'Survivor: Philippines' tribes merge and vote off "RC" Roberta Saint-Amour
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/01/2012
Survivor: Philippines' newly-merged Dangrayne tribe eliminated "RC" Roberta Saint-Amour from their tribe during Wednesday night's seventh episode of the CBS reality series' 25th edition.
RC, a 27-year-old investment banker from New York, NY, was voted out of her tribe at the season's seventh Tribal Council, which was also the first elimination vote for Dangrayne.
"That's the name of the game. The name of the game is 'Blindside.' It was such an amazing, wonderful experience. I can't believe I actually got to do this. I lasted rain and no food and these things. It was difficult but I got to play Survivor. How many people actually get to do this? And I made it pretty far, so I'm proud of myself," RC said following her ouster.
Survivor: Philippines' seventh episode began following the Tribal Council session on Night 16 in which Katie Hanson was ousted from her Kalabaw tribe -- which consisted of Denise Stapley, a 41-year-old sex therapist from Cedar Rapids, IA; former Survivor: Cook Islands and Survivor: Micronesia castaway Jonathan Penner; Jeff Kent, a 44-year-old retired baseball player from Austin, TX; and Carter Williams, a 24-year-old track coach from Shawnee, KS.
The tribe agreed Denise needed a break from the "Tribal nonsense," as she had not missed a Tribal Council session yet all season due to the fact her former Matsing tribe had been dominated in every challenge and picked off one by one. She wondered whether she was cursed, because it seemed like she brought her bad luck over to her new Kalabaw tribe.
Jeff thought keeping Jonathan around would be the smart move to make because Jonathan was on his side and could most likely help him out. However, Jeff hoped he could remove Jonathan from the game before Jonathan got a chance to get him out. Likewise, Jonathan knew he could trust Jeff but just wasn't sure how much or for how much longer.
On Day 17, the Tandang tribe -- which was comprised of RC; former Survivor: Australia castaway Michael Skupin; 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 Malcolm Freberg, a 25-year-old bartender from Hermosa Beach, CA -- learned they'd be merging with the other tribe.
Soon afterwards, Kalabaw got the same letter about the merge, and both tribes gathered their belongings at camp and took off via boat to their new beach location.
"It's a new lifeline for us. There's four of us, there's seven of them. We're hoping there's dissent over there and that we can pick one or two people to come over to our side to use for awhile and then cut them off if we can," Jonathan said.
Upon arrival, they quickly attempted to become one tribe and build a new world together.
"The [Tandang] tribe intention when we first landed on this island was to go 'Tandang strong.' That's impossible because RC is someone who would never let that happen. And Skupin really doesn't have a brain of his own. He does whatever RC tells him to do," Pete explained.
"Kalabaw, we're going to stay 'four strong.' We need two to shift that balance and have the majority. So my plan is to stick with the alliance that I've got going with Kalabaw, but at the same time, I truly would like to go back to my original alliance with Malcolm," Denise said.
All the castaways greeted each other once they settled down and enjoyed a feast complete with wine, fresh fruit, meat, and bread. Michael wanted Jonathan to go immediately and told cameras he felt that himself and RC were free agents because they were united together and had never been truly aligned with Abi or Pete. But he was still happy to have the numbers on his side with being on Tandang.
Later on, Lisa accidentally pulled out Malcolm's hidden Immunity Idol from his bag when she was getting his clothes out to dry in the sun along with those of her other tribemates. Malcolm noticed afterwards that Lisa had most likely discovered his idol when rummaging through his bag, and he was frustrated with himself that he had waited about an hour before burying and hiding his idol. With the feast going on, he never thought he'd have to rush the act.
Malcolm then approached Lisa with the intention to not say anything about the idol unless she brought it up. To end their awkward exchange, Lisa came right out and admitted she had found his idol but promised she wouldn't say anything about it. Malcolm told her that they could work together and explained his alliance with Denise.
Malcolm told Lisa that she had become his new "mama" and it could be the two of them and Denise going forward. Malcolm knew they were nice women but worried whether he'd be able to beat them in the Final 3. Although he made a Final 3 deal with Lisa, she thought it was a great plan but took it with a grain of salt in fear she might've been "getting played."
On Day 18, Lisa and Jonathan talked for awhile and got closer to one another, as Jonathan was aware she had been on The Facts of Life back in the day. Jonathan thought Lisa was a "cool lady" and believed she could go pretty far in the game as an "under the radar non-threatening person who could find herself sitting in the Final 3."
Jonathan then tried to talk Michael into working with him, saying he would fit nicely into his solid four-person block with Jeff, Carter and Denise. Michael talked to RC about the strategy, reminding her they probably couldn't trust their former Tandang tribe and therefore maybe shouldn't stick with those tribemates. RC considered the possibility but still struggled with whether to work with Tandang since they'd have the numbers.
Meanwhile, Jeff was campaigning to get rid of Jonathan by talking to Artis, Pete and Malcolm. Jeff told them Jonathan probably had an idol in his pocket, so they had to be careful. And then Pete warned the guys that RC had been running things in his tribe and should be seen as "dangerous."
As a result, the guys decided it would be best to split their votes -- four for RC and four for Jonathan -- with the hopes of flushing the idol and getting Jonathan out. If Jonathan played his idol, RC would be voted off the tribe. But if Jonathan declined to play his idol or didn't have one in general, the split vote would force a re-vote and then everyone could vote for Jonathan.
"The little click inside Tandang is operating under the assumption that Penner has an idol, but we don't have the numbers within our own tribe to be able to split the vote to get rid of him. So we have to pull in Jeff, Denise and Carter... The only real wrinkle is if the real Kalabaw -- Jeff, Carter and Denise -- are going to go along with it like they're saying they will," Malcolm explained.
On Day 19, the merged Dangrayne tribe then met with Survivor host Jeff Probst again, who explained the rules to what would be their seventh Immunity Challenge but first Individual Immunity Challenge.
The tribe then learned that each person would be required to hold onto a rope handle attached to a bucket. Each person's bucket was filled with 25% percent of his or her own body weight. As the challenge went on, the weight would become too much to bare and then the rope would slowly unspoil -- ultimately forcing the bucket would drop. Once a bucket dropped, that person would be out of the challenge.
The last man and last woman left standing would each win individual immunity in which they'd be safe from the vote at the upcoming Tribal Council and be guaranteed a one in 10 shot of winning Survivor: Philippines. One of the remaining castaways would be voted out of the tribe at the next Tribal session.
The order of which the castaways dropped out of the challenge was Michael, Pete, Jonathan, Lisa, Malcolm, RC, Abi, Denise, Artis, Jeff, and finally Carter. Denise won for the women and Carter -- who held on for about 25 minutes -- won for the guys. Jeff told Carter that Carter owed him one because he dropped his handle before he really had to.
"I'm ecstatic that Penner and RC didn't even come close to winning immunity, because we're going to split the vote between Penner and RC. If Penner plays the idol, RC goes home. If Penner doesn't play the idol, he'll go home with the idol," Artis said.
After the challenge, RC believed she had the majority with six players, which included Mike and her fellow former Kalabaw members. Michael said he wasn't going to remain loyal to a tribe that hasn't been loyal to him in return. Michael then told Jeff he wanted to work with him and would follow his alliance's lead -- even if that meant getting rid of Jonathan.
"It just takes two people from Tandang to realign with the Kalabaw tribe, then they would be six strong... I cannot follow Pete, Artis and Abi as long as I have some assurance that Jeff and Carter aren't going to switch over to the old Tandang tribe. Because if RC and I go this way, and Jeff and Carter goes this way, what happens? Nothing got gained," Michael explained.
Jeff talked to Carter about his discussion with Michael and admitted he was worried about jumping ship because that meant they'd be at the bottom of the other tribe's alliance.
Jonathan then told Jeff and Carter they should vote for Pete with him in order to take control of the game.
"If the people that I believe are going to vote with me are really not going to vote with me, if all of this has been smoke, then I'm a terrible judge of character and then I don't really deserve to stay in the game. But I do believe that Skupin and RC and Denise and Carter and Jeff -- they're going to vote with me and they mean it. I really believe they do," Jonathan said.
Jeff was at a crossroads deciding whether to ride out veteran players although he didn't want them to win the game, or go with the Tandang tribe and get Jonathan out only to end up at the bottom. Jeff said he had to protect himself, because whatever move he was going to make wasn't going to sit well with one of the two former tribes.
That night, Survivor: Philippines' Dangrayne members arrived for their first Tribal Council session -- the seventh session of the season overall.
Abi made it clear she didn't trust RC because she firmly believed RC had betrayed her, which clearly showed cracks in the Tandang tribe and alliance for everyone present.
In the end, Jonathan played his hidden Immunity Idol in fear he might've been on the chopping block and anticipating a potential blindside.
Jeff Probst then revealed the votes. Five people voted for Jonathan, four people voted for RC, and two castaways voted to oust Pete from Survivor: Philippines.
Because Jonathan was safe and his votes didn't count, RC was eliminated and became the first member of the season's jury.
In the episode's closing credits, Pete, Artis, Carter, and Jeff Kent all voted for RC. Abi, Michael, Lisa, Malcolm, and Denise voted for Jonathan. RC and Jonathan voted for Pete.