'Survivor: Philippines' 2012 – From Queen For A Day To Most Unlikeable

November 22nd, 2012 11:22am EST

Despite soul searching and a display of outright paranoia from Abi, Lisa once again sided with the former Tandang tribe, sending Artis to the jury. But Lisa’s loyalty can only be stretched so far – and with Jonathan Penner and Mike Skupin remaining her closest allies, it may be time for a change in the game.

Post Tribal Council, Malcolm, Denise, Penner, Skupin, Lisa and Carter decide they’ll aim for final 6, and then battle it out to the end.

This week, Pete and Abi are a losing alliance of two. Abi is just stunned that her game plan has fallen apart. She’s also shocked that Lisa is honest enough to tell her that she’s leaving the alliance; after all this time, Abi still doesn’t trust Lisa, and Lisa’s had enough of that. Abi makes no effort to placate Lisa, simply shrugging.

It’s straight into the Reward Challenge. Jeff Probst welcomes the Survivors to a very new, and confusing, game. They will be divided into two teams. Each team will have a total of three drums, one in each of three circles. They will race to each circle to flip their symbol up, while the other team tries to flip the opponents drum symbol down. Yeah – it is that confusing. First team to get all three of their symbols up simultaneously wins reward.

They’ll be playing for a Spa day! On a separate island they will be able to bathe, wash their hair, have a massage, a mani-pedi, and finally, a lunch of chicken, beef, shrimp, calamari, and cocktails. Survivors ready?

Penner and Carter are the first two to play, and Carter wins the first point. It gets a little crazy after that, with people forgetting to flip their own drums over in the chaos, and Skupin flipping over the wrong drum in his haste. Skupin’s error leads to the red team winning reward. Abi, Pete, Carter and Malcolm prepare to be pampered.

At the spa, Malcolm calls a moratorium on strategy, saying that he hopes they will all just relax and have a good time. In reality, the people Malcolm wants to be with in a Final Four are all back at camp. So it’s time to just kick back with some smart cocktails and enjoy being spoiled.

Relaxed and with full bellies, the group returns to the camp, where Abi tells the dirty, tired, hungry others just how wonderful it was at the Spa. As Lisa, Skupin, Denise and Penner eat their lunch of beans, Abi moans that she’s still so full of all the amazing food she crammed down earlier.

“Normally, everyone’s super-gracious when they come back from a Reward, but Abi is being downright cruel. She flaunted it, and she wouldn’t stop,” says Skupin. Malcolm adds, “Abi has all the social grace of a Mac truck.”

As Abi lies basking in the sand, she announces that she’s “done with the kitchen.” She says she’s been cooking for 26 days, and now she’s over it. She also says she’s leaving soon, so will just enjoy her final moments. Penner says he knows she has the idol, so she’ll be there for at least another five days; does she not plan to eat during that time? Well, of course she does - she just doesn’t want to cook. Denise interviews that she thinks Abi has lost her fricking mind.

Malcolm and Skupin discuss a Final Four. Malcolm and Denise will continue to vote together, so Skupin needs to decide if he’s taking Penner or Lisa as his fourth. Lisa’s thrilled when Skupin approaches her and offers her the position. But Skupin’s still thinking of keeping Penner and Carter as their allies, rather than Malcolm and Denise. Lisa says that she trusts Penner more than Malcolm, so Skupin takes Penner aside for a chat.

Penner is not as interested as Lisa and Skupin would have thought. He’s appreciative that they trust him, but declines the offer, saying that he’s more comfortable taking one thing at a time. He’s on board for getting rid of Abi and Peter, but won’t commit further than that. Lisa’s surprised at Penner, and thinks he’s missed an opportunity.

Lisa, Skupin, Malcolm and Denise head for the bush, where they all promise that this is their Final Four, and they won’t betray each other. Skupin’s still a little nervous about Malcolm, as Malcolm is a gamer, but Skupin feels there’s no choice. Skupin determines to win the next Immunity Challenge.

Probst greets the Survivors, taking back Skupin’s hard won Immunity Necklace, before explaining the Challenge. They will each manoeuver a buoy through a tangled rope. The first five to finish will move on to round two, where they will race to move their buoy along a balance beam. The first three to finish will move on to the final round, where they will navigate their buoy through a series of obstacles in the water. The first person to get to the finish wins immunity. Survivors ready?

In the first round, Pete, Abi and Lisa are eliminated. Round two knocks out Penner and Malcolm, leaving Carter, Skupin and Denise as the final three. They all play hard, but it’s Carter who walks away with the Immunity Necklace.

And so, back to camp. Abi and Pete are well aware that they are the ‘dead men walking’ of the tribe. Abi’s got the Hidden Immunity Idol, so she’s not as worried as Pete. The other six decide they’ll vote three to three for Abi and Pete. If she plays the idol, Pete goes home. If she gives it to Pete – admittedly, a long shot, given Abi’s selfishness, Abi goes home. It’s a win-win situation.

Abi thinks that they should target Malcolm, who has the other Hidden Immunity Idol. Pete is still reeling from Tandang’s collapse. He’s gone from being the top contender to the bottom of the pecking order. Pete and Abi feel that Lisa and Skupin still have some residual loyalty to Tandang, so they’ll pitch their plan to eliminate Malcolm to them.

When Abi asks Lisa to vote for Malcolm, Lisa tells her that they are no longer in an alliance. Abi is shocked that Lisa is voting with the others. Carter tells Pete that he’s in a good spot, so can’t go with Pete. Skupin won’t say no to Pete’s plan, as Malcolm is indeed a real threat, both physically and socially. Abi tries to frighten Penner into submission, by reminding him that everyone’s gone against him at some point. Penner agrees with her words, but says he won’t betray the group he’s now with. He basically tells Abi to get over herself; she’s gone far in the game, but her time is up.

Abi, Pete and Malcolm know that one of them is going home that night. At Tribal Council, Abi smiles and greets Artis with a, “Hi, baby!” Probst asks Malcolm if Abi is really happy to see Artis, or if it’s an early working of the jury. Malcolm says he’s more concerned about staying in the game than about jury management.

Malcolm tells Probst that he knows he’s on the chopping block, but that he doesn’t think it would be good strategy to take him out at this point. Pete admits he’s also aware that he’s ‘slated for execution,’ despite having been Top Dog in the Tandang tribe. Probst then asks Abi if she has any regrets about how she handled the last Tribal.

“Absolutely,” she says, “I’m very regretful. But I never betrayed Lisa; I just had doubts because of the way things happened.” Probst asks Abi if she thinks any of this can be cultural, and Abi seizes on his explanation, saying that English is not her first language, and her attitude may be perceived as not the most gentle. Everyone smiles and snickers at her words, with Denise adding that she’s worked with many people from other cultures who are helpful and kind, which are not qualities that Abi displays.

Abi tells Probst that she’s surprised at the group; she’s very loved back home, and by her American friends, who appreciate her ‘feistiness.’ She says she’s very emotional that Lisa just can’t forgive her. Lisa says she has forgiven her; she just needs to find some people that will trust her.

Probst says he thinks Abi feels like no one understands her. She agrees, but says she doesn’t know how to explain herself. Probst asks Denise if Abi, all alone with no numbers, wouldn’t be the best person to take to the end. It would be an easy win. Denise says that it might be an easy win, but she’s not willing to play that kind of game. When Denise adds that she’s seen people taking the deadwood, unlikeable person to the end … Abi interjects. “Wow, I never thought of myself as an unlikeable person.”

Probst jumps in to ask Abi if she seriously did not grasp that she was seen as unlikeable. No, says Abi, she did not grasp that she was that hated. Probst again puts forward his idea that Abi’s problem is cultural, since she didn’t understand that people laughing at her was a sign that she was “full of it.”

Denise continues to talk about how she wants to play the game, saying that she will not bring another person along just so she can win by default. Abi asks Denise to not say any more, saying she’s never felt so much hatred. Denise tries to explain that she’s not hated, but they are all frustrated with her actions. Abi keeps interjecting her own truths, not letting Denise finish, and saying that Denise is exaggerating and manipulating to make her look bad. Denise gives up on trying to explain.

And so, they vote. And of course, Abi plays her Idol, so it’s Pete that takes the long walk down the trail. Abi’s so distraught she almost forgets to take her torch with her. Probst tells Abi she’s up against the wall, but anything can happen.

Pete’s exit interview: “I felt bad for Abi. She’s crying, everybody ripped her apart. I’ve kind of learned to deal with her, but I mean, I needed to for my game. Malcolm has a lot of power right now, he’s definitely someone that they needed to get rid of, but they didn’t want to do anything with it. I have a ton of regrets, but I feel good about how I left the island. I’m not happy I left it, but I did what I could.”

Next time on, Survivor: Lisa says that she’s not very good at this game. Penner tells her to “cut the crap.” New alliances tear apart old friendships. And the biggest villain in the game gets a taste of her own medicine.

Related: Jeff Probst, Lisa Whelchel, Survivor: Philippines, Starpulse Exclusives, Recaps, Television, Reality, TV Networks, CBS

© 2012

Photo Credits: CBS

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