November 3, 2012

Survivor: Philippines, "I'm Not the Only Actor on This Island"

Now that’s more like it! The three-tribe structure was put in place this season to avoid the predictable exits of Survivor’s recent installments. By splitting the players into smaller groups, the producers hoped to stop the trend of early five-person alliances dominating the game. The success of their plan wouldn’t be clear until the merge, which happens this week. Boats arrive at each island and give the tribes 10 minutes to grab their things before they head to a new beach. It’s clear there are intriguing possibilities for where the game will go. Will RC and Skupin flip to Kalabaw and change the game? Is Jeff Kent finally ready to turn on Penner? Could the immunity idol come into play? All of these questions are answered in a vote that puts three people on the hot seat. The ultimate victim is RC, who makes her move but gets victimized by elements out of her control. Her departure sends a clear signal to certain players that trouble lies ahead, but nothing is certain in this wonderfully messy season. For more details, check out my full review for Sound on Sight.

Here are some other interesting points that I didn't address in my review:

  • Although Malcolm faces a tough situation when Lisa finds his idol, he handles it perfectly. It's also worth noting that he realizes his mistake even before she comes to him. Malcolm, Denise, and Lisa are all doing well because they've avoided getting involved in the drama. He's probably the most dangerous player left in the game, but no one is even thinking about removing him at this point.
  • Jeff Kent probably made a strategic blunder by siding with Tandang, but it's hard to be sure. Pete only has an alliance of three with Abi-Maria and Artis, so Kent might be in okay shape if he can get Malcolm and Lisa into their group.
  • I expect this is an editing tactic, but Jeff Probst's direct statement that Penner is in trouble at the immunity challenge feels strange. Following his blatant efforts to warn Penner about the impending blindside in last week's Tribal Council, it's clear he doesn't want the popular guy to get voted out. 
  • It's too bad that RC couldn't shake herself from the early alliance with Abi-Maria. She seems like a smart player who could have done well, but it took her too long to give up trying to reconcile the situation. Pete kept the drama going to keep the target on her, and she didn't recognize the threat.

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