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'Survivor: Philippines' Kalabaw tribe votes off castaway Katie Hanson

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/25/2012 

Survivor: Philippines' Kalabaw tribe eliminated Katie Hanson from their tribe during Wednesday night's sixth episode of the CBS reality series' 25th edition.

Katie, a 22-year-old former Miss Delaware from Newark, NJ, was voted out of her tribe at the season's sixth Tribal Council, which was also the second elimination vote for Kalabaw.

"I got blindsided. I mean, it's not a good feeling, but I came in thinking, 'Oh, I'm an athlete. I'm so strong. I can handle whatever,' but out here, it is nothing like you think it is on TV. It's so hard, but it's such an awesome thing for me to able to say, 'I was on Survivor,'" Katie said following her ouster.

Survivor: Philippines' sixth episode began following Dana Lambert's medical departure and the Tribal Council session in which "Dawson" Sarah Dawson was ousted from her Kalabaw tribe. With the Kalabaw tribe being down two members, Katie felt like she was the weakest link remaining and worried about her place in the tribe going forward.

On Day 14, Katie tried to get Denise Stapley, a 41-year-old sex therapist from Cedar Rapids, IA, on her side in attempt to form an alliance and potentially remove herself from the chopping block. Katie and Denise agreed the men couldn't be trusted and believed one of them had the hidden Immunity Idol, but it was unclear whether Denise was telling the truth. Therefore, they decided it would be best to remove former Survivor: Cook Islands and Survivor: Micronesia castaway Jonathan Penner from their tribe next.

On Day 15, the Tandang tribe -- which consisted of former Survivor: Australia castaway Michael Skupin; "RC" Roberta Saint-Amour, a 27-year-old investment banker from New York, NY; Abi-Maria Gomes, a 32-year-old business student from Los Angeles, CA; Artis Silvester, a 53-year-old computer engineer from Terry Town, LA; Lisa Whelchel, a 49-year-old former actress from Dallas, TX; "Pete" Peter Yurkowski, a 24-year-old engineering graduate from Holmdel, NJ; and newcomer Malcolm Freberg, a 25-year-old bartender from Hermosa Beach, CA -- was running out of food because Mike was apparently eating all their rice.

The majority of the tribe was beginning to get very frustrated with Mike, especially Pete, who had called him the "worst player in the history of Survivor."

Afterwards, the Tandang tribe and Kalabaw tribe -- which, in addition to Denise, Katie and Jonathan, was also comprised of Jeff Kent, a 44-year-old retired baseball player from Austin, TX, and Carter Williams, a 24-year-old track coach from Shawnee, KS -- met with Survivor host Jeff Probst, who then explained the rules to what would be their second Reward Challenge of the season.

Jeff told the castaways that three members from each tribe would be required to race out into the middle of a huge mud pit for a large woven ball. They then had to work together to push that ball through their given tribe's goal, while the other tribe did everything in their physical power to stop it. Every time the ball made it into a goal, it would count as one point. The first tribe to earn three points would win reward in the form of lunch in a dry hut complete with sandwiches, chips, soups, and brownies.

Tandang sat out RC and Artis to even up the numbers.

The challenge proved extremely difficult, as both teams had exhausted themselves and couldn't seem to move the ball much in either direction from the center. The tribes lied out holding the giant ball in a stalemate for over an hour, and it became clear to both tribes it would take forever to declare a winner.

As a result, Jonathan suggested if Tandang would be willing to throw the challenge, his Kalabaw tribe would give them all their remaining rice. Mike asked all his fellow Tandang members their thoughts on Jonathan's proposed settlement, and everyone seemed to be onboard with the plan except for Artis and an indifferent Abi.

In the end, both tribes agreed on the deal. Kalabaw won the Reward Challenge by default thanks to Tandang basically forfeiting, and then Tandang was told they'd soon receive their rice via Tree Mail. Jonathan was very confident he could feed his tribe with fish after enjoying their big reward lunch, but Jeff was worried about not having rice because he feared their bodies would wear down after just a couple days.

After the challenge, the Kalabaw tribe enjoyed their picnic and got emotional while reading personal letters from home.

Meanwhile, Artis was very pissed off because he wanted to win the challenge fair and square and not give up. Artis commended Penner for his brilliant strategic idea but then took a shot at Mike for falling for Penner's plan and making a poor move on behalf of their tribe.

"What really bothers me is we had a member of our tribe making decisions for our tribe who has done absolutely nothing for our tribe. And RC, 'Yay Mike, yeah!' I was like, 'Shut the -- shut up.' It's not a good thing," Artis explained.

Lisa was understanding of Artis' apparent frustration. She said how they behaved in the challenge was "worse than a loss," because forfeiting was technically "a double loss." Abi was somewhat on the same page, saying Kalabaw had used psychology on them and it actually worked.

RC then told Mike that Artis had been "cursing up a storm" at him during the Reward Challenge. Mike was confused, because he was certain he had asked all his tribemates their opinion before making the deal with Jonathan. He insisted he did not make that decision on his own, and RC agreed it was not his fault.

"We never come back from a challenge and are happy, but in the Survivor world, you sort of have to swallow your pride and do things that you normally don't do. But this is just nasty. Artis, Pete and Abi are very nasty and angry and they're cruel, but they have the upperhand. So my strategy is to let Abi blow up constantly and me just fly under the radar, but she's like this Brazilian bomb that's just about to blow up any second," RC said.

On Day 16, Carter admitted he didn't like the deal his tribe had made at the Reward Challenge because they weren't guaranteed food. He knew it was a risky strategy and was nervous they wouldn't have enough to eat. Jonathan then went fishing and brought back two very small fish for his tribe. While he believed it was plenty of food, his tribemates were aggravated, hungry and concerned that they wouldn't have enough fuel to perform well in the upcoming Immunity Challenge.

The two tribes then met with Jeff Probst again, who then explained the rules to what would be their sixth Immunity Challenge.

The tribes then learned that one tribemate for each side would launch balls out into a field while other tribe members attempted to catch them. It didn't matter which tribe's balls were caught, as a caught ball counted as one point regardless. The first tribe to accumulate five points would win the challenge.

Tandang sat out Mike and Abi -- who had participated in only two challenges thus far -- sat out of the challenge.

In the end, Tandang won immunity thanks to Malcolm's fielding efforts and success. They were going to be safe from the vote, while Kalabaw would be forced to go to Tribal Council that night and vote one of its own members out of the game.

Once Kalabaw returned from losing the Immunity Challenge, Jeff said he was on the fence about whether to uphold his alliance with Jonathan. Carter told Jeff they should keep Denise around because she'd be a "loyal lady," whereas Katie's efforts in the game were terrible.

Jeff told Carter, "Katie was worthless" but questioned whether they'd want Jonathan around once the merge came. Carter agreed, saying he wanted Katie gone but would be onboard to get Jonathan out if Jeff believed it was the better move. Carter told Jeff he'd just follow his lead.

"Jeff thinks it might be a good idea to make a big move and get rid of Jonathan, but at the same time, I think going into a merge with Penner might be a good idea. Because if we go in with him, eyes are going to be on him -- not on me and Jeff -- because nobody wants a returning player to win," Carter explained.

Jeff told Carter they should pull "The Penner Punch" and blindside Jonathan but make him feel safe and comfortable to ensure he wouldn't play his hidden Immunity Idol. The pair then discussed with Jonathan how they needed to get rid of Katie, and Jonathan was completely in agreeance.

"To win this game, I'm going to have to make big moves -- only out of desperation. That's what happens. If you're down numbers, your back starts to get put against the wall. So Katie's gone. She's not useful to us. I need her gone. I hate to be disloyal, but I guess that's what my gut is telling me," Jonathan said.

Meanwhile, Katie was wondering why Jeff and Carter were considering keeping Jonathan around, because she told them he couldn't be trusted and was a total "wild card." She began assuming she was on the chopping block after Jonathan told her quickly and bluntly they were voting for Denise. Katie thought Jonathan's reaction to her was "shady."

"When I went over to the three guys, right away without me even asking, Penner was like, 'It's Denise. It's Denise.' And right away, I'm thinking he's feeding me a big one of B-S and I'm not buying it," Katie said.

Katie told Jeff she was down to get Jonathan out and was ready to play along with the Denise idea.

Jeff was struggling with whom to vote for. He said he just didn't want to get screwed by Jonathan, but Jonathan was confident and reassured his alliance of guys was going to stay true to him. Jeff noted it would be an easy play to vote off Katie but a difficult decision to get rid of Jonathan, especially since he had an idol in his pocket. Jeff realized voting for Jonathan and potentially flushing the idol out was going to be a big risk.

That night, Survivor: Philippines' Kalabaw members arrived for their second Tribal Council session -- the sixth session of the season overall.

Denise and Katie felt they were in trouble and on the chopping block when Jeff Probst asked for a show of hands. Denise's justification was that she was still new on the tribe, and Katie explained she wasn't a very physically strong or capable player as a female. 

While Jonathan didn't raise his hand, he announced he wouldn't reveal whether he truly felt safe or in jeopardy because it was part of his strategy to always maintain a confident look about him. Jeff Kent admitted every vote was going to be a blindside because everyone on the tribe liked each other very much.

Jonathan agreed with Jeff, telling Jeff Probst that the votes weren't going to be personal. Jonathan said if he was the one to be blindsided, he'd understand and would respect the move because he knew he was a threat. He insisted he wouldn't take it personally but also wouldn't like it. Jeff then announced the game of Survivor sucks because it was so complicated and he feared blindsiding friends due to the guilt he'd most likely feel afterwards. 

Katie then told Jeff Probst she felt she was "voting on loyalty" and promised her tribemates she'd keep her word. Jonathan added that none of them wanted to betray anyone or feel betrayed themselves. It was clear the entire tribe knew a blindside was coming, and each player hoped it wasn't himself or herself.

Jeff Probst then revealed the votes. Katie voted for Jonathan, while Jonathan, Carter, Jeff, and Denise voted for Katie.

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