Sunday, December 16, 2012

Survivor: Philippines Finale Live Blog and Stuff

Before we being the live blog, a quick power ranking:

1) Malcolm
2) Denise
3) Lisa
4) Skupin

Malcolm is the reason why Denise had to be kept instead of Abi. Abi had no chance of winning any sort of challenge. Denise does. For Lisa and Skupin, they can't risk Malcolm even making the final tribal. They might be able to beat Denise, but not Malcolm. So essentially, Rob Cesternino, Stephen Fishbach, and Parvati Shallow are wrong, and I'm right. (What do they know about Survivor anyway?)

Onto the show!

- So to try to destroy anything I might have said, Skupin lets us know that he and Malcolm have an alliance, and that it he feels that he can beat Malcolm in a final tribal since he has a better story.
- Malcolm feels that Abi blew up his spot at Tribal Council.
- Onto a reward challenge!
- I guess this reward challenge means that there is going to be a final three this year?
- Another physical-ish and very mental challenge. Which means Malcolm is going to win.
-  I don't think that being far behind in the physical part matters. So I wouldn't be that concerned if I was Lisa. Better to get it right once than to rush and blow it.
- Yup, he does.
- The question is, will his advantage be better or worse than Abi's that she got at auction?

- I have to admit, this is kinda boring.
- I am fascinated by the continual references to stories to tell the final tribal. This might be the most knowledgable non-all star season ever.
- Denise is trying to get Malcolm to commit, and Malcolm plays it honestly, though bad. Not wanting to lie to Denise to save her vote is fine, except you have to know that Denise will pick up on it and start to explore other options.
- Of course, Denise does.
- She is incredibly smart. She picks up on Malcolm's hesitance and now is pitching to Lisa to get rid of Malcolm.
- That she uses the Penner example to pitch to Lisa was genius, though unnecessary.
- Lisa as Judas is incredible given how she started.
- Penner speculating that he could beat Malcolm in the final immunity challenge is a big hint, especially with all of the references to stories. The ultimate story of survival - coming from behind to beat the favourites continually?

- Lisa picks up on a couple of things: 1) Abi was right, you need to keep Skupin on a leach and 2) Denise seems to have been following Malcolm's lead, and you can pitch that to the jury.
- How does Skupin think his winning immunity will allow him to set who the final three is? All that means is that you are in the final three. If it was a final two, that's different. Are you having flashbacks to Australia and how that game played out?
- FALLEN COMRADES!!!!!1!1!1!1!1!!
- Malcolm speaking on the important of Fallen Comrades is very important.
- "I'm kinda well-rounded." Not taking that out of context Angie. Nope, not at all.
- And Katie gets to double her speaking time on the show.
- Denise on Jeff: "Great, great athlete". You don't say?
- And then Jeff makes references to playing baseball with spoiled brats. If you listen closely, you can hear him say "Barry Bonds" under a cough.
- Denise on Abi: "Tumultuous and tenacious." Well, at least you're biting your tongue now.
- And there it burns!

- A fantastic final immunity challenge. Some physical, some mental, some concentration (balancing a ball on a cylinder between two handles. As time goes on, you add more pieces to make balance more difficult.)
- Malcolm's advantage? He gets another shot. That could be huge, but I don't know that it's better than Abi's.
- Malcolm is the first to show a wobble, which indicates how difficult it is.
- And sure enough, Malcolm is the first to drop.
- Another huge thing is that it gives everybody else a chance to relax.
- My goodness, Malcolm is out.
- This is probably the biggest immunity loss since Terry at Panama, or Rudy in Borneo (aka the first season.) Win and you win has never been so true here.
- And Denise is out as well. Which makes things more interesting. If Denise won, a Malcolm boot was inevitable. But with Denise and Malcolm as viable options to be booted, who knows?
- Skupin might get to tell his underdog overcoming the odds story.
- But then again, so could Lisa. And if she can tell the story, it's even more powerful.
- Honestly, Lisa has been incredibly impressive.
- They could probably think of nothing but the challenge is they didn't have to hear you nattering on Jeff.
- Lisa drops! Skupin has the story to tell.
- The returning player streak continues!
- And now the scramble begins!
- (Or at least the "Skupin has a moral dilemma" part of the show begins.)

- I find it hard to believe that Malcolm gets nervous around a girl.
- Wait, I figured out how Skupin controls who goes. Since he has immunity, it doesn't mean that
- Lisa is amazing. Malcolm says that Denise will come along and tell them to throw the vote his way. Lisa asks should we just go along with it (ie play along)? After getting past the confusion, Malcolm says "If we're good, I don't care." Another mistake. You should have said "Just let her down easy." Instead, you've given them every reason to be able to agree with Denise with no remifications and no chance to scramble if absolutely necessary.
- It is funny that Denise is no longer on the "Best of the best makes it to the end" train.
- Skupin doing a confessional, just lounging around with the immunity necklace is pretty bad-ass.
- Denise is trying to play the friend card with Skupin, which is a good idea, but also comes across a bit ingenuous.
- That Skupin is still drawn to the "winning against the best of the best" argument is crazy.
- Lisa is going to do whatever it takes to make sure Malcolm doesn't make it into the final three.
- Malcolm mentions that he was super close with Angie, and had to cut her throat before even considering to do the same with Denise. Which sets off Denise's radar and has her say essentially the same thing about Malcolm.
- Lisa mentions that she and Skupin had voted seperately in the past. Paving the road to another split vote?
- Carter is pissed off. Or baffled. I can't tell from his look.
- Skupin says taht Malcolm has "favors" for life. While Lisa
- Malcolm mentions that Denise floated as though that's a good thing for a jury story. The other stuff about going to every tribal council (first one ever?) is good though.
- Lisa straight up says that she isn't going to keep Malcolm along. Does that turn Skupin?
- Seriously Skupin should vote for Malcolm unless he's worried about Malcolm winning the fire challenge.
- Obvious that Malcolm gets 2 votes, but does he get the third?
- Yup. Bad play Skupin.
- "Congratulations Denise" On making the final tribal, or winning overall? Artis seems to think that it's winning overall.
- "Maybe I pushed them too hard to start playing the game" Or maybe you were too good?


- "You were a great ally...but this is where I outwit you." Denise
- "I'll have a lot to say about that one" Skupin on Malcolm's guarantee that Denise wins.
- "Here I am, this little old sex therapist..."  Uh, you make this sound so innocent.
- Oh know, did Lisa hurt herself?
- Time to burn down the beach, always my favourite. "Hey guys, let's see if we can start a massive forest fire to celebrate the end of our journey!"

- Final tribal starts!
- Denise starts out by saying that she isn't going apologize and that she deserves to be there. Outwitted, yada yada, outlast, yada yada. I survived every tribal council (will somebody bring that up as a negative?) It was a good statement, but it wasn't anything that we hadn't heard before.
- Lisa refutes Denise's opening statement, but then starts talking about playing with heart which is a non-starter. Her boxing analogy about taking out Malcolm is strong though.
- Skupin begins with the worst opening ever "Returning player." But he brings it along by saying that he had his back against the wall from the start because everybody wanted returning players out. He brings up his clumsiness as a positive, saying he has pieces of mask in his face. He loves the game and so does everybody else. Good start.

 So far Skupin's in the lead, Denise is right behind and Lisa needs another knockout punch.

- Artis is talking to somebody about not being congratulated for not being loyal, and "in the end karma is a bitch." Who is he talking about? (Skupin.)
- Carter asks Skupin about what Skupin was thinking when he knew Carter
- Pete asks Denise about why her game was better than Skupin's and why she deserves a million dollars. She points out surviving
- RC calls Lisa smart and sneaky and she wanted Lisa out very quickly. Um, huh? She asks Skupin if he knew that RC was going home and Skupin immediately says no.
- Malcolm says he is considering voting for Lisa after the opening statement. Malcolm tells Denise to not nod, and to stop appeasing people and playing the "being a friend" card. He asks Denise why she outplayed Skupin and Lisa. Denise gives an answer about appeasement and Malcolm then says
- Jeff asks Skupin what he did in the game (essentially)? Skupin says that he was in trouble from Day 1, unlike Lisa and Denise. He had to scramble until Penner left. Jeff asks Lisa how she didn't float like Denise did, and Lisa says she took sides all the time, and uses an example where somebody else came up with a plan, and she stuck to it. Jeff wasn't impressed by this.
- Abi asks why should I vote for you? Lisa says she was loyal until the end. Skupin says that he outwitted, outlasted and outplayed Abi. Abi says that doesn't include out-disrespect and Skupin agrees. Denise apologies if Abi is traumatized
- PENNER TIME! He gives a fantastic soliloquy about everybody being bitter, but offers his congratulations. Penner says Denise looked like a bitch. Skupin says he was scrambling and in danger, but he got no votes ever. He has a clean record, and might still have one after this.(This kinda came across as a brag as well - Skupin was in trouble, but never voted for? Well played.) PENNER OUTS LISA AS BLAIR FROM THE FACTS OF LIFE! Lisa fights back with saying "Did you talk about what you did as a teenager?" "No, but I didn't talk about when I went to the bathroom 16 days ago either. We can talk about what I did now, but it won't have an impact on the game." PENNER FOR THE WIN!

I think this is Skupin's, but honestly I wouldn't be surprised by anybody winning.  Frankly, if I was on the jury, I would have voted for Penner.

RC votes for Lisa
Penner votes for Denise (calling the game flawless. Eh, there were a few flaws, like if Malcolm won immunity.)
Carter votes for "Skoopin" (The first year in a long time when everybody got a vote.)

Off we go to the States!

- I wonder if Jeff asks to wear something different than what he was wearing at the tribal council?
- A moment of silence for the Newtown victims first.
- Wow, none of the final three look that different.
(It's Denise. Shows what I know.)

I think that Denise's victory is going to be hurt by her edit - she wasn't shown to be doing that much in the game thanks to Malcolm's giant shadow, but it is entirely possible that she did a lot. But unlike, say, Sophie, Denise did face weaker competition who weren't in her alliance from essentially day one. So it wasn't just her being the lesser of three evils.

And then I was proven wrong. Apparently Malcolm would not have beat Denise in the final three. My mind is blown.

I'm going to need a day to absorb that fact (and the thank you video that ended with Jeff Probst just nodding into the distance). I'll be back tomorrow morning with my season rankings, and sometime later with my winner rankings and general thoughts about this season.

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