'Survivor: Philippines' 2012 – The Culture Of Abi

December 6th, 2012 11:56am EST

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.

Back at camp, it’s scramble time. Malcolm’s relaxed, but everyone else is torn – do they vote out the despicable Abi, or will Carter have to take the hit? No one wants to lose Carter, or to continue dealing with Abi’s negative attitude. But does Abi really have a hidden idol?

Malcolm and Skupin are honest with Carter, saying that his name is definitely up. He pleads that they continue with their game plan, of keeping people in who deserve to be in the game. Take him further than someone they don’t respect as a competitor, he says.

Abi takes a different tact, confronting the other players. She tells Lisa that Lisa had said that her word was more important to her than a million dollars, but now she’s saying a million dollars is more important to her than her word. Lisa smiles, but Denise asks everyone if they can let the conversation rest. Abi says it’s easy for Denise to relax, since she’s in a Final Four partnership, but for Carter and Abi, it’s life or death time. Abi adds that she may have to play her Hidden Immunity Idol at Tribal. It is what it is, she says. Everyone looks a little worried at the thought of Abi with an Idol.

Malcolm interviews that everyone has wanted Abi gone since the beginning of the game. “She’s like a soul sucker, like the Dementors from Harry Potter.” Denise adds that it’s not a cultural thing; it’s the “culture of Abi.”

Tribal Council time arrives. The jury files in, now including Jonathan Penner. Malcolm assures Probst that he feels safe, both with having the Immunity Necklace, and in his little group of four. Carter says that he doesn’t really understand why he is on the chopping block. “There’s been a lot of talk about taking the person that you feel deserves it over the person you feel like you can beat.” He feels worthy of going to the Final Five.

Lisa flat out says that she will be choosing according to whom she can beat at the end of the game. She wishes she could be nobler, but why make it harder than you have to? Abi says she’s surprised at the other’s words, but reminds everyone that she has a (fantasy) idol, which she’ll play that night. Everyone smiles at her words, with Malcolm basically saying he doesn’t believe her.

Abi’s mighty miffed when Denise says she thinks Abi has no chance of winning the game, based on the past thirty days, and Abi’s complete lack of Survivor gamesmanship.

They vote. And Carter’s name is read out as the 13th member of the tribe voted out. Probst sends the Final Five out into the night.

Carter’s exit interview: “The realization that my Survivor experience is over is weighing heavily on me. It does hurt to know that that four would rather play with someone like Abi, who they feel like they can beat, for these next few days, as opposed to me. I can understand it, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. They’re playing with their heads, not their hearts, at this point.”

Next time on, Survivor: Information from an unlikely ally could force Lisa to make her biggest move yet. “I think in this alliance of four, you are totally on the bottom,” Abi tells Lisa.

Related: Survivor: Philippines, Starpulse Exclusives, Recaps, Television, Reality, TV Networks, CBS

© 2012

Photo Credits: CBS

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