Survivor Philippines Knows Crazy Tribal Councils

Because episode 8 just trotted out one wild tribal council.  This may have been the first time when I didn't even have a clue of who would be sent packing in the end.  This was one of the most chaotic and delightful councils I've ever seen.  I hope the end result leads to more strategizing and big moves.

This season has been awesome.  There are so many castaways that actually want to win and are willing to make the moves to get ahead.  The past few seasons had a bunch of players that just stuck to one leader and hoped it would be enough to get them to the final three.  Half the time it didn't even appear like they cared if they won.  It is great to see players flip flopping and trying to come up with a strategy to get in charge of the game.

Anyway, I never could have predicted a tribal council like this one.  Malcolm essentially outs himself and his idol right away.  I assume he feels he has to do, because he senses the major alliance is planning to blindside him.  From the edits we see, it appears Pete still trusts Malcolm, but then again, Malcolm doesn't have the benefit of being able to watch everyone's confessionals before a tribal.  I'm guessing, Malcolm effectively bumps himself out of Pete's clique now that it is uncovered that Malcolm has been hiding things.

Lisa is suddenly a ring leader and a master Survivor player. I really didn't think she had it in her, and I'm now a fan.  Her best move was to blindside Malcolm, and then try to drag a member of the terrible threesome to the finals with her.  After tribal, it looks like she'll need to make some alterations to that plan.  I'm thinking she also plans to hold Skupin's hand the whole way and make him her pawn for the finals.

Abi is crazy.  I knew that from weeks ago.  Somehow she confuses tribal council with "show and tell."  Why does she ever think there is a need to reveal her idol?  Her strategy seems to be batshit insane, which is great to get into the finals but no crazy has won the million.  I also have a feeling that Pete is going to get tired of her pretty quickly, even if she is his best chance at winning.

The forming of two alliances and essentially switching their votes out in the open is surreal.  The even crazier thing is that what could have been the clear majority alliance of six doesn't even stick together for the vote.

I understand why Skupin flops back to his original tribe.  Lisa is his strongest alliance, and at this point he likely needs her to stick around.  Plus it makes sense to be the bottom five rather than the bottom six.  At this point, Lisa is a stronger ally than Penner, who is still the most targeted player in this game.

As for Penner, I don't quite understand the logic of forming an alliance in front of everyone, but then he votes for someone totally different than the rest of his group.  Is he knowingly eliminating Jeff, but doing it in a way where he can claim he didn't vote for him when it comes to the final tribal council?  Jeff is obsessed with eliminating returning players, and he has already tried to blindside Penner in the past.  But Penner also has the chance for the first time ever to be in a majority alliance and ruins that by betraying Jeff.

I'm sad to see Jeff go, because he was one of the really hardcore players.  But it is also at a point in the game where it makes more sense to knock out the strategic threats rather than the deadwood like Carter and Artis.

Now, I just hope it isn't a majority alliance picking off the remaining four.  There is a good chance for more unpredictability, because three of the four minority alliance members are incredibly smart and strategic players.  The majority alliance not only has flip floppers, but some paranoid nutbars that are likely to have a meltdown before the game is done.  Plus I get the feeling a good portion of the majority alliance hates each other. 

It is now down to the final nine.  Here is my quick analysis of remaining players.

Lisa:   Definitely emerges as the puppet master this episode, and she is by far the strongest player at this point.  Even though she is so vocal and public in the string pulling, I don't think she creates any kid of target on her back.  Pete's alliance realizes they're now reliant on her sticking with them, and the Penner alliance (if it even exists) knows she, along with Skupin, are their best chance at taking control of this game.  Plus she is super likable and is a student of the game, and is more than willing to do a blindside if it will get her to the end.  She has to be the favourite at this point.

Skupin:  There is an invisible leash on him, where he'll follow Lisa wherever she goes.  She intends to take him to the finale with her.  He could be final three, but I don't like his chances of actually winning.  This cast seems very bitter towards returning players, which will harm his chance.  More importantly, there is the fact he has done absolutely nothing so far.

Denise:  She is another really strong player, and has a solid alliance with Malcolm.  At this point, she needs to expose the cracks in the Pete alliance in order to stick in there, since she is in the minority group at the moment.  This season keeps on shifting in power, and I think, that will continue.  She also has the benefit of being a little quieter and not getting on people's nerves, but she is also a smart player who makes moves.  I can see her making quiet alliances and doing some background string pulling, and then sneaking into the final three.

Malcolm:  I love this guy, and I want him to squeeze into the final three.  The tribal council didn't go well for him, and he is likely on the outs with the majority alliance.  He is likable and a smooth talker, and along with Denise, I think he can still form his own powerful alliance.  I also don't think Pete's alliance is gunning for him next, but Pete probably isn't in love with the fact he was lied to either.  By the next episode, we'll have a good idea of his fate.

Penner:  I love Penner, and I'm begging for him to mastermind one blindside this season.  I don't see him going to the final three unless something drastic happens.  He is being targeted by every side, and I'm not sure if anyone actually wants him in this game still.  Even if he can form the next majority alliance and get people like Lisa and Skupin to switch, I don't see his own alliance keeping him around to the end.  But he also has a reputation of being a strong player for a reason.

Pete:  He is in the majority alliance, and he believes he is the ringleader.  He is also paranoid, and he seems obsessed with turning into the next "mastermind" of Survivor.  Plus his strongest alliance is with a nutcase, and I am pretty sure he despises her.  I see him getting blindsided at some point or just having a major meltdown.

Abi:  She is this year's Phillip or Brandon.  There are several players that want to take her to the final three, because she has no chance of winning.  She also may be one of the most annoying players ever, so there is a chance people can't put up with her that long.  She is a wild card, and will flip flop at a moment's notice, which also makes her dangerous.  I see her sticking around for a bit, and possibly backdooring to the final three.

Artis:  The crab has a stronger game than Artis.  He is in the majority alliance, but I've already predicted that group to implode.  When it does, he'll likely be one of the first victims.

Carter:  He may only be vaguely aware he is on a game called Survivor.  His main man went home this week, which means he is toast.  Penner and crew need him to take the majority, but I don't see him getting past final five.

The preview promises a shake-up next week.  Of course, that doesn't actually mean it will happen, since the preview is always deceiving.  If it is anything like this week, it should be a doozy of an episode.