them, but lets us know that she thinks she might be being played. Dun dun dun…
Quick Aside: People groan when they see celebrities on “Survivor,” but Kent and Lisa both came to play. Go them.
Later that afternoon, Penner asks Lisa if anybody has recognized her from her popular '80s sitcom. Wow…busy day for Lisa. The two bond over the connection, but don't discuss strategy. Penner promises not to out her, but that'll last only as long as Penner feels safe in the game.
Then Penner plants the seed in Skup's brain that they could both be targets because they're returning players. Smart. RC's interested in joining up with Kalabaw because Pete and Abi forgot the Survivor 101 rule of taking care of the people on the bottom of your alliance.
Back at camp, Kent's making moves to get rid of Penner. What's interesting is Kent doesn't tell anyone that Penner has the idol. Apparently even Carter doesn't know this piece of information.
Negotiating around camp has Tandang (minus RC and Skup) and Kalabaw (minus Penner) splitting the vote between Penner and RC in case Penner plays his idol. We haven't even had an immunity challenge yet!
Immunity Challenge Time: Players will hold onto a handle that is attached to a bucket. The bucket holds 25% of the person’s body weight inside of it. Last woman and man with a bucket in the air win a chic immunity necklace.
Skup's the first to go, he's followed by Pete. Next up we lose Penner. Probst makes a point of saying that Penner will be in trouble at Tribal. Whoa, maybe he is psychic…
Lisa and Malcolm go next. There are three men and three women left.
RC and Abi both drop out. Denise finally wins something!
We're down to Artis, Jeff Kent, and Carter. Artis drops out quickly.
Carter and Kent hang on for another ten minutes. Kent tries to make a deal with Carter, but he isn't having it. Kent drops…Carter wins.
On the way back to camp, we learn that the tribe's new name is Dangrayne. Seriously, I plant the idea of a cool merge name every time I visit the set and it never happens. Dawson was my best hope.
RC lets us know that her and Skup are going to side with Kalabaw against Tandang. Skup's a little weirded out because he's never felt threatened before. I'd say that fire was pretty threatening.
Skup says he won't team up with Artis, Abi, and Pete without some kind of divine intervention. Well, Coach isn't playing this season…
Skup discusses the plan with Kent, and for the third time this episode, Kent says that he doesn't want Penner to get farther in the game than him. That's kinda strange. Getting to the end with a jury that likes and respects you should be the goal.
Kent's concern is that on one side he's teaming with returning players who he doesn't want to win and on the other he and Carter are on the bottom. Quite a conundrum.
That night at Tribal Council, Tandang finally gets to see their torches. That's just odd.
RC thinks Tandang fought each other a lot, but it's cool because families fight some times. Good spin. Now let's vote out Grandma.
Abi thinks that RC betrayed her by hiding the clue, so she moved on to another alliance.
RC denies hiding the clue. (Reminder: Pete totally moved the clue.)
Lisa argues that an alliance of flippers can’t be trusted.
Pete thinks there's always a "mutiny feeling" around returning players. Yeah, that's why those players always get to the end.
Pete also thinks there are two idols in the game because Matsing's idol is gone. Dun dun dun…
Jeff Kent says it's very likely there will be a blindside. Probst resists the urge to ask if it will be a "Major League" blindside.
Voting Time: Abi votes for Penner, RC votes for Pete, Artis votes for RC, Penner votes for Pete, Pete votes for RC, and the rest are secret.
Psychic Jeff tallies the votes, even though he already used his powers to see how everyone voted.
He asks if anyone would like to play their idol. Penner steps up. Blam!
Three votes for Penner, one vote for RC, one vote for Pete, two votes Penner, one vote for RC, one vote for Pete, one vote for RC, and the eighth person to leave “Survivor: Philippines” is…RC.
Skup voted for Penner?! Was there divine intervention and we missed it?!
Verdict: Well, so much for tribes always sticking together after the merge. That’s a welcome change.
This was a good, solid episode. It was nice to finally see Tandang get down and dirty in the voting cubicle. Can't wait to see how all these weird alliances and sub-alliances and side-alliances work out.
Who’s Going to Win: My boy Malcolm’s in a good spot. Denise and Lisa too. When the Dangrayne hits the fan after tonight’s Tribal, they should be the least splattered.
Power Rankings Results: Kat is on a roll. She has picked the last six eliminated players perfectly. Kudos. She had RC in spot eleven, while I had her in spot ten. The current score is Team Kat: 91, Team Awesome Thunder: 95.
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes