How is it possible that I’ve let this much time go by before talking about Survivor Philippines - perhaps, the best season to air since Heroes Vs. Villains? What kind of Probst fan am I!? Let’s remedy that ASAP:
(This post contains spoilers from this week’s show. You have been warned.)
If you’re watching the show, you already know that this year was “The Second Chance” season. Three returning players were brought back, all of whom were medically evacuated in seasons prior: Michael Skupin (aka “Guy Who Fell in the Fire” in the Australian Outback), Jonathan Penner (aka “Leg Injury Guy” from Fans Vs. Favorites), and Russell Swan (aka “The Dude Who Almost Fucking Died!” from Samoa). Although the returning players theme can get a bit nauseating, this year, it’s brought about a season filled with twists, turns, and ever-shifting alliances. Yes, please!
As I write this, only one returnee remains, and he definitely has his work cut out for him. Fighting for the title of Sole Survivor are:
Malcolm: This guy lost almost every challenge in the beginning while under the lead of Russell, yet he still remains. He’s great in competitions, a likeable guy, and formed a tight bond with Denise from the get-go. He’s still holding on to a Hidden Immunity idol and this makes him even more of a threat than he already was. Failing to flush his idol out could cost the other remaining five a million dollars. Odds of winning: 3:1
Denise: Following the path of Holly and Jane from Nicaragua, the sex therapist from Iowa has more than proven that middle-aged woman can play this game and kick some ass. She was down and out with Malcolm from the beginning and has even claimed an individual immunity win of her own. If she backs the right horse, she could very well find herself in the final four or three. Odds: 5:1
Carter: Who is this guy again? Odds: 1,000:1
Lisa: The former teen actress (Blair from The Facts of Life) has shown many sides of herself. She started out as a loner and easy target, yet transformed herself into a serious player post-merge. She’s trying to make huge moves, but does she have what it takes to backstab and make it to the end? That remains to be seen. What a great character though! She’s added a lot of heart to this season. Odds: 10:1
Abi-Maria: Every season needs a great Villain and Abi-Maria has unknowingly stepped up to the plate. She’s completely selfish, rude and forward, kind of like a seven year old with an only-child syndrome. Her communication skills are wretched, too. She’s completely unaware of her surroundings and how people perceive her. Basically she has one of the worst social skill sets we’ve seen on the show, but it’s cute to watch her try, I guess. With her Hidden Immunity Idol now flushed, nobody wants to play the game with her. We know this because she got quite the ass-whopping at Tribal Council two weeks ago (finally!). She’s gone the first time she loses immunity. Odds: 1,000,000:1
Skupin: I’ve been a huge Skupin fan ever since Season 2. Skupin was leading the very strong and united Kucha tribe before falling into the fire that would remove him from the game. This time around, Skupin is still playing a respectable game and winning some challenges on top of that. He seems like the nicest guy to never win Survivor. Maybe this will be his chance to turn fate around. But will he have the heart to make some tough votes that lie up ahead? He did just ditch Penner. Odds: 7:1
Which brings us to: Penner! What an interesting character, that guy. He walks a tightrope between “Hero” and “Villain.” He knows the game well and plays it expertly. Just check out his manipulation of Lisa for proof. His target proved to be too big, though, in addition to his unwillingness to choose a side. Had he given Lisa and Skupin his word, we’d be looking at a very different game right now and Denise most likely would’ve been ousted. Dems the breaks, dude.
Setting these odds is a challenging feat. I truly believe that four of these six castaways really have a strong case for winning the million, and in almost every case, they deserve it too! It’s been a great season – twenty-five seasons deep and I’m still yearning for another scoop of the crispy!
Don’t miss the (hopefully) exciting finish Sunday, December 16, from 8-10 p.m. The usual one-hour live reunion special will immediately follow at 10 p.m.