Returning from Tribal Council, Skupin is dancing in the dark after excising the tumor that was Abi-Maria. Abi's main argument for staying was Malcolm's going to win, which Malcolm isn't happy about. "The amount of damage control I have to keep doing after someone blows up at Tribal Council is getting ridiculous."
|Survivor goes sepia!|
Surprise! Reward Challenge time. Survivors will race through obstacles, collecting bags of puzzle pieces to be used to complete this awesomely cool puzzle.
|"Oh, COME ON!" screams Coach at his TV.|
Probst says they're playing for the biggest reward of the game & for a second I think they're bringing back the Pontiac Aztec. However, it looks like Walter White will remain the only person still driving one of those, as the reward is an advantage at the final Immunity Challenge. Woah. That's huge. Has that ever been a thing before?
Denise is barefoot, & I cringe the whole time because splinters! Can't watch. Everyone makes it to the awesomely cool puzzle & I'm just going to say it: if Penner was in this, he'd own it. Malcolm & Denise are leading, Lisa's behind & Skupin's not even in it at all.
|At one point, Skupin just started throwing pieces, hoping they'd stick.|
Malcolm wins, & continues his streak of looking fierce after a challenge.
What I don't understand is why Malcolm doesn't just say yes, whatever his intentions. At this point, everyone's lying to each other, & Malcolm & Denise know this, because they've been in the Final 4 stage of a tribe before. Together. Just replace Skupin & Lisa with Russell & Angie. Malcolm knows they're both making deals & promises, so why not make Denise feel more comfortable? Let's remember that Malcolm has only won an advantage at this point, he's not guaranteed anything. Everyone is so caught up in the assumption that he's going to win, but if Denise wins, he's just given her another reason to get rid of him.
Denise approaches Lisa, & they both feel they have a better shot at winning without Malcolm. Lisa says Malcolm is like the guy who hugs you, then stabs you, then visits you in the hospital & everyone comments on how sweet he is. Please. Nobody comments on his hair? Not a very believable story.
Skupin is just happy that either way, he & Lisa are looking good for the Final 3. Lisa "can't even imagine a scenario where Malcolm doesn't win Immunity." Skupin says WTF? He's held his own with Malcolm in the physical challenges, & he's twice Malcolm's age. These are Skupin's glory days. "The word on the street is that Malcolm's unbeatable."
|That street is Thunder Road.|
Skupin thinks he can beat Malcolm & tell "a pretty good story at the end". Once upon a time, I was born in the USA. Born to run, you could say. 12 years ago I began my Survivor journey, which ended the day I realized, hey, I'm goin' down, & then before I know it, I'm on fire.
The Fallen Comrade walk was full of laughs.
Zane thinks himself the glue of Blue: "I think it was very stupid for my tribe to vote me out...as you can see, my whole tribe folded after I left."
Roxy blames her downfall on her conviction to keep it real.
Angie continues to be amazing. "Being ditzy & bubbly, or whatever, that's just part of who I am. But I'm not a dumb blonde." And let's raise a glass to the editor who matched these words to this image:
|"I'm kind of well-rounded."|
Russell is still whiny & Dana didn't make too large of an impression before she had to go.
Dawson says "Having Jeff Probst snuff my torch - I can't tell you how much I was salivating. I just wanted to put a wet one so far up on his lips. It was a moment he & I shared & I'll never be the same."
Katie is there.
RC's tribute is a lot of slo-mo leopard bikini.
Jeff Kent doesn't mention baseball at all. Jussst kidding, it's all he talks about.
Artis is disappointed.
Pete acknowledges Abi was his downfall.
Skupin calls Penner "Entertainment on steroids."
Carter says stuff.
Abi-Maria still can't believe she was disliked.
|Survivor really needs to be more careful about this sort of thing...|
|...because Rohan WILL answer.|
The final Immunity Challenge is one for steady hands. Using handles, they have to balance a ball on a wooden cylinder. More pieces of wood will be added, making it more difficult. Malcolm's advantage is that he'll get a second chance if his ball falls. HUGE.
|This challenge was designed by lower abdomen lovers.|
Turns out Malcolm needed that second chance, as his is the first ball to fall. Probst gently tells the 4, "Now everybody's on the same page. Your ball drops, you're out, that's it, go home."
With super shaky hands, Malcolm regroups to no avail. Both balls have dropped. Malcolm is devastated. Skupin wins Immunity & is in the Final 3.
Malcolm knew he had no chance at that challenge. "The minute I get nervous, around a girl, or anything, my hand starts to shake." Malcolm, Malcolm, Malcolm. Just let The Hair do its thing. No need to be nervous. In fact, I know we were all focused on the abdomens, but Malcolm's hair was up during that challenge. Do we remember how far behind Malcolm was in last week's Immunity Challenge? Do we remember how the hair fell out & suddenly Malcolm raced past everyone? Let the hair down more often. Did RC keep her boobs covered? Did Penner wear sunglasses? Did Abi-Maria hide her ass? Did Denise downplay the fact that she is made of only muscles? No. Yet, in the entire 2 hour episode, 1 confessional is the only time The Hair was down:
Malcolm is worried about going to Tribal without any protection. He has had an Idol in his pocket or a necklace around his neck since the merge, so his hands are shaking non-stop. Which makes his decision on how to get a drink a little scary.
Instead of sticking together & forcing a split vote, Malcolm & Denise will be voting for each other, leaving the decision up to Skupin & Lisa. Denise is worried that Skupin will still want to go up against Malcolm. "He may not always see the repercussion of what happens if you take the best of the best of the best to the end...I am one stubborn, determined woman."
|Because the night belongs to lovers.|
Probst asks Lisa if there's any reason to take Malcolm to the end. Surely she can come up with something, as Malcolm just laid out several reasons why Denise could be a bigger threat. Just say, "Yeah, what he said."
|Well, let's see...no, the hair's not down, so....um....|
|"Don't hesitate that long!"|
|"There's not a reason for me to take him to the end."|
Back at Gangrene, the oldest Final 3 ever (& by that, I mean suck it, 20 somethings) is excited & nervous about the upcoming Final Tribal Council. Malcolm's "vote of confidence" for Denise didn't go unnoticed, & everyone's thinking of their opening statements. Denise's plan is to be blunt about outwitting him. Skupin says "I guess who can plead their case the best is potentially the one that's gonna win the million dollars.
After taking in a beautiful sunrise the next morning, the Final 3 check out Tree Mail. Lisa says More like tree meal, amiright? Anybody? Skupin says "I've always wondered if I could play this whole game strategically enough to get myself in a Final 3. I knew I could make it to the end 23 seasons ago. When I came out here, I tried to tell myself the same thing, but thoughts of doubt kept creeping in because every time I got around a camp fire, I thought, don't fall in the sucker. But I'm here & it feels good to be here."
Lisa has a confessional that's the same as all of her other confessionals.
At the Final Tribal Council, everyone strolls in with attitude & why oh why is Malcolm's hair up when it's clean & brushed & probably smells like mangos & rum? Also, he's way too pretty when completely clean-shaven so I guess I'm not a Malcolm girl anymore.
|What is this sorcery? Jungle Malcolm FTW.|
|Pete Yurkowski: Engineering Graduate|
Denise begins with her opening statement. I'm not going to make apologies for how I got here. I'm here, you aren't, I win at life. I'm proud, I deserve it, & I've lasted through every single Tribal Council & 3 different tribes. I built alliances & sub-alliances. I was a workhorse around camp & at challenges. Don't forget that I survived either an Abi-poisoning or a Kent-bite. I outwitted some of you, outplayed some of you, & I outlasted all of you.
Lisa says, Hang on a gosh-darned minute, we all 3Od you guys, we just did it in different ways. I did it by crying at a well, crying on the beach, & crying on my brother. My brother got my head back into the game, so thanks for letting me spend time with him before I finally started playing to win & knocked you out of this game, Malcolm. I stumbled my way here, so if you like that strategy, I'm your girl. Tandang forevs, right guys? *twinkling smile*
Skupin says, As a returning player, I knew my back was up against the wall... *show them my bruises*...so I did everything with fire. *subtle reminder of my dripping skin to incite sympathy* I played my guts out... *stuff guts back in before Lisa pukes* because I love this game so much. But really it comes down to this: I've made it to the end in one piece. That's totally worth a million dollars.
Round 1 to Denise.
Artis says You guys promised to be loyal & then you weren't. :( I played the game loyal to my alliance. Karma's a bitch.
Carter says Congrats, bros. Skupin, you made it far, so good job but also how could you vote me off? Skupin says they couldn't have kept him if they wanted to win.
|Thanks, man. I appreciate it.|
|It's about to get biblical up in here.|
RC stands up & laughs her way through bitter tears.
Malcolm says, Lisa, I'm actually considering voting for you, as my hairless face has made me soft & a sucker for sob stories. He starts to address Denise, & when she starts nodding, he cuts himself off. "Don't nod. I'm telling you right now, don't nod."
"This appeasing everybody thing has to stop." He asks her to explain why she deserves to win over Skupin & Lisa. Clearly, even Malcolm's facial hair had Samson-like magical abilities, because without it, he isn't making sense. He basically answered this himself in his last Tribal Council, let alone Pete having asked her the same question 3 minutes prior.
Jeff Kent's turn. He pats himself on the back, as usual. We're all bitter, but I can handle it. By bathing in money. More money than the measssssly amount you'll end up with - becaussse of Obama.
Anyway, Sssskupin, in my life & career, I've ssseen 3 kindssss of people: Doerssss, watcherssss & WTFerssssss. Which one are you?
Skupin's like Listen, snake, getting shit done is the Skupin family motto. I have stitches that spell it out. And really, in your career as a rancher you learned that? You got a lot of agressive cattle?
Abi-Maria (in a kick-ass dress) is still hurt by the insinuation that she is unlikeable. "My heart's broken."
She addresses them all individually, asks decent questions, & only really gets personal with Denise, who seemed like the most vocal Abi-hater. Denise says everything right. I still stand by some of what I said, but I could have handled it differently, & if you were truly hurt, I apologize. Abi-Maria accepts this, & while daggers are flying out of her eyes, she leaves mostly mature-like.
You guys, after the Ponderosa video & now this, I feel bad for Abi. I do. I think either nobody in her life had been honest with her (like an American Idol contestant who has no business singing, ever), or the game truly brought out the worst in her. If so, then I get it. I mean, I don't think my husband knew the real me until he joined my family's board game nights. Scattergories can create rifts that last for years. (If my Sister-in-Law Kyla is reading this, MICROWAVING WILL NEVER BE CONSIDERED A CHORE.)
Now it's Penner's turn & I will take the time to transcribe this mofo of a speech. It's worth it. At one point, I was afraid he would call someone a mewling quim.
"Alright, let's end this thing. Guys, hi. Congratulations. Obviously we all wish we were sitting there. As Jeff says, is there some vestige of fury? Of course there is. How can there help but be?
Denise, we've had a lot of time together. I'm a little confused by some of what you said tonight. Appeasing is what happened. You shared with me once that the one thing you were sort of afraid of being seen as was a bitch. You can rest assured that you have now shown the world that side.
"Skupin, sitting here, telling us how your name kept coming up, & how you were threatened all the time...I don't think your name - & you guys will correct me if I'm wrong - I don't think your name has been written down one time in this entire game. I have the proud distinction of having my name written down, I believe, 15 times. Which may be a record...no, I think Phillip Sheppard has more times, but I may have close to a record - 15 times my name was written down. So, I know that you're sitting here saying that there was this big target on your back, but however you scrambled or dissembled, back-stabbed & flip-flopped, you were able to avoid having your name written down even once. You may find that you have a perfect record even after tonight.
"Lisa, my friend, we got close out here. We both know that we did. Would you like to share with everybody, or shall I?" Lisa says, "Either one. I'll be happy to, because I mean, I don't, I..."
"No, no, I don't want to shame you, certainly." "No, no, it's not a shame."
"No, no, of course not - you should be proud. Lisa was a television star. She spent 9 years on the television program The Facts Of Life. From the age of 12 to the age of 21, she was America's sweetheart. Still may be. You guys deserve to know that when you vote, or don't vote, for her. That she has kept that from all of you, & I kept your secret safe until now."
I love the way Lisa handles this: "Can I ask you a question?" "Anything you want." "Did you reveal to any of us what you did as a teenager, what job you had as a teenager, like, 25 years ago? Or did you talk more about who you are now, what you've been doing, & what you bring to the game now?"
"Ahh, I didn't talk about when I went to the bathroom 16 days ago... There's a lot of things I didn't talk about, either. My life? Would you really like to hear now? Should we take the time and I could talk about what I did from when I was 12 to 21? If you guys are interested, I don't think it's going to affect the outcome tonight. Maybe later I'll tell you all about it.
"I think that one of you has ridden the other two in here like oxen. You have been yoked to a cart and have been ridden in. And now, you will be led to the slaughter. And you hear the cheering - you think the million dollars is yours! One of you is right. One of you is standing in the chariot. And the other two are actually just the oxen listening to the crowd cheering for the person behind you. I'm done."
I know there are a number of people who feel that exposing Lisa's secret was a low blow. But what did Lisa do for Penner? He owed her nothing. Maybe he'd already told the jury at Ponderosa, maybe he didn't. But if there's one thing Penner knows, it's how to tell a story. What does the audience want to see? An explosive Final Tribal. With an epic speech that everyone will be talking about. Forget Sue's rats & snakes - oxen are the Survivor smackdown animals du jour. "How can there help but be?" You have been yoked to a cart & have been ridden in? COME ON. How did the jury keep themselves from writing Penner's name down? We know Artis loves him some Penner.
It's really hard to tell how everyone is going to vote. I loved Denise throughout the whole Tribal Council, but will the jury respect that, or take it as arrogant? I thought Skupin handled himself well, but were the numbers already against him? Does everyone else but me absolutely love Lisa & want her to have everything in the world?
Time to vote & RC votes for Lisa, which is surprising as I thought Skupin had her vote for sure. Penner votes for Denise, so maybe his outing of Lisa's past was a play for her?
Carter votes for Skoopin.
Probst takes the urn o'votes & begins his journey to LA.
Sadly, there is no water-skiing or sky-diving in this journey. The most thrilling part is when Probst walks past RC's fan club in the audience.
The reunion begins with silence for the tragedy in Newtown, CT, & after that respectful moment, the votes are read. Poor Lisa is fighting back tears & I can't imagine how strange it is to have to switch gears from Newtown to who won Survivor.
We see the 3 votes we already knew about, & then 4 in a row for Denise. Denise wins & I am really happy for her & upset for me that our Survivor pool didn't happen this year because she was my pick from the beginning.
Probst says something but I am enraged because behind him I see Malcolm with his hair up.
W.T.F. If you're not going to let your hair down on a night like this, you don't deserve to have hair like that. Unless it's in a super fancy up-do, but it is not. It is not.
The reunion goes in a pretty standard way, with things we expect to hear. Skupin feels like he deserved to win, the self-discovery was worth a million dollars to Lisa (ugh), Jeff Kent blames everybody for everything, but through the Probst Reunion Polling System we also find out that Malcolm wouldn't have won. Really? I guess we don't see everything, but it seemed like even the Survivors thought he would win. The PRPS may have some bugs in it yet.
Lisa talks for 10 minutes & my husband loudly wishes for Blossom to show up & ask a question. Probst can't get enough Lisa, & he likens her never-ending dilemma to having "this devilish game...pitted against your Christianity". Let it go & move on, Probst. I can see Dawson in the back corner applying lip gloss. Lisa says Nothing about Survivor reflects the character of God. Say what now? Did Lisa skip the Old Testament? She says Christianity is all about acceptance & this is where I decide to just keep my mouth shut after writing & deleting 4 paragraphs.
Look! It's a bird! It's a Mayim Bialik! It's a Justice!
|He had to support Sister!|
Russell is still cold & wet & miserable. Probst talks to Dana about her illness & Dawson leans over into his line of sight. Malcolm is pissed he didn't win, but swimming with the whale shark was crazy cool. I don't actually know what he said, cuz I was too busy throwing hairbands at the TV, screaming "Fine! Keep it up forever! Here, have another one! Wouldn't want your majestic hair to perfectly frame your face or anything!"
Abi-Maria says watching the show was a learning experience & she has a lot of growing to do. RC blames everything on Abi. RC interrupts Pete, who says "I guess some people are still a little bitter."
|Pete Yurkowski: Engineering Graduate|
Time for Fan Favourite & Probst says it's the closest they've ever had. But it's not between Penner & Malcolm, as I & a lot of others had thought. Lisa wins Fan Favourite over Malcolm by .7% & now I need another TV. Out of hairbands, I threw everything nearby at the TV & that included a bottle of scotch, so, sorry TV. And sorry, scotch.
Now, I will say this about Lisa: she does the best Taylor Swift impression since Taylor Swift.
|OMG You guys, she's better at this than I am!!!!!!!!!!!|
Angie is cute & perky & Zane compared his 3 days on Survivor to a car running out of gas. Roxy says "My little moment on the beach, praying, speaking in tongues, I mean, I guess it can really never be forgotten." Well, it can until you remind us. Now we all remember that you're crazy.
Katie comes off as way more annoying than she did on the show so maybe editing saved us from her grating voice for a reason. Artis is no fan of the editing as even he started to think he was "the angry black man". Carter says he came off as bland because he was tired & hungry. What's that behind Carter? Dawson's shaking leg, as she prepares herself for The Greatest Survivor Reunion Moment Ever.
"And, Dawson, I have to say no one has ever trie - oh my god..."
Get. it. girl.
We see a teaser for Survivor: Caramoan; Fans vs Favourites which starts in February. Before I even start blogging next season, let me just say that I know it's a US title & I *should* be able to spell it without the u, but I can't do it. I just can't. It goes against every Canadian instinct I have, & I will be stubborn on this, like when I lost the Grade 1 Spelling Bee after we moved to Pennsylvania because my teacher said "Zed? Zed is not a letter." I SPELLED "BLAZE" CORRECTLY, YOU HAG. YOU'RE THE STUPID ONE.
|"I guess some people are still a little bitter."|
So, see you guys in February, extra u & all?