Thursday, November 22, 2012

Survivor: Philippines - LEGO Wiener Whiner - 25.10

It's that time in the Survivor season...time for my LEGO recap!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it!

Artis was voted out at the last Tribal Council, & made his way to Ponderosa.  Those in the US can watch the videos at, but I've embedded them at the end of this recap for the rest of us.

After Tribal, Abi-Maria is trying to think of a way to change up the game.  Right now, everyone else is seeing a Final 6 plan that doesn't include Abi or Pete.  She takes her trusty wine bottle & I think *maybe* the plan was to win Lisa back with a heart-to-heart, but that's not what happened.

"I'm done trying.  Yes, Lisa, the past few weeks was me TRYING."

Lisa says "A big part of who I am & who I have been is someone who feels comfortable to be used", & a big part of who I have been is someone who positions LEGO minifigures inappropriately when I hear comments like that, but who I am today is someone who also takes photos of the inappropriateness, but keeps them for her own amusement.  Sorry internet.  And Lisa.

I like Lisa a lot, but Lisa believes she's taking control of her own destiny.  How exactly is that?  I'm happy that she's parting ways with Abi now, but does it really mean anything?  Should it mean anything?  The previous night was her chance to take control of her destiny & vote with Penner, but it was Skupin who made that move, so of course Lisa is going to switch now.  When her only other option is down in numbers.  Not cool.

For the Reward Challenge, 2 teams will compete one-on-one to flip 3 drums over, while turning the other team's drums down.  You have to have all 3 drums turned up at the same time to win a match.  Coincidentally, it's not unlike a frequently-used puzzle in LEGO video games (go to the 2:20 mark).  The first team to win 3 matches goes on a spa day.

"My hair!"

The teams are divided as such: Abi-Maria, Carter, Malcolm & Pete against Penner, Skupin, Denise & Lisa.  It is a tied game & now Abi's turn to compete.  Yes, Abi is competing, but there is a very good reason she sits out so often.  She flips everything over, whether it's her team's or not.

I never promised everything would be to scale.

Probst will not let an opportunity for an Abi-dig pass, & says, "Abi, are you clear on what's happening out here?"  Skupin tries a different approach on his second go, & heads in the opposite direction.  This gets confusing & the other team wins Reward.  Yes, Abi gets to go on a reward for her pathetic performance.

Having some pampering time for The Hair sounded great to Malcolm before the teams were divided, but now he's stuck having cocktails & a mani-pedi while the people he wants to align with are back at Gangrene.

It was worth it.

Back at Gangrene, Abi-Maria is gloating about the Reward & annoying everyone.

"The chicken was so delicious it was ludicrist.  You want some?  You can't have any."

Skupin says, "Normally everyone's really super-gracious when they come back from a reward, but Abi's downright cruel.  She flaunted it, wouldn't stop.  Carter is asked what he thought of the Reward.

"Salsa was yummy.  It was spicy &...."

 Abi interrupts him & for a moment I think we're going to see Carter explode.

Look at that intense expression!   Look out, Abi!

Abi-Maria really thinks she's doing everyone a favour - maybe they'll be able to taste the amazing tapas when they're eating their plain rice!  Nope.  Everyone is slowly having their souls sucked out of them by Abi.

Dementor Abi-Maria is pleased to see someone else cooking for a change.  "I'm glad you guys stepped up to the plate, because I am done with the kitchen."  Denise is all Bitch, please.  She says in a confessional, "You have lost your freakin' mind, girl!  Part of me just thinks that's fine, just let it piss everybody else off.  You know what, your time will come.  Whiners are wieners.  You need to go home."

Malcolm & Skupin discuss the possibility of a Final 4 with Denise & Lisa.  Skupin doesn't necessarily want to say yes, but "if you say no, then you could end up the odd man out."  Lisa would rather put her trust in Penner than in Malcolm...possibly because she has already betrayed Malcolm to Pete & Skupin.  Even though Penner's lobbying didn't result in Lisa switching her vote at the last Tribal, it did have an impact.  Lisa & Skupin approach Penner about a Final 4.

Penner would rather go vote-by-vote at this point.  "I'm not that interested in committing anything to anybody, not yet."

"I am burdened with glorious purpose."

Penner misses the opportunity, & a Final 4 agreement is made in the forest without him.

The Immunity Challenge was designed so that Probst could say "buoy" as many times as humanly possible.  It is a 3-stage challenge.  Round 1 involves a buoy on a rope, which is tangled & knotted throughout obstacles.  First 6 to get their buoy to the end move on to Round 2, where the buoy is on a rope wrapped around a balance beam.  First 3 to get their buoy to the end move on to Round 3, where the buoy is on a rope wrapped around a boat.  First one to get their buoy to the end wins Immunity.  Buoy, buoy, buoy & the Final 3 are Carter, Skupin & Denise, & it so happens that they're each standing on a platform in their original tribal colour.

Skupin dives into the water & is immediately circled by a shark on his way to the boat.  Skupin's arm has been developing its own perforated marks at the shoulder for such an occasion, & the arm pops off painlessly.

"No worries!   I'm good!"

Soon Denise & Skupin are flinging themselves off & under the boat, moving their buoy along, but Carter has developed another strategy.  Speaking of strategy, remember last week when I (& everyone) praised Penner's genius for collecting all the mud-bags at once?  Carter tweeted that it was actually his idea, so let's give him credit for that.  He's more than just a blank face & high hair, you guys.  Carter's strategy this week is using his long limbs, moving the buoy around the boat without ever getting out of it.

Carter's strategy works, & he wins, proudly wearing his new Immunity necklace.

Back at Gangrene, the decision is made to split the votes 3/3 for Abi & Pete, with all votes going to Abi if she doesn't play the Immunity Idol.  Penner is confident, but he will acknowledge the possibility of a different outcome. "Could somebody surprise me & play an incredibly stupid move?  Maybe...Either Pete or Abi will go home.  Could it screw up?  Yeah."

Trying to save themselves, Abi-Maria & Pete target Malcolm.  If they can get one person to switch their vote, they can take out a huge threat.  Well, yeah.  Why hasn't anybody really tried to do this yet?  I don't want him to go, but they should get rid of Malcolm.  Lisa & Carter say no thanks to a common sense approach, so Abi tries to sway Penner a different way.  She reminds him that the others might not be as loyal to him, & Penner responds with "I don't trust any of them completely, but they do trust me, you see?"

"There are no men like me."

Pete approaches Skupin (who is managing just fine with one arm, thanks for asking) & explains the scenario.  Skupin felt cornered by Malcolm into the Final 4 agreement & when Pete starts gushing about Malcolm's talents & skill, Skupin looks thoughtful.  "I'm not saying no."

Malcolm knows his name is being thrown around.  His newly-conditioned, voluminous Hair is tickled by the whispered words that come to him on the ocean breeze: "Malcolm" "Threat" "Idol" "Vote".  He could play his Idol, but he would lose his leverage & that could affect his relationship with the fulcrum that is Penner.  He also doesn't want to be sent home with the Idol in his pocket.

Once torches are in place & everyone is seated, the jury comes in.

Mistakenly, Jeff Kent has forgotten to conceal his true identity, & is a bit confused.  He decides to change.

"What?  I'm a rancher.  I work on a ranch."

RC wants to slip into something more comfortable as well, & while she's changing, Kent does, too.

"OK, you got me.  Anyone know who I am now?  MVP?  Anyone?"

Disgusted by the ignorance of these people, Kent sheds that final fake skin & leaves before his true identity is exposed.

"That'ssss it. Come on, guysssss.  We're outta here."

Abi says she regrets the last Tribal Council, & Jeff asks if it may be a cultural divide.  Abi says, "My attitude may be perceived as not the most gentle."  Everyone laughs & Denise disagrees with Probst's suggestion.  She deals with a lot of ESLs, & they are helpful & kind & all things that Abi is not.  Abi doesn't feel understood, & is getting emotional.  Probst suggests Abi may be the perfect person to take to the Finals, & Denise says yeah, "If that's the kind of game that you want to play."  She likens taking Abi to people in past seasons taking "the deadweight, they take the unlikeable person."  Abi is shocked at this.

"Wow, I never thought I was the unlikeable person."

Denise doesn't want to win by default.  "It's like bringing someone to a poker game that's never played poker, just so you can steal their money."  Abi is now in tears, but look: Abi is fond of blunt truth-telling, she's just not used to getting it back.  And the tears aren't all because of Denise; Probst can take some of that blame.

Have you ever seen The Soup's segment "Reow! With Brian Williams"?  It showcases Williams' catty & hilarious commentary during Rock Center.

I'd like to suggest a "Reow! with Jeff Probst"...check out the entries from this Tribal Council alone:

"Abi, is this the first time you've been in a situation where a group of people say Wow, what's wrong with you?" Reow!
"Abi, you didn't grasp that you're seen as unlikeable?"  Reow!
"You didn't grasp that people laughing at you - in our culture - is a sign that you're full of it?"  Reow!
"Denise, you were just talking about wanting to play the game with good people & not bring somebody like Abi to the end..."  REOW!

Probst has taken it too far.  But who could snap him out of it?

Dawson is dragged away by security, & Denise tries to break it down for Abi.  Four times she tries, & four times Abi interrupts her, saying "I don't understand what you're getting at."  Um, maybe listen & you will?  Abi has made up her mind, though.  She's not letting this therapist get into her head.  Abi heard what happened when Denise's ally Malcolm started making a new friend.  She knows how Denise sabotaged that alliance by talking to the other party, really talking to her, & telling her that she shouldn't be ashamed of what she wants.  It's only natural.  And we all know how that turned out.

"Even oatmeal cookies are totes yumz!"

Time to vote, & Abi turns to Pete & says "That was brutal by them."  Pete assures her "You'll be OK" in a dry monotone, without so much as putting a hand on her shoulder.  Inside, he's wishing he had just taken care of the puppy when he had the chance.

Why couldn't you stay in the backyard like you were supposed to, puppy?

Abi tearfully plays her Immunity Idol, & I gasp as Malcolm doesn't play his.  I really don't know what Skupin will do.  3 votes for Abi don't count.  2 votes Pete, 2 votes Malcolm.  Probst reads the last vote.

Pete becomes the 4th member of the jury, & the teaser for next week claims "Abi gets a taste of her own medicine."  WTF would you call Tribal, then?  I'm no Abi fan, but that was all pretty harsh.

I have to thank my son for loving LEGO as much as his Mom & Dad do, giving us an excuse to buy it.  Looking for specific pieces in our home is like entering the Lestrange vault at Gringotts.  Kai also created the main Gangrene camp for me, so thanks, Kai!  Be sure to check out my past all-LEGO Survivor recaps!

Also, a reminder there will be no recap for the next 2 weeks, but the plan is to get a quick recap post combining the 2 episodes up before the Dec 12 episode.
Check out some of my favourite Survivor blogs in the meantime:
Dalton Ross @
Jeff Pitman @
Max Maisel @ Exo-Raiku's Views of Interest
Bianca Castro @ Survivor-Insider

Reasons to watch Artis' 2 Ponderosa videos: his reaction to his reflection, an RC snub, & this fabulous image:

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Confectionery - 22

These are the things that I think are great.

As of right now, my son doesn't care about TMNT.  The LEGO Ninjago theme features a lead ninja named Kai (my son's name), so they are clearly his LEGO ninjas of choice.  I'm still excited about this, though - more LEGO for me.  LEGO Krang!

Yes.  I see the LEGO pizza, too.  Go to to see shots from all of the upcoming sets, to be released in 2013.

A friend of mine went on an Attack of the Cute posting rampage on Facebook last week, & I was made aware of this site for hours I wouldn't want back if I could have them.  Can you look away?  I mean, really?




There's even a collection of photos of a real-life Bambi/Thumper friendship.  Can't stand the cuteness.  Check out Attack of the Cute anytime you need to warm up your cold, cold heart.

For all the asses out there still opposing gay marriage, College Humor has a message for you.  A hilarious, on-point message.

This cat's name is actually Tartar Sauce, which is marvelous in itself, but it has become internet-famous as Grumpy Cat.  Memes based on this cat's wonderful face are plentiful.

Read about Grumpy Cat's rise to fame, & buy Grumpy Cat merchandise (yes, really!), including Grumpy Cat Christmas cards, here.

The Christmas season can officially begin with this gorgeous, haunting version of Carol of the Bells.

Those were my favourite sweets of the past week!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Survivor: Philippines - The Fulcrum is Penner - 25.9

Jeff Kent was voted out at the last Tribal Council, & I know you're all dying to know if he continues his Douchey McTool shtick at Ponderosa.  Those in the US can watch the videos at, but I've embedded them at the end of this recap for the rest of us.

Fulcrum: the support or hinge on which a lever pivots.  I know this because of volunteering for the Grade 2 Scientist in the School presentation on Simple Machines last year.  Who knew that the knowledge I gained from rocking The Lever Station would come in handy for Survivor?

Returning to Gangrene after Tribal Council, Abi-Maria is (surprise!) miserable & accuses Skupin of voting for her.  Penner proudly claims the Abi vote on account of being "P.O.'d".  Well, there goes my theory.  On his Abi-Maria vote, I had been thinking the only way it made sense was that Penner knew the votes would be split between Pete & Jeff.  By voting for Abi, Penner could get rid of Kent, & in a Final 3, could say to him "Hey, I was loyal - I never voted for you."  But it turns out Penner was just pissed.

In a weird reversal of sorts, Carter is explaining the math to Penner.  Using his hands, but still.

Penner is disheartened to learn that his last-minute vote for Abi resulted in a member of his alliance going home.  Remember, island Penner didn't realize the duplicitous nature of Kent, nor his overwhelming need to crush Penner.  I'm sure that watching from home with all this new-found knowledge has made it clear that the Abi vote was guided by fate.

Lisa is shocked that Malcolm doesn't hate her after she betrayed his trust &, you know, played Survivor.  Malcolm is all Cool beans, lady.  You're playing, I'm's a game.  I wonder if Pete feels the same way?  I'm surprised we don't see much of a fallout from Malcolm's revelation of the idol.  After discovering that he cannot add "Soul Searcher" to his list "Guys That I Have Been", Pete must have been devastated.

Penner knows he's in trouble now, & describes Yellow as 2 parents trying to play a Christian game with 3 bullies.  He sets out to divide & conquer, & MAN, does he get to work!

You see, Penner has been hanging around therapist Denise & has picked up on some tricks.  With those tricks up his sleeve along with an equal amount of parenting skills & impossibly blue eyes, he plays on her fear while appearing to genuinely care about Lisa's well-being.  At least, he made me believe.  Penner can see that Lisa is a bit fragile at the moment, & asks her how she's doing.  How she's really doing.

"Why did you think people wouldn't like you this morning?  Because you didn't do something that was pleasing to them?  You didn't try to please them?"  Lisa says she used & betrayed them.  "Did you?  You explained yourself beautifully last night.  It was a big, bold set of moves...maybe unprecedented in the history of Survivor...but you really were trying to work for your alliance, weren't you?  Then who the hell can argue with that?  There's not a single person here who doesn't admire you, like you, & maybe even are coming to love you."

Time for my son's first observation of the episode: "The music & the beach make it seem like they're really in love."

No, I did not enlarge this from a margin in my notebook...I just made it, I swear.

Penner gets deep & suggests Lisa's past as a child star could be playing a part in her need to please: "I know exactly how one look from the wrong person saying You're gonna go out looking like that?  Did you put on a couple of pounds?"

She even looks good when crying.   Stop it, Lisa Whelchel.

She asks him how he knows this, & he gives a crinkly smile & says, "It's my business, too."  Penner isn't done.  He has the captive audience & the tears, now he needs the hug.  "And you are, maybe only now, really getting to deal with how the toll, the cost of that extraordinary youth that you had, it did cost you something.  You lost something."  Lisa isn't stupid - she knows Penner is playing the game, but he really struck a nerve with her.

Therapy session is over & it's off to the Reward Challenge.  Survivors will be split into 2 teams, & one by one, they will crawl through muddy water, scale a wall, dig for 4 bags of balls in a pit of mud & then slide through rice.  When all 4 bags have been retrieved, the 12 balls within must be thrown into a tall & small basket.  First team to finish wins a trip to a local village where they will hand out school supplies & toys to children, & enjoy a meal cooked by the village.

A schoolyard pick is used to create the teams, & wow, it's telling.  The Yellow team is all Yellow: Skupin, Lisa, Artis & Pete.  The Red team is Penner, Carter, Denise & Malcolm.  One person wasn't picked, & that person is Abi, who probably wouldn't have even smiled at the kids anyway.

Penner seems like he's taking a long time to find his bag, but it turns out he's finding ALL the bags & putting them in the corners so his teammates don't have to get bogged down in the mud.  So smart, & it ends up winning Red this challenge.  But wait - not 1 challenge featuring balls goes by without a gem from Probst:
"Penner's already grabbed the balls & put them up there - easy for Carter."

Penner, Carter, Denise & Malcolm head to the village, where kids are recreating the Reward Challenge, minus the "maggot sprinkles" look the mud & rice gave the Survivors.

Everyone has a great time & giving is great & happiness is everywhere & then this, from Malcolm: "Right after I graduated, I taught elementary school in Micronesia for a year.  Remembering all the good times I've had was a good reminder of how much I enjoy working with kids & how fulfilling that can be.  God, why did I give this up?  This means so much more to me than pouring drinks for, you know, girls in bars.  It really made me reconsider what I've been doing with my life for the past year & it was a life-shaping experience."

Thank goodness The Hair wasn't released, or ovaries would have exploded.

Back at Gangrene, Pete is confident that his alliance is Tandang strong...all they have to do is keep Lisa & Skupin close & comfortable.  Enter Abi-Maria, who quickly tells Lisa how gullible & naive she is.  The crazy part is that I think Abi thinks she's being fair & nice.

Despite being treated this way, Lisa is still struggling with her desire to play a loyal game.  Being loyal is one thing, but she probably didn't count on being stuck in a tribe with a 32 yr old who acts like she was plucked from a My Super Sweet 16 episode, perpetually irritable because Mommy gave her the brand new Lexus too early, RUINING HER LIFE.  Seriously, Abi's 32.

Off to the Immunity Challenge, where they will balance a big paddle on a stand, & roll balls into 6 spots.  It looks incredibly difficult, & the only 2 having any luck are Skupin & Pete.

What's that, you say?  Another challenge featuring balls?  Probst does not disappoint: "Pete losing 2 balls in that one."  Skupin easily wins after Pete loses his balls & for the second week in a row, a returning player has Individual Immunity.

At Gangrene, Abi-Maria wishes she could vote out Mike, but he just won Immunity, & besides, they need him for numbers.  If only there was another way to get rid of him...

Abi-Maria, upset that Operation: Death by Coconut didn't go as planned, is concerned that Skupin & Lisa will flip.  Pete says "Nah".  Abi is still worried, & Pete actually shushes her.  Take care of the puppy, Pete.  Take care of the puppy.

Denise, Carter & Malcolm decide Artis will be the safe vote because Abi-Maria will most likely keep the idol for herself, although there is a slim chance she would give it to Pete...but she would never give it to Artis because she's too selfish

The happiest Abi has ever been.
Penner sits down with Lisa in the water & writes an episode of Survivor starring Blair Warner.

"So, I'm gonna ask you a question.  I'm like a storyteller - that's what I do, you know.  Survivor is a big story.  What's the story that's gonna be told this season?  Who are the good guys & who are the bad guys?  Who are the underdogs?  Who is the audience gonna be rooting for, consciously or not?  What does the audience want to have happen?  The audience is gonna watch you, & they're gonna say she's being loyal to the people that she's been loyal to all along, & that's a wonderful thing.  But they are not gonna be happy that you are helping these 3 guys go further.  And I'm not gonna try to influence you to come over to my side, but I hope that you & Skupin do the right thing & tell a better story...You could be the fulcrum character."

OK, look, we all know I'm a Penner fangirl, but this episode should validate it to any non-believers out there.  Penner is a Survivor God.  He appealed to Lisa's emotions earlier & now he's putting Survivor in her world.  She wants people to like her?  Forget the 8 other people here & think about the millions of viewers.  BRILLIANT.  Can we give this man an Emmy for writing on a Reality Program?  FOR REALZ.

Jonathan Penner: Winner of All the Things
Penner then goes to Skupin, & while I'm a bit disappointed Penner didn't equate flipping to their side with turning the other cheek when one cheek has been brutally beaten by a coconut, he does tell Skupin: "You're the fulcrum vote."

Time for my son's second observation: "His eyes are so blue, he looks like one of Loki's minions."  HOW DID I NOT SEE THIS BEFORE?


Skupin wants to play this game with Lisa, & he wants to make sure she'll be with him if he makes a big move.  Lisa, however, is still struggling.  "If Tandang is no longer loyal to me, then am I being exactly what Abi accuses me of being?  Gullible & naive?  And I have to really think about that."  For the love of Penner, how much thinking can one person do?

At Tribal, RC looks gorgeous again & Douchey McTool looks slightly more annoyed than he did when he was still in the game.

Lisa talks about how graceful Red was to her, & Probst comments to Abi-Maria, "The look on your face is so intense, it's like venom is ready to come out."

This is her grace face.

Artis declares Tandang to be one of the most powerful tribes in Survivor history.  "It's playing out like it is supposed to play out."  Denise suppresses a smile & says she thinks it might be a risk to think that way.  Artis clarifies, "I totally understand that at any moment in this game I could be blindsided just like anybody else."  Any moment, Artis?

Penner says they've all felt like fulcrum characters at some point, that they're all ready to tip the balance one way or another.  I don't really think that's true.  I think Penner has called everyone a fulcrum character.

Skupin is thrilled to have Immunity & says it's an unbelievable feeling, after 12 years of wanting to play the game again.  Lisa is still struggling with playing the game & staying true to herself.  "I don't know if I can learn it all in 39 days, but I do know that these 39 days are probably going to change me more than maybe 39 of my 49 years."

In Stupid Things Abi Does At Tribal Council news, she proclaims that she's not sure about Lisa.  Penner couldn't have been happier than if Abi had actually slapped Lisa in the face as she was weighing her decision.

Nobody plays an idol, & with a very dramatic reading of the votes, Artis is voted out & Penner is saved, to much hooting & hollering in my family room.

Is this the moment you understood?  Was it all you had hoped for?

So who was the fulcrum character?  Lisa was shown voting last, making it appear as if she had cast the final Artis vote.


That's right, Lisa chose Abi-Maria over Jonathan Penner.  It was Skupin who voted for Artis, but does that make Skupin the fulcrum?  Penner described the fulcrum character at Tribal: ready to tip the balance one way or another.  I think that makes it clear: the Fulcrum IS Penner.  Yes, it was Skupin's vote that sent Artis home, but who actively applied the force to create the leverage needed to flip someone to the other side?

This guy.

There are 2 weeks coming up when I won't be able to write my recaps.  I make no promises, but next week *may* be the week I do my all-LEGO recap for Season 25.  "Like" Winter Pays For Summer's Facebook page for confirmation & perhaps a preview!  You can check out my previous LEGO Survivor recaps here, or in the photo album on the Facebook page.

Jeff only gets a 2-parter at Ponderosa, so take a few minutes to find out how much weight he ended up losing, & what the first thing he said to RC was (& also how highly he thinks of himself, if that wasn't clear before):