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Survivor: Philippines –Reunion – The Kissing Bandit

Denise has won, she celebrates with her husband and daughter and the group settles into their ranked seating. However, it must be stated that before the votes are read, Probst leads the cast, crew and audience in a moment of silence for the Newtown children and teachers murdered last week. One moment just doesn’t feel like enough respect – but that was a nice gesture by the show.

Denise is given just a cursory bit of attention from Probst – probably because she isn’t a dude or a 25-year-old hottie. She talks about having to constantly scramble as she bounced to three tribes and faced Tribal Council each time. Her toughest move to make was her betrayal of Malcolm – and betrayal is somewhat harsh, as he was moving to betray her at the same time. Probst asks her about her clients – a fair question, as the therapist-client relationship is pretty intimate. Especially a sex therapist. But she said that it has done wonders for her relationships – including frank talks on body image, religion and other deep feelings. And that’s all the attention our Sole Survivor gets in the reunion until she is handed a check at the end.

Why? Well, we surely needed to have Lisa Whelchel preach about herself, her religion, books she read and quote the friggin’ Facts of Life theme. I remember all of the past third place finishers getting such attention in the reunions – remember when Albert went on and on about philosophy? Or we learned just what Mick thought about religion? Or how Sugar planned on bringing about world peace? Or Becky’s thoughts on the designated hitter? Sigh.

Penner isn’t even given much to say or do. He talks about his inaction which led to his ouster and how he didn’t realize the end game was upon them. At the Final 7, he didn’t realize the end game was there. Maybe I overestimated Penner’s Survivor skills. He also jokes that he thought he and Jeff Kent were good to go early on – he shook his hand with five fingers twice. Heh. Kent explained that he was using Penner to deflect attention from him, and that the big problem was really Denise refused to go along with their plans. Her loyalties to Malcolm trumped her Kalabaw loyalties.
After Lisa/Blair jokes about Kent’s anti-Obama comments, and how the mil is really 600K, Kent doubles down by saying more now. How’s that Romney working out for you Jeff? Millionaires for billionaires – a great, winning political strategy. Whatever, he talks about competitiveness. Blah blah, I’m an athlete, blah blah, Barry Bonds sucks, blah blah I’m going back into obscurity unless I get voted into the Hall of Fame, which is doubtful because every baseball writer hates me.

Probst called Skupin “Mr. Magoo” which is hysterical. We see a montage of his accidents and speculate that if the fire incident hadn’t happened in Season 2, we may have seen more. He also gives Skupin the shattered mask from the early swim challenge – the one where Skupin dove in the water incorrectly and broke his own tribe’s mask in his face.

And then a huge section with Lisa. Religion. Blair Warner. A dubious remark about how her religion is about acceptance – which I am sure is news to the entire gay community. I’m officially done with Lisa, even if somehow Survivor fans thought she deserved the Player of the Season 100K. She wouldn’t have even made my Top 5 – Malcolm, Denise, Penner, Skupin, Abi.

Russell talks about how the rain was non-stop for three weeks, exactly as it was in Samoa. So, it’s HIS fault!! Dana mentions how she barely remembers her illness – she was foggy and delusional. Malcolm’s section includes him admitting that he knew once he saw it was the Micronesia balance challenge that he was toast. He could have had 100 chances and still lost. He gives us an explanation on how swagger is what everyone needs to catch fish. I don’t know, it was getting late and I was getting really, really bored with this reunion.

Abinormal actually appeared to be, well, normal. She jokes that if you were watching the show you saw why she needed a learning experience. She was abrasive and passive aggressive and needs to calm down. Speaking of needing to calm down, RC…let it go. You lost. Pete turned Abi against you and how were not able to recover from it. That’s happened in every season of Survivor. Except this all happened months ago – time to move on. I loved your laugh, your serious skills in challenges and well, the leopard bikini, but you really, really, really need to reel it in.

Probst hysterically leads into an Angie question by commenting on her heart, but as he does he reflexively puffs out his chest. Awesome. Zane said his proverbial car ran out of gas – perhaps due to the nicotine withdrawal. Roxy is yelling very loudly for no reason. Katie gently gets on Probst’s case for his constant callouts to her about bad challenge play. And might I add, why do the Survivor women always have to wear such insane amounts of makeup during the reunions? Is the lighting that harsh? Do they have amateur makeup artists working these shows? These are good looking women who turn the corner the other way sometimes due to makeup. And while I’m at it – didn’t it look like Penner was wearing Joker-levels of makeup too? But I digress.

Artis said he is not the angry black man he saw on TV. We’ll have to take his word for it. Carter was supposedly bubbly and talkative in his interviews. Again, we’ll have to take their word for it. Dawson did something that….WHOA she just rushed Probst!! This time, Dawson plants one right on the lips, and boy, she is really incredibly quick. That was incredibly funny. Probst feels obligated to mention his wife, which is not necessary. We all know that Dawson’s kiss didn’t put a magical love potion spell on him. And one hopes Mrs. Probst is not that insecure in her marriage that she found Dawson’s actions remotely threatening.

Next season will be called Survivor: Caramoan. It is also in the Philippines, but like many past repeat locations, it needed a new name. It is also going to be a Fans vs. Favorites season, a la Season 16. The 10 favorites’ names have leaked and I’ll mention them after the jump. If you don’t want to see them, we shall bid adieu now until February.

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And now for the spoiler…

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