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Guest Post: Survivor Philippines – Obsession For Penner By JK1

Here is the last week’s episode recap from JStar. Many thanks. It really is shaping up to be a great season with the alliances not sticking through the merge.  This always makes it exciting as they chop and change.

Anyway over to JStar:

Previously on Survivor: Revenge, a frenemy-alliance was sealed with a four-fingered, unmanly handshake between Fat Penner and Jeff Kent to take out the icky, smelly girls on the Kalabaw Red Tribe.  However after being disappointed by Penner’s bountiful catch of two goldfish and seaweed for lunch, a plan was hatched to take out the veteran at Tribal Council.  But after a verbose debate with his bestest buddy, the ever-silent Team Edward, Penner was spared and the hot chick in the red bikini was instead blindsided.  However after having tasted blood in the last episode, Jeff Kent vowed he will not retreat in the shadows for too long as his thirst for revenge will be quenched soon.  His obsession for Penner has only just begun.  [Cue evil and maniacal laugh.]

Night 16 and the Kalabaw tribe return from its second consecutive trip to Tribal Council.  For Denise, she is utterly apologetic for building her home over a sacred Native American burial site as it resulted in her having frequented all six Tribal Councils this season.  But, she has managed to survive every one of them with only one vote cast against her.  Toothpick Jeff is hoping he made the right choice in keeping Penner around because it is not often one gets a second opportunity to knife someone so cleanly – [Jeff, you may want to learn from Gillard about knifing people swiftly and brutally].  Penner confesses that he was surprised to see that Katie voted for him at the last Tribal Council.  Proving why Penner has never won this game before despite playing twice previously, he confesses that he forgot this game was about lying and deceiving people.  Fortunately for Penner, his new found epiphany was gained through a scare at Tribal Council rather than licking his wounds back at Losers Lodge.  He says that tonight is a major wake up call for him and he has to be on his toes in this game.  We cut to the full-intro.  [Yes, that hissing snake between Bella-Latina and Angry Bird Artis makes so much sense now after six episodes].

Day 17 and we have shifted to the Yellow Tandang Tribe.  Cotton Wool announces to everyone that he has now surpassed his time spent in Australia because today was the day he fell into the fire.  Cotton Wool is rewarded with his first confessional since Episode 1 to celebrate this momentous occasion.  [Once again, for a returning player NOT to get this much air time is truly perplexing and it says a lot about how poor his strategy has been thus far as well as possibly being a boring character.]  In fact it is left to Malcolm to point out that the only thing Cotton Wool has done of note so far is to get himself injured, frequently.  Michael’s right shoulder is exposing raw skin and it looks like he probably injured himself in that homo-erotic challenge where he got to get all muddy whilst pushing a giant ball and pressing his buttocks against Penner’s face.  So far this season, Cotton Wool’s record of maintaining injury free stands at two consecutive episodes.

From out of nowhere, Angry Bird Artis spies a wooden fishing boat approaching the beach.  Everyone crowds to the edge of the water.  Blair is particularly excited as for a split second, she hoped her friends on “The Love Boat” are about to dock and whisk her back to a time when she was famous and important.  Because the mean people at Kalabaw voted out Red Bikini Katie last night, the producers tell Bella-Latina and RC to greet the local fishermen wearing nothing but their sexy bikinis to match their sexy smiles.  Unfortunately for our castaways, the fishermen turn out to be local recruitment consultants looking to abduct poor villagers back to Manilla and exploit them as underpaid call centre operators for one of the Big Four banks.  All is not lost as they hand over a note to the girls with their personal mobile numbers on it for them to call if they wanted some “sexy time” after this game.  Oh…and on the reverse side of the parchment, there is a message from Dimples.

There’s a party going on right here

A celebration, to last throughout the years.

So bring your good times

And your laughter too.

We gonna celebrate your party with you.

Come on now


Let’s all celebrate and have a good time.

That’s right, a merge is about to happen.  The youngsters whoop it up in the knowledge the traditional Survivor Pub Crawl is about to happen and given that hardcore Christian Blair and Cotton Wool don’t drink and Artis has sworn off alcohol as it makes him a mean drunk, Gen Y is about to get paralytic tonight!  They have ten minutes to gather everything of value and board the unseaworthy boat to be taken to their new island.  Everyone scrambles to grab items of value.  Malcolm hastily runs off into the forest to dig and retrieve his hidden immunity idol.  Whilst everyone else is gathering such useless items as the tarp, full bottles of boiled water, the machete, pots and pans, Mother Blair insists on gathering the essential items the tribe need such as pillows, blankets, clean socks, and shoes.

Over at Kalabaw, the tribe rejoice when they see that a (different) fishing boat has docked on the island because they momentarily believed that the fishermen will be helping to impart onto Penner the finer points of fishing.  But better news await them when they realise they are merging.  Like Tandang, all the tribe members scramble to gather the important artefacts they require.  Jeff, imparticular, loads the boat with his stash of bamboo toothpicks that should theoretically last him over the next 22 days.  Tandang has a numerical advantage over Kalabaw: 7-4.  Penner is hopeful his tribe can find a couple of disaffected members to join Kalabaw.  Denise is on the same page and she hopes to also swing Malcolm over to the alliance.

As the boat sails off, we get a helicopter-eye view of the two boats reconnecting in the majestic oceans and then turning towards the new island.  The islands of the Philippines have proven to be truly picturesque and with these views, I don’t particularly mind the blatant tourism shots used to sell the beauty of the archipelago.  Arriving at their new beach, the contestants greet one another with Penner and Cotton Wool embracing each other warmly – [clearly the whole butt-on-face incident on the last episode left a lasting impression].  Toothpick Jeff is glad that nobody on the other tribe has recognised him and so he can continue playing this game as an everyday-man whilst simultaneously morphing into Gollum from The Lord of the Rings.  “Precious” he hisses, “Stupid veterans.  Cannot take away my precious win of this game.”  “Stupid Penner.  Stupid Skupin.  My precious.”  Team Jacob is excited that he now has Team Carter on the same tribe as he hopes they can share some abdominal crunches tips with one another – [Oh Pete, enjoy your one-sided conversation with him].  However, Team Jacob is also a little wary of both RC and Cotton Wool as he suspects that they could quite possibly flip allegiance and join up with the old Kalabaw tribe members.

The feast is revealed and there is a fruit platter spread laid out on the picnic blanket along with cheese and cold meats.  And wine.  More wine.  And more wine.  Naturally, the Gen Y brigade proceed to give their livers a workout this afternoon.  They are left speechless momentarily when they spy hardcore Christian, Blair, take a massive chug of the wine and declare that “Jesus never tasted so sweet before” – [she has some major explaining to do to Mrs Garrett afterwards].  So whilst the youngsters and Blair proceed to get paralytic today, the producers have no choice but to offer Cotton Wool another confessional as he is one of the few still sober enough to string two words together.  Cotton Wool is excited as he never made the merge before as that event occurred during his season a few days after he was medically evacuated.  He gleefully notes that both Bella-Latina and Team Jacob, the two ringleaders of his old Tandang tribe, are a bit quiet today as they both know they suddenly aren’t in control within the new dynamics of this merged tribe.  He declares that after weeks of being marginalised by the big bad bullies, he and RC and essentially free agents and able to choose who they want to align to.  We are shown a quick scene of Bella-Latina telling RC she should try and “spy” on Kalabaw so as to obtain valuable information for Tandang to “keep them strong.”  But RC bites back and tells Bella-Latina that she is wary of her intentions and that frankly Tandang is “not one big happy family.”  [It is very telling the body language with RC.  If you recall during the first two episodes, RC came out really strong and made herself the ringleader and was telling people what to do in the challenges.  Then Pete single-handedly changed the dynamics of the tribe by planting the clue in RC’s belongings and all of a sudden, RC and Cotton Wool found themselves on the chopping block and marginalised by the rest of the tribe.  RC can barely maintain civility with Abi-Maria at this point and she refuses to give her any reassuring eye contact].

To work off their hangover, the men (naturally) proceed to gather the freshly whittled bamboo to build a new shelter for the new tribe (which still doesn’t have a name).  RC joins the fray by “helping” the men through parading around in her leopard-print bikini.  Blair decides to go all Mommy Dearest on everyone and takes it upon herself to hang everyone’s wet clothing out in the sun so that everyone will have dry clothes to sleep in tonight (given that it has apparently rained for 16 straight-days).  And wouldn’t you know it, she finds Malcolm’s hidden immunity idol in his bag as she was hanging all his clothes out to dry.  Upon seeing that everyone’s clothes had been hung out on the makeshift laundry line, Malcolm and Denise have a mini-heart attack as they realise that Blair would have most likely discovered the idol.  Malcolm knows he has to fix the situation quickly so he takes Blair aside for a little stroll along the beach.  Proving why she will never be a professional poker player, Blair takes one look at Malcolm and confesses that she did not mean to sticky-beak.  Malcolm is forced to give Blair a final-three alliance with him and Denise, two people he feels he may not beat in the end given their strong likeability within the tribe.  Blair is grateful for the deal and promises to keep his idol a secret but later confesses that she feels she may be being played by Malcolm.

Day 18 and we see Penner and Lisa sitting at the edge of the water appreciating the morning sun.  We are then given another animal metaphor from Mark Burnett just in case the viewers have sleep-walked through all the previous metaphors about snakes and spiders.  This time the viewers get to see a crab crawling out of the sand and raising its pinchers.  Hmm….either somebody is about to get bitten or is about to declare he/she has a STD.  Penner turns around and point-blank asks Blair if anybody has recognised her in this game.  Lisa says she is shocked that Penner is the only one who has confronted her about this and Penner laughs as he says that everyone else is too young to remember her.  Blair admits she is grateful that people don’t recognise her as she has had trouble over the years questioning the motives of people wanting to befriend her because she is Blair from “The Facts of Life” or Christian Lisa from church.  She finds the whole aspect of being unrecognised liberating which was something she didn’t expect when she lobbied on social media to be cast on this show.  We see Penner and Blair bonding over the fact they both used to be former actors and they end up taking a swim together (fully-clothed lest Blair’s fellow church members accuse her of being a Scarlett Witch and demand that she wear a dress with the letter A painted in blood on the front).  This last scene may seem quite trivial and meaningless but I strongly believe there are quite a few clues in there.  Firstly, Blair indicating that she is grateful that Penner will keep her secret and that she really likes him as a person.  She mentioned that this bond may prove valuable down the road if they end up aligning.  Secondly, Penner confessing that Lisa may make it to the end as she is non-threatening and can slip under people’s radars.

In past seasons, the merge episode is always quite crazy as it inevitably involves some serious strategising to remove either the swing vote or the challenge threat.  Taking advantage of the fact it has not rained for the first time since the start of the game, Penner and Cotton Wool are shown fishing together.  Penner takes this opportunity to explain to Cotton Wool how NOT to cut himself whilst wearing the scuba diving mask whilst Cotton Wool demonstrates to Penner how to catch fish with a speargun.  Penner also works on Michael to think strategically and to get him comfortable enough to slit his former tribemates’ throats.  He explains that it would be better for the veterans to team up and fight the bullseye targets they have on their backs.  Penner tells Michael that Kalabaw is staying strong and he needs Michael to understand that just because Tandang has the numbers, it doesn’t mean his tribemates will not vote him out at the earliest opportunity before all of Kalabaw have been decimated.  Later in the day, we see Cotton Wool and GC frolicking together in the ocean.  GC has donned her leopard-print bikini to continue fulfilling the mandatory sexy-shots quota for this episode.  In her confessional, GC is in favour of her and Cotton Wool flipping to Kalabaw and joining the other four.  She is angry at how she and Cotton Wool were ostracised by Team Jacob, Angry Bird Artis, and Bella-Latina.  Although Cotton Wool does not truly believe that Tandang will stay loyal with each other to the end, he appears more hesitant than GC about switching allegiance.

We quickly cut over to see another animal metaphor of a jellyfish and a spider waiting for its prey.  Hmm….I can only suspect that moves are being made and an unsuspecting prey will be devoured at Tribal Council by the end of the episode.  We see Gollum Jeff whining about how he doesn’t want a veteran to win his precious game.  Jeff is discussing with Team Jacob, Angry Bird Artis, Malcolm, and Bella-Latina on who the next vote should be.  Team Jacob says he believes Penner has the idol and to Gollum’s credit, he doesn’t confirm that Penner does.  Knowing he doesn’t have the numbers in the merged tribe, Toothpick Jeff wants to work with anyone who will get Penner out of his precious game.  Team Jacob tells Toothpick Jeff that RC is the number one target for Tandang as she is dangerous.  Malcolm helps hatch a plan that, operating on the assumption that Penner has the idol, four votes will go to RC and four to Penner and if Penner doesn’t play his idol, the revote will result in Penner going home.  Toothpick Jeff is practically in tears upon hearing this news and tells the others he is confident of getting Team Edward and Denise onboard with this plan to take Penner out of his precious game.  Team Jacob and Angry Bird Artis are practically wetting themselves with the thought that RC may be leaving the game soon (just as long as either she or Penner don’t win individual immunity tomorrow).

Day 19 and it is Immunity Challenge time.  Dimples finally makes an appearance and is dressed in a white cargo shirt and khaki-coloured cargo shorts.  He is excited because finally, Bella-Latina will be competing in a challenge.  The challenge will involve contestants holding onto a handle with a piece of rope tied to a bucket overhead.  Each bucket is weighted to 25% of the contestant’s (pre-game) weight.  The bucket will fall to the ground should the contestant lose his/her ability to hold onto the handle properly.  The last man and woman standing will win individual immunity and get to adorn his/her neck with some serious bling.  As the challenge begins, it is obvious immediately that unless the heavier contestants have forearms like Popeye, this challenge is rigged in favour of the smaller, lighter contestants.  [God forbid, are we about to see Bella-Latina win a challenge?]

Within five minutes, it is no surprise that two of the tallest members of this un-named tribe fall out of the challenge: Cotton Wool followed by Team Jacob.  Penner is really struggling and probably wishing he didn’t stack on a spare tyre before the game started.  He soon follows these two out of the challenge and is reminded by Dimples that he is now vulnerable at Tribal Council tonight; to which he sarcastically retorts a “thank you” back to Dr Dimples.  Before long, Blair becomes the first woman out of the game followed, surprisingly, by Malcolm.  As we head to the ten minute mark, the tallest woman left in the challenge, RC, is struggling big time and despite her best efforts, her bucket drops to the ground.  It is between Bella-Latina and Denise to duke it out but knowing that her arch-nemesis is now out of the challenge, Bella-Latina drops out and for the first time in the game, Denise will go to Tribal Council safe from the vote.  And boy is she excited about that thought!

For the remaining men, it is now a three-way contest between Chatty Carter, Gollum, and Perpetually Angry Artis.  We see Artis try to prove a point to the other two by winding his rope back up and kissing his biceps.  But alas, by the fifteen minute mark, the tallest man in the game falls out of the challenge.  It is a battle between Team Edward (the skinniest man on the tribe) and Toothpick Jeff (a person with strong biceps and forearms due to his twenty years of professional baseball).  By the twenty-five minute mark, no one is budging but it looks like Carter may be struggling.  Toothpick Jeff tells Team Edward that he’ll owe him big time should he drop out.  Annoyed by the lack of faith shown by his bestest buddy, Team Edward tells everyone that he would love to win immunity tonight.  Perhaps it was the shock of hearing Carter’s speaking voice or the fact that Gollum Jeff wanted to show some love to his younger tribemate but whatever the case, Jeff deliberately drops the handle and his bucket comes crashing down.  Team Edward wins individual immunity.  He further shocks everyone by speaking for the second time in this episode by thanking Toothpick Jeff for handing him victory.  As the tribe is sent off, the audience collectively gasp as we hear Angry Bird Artis remind the viewers that the vote will be split for Penner and RC tonight and depending on an idol being played, one of them will be going home.  That’s right.  We have heard both Carter and Artis speak during the same episode.  Surely one of the signs of the upcoming Apocalypse.

We return from the commercial break to be surprised to find out that the name of the merged black tribe is called Dangrayne.  What?  No footage of the tribe coming up with a lame name and agreeing like lemmings?  In fact, the mystery was solved on Twitter when Penner himself (who else?) explained that everyone agreed to call the new tribe “F—ing Rayne” as a tribute to the sixteen days of rain they endured but because they couldn’t get that past the censors, they agreed change it to “Dang Rayne.”  RC is disappointed she didn’t win immunity but is ecstatic that Team Jacob will go home tonight as she and Cotton Wool have agreed to side with Kalabaw to form a core majority of six.  To make up for the lack of love the producers have shown him these past six episodes, Cotton Wool is afforded yet another confessional for this episode.  He explains his strategy is similar to when he played the game the first time; to injure himself in the game stay loyal to those who show him loyalty.  As Cotton Wool explains, that “unless God (aka Lord Dimples), himself, appears before him right now” he will not follow the directions of the Trio of Meanies (Angry Bird Artis, Bella-Latina, and Team Jacob) in this game UNLESS he receives assurances from Toothpick Jeff that he and Team Edward won’t be flipping over to join forces with the Trio of Meanies.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where we bear witness to Toothpick Jeff’s final transformation into Gollum upon him laying his hands on the Ring of Sauron.  After locating Gollum in the forest (with a toothpick behind his right ear), Cotton Wool lays out his intention of flipping over to Kalabaw with GC to form a new six-person alliance.  But Gollum doesn’t want his precious win to be taken from him by Fat Hobbit Penner.  He is fearful that the Fat Hobbit Penner will then team up with the Fat Hobbit Cotton Wool and screw him out of his precious win.  As a hardcore Christian, Cotton Wool knows the way to a fundamentalist’s heart is through a slice of integrity cake and honesty biscuits.  He swears on the life of his seven children that he will knife Penner the moment Toothpick Jeff gives the word.  However, that assurance is not enough for Gollum Jeff as he contemplates rebuffing the option of forming a new alliance (where he will finish no worse than fourth place) to jump over and join forces with the remaining Tandang members (so that he will finish no better than sixth place).  Yes, go figure!  Gollum Jeff is confused as the power of the Ring of Sauron has overwhelmed him.  He needs to disseminate his thoughts out loud in front of the one person who always knows the right thing to say in these situations – Carter.  So Gollum Jeff and Team Edward sit down to have another riveting one-sided conversation.  Gollum Jeff tells Carter that they are the swing votes – either stick with Kalabaw and join up with RC and Cotton Wool to vote out Team Jacob or join forces with the remaining five members of Tandang and vote Penner or RC out of the game.  Team Edward continues to surprise when he sleepily mumbles that he thinks it is better to join forces with RC and Cotton Wool as it would mean they would have a better shot of sailing further in the game with those two, particularly since hardcore Christian Michael gave his word to Toothpick Jeff that he would knife Penner when told to do so.  But Gollum Jeff doesn’t want the stupid fat hobbit to stick around any longer but if they jumped over to Tandang, they may in fact be at the bottom of a seven-person alliance.  [Really Jeff?  You seriously cannot see how stupid your plan would be to join forces with Team Jacob?]  Sensing that his ears are burning because he is being talked about, Penner stumbles into view and interrupts his “friends” as they chat on the lodge.  Immediately he notices that none of them are giving him any eye contact.  In his confessional, Penner says he truly believes that GC and Skupin will join forces with him and the other Kalabaw members to vote out Pete tonight.  Despite getting fist bump assurances from Toothpick Jeff and Team Edward that they will vote out Team Jacob tonight, you get the sense that Penner suspects something is not quite right.  You have to be an idiot not to notice that suddenly Gollum and Carter cannot look Penner in the eye.  Before everyone leaves for Tribal Council, we see these two turncoats approach the Trio of Meanies.  Team Jacob is nervous as he knows his name has been thrown around at camp.  But Gollum Jeff reassures him that he is onboard with the plan to split the votes between RC and Penner and take one of them out tonight.  As the tribe leaves for Tribal Council, Gollum Jeff confesses that he is actually undecided about the vote because although he doesn’t want his precious win to be stolen by the Fat Hobbit Penner, he knows that by voting Penner out he may end up at the bottom of a seven-person voting bloc.  [And yet, Jeff, you’re still contemplating doing this stupid move right now at Tribal Council all because of your obsession over not wanting a veteran to win?!]

Tribal Council time and for the first time in several seasons, I’m actually looking forward to how it unfolds as tonight’s vote will go one of three ways.  It looks like even the Tribal Council snake gets into the spirit of tonight’s vote as it has “grown” a green skin to match Dimple’s teal cargo shirt.  Dimples starts off by congratulating Tandang for making history in becoming the first tribe to never visit Tribal Council until the merge.  He also congratulates Denise for being the only person in this game to visit every single Tribal Council (thus far) and survive every vote.  [Denise also becomes one of the few contestants, short of the twists seen in Palau, Fiji, and One World, to live with every single contestant in his/her respective season].  Dimples goes straight to the Tandang jugular and slyly asks Cotton Wool if there have been any frictions within Tandang.  Skupin says that there has been some animosity but Tandang still managed to pull it together at the challenges.  RC politely confirms that Tandang are like family and like families, they fight occasionally.  Tonight is an incredibly tense affair as the vote doesn’t appear to be set in concrete.  You would think logically it would be best NOT to let Kalabaw know too much information about the Tandang tribal dynamics.  But when you’re dealing with a time bomb like Abi-Maria, logic is the last thing on her mind as she has been schooled in the art of Tribal Council meltdowns by Professor Crazy Brandon Hantz.  She proceeds to blab to everyone that she was initially close to RC at the beginning of the game but then RC betrayed her.  This is news to everyone including RC who asks how she betrayed Bella-Latina as she was never given the courtesy of an explanation beyond being shouted down at camp.  Bella-Latina tells everyone that she and RC found the clue to the hidden immunity idol and they buried it together but RC unburied it without telling her so now she cannot trust her.  [Everyone at Kalabaw are surprised, to put it mildly, to hear that someone at Tandang may have the immunity idol in his/her hand].  RC tells Abi-Maria that she did not unbury anything but she wasn’t even allowed to explain because Abi-Maria was intent on shouting her down.  To which Bella-Latina smugly tells RC to her face that she does not trust her.  [Lots of exchanged looks given to one another amongst the Kalabaw tribe].

Knowing that the vote is still in the air, Blair tries to hose down the public display of dissent as well as sending a subtle message to RC and Cotton Wool.  Blair tells Dimples that it would be silly for any Tandang member to join up with Kalabaw as they will be voted off at the first opportunity once their use has expired in the game.  Toothpick Jeff disagrees saying that if two Kalabaw members join with Tandang, it will be a game changing move for all involved to reconfigure their games.  But Blair points out that those who flip will always be seen as untrustworthy and everyone will forever be questioning if those individuals will flip again.  Hoping her Christian charity will be an asset, Blair offers up some morsels of crumbs to the depleted Kalabaw tribe and tells them that those that join the majority Tandang voting block tonight will at least guarantee themselves a few more days on the island rather than being systematically executed should they vote against the Tandang voting bloc.

The question about returning players is brought up and thankfully Dimples did not throw it out to Gollum Jeff to answer it.  And it is refreshing to know that Team Jacob does not wear Obsession for Penner by JK1 although he cheekily adds that because Tandang never went to Tribal Council, the supposed animosity towards a returning player was never dealt with within Tandang.  Team Jacob thinks there are only two idols in play at the moment (not realising that his buddy Malcolm hasn’t fessed up yet to holding the Matsing idol in his backpack).  But it is clear from the way Blair, Toothpick Jeff, and Team Jacob have been subtly telling other people how to vote with their answers to Dimples that tonight is going to result in someone’s blindside.  It appears that no one is quite sure who will be voted off.  Team Jacob is worried that he may be the actual target tonight.  Toothpick Jeff confirms that it is very likely that someone will be blindsided tonight because there is still last minute scrambling being done at Tribal Council.  Penner just gives Toothpick Jeff a strange look.  Perhaps, just perhaps, he is starting to realise where all the missing cutlery is about to end up.

And with that, it is time to vote.  Gollum is so nervous he begins chewing on his toothpick during the voting phase.  We see Bella-Latina’s vote (Jonathan Penner), RC’s vote (Pete), Artis’s vote (RC), and Penner’s vote (Pete).  Team Jacob votes for RC telling her that he never liked her.  Classy.  No other vote is revealed.  Dimples leaves to gather the voting urn and from out of the dark shadows, a troll can be heard disembowelling an elf.  If that is not a hint for Penner not to trust Gollum Jeff, I don’t know what is.  Dimples finally returns from the enforced commercial break and asks for the immunity idol to be played now or forever hold his/her peace.  EVERYONE looks towards Penner and if he had not by now put two and two together that he is in major trouble tonight, then he is a complete douchebag and should never have been asked to play the game for a third time.  Luckily to all the Penner fans out there, I am happy to report that he is not a complete moron.  Penner announces that he will play the idol.  Malcolm and Team Jacob exchange grins.  Gollum is crestfallen.  No one seems surprised that Penner has the idol though.  Penner cockily gives the idol to Dimples and struts back to his seat.  He is safe tonight.  And with that, the votes are read.

First vote is for Penner.  Second vote is for Jonathan Penner (Bella-Latina’s vote).  Third vote is for Penner.  So far no one has cast a valid vote.  Next vote is for RC (Angry Bird Artis’s vote).  Next vote is for Pete (Penner’s vote).  [Back in Episode 2 after finding the idol, Penner said he would not be one of those idiots that left the game with the idol in his pocket.  And he was good to his word as Dimples revealed the next two votes belonged to Penner.  If Penner did not play that idol, he would have been voted out tonight].  So after seven votes, five have been for Penner and one each to both RC and Pete.  The plan was supposedly to split four votes to RC and Penner.  Something is up and Team Jacob is feeling very nervous.  The next vote is for RC (Pete’s vote).  Next vote is for Pete (Penner’s vote).  The next vote is for RC (who is stunned to realise that she just got three votes cast against her).  And the final vote goes to….RC.  And with that, the fourth consecutive blindside occurs.  RC becomes the first member of the jury.  She gets up and gives Cotton Wool the biggest hug.  As she brings her torch to Dimples, Pete looks skyward and mouths “thank you.”  After her torch is snuffed out, both Team Jacob and Bella-Latina cannot conceal their delight at seeing the back of RC.  In her Final Words, RC is philosophical about her blindside but at the same time excited that she made it that far in the game.  When the voting is revealed, surprisingly it was Cotton Wool who was the fifth vote for Penner.  Does that mean he was aware of Gollum Jeff’s plan to join with the majority Tandang voting bloc?  And ofcourse, Team Edward again remained silent when revealing his vote.  At least some things at Tribal Council remain predictable.  We see a quick preview of next week’s episode where an angry Penner is pissed that Gollum Jeff, Denise, and Team Edward had betrayed him and he threatens to go all Troyzan on them by winning immunity.  Penner fans, you better hope action speak louder than words.

A quick review of the RC’s Ponderosa videos and she seems relieved to have been voted off as she found the environment at Tandang toxic.  She isn’t so happy that she only lost five pounds though but all the male viewers of these Ponderosa clips are glad she insists on giving confessionals in her bikini whilst laying back on a sunlounge.  RC did point out that she hoped the next person voted out would be Abi-Maria so she can go all Fatal Attraction on her back at Ponderosa.  RC seems like a very nice person but her constant giggling was so annoying, I would have voted her out of the game just because of that.  You can imagine how annoying it would get living with her 24/7 and hearing that giggle day-in, day-out.

In your humble guest recapper’s opinion, this was the best “merge” episode since the craziness of Heroes vs Villains when Parvati doled out two hidden immunity idols to vote off JT.  So who will be voted off next?  Will Gollum Jeff overcome his lifelong obsession for Penner?  Who will now fill out the sexy-shots quota of each episode now that RC is gone?  Will the Trio of Meanies continue their unabated march towards the Final Three?  Will Team Edward get a personality transplant before the start of the next episode?  Will Cotton Wool tie his record of remaining injury free for two consecutive episodes?  Find out more on the next exciting episode of Survivor: Lord of the Rings.



1 Golo i Wesolo { 12.04.12 at 3:24 am }

One word: PhD.

2 chasingvegas { 12.04.12 at 7:49 am }

Finally now that you have caught up… are the ponderosa video’s of RC’s exit from the game. There are 4 parts. Only watch these 4 & if you don’t want to know who goes next don’t look over to your right on you tube as you watch, due to us being so far behind, i don’t want to spoil the surprises.


3 Anonymous { 12.04.12 at 9:59 am }

Thanks for making my morning Cochrane! Have to go out, will comment later. Long live Penner!
Can’t wait til tonight!

4 A.P { 12.04.12 at 10:16 am }

Thanks Jstar, I”ve been waiting ages for this recap and was hoping it would be there before tonight’s episode LOL!
I will read it now and comment soon.
Chasingvegas, thanks for the info, I will look at these later.

5 Calliegirl { 12.04.12 at 12:58 pm }

Thanks again JStar for another brilliant recap. My favourite line was this:

As a hardcore Christian, Cotton Wool knows the way to a fundamentalist’s heart is through a slice of integrity cake and honesty biscuits.

6 Sioux Denim { 12.04.12 at 2:58 pm }

Ripper JStar – missed the first 15 mins so thanks for great recap on the merge…..

Go Denise!! So happy she won Immunity – she is one to watch, I hope her and Malcolm go far, but both being so nice probably one will have to turn against the other – hope not!

I think Penner’s number is nearly up – he does make for great viewing. Good idea about packing on some kilo’s before going on the show, but came back to bite him in that challenge.

I liked RC – would have much preferred Wiggle Hips to have gone – god, she is a biatch!

7 A.P { 12.04.12 at 10:54 pm }

I thought it was funny in the challenge when Penner was struggling and Dimples gleefully told him that he would be in trouble with the tribe at council tonight and Penner looked at him saying Thanks for that!. It was definitely pick on Penner time.
Bella Latina is a psycho, she is crazy, if she goes to the final two by some miracle who in their right mind would vote for her?

8 daisy { 12.04.12 at 11:05 pm }

AP@7 My guess; no-one.
PS You didn’t bring your ironing basket over.

9 A.P { 12.04.12 at 11:17 pm }

Daisy, I said I would watch, not join in!
Just saw on your other post you would do my ironing, that sounds good to me!

10 JStar { 12.04.12 at 11:51 pm }

Izobel2 – Did the whole family watch (hubby and goldfish included)? Crazy episode. Tonight’s episode even more crazy at tribal council.

@Calliegirl – Did you know Coach bakes? His secret recipe those biscuits and cakes. 😛

@Sioux Denim – Am too on the Malnice bandwagon. But yes, it smells like there will be some knifing between those two before the end of the season. And Abi-Maria isn’t a bitch. She’s just highly irritated and volatile.

@A.P. – Yes, I love Penner’s retorts. That’s what makes him great television. And I think we have to resign ourselves to Bella-Latina making it quite far. Who wouldn’t want to take her to the end? Why else did Special Agent Phillip make it to the end of Redemption Island? Because Boston Rob knew no one would vote for him. Same thing here.

@Golo i Wesolo – Two words: High Distinction.

11 daisy { 12.05.12 at 11:59 am }

Oh how good was last nights show. What a scramble!
And what was that little dummy spit about at the very end.
Too bad they all want to take someone horrible with them to the end because there are some really nice players this season. And isn’t Lisa beginning to shed her harmless, innocent persona. She’s quite the schemer. Not saying much in case anyone hasn’t seen t yet.

12 A.P { 12.05.12 at 4:00 pm }

Daisy, I thought the same thing as you about Lisa, she knows exactly what she’s doing, you can see her mind ticking over with her plans, she is quite determined to win.
Loved Jeff’s comments at the end too!
JStar, what does Golo mean @1?

13 Carole { 12.05.12 at 9:55 pm }

Thanks JStar for another great recap. Glad to see Penner used his brains and used his immunity idol.

And thanks for the Ponderosa clips chasingvegas. Just wondering, where were all the other contestants voted out? Do they keep them separate to the jury members? It’s funny seeing their reactions the first time they see themselves in the mirror. Absolute horror. I could not imaging going that long and not looking in a mirror or cleaning my teeth or brushing my hair or showering. Yuk There was one previous season where they won a shower and toothbrushes and soap as a reward.

14 A.P { 12.05.12 at 10:19 pm }

I think the previous contestants would just go home Carole as they only really need the jury to stay close by.
Its fun watching what happens after they take that walk to the Ponderosa ranch, it could be a complete show on its own as they come to terms with being the losers and discussing their stategies about who should win.

15 Izobel2 { 12.05.12 at 10:20 pm }

Ha ha, no JStar, hubby will watch next season I hope… Mind you I don’t need him to watch anymore, seeing as I watch it with you now! (and my goldfish – I’ll pass on your regards to them!) :)
Thanks for working out Anonymous was me!
If I was on Survivor I’d be taking Bella-Latina-Wiggle-Hips with me to the end as she hasn’t won any friends has she.. And yes JStar Wiggle Hips was reminding me of Special Agent Tangerine Underpants too, Boston Rob was clever taking him to the end; the other players were just not so clever never voting B Rob off!
This season it’s all about “don’t let the returned players win”… but on Boston Rob’s season it was all about “yes Rob no Rob…”

Wow last night’s ep was another cracker.
How good is this season!

16 daisy { 12.05.12 at 11:11 pm }

Those idiots fawning over Boston Rob! They were so juvenile.

17 chasingvegas { 12.06.12 at 7:52 am }

Carole, I remember hearing early on when the show commenced that the contestants who get voted out prior to the jury, get sent on a bit of a vacation as so they don’t tip off any family members/friends etc as to when they were booted. Similar to the Amazing race where they let some of the eliminated teams keep racing, they just keep them off camera, to shake off any spoilers.

18 Carole { 12.06.12 at 7:56 am }

Oh, thanks for that AP, I always thought they stayed on there till the end. I can’t wait to see when Abi-Maria goes to Ponderosa and RC confronts her, that will be explosive!!!! But I do want her to make it to the final 3, so RC can give her the 3rd degree and really give her a hard time. Would love to see her try to justify why she should win Survivor.

And I agree about Boston Rob, he manipulated them and they were just so dumb and did his bidding. It was riduculous to watch.

19 daisy { 12.06.12 at 11:33 am }

Chasingvegas@2 Yay thanks for the links. I am going to enjoy visiting the Ponderosa each week as more contestants join RC.

20 daisy { 12.06.12 at 11:37 am }

My guess is Abbi-Maria is the kind of girl who won’t see her own failings. So even when she sees what a dick she made of herself, she’ll sulk and have an excuse. She isn’t likely to say ‘Sorry I was such an idiot”

21 JStar { 12.06.12 at 12:04 pm }

@Izobel2 – Figured it was you as no one else has connected the dots that it is really John Cochran doing these recaps. 😛 This season is so much better than the last few we had to sit through. Hmm, I wonder who is going win this “precious” game now Gollum?

@daisy – I’m on the record here believing that Redemption Island season was so rigged. Firstly, the concept of Redemption Island was done to help out returning players. And secondly, the casting of really mentally inferior people who just took orders rather than think for themselves was telling. A ll contestants go through psychological evaluations and testing (although some do slip through the net like Brandon Hantz, Special Agent Phillip, Shambo, Kathy from Micronesia). That season of RI smelt like one tribe was deliberately cast with people who scored well as sheep and followers and so whichever returning player drew that tribe would go far.

@Carole – Just to add to what chasingvegas wrote, it is my understanding that the pre-jury members also spent time at Ponderosa (aka Losers Lodge). But once the jury starts, the rest of them are then sent off on an all-expenses paid trip, sometimes to a different country. They don’t reconvene until the day after the game is over when everyone gathers back at the airport to catch the same flight home.

@chasingvegas – I think on TAR, it has been common for the last three teams eliminated (4th to 6th place) to “pretend” to be racing but with the rockers having lost their passports, they may not get replacement ones in time to attend the final pit stop. It has happened before to a mother/son team that lost their passports (forgot what season but they finished fourth) and they couldn’t do the “decoy racing” or join everyone at the final pit stop as the replacement passports took a while to be issued.

@A.P. – Regarding the first comment, I assume that some people don’t want to wake up early in the morning to find a recap the length of The Old Testament on their computer screens. Also, enjoy the Ponderosa clips as it is telling also how wrong some eliminated contestants are with who they think are controlling the game. Always fun to watch the jury speak Ponderosa clips which are released after the winner is revealed. Love hearing the bitterness in some people’s assessment of who they will vote or not vote for in the final Tribal Council. Generally their views are reflected in their votes.

22 Sioux Denim { 12.06.12 at 2:01 pm }

And THAT episode my friends, is why I watch Survivor!

What a cracker…………….

23 Carole { 12.06.12 at 8:29 pm }

Thanks for that insight JStar, I was wondering why no one was there to meet RC. Is the next series still being filmed in the Phillippines? They had just had a typhoon. I know they were filming there recently but not sure if they have finished. That will be a lot of fun if they are still there. I’m really looking forward to the finale this time, it will be pretty explosive I think.

24 JStar { 12.06.12 at 9:20 pm }

@Carole – No sweat. The next series is also set in the Philippines and filming was completed 5-6 months ago. This series would have finished filming shortly before Dimples had to go back to the States to host the One World Finale Reunion in mid-May. I suspect he was only in the States for one week to get an emergency botox injection before jetting off back to the Philippines to film Season 26. Apparently Dimples was pissed that he developed wrinkles around his oh-so-perfect jawline after the craziness of the last Tribal Council – (usual lengthy recap will be up hopefully by the early weekend). Speculation on the internet is that there is an entire tribe of returning players including one particular person who has featured this season. No spoilers will be revealed until after we see the finale sometime in January (given that Channel 9 doesn’t look interested in fast tracking the show). The location for Season 27 and 28 hasn’t yet been publicly confirmed.

25 Izobel2 { 12.06.12 at 11:28 pm }

Hey Cochrane I wonder if the returning player from this season is the hillbilly frankenstein dude that was voted off first!

26 JStar { 12.06.12 at 11:33 pm }

Izobel2 – Lips are sealed. 😛

27 Carole { 12.07.12 at 8:01 am }

Oh, thanks for that JStar, sounds interesting. Yeah I had read that the next season was filmed in the Phillippines too, but it will be in the dry season so won’t be as bad for them as it was for these guys. Glad they weren’t still there during the typhoon. Wonder who the returning players will be. Maybe they should bring Jeff back, since he is so obsessed with returning players not winning or even being there. How ironic would that be? I would love it if they did another series here in Australia. I was hoping ch 9 would start showing double episodes so we could catch up, especially since it’s non ratings now and nothing much is on. But no, doesn’t look like it. Meant to ask JStar, are you on Twitter?

28 Sioux Denim { 12.09.12 at 5:08 pm }

Heh JStar have you posted last weeks cracker ep yet?

Just poured myself a very BIG drink in anticipation of the epic reading!

You think Ch9 would fast track this now – so it would finish before Christmas………… Amazing Race

29 Izobel2 { 12.09.12 at 5:43 pm }

I’m ready like you Sioux Denim!

I’m looking forward to the detailed description of the spider in between Blair’s comments, and JStar’s take on the fabulous tribal council!
And since when is it cool at Tribal Council to go “oh yeah here’s my idol!!!
Remember when Parvati gave her idol to someone else (I think she had 2 idols actually)… I wish I had the memory of JStar, I never remember anything!

30 Carole { 12.10.12 at 7:21 am }

Yeah I’ve been hoping ch 9 would start showing double eps to catch up, since it is non-ratings now and not much is on. But doesn’t look like it.

31 JStar { 12.11.12 at 8:01 pm }

Hey Guys. Apologies. Work pressures and attending protests. But I’m doing last week’s recap to have it up in time for tomorrow morning. And have set-aside time for Saturday to do this week’s recap to catch-up. Apologies again. But so you can have some Survivor-fix before tonight, re-live the horrors that was last Season with one of my missing recaps. Enjoy. Who knows, the rate I’m going, I may have to use these missing recaps as fillers!

32 Carole { 12.11.12 at 10:44 pm }

No worries JStar, thanks for letting us know.

33 Izobel2 { 12.12.12 at 3:00 pm }

Hey Cochrane, just watching Nat Geo Adventure now and they’re playing Season 1 of Survivor, and Kelly has won a reward and she’s sitting at a pub with Dimples (who’s wearing beige and there’s no blue to be seen!) and he’s having beers and dinner with her whilst she watches herself on TV playing Survivor!
As I haven’t seen Season 1, – it’s freaking me out!!!
No doubt you know all about this season and ep though, geez I don’t need to tell you anything do I!!!
They have also cast ‘normal’ looking chicks… And Dimples looks a tad different!!

And good old Richard Hatch. I just googled him and it said that the finale of Season 1 Survivor had 51.7 million viewers and that at least 125 million watched at least some of the finale. And then Hatch does his tax return and doesn’t declare the cash. Good one!

34 daisy { 12.12.12 at 4:04 pm }

Enjoyed watching that Latina last night. What a silly brat. Bet that dark haired guy is sorry he’s chained to her. Boom! Her name should be gelignite because she is so unstable. Loved the scowl.

35 Reality Raver { 12.12.12 at 4:16 pm }

Abi is a dead cert for the top three as everyone will want to take her with them.

36 daisy { 12.12.12 at 5:16 pm }

A little bit of trivia I noticed a few weeks ago but forgot to mention:
The immunity necklaces are Chinese Miao, with some extra bits that the show have made up and added on. You can get them in different varieties for different tribes. We sell them sometimes in our shop. And I sometimes wear much smaller versions. I was surprised to see them pop up on Survivor Phillipines. They are distinctly Miao.

37 daisy { 12.12.12 at 5:38 pm }

A bit of fiction from the survivor costume dept.

38 A.P { 12.12.12 at 8:39 pm }

I’m hanging out for this recap, I’ve almost forgotten what happened last week, last night’s was so good also. Please hurry Jstar, you have two to do now LOL.
Abi is so delusional, she is bound to be taken to top three like RR said. She never smiles and always looks so angry!
Artis seemed very surprised at the outcome.
Interesting observation Daisy, you know your stuff!

39 Carole { 12.13.12 at 7:41 am }

Reading some Tweets while last weeks episode was airing in the US, some people were implying that they rigged the challenge to keep a particular contestant on. Something about ropes not being tied properly or something. But they were told that all ropes and things are tested before the challenges. Be interesting to see that episode to see what they meant.

40 JStar { 12.13.12 at 9:31 pm }

Sorry for the communication blackout. The recap for last week was sent in earlier so hopefully it will be up shortly. Time set aside for doing this week’s recap which, from some of the comments, should be also another exciting episode.

@Izobel2 – A tidbit that I remember reading from an interview with Kelly. She said that pub was fake. It was hastily constructed by the production and locals were paid to enter and pretend to be diners. No one expected Survivor to be huge so the budget was not so great. I suspect that Dimples didn’t even have a make-up trailer. Nowadays he doesn’t need make-up to keep him looking forever young since he has his oxygen-rich chamber to sleep in every night, plus he still gets cryogenically frozen between seasons to preserve his looks.

You’re going to love the Final Tribal Council. The bitterness from one of the contestants sealed Survivor’s endurance. Bitter juries are fun to watch.

41 JStar { 12.13.12 at 9:33 pm }

@A.P. – Since you’ve waited half a year and another couple of weeks for this recap, you can find a “filler” recap that I put in the comments section for the last post I did for One World. I put that in knowing that I couldn’t get last week’s recap in a timely manner. Relive the horrors of last season. Read on if you dare. Nightmares are guaranteed.

42 Carole { 12.13.12 at 11:20 pm }

I didn’t watch the first season of Survivor either, only started watching the one filmed here in Australia and got hooked and have watched it ever since. But I have read about that tribal council and the bitterness of one of the contestants.