CBS's hit reality show, Survivor: Philippines, featured a healthy dose of swindling in its most recent episode, "Down and Dirty." As things stood, the Tandang tribe was low on rice, in part because of their sheer numbers, but also because Michael Skupin has been sneaking rice for himself and eating it raw. Heading into the episode’s first challenge, the Tandang are desperate for food.

In the Reward Challenge, the Tandang faced off against the Kalabaw tribe in a battle that was part soccer and part mud wrestling. Former Facts of Life star Lisa Whelchel competed in the reward challenge with the Tandang Tribe alongside Michael and Pete Yurkowski against the Team Kalabaw tribe members Jonathan Penner, Denise Stapely and Carter Williams. Playing on a mud-soaked course, the two tribes tried to push a massive wooden ball into the opposing team’s goal. After much struggle, and very little movement from either side, the tribes struck a deal. The Kalabaw would give the Tandang the rest of their rice, while the Kalabaw were given the win and the ensuing prize. The prize was a much-needed feast of sandwiches, potato chips and brownies, as well as a surprise batch of letters from home.


Back at the Tandang tribe, most of the team members were furious with Michael, who helped broker the deal, because they thought the measly bits of rice would be worthless. However, it turned out to be a savvy play, because while the Kalabaw stuffed their faces one day, they were scrambling for scraps soon thereafter, especially after Jonathan Penner, who said he could catch fish for the tribe to eat, came up short.



In the immunity challenge, during which one group member fired a ball out of a massive slingshot that the other tribe members had to catch in a net, the Kalabaw lost again and were forced to send someone home. They initially thought of giving Jonathan the boot, but ultimately chose Katie Hanson, who had to pack her bags.



While Survivor fans will spend the week trying to figure out who made the better deal, host Jeff Probst remained noncommittal on the matter, stating that he enjoys the way deals spice up the episode.



“I LOVE deal making," Probst told EW. Once I hear a deal being made I stop talking and get out of the way. Then I usually recap the proposed deal for the audience and ask those involved if they’re going to move forward with it or not. Even if the deal gets nixed, the fact that somebody suggested it almost always results in conflict back at camp.”



Survivor, now in its 25th season, airs Wednesdays on CBS at 8 p.m. EST. —Hal Sundt

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