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!
EPISODE RATING: 9 of 10 stars!
Photos courtesy of: CBS