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Episode 1 thoughts

A little late, but I'm going to assess last week's episode of Survivor: Philippines. I'm currently editing the Survivor Smacked Me In The Chops page while rewatching the episode, so I decided to make a blog first. Okay, I'm not gonna complain anymore about the butchering of the tribe names, because it ain't worth it. If you wanna know how they should be pronounced, refer to my previous blog post.

I feel the roosters will go the furthest in the game. Manpower-wise, the buffaloes will only come second, while it won't take long before the monkeys go ape because of Russell's disturbing edit last week.

Overall, it was a decent episode. Disregarding the fact that they filmed in my turf, I'd say very entertaining. Lotsa things going on.

Kalabaw

Jonathan Penner

I'm scared for Penner this year. Though I'm not a big fan of returnees, but I'm looking forward to see more of him, for I love his drive, candor and Jeff-cussing. He found an idol clue and ostensibly alienating himself from the tribe. The game is largely about social interactions, and he was sold out immediately by the newbie buffaloes, all of whom already bonded while he's out there idol searching. I don't know if it's a wise move early on, but knowing Penner, I hope he turn things around, because the newbies are going after him, and definitely, they won't let him make it to the end. Since he already started scouring the clue, there's no turning back, and he needs to find it before Kalabaw goes to Tribal Council, or he's toast.

Perceived status next week: Slightly vulnerable

Carter Williams

Not much from him this week, but if you can rewatch the episode and look closely, he's wearing what I believe is disturbingly similar to Phillip's undergarments. Not only we have returning players, we also have returning underwear. Hoorah for the saggy fuschia briefs!

He appears strong in challenges, so I'm not expecting this male lookalike of Cher to go home anytime soon (pre-merge at least).

Perceived status next week: Safe

Dana Lambert

Rarely on Survivor we have an all-out lesbian in the game, so I wanted her to stick around, but she's not a runner. High hopes for her, though I'm thinking she won't last long enough because again she's the most different from the members of Kalabaw, being lesbian, tattoes and all. Also, she has a conservative tribemate in the form of Jeff Kent. Dana seemed to be connected to Jeff, but it doesn't appear mutual enough. Let's see how will Jeff deal with her.

Perceived status next week: Slightly vulnerable

Katie Hanson

For a beauty queen-mactor type, I didn't expect her to be at the background this week (she's decent in the challenge though). Not much from her as of yet, that means she'll stick out for a while. No one comes and goes to Survivor without character development. Even Zane had an ample amount of airtime.

Perceived status next week: Very safe

Jeff Kent

I feel bad for Jeff because of his first-minute injury. One of the worst starts in the game of Survivor is to have an injury on day friggin' one. He makes this semi-alliance with his fellow newbies to band against Jonathan, but once they learn he's the former baseball star, now there's two of them. I could care less about Jeff's celebrity status, because for one I don't watch baseball. But once his secret's out, people will see him as a guy who earns a lot of money, so he probably wants the title, but not the money. One piece of advice brother: Keep your mouth shut. Badly. You need it more than anyone.

Reading his profile, I would say, one wrong move, he's gone. He hates "stupid people," and clearly, no one from his tribe appear to be stupid, especially if you have someone like Penner around (interesting that he and Penner, both of whom having strong personalities got along quite well I thought). And it appears that Dawson is a very talkative person (as far as the pre-game promotions are concerned), so just be careful no to lash out, because historically, no one has won Survivor initiated a conflict. Sandra Diaz-Twine however, is another story. She can compensate with her street smarts and stay out of the way while the other fire arrows at each other.

Perceived status next week: Safe-vulnerable (safe if he can keep his lips shut, and vulnerable if he speaks his mind too much, or if someone recognizes him as the baseball star, or if he shows signs of pain because of his day one injury)

Sarah Dawson

She's a question mark as of now. She can either be a devilish player who will cause trouble (strategic ones) or a merely loose cannon, you would want to take her to the end (a la Courtney Yates). I'm not quite sure of my take on her, but given that unpredictability, I think she'll stick around longer. Jeff is skeptical, I'm skeptical, I bet you're skeptical as well.

Perceived status next week: Safe

Tehn-deng

Mike Skupin

Very excited to have Skups back. I was nine when he was on Survivor: The Australian Outback. I hated it when they gave him the dangerprone edit, overexposing the injuries he got during the first three days. We know his falling-to-the-fire fiasco very well, you don't need to tell us again and again. Anyways, given that it took him 10 years or so to have him back, I hope he studied the game well during his decade-long absence, because how his tribemates played in Australia is lightyears different to how Survivor works nowadays (with the Hidden Idols, Exile and Redemption Islands, tribe switches and all). The looks of it, he's in a good spot as of now. He's on a tribe that would probably serve as the new Chapera, he's not as grating as he was before, and people actually come to him for an alliance. Among the three returnees, I wish him the most luck.

Perceived status next week: Very safe

Pete Yurkowski

He seems to be falling in Abi-Maria's trap. In Survivor, boobs are the men's worst weakness (*cough, Erik Reichenbach, cough*), having deprived of sex for a month. My advice: Just align, no benefits. No strings attached. But with double boobage power (RC and Abi), this might cut things out for him. Being Tandang's youngest male member, he's indispensable for now, as Tandang needs all the strength they can get.

Perceived status next week: Safe

R.C. Saint-Amour

At first I am skeptical of RC for reasons I can't put on words yet. But she's starting to prove me wrong. she seems level-headed, and if she keeps her banker secret long enough (hopefully for the rest of the season, including final tribal), she can win.

Perceived status next week: Most safe

Lisa Whelchel

In Survivor, the older lady seems to apply Lev Vygotsky's constructivism theory, where she will converse with a More Knowledgeable Other (MKO) during her time of despair, and after that, she runs the competition over.

Back to Lisa. I'm calling it, Lisa will get the Holly Hoffman-Dawn Meehan edit. The older lady who cries and whines will have a pep talk with a person with more experience (like Coach Jimmy J. to Holly and Ozzy to Dawn) will cheer her up and after that, she makes waves. She'll go far, trust me. The mother hen will cut the rest of the roosters' heads off. Also, she's currently a candidate of mine for the fan favorite award.

P.S. Good thing Skups got a hold of himself from calling her "Blair" while they're still on the fishing boat. If not, Lisa would be like: "Oh sh*t! He called me Blair! Off with my head!"

P.P.S. Nice to know they are fans of each other :)

Perceived status next week: Her episode one edit made her appear vulnerable, but she's safe in my book

Artis Silvester

People say this guy is nuttier than Phillip. People didn't believe Phillip was a Federal Agent even until after the Survivor: Redemption Island live show, which I find hilarious. We should see. For me, he seem truthful about being a stage 4 cancer survivor. But being the oldest rooster, he will have a hard time getting along with his younger comrades.

Perceived status next week: Slightly vulnerable

Abi-Maria Gomes

First off, she doesn't look 32, not in one bit (I wonder what's her facial cream)! If she plays the flirt card undetected, this Daryl Hannah lookalike might have a shot to win.

Perceived status next week: Safe

Mat-seeng

Russell Swan

Warning: This Russell Swan you saw last week was an imposter. This is not the same guy who brought Galu to an in sane 8-4 majority at the merge. Bring the real Russell Swan back.

One of the worst starts of a returning contestant. Like, it's depressing to see him like that. What happened to "I don't want to be a leader?" if you're going to do act like one anyway? Malcolm made a trap for him by letting Russell feed his own ego by making fire at Malcolm's expense. Being a leader-figure on a tribe is never good, though Tom Westman prevailed and thus the only exception. Russell knows it, but he always fall back to his safe place, which is to bark orders. Bad spot buddy. I lost more faith in him when he said outright he sucked at puzzles, passes the job to someone else, hoping that person takes the blame, yet shouts orders while the puzzle builders form the puzzle. Russell must redeem himself at the next Immunity Challenge, or else, if the monkeys go back to Tribal Council, Swan's ass is gone.

Perceived status next week: Very vulnerable

Angie Layton

Though she was "too blonde" in one of her pre-game interviews (since when 18 became an odd number?) I give her credit for seeing through Russell's need to get the leadership role. I will not take her poor performance at the challenge against her, because she already said she's not good at it, yet [not the] tribe leader Russell put her in that position. My only query is, if no one from the monkeys are good at puzzles, who is?

Perceived status next week: Safe

Malcolm Freberg

Man-crush on Malcolm. This is guy will run many people over I believe. He's smart, very articulate, throws Russell under the bus without him knowing, and he stays out of the way when he needs to. Following my comment on Angie, Malcolm already stated in a confessional he is can hold on his own at puzzles, but chose not to divulge it, because it might come back to haunt him in the long run, given that most post-merge challenges are puzzles, if not endurance. High hopes for this guy. By the looks of it, Malcolm is destined to stay for a while because he is Matsing's strongest member, arguably stronger than Russell, who is in his 50's.

Perceived status next week: Very safe

Denise Stapley

I waited for a long time to see a sex therapist contestant on Survivor because I am curious on what she will bring to the table. She can read through people, very smart, and very athletic for a 40-year old. Very smart move to align with Malcolm, as they are the only one who made sense from the monkey tribe. Like they say, two heads are better than one. Thank you Denise for unearthing the history of Zane's tattoos.

Perceived status next week: Safe

Roxanne Morris

The preacher. Not quite yet. She better put her faith to her advantage, not to annoy her tribemates. Being a christian myself, it is good to have a faith to cling on, but to use it to manipulate people, not to mention interfere with other people's lives is downright blasphemous. She is small, but I think she could still pack some punch because of her military background. Still, I am weary of her, because she has the potential to be preachy, being a seminary student. And to be around people who might be more liberated in personality, she's on a losing end.

Perceived status next week: Slightly vulnerable

Boot

Zane Knight

Who in their sane minds would make an alliance against himself? Hilarious. he was good TV for the 90 minutes he was on the show. To be on Survivor and stay longer, you must be prepared physically, mentally and socially. Zane did none of the three. He was gasping for air, apparently due to nicotine withdrawal, something he just did a day before he arrived here. I wished he prepared more, like pack up some muscle and avoid smoking a long time ago. He made alliances with everybody, putting him in a more terrible position. How can he underestimate someone like Malcolm and Denise? Laughable. Like, they caught him red-handed!

Telling people to vote you out, hoping their general liking of him will work and instead vote others out was a brilliant idea in hindsight. That's social skills. But I feel bad for him because his poor performance at the challenge plus his "vote me out but you won't because you like me" strategy made it seem look like he's quitting, which I don't think's his point. Wish him the best in life though.

Generally I am entertained with last week's episode. I am looking forward to see more of the season. I'm starting to get over the fact that they filmed in my homeland. It's More Fun in the Philippines!

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