This weeks’ episode, Lisa mentioned the word galvanize. To be honest, I heard the word before but never knew its definition until I googled it. Unlike last weeks’ unsuccessful search for Dangrayne, I got several answers. But none of those definitions could prepare me from what I was about to see. Drama, betrayal, an underdog victory to say the least, all of the elements produced by…the contestants! When the contestants take a proactive step in engineering their own moves in the game, it means casting got it right and the fireworks aren’t far behind.



            Penner accomplished damage with his damage control coming back from TC, and Denise got the brunt of it. After playing this game for so many days, Penner still hasn’t learned to let things roll of his back and go with the flow, a trait that’s not going to help him get to the end. It’s hard enough being a returning player, but being a returning player with a chip on his shoulder is only going to make things worse.   

            After a delicious reward, Lisa’s wheels began turning, and she made her proposed pitch to blindside Malcolm. What? The sweet Southern mom wants to blindside her new partner in crime? BRILLIANT! Someone hasn’t forgotten how strong and smart Malcolm was to make his way from nearly extinct tribe member to star quarterback in Tandang. On that note, they shouldn’t forget about Denise either, especially after winning her first immunity last week.  



                How was Penner’s victory a joke? He outwitted and outplayed Jeff in the challenge, and that‘s all there is to it! Jeff’s master plan got put on the backburner, and he was hoping to break off from his “frenemy” he’s reluctantly made a bond with. Ironically enough, Jeff and Penner share the same trait, and it’s about fairness in the game. Both guys want it so badly in the game, but when things don’t go their way, they can’t help but show their disappointment. I can see Jeff’s reason for fairness being a big part of his game, having been a former Baseball MVP, but finding fairness in the game is like looking for a needle in a haystack, and neither guy can count on it (especially Penner, who’s been betrayed his share in seasons’ past).    

                Penner’s win should have been common sense for the other players’ to follow the cue and vote out Skupin, the other former player. That would have worked pre merge, but now that it’s 1 tribe, common sense takes a back seat and the players’ urges to one up each other come into play.

                A lot of fans have been debating Pete’s strategy this week, and I think his move to protect Malcolm was a good one. Pete needs to gain the support of his young peers around him in the game, and getting rid of Jeff was good in order to keep the former Tandang strong. Not to mention another strong physical ally that (for now) won’t turn on him. Not a bad backup plan since he thought the Matsing idol was gone.



2 idols revealed is one of those moments a reality TV host can hope for.  When Probst got 1 revelation he didn’t expect another to follow right afterwards (Na’Onka/Purple Kelly quits on Nicaragua comes to mind). Abi-Maria thinks she’s making herself more reputable in the game by showing her idol, trying to gain favor and a better alliance along the way. Maybe she feels her odds of winning aren’t there for her since RC is gone and has given up hope for a win. Regardless, she’ll find herself as a goat for the finals and be a part of the zero votes club.

Why did Penner become the lone wolf this week voting for Abi-Maria? He could have been another nail in Jeff’s coffin, but now his vote is up for grabs.  He turned down 2 opportunities by throwing his vote this week, one to join a 6 person voting bloc, the other a 5-5 tie, but then again, that could have potentially resulted in a purple rock scenario, an outcome no player wants to dictate their game.

 While being the second member of the jury isn’t a player’s dream, at least Jeff went out playing without his past playing against him, something he feared from the get go, along with an injured knee to boot.  Good to see he was there to play the game and really wanted the title. I wonder how much money (before taxes) Jeff would have given up just to play the game.  

Lisa’s now in the power seat calling the shots, or at least sticking her neck out to make bold decisions. If there was ever a missed opportunity this week, it was getting rid of the sweet Southern lady, who this week tricked a Southern gentleman into trusting her, only to get burned.


Will Abi-Maria or Malcolm play their idols?

Can Penner keep his immunity streak going?

Is Lisa going to betray again?


Tune in this Wednesday for the next episode (and probably blindside) on CBS!


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