November 24, 2012

Survivor: Philippines, "Whiners are Weiners"

There have been plenty of cases on Survivor where interesting characters were lost in the shuffle. If the editors decide they aren’t pivotal to the story, they may provide a limited perspective on them. Artis is a good example of this trend; exit interviews revealed an energetic guy who enjoyed his time on the island. On the other hand, there are nasty individuals who clearly aren’t just victims of the editors. Colton was a good example of this situation last time, and Abi-Maria plays a similar role in the Philippines. She nastily attacks other players and gets personal, which creates an uncomfortable environment. This week’s Tribal Council is all about her and reveals a serious lack of self-awareness. Pete exits the game, but that departure feels almost secondary to the intriguing conflict before the vote. It’s stunning to realize that Abi doesn’t understand the effect her ugly behavior has on other players. When Denise calmly lays out specific reasons for why Abi is disliked, she isn’t willing to consider the truth in those words. Beyond what it says about Abi, this conversation also reveals more about Denise’s approach. She’s a fan of the game and is willing to go with a strong player to the end. While that might not lead to a victory, it’s a positive strategy for fans who don’t want to see an obvious winner strolling to an easy win. For more details, check out my full review of this solid episode for Sound on Sight.

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

  • I still can't figure out Penner's end game. Why would he reject Lisa and Skupin's final-three proposal? Does he have a better option? It seems like he's taking it one vote at a time, which makes sense but may come back to haunt him in the future.
  • Pete drew a lot of attention from the editors in the early episodes and talked a big game, but that means little if you don't retain the numbers. His mistake was alienating RC and Skupin and not realizing they wouldn't stick with Tandang. He also put too much faith in Malcolm right away.
  • Although it's hard to like Abi, her genuine hurt at being considered mean is still understandable. It's clear that she isn't trying to play a character like some past players and doesn't realize the effect her words have on people. It's possible she'll be around for a while, but the numbers are definitely against her at this point.
  • Does Skupin actually have a chance to win this game? I wouldn't have even considered it earlier in the season, but the group of likely candidates is dropping. Malcolm and Denise are the top contenders to win, but they also feel like the biggest threats from the remaining group. 

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