By Beth Aaltonen
For The Baltimore Sun
9:24 AM EST, November 15, 2012
Back from Tribal Council on Night 22, everyone is reeling. Apparently all the players were just as confused as the viewers at Tribal Council, and there was no strong plan. Jonathan realizes that by voting for Abbi because he was mad at her, he kept the vote from being a Jeff/Pete tie.
Now that Lisa's betrayal has worked, she's remorseful to Malcolm about betraying his confidence. Easy to say, now that you've got the numbers on your side. I wonder how she would feel if things hadn't gone her way and she had a big ol' target on her back.
Jonathan realizes that he's probably going home if he doesn't win immunity, and how precarious the Tangdang alliance is. Now he's telling Lisa everything she wants to hear, namely that she's a good person and didn't betray anybody. For extra points, he uses the phrase "God's honest truth." He also "has her number" when it comes to her feelings about being a child star -- namely that she feels like she has to be liked and please everyone all the time.
Reward challenge time! They will be divided into teams again, and there are obstacles, mud and rice, and what I thought would be a puzzle (there have been so many puzzles this season), but instead it's balls that they have to get into a high tube (it looks like a giant funnel). Mike, Artis, Lisa and Pete are on one team, and Jonathan, Carter, Malcolm and Denise are on the other. They did a schoolyard pick, and no one picked Abbi, so she has to sit out. Ha.
Jonathan again proves how smart he is by pulling all the ball bags out of the mud, not just his own, and leaving them where his teammates can easily find them. His team pulls ahead, and stays there. Malcolm, Denise, Carter and Jonathan get to go to a local village and be "Survivor Ambassadors" (and of course, are fed).
The winners come into the village with a big crate full of toys and school supplies. There's a really cute moment where Jonathan tells the kids what his name is, and they all repeat, "Jonathan." Then, he tells them that his name is normal in America, and all the kids go, "normal." He tries to explain what he meant, but they all laugh at him.
Jonathan can't believe how happy everybody in the village is. Um, Jonathan, you're essentially Santa Claus, of course they're going to be happy. Malcolm is reminded of his experiences teaching in Micronesia and how it's far more rewarding to work with kids than it is to serve drunk college girls. Yup.
Back at camp, Artis and Pete are mad that they didn't win, although Pete is glad for the opportunity to work on getting Lisa and Mike to believe they are a true part of the alliance. Abbi is not helping matters by haranguing Lisa about giving information to the other team, and calling her gullible and naive. Wow, way to make friends, Abbi. Even Mr. Cranky, Artis, realizes that she has no people skills and needs to shut up.
And because of Abbi's awesome pep talk, Lisa is now considering allying herself (and that means Mike, too) with everybody who is not Tangdang. Can't really call it Kalabaw, since Malcolm was never part of that tribe. Lisa flip-flops a lot though, so I wouldn't believe it either way until the votes are read in Tribal Council.
Immunity Challenge time! Jonathan really, really needs to win again. It's a balancing challenge, but instead of endurance, you need to balance six balls into tiny divots in a board. It reminds me of the little bubble puzzles you could get in gumball machines. This may take forever.
Early on, Pete and Mike are the only two with balls on their boards. In fact, Mike wins before anybody other than Pete gets a ball to stay.
Can I wish for Abbi to go? I know that it's highly unlikely, but she bugs me and contributes nothing positive. The obvious choice will be Jonathan, but I hope he somehow manages to squeak through for another week.
Denise, Malcolm, and Carter are talking about who on Tangdang to target. They all agree that Abbi will never give the Immunity Idol to Artis, so it might make sense to target him. While they're right, I also think that Lisa and Mike would be more likely to vote for Abbi, since she's the meanest.
Meanwhile, Jonathan is working on Lisa by appealing to which role she will play when "Survivor" airs, and how she won't be viewed as the "nice girl" that she wants to be if she helps Artis, Pete and Abbi get further in the game since they are so unlikeable. And you know what? He's not wrong. But it remains to be seen if she will figure it out in time.
Mike and Lisa talk about their options, and Mike raises the very good point that they don't need to be loyal to people who aren't loyal to them. Lisa is worried about looking like she jumped alliances, but Mike points out that they were never really part of the Tangdang alliance. They were always just cannon fodder.
Tribal Council time! Jeff (the player) has grown a mustache. It looks odd. Jeff Probst immediately questions Lisa about the last Tribal Council since she can't seem to stop talking at these things. Abbi thinks she has "shown grace" to Lisa, and surprisingly no one laughs directly in her face -- although some look like they want to.
Lisa has figured out that she can';t turn off her heart to play the game, which sounds like she's ready to get rid of the people who dislike her, but we'll see. And this is exactly what Jonathan was trying to tell her. I'm sitting here, right now, rooting for her to turn on the rest of Tangdang and vote Abbi out. I will like her more if she does, and be disappointed in her if she doesn't.
And then Abbi has to open her mouth and flat out admit that she doesn't trust Lisa, even though Lisa has never voted against them before, and sided with them at the last Tribal Council. Way to screw yourself over, Abbi (I hope.)
... And it's Artis! See Lisa -- now I like you and see you as the underdog who went with her conscience. And wow, does Abbi look mad. RC and Jeff in the jury look ecstatic.
Next week: Mike has a plan, and Abbi is trying to be nice to people now that it's her butt on the line.
Credits: Artis is gracious, and complements Jonathan on managing to not only last another week, but to take down the alliance with the majority. But hold on, we see all the votes, and it was Mike that voted for Artis, not Lisa. I take it back, Lisa -- Mike is now the underdog that I'm rooting for. You're dead to me.