This week on Survivor: Philippnes, returning player Jonathan Penner was eliminated from the game after a fellow tribe member won a key immunity challenge.
Although returning Survivor favorite Jonathan Penner managed to stave off elimination when the tribes merged this season on Survivor: Philippines, Penner lost the necessary votes to continue on Thursday when the outspoken Abi-Maria won immunity at the right time.
In a last ditch attempt to turn the tables at Tribal Council, Penner pleaded with former Facts of Life star Lisa Welchel and fellow returnee Michael Skupin to vote for tribal allies Malcolm and Denise. Unfortunately, Penner couldn’t get the swing vote necessary to keep him in the game and was voted out.
Prior to Tribal Council, however, Abi-Maria made a key move during this week’s food auction by bidding all of her money on a future advantage in the game. As it turned out, Abi-Maria bypassed the first stages of the immunity challenge to give her a one-in-three shot at staying in the game.
After talking with The Deadbolt the next day, does Penner feel that everyone dropped their guard with Abi during the food auction?
“Obviously we did! I thought I was in a better position than I was. Everyone knew the position they were in. Quite honestly, I didn’t think about there being some type of specific advantage that Abi might afford herself. The last food auction I had been in there was a disadvantage that you could buy. So, drop our guard? Yeah, I guess we did. We all assumed she was going home and it was a dangerous thing to do.”
Although Penner made it into the final six on Survivor: Philippines, the former Survivor was a target all season long simply because he had played the game before. When Penner started the season on the Kalabaw tribe, he quickly fell into the cross-hairs of former baseball star Jeff Kent and later the remaining merged Survivors.
However, Penner missed a key opportunity to align with Skupin and Lisa to be in a final four alliance, one that could have kept him in the game.
So, what’s Penner’s take on the bias that other Survivors have with returning players?
“I think it’s a little simplistic. I think that folks go into the game with assumptions that can be very dangerous. Certainly you can go very, very far hitching your wagon to a returning player. We know a lot. We have a lot of experience and can go far. We need – because there are targets on our backs – to have strong allies.
Going to a final four, five, or six situation with a returning player and then cut them loose can really catapult you into a final situation. Cutting us off just because we’re returning players is a lot of energy that could be spent in a positive way rather than a negative way. It certainly led to Jeff Kent’s demise.”
How do you feel about Penner leaving Survivor: Philippines?