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'Survivor: Philippines' Dangrayne tribe votes off returning castaway Jonathan Penner


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/29/2012 

Survivor: Philippines' merged Dangrayne tribe voted off Jonathan Penner from their tribe during Wednesday night's eleventh episode of the CBS reality series' 25th edition.

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Penner, a 45-year-old writer and producer from Los Angeles, CA who previously competed on Survivor: Cook Islands and Survivor: Micronesia, was voted out of his tribe at the season's eleventh Tribal Council, which was also the fifth elimination vote for Dangrayne.

"My strategy, once again, has failed. I'm very disappointed in myself for not doing better, but I guess that's the way Survivor crumbles. I've spent six years of my life with Survivor. I'm one of the lucky few that's played three times, and it's been fun and extremely painful," Penner said following his ouster.

Survivor: Philippines' eleventh episode began following the Tribal Council session in which "Pete" Peter Yurkowski was eliminated on Night 27.

Denise Stapley, a 41-year-old sex therapist from Cedar Rapids, IA, said Abi-Maria Gomes, a 32-year-old business student from Los Angeles, CA, was the next castaway to go unless she "miraculously" won individual immunity. If Abi ended up pulling off a win somehow, Denise declared Penner would be their next target.

Although Penner had been part of Denise's alliance -- which also consisted of Carter Williams, a 24-year-old track coach from Shawnee, KS; Lisa Whelchel, a 49-year-old former actress from Dallas, TX; Malcolm Freberg, a 25-year-old bartender from Hermosa Beach, CA; and former Survivor: Australia castaway Michael Skupin -- for awhile, he was not part of her Final 4 deal with Malcolm, Lisa and Skupin.

On Day 28, Abi told Malcolm that the previous Tribal Council was the worst day of her life. Malcolm said his heart went out to her a little bit, because he felt bad how his fellow castaways had basically ran her over. The tribemates then received $500 cash for the upcoming Reward auction, and Abi told the cameras she was going to keep fighting in the game although she was unliked and on the chopping block.

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

Jeff explained that each castaway could bid on an item he revealed one at a time in increments of $20. He said they were not allowed to share food or money with each other but they could bid on any items until their money was gone. The tribe jumped at the chance to eat any -- and all -- food. Denise immediately spend her entire wad of cash on pancakes, while Skupin bid his $500 on cheese and wine when he admitted he wasn't really a wine drinker to begin with.

The tribe got to share two items selected by Carter -- two bags full of rice and beans to bring back to camp and veal shanks that had to have been consumed in 60 seconds. Carter had to choose between eating a huge stuffed baked potato all to himself or giving the rice and beans to his tribe, and he opted to feed his fellow castaways.

Throughout most of the Reward Challenge, Abi explained she was just going to keep the money since she was going to be the next castaway eliminated from the game anyway. However, Abi was secretly gunning for the chance to spend her money on some type of advantage in the game.

Much to everyone's surprise, Abi did just that. She spent her $500 on a scroll which would reveal her advantage.

After the challenge, Abi asked Penner to apologize for "destroying" her at the prior Tribal. He didn't seem sincerely sorry but at least apologized for the fact it was "her turn to get slammed." Despite any hard feelings Abi was experiencing, she at least admitted she had learned a life lesson from all the drama and would take people's insults with a grain of salt.

"The more bitter, the more obnoxious, the more toxic Abi is -- better for me -- easier it is for me to say, 'We have to get rid of her.' Right then, the six of us will figure that out from there," Penner explained. 

Abi figured her tribemates were trying to communicate and get along with her a little bit more just because she had a tool to get ahead in the game. She then went off on her own to read her scroll and discovered she'd have a one in three shot at winning the Individual Immunity Challenge by being able to automatically advance to the final round.

On Day 29, Abi decided to create a fake hidden Immunity Idol in the hopes of fooling people that she had received a clue to where this idol was hidden. After her fellow castaways all determined Abi was definitely the next person to go, Abi pulled a fast one on Malcolm and told him she had found a fourth Idol.

Malcolm seemed surprised yet suspicious of the news. Abi said she would like to work with Malcolm going forward and that he should especially consider it because she wasn't going anywhere at the next Tribal Council. Malcolm didn't give her an answer but appeared to take it into consideration.

The following day, the Dangrayne tribe met with Jeff again, who explained the rules to what would be their eleventh Immunity Challenge and fifth Individual Immunity Challenge.

The tribe then learned that each castaway would be attached to a rope spread through a hitching rail. The first five people to get through would move onto the next round. For the second round, while still attached to the rope, the castaways must make their way through a series of bamboo poles. The first two people to finish the task would compete in the final round, which would require them to navigate their way through a multi-level obstacle course.

At the beginning of each round, Jeff asked the participating castaways a trivia question. If they answered a question incorrectly, they would have to carry five percent of their body weight throughout the rest of the race. 

Before the challenge commenced, Abi said there was a second part of the message she had received that she did not want to read aloud -- although there really wasn't and Jeff clearly went along with it. Abi then read the scroll and said she'd be able to advance to the final round of the challenge. Afterward, she ripped up the letter.

During the challenge, an example of a trivia question was, "the Philippines consists of how many islands?" The answer was more than 5,000, but Denise and Lisa both got it wrong and therefore had to carry extra weight with them.

The five castaways to move onto the second round were Denise, Skupin, Malcolm, Penner, and Carter. Going into this round, Denise had to carry 10% percent of her body weight after answering the second question incorrectly. At this point, Skupin and Carter were required to carry five percent.

Abi, Carter and Penner got to compete in the final round. Carter had to carry 10% percent of his body weight because he had answered two questions incorrectly. Both Penner and Abi were "clean," according to Jeff.

In the end, Abi won individual immunity and everyone was shocked about the sharp turn of events.

Once the tribe returned to camp, Malcolm said he was secretly thrilled about Abi's victory because it meant he could get rid of a real threat in the game, and that person was Penner. Lisa knew Penner's name was being tossed around, and she admitted she was in a "huge inner-conflict" because she felt she had a strong connection with Carter and Penner at heart.

If Lisa was to follow her alliance and make the move of voting out Penner, it would definitely tear her heart strings. However, Skupin told Lisa they had made a Final 4 pact with Denise and Malcolm and needed to stick to it. Lisa kept insisting she just wasn't good at the game of Survivor.

Lisa then pulled Penner aside and decided to tell him that he was the next target because she believed they were good friends and she owed him that much since he was going to get hurt. She explained that after he had declined a Final 3 deal with herself and Skupin, she was approached by somebody else in the tribe to form a solid alliance to the end -- and she agreed to it because she thought it was her best option at the time.

Penner was blindsided and said it was "unbelievable" that he was about to get voted off just because he didn't make "empty promises" after Lisa had voted for him twice in the game. Lisa owned up to her choices but gave him the advice to work his magic because she "really, really" didn't want to vote him out and wanted to be in the Final 3 with him "more than anybody."

"Lisa once again lost her mind and she had to confess to me that she was in another alliance, that she's voting for me tonight, and I guess -- to her credit -- that she's going to stick to her guns. She will not be swayed. I think her guns are ridiculous," Penner said.

"Lisa got played. That is to Denise and Malcolm's credit. Now, my mistake of course was I was playing both ends against the middle without making a commitment to anybody. That was probably my mistake. I did not choose a side."

Penner then began scrambling and announced he and Carter were going to vote for Denise. Abi agreed that she would as well. Penner found Skupin afterwards and told him that he was, once again, going to serve as the swing vote. Penner was honest in explaining that Lisa was conflicted with the situation but she didn't want to go against her Final 4 word, so therefore, she was going to vote for himself instead of Denise.

"Tribal Council day is a zoo. My dilemma is I'm going to make three people very happy tonight and I'm going to upset three people. I'm going to potentially gain three jury votes and lose three jury votes at the same time. So am I in a better group to win this game with Lisa, Denise and Malcolm or Abi, Carter and Penner? And the closer it gets to the Final 3, the more I realize it's a pretty big deal. I believe strongly that I can beat Penner in the Final 3," Skupin explained.

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

"RC" Roberta Saint-Amour, Jeff Kent, Artis Silvester, and Pete all arrived as the season's first four jury members.

Penner quickly drew the lines of the tribe and didn't leave anything to the imagination. He said he believed Malcolm and Denise had convinced Lisa and Skupin to make a Final 4 deal. He then asked Lisa and Skupin to be his "real genuine allies," as he had never done them wrong and they wouldn't stand a chance of winning the game against Malcolm and Denise.

Penner argued that Lisa and Skupin could completely trust him and that the only reason he was hesitant to make a Final 3 deal with them earlier in the game was because Lisa had previously voted for him twice and he wasn't sure whom he could really trust in return. Penner said he just needed a little more time to think about things after Lisa and Penner had approached him but he soon came to realize he could absolutely trust Lisa.

Malcolm got a little worried because Penner clearly had a point. Malcolm then suggested there was more to his Final 4 alliance than just strategy. He said he hoped Lisa and Skupin had a place in their hearts from himself and Denise as well rather than just Penner alone.

Lisa and Skupin both acknowledged they had taken Penner's information into consideration when choosing whom to vote for. Skupin said he wanted to be great friends with everyone after the game but also wanted to win, so he pointed out validity in Penner's claims, saying that he and Lisa may not be able to win the million when facing Malcolm and Denise in the end.

In the end, three people voted for Denise and four castaways voted to oust Penner from Survivor: Philippines.

On his way out, Penner hugged Carter and refused to hug anyone else.

The episode's closing credits later showed that Penner, Carter and Abi were the only ones who voted for Denise.



(Photo credit CBS)


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