'Survivor: Philippines': the final four -- sans Abi?
Everyone's favorite loudmouthed Brazilian finally gets voted off the island
Last week on "Survivor: Philippines," Lisa and Skupin were plotting against their pal Malcolm – until he managed to throw them for a loop by winning the immunity idol. So instead, nice guy Carter – the last man standing from the Kalabaw tribe – was voted out instead. And everyone’s enemy, Abi, managed to live another day.
Day 33, and five players remained, and Abi gloated. "I bluffed with my 'fantasy' hidden immunity idol," Abi said. "I don’t know if they buy it or not, but I’m going to try to pull it off at next tribal again."
Lisa was mourning the loss of Carter. "This game isn’t fair," she said. "But if I had a choice to bring somebody that worthy of being there versus somebody I thought I could beat, I’d bring somebody I could beat."
That logic surprised Malcolm, who till then had considered Lisa a lightweight. "She’s thinking strategically," he said. "Her head’s in the game, and she tipped it off. She’s going to be dangerous going forward."
Day 34: Bright and early, Abi took her satchel with her to go get water, cueing suspicion about her "hidden" immunity idol. "There’s no way, if she had it, she wouldn’t have played it," Malcolm noted. Abi, meanwhile, was plotting to break up that Malcolm-Denise alliance. And her strategy: sway Lisa. She told her former alliance-mate that Denise, Malcolm and Skupin were tight, which put her in the fourth spot – and meant she’d be going home sooner than she thought.
But Lisa looked at Abi’s interest as a positive thing. "Right now, it would seem, I have options from which to choose," she said. "I’d love to be able to send home Denise and keep Abi around. Then again, I may need to vote off Abi to keep the four alliance strong. I do believe I’m taking control of my destiny, but part of taking control of my destiny is waiting till the right time to make my move."
Reward Challenge Time! Today’s challenge: an obstacle course, up and over a slide, then into the water to gather rings. Then a ring toss game – first person to get five pegs wins a pizza cruise with two pals. Skupin took an early lead, followed by Malcolm and the girls. Lisa struggled with gathering the rings, putting her last. The boys started the ring toss early each landing two, then three before the girls made it back. Skupin had four, but missed an opportunity, then Malcolm tied, and they were neck and neck – but Skupin scored his fifth and final ring, taking the reward.
His next strategic move, picking to pals to go with him. The first, Malcolm, who’d picked him for the family night. The second, his long time pal Lisa. That left Abi and Denise out cold.
Abi was crushed. "It just proved to me once again I’m on the bottom," she said. "And to make matters worse, I have to go home with Denise. Denise is a horrible person. So it’s not a fun day."
Denise wasn’t too happy, either, comparing it to a bad date with your high school tormentor. "I just want to get to the end of the day," she said, so she just let Abi babble on. "I want to hang myself, gouge my eyes out. If I had some needles I could pierce right into my eardrums, I’d be good for the afternoon."
Meanwhile, on the pizza cruise, Michael Skupin was on a sugar high – after his first soda pop in 30 years. "All of the sudden Michael Skupin’s fun to be around," Malcolm said. "Who knew he had that side to him?"
Then the three went diving "like Navy seals" and swam with a massive whale shark.
After swimming with sharks, the trio got down to business. "Me, you and Skupin are in the same boat," he told the Lisa and Skupin. "The only way any of us have a shot at winning is if Denise isn’t sitting there. If we do this, there’s no risk at all until the final three."
Malcolm viewed Lisa and Skupin as safe bets, which meant pushing Denise out. Skupin was on board, pointing out he wouldn’t be a late Larry like Jonathan Penner, who’s delay tactics got him voted out. And so Skupin, Lisa and Malcolm shook on it. "It makes a lot of sense to me, us three, all the way to the end, great deal," Lisa said. "And if it’s not, well, I can make another deal."
Day 36: And Denise woke up with a horrible, burning rash all over her face. "There’s sharp, incredible stinging," she said. "My whole neck is on fire. I don’t know if I’m having an allergic reaction to something that bit me. But I’m trying to tell myself to suck it up because we have three days left." But the bite marks on her neck were worrisome. "It’s not going to kill me, but it’s really, really painful right now."
So Lisa and Skupin prayed about it as Denise cried in pain. Abi, of course, was looking on the bright side. "What scares me the most is fricking Denise winning immunity," she said, watching the poor woman rock in pain. “I’m not hear to have sympathy for others, I’m here to win the game."
Immunity Challenge Time! Each player was to use wooden planks to create a bridge across two strands of rope, collecting pieces to a maze along the way. At the end, they’d assemble the maze, and then run a ball through it to win. Skupin and Malcolm took the lead again, and Denise and Lisa followed as Abi fell behind. But near the end of the bridge, Malcolm fell off – which meant he had to go back to the start. Skupin was the first across, followed by Lisa and Denise, then Abi. They all started on making the maze while Malcolm finished. Denise made quick work of the maze puzzle, but something was not quite right. Malcolm made up for lost time, coming behind to complete the maze – then ran the ball through, winning immunity. Again.
Malcolm was guaranteed a spot in the final four. Plus, he still had his immunity idol. Would he use it to save someone else? Unlikely.
Denise, meanwhile, was stoked. She thought Abi was a slam dunk. Little did she know that her alliance was plotting against her. She even talked to Malcolm about it – and he reassured her that they were voting Abi.
But Abi got to work, trying to convince Skupin to vote against Denise. "Hanging out with Abi for the next three days would definitely be worth a million dollars," Skupin said with a smirk. Skupin took that idea to Lisa. Lisa was worried about Malcolm. "Since my brother came out, he really did recalibrate me. And tonight’s decision is based purely on strategy. Malcolm could continue to win immunity all the way to the end,” she said, “so we need all available manpower to vote against him in the end. So we may need Denise in there to knock him out of there."
Tribal Council Time! Jeff Probst again said Abi was in trouble tonight. "You’ve been detested, laughed at, told you’re not likable…and yet, you might be somebody good to take to the end," he said. "You could make an argument that Abi outwitted, outplayed and outlasted 13 people in this game."
Plus: Want more "Survivor: Philippines"? Meet the castaways from season 25.
Abi decided to take the opportunity to point out – again – that the rest of them could not beat Denise. "She’s manipulative, she’s good with her words, and she’s a physical threat as well," she told them. "Denise or Malcolm, it’s going to be one of the two. Lisa or Skupin are not winning this game."
And then, when Skupin spoke up, Abi told him: "You’re an idiot, that’s why you’re not going to win. You’re a moron."
Probst asked her: "If you can’t win, why do you care?"
Abi said: "Because I came this far. I would like to at least make it to final three."
Malcolm pointed out, though, that Abi wouldn’t go down without a fight. "She could still pull this off."
Time to vote. "It seems like, it is either Abi or Denise. Let’s see which way it’s going to go."
When Probst called for immunity idols, no one came forward. So he tallied the votes:
First vote: Denise. Second vote: Abi. Third vote: Abi. Fourth vote: Abi. The 14th person voted out of "Survivor: Philippines" is Abi-Maria.
The final four: Denise, Malcolm, Lisa and Skupin.
Abi’s final words: "Unfortunately, things didn’t go my way. After the merge, I was targeted as the crazy Latina. Sometimes I come off really direct and straight to the point. But that’s the type of person I am. I don’t beat around the bush. I just say it as it, like it or hate me. And I guess it bit me on my big Brazilian ass."
The two-hour finale of "Survivor: Philippines" will air Sunday, Dec. 16, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.