Bonfire of the Insecurities: Survivor Philippines Episode 6

24 Oct

We’ve seen in previous seasons that players get very insecure about playing with returning players or celebrities, to the detriment of their own games. Exhibit A would have to be Marty from Nicaragua, who probably still mutters about Jimmy Johnson in his sleep after all these years. In tonight’s episode we saw Penner’s team fretting similarly about him. This really makes no sense — he’s one of their best players and therefore someone to keep around at least until the merge, and after the merge he would seem a candidate to take all the way to the finals, because the rest of the jury won’t want to see a returning player win either!

As it happened, after all the hand-wringing cooler heads prevailed and Katie was voted out instead. Oddly, nobody seemed to mention the name Denise, despite the fact that unlike Penner she has an obvious ally (namely Malcolm) to reunite with after the merge.

I was glad to see Penner stick around since he’s probably the most entertaining player in the game, and loves the game more than anyone else playing.

Once again the “next time” previews at the end of the prior show managed to mislead: they made it look like the “unprecedented event” had something to do with Penner injuring someone else’s crotch, when in fact the event was that stalemated challenge teams made a deal, exchanging the reward feast for all remaining rice that the Red tribe still had. Oddly, some in each tribe felt that they lost out on the deal. Yet as the deal was being discussed, Skupin and Penner as the main “negotiators” had politely solicited everyone’s opinion to make a democratic tribe decision. Predictably, a few on each tribe basically said “Sure, whatever” and then proceeded to trash the decision in private conversations later on.

Speaking of private conversations after the challenge, as R.C. was interviewed on the beach, she was inexplicably  wearing a sportcoat! How this came about was not explained.

Also not explained was where Skupin got his notion that rice is just as good when it’s uncooked. The fact that a billion Chinese have had many centuries to discover everything there is to discover about rice, and still cook it, tells me Skupin’s idea is dumb. However, I certainly don’t agree with Pete’s comment that Mike is “the most useless player that’s ever been returned to Survivor.” Hey Peter, ever heard of Eliza, Sugar, or Courtney?

As for how things stand in the Yellow tribe, which still hasn’t gone to a tribal council: Lisa has been an OK contributor in challenges, nobody has figured out her identity, and she has stayed out of the fray and let others blow up. I wonder if I was too quick to write her off as having no chance to win? I’m also starting to wonder if Malcolm has this game in the bag, and whether his tribemates realize that he’s got the inside track and will do something about it. At this point I’m having a hard time picturing anyone but Malcolm or Denise winning the season.

Memorable challenge: A game involving pushing a huge ball through the mud into a goal ends in an hour-long stalemate with everyone holding each other down.

Contender rankings: 1. Malcolm, 2. Denise, 3. Jeff, 4. R. C.,  5. Penner, 6. Carter, 7. Skupin, 8. Artis.

No-chance list: Abi-Maria, Lisa, Pete

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