Survivor: Philippines

survivorphilippinesIt all came down to the final four tonight on the climax of SURVIVOR: PHILIPPINES, a season that I found interesting enough to follow, but not compelling enough to make it appointment TV.

Still, I did want to know who would win and, alas, it was not my choice — Michael Skupin — but rather Denise Stapley, the one-woman army, who also outlasted Lisa Whelchel, the former star of FACTS OF LIFE, and also-ran Malcolm Freberg.

The final trio was Denise, Skupin and Lisa, and while I was on the fence whether Lisa belonged there, Skupin and Denise earned their way into the final confrontation with the jury. Denise had endured every single tribal council, and kept her record straight. She won handily, earning all but two votes from the jury.

Lisa did, however, manage to pull out the fan vote for the $100,000 Player of the Season award.

Host Jeff Probst presided over a fairly colorful jury sequence capped by Jonathan Penner‘s sharp (and obviously highly-rehearsed) speech skewering all the final players (before he went on to vote for Denise.

From the live reunion show, I was glad to learn that Abi-Maria Gomes finally admitted that she is the least self-aware person on the planet, and Jeff pointed out that Abi dragged down RC Saint-Armour as well.

Special kudos to the show for observing a moment of silence for the shooting victims of Newtown, Conn.

All-in-all, it was an entertaining season, and I look forward the next cycle, SURVIVOR: CARAMOAN: FANS VS. FAVORITES, premiering in February.

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