Those were important words, what Lisa’s brother Justice told her on the beach during Survivor this week. Hearing from her brother, a person who knows her in real life, that it’s OK to play a hardcore game of Survivor, was what Lisa needed to set her mind right. No more Mrs. Nice Lady – Lisa is a fan of the game, she came to play, and she finally gave herself permission to do it.
So of course, the fact that Lisa was getting advice from her baby bro (who I may or may not have a crush on now) meant that this week was family visit week! Always a good time. Before that, though, we got a dose of foreshadowing when Abi told Carter that people would want to keep her around over him. She was right – the closer to the end we get, the more desirable it becomes for people to keep around a toxic presence like Abi Maria.
Everyone always gets really emotional when their family members come to visit, and this group was no exception. Lisa ugly cried, Denise jumped into her tall husband’s arms like a tiny monkey, and even Malcolm’s strange brother Miles teared up a bit when he met the one and only Jeff Probst.
The Reward Challenge relied heavily on the skills of the loved one, begging the question “Who would you bring?” Obviously, I would have to either bring my mom or my fiance Rob. The advantage to bringing Rob would be that he’d be better at helping me actually in the challenge. But I think I’d have to bring my mom because she’s such a major Survivor fan. Rob will have to be satisfied with his role as my hopefully not hypothetical The Amazing Race: Canada partner.
OK, so in the challenge, the player had to throw mud-covered bags to their partner, who would then catch the bag and throw it to try and knock a pin off a pedestal. I knew immediately which teams would be contenders, and Abi and her mama weren’t one of them. That was just sad. Malcolm and Miles ultimately won, and he chose Lisa to also get to bring her loved one back to camp. His second choice surprised me – I thought he’d choose Denise, but Malcolm is too smart for that. Instead he took Skupin. Those are two votes from the jury if Malcolm plans on sitting next to Denise in the finals.
As the other loved ones left, Skupin repeatedly said “One heck of a guy!” to Carter’s mom. Seriously? What have we not been seeing about this kid? Why do people like him? I mean, I’m sure he’s fine. But he has barely appeared on screen this season and when he does I fall asleep.
As discussed earlier, once everyone was back at camp, Justice gave Lisa some crucial advice. I’d love to see this guy play the game, actually. I loved how into the game he got, orchestrating with Lisa and Skupin for them to vote Malcolm out. His idea wasn’t original – people have been talking about voting Malcolm out for weeks now. He’s too likable to keep around, and he has an Immunity Idol.
Now, here’s an interesting question: In the plan to vote out Malcolm, they were counting on votes from Abi and Carter. Otherwise it would have been a 3-3 split. Would Carter have voted out Malcolm? He made such a stink about being voted out over Abi, who is less deserving of anything in life, but I think he would have done the exact same thing had he had the chance.
Stick It To The Man
I knew Malcolm desperately needed to win the Immunity Challenge this week – if he didn’t, he might not have known to play his Hidden Immunity Idol at Tribal Council and I really didn’t want to see him get voted out. It was a close challenge, too – various people were ahead at different points in the challenge.
First, everyone had to fish backs of sticks out of the water with a hook. Then they had to swim ashore and assemble the sticks into a pole, which would be used to push a button and raise a flag. It was an exciting challenge with a lot of room for error and, indeed, Malcolm did finally come out on top. I can’t believe this was his first Individual Immunity win. But the challenges this season have been varied and the competition has been stiff.
As soon as Malcolm won, I made a note that the smart move would be to take out Carter. The kid is too likable, and wins too many Immunity Challenges. This was the chance.
Threat in the game vs. Threat to everyone’s sanity
Everyone was pretty much on the up-and-up when it came to the voting – Skupin and Malcolm were honest with Carter and told him that he was being considered for no other reason than being a threat in the game. I love how this season has gone and I have really enjoyed these players…but I wish they weren’t quite so apologetic. Yes, it sucks to vote out a nice dude over a crazy bitch. But that’s Survivor! That’s the game you signed up for.
Carter asked Skupin and Malcolm to keep him out of respect for the game, which was really all he could do, and then he let them continue their discussion. And later, as everyone sat around camp, Abi managed to simultaneously make the best argument for why she should stay and why she should be voted out. She really is just awful to be around, and everyone wants her gone. But everyone also knows that that’s exactly why they should keep her around. Even Malcolm admitted that he knows the strategic decision is to vote out Carter, but he just hates Abi so much that he was considering voting for her.
Abi’s little play with the fake Immunity Idol was so heavy-handed and cheesy that I knew no one would buy it. But it was worth a shot, I guess.
At Tribal Council, the tension between Abi and Denise continued (thanks to Probst stirring it up a little) and I thought it was pretty clear that everyone was very much playing the game – therefore, Carter would be going home. I was right, and I was glad. Carter was one of the few boring characters on this season, bland but not unlikable. He easily could have won his way into the finals if he wasn’t voted out now, and I would have been disappointed if the other players hadn’t taken advantage of this opportunity.
Now, with five left in the game, things are going to get REALLY interesting. Abi is hateful, but she’s now an incredibly important swing vote. I’d be shocked if she didn’t make it into the final three, and I won’t be surprised at all if she’s sitting in the final two. Here’s how it could go down:
Option one: Malcolm plays his Immunity Idol, anyone other than Denise wins the challenge, Lisa, Skupin and Abi vote Denise out.
Option two: Malcolm plays his Immunity Idol, Denise wins the Immunity challenge, Abi is voted out.
Option three: Malcolm wins the challenge, he gives his Immunity Idol to Denise, Abi is voted out.
Of course, there are more than three options. But Abi really seems to hate Denise, and Denise seems pretty committed to taking deserving players to the end. Would Abi really team up with Malcolm and Denise to vote out either Lisa or Skupin? It seems like a more unlikely situation. There are only two episodes left, and I. Can’t. Wait.
What do you guys think?