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2012-11-14 9:27 PM
If you're tired of wavering, wishy-washy, weepy Lisa on Survivor: Philippines, you're probably not alone. I'm not even sure what everyone considers a Big Move anymore. Supposedly she made one at the previous Tribal Council by admitting that she was trying to save Skupin by targeting Malcolm. I have a hard time calling that a "Big Move" when Skupin was a member of the core Tandang alliance, and Malcolm wasn't.
However, if you're tired of Lisa, I can't go along with you. I still think she's the most compelling player in the game, in part at least because she's so conflicted, and so open about it. The biggest move at the last Tribal was by Penner, who went rogue and voted for Abi, against the run of play. What that accomplished was making sure Jeff, who had been his ally, was the one voted off, weakening the Kalabaw alliance.
While Lisa is the most interesting player left, Penner is by far the most active in actually working the dynamics of the game. He understands the personalities well enough to know (a) that his time on the island is probably numbered, and (2) where the cracks in Tandang are and how to massage them in his favor. He also has the personal charm to get people on his side, sometimes against their own best interests.
On the other end of the charm spectrum is Abi, who had the nerve to tell Jeff at Tribal Council that she thought she showed grace to Lisa. Apparently to Abi grace comes in the form of telling Lisa that she's naive and gullible and unable to think for herself. She somehow managed to insult Lisa again at Tribal by admitting that she was worried about her loyalty. Is there any mystery why, in the schoolyard pick for the Reward Challenge, Abi was the one not chosen by anybody?
In fact, the only reason Abi wasn't targeted by the Kalabaw crew tonight was their fear that she might play the Immunity Idol. They decided to vote for Artis because they thought he was the least likely person that Abi might give her Idol to. Newsflash: Abi isn't going to part with that Idol until she plays it for herself. Period. No chance, no way.
With Lisa still wavering and Skupin wearing the Immunity Necklace, the vote came down to Artis or Penner. Since Lisa and Skupin have been voting together and conferring on their strategy, I assumed the vote would be either 6-3 to send Artis home, or 5-4 against Penner. When the tally was 5-4 against Artis, it was clear that Lisa and Skupin had split their votes, but I honestly didn't know how either of them had voted. I should have known, though, that Lisa would be the weak one, sticking with Tandang, and it was Skupin who turned the numbers against them.
With Artis leaving, the Evil Three of Tandang are down to two, Abi and Pete, and there is no longer any numbers advantage for them. That leaves the Kalabaw Four (Penner, Carter, Denise and Malcolm) as the strongest alliance, with Skupin and Lisa still the swing votes. Skupin has already broken ties with Tandang, though, with his vote tonight, and Lisa has no reason to stick with Abi and Pete, who don't like or trust her anyway, despite her consistent loyalty.
Lisa wants to go with whichever group will keep her in the game longer, but there's something she might not have considered. Nobody in the game, not even her strongest ally or best friend, will want to be sitting next to her at the end in front of the Jury. She doesn't know it, but she's already Zombie Blair Warner.
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