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Survivor recap: The Facts of Strife

One mad scramble follows another, as Lisa proves she is a gamer to be reckoned with

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Survivor Ep7 Lisa Whelchel
Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS


TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Jeff Probst
Current Status:
In Season

Lord, I am smitten. For those of you who were subjected to my embarrassingly lovey dovey pre-game interview with Lisa Whelchel, just be thankful that you were not present with me as I watched the latest episode of Survivor: Philippines. It may have just been the most disgusting display of enamored affection ever. Look, I — like every other boy in the 1980s — had a massive crush on Blair Warner. After all, she had blonde flowing locks straight out of a shampoo ad, looked incredible in a uniform, and showed her sweet and sensitive side while supporting aspiring stand-up comedienne Cousin Geri.

But that was the crush of a mere boy. I hadn’t even hit puberty yet, so what the hell did I know? But what I have now is not the crush of a boy. It is a man crush. Hold on…that didn’t come out right. That makes it sound like I get all tingly in my dingly whenever I see Jonathan Penner in his goofy little hat. What I mean to say…wait, what the hell do I mean to say? (Sorry, I got distracted by the fact that I actually just wrote the phrase “tingly in my dingly” on EW.com. Can I get fired for that?) But back to Lisa. I was psyched to see my childhood TV sweetheart now on my favorite show. But I wondered if the super Christian older (in terms of Survivor years) mom would be willing to get her hands dirty and make a bold move.

Bold move made. Not only did Lisa betray Malcolm by telling Skupin and Pete about him having a hidden immunity idol while making a push to oust the former Matsing member, but she then made a public Plan B plea at Tribal Council to oust Jeff Kent…and it worked! Lisa isn’t just laying low and trying to make it as far as she can. She’s playing the game and playing it hard. And I love it. And I love her. (Whoops! Didn’t mean to type that out loud. Now the real love of my life is going to be mad at me. And by “real love of my life” I am referring, of course, to Survivor Sally. KNEE SOCKS!)

But Lisa’s aggressive gameplay was just one of the reasons to be excited about this latest Survivor episode. It was an episode with more panic, madness, and chaos right before and during a Tribal Council than I can remember in a long, long time. And it ended with a very curious vote from Jonathan Penner that Probst said “may go down as one of the biggest blown opportunities in the history of this game.” But before we get to that, let’s take it from the top of the episode.

Upon their return from Tribal Council, Penner is upset about the rest of Tandang turning against him, explaining to Jeff Kent that they would have had the numbers if they had just held strong. “I gave up a lot of power and authority when I voted with Tandang tonight,” Jeff tells us. “That’s how I’m going to work myself to the top.” My memory must be a little hazy because I could have sworn Jeff Kent was a professional baseball player, but from this comment it is clear he was rather a former football player and must have suffered some sort of brain damage from repeated blows to the head. I mean, that is the worst logic I ever heard. He had a chance to change the balance of power from Tandang to Kalabaw, but was so blinded by his fear of returning player Penner making it farther than him that he made a foolish game move just to get him out. (And how did that turn out, Mr. Kent?)

NEXT: A reward challenge in which nobody wants to hold the lead