‘Survivor: Philippines’ castaway spotlight: Jonathan Penner

Following Russel Swan and Mike Skupin, we have now arrived at our final returning play to analyze in our “Survivor: Philippines” spotlight series — and when it comes to strategy, Jonathan Penner is clearly the most interesting. He has never been much of a provider or physical player, but he is a pot-stirring and a guy who could have made it pretty far on both his past seasons were it now for a few mistakes.

Name – Jonathan Penner

Age – 50

Location – Los Anageles, California

Tribe – Kalabaw

Past “Survivor” experience – Penner made the jury the first time around on “Survivor: Cook Islands,” but was most notorious for causing drama and by mutinying his own tribe alongside Candice Woodcock. He was in a position to go pretty far on “Fans vs. Favorites,” but his time was cut short after he was evacuated due to injury. His exit was not nearly as dramatic, though, as what happened to Russell or Mike.

Strategy – The best way to describe Penner is a more confrontational Boston Rob without the physical prowess. He’s an incredibly smart guy, and loves to be the puppetmaster and manipulate people into doing what he wants. With his skill set being what it is at the moment, we honestly cannot anticipate him doing much else on the show if he wants to make it far.

Strengths – As we said, he’s a smart guy, and he also is smart enough to have learned from his past mistakes. Coach came back his third time around a smarter and more accomplished player, and we expect Penner to know better now when to keep himself in check and when to explode. Even though he is not an alpha male in some ways, he is not going to sit around camp with a sense of entitlement and force others to do things for him.

Weaknesses – Really, what could do Penner in here is that he Jonathan Penner. He carries more baggage into this game than either of the other returning players, and if he has some fans of the show on his tribe they could poison the watering hole by saying that he is someone to take out immediately. He’s also not someone that you have to justify keeping around in order to make it to the merge strong and with a fantastic camp.

Prediction – From the standpoint of entertainment, we hope that Penner gets far. However, we just don’t see it happening. We anticipate this being a little like when Russell Hantz played the game the third time and was taken out early — there’s just not that much value for the tribe in keeping Penner around, and he’s such a good player that he could win if he is allowed to stay for a while. If he makes a good alliance early, he’ll go far — otherwise, we’d be shocked if he makes it past the first several weeks thanks to the enormous target that is on his back.

How do you think that Penner is going to fare this season? We want to hear from you below! Also, be sure to check out some more of our spotlights by visiting the link here.

Photo: CBS


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