'Survivor: Philippines' 2012 – Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead!

December 13th, 2012 12:30pm EST

Abi-Maria Gomes becomes the next evicted survivor As Lisa, Michael Skupin, Malcolm, Denise and Abi trail back to camp after Tribal Council, Abi tells the others that she “doesn’t even know how to thank” them. Which is true. Abi is incapable of apologizing or thanking anyone, it seems, believing that her bluff about her fantasy hidden immunity idol was what really saved her. The others are sorry that Carter had to be voted out over Abi. It was a strategic move. But can they last any longer with the unlikeable Abi in the tribe?

This week, Abi continues bluffing the others with her fake idol, but no one believes that she has one. After all, she would have played it at Tribal Council, had she actually had one in her possession. All Abi can do is plot a division of the duos that have sprung up.

She begins by ‘warning’ Lisa that Lisa is “totally on the bottom” of her alliance of four. Lisa’s not fooled by Abi’s words, but thanks her for the heads up. Meanwhile, Lisa is still struggling with when to make her big move – and should she take out Denise or Malcolm?

The Reward Challenge consists of the Survivors racing up and over a slide, and then running into the ocean to retrieve rings attached to buoys. When they’ve retrieved both lots, they will then toss the rings onto five posts. First player to land all five rings wins a helicopter ride to a boat cruise where they will whale shark watch, drink pop, and eat pizza and cookies. And they’ll take two others with them, to share the goodies. Survivors ready?

Skupin and Malcolm take the lead, with Abi and Lisa struggling to catch up. Denise is in it to win it, but it’s Skupin and Malcolm all the way, with Skupin winning the challenge. His choices to join him for the reward are Lisa and Malcolm. Skupin can’t help but remind Jeff Probst that the last time he’d been on a helicopter, it was when being medically evacuated. But this will be a better afternoon, promises Probst.

Although Denise is a good sport, Abi is visibly disappointed, and, as usual, tries to make everyone else feel bad. Poor Denise now has to spend a miserable afternoon with the petulant Abi. Denise interviews that she’d gladly gouge out her eyes and puncture her eardrums rather than be around whiny Abi.

Luckily, Skupin, Malcolm and Lisa are having a wonderful time on the boat. Skupin gets a massive sugar rush from drinking pop, as he’s been sugar free for 30 years. “He acted like a drunk chick in a bar,” says Malcolm. Skupin’s climbing the mast, grabbing the hats off the hapless fishermen piloting their boat, and generally acting … well, drunk!

Which could be a recipe for disaster when they actually enter the water to swim with the massive whale sharks. Sure enough, Skupin winds up getting head butted by the enormous fish. “One less competitor,” interviews Malcolm.

Malcolm also has a pow-wow with Lisa and Skupin. They all know that Denise is their biggest competitor (besides Malcolm himself) and the three plot to be the Final Three. In the interviews, though, it is clear that not one of the three is completely loyal to each other.

The morning of the Immunity Challenge finds Denise having a particularly bad day. She’s woken up in excruciating pain, with two tiny fang marks visible on her neck. She thinks she may be having an allergic reaction to a bite from a spider, lizard, tarantula or snake. The pain is like being on fire. In tears, she determines that she has to suck it up. With only three days left in the game, she can’t afford to be weak.

Malcolm advises her to “breathe through it,” while Skupin and Lisa hold a prayer session, asking for Denise’s pain to be lifted. Abi pretends concern. Hey, she came to the island to win a million dollars, not to feel bad for other people, she says.

Denise tells Probst about her injury before the Immunity Challenge. Probst notes that this could be a possible opening for Abi, and of course, Abi agrees.

The challenge is tough. They will need to use two planks to cross a rope bridge, while retrieving puzzle pieces along the way. Should they fall off, they will have to start again. Once across, they will assemble the maze, and use a ball to complete the challenge. First to succeed wins Immunity.

Skupin and Lisa take the lead, but Denise makes good progress as well. Malcolm is almost at the end of the bridge when he falls off. Skupin and Denise grab the lead and begin putting the puzzle together. Denise almost has the puzzle completed before Malcolm arrives, but the puzzle pieces are harder to assemble than it first appears.

Denise is seconds away from completing the puzzle, when Malcolm finishes, moves the ball down the maze, and wins Immunity!

Malcolm now has the Immunity Necklace, as well as the Hidden Immunity Idol he found at the beginning of the series. He has all of the power for the night’s Tribal Council in his hands.

Back at camp, Skupin manages to get another small campfire injury before the haggling begins. Denise is determined that it’s Abi’s night to go. Abi continues to work on Skupin, hoping to get him to vote for Denise. After all, Abi says, if she’s in the Final Three, no one will vote for her, as the most disliked player in the game.

Skupin wonders if hanging out with Abi for the next three days is worth the million dollars. Lisa’s overjoyed that Skupin intends for Abi, Lisa and himself to be in the Final Three. And Denise asks Malcolm if he’ll give her the immunity idol, as he already has the Necklace. Malcolm tells Denise that he’ll give it to her, “if the situation called for it.” Cold! Later he interviews that he really has no intention of giving Denise the Idol; she’s safe, and the idol would be a nice little something for his mom to put on her shelf.

And so, we head for Tribal Council. The jury, now including Carter, files in. Probst immediately asks how things went back in camp, and follows up with a catty quip aimed at Abi.

“With respect, which probably means without any, you’ve been detested, laughed at, and then been told you’re not likable, not a good person, it has nothing to do with your culture, you’re just not nice. No one here wants you around.” No sugar coating there!

“And yet, “he continues, “you could make an argument that Abi has outwitted, outplayed and outlasted 13 people in this game.”

Denise tells Probst that there was some luck in that, as Tandang never went to Tribal Council. Lisa immediately pipes up that it wasn’t all luck. Tandang had strong players and deserve credit for their game play. In the jury, Pete and Artis nod thoughtfully.

As Malcolm admits that there is some strategy in taking someone who can’t win to the final, Abi interjects. “I’m just letting you know that they cannot beat Denise. She’s manipulative, she’s really good with her words, and she’s a physical threat as well.” She adds that either Denise or Malcolm will win the game. “Lisa and Skupin are not winning this game.”

As Skupin begins to respond, Abi jumps in, calling him an idiot. He tries to speak again, and again she laughingly injects, calling him a moron, twice. She won’t let him speak. The jury begins to look very uncomfortable; will Abi be joining their happy group at the Ponderosa? Say it ain’t so!

So why is Abi fighting so hard to stay in the game? She says it’s because she’s come this far, and deserves to be in the Final Three, regardless of her chances. Malcolm says that, while taking a ‘goat’ to the end might be a good idea, sometimes the ‘goat’ can still pull off a win.

Abi agrees with Probst that she’s a loudmouth, and that’s just how she’s playing Survivor. As opposed to Denise, who’s playing “the elite, the best of the best … I’m here for a million dollars. She’s here to make friends.”

While everyone votes, the jury’s Jonathan Penner flips the middle finger to Abi. His feelings are reciprocated by the players, as Abi is finally voted out of the game, four to one. Everyone (but the jury) breathes a sigh of relief. Skupin even does a little dance on the way out of Tribal!

Abi’s exit interview: “Unfortunately, things didn’t go my way. After the merge, I was targeted as the crazy Latina, and sometimes I come off really direct and straight to the point. But that’s the type of person that I am. I don’t beat around the bush; I just say it as it is. Like it or hate me, and I guess it bit me on my big Brazilian butt.”

Next time on, Survivor: This Sunday! It’s the two hour special! The season finale episode pits two ex-Tandang and two ex-Matsing tribe members against each other, for a race to the finish, followed by the award and after-show. With a million dollars on the line, alliances will be shattered.

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© 2012

Photo Credits: CBS

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