Survivor recap: How The Mighty Have Fallen

It’s time to count our Survivor blessings as Pete and Abi-Maria are forced to scramble to stay alive
Ep. 10 | Aired Nov 21, 2012

ACTING HAPPY Former actors Jonathan and Lisa don't have to pretend to be elated after toppling Abi and Pete.

Image Credit: CBS

I am NOT thankful for multi-stage immunity challenges.
Allow me for a minute to be whatever the equivalent of a Thanksgiving Scrooge is. Multi-stage immunity challenges have always been a pet peeve of mine. Why have a challenge in which the people who absolutely, positively need to win are eliminated right out of the gate, thereby robbing the rest of the contest of any drama in the least? This week’s immunity contest had the contestants working a buoy through tangled ropes and obstacles and was broken up into three stages. The first five people from stage 1 advanced to stage 2, and the first three to finish stage 2 advanced to stage 3. One problem: Pete and Abi were both eliminated right from the start, meaning who actually won was completely inconsequential.

Had Pete or Abi won, they would have controlled two immunities (thanks to her hidden immunity idol) and they would have forced the other alliance to vote out one of their own. So why stage a competition that does not keep them — and the chance of that exact scenario — alive for as long as possible? I asked Jeff Probst that question in this week’s Q&A, and while he gives a perfectly reasonable answer as to why they run these multi-stage challenges, I still think it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to run the risk of draining all the drama out of a contest by needlessly eliminating players along the way. Oh, by the way, Carter won. Not that it mattered.

I am thankful for watching the haves become have-nots.
Honestly, I struggle even writing the words “haves” and have-nots” because my whole body starts to convulse as I begin to suffer massive Survivor: Fiji flashbacks, recalling what was the worst creative twist in Survivor history…until a little thing called The Medallion of Power came along, that is. Anyhoo, what I’m talking about here has nothing to do with island espresso machines, but rather seeing previously powerful Pete and Abi being forced to scramble for their lives in the game.

Trying to save his own skin, Pete hatched a plan to oust Malcolm. But —whoops! — he had no votes to make it happen. So he and Abi asked around. Lisa? Nope. Carter? No thanks. Penner? No way, José. Skupin…? Well, he’ll entertain the thought. Or at least pretend he is entertaining the thought for producers so they can add a little phony baloney tension to Tribal Council. Speaking of Tribal Council…

I am thankful for Denise
The best part of Denise’s take down of Abi at Tribal Council was that it was so calm, cool, and collected. Thus, Abi could not just pass it off as the ravings of a lunatic. Here was a perfectly nice, well-adjusted, educated woman not raising her voice or wagging her finger, but pointing out — when she was not interrupted, that is — precisely how horrible Abi had been and how it could not be excused as a mere lack of language skills. “I’ve never had that much hatred towards me, ever,” said Abi. (Uh-oh, better not read the message boards then.)

NEXT: RC continues her fine work on the jury

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