"Survivor: Philippines" focuses on two women and their tears
Lisa, left, and Abi in a scene from "Survivor: Philippines." / CBS
Fans of reality TV competitions have seen a lot over the years - lying, stealing, backstabbing, very public meltdowns - but they probably have never seen someone stick out his tongue at a competitor -- until Wednesday night's episode of "Survivor: Philippines."
That juvenile gesture came at Tribal Council, as Abi, safe with immunity and sure that the tribe was sending Denise home, wiggled her tongue at Denise's back. That one picture could well sum up everything -- the obtuse Abi, the current season and this particular episode, which focused on two women and their tears.
The camera alternated throughout the hour with pictures of Abi, her eyes filling up as she remembered what she saw as a onslaught against her at the last Tribal Council, and Lisa, her eyes filling up as she contemplated her choice between keeping her word to her alliance and staying loyal to a friend.
First, Abi. She clearly had no idea about how much she had annoyed her fellow campmates and now wallowed in self pity through much of the episode. No amount of cajoling -- and the others admittedly didn't try very hard -- could stem her tears.
Self-absorbed as she is, she got the message that she would be the next going home and redoubled her efforts to win immunity. At the reward food auction, where fellow tribemates bid upwards of $100 for donuts, a hamburger or fried chicken, Abi spent her entire $500 on a reward that would further her in the game. It allowed her to skip the first two parts of the coming three-part immunity challenge, involving mazes and untying knots.
She let the others believe, however, she had been given the location to another immunity idol, a charade put in jeopardy when at the immunity challenge, host Jeff Probst asked her to read the parchment aloud. She told the group it had two parts -- the lying again -- and she would reveal the first part. Then, she ripped the parchment in shreds so no one would discover there was no second part. A stone-faced Probst said nothing.
Denise predicted that Abi wouldn't be able to master even just one part of the challenge but she obviously didn't factor in how much the first two parts had taken out of the other competitors. Abi won immunity, and everyone else was left to argue over Plan B.
Now, Lisa. Her pain was centered squarely in Plan B. Her new alliance -- Skupin, Lisa, Malcolm and Denise -- wanted Penner gone. While Penner, who had been courting Lisa's friendship, wanted Denise gone. Lisa, bedeviled by her conscience and torn by her friendship with Penner, told him what the alliance planned and said if she voted for him, it would be reluctantly. When he asked what he could do, she said, "Work your magic."
Penner tried valiantly to do that, arguing that Lisa and Skupin would stand a better chance at the final Tribal Council against him than against fierce competitors like Malcolm and Denise. Despite his best efforts, he was voted off and left the council area shrugging and whistling.
If the alliance withstood Lisa's handwringing over this decision, it is likely to stay strong as the game winds down. The big question now is which of the four will be jettisoned before the final Tribal Council. What do you think? Take our poll, discuss your choices in the comments and return here next week for more commentary.
Popular in Entertainment
- Ray Manzarek remembered by Doors bandmates, rockers
- Ray Manzarek, founding member of The Doors, dies
- Justin Bieber booed at 2013 Billboard Music Awards 121 Comments
- "The Voice": Top 10 take the stage
- Watch: Miguel jumps, lands on fan at Billboard Awards
- CBS takes "Mike & Molly" tornado-themed finale off air
- At last: "Arrested" is reborn Sunday on Netflix
- Brad Pitt: "I've haven't known life to be any happier"