And the Winner of Survivor Philippines is:

Denise Stapely! Congratulations! I just had to get that out of the way first since I am probably the last to blog about the winner of this season's Survivor. 

Sometimes you don't know if you would be happy about your prediction or hunch coming true or not. It's really unfortunate that Malcolm didn't make it to the final three. But this has been truly a great season that I am equally delighted that my second bet, Denise, won and my third bet, Lisa got the Player of the Game award. Though I feel bad that Malcolm is .07 percent close to winning a hundred grand for that award and he didn't even get a car even if it could be "cursed" .... Because instead he got a cursed advantage to the last immunity challenge. 

And as i said before, Malcolm should have maintained an unbreakable bond with Denise who was his ally from day 1, back at the Matsing tribe, instead considering her as a threat. After Malcolm won the reward challenge, the aforementioned advantage to the last immunity challenge, Denise approached Malcolm and explicitly asked him not to vote her out so that Lisa and her would get equal votes and have a least a fire-making tie-breaker challenge. Malcolm's non-committal and very vague response, gave Denise the go signal to reach out to Lisa and Skupin and ask the solid - original Tandang duo to take Malcolm out if he loses the last immunity challenge. That was the opportunity Lisa was waiting for all along - the chance to finally break the bond between Denise and Malcolm and take him out, which she has attempted a couple of times already.

As fate would have it, during the final immunity challenge, which mattered the most among all challenges, Malcolm lost despite having the reward advantage. Because of excitement, Malcolm's hands were just shaking during the endurance challenge and he was the first one out - he used his second chance, and then failed again. You can just feel his disappointment. Whoever wins the challenge doesn't matter anymore, but it was Skupin. He achieved his goal to beat Malcolm at the most critical time. Great job Skupin for redeeming yourself and reaching the final spot this time; your luck just run out Malcolm.

Malcolm knew that this time his fate would be decided by Denise and Skupin; he is not calling the shots anymore.

Back at camp, Malcolm talked to Lisa about the probability that Denise is lobbying against him. Lisa asked Malcolm if they should go along with Denise... Malcolm said "No," but cut short to saying "If we're all good, I don't care." That almost sounded like conceding on Malcolm's part. 

At the tribal council, it's still unclear whether Skupin would vote for Malcolm or Denise. Skupin had this 'primitive' idea to take Malcolm in the end because it would be more honorable to fight against the best. Meanwhile, Lisa is more explicit that she would not be taking Malcolm with her in the final 3. Malcolm made an argument that Denise had a better chance of winning compared to all of them because even if they basically had the same story, Denise was present on all tribal councils and she didn't piss-off as many of the members of the jury compared to him.

Skupin becomes the deciding vote. Denise got one vote, Malcolm got three votes and he became the last member of the jury. Before his exit, Malcolm congratulated Denise for her million dollars. 

Back at camp, Skupin was surprised that Malcolm congratulated Denise after turning her back on him. Skupin is not convinced that Denise is as unbeatable as Malcolm. 

At the very last tribal council, the final three made their plea to the eight members of the jury. 

Denise said that she won't make any apologies for being in the final three because she deserved to be there. And as expected she laid-out her cards - attending all tribal councils, adapting and assimilating to three tribes; work-force at camp; and a strategic player.

Lisa admitted that her strategy was not pretty. She fell down a couple of times and she was playing with her heart. Until her brother arrived and made her realize that it's all a game and she needed to play it worthy of the game. 

Skupin said that being a returning player already puts a target on his back. And he played the game with such fire. He played his guts off and respected the core of the game. He said that he loved the game too much, like the rest of them do.

Artis was the first to talk. He refused to congratulate the final 3 and told them that they would suffer the consequences for not sticking to their word. And Karma is a bitch.

Carter recognized that the three played a good game. But asked Skupin what he felt about voting him out. Skupin told Carter that there wasn't any reason for them to keep him if they wanted to have a shot at winning. It was the hardest vote.

Pete compared Lisa's strategy to Judas. Lisa clarified that she didn't know Artis was going out. Denise told Pete that she had a much more strategic game. 

RC was pretty obvious that she would be voting for Lisa telling her that from day 1, she wanted to vote her off because she is smart, sneaky and sweet and she knew this would happen. She congratulated her.

Malcolm talked about Denise trying to appease everybody, being a therapist that she is. Denise said that she listened and observed, which was a great deal in the game.

Jeff asked Skupin if he's the type that make things happen, watch things happen or ask what the hell just happened. Skupin said that his neck was always at the chopping block, and he never heard the names of the other two brought up before the tribal council. Lisa said that she didn't float in the middle and she was pretty wide open and even made a major move of attempting to blindside Malcolm.

Abi said the her heart is broken for being the most unlikeable person in the tribe. Denise apologized if she was truly traumatized and demoralized but their philosophy and strategies just didn't match.

Penner called Denise a bitch. He told Skupin that his name was never written, compared to him that probably got written a close-to-record 15 times. Penner then revealed that Lisa was a television star for almost a decade and he kept that secret. Lisa countered by saying that Penner also didn't talk about what he did as a teenager. Then Penner went on about the three of them going to the slaughter house... An analogy I didn't quite get.

The votes:

RC voted for Lisa, Carter voted for "Skoopin" and Penner voted for "Dennis" for playing a pretty flawless game.

At CBS TV City in Hollywood, Jeff Probst tallied the votes: Lisa got 1, Skoopin got 1 and Denise got 4 - assuming she also got the last 2 votes... Denise was declared the winner for this season.

Memorable Moments at the Reunion

Skupin truly believed that he could get more votes, saying he knew how he played the game and he didn't know how the other two played it.

The majority of the jury still would have voted for Denise and not Malcolm even if both of them end up in the final three. Ouch again for Malcolm. Malcolm said that he was really confident with his pact with Mike and Lisa.

The montage of Skupin's McGoo moments - he explained that his adrenaline rush made him forget about his injuries.

Malcolm's the greatest hero of the season tribute and he is single - good news for the ladies out there. He explained that his swag and having the confidence is the best thing to have in the world... Though his nerves when he gets excited cost him the title. Malcolm said that he is willing to play again.

Abi's greatest villain of the season montage. Abi said that she has grown from the experience.

RC and Pete getting into a heated exchange after admitting that Abi is both their downfalls.

Carter was hungry - so it took away all his being funny and energetic.

Dawson giving Jeff Probst another kiss, this time smacked right in the mouth! An epic way to cap off the season.

And the next season of Survivor is Survivor: Caramoan FANS vs FAVORITES where 10 fans would battle it out against 10 favorites.  It would be held at the same islands in Philippines!

Thank you everyone! Until next season!

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