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Something Wrong With the Universe

Abi made it clear in tonight's Survivor: Philippines that her strategy, at least now in the end game, is to make herself so unlikable that her opponents will recognize that she should go to the jury with them, because no one will vote for her. She has intensified her campaign recently, going so far as to call Skupin an idiot and a moron at tonight's Tribal Council. Obviously, she thought that was the best way to win his vote. People were saying they wanted to be sitting next to someone they could beat, and she pointedly said, "Choose me."

But really, she's been abrasive and unlikable the whole season. She said she thought people had decided that she was the "crazy Brazilian," but she fully embraced that role, even while chastising the others for characterizing her that way. And finally, this close to the end, everyone seemed to be accepting the idea that she was the one to choose.

Well, except for the reward. When Malcolm won the Reward Challenge and chose Skupin and Lisa to go with him, Abi was devastated, almost as if she really thought she had done something to deserve it. "I guess my vote doesn't mean anything," she said with a sniff. She told Denise she couldn't understand why they didn't realize she was the swing vote. She lamented that she had finally learned that she was at the bottom of the alliance.

Uh, Abi? What alliance? You haven't been in an alliance since Pete was voted out. Your vote means nothing to anybody, unless you can turn the other castaways against each other. And all you've done is unite them against you.

So despite the protestations, it was not much of a surprise that Abi was voted out 4-1 tonight. There was some discussion of getting rid of Denise while they had the chance, because with Malcolm holding both individual immunity and the hidden Idol, he was untouchable for one more Tribal Council. And I'm sure Malcolm vs. Denise will be a big part of the finale, since they are both strong in every way that matters in the game.

But Lisa made a convincing point. (Wait a minute. Lisa? Who ever said Lisa was a weak player? Oh, right. Lisa said it.) When Skupin approached her about siding with Abi and voting out Denise, Lisa made the convincing point that they might have a better chance in the final four if they kept Denise, because Abi would be no help in defeating Malcolm in any challenge. Good point, Lisa. (Better point: Who wants to spend three more days with Abi?)

Seriously, though, Lisa has shown the fire and cutting edge strategy that she didn't know she had. In fact, through most of the season, she has denied that she had it. The game, she repeatedly told us, was bigger than she was. And now she has a one in four chance to win, against veteran Skupin, who has shown himself to be a real survivor, and the power team of Malcolm and Denise. For once, no matter which way it goes in the finale, it looks as if someone worthy is going to win the game.

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