Survivor Insights 135: Philippines – Best Merge of All Time (Episode 7)

5 REASONS WHY this is the best merge of all time (in no particular order)

Reason #1: Lisa found Malcolm’s hidden idol. It’s totally an accident and she was so sorry for it.

In my mind while watching the scene, Lisa must not be sorry. It’s totally unnecessary, it’s all a game. I blame Malcolm for what happened. He should have been more cautious with the idol or have buried it the moment they arrived at their new home. Strategy-wise, this move made by Lisa was purely accident but it was her biggest moment since the first day.

However, things were not in Malcolm’s control all the time. Unexpected things happen and his act of inviting Lisa for an involuntary alliance was the safest way of cleaning the mess. Involuntary alliances don’t occur all the time but by the way the edit went, it’s one of the smartest move I’ve seen in 25 seasons. The negotiation was thoroughly planned, I assumed, and it’s nice to hear Malcolm understood that his end game was at risk.

Is there a way to let go of Lisa? I don’t know. Let’s see and wait.

Reason #2: Denise finally won something!

She won the very First Individual Immunity Challenge of the season. I can firmly say that her win was her way of showing others that her losses in the past episodes proved nothing. Those losses were already a memory. It’s only a part of her history.

What matters most was Denise chose to dig-in and dig-deep, and won the challenge in her terms. Congratulations Denise!

Carter won an immunity for men. His win was 60% unexpected for having no enough food and water. In the past six episodes, Carter only flew under the radar. He’s getting weak in camp and in group challenges. He couldn’t even outmuscle Malcolm in last week’s Immunity Challenge. That’s why; it’s fair to say this win was arguably his best moment yet considering that he’s up against Jeff Kent, Artis, Malcolm and Pete who all looked fitter than him.

Reason #3: If I’ll rank the remaining castaways based on strategy, Jeff Kent tops my list this week. I like the idea that he took calculated risks and chose to be with Pete + Abi + Artis to drop one of their own. Jeff’s target since Day 1 was Jonathan Penner and to make it happen, RC was a sacrifice. It wasn’t that Jeff hated her. RC’s exit was only a nice prelude to Penner’s exit.

Of course, Jeff was well-aware of the risks. He knew Pete couldn’t be trusted completely. Worst things that may happen is, Pete won’t vote Penner out next week. Or, Penner will explore other opportunities. Underdogs in the past seasons (Shii Ann in All-Stars, Brett in Survivor Samoa, Troyzan in Survivor One World) won immunity the next episode.

Reason #4: Pete felt scared for the first time. In the past episodes, Pete was running the camp. He’s the puppet master and he perceived himself as the boss. Pete could surely cut Michael or RC should Tandang lost before the merge.

Yet, his bossy days might come to an end now that the rest of Dangrayne knew Abi got the hidden idol. Anyone could have the power to control the pair. I just don’t know who. Maybe Jeff Kent? Malcolm? Lisa?

Reason #5: Sorry for the term but RC’s kissing-ass gameplay didn’t work. It’s completely unnecessary to say “We’re still a family” when the reality was, Tandang was a tribe divided from the beginning.

There are various photos in CBS that are not shown in TV. Therefore, I got this idea in mind that RC tried her best to find the right people on her side. I’m not sure what happened but it seems things were not working. At Tribal Council, RC knew she was completely done the moment Penner played his idol. What’s left of her was her class.

All smiles, RC exited the game with class, no resentment at all.

Episode Rating: 10 of 10 stars! This is arguably the best merge of all time. The eleven castaways got a fair amount of airtime and no one is 100% safe.

7 thoughts on “Survivor Insights 135: Philippines – Best Merge of All Time (Episode 7)

  1. This is a great merge. Best ever? I’m not sure about that. Best in recent memory? Yes. There is so much going on.

    Malcolm has a little problem with Lisa and the only way he can vote her out is if she is blindsided. Unless he gets far enough where people knowing he has the idol isn’t a big deal. However, I don’t see why Malcolm can’t work with her. She isn’t much of threat.

    Jeff Kent is a great player. Yes, great. However, I think he messed up here. I like the boldness to try and take out Penner, but I think it would have been better to keep Penner around. It’s going to be a tough job for Jeff to keep himself afloat. He’s to concerned about getting rid of returning players when he himself seems to be just as good of a player.

    Sucks to see RC go. For one I can’t really stand Abi. And two she was a pretty good player who had good soundbites.

    Next week is going to be interesting to see where the lines are drawn.


    • @MikeCif This is my best merge ever. All castaways have strong personalities and each has a strategy of their own. I mean, no one is flying under the radar only to be safe. If Jeff Kent created a mess in this episode, it’s a good mess. It’s a risk to vote off RC though I’m sure he has something in mind to fix the situation. Strategic-wise, it’s fair to say he’s intelligent for a first-timer even without a protection. He really used his professional experience to good use. Come to think about it – for three consecutive Tribal Council in a row, Kent was responsible of their elimination. Dawson was voted out because Jeff felt she was a threat in his game. Jeff voted Katie because he seem to overanalyze the situation and became hesitant in blindsiding Penner. Now, he eliminated RC which is really a nice prelude in Penner’s exit.


  2. I agree with Mike that this is the best merge epi in recent times. I think we owe that to the fact that there are lots of great personalities left and that always makes for an interesting watch. But aside from entertainment, there are a lot of strategizing going on here. I love the fact that it seems as though the newbies are playing a more aggressive play than the returnees (meaning, Skupin). The preview for next week seems to suggest that Penner has to win an immunity challenge or he’s going home… unless he can pull off more tricks. But we’ll see 🙂


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