'Survivor: Philippines' Recap: A Deal With the Devil To End a Challenge
'Survivor: Philippines' Recap: A Deal With the Devil To End a Challenge
Gina Pusateri
Gina Pusateri
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Almost immediately upon returning to camp after tribal council, Katie realizes that she is on the bottom of the totem pole at Kalabaw. What she fails to realize is that she's spouting quotes from the book of "Reality TV Show Cliches 101." She'll be talking about being "thrown under the bus" in no time.

It's day 14 and Katie and Denise conspire and come to the conclusion that Jonathan has an idol and they want to either flush it out of blindside him.

At Tandang tensions are high because rice is running low. Pete and Artis seem convinced that Michael is to blame for their shortage, who is not only eating more rice than the rest of them but he is eating it raw. Umm... yuck.

Reward Challenge

Let's all take a moment to appreciate reward challenges again. Between the previous seasons of Redemption Island and this season of three tribes, we haven't had the pleasure of seeing Jeff Probst for a little extra time each episode. Also any kind of challenge is a welcome break in the social drama for a little bit of action.

The challenge is for three members of each tribe to try and push a giant ball through their own goal on a muddy field. The three from each will oppose each other, pushing the ball in their own direction while simultaneously trying to stop the other tribe from scoring.

Things take no time at to start getting weird. It's Jonathan, Carter and Denise for Kalabaw against Michael, Pete and Lisa for Tandang. Jonathan places himself in an extremely awkward position between Michael's legs. Denise and Lisa entwine themselves on the bottom of the ball in the mud. And Pete traps Carter against the ball.

After trapping themselves at a stand still and staying in the same positions for an hour (and yes, Michael has been sitting on Jonathan's head for the whole hour) Jonathan starts to negotiate with Michael. He suggests that if Tandang surrenders the challenge, Kalabaw will give them their remaining rice.

Jeff Probst agrees to let this happen if everyone from each tribe agrees to the deal. Artis is the only one who expresses any kind of opposition from Tandang, but doesn't vocalize his displeasure enough to stop the deal from happening. Kalabaw basically just agrees to let Jonathan make the decisions for them. Jonathan and Michael shake on it and Kalabaw goes on the reward and Tandang goes back to their camp to wait for some more rice. And Abi escapes participation in yet another challenge.

At the reward, Kalabaw goes to a dry location where they chow on deli sandwiches, soup and brownies. Jeff is the only one who seems worried about the fact that they don't have any food for the foreseeable future. The contestants also get letters from home which we are spared the awkwardness of having to witness them sobbing uncontrollably at video messages. Though I'm sure that will come later in the season.

After their delicious treat, Jonathan struggles to catch the fish that he promised the tribe in absence of the rice. He manages to snag only two little fishies that the tribe has to share among the five of them and eat it raw. It's not as cool as Survivors eating bugs, but let's be honest, half the reason we all tune in each week is to see them eat gross things. Especially those Fear Factor challenges where they have to drink pig's blood and stuff. We can only hope for more of those in our future.

Back at Tandang, Artis has his panties in a bunch about not going on the reward and he is buggin' that Michael's making decisions for the tribe. And it's no surprise that Pete and Abi adopt his negative attitude. They all feel lousy because they feel like they forfeited a win and in Abi's own words, "Kalabaw used psychology. And it worked." Wise words, Abi. Beware the foe that uses psychology.

Immunity Challenge

The challenge is for one tribe member from each tribe to launch a ball into the field while the other tribe members try to catch the balls with a netted scoopers. Each caught ball scores a point for the corresponding tribe, regardless of the color of the ball. Abi sits out AGAIN for Tandang. Not only has Abi only competed in only two of the eight challenges at this point, but she has never even been to Tribal Council. Ugh, how unjust is Survivor sometimes?

Lisa and Denise are launching for Tandang and Kalabaw respectively. Katie can't connect on anything and Jeff calls Katie out for being bad at this challenge and at life. Tandang comes back from two down once they figure out that they just need to keep aiming balls at Malcolm, who is hardcore out-hustling Carter. For immunity, Lisa connects with Malcolm for a third time in a row and wins immunity for Tandang.

Loser Camp

Loser Camp has been so repetitive this season. Is it so much to ask that we get a Tandang scrambling session before the merge?

Carter was pretty weak at the challenge but neither Jeff nor Jonathan even discuss getting rid of them because of their Man Pact. Instead the three of them agree that Katie is the weakest of the tribe and has to go.

But whoa there, not so fast! Katie tries to convince Jeff and Carter that she is way more loyal and a better person to have around than Jonathan, who is a wild card and not to be trusted after the merge. No one seems to consider though that without Jonathan they would literally have no food. Even if John is only catching little fish, it's still better than starving.

Tribal Council

Jeff Probst asks right away who feels like they're in trouble. Denise still feels like it might be her because she is still the new girl in camp. Katie is also feeling threatened because of "not being awesome" at challenges. But Jonathan is completely confident in his position in the tribe and seems to have no awareness that his name has even come up as a possibility for the night's vote.

Jonathan starts running his mouth (so what else is new?) about blindsides making everyone feel uncomfortable. He says that a blindside is complicated because nobody wants to betray anybody else and no one wants to be betrayed. It seems for a while that he might be digging his own grave by making it enticing for his other tribe mates to, you know, betray him.

In a moment of tension before Jeff reads the votes, Jonathan decides not to play the hidden immunity idol, though it seems that both Jeff Kent and Carter were expecting him to. It turned out to be a good decision because the rest of his tribe agreed that Katie was the one going home. Although Jonathan may have made a fool of himself and maybe an even bigger target going forward, as of now, the Man Pact is still intact.

(Image courtesy of CBS)

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