'Survivor' - 'Gouge My Eyes Out' recap: Abi's last stand

denise-stapley-abi-maria-gomes-survivor-philippines.jpgFive finalists remain on "Survivor: Philippines" -- the Fab Four ( Lisa, Michael Skupin, Malcolm and Denise) and .. Abi.

Going into tonight's (Dec. 12) final regular episode, the bigmouth Brazilian had two shots to stay in the game: winning immunity, or persuading two of the four to drag her along as a sacrificial goat.

Post-Tribal

The five finalists celebrate making it to Day 34, with Abi, oblivious as usual, profusely thanking the others for keeping her around. Maybe in her "culture" goats deserve respect?

In their confessionals, Lisa reiterates that she'll bring someone she can beat, no matter how "yucky" it feels to keep Abi around, while Malcolm calls Lisa's strategy an eye opener.

Skupin laughs at Abi's "ironic" reversal of fortune, saying: "I think you thought you were going to be here [in the final five], just with different people."

He also giggles about Abi's announcement "with trumpets" that she's going into the woods to get water, and the others join in, agreeing that -- given her obvious relief -- if she really had a Hidden Immunity Idol, she would've played it at Tribal.

Then Abi "warns" Lisa that she's at the bottom of her alliance and will be the next to go after Abi, while Lisa mentally swats her away like a fly.

Reward Challenge

The Castaways race up and over a slide into the ocean to grab bundle of rings for a ring toss. The first to land rings on each of five pegs wins the reward: a helicopter/boat ride to swim with whale sharks, eat pizza and enjoy unlimited soda.

Skupin is the winner, remarking that his last chopper ride was his medical evacuation from "Survivor" after falling in the fire.

Two others can join him, so he rewards Malcolm for picking his son to join him at camp in the last loved-ones reward, and Lisa. Denise is rewarded as well: Skupin offers her his rice and Lisa promises to do the dishes later!

Abi says she's heartbroken she wasn't picked, complaining, "I guess my vote doesn't mean anything." Wait, what? She really thinks she's in a position to court her vote? Another light bulb went off: "It proves to me I'm on the bottom of whatever alliance." She's half-right: she's on the bottom, but she hasn't been in the same sentence with "alliance" in weeks.

Oh, Denise gets one more perk: quality time at camp, an Odd Couple experience she compares to "your first date with the kid who spit in your lunch in kindergarten."

Not that Denise really minds, merely commenting, "I want to hang myself, gouge my eyes out [and] put needles right through my eardrums."

On the reward, Skupin acts like a "drunk chick at a bar," OD'ing on sugar after forgoing soda for 30 years.

"All of a sudden Michael Skupin's fun to be around," marvels Malcolm -- especially after the hapless vet is headbutted by a whale shark.

It's not all sugar and making out with giant sea creatures, though: the three "cement a deal" to go to the final three together. (Although Lisa later admitted she'd be happy to "make another deal" if she can "talk sense into Michael Skupin.")

Camp

Denise awakens the next morning with sharp burning pain in her shoulder and FANG MARKS in her neck. "Spider, little lizard, tarantula, snake [or Abi?] ... it's not going to kill me," nonchalantly notes the toughest "Survivor" chick since Stephenie LaGrossa popped her own dislocated shoulder back into place. It's unclear whether Lisa and Michael's prayers helped relieve her agonizing pain, but she wasn't going to let a vampire attack deter her in the Immunity Challenge.

Immunity Challenge

Using planks to create a rope bridge and collecting pieces to a maze along the way, the first Castaway to assemble and navigate a ball through the maze is guaranteed a spot in the final four. Malcolm blows his lead by falling off the bridge and having to restart, while Denise has a clear lead despite her injury. But in a thrilling finish, Malcolm comes from behind to win the Immunity Necklace -- with an Immunity Idol to spare.

Pre-Tribal

Skupin plays with fire and gets burned. (That is not a metaphor. Is that chopper still nearby?) At least he's smart enough to acknowledge that "hanging out with Abi the next three days is definitely worth a million dollars." Or is he?

Denise casually asks Malcolm to lend her his Hidden Immunity Idol, but he insists she doesn't need it and plans to take it home with him.

Tribal Council

Denise recounts Abi's scrambling, after which Jeff reminds Abi why everyone hates her. "With respect, which probably means without any," says the straight-shooting host, "You've been detested, laughed at and been told ... you're just not nice -- nobody here wants you around." Ouch!

By pointing to Abi's "luck" in not going to Tribal Council with Tandang, Denise gives Lisa a chance to bankroll some jury votes with some yellow-flag waving. "We avoided Tribal Council not because of luck but because of the strength of Tandang," Lisa retorts, while R.C., Pete and Artis preen themselves from the jury.

But Abi insists that neither Lisa nor Skupin can win, and when Skupin tries to respond, she calls him "an idiot once and a moron twice" (summary courtesy of Jeff).

Finally, Malcolm points out that Abi may be a goat, but she could win if she makes it to the end.

Alas, Abi won't get the chance to argue her case before the jury: She's unanimously voted out by the Fab Four -- reassuring Denise that there isn't "something seriously wrong in the universe" after all.

Hmmm, will Denise feel the same way about the universe if she's voted out next? Did Malcolm do the right thing by keeping the Hidden Immunity Idol as a souvenir instead of using it to oust Lisa?

Abi remained oblivious to the end, asserting that she was "targeted as the crazy Latina" in her farewell, adding that her bluntness "bit me on my big Brazilian a**."

Whose words and actions will come back to bite them in the finale? Tune in Sunday at 8 p.m. on CBS to find out!
Photo/Video credit: CBS
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