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Survivor: Philippines – Episode 11 – Hell Hath Frozen Over

If I ever decide to make it onto Survivor and I get to play, one of the things I want to experience is the Auction. It is by far my favorite challenge in the seasons it appears. I love how it is tons of fun to watch – and I believe experience – and still provide very key moments of drama and strategy. And we don’t see all of it too – there are items bought and consumed we never get to witness.

One thing is for sure – I would never EVER bid all of my money on pancakes. Or wine and cheese. I may bid on them, but why oh why bid everything so early! I hope that the show edited it out of order and they were bidding at the end. However, I don’t think that is the case. Denise and Scoopin’ blew it all on those early meals. Heck, Scoopin’ even refused to drink the wine! Probst offered to take it – which was hysterical. Malcolm landed coffee and donuts for $200. Penner blindly bid $100 and got fried chicken and French fries. Carter bought a loaded baked potato for $200 and agreed to trade it for rice and beans for the entire tribe. Blair blindly bid $320 – bold! – and got a giant sandwich. Abinormal got her clue, and Carter got $200 veal shanks to share with the tribe.

The Immunity Challenge was another staggered one where Survivors were eliminated in bunches. It was another one where they had to navigate a ring through a rope maze/obstacle course. The twist this time is that they had to answer questions about the Philippines before each leg began – get it wrong and get fitted with a weight equal to 5% of your body weight. Blair was the first out. Next, Malcolm, Scoopin’ and (barely) Denise were knocked out.
Let me add that Denise has slowly become perhaps the best female challenge contestant ever. Amanda and S1 Kelly come to mind. Others were pretty good, but watching Denise fly through this challenge with 10% of her body weight strapped to her body, well, I am starting to think she could take them all.

In the third stage, for some reason it was only a challenge in untying rope barriers. We learn that Abinormal is, somehow, a world-class rope-untying champion. That was surprising. She flew through this challenge – with the fatigue plaguing Carter and Penner playing a huge part. Carter made a nice comeback, but it was over. The eliminated Survivors watched from the side in amazement – Denise perhaps in nausea. But it was done.

Now, we have the Final Six and, barring a F5 immunity loss, a Final Four of Scoopin’, Lisa, Malcolm and Denise. Who saw that coming back in Ep 2? Despite her success this week, an Abinormal immunity run would be one of the biggest shocks I have ever seen on the show. Carter could pull off wins in the F5 and F4, and if he does, he could win it all. Based on the edit he has gotten – this would also be just as stunning. I expect that Malcolm and Denise will try and flip Scoopin’ on Blair at the end. The likelihood of a fire challenge seems large, and I expect the final vote to go the way of Denise if she is there (Abi won’t vote for her, but the rest could), or to Malcolm. Carter could beat them, but I can’t see anyone else garnering enough jury votes to make.

But who knows, this season has already been full of ample surprises.

Treemail Top 10
• Man, looking back at these last two weeks, the one guy who should be most pissed is Carter. Through the decision of someone else, he went from Final Four to being a lone wolf. Even if he joined with Abinormal, they would still be down 4-2 and have to sway one of the duos to join them in the end. Not easy if they just chose to cut Penner loose with a much better argument.
• It’s been a rough few days for me in reality programming – I lost my Survivor of choice and my Amazing Race team of choice in just a few days of each other. And now I see that the local CBS affiliate and Direct TV seem to be having a spat. I may be watching next week’s ep on CBS.com.
• I had a bad feeling about this one from the start – especially when Denise outlined the plan of Penner being the one if Abinormal “miraculously” won immunity.
• I cannot handle anymore of Abinormal’s whining about the brutal Tribal Council, or any of the perceived slights she has dealt with. Her Highness really needs to look in a mirror and have a Stuart Smalley-ish Moment of Reflection. And what’s with sticking out your tongue at Denise as she voted? Maybe she is four years old after all! I mean, who does that at age 32? And is it me, or was her tongue so tiny it barely stuck out of her mouth?
• Scoopin’ thinks you can get a stack of pancakes, bacon and juice for $1.99 in the local diner. In related news, Scoopin’ thinks it is still 1986.
• How funny was the face Penner made as he tore into that fried chicken? Probst said he went somewhere else. Yep, he went to Ponderosa.
• Another interesting and good move from Abinormal – she pretended that the clue was for a hidden idol. She tried to make Malcolm think she had one – which he did not seem to buy. Perhaps because her sales tactic is to emote like a Lindsay Lohan Lifetime movie. But execution notwithstanding, it was a good idea. She had to double down on it at the challenge when Probst asked her to read the advantage. She said it had two parts, and then ripped it up. Interesting to see that Probst let her go with it – no corrections. Even when he knows she is lying, he lets it go. Pretty cool to see that.
• Perhaps my favorite shot of the episode, season, and maybe the show…Scoopin’. Lying lazily. Just staring at the fire. As if saying to his old enemy…you ain’t getting me this time. Heh.
• Moratorium call! No more Abinormal whining about treatment, and no more Blair saying the game is too big for her. Agreed?
• Best Penner moment? Upon voting, he turns and shouts – DENISE! The others, including Denise, laugh. Funny way to go out for him – and clearly, he, and they, knew he was done.

Votes – Penner 4 (Malcolm, Denise, Scoopin’, Blair), Denise 3 (Penner, Carter, Abinormal)

Next week – Family visit. Many tears. And I guess Malcolm has a wacky brother.
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