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'Survivor: Philippines' 2012 – The Culture Of Abi

December 6th, 2012 11:56am EST | Roxanne Tellier By: Roxanne Tellier

Shot into Smithereens

The countdown begins to the final weeks of this season’s Survivor. With only Carter, Lisa, Malcolm, Denise, Michael Skupin, and the hated Abi left to pick from, an immunity challenge win is all important.

Aware that everyone but she and Carter are in the Final Four pact, Abi tries to work her magic on Carter to convince him that she does indeed have the imaginary Immunity Idol she lied about finding.

This week, we’re immediately brought to the Reward Challenge, where Jeff Probst  shocks everyone by saying that today’s Challenge will involve being paired up with a loved one. Mouths drop as Probst brings out Lisa’s brother, Abi’s mother, Malcolm’s brother, Denise’s partner, Skupin’s son and Carter’s mother. It’s hard to tell who’s more excited – the Survivors or the loved ones who bolt out of the jungle at lightning speed. Hugs and kisses abound. Lisa’s reunion with her brother is particularly touching, as Probst notices. (As we now know, Lisa divorced her long time husband just before coming to the game, and has been particularly vulnerable.)

The Challenge is very simple – each Survivor will toss a muddy bag to their loved one. The loved one then needs to knock down a bamboo target. First team to knock down all five of their targets wins reward – an afternoon and night back at the camp with their partner. Abi’s mother, who doesn’t speak English, ducks every bag but one that Abi throws to her.  But it’s Malcolm and his knucklehead brother Miles who win the game.

Probst allows Malcolm to pick two other people to join him, and he chooses Skupin and Lisa. Abi, Denise and Carter bid a tearful goodbye to their families.

Back at camp, there’s love and laughter, as the visitors are shown around. Malcolm worries that his 21 year old brother, who never stops talking, will say something foolish. Skupin and son Michael Junior try a little fishing. Lisa and her brother Justice enjoy a walk on the beach, where Justus gives her a pep talk, and a few insights he’s gained from being a temporary visitor. Lisa is reinvigorated, and prepared to tackle the game again with a new, feistier spirit.

Skupin and Lisa, with their family, have a pow-wow, and decide that it’s time to take out Malcolm. They know they could bring Carter in with them, and if blindsided, Malcolm would never get a chance to use his Hidden Immunity Idol. Seems a little unkind, after he’s just been so good to them!

And so, on to the Immunity Challenge.  The players must race across a bamboo balance beam, out to a raft, where they will retrieve three bags of sticks. They then will race back to the beach, where they’ll put together poles from the sticks and string, and attempt to reach a target. Winner gets immunity. Survivors ready?

It quickly comes down to a race between Malcolm and Carter, but it’s Malcolm who wins the coveted Immunity Necklace. Lisa can’t believe that her big move will be postponed due to the win.

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Photo Credits: CBS