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'Survivor: Philippines' Dangrayne tribe votes Artis Silvester out of game

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/15/2012 

Survivor: Philippines' merged Dangrayne tribe eliminated Artis Silvester from their tribe during Wednesday night's ninth episode of the CBS reality series' 25th edition.

Artis, a 53-year-old computer engineer from Terry Town, LA, was voted out of his tribe at the season's ninth Tribal Council, which was also the third elimination vote for Dangrayne.

"Well played for Penner. He managed to pull off the improbable. Well played. All I can do is applaud him. I have no ill will toward anybody in the game, because when it's all said and done, it is a game. I could not have been more happy. Well, I take that back. Yes, I could've if I had won the million dollars," Artis said following his ouster.

Survivor: Philippines' eighth episode began following the Tribal Council session on Night 22, and former Survivor: Australia castaway Michael Skupin was feeling very relieved he was still in the game.

Skupin said he needed Jeff Kent and "Pete" Peter Yurkowski, a 24-year-old engineering graduate from Holmdel, NJ, gone because they had been the most outspoken about getting rid of the returning players. After succeeding in getting rid of Jeff, Pete was apparently next on Skupin's list.

Meanwhile, former Survivor: Cook Islands and Survivor: Micronesia castaway Jonathan Penner realized he had screwed up pretty badly by not voting for Pete. However, Penner believed he was "a dead man walking" anyway, so it didn't really phase him.

Lisa felt guilty about the way she was playing the game and had behaved during the previous Tribal Council session in which she had called out players and betrayed some by standing up for Skupin and her fellow former Tandang tribe members -- which, besides herself, Pete and Skupin, also consisted of Artis and Abi-Maria Gomes, a 32-year-old business student from Los Angeles, CA.       

But Malcolm Freberg, a 25-year-old bartender from Hermosa Beach, CA, approached Lisa on the beach and commended her for her gameplay. Although Lisa had revealed to everyone Malcolm had a hidden Immunity Idol in his possession, he didn't express any hard feelings toward her. Lisa then got emotional and thought the game was bigger than her.

On Day 23, Penner said if Tandang voted together again, he'd definitely be the next person to go. But Penner knew there were cracks in the Tandang alliance, as he believed it was divided into the "good Christians" and the "bullies." He was referring to Artis, Abi and Pete as the bullies.

Penner hoped to play on those divisions to appeal to Lisa and Skupin's hearts. He then pulled Lisa aside and told her that he admired her and respected her. Penner was clearly trying to play off of Lisa's insecurities about her past, referencing how she had been a young TV star and was always viewed a certain way by the public. She was always concerned about how people would perceive her and therefore tried to remain likeable, which apparently was a lifelong challenge for the actress.

Lisa knew Penner was doing everything in his power to stay in the game and that there was a possibility he was just being kind and thoughtful to benefit himself, but at the same time, she appreciated his understanding and reaching out to her.

Later on, the tribe met with Survivor host Jeff Probst for a Reward Challenge.

Jeff explained that they had to divide themselves into two teams the classic schoolyard way. Then, one at a time, both teams were required to crawl through muddy water and over an obstacle frame into a mud pit, where they must find a bag of balls. Afterward, they had to crawl through rice, drop the bag they had retrieved on the table, and then the next person could go. After collecting all four bags, a team then had to shoot all the balls into a basket.

The winning team would receive a feast in a local village along with the opportunity to give the children of that village supplies and toys.

The two teams were Skupin, Artis, Lisa, and Pete against Penner, Carter, Denise, and Malcolm. Abi wasn't picked to play, so she had to sit out of the challenge and lose her chance at winning the reward.

In the end, the team which featured Penner, Denise, Malcolm, and Carter won. When they arrived at the village, the castaways played games and talked with the children. Malcolm wondered why he ever gave up teaching elementary school in Micronesia when it was such a rewarding experience he enjoyed and loved. While eating their lunch, the four castaways discussed a little strategy.

"Right now, the lines have been drawn and it's former Tandang versus everyone else. But last night at Tribal Council, they made a mockery of Skupin. I feel like he's been mistreated and they've mistreated Lisa. So, we're trying to get Skupin and Lisa in with us, because they're going to play the biggest role in which alliance moves on and which starts getting picked off," Carter explained.

Back at camp, Pete realized he had to mend his Tandang alliance for his own benefit -- although he only truly felt loyal to and friendly with Abi and Artis.

"Losing a challenge like this is awful. It's really demoralizing. You kind of need that energy, but at least I get alone time with Lisa, who doesn't really know what's going on after the Tribal Council where she got obliterated, and Skupin. It's really ironic that someone I wanted to get rid of first or second throughout the entire game, now I'm forced to work with," Pete said of Skupin.

"But we need the majority right now and it doesn't really matter who it is, but why not go with the people that we started this game with. We're back to Tandang strong. They're going to trust us a lot more than they're going to trust Penner or anybody. So getting them close and keeping them close is definitely what we're trying to do -- and making them feel comfortable."

Abi then told Lisa she was "gullible and naive" although she understood why Lisa shared information at Tribal -- to ultimately help Tandang remain solid. Abi then announced that all five of them needed to vote for Penner as long as he didn't win Immunity or else they'd go after herself and Pete.

Abi told Lisa to be a fighter and they'd all work together to be five-strong. Coming back from the Reward Challenge, Lisa hoped her former Tandang tribe could reevaluate things and get solid again, but she admitted Abi was standing in the way of that because she was simply "terrible."

"Maybe it makes sense to go with the other alliance, but I've made this grand stand at Tribal Council for loyalty to Tandang and keep Skupin. And so, to flip over to Kalabaw looks, on the outside, really awful. But on the inside, it probably makes more sense. So, I'm just absolutely -- I don't even know what to think now, Lisa said.

On Day 25, the Dangrayne tribe met with Jeff Probst again, who explained the rules to what would be their ninth Immunity Challenge and third Individual Immunity Challenge.

The tribe then learned that each castaway must balance an oversized paddle on a stand and then roll a ball down the paddle in attempt to land it in one of six spots. The first person to get a ball in all six spots would win Individual Immunity, be safe from the vote at the next Tribal Council and be guaranteed a one in eight shot to win the million dollars.

In the end, Skupin won. Because of Skupin's victory, Artis said that unless something went wrong, his Tandang tribe would get Penner out and then they'd finally be able to take a "deep breath" and relax with the numbers on their side.

After the challenge, Penner knew he had some scrambling to do. Abi admitted she would've liked to vote out Skupin, but she knew her tribe needed him to gain the numbers advantage. Abi acknowledged, however, that Penner was a bigger threat and was also charming and "too smart for his own good." So she knew Penner had to go but still worried that Lisa and Skupin might turn on them and jump ship.

Meanwhile, Denise talked to Malcolm and Carter about voting Artis out in case Abi was to use her hidden Immunity Idol for either herself or Pete -- her main ally. They discussed how their main goal was to get rid of one of the original Tandang members but they needed Lisa and/or Skupin on their side to pull it off.

Otherwise, the former Kalabaw tribe was well aware Penner would be going home. As a result, Penner began planting seeds and first attempted to talk to Lisa, telling her that America is going to respect the loyalty she had given to Tandang but may be disappointed if she chose to remain with the "bad guys" and play with them over castaways whom the public would most likely be rooting for.

Lisa told the cameras she liked Penner a lot and learned a lot from him, but her head was spinning. She wanted to stay loyal to Tandang, but she wondered whether that was just "the old" Lisa worrying about what everyone was going to think about her.

Penner then told Skupin if he flipped and joined his side, they'd be guaranteed a Final 5 position. He then requested Skupin to vote with them for Artis, and Skupin seemed to think the plan made perfect sense.

"I know that Penner is interested in creating something, but Lisa and I agreed on Day 1 that we'll always tell each other the truth, and she orchestrated a pretty big move the other day in an effort to save the Tandang alliance in order to save me. So I want to play this game with Lisa, but I've got to make sure that if I'm going to make a bold move, that she's firmly on the side that I choose," Skupin explained.

Lisa and Skupin then talked about their options. Skupin noted they had to think about which decision could get them further in the game and which side they'd like to play with more. He asked Lisa why he should remain loyal to people -- former Tandang -- who were never loyal to them. Lisa told him that she was really considering flipping. Lisa wanted to be loyal but she also didn't want to make the "naive, gullible" move Abi, especially, would be expecting her to make. 

That night, Survivor: Philippines' Dangrayne members arrived for their third Tribal Council session -- the ninth session of the season overall.

Lisa announced the Kalabaw side showed her more grace following the last Tribal Council session than her own Tandang tribe, which clearly offended Abi. Tandang expected to move forward together as a strong unit, but then Denise called Artis out and told him not to expect everything to go smoothly in the game of Survivor.

Denise noted that people could make big moves and turn everything upside down, referring to Lisa and Skupin's potential swing-vote decisions, and then Artis admitted he didn't 100% percent feel safe -- recognizing that blindsides are always a possibility.

Before voting commenced, Abi revealed the only person she was unsure about and didn't really trust in her Tandang alliance was Lisa. The fact she admitted that news surprised mostly everyone, including Lisa, who noted she'd take that into consideration.

Jeff Probst then revealed the votes. Four people voted for Penner and five castaways voted to oust Artis from Survivor: Philippines.

The episode's closing credits later showed that Lisa voted for Penner and stayed true to her original alliance, while Skupin switched sides and voted for Artis. Skupin became the vote to ruin former Tandang's plans to have the majority.

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