'Survivor: Philippines' votes off Abi-Maria Gomes and determines final four castaways
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/13/2012
Survivor: Philippines' merged Dangrayne tribe voted out Abi-Maria Gomes during Wednesday night's penultimate episode of the CBS reality series' 25th edition.
Abi-Maria, a 32-year-old business student from Los Angeles, CA, was voted out of her tribe at the season's thirteenth Tribal Council, which was also the seventh elimination vote for Dangrayne.
"Unfortunately, things didn't go my way. After the merge, I was targeted as the crazy Latina. Sometimes I come off really direct and right to the point, but that's the type of person that I am. I don't beat around the bush. I just say it as it is -- like me or hate me and kiss my big Brazilian ass," Abi said following her ouster.
Survivor: Philippines' thirteenth episode began following the Tribal Council session in which Carter Williams was eliminated on Night 33.
Abi was "over the moon" about how she had managed to survive another Tribal Council session. She planned to utilize her fake hidden Immunity Idol and the next Tribal as well in the hopes her fellow castaways believed her the first time.
Lisa Whelchel, a 49-year-old former actress from Dallas, TX, and former Survivor: Australia castaway Michael Skupin missed Carter because he was a great guy but acknowledged they wanted to keep people around they could beat in the end.
Malcolm Freberg, a 25-year-old bartender from Hermosa Beach, CA, knew Lisa's head was now in the game after her brother had visited the island. Malcolm noted "good for her" that she had a new attitude, but he began recognizing her as a dangerous player.
On Day 34, Malcolm said Abi's story about her idol was "cock and bull." Denise Stapley, Malcolm, Skupin, and Lisa agreed Abi would've definitely played it had she actually had one in her possession. They said Abi was aware the threat against her was high, so she certainly would've tried to save herself.
Abi then told Lisa she was on the bottom of her foursome alliance in attempt to scare her. Lisa didn't believe her at all but said she needed to keep Abi close so she'd have the opportunity to take her to the end if she wanted to. Lisa felt "yucky" about the potential strategy knowing she'd be using Abi for her own benefit in the game.
"Right now, it appears as if I have options from which I can choose. I would love to vote off Denise and keep Abi around, but then again, I may change my mind and vote off Abi in order to keep the four-alliance strong. So I have all these great scenarios in my head, and I do believe I'm taking control of my destiny. But part of taking control of my destiny is waiting until the right time to make my big move," Lisa said.
Jeff explained that each castaway must race up and over a slide and into the ocean, where they'd grab a bundle of rings and then race back. Once they collected both bundles, they would then be required to land a ring on each of the five pegs. The winner would be able to take a helicopter ride, and then upon landing, board a boat. Once on the boat, the winner would receive pizza, soda and go whale shark watching.
Jeff told the castaways the winner would be able to choose two people to join him or herself on the reward.
The challenge came down to Skupin and Malcolm, who each had one ring left to land on a peg. But in the end, Skupin won, and he selected Malcolm -- who had allowed him to spend time with his son following the previous Reward Challenge -- and Lisa to enjoy the reward with him.
Abi, who was convinced she was going to be the swing vote, said "I guess my vote doesn't mean anything" on her way out.
Back at camp, Abi knew she was at the bottom of whatever alliance had been developed and was pissed to be stuck with Denise on the beach because she thought she was "a horrible person." Denise wasn't thrilled either, not even close.
"It's going to be a painful afternoon. It's like a first date with the kid that pulled your hair all the time in kindergarten or like spit in your lunch and then you're suddenly on a date... So I'm just going to make nice. It's like, I want to get to the end of this date, so I'm just going to let her strategize and I'm going to let her talk about how she's the swing vote. She's talking about playing her hidden Immunity Idol. None of us believe she has one for a minute," Denise explained.
"I want to gouge my eyes out. If I could have needles to just put right through my ear drums, it'd make for a good afternoon."
Meanwhile, Lisa, Skupin and Malcolm enjoyed their reward. The three castaways went scubadiving and stuffed their faces, and then it became time to talk strategy. Malcolm told his alliance members they couldn't win sitting next to Denise in the end. He noted how no one in the tribe had worked harder than Denise around camp, while she also never betrayed anyone.
"Myself and Denise have been tight since Day 1. But in my mind, my best chance to get to the Final 3 and win the Final 3 is going to be next to Lisa and Skupin. So I need to make them give me their word on a Final 3 deal that cuts Denise out," Malcolm said.
"Malcolm, at this point, would be the best person to form an alliance with for the Final 3 because he's the most dangerous to win an Individual Immunity. So if he wins, he has more power in determining who gets to go to the Final 3," Skupin explained.
Skupin seemed completely onboard with the plan while Lisa liked the idea. The three castaways then gave each other their word to be in the Final 3 together. Lisa didn't have time to dispute the situation with Skupin or state her case by "talking some sense into him."
However, Lisa admitted afterwards her word wasn't set in stone, as she'd be ready to make another deal if the one she had just made wasn't her best option.
On Day 36, Denise felt "sharp incredible stinging" in her neck that gave her a burning sensation. She wondered if she was bit by something and having an allergic reaction to the poison, as she had visible fang marks in her neck. Denise hoped the extreme pain would pass and that she wouldn't die out there.
Abi said she felt bad for Denise but was a little relieved at the same time because an Immunity Challenge was coming up. Without Denise being in top condition, Abi felt she had a better chance to win it. She wanted Denise gone more than anyone on the island and said she played Survivor to win a million dollars -- not to feel sorry for people.
Later that day, the Dangrayne tribe met with Jeff again, who explained the rules to what would be their thirteenth Immunity Challenge and seventh Individual Immunity Challenge.
Jeff told the castaways they must each use two planks to cross a rope bridge, collecting pieces to a maze along the way. Once across, they had to assemble the maze and then use a ball to complete it. The winner of the challenge would receive immunity and be safe from the vote at the next Tribal Council session along with a one in four shot to win the game and the million.
Malcolm ended up finishing the challenge before anyone else, claiming Individual Immunity. In addition, he still had a hidden Immunity Idol in his hands. Denise was relieved when Malcolm won and was convinced everyone would be writing down Abi's name at the next Tribal. Denise explained "the torture of dealing with" Abi would finally be done.
After the challenge, Abi felt drained and emotionally weak, but she was apparently ready to keep fighting. Abi ultimately wanted Lisa and Skupin to vote off Denise with her. Abi told the pair that if they brought her to the Final 3, they would have the best chance of winning because no one would vote for her. Skupin simply didn't want to hang out with Abi for the next three days, but he still considered her plan and what might be best for him in the game.
Lisa thought it would be a smart move to take Abi to the end and she seriously thought about getting rid of Denise.
Meanwhile, Denise asked her most loyal ally of the whole game, Malcolm, to give his idol to her. Malcolm said if the situation called for it, he would. However, Malcolm said he was certain their alliance wouldn't keep Abi and Denise would be safe. Malcolm truly believed there was no reason to give Denise the idol.
Lisa then began thinking that Malcolm was a bigger threat than Denise to win the game, but Malcolm had the best shot at winning the final Individual Immunity Challenge because he was strong, fast and capable. She started brainstorming how she might be able to get Malcolm out, which would ultimately mean keeping Denise instead.
"I want to go to the end with Abi, someone who I feel it's easier to beat. But Malcolm won immunity today and he's getting more and more dangerous by the day. He could continue to win immunity all the way up to the end -- maybe the whole game. And so, we need all available man power to defeat Malcolm at the final Immunity Challenge. And Abi's not a scary opponent, so we may need Denise in there to knock Malcolm out of there," Lisa explained.
"Since my brother came out, he did really kind of recalibrate me, and tonight's decision for me is based purely on strategy -- purely on playing out all the different scenarios, which trade-off is going to cost me the most and which trade-off is going to reward the most. I'm just hoping that I guessed right."
That night, Survivor: Philippines' Dangrayne members arrived for their seventh Tribal Council session -- the thirteenth session of the season overall.
Abi openly announced no one could beat Denise in the end because she was manipulative, physically strong and eloquent. She then threw Malcolm under the bus as well and said either he or Denise was going to win the game.
Skupin said there were a lot of things to be factored into his decision, and then Abi cut him off and called him an "idiot" and a "moron" twice. Skupin dismissed Abi's negative comments, and then Lisa expressed how she did want to take someone she could beat to the end.
But Malcolm wasn't going to let Abi off the hook that easily. He told his tribemates that Abi was not going to go down without a fight if they opted to keep her around. Malcolm noted a goat had wonSurvivor before and Lisa and Skupin shouldn't be so quick to dismiss Abi as a threat.
Before voting commenced, Abi took a shot at Denise and said she was playing the game to make friends -- not for a million dollars. Denise disagreed and rolled her eyes.
Jeff then revealed the votes. Abi voted for Denise, but everyone else voted to oust Abi fromSurvivor: Philippines. Abi's torch was then snuffed and she exited the grounds.