December 17, 2012

Reality Rundown: Denise Survives Every Single Tribal Council

12/17/2012 Posted by Mel Got Served , , No comments
Finale! Survivor: Philippines
 
It's finale night and I'm letting out one last OW OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO in celebration. And for the second time, my pre-show winner prediction is heading into the finale but the question is will I have actually predicted right for the first time?

The final four breathe a sigh of relief that camp will be far less annoying these last few days. But the four friends are at the point in the game where they have to turn on each other and inevitably lose. But first, a reward challenge to navigate some obstacles they've encountered before to collect puzzle pieces that fill in the form of a dragon. The reward is the biggest of the game: an advantage in the final immunity challenge. Oooo. Challenge master Malcolm wins, again, and if there's one person you don't want to have a leg up in another challenge, it's the invincible Malcolm. Post-challenge, Denise tries to make a final three deal with Malcolm and begins to pick up the vibe that he's not interested. Denise keeps on playing though and makes her pitch to Lisa to take out Malcolm (and Skupin likes it).

Before the final Immunity Challenge, the four take the fallen comrades walk to remember the fond (and in Abi's case horrendous) memories. The good news is while we forgot people, Denise didn't since she was at every single Tribal Council seeing these torches snuffed. After torching the torches, they arrive at the final Immunity Challenge to balance a ball on wood, adding pieces along the way to make it harder. Yup, recycled challenge that's sorta endurance sorta now. Malcolm's advantage is that he gets a second chance if he ever drops the ball (a fantastic advantage). It's pretty boring to watch people balancing stuff, though Malcolm does drop in the second round and has his second attempt. What I did notice that I didn't before is that the middle piece has a groove in it to keep the ball from immediately slipping off the pole. Malcolm's got the jitters and fails; first out. Oh boy. Denise drops next, leaving Lisa and Skupin to fight. After a few rounds, Lisa drops and Skupin wins immunity and the odd ego he has for being a shitty player grows.

Malcolm is sure he's in trouble, but reaffirms his final three with Skupin and Lisa. Denise does the exact same, so who the hell knows what's happening at Tribal. But Skupin still would love to take Malcolm to the end to beat the best, because he's confident he'd beat him (seriously??) And so heading into Tribal I'm really not sure where the votes will lay but I have a sneaking suspicion I'm going to lose the pre-show winner prediction race... again. Hot topic is friendships having to end as the game draws closer to a final conclusion. Malcolm and Denise pretty openly imply that they used to be besties but also have to betray each other in order to win. Shit gets dirty too when Malcolm points out Denise survived every Tribal Council and floated while others got their hands dirty. Lisa can't even think of a reason to take Malcolm to the end and it hits him hard. Damn Lisa, you cold blooded and I love it. The tribe speaks and Malcolm heads off to join the jury. Before he leaves he whispers a congratulations to Denise on winning the million dollars. Skupin seethes because for some reason he thinks he's done a better job than her. And my pre-show prediction losses rise.

The final three bask in their last day glory with a big breakfast feast awaiting them at tree mail. Lisa accurately points out this jury could go any way and it's so true, but I hope it's any way but Skupin's. Sorry but I don't think Skupin has done anything in this game besides win a few challenges and barely avoid death a few times. But maybe that's his argument.

Final Tribal time! Denise's opening statement is of no apologies and the ability to adapt and assimilate to three different tribes and build many alliances. Lisa's statement is about playing her own game and learning to trust her gut and stop being uber-loyal. Skupin uses the returning player lasting long argument, busting his ass to save himself. It's jury questioning time and first up Artis is still angry about the broken loyalty by his tribemates, which means score one for Denise. Carter starts with "Uhhh" which is no surprise and lazily doles out compliments. Pete says Lisa was sort of a "Judas situation" when people were eliminated but she didn't write their names. Denise points out how she worked her way into the tribe each time she re-merged and adapted, especially considering how Kalabaw should've been picked off immediately not RC by her own original tribe. RC makes a weird nervous laugh. Malcolm rips into former pal Denise. Jeff Kent makes a speech about types of people and Skupin of course claims he makes things happen. Lisa insists she never floated in the middle, referencing her botched plan to take out Malcolm but her plan was always to keep Tandang strong. Abi plays the brokenhearted card for being a dick, then poses why any of them deserve her vote. Denise has no remorse in what she said about Abi, but apologies for perhaps her tact in doing so. Penner wraps it up in the Penner-est of ways, assuring Denise she officially will be seen as a bitch, Skupin has never received a vote and that will probably happen again tonight, and then the big bomb: Lisa was the star of The Facts of Life and they should know that she has kept this secret until now. There's some references about being led to the slaughter while the other two are oxen. It's totally Penner.

And with the bitterness filling their hearts (and the empty void in Carter's head), the jury votes for the person they believe should win the title of Sole Survivor. In case you were wondering, Carter voted for "SKOOPIN." I simply cannot. And so Probst grabs the urn of votes and disappears for a few months only to appear at the reunion special to read the results. The trio hold hands as the votes are read and the winner of Survivor: Philippines is DENISE!!!! It's a 6-1-1 vote which is massively impressive.

Congratulations are given to Denise who is aware at the four she knew she was in trouble. Her biggest move towards victory was eliminating buddy Malcolm. Turns out the jury would've still picked Denise to win over Malcolm, surprising Probst. And after asking the ladies a couple questions, Probst turns to Penner and Jeff Kent's failed alpha male alliance (surprise). Skupin still has these delusions of grandeur that he played hard and deserved to win, honestly thinking he won tonight. Seriously?? They roll some fantastic b-roll footage of all of Skupin's accidents, a true walking disaster. Later Lisa says god doesn't care about Survivor, but then he does care? There's stuff about staying true to Christianity, god's love, internal conflict. I don't know, it's too much. In a Malcolm discussion Probst asks if he'd play again, and Malcolm's like "Yeah." Talk about a heavy-handed hint. Then talk turns to the succubus: Abi. Abi has learned from watching the show that she is in fact abrasive and passive aggressive. Lisa wins the Fan Favorite prize, narrowly defeating Malcolm. Highlight of the night is Dawson racing from her seat to plant a smooch on Probst. The night wraps up with a preview of season 26, Survivor: Caramoan and it's fans vs. favorites, again. Except "favorites" is a loose term of people who were able to not work for 39 days.

December 16, 2012

Reality Rundown: Quick, Eat This Cookie Off My Flipper

Finale! The Amazing RaceSurvivor: Philippines

Finale! The Amazing Race - Another dreadful season of this show is ending. A burden lifting from upon my shoulders. My brain tells me to quit this show, but I can't. I need help. Onto the dragged out two hour episode.

The Beekmans have a gut-kick moment on the train ride to France when they finally realize there is an alliance of three and they want the Beekmans gone. The teams arrive in France and product placement the crap out of some Ford trunk feature and everyone swoons over it. The next clue is at a gorgeous chateau and it's there that the teams discover the Beekmans secret weapon: they speak French. The clue is to find DaVinci's final resting place (another chateau) but the twinnies can't move on so fast. The Speed Bump is to tie up a lady's corset, rivaling eating ice cream as easiest task of all time.

The teams have a Detour option to make dog food for hunting hounds or plow a field using a horse and plow. The twinnies make up major ground and catch up to the teams at the Detour, doing the dog food task at the same time as the Beekmans. The twins continue to be dreadful, whining about the Beekmans being "backstabbers" and liars. What annoying twits. Once the Detour is complete, there's a Roadblack to find mushrooms in tunnels. You'd need to be tripping on 'shrooms to think this season was entertaining, so it's appropriate. Directions to the wrong castle fumble Trey/Lexi which allows my boys the Chippendales to check in first and win the Ford product placement cars. Battling for the third spot in the finale is the twinnies and the Beekmans and while I think the Beekmans have had pure luck getting through, I beg for them to eliminate the ultra annoying twins. The twins get super lost driving the wrong direction and "the gays" as the twins so nicely call them, beat them to the Pit Stop and send those bitches home.

And so the final leg begins and the final three cross the Atlantic to land in New York City. The postcard clue leads them to the Coney Island Boardwalk, which is depressing since this was filmed months ago and now that area is destroyed thanks to Hurricane Irene. The clue is ridiculously hidden in a Houdini poster, a fail on behalf of production again for making impossible to find clues. But it's also hard to notice when tourists are taking pictures in front of it. Eventually the teams figure it out and head the Roadblock, which escape Houdini-style up in the sky ending in a bungee freefall.

The teams then make their way to Lombardi's, the first pizza place in NYC, to memorize orders and deliver pizzas on foot as their next task. The Beekmans make a delivery blunder just as Chippendales starts their route, which means Beekmans have to re-do their botched delivery. Trey and Lexi finish this task first and receive a clue with the United Nations logo, the next clue location. Another Roadblock is at the UN headquarters where the other team member must identify the way the heard hello/goodbye in the nine UN countries they visited around the world. Hope everyone pays attention when they check in at the mat, I guess! It's a tough challenge for all three teams, even the brainy Beekmans, and Lexi starts crying. Day turns to night and the teams are still working. The Beekmans finish the task first and take off for the Pit Stop, but Chippendales aren't super far behind (or so editing makes it out that way). And then the team no one ever thought would win wins: the Beekman Boys Josh and Brent win The Amazing Race blowing the minds of all.

Survivor: Philippines - Abi is grateful to the tribe for keeping her around, too dense to understand she's around for being a loser. The best is she thinks that her fake hidden immunity idol is still duping everyone. The four know she's lying, especially since she was sure as shit thinking she was going home the night before yet didn't play it. Continuing her clawing to stay alive, Abi tries to make Lisa feel like the low one on the totem pole but Lisa isn't dumb (just annoying) and knows she has to keep Abi close to win the game (either against her in the finals or by placing her on the jury).

The Reward Challenge of the week is to climb 'n slide over a pyramid into the ocean to retrieve ring toss rings. The prize this week is a helicopter ride (HREAM!!!) to whale shark watch and have pizza and soda. Skupin wins the challenge and picks Malcolm and Lisa to join him. Chuckles abound at remembering Skupin's last helicopter ride when he fell into a fire and his skin was peeling off. HAHAHA good times! Skupin gets sugar high off cookies and soda, then the trio get to put on masks and see the whale sharks up close in the ocean. Proof that Skupin is a walking disaster: even a whale shark headbutts him. It's pretty amazing. Game talk eventually comes up, and that is Michael knowing that he can't beat Denise and he needs final three with Skupin and Lisa. A deal is made and what a surprise, Lisa internally is like mehhhh and might change her mind later.

After a day being tortured by Abi at camp, Denise wakes up in major pain. Her thought has shooting pains, she's achy, and something clearly bit her neck. Abi points out it could be poison and you know she's holding back joy. The tribe surrounds to pray the poison out because that works. And so Denise heads into the Immunity Challenge weaker than the bunch. The challenge is to use planks to cross a bridge, collect pieces to a maze, assemble the maze, and then navigate a ball through said maze. Oh goody, puzzles are back. I'm thinking that spider bite gave Denise spidey senses. But Malcolm, who fell off the bridge and had to restart the challenge, makes the ultimate comeback from way behind and wins immunity.

Post-immunity, a spark from the fire shoot at Skupin. The Smoke Monster has it out for that dude. The obvious elimination choice is Abi, but she's still trying to play. Abi believes Skupin and Lisa have a better chance of beating her, and it's very very true because Abi is the worst. Lisa loves this idea because they can beat Abi. At the same time, keeping Denise gives them a better shot of beating Malcolm in the final immunity challenge since Abi is the worst at challenges too. Denise asks Malcolm about that other immunity idol and Malcolm says if the situation called for it, he'd give up the idol. Truth is, Malcolm's confident that Skupin and Lisa are with him and has no plans on passing off the idol to Denise. Ohhhhh boyyyyy.

Tribal time! Talk for the millionth time turns to Abi being unlikable and easy to beat in the end. What I think is Abi has two former alliance members on the jury. She won't win, but she's taken two votes away which narrows the odds. Probst comes to Abi's defense that she has outwitted, outplayed, and outlasted 13 others. Abi also declares that Malcolm or Denise will definitely win the game and Lisa and Skupin will lose. Abi calls Skupin an idiot and moron. Probst wonders why if Abi can't win, then why care? She wants final three. Malcolm warns that if you keep Abi she's not going down without a fight and could win. The votes are cast, Penner gives Abi the bird from the sidelines, and no immunity idol is played. Finally, FINALLY, the stars align and Abi is eliminated from the game. Skupin literally dances out of Tribal Council in joy. All is right.

December 9, 2012

Reality Rundown: Soul Sucking Dementor

The Amazing RaceSurvivor: Philippines

The Amazing Race - Mallorca, Spain is this week's destination and while teams are able to get different flights easily, the ferry ends up being an equalizer (yawn). And so the twinnies, dumb couple, and Chippendales just party on the beach until they learn who team #4 is: Josh and Brent. A sigh of relief is had since Chippendales screwed over Abbie/Ryan. What's annoying is an equalizer means a shitty team like Josh and Brent might make the finale, eventhough they've failed multiple times.

Anyways, to get the next clue they need to find a devil amongst a bunch of demons swinging fire (the demons are probably the ones that haunt this show and refuse it to improve). The next clue is a Roadblock is to return 20 tennis balls in bounds from one of those tennis shooter machine thingies. Trey rocks it and the Chippendales think it's the Andre Agassi style headband. The twinnies end up behind their 1-2-3 alliance because they can't drive stick. Josh and Brent can read a map and drive stick, so it helps get them build up a lead... until Josh sucks at tennis and blames his bad ankle. The twinnies are able to catch up to them, narrowing the lead.

The next clue lays deep in a badass cave full of stalagmites/stalactites and it's s Detour. The choice this week is to repair a windmill or become a bull in a bullfight arena and send a fake matador in the air. I can't imagine a better option than pretending to gore a human being, so I'd definitely choose matador. Everyone except for Trey and Lexi do the windmill, and it gives Chippendales time to wax fondly on their sexy construction worker costumes of their real jobs. In the midst of pretending to be a bull, Lexi cuts her finger and begins cryyyyying. But it's short lived and they finish the task which isn't as cool as I'd dreamed.  The twins and Beekman are pretty much tied, but the Beekmans are farmers so repairing a windmill is more in their wheelhouse than the two loud, annoying sisters.

Trey and Lexi are team #1, checking in with Phil and a headless dude in a suit (with a woman's voice), and win a trip to Riveira Maya, Mexico.  Chippendales are team #2 and I'm relieved because they are the only team I have liked all season and I truly hope they win.  The farm lifestyle helps Josh and Brent earn third place this week, which means the twinnies are the last to check in.   But, as usual, the penultimate episode before the finale is a non-elimination and we head into a two hour finale (eyeroll) with four teams.

Survivor: Philippines - Abi approaches Carter to talk about them not being part of the four, so Abi keeps up the immunity idol ruse. Lisa has another betraying that trust dilemma when she thinks hard about Penner's point that Malcolm and Denise would absolutely win this game.

Probst convenes everyone for the reward challenge, where survivors get paired with a loved one. Everyone loses their shit, though Skupin's is best since he just yells "OH MY GOD" over and over. The challenge is to toss muddy bags to their loved ones to knock down targets. The winning survivor and their loved one gets to spend the night at camp which is allegedly a reward but considering camp sucks, sounds like punishment. Turns out being shitty at challenges is genetic and Abi and her mom are the worse. In a very close challenge, Malcolm and his brother Miles win and also pick Lisa's brother and Skupin's son to return to camp with them.

The tribe returns to camp with the family members in tow, all muddied up and needing an ocean bath. But on Survivor you don't sit around doing nothing (unless you're Abi) and the family members help around camp for the full experience. Lisa and her brother shoot the shit in the ocean, yapping about her overly loyal nature because that is ALL she talks about. Like father, like son, Skupin's son gets all cut up from a coconut tree. Skupin, Lisa and their family members talk about Malcolm's idol and maybe they could take him out this week. Lisa is apprehensive because, say it all together, she gave him her word! Lisa has an epiphany thanks to her brother that she's allowed to blindside Malcolm and play the gam. However, in an amazing bit of hilarity they say if Jesus played Survivor he'd probably look like Malcolm and play like Carter. BRILLIANT.

The families leave and it's time for another do-or-die immunity challenge. This week's challenge is to race across balance beams over the water, retrieve bags of sticks from the water, use the sticks to make a pole to poke a button to drop a flag. Whoa, run-on sentence! Abi is way behind the others and half-assing it, aggravating Probst to no end. After all the blindside Malcolm talk he wins immunity, per the words of the Survivor gods. Yahoo, I'm one step closer to a winner prediction!

Malcolm is ridiculously excited to be safe for two weeks because he won individual immunity today and has his idol to play next week. Lisa and Skupin talk about god's plan or something and the choice is between Abi or Carter. No one wants to get rid of Carter but for what he lacks in gameplay or brains, he makes up for in challenges. Carter hopes they don't take along a total turd like Abi farther than him. Talk around the fire turns to who voted for who in the past and after Denise requests a subject change, Abi claims she's playing her immunity idol tonight (which doesn't exist). Malcolm compares Abi to a Harry Potter soul sucking dementor, which is so true. And so Abi treks deep into the woods to retrieve her fake idol. Fake it til you make it!

Tribal time! Moral vs. strategy? Tis the dilemma between keeping challenge hound Carter and plague upon camp Abi. The alliance of four is quite open about their deal. Carter isn't surprise and just hopes they'll take someone who deserves it over someone they can beat. Abi tells Probst she found the fourth hidden immunity idol and no one really buys it. Everyone votes, no immunity idol is played, and Carter is eliminated because eventhough Abi sucks Carter is good at challenges.

December 2, 2012

Reality Rundown: Keep Your Sunny Side Up and Suck Eggs

The Amazing RaceSurvivor: Philippines

The Amazing Race - The teams are equalized when they're all sent to the Amsterdam using a flag as a clue (dumb Trey/Lexi thought it was France).  The twinnies take a risk by taking a flight with a one hour layover, while Chippendales opt for a direct flight for safety.  Trey/Lexi take a normal old flight because who cares.  These three also make a pact to use a potential U-Turn on Abbie and Ryan, and then use the second U-Turn on a team ahead of them, using up the remaining U-Turn.  Already hours behind the other teams, Abbie/Ryan end up in a deja vu situation of terrible flying.  Abbie/Ryan are denied entry to their flight because they didn't check in (because they were in the air- duh), and then their new flight is delayed.   Josh/Brent's flight was much later, so they even out with Abbie/Ryan.  They meet up in the airport and agree for another leg run together, may the best team win.

Natalie and Nadiya take a bus to their Fast Forward and the bus drives right into the water. Yup, it's the Floating Dutchman and they have seven minutes to eat five herrings before the bus returns to shore and waits 10 minutes to go again. The herrings are large and covered in raw onion. Bleckh! The twinnies complete the Fast Forward first, which throws off Jaymes/James who waste time getting there. The good news is we hardly have to deal with the twins this leg.

The leg continues with a Detour to re-enact a Rembrandt painting with a bunch of actors and props or grind an organ and collect tips. Chippendales and Trey/Lexi opt to beg for tips which isn't as easy as it has been in other countries. The money isn't flowing so Jaymes goes for it, Chippendales style. Shirt off, Chippendalles collar- make it rain, Amsterdam!! Because Chippendales are ahead they have the tough decision of whether to U-Turn a team or not (it's a Double U-Turn). While it was agreed before for them to U-Turn Ryan and Abbie, they don't want to play dirty but a race is a race and they do the deed. After the U-Turn there's a Roadblock repeat from a past season: ditch vaulting. In the prior seasons, it was a make or break challenge that demolished teams. James takes it down in one try and they take off for the Pit Stop.

The twinnies check in as #1 (duh) and win $5,000 each. Jaymes/James are second and coming to terms with the U-Turn, but they point out that Abbie/Ryan would be a top team to beat them in the finale. And since we have two teams that are travel failures, the episode is like a split again, watching the bottom teams compete while others are sitting pretty at the Pit Stop. The bottom group together re-enacts Rembrandt, with Abbie/Ryan slightly beating the Beekman Boys which is good for them to U-Turn them. Except Trey/Lexie used the U-Turn on Jaymes/James just to fill the spot, so Abbie/Ryan are screwed. Abbie/Ryan aren't as pissed about being U-Turned but being betrayed by friends in the race. The Beekmans ponder helping Abbie/Ryan, but when it comes down to it Abbie/Ryan aren't just going to let the Beekmans get on the mat before them. The Beekmans come in as team #4 and Abbie/Ryan are last and eliminated. Looks like this show saved themselves that bonus million bucks!

Survivor: Philippines - Abi mopes around camp, which makes her the obvious target for the week unless she wins immunity. With Denise, Malcolm, Lisa and Skupin a solid four, should Abi win safety, they think it could maybe be a good time to take out Penner.

Tree mail arrives with the best news ever: AUCTION!! I have been begging for the return of the auction so I almost peed my pants. The rules: $500 to spend, can't share or money, auction will randomly end. Denise spends all her money to win pancakes, bacon, and orange juice for a balance meal. Probst barely lifts the lid when Skupin bids his full $500 for cheese, crackers, and wine. Malcolm wins iced coffee and donuts for $200, proving again we're soulmates. Penner bids $100 for a mystery item, which is fried chicken and french fries. Abi continues her pity party saying she's not bidding on food since she'll get to eat soon when she's voted off. That is until Probst pulls out "an advantage in this game" and she bids her full $500. Ugh, go away. Lisa waits a while to bid and wins a big ol' submarine sandwich. Carter's $200 mystery item is a baked potato or the option to get rice and beans for the tribe (nice guy takes one for the team). He later buys himself veal shanks, which ends up being for the whole tribe, no silverware, 60 seconds to eat like savages. Poor fool got nothing to himself and the auction ends.

The tribe rejoices in their food high, hugging and smiling... except the dark cloud of Abi is still around. Penner and Abi get into it, so he tells it like it is: she's offputting. Abi whines more. Lather, rinse, repeat, go away you annoying girl. After her annoying bickerfest, Abi heads to a lonely side of the beach to read the prize she won at the auction. Turns out Abi is automatically in the final round of the immunity challenge, giving her a 1 in 3 shot at immunity for the week. To keep up the mystery, she makes a fake immunity idol though it seems the six agree not to buy any crap she's selling. Abi's poor acting it to tell Malcolm she has a fourth idol, but I doubt he cares or believes it.

For the immunity challenge this week, the players are attached through a rope to make their way through a beam, bamboo poles, and obstacle course. Additional weight to carry will be added to a player if they answer a question wrong before the round starts. It's a tiered elimination challenge so Abi, the perennial challenge loser, gets to automatically make it to the finals. Abi's fake immunity idol plan doesn't work out so great, since Probst explains Abi's auction prize was advancing in the challenge. She claims there are two messages in the note, one is secret and the other is the advance in the challenge. She tears the note up so no one can figure out how terrible her lying skills are. I'll give her props for trying but she's still a jerk. Abi, Carter and Penner compete in the final round and Abi's not as awful as she normally is at challenges (though maybe the other two were worn out from the prior two rounds). Horrible Abi wins immunity and now the six not miserable people have to vote off someone likable.

The united six must now pick off one of their own since the evil succubus won immunity. Malcolm and his crew know this evening is the ideal time to vote off Penner, though Lisa mopes about not being cut out for eliminating her friends. Because Lisa is an idiot, she goes to Penner and pours her soul to him including making a final four alliance with others. Lisa pretty much tells Penner that he's going home tonight and he's livid. Lisa encourages Penner to work his magic, so he tells Carter and Abi that he's voting for Denise (since Malcolm could play the idol). Penner makes a plea to Skupin to be a swing vote, since Lisa is keeping her word to the alliance. Skupin's gotta make a choice about who is the side he could beat in the end, and he thinks he could beat Penner (LOLOLOLOL).

Tribal time! They reiterate Abi spent her $500 the best way ever (we get it). Penner talks about the post-immunity scramble and outs the alliance of Denise/Malcolm/Skupin/Lisa. Penner makes his argument/plea, Malcolm does too. Lisa talks about hurting people she cares about (again). Penner is very insistent that Malcolm and Denise would definitely win at the end, but let's add that Penner is pretty unbeatable too. He just isn't saying that aloud. Everyone heads to vote and Abi is a bitch, Penner yells "DENISE!" for all to hear, and Skupin twiddles the pen. Penner is voted out 4-3, giving his pal Carter a hug (and denying Abi one, which is great).