‘Survivor: Philippines’ prediction: Did Jonathan Penner seal his fate?

If there is one thing we’ve learned in watching 25 seasons of “Survivor,” it’s this: the person you expect to go home, especially in these episodes where it is painted as though it is them against everyone, rarely ends up going home at first. Just look at how Troyzan lasted for a week on “One World,” how Chris Daughtery turned it around in “Vanuatu,” or even how Jonathan Penner managed to save himself with an immunity win earlier this season.

With all of this in mind, we’re going to make a much bolder prediction this week than our obvious feeling last week that Pete Yurkowski was going home: somehow, Abi-Maria Gomes is going to find a way to survive. People may not like her, but she is a useful tool to keep around right now. She’ll never win a final jury vote, and she is an extra person to have on your side. Take, for example, if you are Michael Skupin. You know that Malcolm and Denise are probably going to beat you in the end, but if you can take Abi to the final five, you have a chance to go with her and Lisa Whelchel to the final tribal council. At least this way you have a fighting chance.

When you consider that at least four people still in this game could find a use for Abi, we’re saying this: Penner is going to be the one leaving the game this week. We still don’t know why in the world he told Lisa that he did not want a final four deal last week, and that is by far the biggest mistake he has made in three seasons of playing. He’s not going to be able to go on some sort of immunity run, and he’s enough of a threat that he will have a hard time convincing anyone to keep him. As for his alliance partner Carter, it would not surprise us if someone takes him to the finale given that he’s such a persona non grata. No way this guy makes a compelling speech at the final tribal council.

As for our weekly idol watch, we still anticipate Malcolm keeping it in his pocket. We figure once it gets to the final opportunity he has to play it, he will do so in order to ensure his survival. However, his alliance seems solid enough right now for him feel okay.

Who do you think is likely to leave this game?

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