3:49pm PT by Parvati Shallow
Parvati Shallow Recaps 'Survivor: Philippines': Of Idiots and Morons
[Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven't seen Wednesday's episode.]
I’ve learned more about Carter now that he’s been voted off than I did watching him play for the entire season. According to Lisa, Malcolm and Skupin, Carter is THE nicest guy ever and he made everyone feel terrible for voting him out, like an innocent little lamb to the slaughter. So now, here I am, making up fantasies about what makes Carter this acclaimed “amazing guy.” I can only imagine how the prodigal son spent his days on the island, doling out coconut foot rubs to mother, Lisa, before tucking her in under the musty tarp at night, monster clam hunting with proud father, Mike Skupin. He must have swung from the vines with Malcolm, talked about sex and body building with Denise, braided Abi’s hair...
Well, Abi’s not entirely unhappy that her hair-braiding partner has gotten the boot. She’s very thankful her clever little faux idol ruse (that no one’s buying) has bought her a couple more nights of safety. This is one determined tamale that certainly won’t be going down without a fight. Although she has claimed the title of most despised castaway, Abi still has a few cards to play. One of which, includes convincing Skupin and Lisa to increase their chances of winning by dumping Denise and taking her to the finals instead. Since Lisa has finally decided to get involved in making strategic moves, Abi may still have a fighting chance.
Lisa’s brief visit with her cunning little bro has reignited her spirit and breathed new life into her tired, shrinking frame. She’s talking game talk, now! Looking back to how Lisa’s days on the island began -- she was the outcast, bullied by Abi’s gang. Without any friends, she sat off to the side in the shelter and constantly wandered off into the woods to cry sad, lonely tears. Within the past 36 days, Lisa has undertaken a complete internal shift and we’ve had the good fortune to witness her transformation. She is an entirely new person now, confident, shining and empowered. Although she feels “yucky” keeping her close, Lisa can look Abi in the eye, smile and listen, knowing she won’t be swayed from her goal. She’s going to do what’s best for her no matter what type of manipulation Abi tries on her. She can be cordial and work Abi for her jury vote or she can keep Abi along to the end, knowing she will have better odds of winning. That’s the game, baby. Lisa’s revival is a true testament to the power of being totally present, taking life exactly as it comes and playing this game with your whole heart. This woman has already won, in my book.
The ring toss reward challenge is a total setup. You see, Skupin is a father, accustomed to family outings involving carnivals, country fairs, amusement parks ... need I go on? Ring toss is THE number one carnival game and I’m 100% sure that Skupin is a ringer, if you know what I mean. Naturally, he wins this one and chooses to share his glorious bounty with buddies Malcolm and Lisa. Out of left field, Denise starts wailing and stomping her feet. “No fair, guys! I wanna go on a trip with you! Don’t leave me here to rot with this Brazilian biotch! Why are you doing this to meeeee??!”
Ok, so that’s not exactly her real reaction, but it would have been a whole lot cooler if it was. Instead of throwing a wicked fit, Denise silently curses Skupin and somberly marches off to camp to go gouge her eyeballs out with Abi.
With Denise and Abi sulking back at camp, our golden trio, Skupin, Lisa and Malcolm ecstatically bask in their freedom as they board a catamaran to sail the beautiful open ocean. I think we can all agree that life is much sweeter when it involves sailing, sugar and whale watching. Another soda pop? Don’t mind if I do!
Skupin, determined to take in this reward to the fullest, slugs a few bottles of pop and begins bumbling around like a drunken seamen. Wait, hold up. The sugar freak is now climbing up to the top of the mast! Not cool, Malcolm. As Skupin’s sober companion, you should have tied his big boy harness down to the hull of the ship way before things got this out of control. Shame on you. Clearly, Malcolm is prepared to do what it takes to win and if that involves losing the Skupes to a watery grave, so be it.
With Malcolm turning a blind eye on his safe-guarding responsibilities, Skupin has a few chances to cheat death on this reward. Thankfully, he manages to make his way safely down off the mast. But the danger doesn’t stop there. The three castaways then goggle up and get dumped overboard to swim with some enormous whale sharks. (I know Denise is watching this right now, fuming that she didn’t force someone to take her.) As Lisa, Malcolm and Skupin rub fins with these giants of the sea, Skupin, of course, gets whacked in the face. This guy never fails. If it’s not a coconut to the noggin, it’s a whale shark head butting him.
Malcolm is no dummy. He knows he’s the biggest threat remaining in the game and that he has to make a move to ensure his safety. Taking full advantage of Skupin’s recent head trauma and sugar induced hypnotic trance, Malcolm makes his play to cut out his closest ally, Denise, and seal a final three deal right here, right now. Of course, Skupin’s in and naturally, kid sister, Lisa jumps right on board with him, claiming she loves the stress free living of forming alliances. Lisa is sitting in a very solid position of power. She’s done very well to get in tight with all the contestants left and is not a clear threat to win the game. Anyone of these players left in the game is going to bring her to the finals, so it doesn’t really matter whom she pledges allegiance to. She’s got this one to the end.
Skupin’s sugar goggles have no place back at camp and the harsh reality of life sinks in quickly. The amount of tongue biting Denise had to do during her day with Abi, has manifested itself into actual bite marks on her neck. It seems Denise has been attacked by some kind of mysterious, fire-breathing vampire in the night and she wakes up in the morning to excruciating neck pain. Since we haven’t seen our tiny turbo prop show any signs of weakness or vulnerability since the game began, we can only assume that the pain she’s experiencing must be off the charts.
Unaware that she’s been cut out of Malcolm’s final three deal, Denise arrives at this crucial immunity challenge, determined to plow through her neck injury. Malcolm falls behind early on, giving Denise a huge lead on the final puzzle. Then, out of nowhere, Ozzy, I mean, Malcolm, comes rushing up, cranks out the puzzle and wins immunity. Where did this guy come from?! He’s got major momentum now, an immunity necklace and an idol in his pocket. Obviously, his partner in crime since day one, Denise, is going to make him give her the idol so she is safe at tonight’s vote.
Shockingly, Denise allows Malcolm to keep his idol and agrees that she’s safe tonight without it, since everyone has agreed to vote Abi out. What is wrong with you people? You are NEVER safe on Survivor, unless you have immunity. Abi is making a very persuasive argument to keep her as the goat and Lisa has been extremely vocal about wanting to take someone to the end that she knows she can beat. This potentially lethal combination should be enough to make Denise really want that idol, but she doesn’t seem to care that much or try that hard for it. Unfortunately, Denise’s trusting, high-road game play, may lead to her undoing at this tribal council.
At tribal, Abi, in typical Abi flair, puts on her best display of rude, obnoxiousness. She calls Skupin an idiot and a moron and says point blank they need to vote out Denise because they will never beat her. I hate to admit, but I agree with her. Denise is a frontrunner and if Skupin or Lisa wants a fighting chance, they need to listen to Abi and get rid of Denise. They don’t.
At this point, it’s got to be a matter of principle that Skupin and Lisa bond together to bounce out Abi, because it’s not smart strategy. She made their lives miserable for 36 days and they’ve had all they can stand.
The final four, including, Malcolm, Denise, Skupin and Lisa have a battle ahead of them and my money’s on either Malcolm or Denise taking the title in the end.
Can’t wait to see how it all plays out on Sunday!
Parvati Shallow, three-time Survivor veteran, winner of Survivor: Micronesia and the official reigning Miss Survivor, will share her insight into Survivor: Philippines every week on THR.com. When she's not living on a deserted island, she can be found continent-hopping in search of the hottest spas and vacation destinations around the globe. She sometimes teaches yoga and meditation to an elite, in-the-know group of clients at ESP Wellness Center in Santa Monica. Follow her on Twitter at @parvatishallow or visit her newly launched website at www.parvatishallow.com. To catch her in Santa Monica, check out www.espwellnesscenter.com.