Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Survivor 25.9

The Official Survivor: Philippines Recap Trilogy for week nine:

Mary Beth’s 2Cents: I decided to forego my usual blow-by-blow recap of tonight's episode and, instead, concentrated on taking some notes on each of the remaining players. This has been a very intense, very good season of Survivor. Last season, I was a little worried that the gild was off the proverbial Survivor lily. In short, I hated last season. This season I'm into it all the way and I'm über-surprised at which players have been the most intriguing!

Lisa – This former kid actor has quickly become one of my favorite players and her ability to make almost everyone love her while she makes some bold moves is a new twist on Survivor characters. We've seen people “act” sweet to get what they want but Lisa is genuinely sweet. The most telling clue of this was after she made an attempt to shield her alliance and outed Malcolm for having the hidden idol. A move that kept her alliance strong for one more episode.

The people she stood up against all came to her to make sure she was okay and that she knew they weren't mad at her at all. They congratulated her for being bold! They hugged her! Her own alliance didn't seem to care but those she was working against appreciated her! Amazing! Because she is so well liked it might be hard for her to get into the final two. No one wants to sit next to a saint at the end of this show.

Denise – Denise is a muscle packed powerhouse of a woman! She has proven herself to be a valuable asset in challenges and has helped her teams to win time and time again since the merge. She's well liked by her alliance. But so far, she hasn't really made any moves of her own and sooner or later, she is going to have to start doing some strategizing. Her strength and good judgment will take her far but I'm not sure it can take her to the end. 

Carter – I still haven't figured this guy out at all. He seems to do whatever Penner tells him. He seems like a team player though I haven't seen him do anything extraordinary in the challenges. He talked on camera tonight for, I think, the first time. I'm not sure what he said but he was standing there – talking. He's unmemorable. It would take a miracle for him to get to the end of this game. He's like a piece of the set. He's just there.

Pete – You know, he's another piece of Survivor furniture, as far as I'm concerned. Oh, he makes a little mischief and got Abi all mad at RC and probably orchestrated RC's too early demise. But that was done because he didn't like her and not for any real strategic reason. He and Abi talk a lot about the game but it all seems to be smoke and mirrors and the vote usually comes down to him just picking a name and telling his alliance who to vote for. There's no rhyme or reason to his game. He needs to go.

Malcolm – Well… you know. I think I made it pretty clear that I absolutely love Malcolm. Then, when I think I cannot love him more, he says he used to be a schoolteacher in Micronesia and how this has made him realize what his life should be all about. I think I melted a little. I admit it. I'd probably faint if I ever met him in real life. No kidding. And I'm a grown up and I know how creepy that sounds but that's just how immature I really am! SIGH…

Penner – When this season started I hated Penner. I hated him the last time he was on this show too. But he has really grown on me! He's smart. Way smart. Watching him work his Psychology 101 on Lisa tonight was like watching a master. As long as he uses that mind-bending power for good, I'm okay with it. Otherwise his ability to get people to do what he wants could be really scary. I was glad to see him not get voted out tonight. This season is better with him around.

Skupin – Mike Skupin is like everyone's big, dumb, clumsy Uncle Bill. If he's not hurting himself, other things are happening to cause him harm. Tonight Abi accidentally hit him in the head with a flying coconut. He was just lying there and got beaned! But I don't count him out either. Who knew this klutz would have the balance skills to win Immunity? He may be just smart enough to stay around for a little while.

Abi – Dear lord I hate this paranoid woman. Watching her is like being at work. I work with some people who have paranoid delusions and she, though maybe not officially diagnosed, sure has some of those same traits. So much so that she just can't help spouting off! She is a know it all and a bully.

Why she is still there is beyond me. If she were in my alliance and no one would get rid of her I might have to take her out in the jungle and lose her somewhere. Just to get some peace and quiet. Case in point, they talk about handling Lisa gently so she'll stay loyal and Abi immediately calls Lisa “gullible” and is mean to her. She's gotta go. Preferably by med vac.

Artis – Another piece of driftwood. What the heck is his roll in this alliance or any alliance? He brings nothing to the table except a vote. He stinks in challenges and he always has an asshat opinion. Thankfully, Penner worked some who-do/voo-doo and Artis got the old blind side. I would have preferred that it was Abi, but do agree that this dead weight had to go. Bye bye Artis! Welcome to the jury!

Jamie’s Prognosis: Tonight’s episode was all about Lisa Whelchel again. But first, am I the only person who thinks that Dangrayne is the worst survivor tribe name in history? I cringe every time it is said.  It sounds like a bad infection. “Oh my GOD, did you hear that he died of Dangrayne? His whole leg fell off because of it!” WHO comes up with this stuff?

 So here is the truth about Lisa. She is either a very cunning player and manipulative woman who channels her former “Facts of Life” character Blair, OR, she really is just a sweet, kind soul who survived the ravages of teenage stardom to become a truly naïve mom jean, granny swimsuit sporting kind of a gal.

 Here is another true fact. Jonathan Penner is super smitten with her, and on tonight’s episode he played her like a fiddle. His psychological game was grade A; sympathizing with her lot in life as a young starlet who had to play a role and please everyone else, feeling her pain…

He even told her he loved her. 

I thought she would laugh at him but she actually got tears in her eyes and said, “Thank GOD someone finally understands me”. Wow. Way to hit the G spot Penner. Impressive. And as for Lisa? Girl, you are wayyyy too easy to please when a desperate dude on a beach can touch your soul like that. Take OFF the mom jeans and put on those savvy Blair jeans, Lisa your being played!!

The Reward Challenge was great. I love the “give back” rewards where the smelly Americans bring gifts to the natives. I’m not being crass. I really do think that after invading their lands with puzzles and mazes and fire pits and camera’s and stupid stuff like that they really should give back. 

In this challenge two teams had to go through an obstacle course and dig up some bags of balls from a sand pit. The first group to get all their balls in a metal tube won the challenge. Penner was first out of the gate and he wisely dug up all of the bags of balls for the rest of the team to easily grab on their way through.

Carter, Denise, Malcolm and Penner easily won the reward and I was once again high on Penner! As I said last week, he is playing a great game. Most touching moment of the reward?  When Mary Beth’s boyf… I mean Malcolm said that giving school supplies and treats to a needy village was way more rewarding than pouring drinks for chicks in a bar. Truth!!

Back at camp gangrene, I mean Dangrayne, Abi was still an asshole!!! This woman is so detestable. Why hasn’t anyone voted her off for spite yet? Icky human being.

The Immunity Challenge was a tricky one. It reminded me of a game my brother and I used to play when we were kids. It involved balancing balls on a hand held paddle. And who was the most skilled at this fine motor task? Michael Skupin, who can’t seem to walk 10 feet without injuring himself. Not whom I thought would have the gentle touch, but immunity was his.

So tonight’s choice for ouster was once again my man J. Penner and… Artis. Finally someone realized how important it was to break of the evil three!

But wait.

Lisa was conflicted. Lisa is loyal. Lisa never breaks her word, even when the evil three treat her like garbage and insult her. She must stay true to her original alliance at all cost. Penner tried yet again to work his soothing magic on her pre-council. But… she is super loyal. If you are a serial killer and need someone to vouch for your character at trial, Lisa Whelchel is your girl!

As the votes were read, it was between Penner and Artis. I was getting nervous because… I like Penner! I'm rooting for him now. And Denise, of course. I am loyal too Lisa!!  But holy BLINDSIDE… Artis was voted out. I was thinking to myself “way to go Lisa… you figured it out”. Good choice. Only one problem. As the credits rolled it showed that Lisa voted for Penner. It was SKUPIN who changed teams tonight and voted out his old Tandang-mate.

So the question remains. Is Lisa savvy and playing a good game? Or is she really that good, pure and loyal? Either way, she could go far with the jury in this game if she stays in. I just have a few words of wisdom for her. Hey Lisa!! You take the good. You take the bad. You take them all and there you have. The facts of life.

Learn these words, Lisa Whelchel; it only gets tougher from here.

The Booth’s Bits: They got me! I was blindsided! I thought for sure it was Penner, but instead it was the Artis formerly known as “Who the hell is that guy?” who went home tonight. I was so convinced that it was Penner, but I think that little Rat-Girl Abi annoyed everyone so much that they voted off Artis. Huh? That doesn’t really make any sense, but it made me happy because it pissed off Rat-Girl.

Let’s review how we got to this satisfying conclusion…

The show started off with Penner telling Rat-Girl off. That was good. Then Lisa whined and cried for a while. That was to be expected, after all, she is the Drama Mama.

In the blink of an eye it was time for a Reward Challenge. They picked teams and since there were 9 castaways, there would be one extra. That turned out to be Rat-Girl. Neither team wanted her. Can’t say as I blame them. She is quite the snotty little biotch.

The team of Penner, Denise, Carter and Malcolm totally dominated the squad made up of Skupin, Lisa, Artis and Pete. It was the great strategy of Penner that gave his team the big advantage. I think he was channeling his inner Alan Alda. It was quite brilliant on his part.

The Reward was really very nice. The four winners brought a big crate of school supplies and toys to a small village where they were treated to lunch. The interaction between the children of the village and the castaways was both happy and charming.

It was here that Malcolm revealed that he had taught small children on Micronesia for a year. He said that he missed it and was considering giving up bartending to return to teaching. He really let his hair down. Literally. And when he did, I was reminded of how much he resembles a supersized Ozzy. Sorry, MB.

Meanwhile back at camp, Rat-Girl continued to be annoying and almost made Lisa cry. Some more. Rat-Girl is so irritating that even her evil counterpart Rat-Boy Pete finds her aggravating. That’s pretty bad because he’s pretty nasty himself.

The Immunity Challenge was rather anticlimactic. It was a giant paddle game where the competitors had to balance balls in six holes on the paddle. Skupin was the only one who could do it, so it lasted about three minutes. Big yawn.

After the challenge it looked like Penner was the guy to go. At least that’s what Artis declared. When they got back to camp, it was more of Rat-Girl yapping and pissing people off. Although she did come up with the quote of the night.

While Denise and Penner were attempting to convince Skupin and Lisa to vote their way, Rat-Girl came prancing out of the ocean and proudly shouted, “I’ve got a clam!” I immediately busted out laughing. For those of you not as sophomoric as me, look up “clam” in the Urban Dictionary and see what the first definition is. I’m still giggling…

By the time Tribal Council came around I thought they were trying so hard to make it look like it wouldn’t be Penner that it had to be him. But they blindsided me and sent Artis packing. And I loved it.

What a Tribal Council! Not only the blindside, but we got to see RC come out on the jury! She came out in a flowered frock that came down slightly above the knee. Be still my heart! Also, it looked like Rat-Girl was about to attack Lisa at any given moment and start scratching her tear-filled eyes out. Such tension! It was great. I can’t wait for next week.

Here are my new “How I Want Them To Finish” rankings:

1. Penner (Alan Alda)
2. Malcolm (Supersized Ozzy)

3. Skupin (Capt. Accident)
4. Denise (Queen of the Quizzical Look)
5. Carter (Spicoli)

6. Lisa (Drama Mama)
7. Pete (Rat-Boy)
8. Abi (Rat-Girl)

Until next time…from the booth.

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