Survivor Philippines–Episode 13 Recap featuring Ashley Trainer!


Survivor Philippines continues with episode 13 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 Ashley Trainer from the 19th season of Samoa!

(For the Australian viewers who haven’t watched episode 13 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 thirteen, including the Final Three alliance, Denise’s mysterious injury and why Abi-Maria’s mouth is her downfall.

We arrive back at camp following Carter being voted out to find an extremely gracious Abi thanking everyone for keeping her around. I’m not quite sure why she is thanking them, they didn’t keep you because they like you; they kept you because Carter was a serious threat to win whilst you’re not! Anyway, Abi tells us she’ll continue to play up her fake Idol, (because everyone believes her), whilst Lisa and Skupin talk about the tragedy that was voting out Carter. Skupin then jokes with Abi that whilst she thought she was going to make the Final Five, it wasn’t with the people she had intended to be with.

Lisa then reiterates a comment she made at Tribal by stating that she wants to take the “goat” (aka Abi), to the end so that she can win. Malcolm picks up on the comment, pointing out in a confessional that Lisa is finally playing the game and in order for him to survive, he needs to make a play with Lisa.

The following morning, Abi continues to play up that she has the fourth Hidden Immunity Idol. She announces to the tribe she’s heading out to collect water; which gives the others some time to joke about how she’s off “to hide her Idol.” The majority alliance discuss that Abi’s Idol is just a figment of her imagination because she didn’t play it at the previous Tribal Council in which she received a lot of heat. Their theory is that if Abi did have the Idol, she would have played it.

It’s established very early on that Abi will be the next to go; however, she has other ideas.

Abi confesses that her plan is to “destroy the alliance” between Malcolm and Denise, sending the latter home if she doesn’t win Immunity. Whilst the others are away from camp, Abi seeks out Lisa. Abi explains that Lisa is on the bottom of the four person alliance and everyone in the alliance can beat her. Abi then explains that that she is more beneficial to keep around because she “can’t win.” Lisa, (being Lisa), reveals that she is waiting for the right time to make her move. Whilst she doesn’t believe Abi’s story, she can see the benefit of keeping her around as a “goat”. Basically, Lisa tells us in a very roundabout way that she’s undecided whether she wants to keep Abi around or not.

The strategy gets put on hold as its time for the Reward Challenge.

The challenge is quite good. Each castaway has to race up and over a slide and into the water. There they have to untie a bundle of rings, and then return them to their station. The repeat this twice, collecting five rings in total. The castaways then have to toss the rings, landing each one on a hook. The first person to have a ring of each hook wins a helicopter ride; which takes them to a boat, where they will spend the afternoon whale shark watching and enjoying pizza and soft drink. The winner also has the right to invite two people with them for the afternoon.

I’m pretty certain of two things going into this challenge. One, Abi won’t win. Two, Abi won’t be chosen to go on Reward.

We kick off the challenge and Skupin and Malcolm get out to a slight lead when collecting their rings. Denise and Abi are going quite well whilst Lisa is once again struggling.

Skupin is first back both times and begins the ring toss. Malcolm is hot on his heels, whilst Denise, Abi are close behind with Lisa brining up the rear.

Skupin and Malcolm go ring for ring, before Skupin pulls out to a four-two ring advantage. Malcolm rallies, landing two rings on the fly to level it a four apiece. By this stage, all the females are out of the challenge; Denise and Lisa have managed to land a ring and Abi isn’t as lucky. Skupin throws a ring but misses, opening the door for Malcolm, who also misses.

Malcolm misses again and as he heads out to collect his final ring, he watches Skupin throw his next ring. Skupin connects, thus winning Reward. I have to say, Skupin is fast becoming a strong physical player, his performance in challenges is really starting to show, maybe he’s been holding back until now?


Skupin lands his fifth win and celebrates his victory. (Image credit CBS)

Skupin heads over to Jeff, where the pair joke that the last time Skupin was in a chopper on Survivor, he was being medically evacuated. Jeff reassures Skup that he’ll have a much better time today; then leaves Skupin to select Malcolm and Lisa to come on Reward with him. I gotta give him credit, Skupin is switched on. Whilst he selected Malcolm purely to repay him for choosing his son to come back to camp last episode, he’s smart enough to bring Lisa along to. Whilst it doesn’t seem that important, (and can merely be passed off by saying that Lisa has been with him from the start), I believe that Skupin was inclined to take Lisa, to avoid her being alone with Abi, where the latter could get into her head. Am I right? Who knows, however it’s the decision I would have made because Denise will prove a lot harder for Abi is crack than Lisa.

Abi is heartbroken by the decision; but not because she didn’t get to go on Reward. Skupin choosing to take Lisa on Reward over Denise completely counteracts Abi’s story to Lisa that she’s on “the bottom of the alliance.” She heads back to camp with Denise, complaining about how her vote “doesn’t mean anything.”

After the break, we return to camp with Abi and Denise. Both are unhappy about having to spend the afternoon together. Abi begins to get into Denise’s ear, trying her best to strategize. Denise doesn’t want to hear any of it so instead of arguing decides to make it a peaceful afternoon by letting Abi do whatever she wants. Not much comes of their afternoon together other than Abi threatening to kill her tribe mates with a machete and Denise wanting to kill herself rather than spend the afternoon with Abi.

Meanwhile, Lisa, Malcolm and Skupin are having a much better time on Reward. Whilst aboard the whale watching boat, the three enjoy pizza, soft drink and cookies – why do they keep giving cookies away on Rewards AFTER Angie left?

Malcolm informs us that Skupin doesn’t normally eat sugar, so after consuming multiple bottles of soft drink, as well as pizza and cookies, Skupin is on a “sugar high”. Watching Skupin dress up in Filipino clothing, hang of the mast of the boat and his other general antics, make me remember all the way back to Survivor: Africa when Big Tom had a bit to much to drink.

When their tour guides spot the fish they are looking for, the three quickly learn that not only will they get to see the giant fish; they’ll also get to swim with them. So they hop in the water, we get some nice camera shots of the three swimming with the fish. Malcolm speaks about how fantastic the experience was; whilst Skupin makes sure it is an experience to remember when one of the giant fish head butt him. (Bless him; I guess Skup just couldn’t resist the opportunity to have his head taken off by a giant fish.)

Once back on board the boat, Malcolm gets his head back into the game and approaches Lisa and Skupin for a Final Three deal. Malcolm tells the pair that none of them will beat Denise in the finals, so their best chance is to stick together and vote her out once they reach the Final Four. They agree, making a promise to stick together at the Final Three. In confessionals, Skupin reveals he likes the idea, simply because Malcolm is the most powerful person in the game. Lisa however is wary of the alliance. She agrees to it but states that if going to the end with Malcolm isn’t in her best interest to win, she won’t honour the alliance. So again, just too quickly explain Lisa’s behaviour, what she means is that after thirty-four days, she’s going to start playing the game. Hooray!


Malcolm, Lisa and Skupin agree to a Final Three alliance. (Image credit CBS)

We skip through to the morning of day thirty-six, where Denise has woken up with a burning sensation on her neck. Everyone is concerned about her, as Denise explains that her neck is “stinging” and feels like its “on fire.” Denise begins to worry, especially when she notices two bite marks on her neck, which couldn’t have been made by a mosquito. After listing all the possible things that could have bitten her, Lisa and Skupin begin to pray that Denise is okay whilst Abi puts on her ‘reassuring hat’ by pointing out that whatever Denise is suffering from might be “poison.” – Good one Abi, that’s really going to calm her down.


Is that Denise grimacing in pain or practicing her “sex face”? (Image credit CBS)

This opens the door for Skupin and Denise who begin to get to work on their maze. Lisa and Abi make it successfully across their bridges and begin on their puzzles. The maze puzzle seems to be difficult, with everyone, (especially Skupin), having difficulties. Denise places her final piece into the puzzle, but when she tries to move the ball along the course, realises that something is incorrect and has to pull apart what she thought was her completed maze.

Malcolm gets across the rope bridge and then begins to make quick work of the puzzle. With everyone else struggling big time with the maze, Malcolm pulls ahead, completing the puzzle and beginning his maze. Within no time, Malcolm has his ball in the finishing pocket and claims his second straight Individual Immunity.


Malcolm takes a tumble in the Immunity Challenge. (Image credit CBS)

This opens the door for Skupin and Denise who begin to get to work on their maze. Lisa and Abi make it successfully across their bridges and begin on their puzzles. The maze puzzle seems to be difficult, with everyone, (especially Skupin), having difficulties. Denise places her final piece into the puzzle, but when she tries to move the ball along the course, realises that something is incorrect and has to pull apart what she thought was her completed maze.

Malcolm gets across the rope bridge and then begins to make quick work of the puzzle. With everyone else struggling big time with the maze, Malcolm pulls ahead, completing the puzzle and beginning his maze. Within no time, Malcolm has his ball in the finishing pocket and claims his second straight Individual Immunity.


Malcolm celebrates his come from behind victory in the Immunity Challenge. (Image credit CBS)

I can’t believe Malcolm won. He lost a huge amount of time on the rope bridge and then completed the puzzle with ease. Could it be the fact that he’s a Survivor fan and he’s practiced the maze puzzle beforehand? (In a secret scene last week, Malcolm revealed he practiced tying sticks and rope together.)

So Malcolm wins and before Jeff sends Dangrayne back to camp, he reminds the four non-immune castaways of the power Malcolm now holds – not only is he immune, he also has the Hidden Immunity Idol, which is valid up until the upcoming Tribal Council.

As we head back to camp, Denise reveals how fantastic it is that Malcolm won Immunity instead of Abi. My mind completely explodes at this point. Remember back to when Artis was blindsided? After the Immunity Challenge in that episode we had a confessional play of how Penner was going home that night and they could relax. What happened? Artis went home. I’m now convinced Denise will suffer the same editing fate.

Back at camp, Skupin has another incident with the fire, as an ember spits at him. If I was Michael Skupin, I’d put myself on water-related chores for the remainder of the game. Thirty-six days in isn’t the time to be med-ecaved with severe burns!

Abi; realising she’s in danger, swears to not give up and begins to scramble. She corners Skupin and presents her argument – Vote out Denise tonight, take me along with you to the Final Three and you are guaranteed to win. All in all, a pretty decent argument considering that there isn’t a chance in the world Abi will gain the required amount of Jury votes.

Skupin agrees with Abi that Denise and Malcolm will be extremely difficult to beat whilst also considering the consequences of his actions. He also adds a cheap shot that spending a further three days with Abi is worth getting a million dollars.

As he has all game long, Skupin runs off to find Lisa to discuss Abi’s plan. The pair considers their options; with Lisa expressing her wish to go to the end with Abi because she can’t possibly win. The drawback of the plan surfaces when they consider Malcolm’s physical ability and the fact that Abi won’t be able to beat him in challenges, allowing him to win his way to the end.

Meanwhile, Denise asks Malcolm if the circumstances were against her, whether he would give her his Hidden Immunity Idol. Malcolm agrees, however states that it’s extremely unlikely that it will happen. Later on in a confessional, Malcolm reveals that whilst he told Denise he would give up his Idol, he would have no intention of giving it to her; instead, preferring to keep it for a mothers day gift.

We head off to Tribal Council with Lisa’s dulcet tones as she assures us that her vote tonight will be based on strategy. (I’m sorry Lisa, but your game is terrible, that’s how you should have been voting for the entire game!)

The big question is now whether Lisa and Skupin will honour their Final Four alliance or jump ship and align with Abi.

Tribal is once again the “Abi-Maria show” as she is the topic of heated conversation. Abi agrees with Probst, letting everyone know she is the best person to take to the end because it means a guaranteed win. Denise disagrees, explaining that depending on how you play the game, Abi might not be the best option to take to the end.

After some more talk, Abi opens her big mouth, calling out Malcolm and Denise whilst pleading with Lisa and Skupin to vote with her because they can’t possibly win against the former Matsing pair. Skupin tries to rebut her argument, however is cut off as Abi goes onto call him an idiot and a moron. I’m cursing at Abi as a watch, because I know now her game is over. Nobody is going to listen to what you have to say, if you then turn around and insult the very person you’re trying to align with!

Lisa and Denise has a small squabble about how Tandang are a good tribe before Lisa and Malcolm both confirm that Abi continually opening her mouth during the game has made her the perfect “goat”. Abi then sticks her foot in her mouth again when she states that Denise’s intention was never to win, just to make friends; which Denise bluntly denies.

We are sent off to the vote with Probst letting us all know that it will either be Abi or Denise sent home. Penner continues his dominant comic display this season when he flips Abi the finger as the votes are being cast.

In the end, our little Brazilian friend is sent home in a whitewash, as Lisa and Skupin decide to stay true to Denise and Malcolm and put the age all saying into effect “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me”.


Abi-Maria… the tribe has spoken. (Image credit CBS)

Abi’s final comments do little to improve our perception of her as all she does is tell the world that what you saw is really her. As the Final Four head back to camp, Skupin does his best impersonation of Big Tom’s (Tom Buchanan, Survivor: Africa and All-Stars), Sue’s gone dance!


The Final Four. (Image credit CBS)

Well, there we have it, the final regular episode of the season. On Sunday Night (Monday afternoon for Australian’s), the season finale and live reunion show will air, revealing our winner.

Don’t forget to check out the Ponderosa videos AND to vote for this seasons Sprint Player of the Season! If Penner doesn’t win, I’ll be shattered!

Finally, just some fun facts about the Final Four!

– This is the twelfth time the Final Four has comprised of two males and two females – (the first since Survivor: Redemption Island).

– This is the seventh time that the Final Four has comprised of two pairs of castaways from different starting tribe (the first since Survivor: Gabon).

– Michael Skupin is the second castaway from Michigan to make the Final Four (following Keith Famie in Survivor: The Australian Outback)

– Denise Stapley is the second castaway from Iowa to make the Final Four (following Susie Smith in Survivor: Gabon)

– Lisa Whelchel is the fourth castaway from Texas to make the Final Four (following Colby Donaldson in Survivor: The Australian Outback, Russell Hantz, Survivor: Samoa and Heroes vs. Villains and Kim Spradlin Survivor: One World

– Malcolm Freeberg is the twenty-fourth castaway from California to make the Final Four.

This week’s sexual innuendo comment from Jeff comes from his Reward Challenge commentary

“Here comes Denise… she’s going for her second ride.”

Who will win and why?



If Malcolm makes it to the Final Tribal Council, he has NO competition, he wins easily. If Skup, Denise and Lisa don’t wake up to that fact, Malcolm has won a million dollars. The big question for Malcolm is whether he’ll betray Denise or Denise will betray him.



Skupin isn’t the smartest tool in the shed when it comes to strategy. However, at this point of the game, strategy isn’t so important. If Skupin can win the next Immunity Challenge, he’s got a great chance of taking out the title of Sole Survivor.



Denise has got a fairly good chance of winning. Everyone seems to like her, she’s come from the underdog Matsing tribe, and her only real competition is her biggest ally… Malcolm.



I don’t think Lisa can win. Most of the people on the Jury love the game of Survivor. Therefore, I don’t think they will cast a million dollar vote to someone who began to play the game in the final few days. Add that to the fact she has flip flopped between alliances all season and her prospects of winning don’t look to good.

What the castaway’s and our followers said about the episode.

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


Ben’s Opinion


It is so hard to believe we have only one more episode to go. So hard to believe! Maybe I have been enjoying this season so much I haven’t realised how much fun I’ve been having!

This episode wasn’t the best it was to be said. It was pretty clear what was going to happen so a bit of ‘drama’ along the way and an amazing comeback provided the entertainment. It completely amazed me to see Abi having the reaction she did after not being selected on the reward. You get saved and then you assume you will be on the next reward? Time to wake up and smell the tribal torch being snuffed out because it was never going to happen! I like most people haven’t been an Abi fan this season, but let’s not deny she is great television and I with 100% certainty believe we will see her again on our screens on another season. She went down swinging in that last final tribal council, even though her insults on Skupin were just bizarre. If Skupin makes the final tribal council, I look forward to her jury question.

Denise getting bitten in this episode was interesting. I still believe it was the blood sucker Abi who got a bit hungry, but I’m guessing that will be a hidden scene on the CBS website. It was also interesting to see Denise go so quickly back on her point about Tandang being lucky. Was that strategy to have her seen as not a mean person? Or is that just Denise? I think Denise is in with a good shot of winning should she make the final tribal council, but I see her almost like a Chelsea in the final TC from One World: a person who I think is going to do well and get some votes but in the end gets 0. Even perhaps like an Albert from South Pacific. It hurts me to say that because I love Denise, but I’m not sure if she’ll walk away as a millionaire. Probably the first time I’ve said that in a long time.

So who do I think is going to win and who will be in the final tribal council? Well that all depends on if it’s a final 2 or 3. The way it is looking, you would assume final 2 as you would have 2 more people gone at the start of the final episode. But it could be similar to season 2 in the Australian Outback where only Keith went and then we had a lengthy episode of the final tribal council members. If it’s a final 2, the first immunity challenge is crucial. Should Malcolm win, then you may expect Denise to be in trouble, and if Denise goes then a final 2 is a shoe in to be Skupin and Lisa unless Malcolm wins the final immunity. If he does, I would assume he would take Skupin, as Lisa may be too likeable to sit next to at the end. Although she has also been her bi-polar self and Skupin really hasn’t pissed anyone off, so it would be an interesting choice. A final 2 of Skupin and Lisa I think would give the money to Skupin, because again he hasn’t really pissed anyone off and Lisa has been extremely wishy washy. Although she is nice, people like her, so who knows? A final 3 I see happening with Lisa, Skupin and Denise with a battle between Lisa and Skupin for the win. Malcolm has to win immunity to be in the final tribal council, he is too big a threat to consider taking to the end and if he is in that final tribal council, I think he will win. Hands down.

My mouth is watering in anticipation to see who will become the 24th winner of the game we love! And the next time you read one of my extremely insightful opinion pieces, we will know! Get excited Survivor fans!

Jarryd’s Opinion


Yawn. This season is starting to drag as we move towards the end.

For me, Malcolm is the new Russell Hantz and Lisa is the new Natalie White. What do I mean by that? I mean that if Malcolm doesn’t win this season and Lisa does, it will be a tragedy to the game of Survivor.

Malcolm said in his pre-game interviews that he’ll play the game like Russell; run the show from day one and then get handed the million dollars on day thirty nine. I have this feeling that irony will come into play, Malcolm will make it to the end, or very close to the end and for some reason, lose the game.

I have to say, if Malcolm is beaten by Lisa; I’ll be counting the days until February 13th when season twenty-six premieres to rid myself of the result.

Speaking of Lisa, I have to say that she has now gone past Lillian Morris as one of the most annoying and useless castaways to ever play the game. I can’t stand her! If she wins, this season will further slip down in my season rankings – (which I have to say have changed drastically since the merge). In all seriousness, I’d rather watch Survivor: Gabon (my least favourite season) everyday for a month if it means Lisa doesn’t win, plus I’ll get to see the beautiful Kelly Czarnecki everyday for a month!

Voting Abi out tonight is going to be the reason why “insert name” doesn’t win and “insert name” does win. I have no idea how Abi didn’t get voted out. She said it herself, she can’t win the game; there are too many people on the Jury that hate her. I cannot understand why Denise and Malcolm or Lisa and Skupin didn’t align with Abi, thus eliminating the other “pair” alliance.

Looking at the pros and cons of the situation, if Lisa and Skupin had of voted against Denise, Skupin is the only one with a shot of beating Malcolm. I for one would still choose those odds over beaten Malcolm and Denise.

As for the Matsing pair, I cannot believe they didn’t discuss siding with Abi to vote out Skupin! They would have guaranteed themselves a spot in the Final Two. Why? Because there is no way in the world that Abi or Lisa would have a chance of beating Denise or Malcolm; they just suck too much!

However, Abi running her mouth and insulting Skupin just before the vote, then expected him to vote with her… not going to work sweetheart.

The challenges were fairly decent in this episode. Whilst they weren’t exactly “new”, they combined better elements from challenges we’ve previously seen into the one. I felt the Reward Challenge was always going to end with either Malcolm or Skupin winning. Skupin won and as I explained in the recap, his decision to take Malcolm and Lisa on the Reward was nothing short of brilliant.

The best part about the “reward” was Skupin being head butted by the Whale shark… which, by the laws of Survivor, could only happen to him.

The Immunity Challenge was strange. Malcolm coming from behind and winning was very anti-climatic. There wasn’t really any suspenseful music and even Jeff’s commentary was fairly dull – it was literally like Malcolm came from nowhere in the challenge and they had very little footage of it.

Going into Tribal, I was positive that Denise was going home, so I was completely shocked that Abi was sent packing. As I mentioned above, it makes zero sense from both “pairs.”

I can’t say I’m super excited for the Finale, though I am excited to see who wins. – I’m probably as equally excited about this weeks Ponderosa videos with the reunion between R.C. and Abi. It’s obvious that it will be a Final Two – if it isn’t, I’ll be completely shocked. At this stage, as a “student of the game” I hope Malcolm takes it out purely because he’s played a fantastic game. Bring on Monday afternoon!

p.s. Penner’s “hand signal” to Abi during the votes at Tribal, just adds another reason to the list of reasons why I love Jonathan Penner and why he should be the Sprint Player of the Season!

Lancey’s Opinion


Finally a final four I can get on board with! As slow as Skupin’s game has been, as arrogant as Malcolm comes across, as emotionally unstable Lisa seems, everyone here has made (or attempted to make) moves to earn their spot. Denise has yet again shown how fantastic she is by continuing to play after being bitten by an unknown and potentially deadly source, and having to spend an afternoon with Abi-Maria.

I had low expectations of Michael Skupin at the beginning of this season, but his personality has been much less obnoxious and much more likeable than we saw in Australia. He started off a little rocky and didn’t seem to be making too many moves, but he has made it to the final four and has made few enemies on his way. I’m certainly not underestimating him anymore.

Lisa started off weak and unstable, and it appeared she would be an early boot after distancing herself from her tribe. In an almost triumphant turn around Lisa has become one of the most strategic and bold players remaining. However, this has not been without crying, constant mind-changing, inner struggles, epiphanies, breakdowns and strange out-bursts. I don’t think she deserves the win, but I admire her perseverance.

Malcolm is no doubt a strong physical threat and strategic player, nor is there any question it would be difficult to beat him in the final vote. He has certainly worked for his spot, but he isn’t my choice for the title.

Not surprisingly, my favourite from the beginning and my obvious pick to win, is the bite sized wonder-woman that is Denise. She is strong, smart, eloquent and kind, and she is wrapped up in an itsy bitsy package that is ever so cute! For the last time, I wish Denise all the best for the final vote and can’t wait to hear from her on Survivor Oz very soon!

Survivor Re-capper: Ashley Trainer


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 thirteenth special guest is Ashley Trainer from Samoa, as she discusses her love of this season, rooting for Russ Swan and not being surprised as to how he played, her strong dislike of Abi and which earlier contestant she also disliked, comparing the players strategy to how she played in Samoa, her thoughts on Skupin and his chances going forward, who she would vote for as player of the season and why she might change her name as a ‘Christmas present’ to get invited back for a 2nd time! Ashley’s ‘Philippines Four’ answers were:

NEXT TO GO: Malcolm

Join us after the finale for our recap of episode 14, featuring the Erik Reichenback from Micronesia!

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