We use the term “HOT” to describe a very warm weather, a person who’s very talented and not to be forgotten, we say “HOT” each time we saw an “eye-candy” on streets or in TV.
Survivor is a reality competition show that started in 2000. More than twelve years passed and I couldn’t remember a season that the show recruited or accepted someone who isn’t HOT. These people are hot in different ways and they make the show three-times interesting. They are “ratings,” they inspire us to get in shape and admit it, you fantasize about them too (whether they’re in their twenty’s, thirty’s or even twice older than your age).
As of the moment, Survivor already had twenty-four winners. Twenty-four people who outwitted, outplayed and outlasted other HOT castaways and win million dollars. The question now is: who’s the hottest of them all?
The Tribe Has Spoken!
As of January 6, 2013 (5:31 PM), the hottest sole survivor (of all and in women) is Parvati Shallow who receives 25.97% of votes. Aras Baskauskas came second but #1 in men, receiving 11.69% of votes.
NOTE: The above poll won’t be closed so just keep voting. Anything can still happen after a year or so.
I got huge respect for doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists. To be any of the four is an accomplishment of a lifetime and especially when you’re Denise Stapley. Denise is a forty-one-year-old sex therapist from Iowa who joined SURVIVOR with a motto in mind “Keep it simple, keep it smart.” Believe it or not, I’m totally surprised this motto is just enough for her to outwit, outplay and outlast seventeen other people.
THE STAND-OUT: Clearly, Denise was a memorable sole survivor. She made HISTORY! She’s the first sex therapist to play the game. She’s a member of a tribe in losing-streak (Matsing). She’s been to three tribes in 39 days (Matsing, Kalabaw, DangRayne). She won the ever-first Immunity Challenge (along with Carter) and to top all of that, she survived every Tribal Council since the pilot.
By analyzing her game, I firmly say Denise went beyond the social, strategic and physical aspects of the game. Unlike Parvati who dominated the challenges in Heroes vs. Villains and unlike Sandra who won the title twice, Denise played differently. She was in the middle. Considering all these paranoia she went through in every Tribal Council + the extreme physical discomfort around the camp, Denise didn’t allow these things to overpower her.
Denise digs in. Denise digs deep – remained collected, confident and cool until she made it happen and completed the 39-day requirement – with 6 of 8 jury members voted for her (Penner, Jeff, Artis, Pete, Malcolm and Abi-Maria).
THE UNLUCKIEST: The finale episode started slow and kinda predictable. Big portion of the airtime were given to Malcolm, who won an advantage clue for the final challenge then ka-boom! The game exploded in unpredictability – Malcolm lost the final immunity challenge. Even with a reset advantage, it’s clear the challenge (which was a repeat in Micronesia, which Amanda won), wasn’t made for Malcolm. It’s also hard to point the exact reason why he was shaking so hard to hold up those segments using the two handles.
The lost wasn’t his huge lost though. His huge lost was that before-the-challenge moment when he couldn’t seal a commitment with Denise. Denise only wanted a 2-2 vote in Tribal Council instead of 1-3 against her. It’s hard to understand why Malcolm failed to give what she wants. It’s a simple and fair gameplay before a finals. Yet, doubts overpowered Malcolm. This moment revealed he extremely feared Denise. It seems he clearly knew that even he stayed loyal with Denise, he still couldn’t win.
THE GOOD: Backstabbing a threat is a common gameplay in the game and unfortunately for Denise, she’s left with no options but to separate herself with Malcolm. Denise was on a one woman show. Yes, she dug deep in convincing Michael and Lisa on why to eliminate Malcolm. Yes, it’s a great strategy. Yet, this social strategy alone didn’t work if not for luck. That moment when Michael and Lisa eliminate Malcolm, it’s enough to say every fiber of luck in the universe sided with Denise.
After the votes were revealed, one another good thing about this Final-3 finale was the fact that no one receives zero votes even with Denise’s cerebral right-in-your-face responses. Mike Skupin has one, thanks to Carter and RC surprisingly voted for Lisa.
EPISODE RATING: Overall, the season was beyond what I expected. It’s neither great nor fantastic. It’s extraordinary, 10 of 10 stars!
All types drama are here – Medevac returnees, a tribe in a losing streak, the obsession of getting rid with returnees, an unlikable Brazilian beauty who never shuts up but never gave up, predictable exits of Pete, Carter & Abi, unpredictable roller-coaster drama in Tribal Council, an alpha male who was expected to win it all but failed to win the one important necklace of his survival (similarly like Ozzy in South Pacific), a woman who regular thought the game is bigger than her, a nail-biting final challenge, a memorable live reunion show (thanks to Dawson!) lastly, the crowning of an extraordinary sole survivor.
There were no shocking moments for Episode 13. Things went as expected and as predicted, Abi-Maria became the seventh jury member. The finale episode is coming tomorrow and only one question is left unanswered. Who will win?
Is it Malcolm? He won his second straight immunity necklace coming from behind. He’s dead last in the puzzle but pushed himself beyond his limits, remained calm and win. Without a doubt, this was Malcolm’s most impressive moment of the episode and I’ll be extremely shock if he can’t win another necklace to guarantee a spot in the Final 3. Anything can happen, yes, but it seems Malcolm was unstoppable for two consecutive episodes. He really wanted to win and he expects himself to win.
Too much expectations can be dangerous. It’s unhealthy and I can’t wait to see how he’ll handle things. Winning Chances: 51-49
Is it Denise? Her health was put at risk this episode. An unknown creature bit her neck and she was crying in much pain. She was also close to being voted-out again. Thank God, Michael and Lisa kept her over Abi. Denise deserves to stay, that’s already given. Everybody knows it. Even I who’s having regrets for not picking her as one of my first-impression bets wanted her to win. I want her to win not mainly because she deserve it but more because she made history. Denise became the ever first survivor who went to every Tribal Council since Day 1. This isn’t simply a great achievement – it’s another extraordinary once-in-a-lifetime moment, isn’t it?
If she’ll not win, I’ll get upset and it will take days for me to get over with her lost. Whatever is the amount she’ll bring home minus taxes, it will surely be a big help for her private practice. Winning Chances: 51-49, I sense the other three would get rid of her should Malcolm win his third consecutive necklace.
Is it Lisa? She started this game so slow and I couldn’t give an exact word to describe her overall strategy. All her cut-throat plans went south yet she’s still standing tall and in a good shape for Final Three or Final Two. Correct me if I’m wrong but Lisa is arguably one of the luckiest players who stayed longer. Her story reminded me of Tina Wesson (Australian Outback). I’m not saying they are completely the same but I observed the two of them were with the strongest names in every episode – and that alone kept them safe. Winning Chances: 55-45
Is it Michael? He’s the only returnee I’m rooting for and it’s really great to see he made this far. If he’ll win, I have nothing against it. Like Denise, Mike also deserve it. He played this game differently from his previous season. I saw his competitive side. I saw how he craves for victory and most importantly, I saw how he created smooth-sailing relationships with strangers. No one hates Michael Skupin and if there is, let me know.
I felt very bad for him for being called “stupid” and “moron.” I couldn’t believe Abi disrespected his game that much. I mean, if Abi doesn’t mean it on a personal level, it’s still inappropriate. Winning Chances: 55-45
Episode Rating: 8 of 10! I’m very looking forward for the finale, the Final Tribal Council especially.
THE UNLUCKIEST: Just like last week, Carter came close in winning his third immunity yet, all his efforts were not enough to outplay a very driven Malcolm. It was a tight competition between the two. The camera made them the stars of the challenge and it seems Carter already had it on the bag the first time he attempted to hit the target.
Carter’s only biggest problem was he’s up against a man, who’s fit as he is. As I expected and predicted before the challenge even began, Malcolm could clearly outplay Carter and he won for taking his time in building the pole, for stretching as far as he could and for trying all possible angles to hit the target.
Malcolm didn’t win the challenge because of luck. He won it because he wanted it. It’s also the perfect timing. It’s the moment in which he felt he needed an extra protection to avoid the boot. As for Carter, it’s such a disappointment to see he wasn’t fighting to stay. Everyone heard his statement in Tribal Council – unfortunately, it really wasn’t enough. His statement was simple, not convincing and it’s the first I heard him talk in twelve Tribal Councils. Social-wise, Carter was the complete opposite of Jonathan Penner. He remained reserved ’till the end.
THE GOOD: First time immunity win, it’s the most important one. Can Malcolm win a streak? I don’t know. Yet, one thing is for sure – he’s only a step closer to Final 4. Also, of the six remaining, Malcolm played the best strategic game this episode. He correctly followed the voice within, which dictated him that something bad may happen should he would not give his all in challenges. Even if he couldn’t win the next challenge, his not-already-a-hidden-idol will make him stay.
Socially, Malcolm already accomplished what it’s needed and it seems he knew it wasn’t enough. He was well-aware if he remains confident, Lisa and Michael could take advantage of the situation. I wasn’t sure if he’s still covertly talking with Denise or the production team decided to cut these moments and give way to other much memorable scenes.
THE STAND-OUT: Malcolm was also the star of the reward challenge. He won and he strategically chose the brother and son of Lisa and Michael, respectively, to stay at the camp for the entire day. Was this a good strategy after an emotional “muddy” challenge? Absolutely yes. It was the right choice for Malcolm to not give in “for the moment.” Somehow, I was uncomfortable for not giving Denise a chance to be with her husband. Denise genuinely embraced and kissed Brad the moment his name was called. The connection between the two was beyond any romantic words I could think of.
After the challenge, things stayed as a game and Malcolm played it with his brain. For sure, Denise completely understood his decision. It’s nothing personal and there’s 50-50 chance that Denise would do the same should she won the challenge.
THE UNEXPECTED: It’s unbelievable everyone bought Abi-Maria’s lie. It wasn’t the strongest the sharpest lie ever told in the history and I was shocked the Alliance of 4 completely fell for it. They feared Abi-Maria for having a non-existent fourth hidden idol and that even Denise and Malcolm, who I expected were skilled at reading people, couldn’t tell if she was telling a lie.
She came flat in back-to-back challenges but for what she did, it only reveals Abi still has a power in the game. She could play tricks in their minds and even if millions of fans were obsessed in hating her, come on, this dirty little gameplay still needed some sincere appreciation.
I would firmly say she handled the situation very well and she ranked second in my power ranking. This was the first time I saw her play a social game that worked on her benefit or on the other side, the other survivors allowed her to believe her game was working to their benefit!