"Survivor" is a lot like the game of poker. You have to be able to read people, call bluffs, and take risky bets.
And as in poker, you can be on the verge of losing and then be dealt a winning hand in the next round.
After last week's brutal tribal council, Abi is facing elimination. It's clear that nobody likes her and she'll be the next to get voted out.
But this is a game of twists and turns, and with a little help, Abi wins the immunity challenge. It's an outcome nobody expected or wanted, which throws the rest of the tribe into scramble mode.
Jonathan Penner quickly becomes the target, and despite his best persuasive efforts to sway Skupin and Lisa, he is voted out.
One returning player gone ... only Skupin remains.
At camp, a bitter Abi complains about the comments she received at the last tribal council.
"I'm the most unliked person on this island right now," she says. Later, she tells the others, "I'm sorry if I was a bit too honest with some of you." Oh, Abi, it's not what you say; it's how you say it!
They head off to the reward challenge, which is a classic "Survivor" auction. They each get $500 to bid on items, some revealed and others hidden.
Denise is the first to lay down her entire stash of cash for a breakfast of pancakes, bacon, and OJ. Skupin does the same for some wine and cheese.
Malcolm gets doughnuts, Penner gets fried chicken, and Carter deals away his baked potato spread for provisions for the whole tribe.
Almost everybody uses up his or her money, except Abi, who's able to pounce on the one item she needs most: an advantage in the game.
The advantage is not a clue to a hidden immunity idol; rather, it allows Abi to skip to the final round in the coming immunity challenge.
Ever devious, though, Abi wants to give the others the impression that she's found the hidden idol. She tells Malcolm that she's got it, though he doesn't seem to buy it.
"Abi's a bit like having a girlfriend who hasn't gotten the message and won't leave after you've broken up with her," he says. "She's bitter; she hasn't forgiven you; you're not getting the benefits of having a girlfriend around anymore. It's the worst situation possible."
Rope a dope
The immunity challenge involves navigating an obstacle course while attached to a rope.
When Jeff Probst prompts her to read her advantage card, Abi continues her BS. She says there are "two parts" to it, one of which is moving directly to the final round of the challenge. The "other part" (which doesn't exist) ... well, she tears up the card into tiny pieces.
Penner and Carter make it to the final round with Abi, but they're so exhausted from battling in the other rounds that she -- who constantly got sidelined in previous challenges -- wins.
Uh-oh ... now what?!
(By the way, smug Abi is the worst. Even worse than whining Abi.)
A conflicted Lisa soon tells a shocked Penner that he's the target of her alliance, which includes Skupin, Malcolm, and Denise.
Lisa, who's all about loyalty, won't budge from her word. But she encourages Penner to go do his "magic" on Skupin, who could be the swing vote.
Penner appeals to him, returning player to returning player. Meanwhile, Skupin is weighing whom he can win against in the final three.
During tribal council, Penner keeps hammering at that, arguing that nobody could win against Malcolm and Denise in the final.
In the end, though, Skupin doesn't sway, and Penner is voted out. He hugs Carter, refuses to hug Abi, and walks away whistling.
The third time wasn't the charm for Jonathan Penner.
Are you sad to see Penner go? Read what "Survivor" fans had to say about his exit; then leave your comment below!
"Survivor: Philippines airs Wednesdays at 8 PM on CBS.
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- Jonathan Penner