'Survivor Philippines' finale recap, Million Dollar Question
Who will be the last man or woman standing? (CBS)
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Unsurprisingly, she is my last choice to win. My order of preference is Malcolm, Denise, Mike, and then Lisa. And really, Malcolm and Denise are interchangeable.
First off, we recap the entire season of 'Survivor Philippines,' but since I've already done that, I'm not going to do it again. Suffice it to say it's a miracle that Denise and Malcolm have made it to the end. The recap also serves to remind me that while Lisa may annoy me now out of the four that are left, she's still a much better option than a lot of other people who could have been there (I'm looking at you, Russell, Abi, Pete and RC).
One of Jeff's first voice over questions "Can Skupin keep his game, and Lisa, from falling apart?" Good question Jeff, good question. Jeff continues to point out that Denise has been at every Tribal Council and survived, and that Malcolm has played a near-perfect game, found an Immunity Idol and dominated at challenges. See, even the producers think that either Malcolm or Denise should win.
Back from Tribal Council, the Final Four do a happy dance that Abi is gone. I would too.
Mike is very diplomatic: "I'm not happy for her loss; I'm happy for our peace." Malcolm is having the problem of being too good at things, and is probably the last person youd want to go to the final with. But he'll probably win immunity, so it won't be an issue.
Reward challenge time! And because it's the last episode, reward is all about an advantage in the last Immunity Challenge. The challenge is an obstacle course, along which you pick up puzzle pieces (of course -- they loved the puzzles this season.) Denise needs to win this, since Malcolm is ambivalent about taking her to the final three.
Starting off, Malcolm and Mike are running full out. I guess there's not really a reason to hold back with so little time left in the game. Denise is holding her own with the guys, but Lisa falls behind. Mike is the first to the puzzle, but he historically hasn't done that well with puzzles. And that holds true again this challenge, as Mike falls behind. Malcolm and Denise are neck and neck, but Malcolm ultimately pulls ahead and wins it.
Lisa points out that Malcolm was the last person who needed an advantage at the Immunity Challenge, which, yup. He thinks that it would be better to take Mike and Lisa, but I think he's not thinking about how many people will view him voting off Denise as a betrayal, and they may vote for someone else because of it.
To his credit, Malcolm is fairly upfront with Denise about possibly not taking her to the end, but all that does is make Denise go straight to Lisa about getting rid of Malcolm if he doesn't win immunity. And really, ain't none of them going to win against Malcolm, so they should get rid of them if they have the chance.
Lisa talks to Mike about it, but he'd rather have Malcolm in the final three than Denise. I think Mike has an inflated sense of how well he's played this game. He thinks that he can stand against Malcolm, but I don't think he realizes that most of the jury was on his tribe, and they watched him injure himself multiple times in the beginning of the game, and screw up a few of the challenges.
Time for the Walk of Fallen Survivors, also known as Hey, I Forgot That Guy (or Girl) Was On This Show. It's really weird how the first four players out were from one tribe. And I forgot about Dawson and her obsession with Jeff Probst and the super-awkward kiss when she left. They all try really hard to be polite about Abi when they get to her torch, and give her credit for getting to fifth place.
Final Immunity Challenge time! It's a weird balance challenge -- you have to balance a fall on a long stick, and you keep adding longer pieces of wood to make it more difficult. Malcolm's advantage is that he gets second chance, which is a pretty darn big advantage. The first round, the stick (without handles) looks to be about six inches long, and everyone does it fairly easily. Next round, they add about eight inches total. Mike starts shaking, but Malcolm is the one who drops his ball. Everybody gets to drop and the round starts again.
Jeff Probst is doing his best to keep this interesting with narrative, but this it like watching paint dry. Malcolm starts shaking like a leaf, and he drops the ball again. Wow, that was unexpected. I wonder if he was pushing the pieces together too hard. And right after that, Denise is out too.
Mike and Lisa are both doing really well, and get through another round. There are now eight pieces of wood to hold together, along with the handles. They both do well, but Lisa drops first. Mike gets the final immunity, and is guaranteed a spot in the final three. Lisa immediately whispers to Mike "We did this together." Gee, Lisa, a little worried, are you?
Back at camp, Mike can't believe that he did it, and, frankly, I can't either. Malcolm is freaking out a little that he's lost control at this point in the game. Lisa and Mike tell both Malcolm and Denise that they are with them, so well have to wait and see what's going to happen at Tribal Council.
Speaking of which, it's Tribal Council time! They bring in the jury, and wow, does Abi look pissed. Malcolm and Denise dance around the idea of loyalty and whether or not they are still loyal to each other or not (hint: they're not.) Jeff talks up Malcolm, and then Malcolm tries to sell Denise as being an even better threat than him.
Lisa flat out states that she has no reason to take Malcolm to the end (implying that the only reason would be because of her alliance with Mike.) Enough; let's get to the voting.
And wow! It's Malcolm. I guess Mike decided that, while it would feel good to win against the best, he had to consider that he might not win at all. And I agree with what they did -- it's not the Olympics; it's a game show for a million dollars. Malcolm is understandably disappointed, but not bitter.