Blair, the incorrigible heroine of this season of Survivor, keeps saying that she is really bad at playing this game. This is both true and false. The way we see it, she's kind of like Mommie Dearest — she is so bad at playing that she is amazing. She can't be just plain awful at it, because she's still in the game... unlike three-time veteran Jonathan Penner, whose ousting she could have prevented last night but did not. She brought all the crazy this episode because, as Penner said before he whistled on the win all the way to obscurity, "Blair once again lost her mind."
Here's the thing about Blair, she's the kind of girl who goes out with every guy who asks her because she wants to make everyone happy. But then when she hates the guy she's dating she finds a new guy and says, "I can't dump my boyfriend, you have to make my boyfriend hate me so that he'll dump me and then I can go out with you." Yes, this is how she swaps alliances, which she has done twice. She gave her word to Pete, Abi, Artis, and all those jerks and then when she didn't like them, she still voted with them while Malcolm, Denise, and Skupin begged for her to be with them. When she finally switched, she decided that she didn't trust Malcolm and Denise anymore, that she trusted Penner, but that she wouldn't keep him in the game, because she gave her word. Blair, it's your alliance. If you don't like it, then get the hell out of it. But she goes on building a new alliance week to week, somehow making sure that she's the one causing the drama even if she's not the target of it. It's a brilliant strategy, even though I don't think it's really a strategy, unless her whole "this game is bigger than me" shtick is just a line of crap and not how she truly feels.
Anyway, we're getting ahead of ourselves. This episode was really supposed to be about Abi, a case of whooping cough that just won't go away. Everyone was so mean to her at the last tribal council and she was so bent out of shape. Whaaa-whaaa whoop whoop whaa. God, I hate Abi. Anyway, after she wipes the boogers from her nose, everyone goes to this week's reward challenge, the Survivor Auction. I hate the Survivor Auction. It is my least favorite of all the annual challenges because it is always the same, it's not that dramatic, and, well, I find it to be boring and stupid. Here I am whining about it. I'm as bad as Abi. If only my stomach were as flat.
Abi is sitting there, not bidding, while Denise spends all her money on a pancake breakfast and Skupin cashes out on a wine and cheese plate even though he doesn't drink wine (I think all his injuries have damaged his brain). Probst, always leading the witness, asks Abi why she's not bidding. "I'm going home soon, so I know I'll eat then," she says. Please. We all know what she is doing. There is going to be an advantage in the immunity challenge for sale, and she is going to buy it. It comes up and she does. The auction ends with Carter buying some veal shanks that the whole tribe gets to eat for 60 seconds and it ends with these reality hyenas ripping meat off the bone like a pack of animals and it makes me want to become a vegetarian. Sorry, Morrissey, "Meat is Murder" failed, but Survivor was triumphant.
So, Abi goes back to camp and fights with Penner (it was boring) and then slinks off to read her advantage and finds out she gets to skip right to the final round of the immunity challenge, which is what the advantage has been for the past several years. She decides she is going to use the oldest trick in the book and make a fake immunity idol. Oh please. That is going to work as well as Abi around camp all season, which is to say it's not going to work at all. I mean, this trick never works. Not even when Eliza played a stick with a face on it at tribal council and Probst threw it in the fire. They keep talking and talking and talking about how Abi has an advantage and that means she is surely going to win immunity.
We go to the challenge and Abi makes a big stink about there being two parts to her advantage, but she only has to read one part and then she rips the paper up into tiny little pieces and scatters them to the wind. Girl, you are overselling your ruse here. You need to keep it on the sly if you want anyone to believe it. Also, no one is going to believe this. It's the "you're attached to a rope and have to go through obstacles" challenge. There are three phases and at each stage the contestants have to answer a question and if they get it wrong they have to carry more weight through the course. Carter, who has been pronounced legally mute and brain dead, does not get one question right. And it doesn't matter because Abi wins anyway in a move that seems to be predestined.
Back at camp is when Blair totally loses her mind. The short of it is Blair's alliance told her to vote for Penner, but she likes him so she tells Penner that everyone is going to vote for him and she wants him to stay but she won't change her vote so he has to find some other people to change their votes. Does she realize how insane this sounds? Since Malcolm my lover, Denise, and Blair are voting for Penner and Penner, Carter, and Abi are voting for Denise, then Penner only has one hope: Skupin. He has to convince Skupin to switch sides. This is the second time Blair has done this to Skupin, her closest ally in the game. "I can't get my hands bloody by going against my word, but Mike will and will make everyone hate him, so go talk to him and if you can convince him, then I can get my way, I can seem loyal, and I get everything I wanted without doing anything." Like I said above, it's either incredibly stupid or stupid like a fox.
They go to tribal council and Penner makes a persuasive argument for Blair and Skupin to vote for Denise, because she and Malcolm will totally beat them in the final. I believe that he is right. But it doesn't work, and Probst's butt buddy Jonathan Penner, who has been allowed to play the game three times is finally voted out. At least he did it by announcing he was voting for Denise from the voting station and whistling on his way out. At least there was that. At least he earned Probst's admiration and made a little bit of good TV. And now that he's gone, we can focus all our energy on getting rid of the infected hangnail that is Abi.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: CBS]
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