Survivor: Philippines

Guest Post: A Survivor Love Sonnet for Abi-Maria Gomes


A Survivor Love Sonnet for Abi-Maria Gomes[/caption]
It’s been another wild and hairy week on Survivor! Guest blogger Glenn Holford apologizes to Jeff Probst, writes a love letter to Abi-Maria, and mentions Artis Silvester!

First order of business, I have to write a humble retraction. I wrote a blog post a couple of weeks ago accusing Jeff Probst of exercising unfair influence on the game. I claimed that he was taking Penner’s side, and interjecting his opinion into the game to give Penner a warning to play his Idol. I said that he was violating the integrity of his neutral role as host, and by extension, that he was violating the integrity of the show.

I listened to the Probstcast last night, and I’ve been convinced that I was wrong. Jeff, I’m sorry I doubted you. You once again demonstrated that you’re thoughtful and deliberate in your role as Survivor host. You do not take the game lightly. You do all you can to ensure that the game is both fair to the players and entertaining to the viewers, and you take extraordinary lengths to interact with all of us at home who love the show. You deserved better than the treatment I gave you. I apologize.

But that’s what fun about writing these blog posts. I like to take an outrageous stance, and then argue it soberly. Nobody wants to read boring stiff Survivor analysis. I gotta do what I can to spice it up for you guys. Besides, chances are that if you’re reading this blog, you’re already probably far more knowledgeable about the game than I am. In fact, I know you are. My appetite for Survivor is sated by a weekly episode. I don’t have to wander the Internet searching for Survivor blogs to read. Loyal blog readers, you’re weird.

But, I do what I can to keep you entertained! I’ll accuse Jeff Probst of being an incompetent NFL ref. I’ll call Personality Pete a douchebag. I’ll claim to love Russell Swan, who is terrible at Survivor and no one remembered anyway, and I’ll write dramatic eulogies for him when his bumbling ineptitude gets him voted out. I’ll make power rankings based on no facts whatsoever, and then stake my reputation on them. I’ll do whatever it takes, loyal blog readers, to put smiles on your faces. As Jonathon Penner would say, I’m a storyteller.

You know what? Now that I think about it, I don’t have any journalistic integrity whatsoever. Retraction retracted!

So let’s get to work on tonight’s episode of Survivor!

Tonight’s episode revolved around the ambiguous and wavering allegiances of Lisa Welchel and Michael Skupin. As foretold by Jeff Varner last week, Mike and Lisa have finally expressed on-camera their undying loyalty to one another. Where treads one, treads also the other. They promised to vote together and talk strategy together. They swore to stay together ‘til Day 39 do they part. They probably hold each other’s hands while they pee in the jungle. Survivor love is a beautiful thing.

But they didn’t vote together tonight. And, even more interestingly, despite thirty minutes of agonized on-camera deliberations and tearful soliloquies, it wasn’t Lisa who made a move. This episode was like watching HamletLisa is Prince Hamlet: she can’t make a decision, and so everything goes horribly wrong. Abi-Maria is Polonius, whose death in this game will come not from her malice, but merely from her ineptitude. Mike Skupin is our Claudius, turning on his own kind to improve his own position. And poor Artisis our King Hamlet, murdered by his own brother.

I guess we should fill out the rest of the cast. Alright, Malcolm is Horatio, because he’s loveable and forgiving to Lisa even after her betrayal. Denise is Gertrude, pious and beloved, but somewhat unaware of the duplicity going on around her. Carter is Ophelia. He saw his brother in the game Jeff Kent murdered, and now he just wanders around deliriously waiting to die. And Penner is our Laertes. He is clever and bold, and is acting as Lisa’s foil in the game. Let’s see, who’s left?  Oh yeah, and Pete is a douchebag. Done!

So there you go. Now you don’t have to read Hamlet. You already know everything. You’re welcome.

So let’s talk about Abi-Maria Gomes. Things are definitely going horribly wrong for her!

My favorite moment of the night was Abi’s face at Tribal Council, when it began to dawn on her that Lisa/Mike might turn on her. Most of us can only hope to imagine what was going on in her mind at this moment, but luckily for you, I have telepathic powers. It went 100% exactly like this:

Wait a second. Are you telling me—ARE YOU TELLING ME—that insulting people, lashing out, and wandering around camp scowling like someone just took away my candied apple on Halloween, isn’t going to win me loyalty?! 

(Also, I can absolutely assure you that Abi’s mental voice sounds exactly like Darth Vader.)

To quote Tyson Apostol: “Oh my gosh, dude.” How is it possible that Abi didn’t see this coming?

Maybe it’s not her fault. Maybe she just doesn’t know. Ignorance is a viable defense, I guess. If that’s the case, I’m going to pause here to write a short letter to Abi-Maria, seal it in an envelope with the appropriate number of stamps, and send it back in time via the closest available Time Machine Mailbox.

Hey, by the way… what’s the zip code for the Philippines?

November 14, 2012

Dear Abi-Maria,

Thank you. I know that it may seem strange to begin a letter from the future this way—but trust me, you’ve earned it. A week ago I was worried that you might stand a chance of making it to the end of this game—even that you might manage to squeak out a win! Thank you so much for putting my mind utterly at peace.

I know that your mind must be swimming with questions. How could Lisa and Mike turn on you? Why would they?! You’ve handled yourself with grace! You said so yourself!

Now, I know. Your critics are going to say that there’s nothing graceful about volatile verbal explosions around camp. They’re going to say that it’s unwise to insult your fellow castaways, or to alienate a crucial swing vote by calling her “gullible” and “naïve”. Don’t you listen to them, girl. You just keep right on doing what you’re doing. I’m from the future, and I can tell you: that strategy works out perfectly. Enjoy your million dollars.

Hugs and kisses!
-Glenn Holford

Okay, you got me. I didn’t give her any of the insights on the flaws of her game that we can all so clearly see. I’ll admit it! I’m a saboteur, loyal blog readers. I want to see her ass crash and burn. I love it.

But let’s focus on the positive. Abi’s accomplished something that’s never been done in the history of Survivor. She’s managed to summit a peak that no one else has ever dared to climb. I think it’s only fair that we all stand back and admire her accomplishment. This is history in the making, people.

Abi-Maria is the first player in Survivor history to completely throw out strategic, social, AND physical game. She read her Survivor buff carefully. Outwit? Outplay? Outlast? NO THANKS.

She’s decided to play a completely different game. I don’t even know what game she’s playing, but it’s one of her own devising. I admire it. I think she’s a pioneer. Everybody loves a rogue.

So, the question of the night is whether Lisa knew Skupin was going to vote for Artis. Last week, we all assumed that Penner’s vote for Abi was a brilliant move of subtle sabotage, ensuring the removal of his rival Jeff Kent and also stirring up Abi’s legendary temper and paranoia. We credited him with a move of Machiavellian brilliance. Turns out, he just had a brain fart. So, I’m going to take the opposite assumption this week. I’m going to assume that Mike made this decision independently of Lisa. He took his fate into his own hands. He’s a man today. Why don’t I think that this was a brilliant plan that Lisa and Mike hatched together? To quote Tyson Apostol one more time, “We’re thinking of the smartest things these players could do. And that’s what never happens.”

Alright, let’s get serious and talk at least a little bit about Artis. How is it possible that he still managed to get almost no camera time, even on his own boot episode? That’s just a shame. I never talk about Artis normally, so I can at least do him the credit of mentioning his name the night he’s voted out.

Okay. Done. I think that’s enough of that. Good work, team. See ya next week!


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