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Survivor: Philippines – Episode 13: Girl on fire

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Written by : published Thursday 13th December 2012

Survivor: Philippines – Episode 13:  Girl on fire main image

Denise wasn’t the only Survivor during tonight’s episode to experience a burning sensation.  Malcolm is so close to winning the million bucks that it’s already starting to burn a hole in his pocket.  For Lisa, there was seemingly a new bit of fire lit underneath her derriere.  And for Skupin?  It wasn’t a metaphorical burn, no, but a fiery ember that popped out of the fire and scorched him.

In case you missed the episode, be sure to get caught up by watching Episode 13 of Survivor: Philippines, and then be sure to read my weekly Episode Recap before continuing on to this “Bonus Analysis” coverage.

Then there is poor Abi, who saw her torch snuffed tonight.  Skupin said it best, she probably saw herself in the Final 5 but just sitting next to different people.  I really felt like at this point in the game, Abi was a sure-fire (yet another fire reference!) pick to make the Final 3.  Oh, and by the way, the recent speculation about “is it a Final 3 or a Final 2 this year” was unofficially made official today on “The Jeff Probst Show,” when Skupin blurted out, “It only takes four votes.”  That would imply that there would be a jury of at least eight, which could force a 4-4 tie and point to a Final 3…as opposed to a Final 2 where four votes would not, in fact, be enough to win (since there would be a jury of nine).

But alas, Abi is gone and for some this is a great occurrence.  I happened to really like Abi on the show and have never quite seen a person treated so harshly on Survivor by Jeff Probst specifically.  His Tribal Council comments seem to pile on top of Abi’s already difficult time out there, and who can only imagine what she deals with from folks on the internet watching the show and loathing her.  Hey, maybe she deserves it, she was as abrasive as abrasive can be and ended her time on Survivor by calling Skupin a “moron” and an “idiot.”  But I think all of the cultural implications brought up by Probst were a bit over the line and unneeded, especially since none of the contestants brought up her heritage.  Can you imagine the blowback if Probst implied that an African-American was not fitting in due to their color?  I’m just saying Abi may rightly so deserve some of the abuse for her actions, but I don’t believe it should have been implied that her lack of social skills stem from her Brazilian background.

It needed to be said, but back to the game.  With Abi now out of the picture we have our “righteous” Final 4.  They all stayed true to their alliances but now something will have to give.  So what may happen?

Both Malcolm and Denise have to think that their best chance of winning is against both Lisa and Skupin.  This would mean that they will need to turn on one another and even if they are betrayed, they probably would forgive the other person quickly since they were about to do the same.  In other words, it’s game on right now and I don’t think many lasting grudges will be formed.  Because Malcolm and Denise both stand a better chance with Lisa and Skupin, I feel like either Malcolm or Denise will be sent home next, depending on who wins Immunity.

If Lisa, Skupin or Malcolm win Immunity, I feel like Denise is gone.  If Denise wins Immunity, I feel like she will vote to get rid of Malcolm as opposed to forcing some kind of tie-break scenario.  So the stakes are perhaps the biggest for Denise, who has been the ultimate underdog this season.  The good news is, she has one last Immunity Challenge to get through, and if she can win it, I think she has just guaranteed herself a million bucks.

That is, unless she takes Malcolm with her somehow.

As for Lisa and Skupin, hindsight will be 20/20.  They played a strategic game, not always making the “right” decision but constantly controlling the game.  Their biggest mistake happened tonight, in not taking out Denise when they had the chance.  Even without Malcolm’s support, they could have gotten rid of Denise tonight and then if they could somehow beat Malcolm during the next challenge, they could have taken him out as well.  Had they brought Abi along, they would have each had a better shot at actually winning.  Now, I am not very confident that either of them can win.

As a final note, I don’t see a scenario where both Lisa and Skupin aren’t in the Final 3 together.  Do you?

We will soon find out, as the Survivor Finale is only a few days away!  The two-hour Season Finale airs at 8:30 p.m. EST on CBS followed by the one-hour Live Reunion Show.  Be sure to check back Sunday night for the last episode analysis of this season and continue following TheTVKing.com for all of the latest Survivor coverage heading into next year and Season 26.

Post your comments below!  Who has the best shot at winning?  Who will win? 

You can follow me on Twitter, @tomsantilli, and at tomsantilli.com.


About the author SurvivorTom

SurvivorTom

Tom Santilli is a respected journalist and member of the Detroit Film Critics Society.  He writes several on-line columns, most notably as the Detroit Movie Examiner and the Survivor Examiner for Examiner.com.  He also is a contributor as a Survivor-Insider to TVGeekArmy.com and writes exclusive Survivor in-depth episode analysis for TheTVKing.com. He has been featured on Rob Cesternino's "Rob Has a Podcast" and most recently landed the only exclusive Richard Hatch interview given since his latest legal trouble has surfaced. All of Tom's Survivor coverage as well as movie reviews can be found on his blog the "FilmSurvivor", at FilmSurvivor.com

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