Survivor Philippines–Episode 7 Recap featuring Tanya Vance!

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Survivor Philippines continues with episode 7 this week, and time to once again have a closer look at the episode and give our ‘expert’ opinions from not only Jarryd in another amazing recap, but also hear from Ben & Lancey as well! Oh, and we’ll even speak to a real expert in Tanya Vance from the 5th season in Thailand!

(For the Australian viewers who haven’t watched episode 7 yet, clicking the link below will spoil the hell out of the next season, so if you don’t want to be spoiled then don’t click the link!)

Welcome back to my Survivor: Philippines recap! Join me as I breakdown episode seven, including the merge, some more trivia and a Survivor milestone!

Before I kick off the recap, I’d just like to wish our American readers a Happy Halloween, as well as offering my best wishes to those who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Happy 350th episode Survivor!

That’s right; this week’s episode is the three hundred and fiftieth episode of our beloved show. It’s good to see it’s still going strong, as during the commercial breaks, a casting call for future seasons was aired. Enough housekeeping though, I’ll get to the recap.

We start off the episode with Kalabaw returning from voting out Katie at Tribal Council. Denise begins to contemplate that she is cursed, having been to all six Tribal Council’s so far, and Jeff reveals he was very close to voting out Penner, and wonders whether he made the right decision. Penner begins to question his place in the game, using Katie’s vote against him as a “wake up call” to be wary of trusting others.

At Tandang, the power alliance continues to ostracise R.C. and Skupin. Skupin calls the tribe together to undoubtedly pass on some of his Survivor wisdom before the game changes again. However, all he does is talk about his unlucky demise in The Australian Outback, mentioning that at this point of the game; he’s going into unknown territory. We get it Skupin, you fell in the fire and love the game, but if you’re going to reminisce about The Australian Outback every five minutes, can you please talk about something else… I suggest you mention Elisabeth!

As Tandang sit around camp, a boat appears and begins to make its way towards their beach. Onboard are native Filipinos, bearing a note… MERGE time! Kalabaw also receive a visit and after reading their respective notes, both tribes are given ten minutes to salvage everything they can and board the boat. Ten minutes is a long time, but I guess “new school Survivors” need more time to get everything they have won together. Both tribes go into a mad panic, tearing down tarps, collecting clothes and in Malcolm’s case unburying his Hidden Immunity Idol. When times up, both tribes set sail to a new stretch of beach which they will call home.

I personally love it when the tribes merge at a completely new camp. However, the merge let me down slightly this season. After arriving at their new camp and greeting each other, the merged tribe sit down to get to know each other whilst enjoying the customary merge feast. My observations tell me the new tribe colour is black. I say this because the usual unveiling of new buffs isn’t shown. Another thing I will point out is that nobody is talking about a tribe name! It’s not until much later in the episode that the captions kindly tell us that the merged tribe have named themselves ‘Dangrayne’ (which I can tell you is a pun, “dang rain” referring to the two weeks of rain that has battered the castaways so far – thanks to Survivor Wikia for that piece of information!)

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The Dangrayne tribe enjoy the merge feast (Image credit CBS)

I would have loved to have seen purple as this season’s merge colour. Lately black has been the merge colour a lot, and purple would have fit nicely with the logo, however… it’s only a buff colour, so it doesn’t worry me greatly.

Before I continue, here’s some more trivia for you. Statistically, Tandang are the best tribe in Survivor history. For the first time in Survivor history, a tribe didn’t visit Tribal Council before the merge. Tandang are a more successful tribe than Survivor: Palau’s ‘Koror’ and Survivor: Fiji’s ‘Moto.’ This is also the first time in the history of Survivor that a merge has occurred with eleven castaways remaining. Whilst it doesn’t bother me greatly, it could be a hint to suggest what might happen in the end game.

As they polish off the food, everyone seems to be getting along – yeah right! It doesn’t take long for Tandang to start to implode, criticising each other and releasing critical information to Kalabaw about who is aligned with whom. Skupin reveals that himself and R.C. are free agents and sticking together as “Tandang” isn’t what they want. The boys begin to work on a new shelter. Lisa’s motherly role kicks in and she decides to remove everyone’s clothes from their bags so they can dry out in the sun. She gets more than she bargains for when she reaches Malcolm’s bag, discovering he has the Idol.

When Malcolm and Denise went through Russell’s bag several weeks ago, I said I didn’t like it. However, this situation is different. Lisa didn’t knowingly go through Malcolm’s bag to check for an Idol, she was just being helpful and stumbled across it.

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Whilst hanging up the washing, Lisa accidentally stumbles across Malcolm’s Hidden Immunity Idol (Image credit CBS)

I’ve got to express my admiration for Lisa. She looked in real danger early on, but she’s managed to pull herself together… and she’s also smart. She didn’t yell about the Idol, she kept quiet and waited for Malcolm to come to her.

Malcolm and Denise talk about sticking together in the game and what to do now that Lisa has discovered his idol. Malcolm works on fixing the problem, drawing Lisa aside. Lisa continually apologises about accidentally discovering the Idol, however Malcolm isn’t fazed and promises Lisa a spot in the Final Three alongside himself and Denise. This troubles both Lisa and Malcolm. Lisa is wary about Malcolm’s promise however tells him she will keep the secret of his Idol secret, whilst Malcolm admits that he is stuck in an alliance with two people he isn’t confident he can beat in the end.

Lisa is the lady of the hour. The next morning, Lisa and Penner head out for a swim together, with Penner asking immediately whether anybody on her original tribe recognised her from her acting days. After chatting to Penner about how close she has become with her tribe, Penner admits that Lisa could be a very good under the radar player and also promises to keep her identity secret. I’m positive that Penner wasn’t interested in the slightest about Lisa’s identity, he was just trying to strategize with her.

My suspicious is confirmed when Penner hunts out Skupin to discuss the threat they pose as returnees. Skupin tells Penner that he and R.C. are on the outs, to which Penner makes the point that they should align themselves with the “Kalabaw four” giving them the numbers advantage. Skupin seriously considers this, (he’s come a long way from his “Kucha together, forever” strategy in The Australian Outback), and thus passes the information onto R.C. who agrees it’s a good move, yet admits she’s still on the fence.

Whilst this is going on, Jeff Kent is ruining Penner’s plan by recruiting Pete, Artis, Malcolm and Abi to join his “no veterans will win this game” campaign, (which looks like it might take over Courtney Yates’ campaign to get rid of Jean-Robert as the longest running “campaign” in Survivor history). Coming back to Jeff though, why is he campaigning to get rid of his biggest ally! You’re already down on numbers; you don’t want to take out Penner yet! If this plan goes ahead I can assure you that once Penner, R.C. and Skupin are sent packing, the “Tandang five” aren’t going to keep you around when you’re no longer needed. Wake up Jeff!

Jeff’s plan is for four people to vote for R.C. and four people to vote for Penner. This leaves Penner, R.C.’s and Skupin’s vote’s pointless. If Penner plays the Idol, R.C. goes home, and if Penner doesn’t play the Idol, in the re-vote, Penner would be sent home. Even though I think it’s a silly move to make, I’ll give these guys credit that they could come up with something so complicated. Malcolm reminds us that for their plan to work; they need to hope Penner and/or R.C. don’t win Immunity.

So with that, it’s time for the first Individual Immunity Challenge! For the challenge, each castaway has to hold onto a pole. Wrapped around the pole is a length of rope which is supporting a bucket holding twenty-five percent of the individual’s body weight. As the challenge continues, the rope will begin to unravel, eventually releasing the rope, which drops the bucket, smashing a tile. The last man and women left standing win Immunity. They’ve used that “two individual immunity twist” a lot recently. I don’t like it. To me, you can only have one winner, so why reward two people?

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The Individual Immunity Necklaces (Image credit CBS)

Personally, the challenge is a bit of a let down. It seems to be a variation of the usual “hold your arm above your head so the water bucket doesn’t drop” challenge, however it doesn’t live up to the hype. The challenge barely lasts half an hour (unlike the challenge I mentioned above, which can last hours), and it doesn’t feel as impressive. The difference between the challenges is that this challenge focuses on the wrists, rather than the entire arm.

We get underway. After a time warp takes us through to the five minute mark, we have our first casualty. I’m shocked that it’s Skupin! Back in the Australian Outback he matched it with Colby when the pair had to hold weight on their shoulders, so I expected him to be right up there in this challenge – though to be fair, Skupin is more than ten years older now.

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The castaways prepare for the Immunity Challenge (Image credit CBS)

Pete, Penner (along with his sarcastic comments to Probst) and Lisa fall shortly afterwards, and then Malcolm drops out. Abi, Denise and R.C. battle it out for the women’s Immunity. R.C. tries her best to rewind her rope, however she can’t do it, and her tile breaks. Abi drops out shortly after, leaving Denise to win Immunity for the women. Another time warp and we cross the fifteen minute point where Artis drops out. So we have a showdown, between Jeff and Carter. After another ten minutes passes, Jeff and Carter cut a deal that whoever wins owes the other Immunity. After Carter makes it clear he wants to win, Jeff drops out giving Carter the victory. (Carter’s edit is becoming more and more like Fabio’s – if you remember back, Fabio won the first Individual Immunity Challenge following the merge in Nicaragua.)

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Jeff watches on as Carter and Denise celebrate winning Immunity (Image credit CBS)

Whilst we get the scenic shots as the tribe returns the camp, their new tribe name is finally revealed on screen. Enough about tribe names though because it seems that Jeff Kent’s master plan is going to work as both Penner and R.C. failed to win Immunity. All is not lost yet though. After confessionals from both R.C. and Skupin pledging their loyalty to the former Kalabaw tribe. Skupin approaches Jeff and pleads their case with him, gifting them the numbers adventure. Jeff isn’t sold and it comes back to his old insecurity of “letting a veteran win”. Even though Skupin gives Jeff his word that if Jeff wants to vote out Penner later on, he’ll vote with him, Jeff isn’t sold, so he goes off to talk to Carter about it.

Jeff and Carter talk about their possibilities. They correctly identify that if they switched over to join Tandang they’d be on the bottom of the alliance, and then question the pro’s and con’s of teaming up with Skupin and R.C.

Penner joins them and tells them he’s staying loyal, that they have six votes and they are throwing them Pete’s way. Jeff and Carter agree with Penner, and then return to camp. Pete checks in with them and they also tell him they are sticking to the plan.

Before leaving for Tribal, Jeff worries about the repercussions his decision will have on the remaining players. As we head off to Tribal, I again have no idea who is going home. Penner, Pete, R.C. and even Skupin look like they might be in danger, so bonus points to the editors for the confusion.

Tribal Council begins with Probst mentioning the facts I mentioned about Tandang earlier. The fractures in the Tandang tribe are “exposed” with Abi almost losing her cool again with R.C. about the appearance of the clue.

Now Abi, you basically shot yourself in the foot. Why did you tell all ten people that you found the clue! Sure, all the former Tandang members have read it, however they were under the impression that R.C. found the clue. It just puts a target on your back because you might have the Idol.

Lisa gives her two cents says that if people were to flip, either way they would be on the bottom of the alliance. The “returning player” factor is then mentioned before Probst raises the question of Hidden Immunity Idols. Pete believes that Matsing’s Idol is no longer in play (which must be music to Malcolm’s ears), before confirming he has a target on him for being a physical threat. Jeff Kent then confirms that the vote will very likely be a blindside.

Everyone votes and Probst asks for Immunity Idol’s. After a long pause, Penner decides to play his Idol.

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Penner hands his Hidden Immunity Idol over to Jeff (Image credit CBS)

Penner receives five votes, all which don’t count. R.C. and Pete have three and two votes respectively before the last vote is announced. Unfortunately, the possibility of a tie doesn’t excite me because it’s obvious in a re-vote R.C. will be sent home. It doesn’t get to that however as R.C. receives another vote and becomes the first member of the Jury.

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R.C… the tribe has spoken. (Image credit CBS)

So Jeff and Carter sided with Tandang, a move I’m tempted to say is worse than the move Cochran made in South Pacific, however Ill hold off until the seasons is over. R.C. becoming a Jury members means we’ll either see a nine person Jury and a Final Two, or an eight person Jury and a Final Thee. Keep in mind we’ve only once seen an even-numbered Jury, and I think it will be unlikely that they will do it again.

I also want to touch on the votes. Penner received five, (Abi, Denise, Lisa, Malcolm and Skupin), R.C. received votes from Artis, Carter, Jeff and Pete, whilst Pete received votes from R.C. and Penner.

I understand why Skupin voted for Penner, he did it to show he’s still loyal to Tandang, however he voted against his alley and he’s still in a bad position… it just seems silly.

This week’s sexual innuendo comment from Jeff comes from during the Immunity Challenge.

“Your grip becomes wet”

This weeks top and bottom three are:

1. Pete

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Pete seems to be in control of the game at the moment. Along with his alliance, he managed to get R.C. voted out and Penner into a “deer in the headlights” position. I feel he can easily control Abi and her Hidden Immunity Idol. A strong threat in challenges only increases his ranking.

2. Malcolm

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Malcolm is sitting pretty right now. Nobody suspects he has an Idol, he’s in a good position in his alliance and he has both Denise and Lisa in his pocket. He’s already shown he can dominate in challenges, so he is a force to be reckoned with.

3. Lisa

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Lisa has come a long way from the beginning of the game. From getting a hash tag devoted to her breakdown, to finding a solid place in the dominate alliance, she is the underdog to make a lot of noise later in the game. When she accidentally stumbled across Malcolm’s Idol, she only further enhanced her position in the game as it is information she can use in her favour or against Malcolm.

Bottom Three

9. Skupin

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Skupin tried his best to create an alliance with the “Kalabaw four”, however Jeff’s paranoia about returning players got the better of him and the alliance fell through. Whilst he might have voted with his former tribe, he’s heads been on the chopping block for a while. With no solid alliance left in the game, he’s going to struggle.

10. Penner

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What a dramatic fall from grace. He was in the number two spot last week; now he looks like he’ll be next to go. With no alliance left, no Hidden Immunity Idol to fall back on, it looks like Penner has reached the end of his journey. However, he has the ability to work his magic and get back into a good position.

11. R.C.

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Easily one of the unluckiest players this season. A moment of brilliance by Pete (planting the clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol in her bag), lead to her downfall. Arguably one of the strongest and likeable women from the past four seasons, I wouldn’t be surprised if she returned some time in the future.

What the castaway’s said about the episode.

Remember, if you’d like to see your opinion feature in this section, tweet us during next week’s episode (@survivoroz) or use the hash tag #survivoroz and your tweet might get selected!

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Ben’s Opinion

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I’m sad. Sad sad sad. RC is gone. Skupin is in trouble. And even Penner is in trouble. Soon it looks likely that it’ll be very hard to root for anyone at this point.

Good to see the merge happening, very happy to see Skupin make it to this point of the game. I thought it was very poignant that they made reference to him falling in the fire at that point in the Australian Outback and really made his game this time worth it, even though he might not be playing the best game according to his edit. Tandang interestingly didn’t lose a single challenge, surely that has to be a Survivor record? For Denise it means that she will now attend every single Tribal Council this season, which should be another record and for Skupin he attended only his third tribal council in 11 years. You can tell I love me some statistics!

I had to laugh at Lisa finding Malcolm’s idol. What a terrible time to have somebody want to hang up your washing! Malcolm handled it well though, and it could’ve been somebody worse finding it, say, Abi?! Lisa to me is getting into a decent enough position to go far into the game and end up in that perennial ‘older nice lady fourth/third’ place (depending on if it’s a final two or three). Survivor is littered with them: Jan in Thailand, Scout in Vanuatu, Lydia in Guatemala, Denise in China, Debbie in Tocantins, Shambo in Samoa, Holly in Nicaragua and Dawn in South Pacific (although some of those didn’t quite make it to either 3rd or 4th). Women who are perceived as not doing much, but getting far enough in the game to be a threat to win so they are cut loose by the power players. But maybe Lisa could do the opposite and be the next Tina? Or even Kim Johnson, despite the fact she obviously didn’t win. Just as long as she doesn’t become a Lil from Pearl Islands, then a lot of people will be happy!

Jeff Kent has a one track mind in this game. We get it. You don’t want a veteran to win. Seriously, if I was playing a Survivor drinking game and that was the moment I had to drink, I would be pissed by the 10 minute mark. It’s ridiculous. I’m seeing a lot of people claiming Jeff is getting the best ‘winners edit’ right now, but I disagree. I think if anything Jeff is getting a Sash/Chase/Russell/Coach edit. Somebody who is perceived to be the strongest player and ‘mastermind’ behind everything but will fall at the last hurdle and not walk away with it. You know what would be perfect? Seeing him make it to the final tribal council with either Penner or Skupin sitting next to him, and one of them taking the win. Irony much? I hope so.

The perceived ‘winners edit’ I think is tricky, because I almost have a bit of an inkling that Carter could almost be in with a very good shot. It’s like we’re seeing ‘Fabio 2.0’. Think about it. Fabio was always perceived as just the dumb surfer guy who was just an extra vote. His name was brought up every now and then, but he kept winning challenges and then before you knew it, he won. Carter is similar, and he has just shown he is strong with challenges. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Carter is a millionaire in just over a months time.

I have to say good on Denise for winning. She is one more immunity win away from brushing off her Stephenie tag I put on her a couple of weeks ago. She’d be hoping that she manages to do that soon! And again, I’m sad RC has gone. Now I’ll be forced to go back to looking at peoples eyes again, so disappointed!

Jarryd’s Opinion

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My girl is gone! Penner is on the ropes! I don’t know who to root for now!

I wasn’t the biggest fan of this episode. It was enjoyable, but it lacked the usual hype that usually surrounds a merge episode. Everyone jumped off the boat, had some food and that was it. No unveiling of the new buffs or talking about the new tribe name or painting the flag… not even Jeff asking what they had decided to call themselves!

So many people made silly moves in this episode. Jeff Kent is going nowhere now, as is Carter. They are two physical threats; they’re now on the bottom of the totem pole of the power alliance, so they may as well pack their things now. Penner is screwed; once again in a game of Survivor he has no alliance. Skupin is in big trouble. He might have voted with the majority, but he’s a “veteran”.

R.C. was a very good player, she just ran into ‘Hurricane Abi’. When your entire tribe is against you, you can’t do anything about it. She’s very unlucky to go home when she did; we needed her in the game because she had personality! I’m not taking away anything from Sophie Clarke or Kim Spradlin, but they were boring. At least R.C. spoke her mind. The two previous winners, (whilst Kim played a very good game), offered nothing for me in terms of personality.

I said in my pre-season cast assessment that I’m rooting for Penner, and I still am. It doesn’t look to good for him though. If Penner goes home next I have no idea who I want to see do well. The original Tandang members (Pete, Abi and Artis), I’m not fans of. Skupin is in a terrible position; I’m still not sure whether I like Malcolm. Jeff and Carter have little shot of making it to the end and I don’t respect their move. As for Denise, nobody will take her to the end, because she will win hands down.

The challenge was boring. I’d much rather see the good old, “hand above you head is connecting to a bucket of water” challenge. It was similar to that, but it wasn’t as interesting for me. For the women, Immunity was always between R.C. and Denise, so Denise winning didn’t surprise me. As for the guys, I though Penner or Jeff had it in the bag, whilst Carter getting up didn’t come as a shock, he won because Jeff is thinking ahead – at least he got one thing right.

I’m looking forward to next week. I hope Penner can work his magic and get back into some sort of position in the game.

Whilst I’m shattered R.C. is no longer around, at least she made the Jury! I’m secretly hoping Abi and Pete both make the Final Tribal Council so she can get her revenge!

I believe this season will be a Final Two. Everything is coming together that way and it will be a nice change up to see the old format come back into play.

If Penner goes home next then I think I’ll be on the Lisa bandwagon. I might have written her off earlier on, however she’s done a Holly/Dawn and gotten her head back in the game!

Finally, I hope R.C. gets an invite to return one day, because she had game.

Lancey’s Opinion

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Kent and Carter have a lot to answer for. For whatever reason, Kent has a vendetta against Penner and is doing his best to take him down, and in the process is destroying the paths of several other great players. I’m not sure he has thought through his plan, particularly when it seems to be common feeling amongst players (who will eventually play jury) that neither Skupin nor Penner deserve to win.

Speaking of ruthless idiocy, Abi-Maria finally took down R.C, for reasons that don’t bare considering. Unfortunately, now Penner, Skupin and potentially Denise are in trouble, though at least they will all have a chance to crush them at the final vote.

A final two is looking likely given the current numbers, which could really throw a spanner into the works for a few contestants. Deep down I’m hoping someone (the lovely Denise, perhaps?) wipes that smug grin of Pete’s face, and that Lisa keeps finding idols!

Survivor Re-capper: Tanya Vance

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Each week we’ll bring you the viewpoint of a former Survivor contestant to hear what they have to think of the episode and their thoughts for the rest of the season!

Our seventh special guest is Tanya Vance from Thailand, as she discusses the merge and what it will mean for Skupin and Penner, everything to do with Carter and just how similar he is to Fabio, Abi-Maria and her craziness, Jeff Kent and his ‘dominance’, the demise of RC and players getting sick but wanting to quit! Tanya’s ‘Philippines Four’ answers were:

TIP TO WIN: Denise
DARK HORSE: Carter
NEXT TO GO: Penner
CONTESTANT MOST SIMILAR TO: Lisa

Join us next week for our recap of episode 8, featuring special Survivor guest Matt Quinlan from One World!

About Survivor Oz (2110 Articles)
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