|Presented by||Jeff Probst|
|No. of episodes||14|
|No. of days||39|
|No. of castaways||18|
|Location(s)||Caramoan, Camarines Sur, Philippines|
|Filming dates||March 18, 2012
– April 25, 2012
|Original release||September 19, 2012– December 16, 2012|
|Preceded by||Survivor: One World|
|Followed by||Survivor: Caramoan|
Survivor: Philippines is the twenty-fifth season of the American CBS competitive reality television series Survivor. The season was filmed March 18–April 25, 2012 and premiered on September 19, 2012 with a special 90-minute episode. It is the first season since Survivor: All-Stars to begin with three tribes and the seventh season overall to feature returning castaways.
Participants' applications were due on October 4, 2011, with approximately 800 chosen for interviews in various states. From there, 15 new contestants were selected. With filming beginning in March, it marked the earliest Survivor season filming to date since Survivor: Borneo. The season featured the 15 new castaways competing with three returning castaways who were removed from their previous seasons due to illness or injury: Michael Skupin (passed out into a fire and suffered severe burns to his face and hands) of The Australian Outback, Jonathan Penner (removed due to a serious infection to his knee) originally from Cook Islands and later evacuated in Micronesia, and Russell Swan (removed after blacking out twice due to low blood pressure) of Samoa.
Denise Stapley was named the winner in the final episode on December 16, 2012, defeating Lisa Whelchel and Michael Skupin in a 6–1–1 vote, marking the second time in Survivor history (after China exactly 10 seasons earlier) where all three finalists received at least one vote. Stapley is the oldest female winner in the show's history, and also holds the distinction of being the only person to have attended and survived every Tribal Council in a single season. Whelchel won $100,000 as the "Sprint Player of the Season", narrowly beating out Malcolm Freberg by 0.7% of a voting margin; the closest margin in the history of the award.
While the three returning players were selected due to being removed from previous seasons for medical reasons, Survivor: Palau contestant Cody Archa alleged that Stephenie LaGrossa from Palau, Guatemala and Heroes vs. Villains was originally considered to compete in the season when it was planned to be a Redemption Island-styled season with female returnees, but she could not compete due to her pregnancy at the time. Colton Cumbie, who was medically evacuated from One World, heavily implied that he was slated to compete in Philippines but was cut at the last minute due to a negative reception during the airing of his original season, which aired right before the castaways were flown out to the Philippines, and replaced with Jonathan Penner. However, Cumbie returned to the game for Survivor: Blood vs. Water.
The contestants include 15 new players to the game and three returning players, who were previously removed from their earlier seasons due to injuries. Notable new contestants this season include the The Facts of Life star Lisa Whelchel, former Major League Baseball player Jeff Kent, and Miss Utah Teen USA Angelia "Angie" Layton.
|Contestant||Original tribe||Absorbed tribe||Merged tribe||Finish|
|Knight, ZaneZane Knight
28, Danville, Virginia
|Matsing||1st voted out
|Morris, Roxanne “Roxy”Roxanne “Roxy” Morris
28, Brooklyn, New York
|Matsing||2nd voted out
|Layton, AngieAngie Layton
20, Provo, Utah
|Matsing||3rd voted out
|Swan, RussellRussell Swan
45, Glenside, Pennsylvania
|Matsing||4th voted out
|Lambert, DanaDana Lambert
32, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
|Dawson, SarahSarah Dawson
28, Silver Spring, Maryland
|Kalabaw||Kalabaw||5th voted out
|Hanson, KatieKatie Hanson
22, Newark, Delaware
|Kalabaw||Kalabaw||6th voted out
|Saint-Amour, Roberta "RC"Roberta "RC" Saint-Amour
27, New York City, New York
|Tandang||Tandang||Dangrayne||7th voted out
1st jury member
|Kent, JeffJeff Kent
44, Austin, Texas
|Kalabaw||Kalabaw||8th voted out
2nd jury member
|Silvester, ArtisArtis Silvester
53, Terrytown, Louisiana
|Tandang||Tandang||9th voted out
3rd jury member
|Yurkowski, Peter "Pete"Peter "Pete" Yurkowski
24, Holmdel, New Jersey
|Tandang||Tandang||10th voted out
4th jury member
|Penner, JonathanJonathan Penner
50, Los Angeles, California
Cook Islands & Micronesia
|Kalabaw||Kalabaw||11th voted out
5th jury member
|Williams, CarterCarter Williams
23, Shawnee, Kansas
|Kalabaw||Kalabaw||12th voted out
6th jury member
|Gomes, Abi-MariaAbi-Maria Gomes
32, Los Angeles, California
|Tandang||Tandang||13th voted out
7th jury member
|Freberg, MalcolmMalcolm Freberg
25, Hermosa Beach, California
|Matsing||Tandang||14th voted out
8th jury member
|Whelchel, LisaLisa Whelchel
49, Dallas, Texas
|Skupin, MichaelMichael Skupin
50, White Lake, Michigan
The Australian Outback
|Stapley, DeniseDenise Stapley
41, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
- Lisa and Michael were considered co-runners up due to being tied at one vote each in the final Tribal Council vote.
Malcolm Freberg returned to compete in the following season, Survivor: Caramoan, where he placed 9th. Roberta "R.C." Saint-Amour was originally supposed to return alongside her father, Craig, for Survivor: Blood vs. Water, but they were pulled from the game the day before filming began due to Craig having high blood pressure. Abi-Maria Gomes returned for Survivor: Cambodia.
The fifteen new castaways were split into three tribes and then introduced to their final tribe members, three returning castaways that had been medically evacuated from their previous seasons: Michael Skupin was assigned to Tandang, Jonathan Penner to Kalabaw, and Russell Swan to Matsing. Matsing lost the first four immunity challenges, leaving only Malcolm, who had the tribe's Hidden Immunity Idol, and Denise, his closest ally since the start of the game. After Matsing's dissolution, Malcolm was sent to Tandang and Denise to Kalabaw. Malcolm quickly integrated himself with Tandang's dominant alliance, led by Pete, while Denise joined Kalabaw's majority alliance, led by Jeff. Though Jeff strongly desired to eliminate the returning players, Jonathan had found Kalabaw's immunity idol, using it as leverage to align with Jeff.
The tribes merged with Tandang holding the majority. Lisa accidentally discovered Malcolm's hidden immunity idol, and promised to keep it a secret if he agreed to take her and Denise to the end of the game. After Jeff and Carter allied with Pete's alliance to vote out the returning players, Jonathan used his idol to save himself. Lisa revealed the existence of Malcolm's idol to the others in an attempt to blindside him. However, after Malcolm convinced the Tandang alliance that he was planning on playing his idol, they voted out Jeff instead. Lisa and Michael, on the bottom of the Tandang alliance, eventually flipped sides, working with the remnants of Kalabaw and Matsing to eliminate the other former Tandang members. Soon after, a core alliance of Michael, Lisa, Malcolm, and Denise was formed, systematically eliminating the others.
Despite winning an advantage in the final Immunity Challenge, Malcolm failed to win immunity and he was subsequently voted out for being the largest threat against the jury. All three finalists were berated by the jury at the Final Tribal Council; Lisa for claiming that she could not handle the pressures of the game, Michael for being strategically and socially inept, and Denise for being condescending at times. However, Denise's argument, coupled with the fact that she was the first player in Survivor history to attend and survive every Tribal Council in the game proved to be the most effective when she earned the title of Sole Survivor by a 6-1-1 vote.
|Episode title||Original air date||Challenge winner(s)||Eliminated||Finish|
|"Survivor Smacked Me in the Chops"||September 19, 2012||Kalabaw||Zane||1st voted out
|"Don't be Blinded by the Headlights"||September 26, 2012||Tandang||Roxy||2nd voted out
|"This Isn't a 'We' Game"||October 3, 2012||Kalabaw||Angie||3rd voted out
|"Create a Little Chaos"||October 10, 2012||Tandang||Russell||4th voted out
|"Got My Swag Back"||October 17, 2012||Tandang||Tandang||Dana||Quit
|Dawson||5th voted out
|"Down and Dirty"||October 24, 2012||Kalabaw[a]||Tandang||Katie||6th voted out
|"Not the Only Actor on This Island"||October 31, 2012||None[b]||Denise||RC||7th voted out
1st jury member
|"Dead Man Walking"||November 7, 2012||Denise,
|Jonathan||Jeff||8th voted out
2nd jury member
|"Little Miss Perfect"||November 14, 2012||Carter,
|Michael||Artis||9th voted out
3rd jury member
|"Whiners are Wieners"||November 21, 2012||Abi-Maria,
|Carter||Pete||10th voted out
4th jury member
|"Hell Hath Frozen Over"||November 28, 2012||Survivor
|Abi-Maria||Jonathan||11th voted out
5th jury member
|"Shot Into Smithereens"||December 5, 2012||Malcolm
|Malcolm||Carter||12th voted out
6th jury member
|"Gouge My Eyes Out"||December 12, 2012||Michael
|Malcolm||Abi-Maria||13th voted out
7th jury member
|"Million Dollar Question"||December 16, 2012||Malcolm||Michael||Malcolm||14th voted out
8th jury member
|"Reunion"||December 16, 2012||Jury vote|
In the case of multiple tribes or castaways who win reward or immunity, they are listed in order of finish, or alphabetically where it was a team effort; where one castaway won and invited others, the invitees are in brackets.
- Tandang forfeited the challenge in exchange for all of Kalabaw's rice.
- There was no reward challenge due to the merge.
|Original air date||U.S. viewers
|365||1||"Survivor Smacked Me in the Chops"||6.6/11||3.2/10||September 19, 2012||11.37||#8|
The fifteen new castaways, already divided into three tribes, were brought in by boat; the three returning castaways were introduced and assigned to these tribes. The tribes were then given sixty seconds to offload as many supplies from the boat to rafts to start their camps. At Matsing, Russell, who had taken a leadership role in his previous appearance, tried to step away from that role, but still ended up making most of the tribe's decisions, irritating the others. Russell found a clue for the hidden immunity idol, and while successful in hiding it, was caught reading the clue by Zane. Russell asserted that anyone looking for the idol would be voted out. The new castaways in Kalabaw immediately targeted Jonathan as their first elimination, while Jonathan began searching for the hidden immunity idol, coming across the clue for it. Dawson recognized Jeff as a baseball player, but kept this information to herself. On Tandang, Michael formed an alliance with RC, Abi-Maria, and Pete; Michael also privately told Lisa that he recognized her from her acting career.
|366||2||"Don't be Blinded by the Headlights"||6.3/10||3.1/9||September 26, 2012||10.31||#24|
At Matsing, Angie and Malcolm's overnight cuddling made Roxy think they were becoming a dangerous pair and she wanted Angie voted out to break up the pair. At Tandang, RC found the clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol, which she shared with Abi-Maria. However, their alliance was an uneasy, suspicious one as Abi-Maria thought RC might be making side alliances with Michael. The tribe thought Lisa spent a lot of time looking for the Hidden Immunity Idol, but in reality, she was just wandering out of camp to be by herself as she felt she was an outsider in her tribe. Over at Kalabaw, Jonathan found the Hidden Immunity Idol: a token on the lid of a box at camp.
|367||3||"This Isn't a 'We' Game"||6.4/10||3.0/9||October 3, 2012||10.38||#16|
The uneasy alliance between Abi-Maria and RC continued at Tandang. Abi-Maria told Pete about the clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol. They found the idol while the rest of the tribe was hunting for clams. Pete talked to Lisa about joining with Abi-Maria to blindside Michael and neutralize RC. Over at Kalabaw, the tribe discovered the missing emblem on the rice container, correctly guessing it had been the Hidden Immunity Idol and that Jonathan had found it. Jonathan later told Jeff that he had the Hidden Immunity Idol in order to try to gain Jeff's trust, but Jeff was still leery of Jonathan.
|368||4||"Create a Little Chaos"||6.4/10||2.8/8||October 10, 2012||9.82||#22|
At Tandang, Pete stirred up trouble in the tribe by planting the clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol in RC's bag where it fell out in front of everybody. Abi-Maria immediately thought that RC had betrayed her. A bewildered RC tried to talk to Abi-Maria about it, but Abi-Maria refused to talk to RC. Over at Kalabaw, the new castaways' plan to vote out Jonathan fell apart when Jeff changed his mind about aligning with Jonathan now that Jonathan had the Hidden Immunity Idol. The two along with Carter formed an alliance while they were out fishing. Back at camp, the women of Kalabaw were suspicious of the men going out on their own and formed their own alliance. Russell continued to look for the Hidden Immunity Idol at Matsing's camp, causing Denise and Malcolm to become suspicious that he might already have it and considered voting him out at the next Tribal Council to blindside him.
|369||5||"Got My Swag Back"||6.3/10||2.8/8||October 17, 2012||10.43||#17|
Anticipating a possible tribal absorption, Denise and Malcolm looked for and found the Hidden Immunity Idol before heading to the Reward Challenge; Malcolm took possession of the idol. Prior to the Reward Challenge, Matsing was declared defeated by the other two tribes. Malcolm was transferred to Tandang, and Denise to Kalabaw.
Malcolm scored the final point of the match for the Tandang win, earning respect from his new tribe and leading Pete to tell Malcolm about the idol. At Kalabaw, Dana started suffering from stomach pains. Jeff Probst and the Survivor medical team were brought in, and though the team had cleared Dana to continue playing, she opted to leave the game.
|370||6||"Down and Dirty"||6.3/10||2.8/8||October 24, 2012||10.23||#22|
On day 15, the Tandang tribe was upset at Michael for him being partially responsible for the tribe's food being quickly depleted.
During the first round of the Reward Challenge, Michael, Pete, and Lisa faced off against Jonathan, Carter, and Denise. The six fought to a standstill for over an hour when Jonathan proposed a deal: Kalabaw would give up all of their remaining rice in exchange winning the reward. Jonathan told his tribe that the deal was okay because he promised that he could catch fish. Michael persuaded his tribe to hear out Jonathan's proposal and after some discussion, Tandang agreed to the deal. At the reward, Kalabaw was surprised by an undeclared extra reward of letters from home. Back at the Tandang tribe, Artis, Abi-Maria, and Pete were livid at the deal struck at the challenge and blamed Michael for speaking for the tribe even though they felt he brought nothing to the tribe. The next day, Jonathan only caught a couple small fish, which caused a lot of grumbling among the tribe.
|371||7||"Not the Only Actor on This Island"||6.1/10||2.5/8||October 31, 2012||9.83||#24|
On day 17, two boats arrived at Tandang and Kalabaw's beaches to take them to a new beach, and the tribes merge. Jeff's past was kept a secret, while Lisa was recognized by Jonathan, who assured her he would keep it a secret. While airing out the tribe's clothes, Lisa accidentally discovered Malcolm's Hidden Immunity Idol. Malcolm then took Lisa aside to do damage control, and she told him she would keep her knowledge of the idol a secret after he promised to take her to the Final Three along with Denise. Still wanting to vote out the returning players first, particularly Jonathan, Jeff sided with the Tandang tribe and followed Malcolm's plan to split the next Tribal Council vote between Jonathan and RC - to either vote out Jonathan or force him to use the Hidden Immunity Idol. Meanwhile, Jonathan tried to get Michael to flip to the Kalabaw side. Michael and RC discussed flipping, telling Jonathan they could not work with Pete and that they wanted him gone. Michael then talked to Jeff about the possibility of joining Kalabaw to vote out one of the former Tandang tribe members, but Jeff told Michael that he really wanted to vote out Jonathan. Michael agreed to follow Jeff's lead.
|372||8||"Dead Man Walking"||6.4/10||2.8/8||November 7, 2012||10.31||#16|
Jonathan confronted his old Kalabaw alliance about their betrayal against him. With an obvious desire for the new players to vote out the returning players, Michael told Jonathan that they should bide their time and be on the look out for cracks amongst the new players in order to stay in the game longer.
At the Reward Challenge, the team of Denise, Jeff, Jonathan, Lisa, and Malcolm took the win. On day 22, Lisa approached Michael and told him that she had discovered Malcolm's Hidden Immunity Idol. She proposed that they stay loyal to the original core Tandang alliance and blindside Malcolm.
|373||9||"Little Miss Perfect"||6.1/10||2.6/8||November 14, 2012||10.06||#18|
Jonathan tried to get Lisa to flip to the Kalabaw side by appealing to her past history and how she would appear to the television audience watching the game. Lisa was unsure if she would stay loyal to Tandang or flip.
At the Reward Challenge, the teams were divided by school yard pick with Artis, Lisa, Michael, and Pete going up against Carter, Denise, Jonathan, and Malcolm with Abi-Maria sitting out. The team of Carter, Denise, Jonathan, and Malcolm won by a wide margin when Jonathan dug out all four of his team's bags making it easier for the following team members to complete the obstacle course stage. While the four were on their reward trip, they agreed that they needed to work on Lisa and Michael on changing to their side. Back at camp, Pete wanted to talk to Lisa and Michael about the Tandang alliance situation, but instead Abi-Maria ripped into Lisa for being naive.
|374||10||"Whiners are Wieners"||4.2/7||2.3/8||November 21, 2012||9.37||#21|
The day after Tribal Council, Lisa told Abi-Maria that their alliance was off as she felt her time on the island would be better if she were aligned with the former Kalabaw instead of being distrusted by Abi-Maria and Pete.
At the Reward Challenge, the team of Abi-Maria, Carter, Malcolm, and Pete beat Denise, Jonathan, Lisa, and Michael. On day 27, Malcolm told Michael that his preferred final four was the two of them along with Denise and Lisa. Michael talked to Lisa about whom she trusted more: Malcolm and Denise or Jonathan and Carter. Lisa said she trusted Jonathan more so they approached Jonathan about going to the final three, but Jonathan did not want to agree to a final three at the time. With Jonathan passing on the opportunity, the group of Denise, Lisa, Malcolm, and Michael agreed to go to the final four together.
|375||11||"Hell Hath Frozen Over"||6.4/10||2.7/8||November 28, 2012||10.37||#20|
On day 29, tree mail contained envelopes with $500 for each castaway, signaling that the day's Reward Challenge would be a Survivor Auction. Money and items won could not be shared. Knowing that she was next to be voted out, Abi-Maria held out of the bidding until she saw a note, which she immediately bid at $500. Carter opted to exchange his baked potato for the bags of rice and beans to feed the entire tribe. Abi-Maria decided that she would try to stir things up in the tribe by feigning that the advantage she won in the game was much more than it really was. She told Malcolm that she was not going to the jury at the next Tribal Council, implying that she had another Hidden Immunity Idol.
|376||12||"Shot Into Smithereens"||6.4/10||2.9/8||December 5, 2012||10.64||#13|
The castaway's loved ones joined them on day 31's Reward Challenge: Michael's son Michael Jr, Carter's mom Bianca, Denise's husband Brad, Lisa's brother Justice, Abi-Maria's mom Vera, and Malcolm's brother Miles. Malcolm and his brother Miles won the challenge. Jeff told Malcolm to pick another castaway and their loved one to stay overnight at camp and he picked Lisa and her brother Justice. Michael then told Malcolm to ask Jeff to let him pick another. Jeff granted the request and Malcolm selected Michael and his son, also named Michael. While talking with Lisa during the loved ones' overnight stay, Justice reminded her that Survivor was a game and that gave her renewed confidence that she could really play the game. She then planned a second attempt at blindsiding Malcolm by teaming up with Michael, Carter, and Abi-Maria and told her plan to Michael and his son.
However, this plan was spoiled when Malcolm won the Immunity Challenge. With the plan spoiled, Lisa and Michael were forced to remain loyal to Malcolm and the alliance of four had to decide between Carter and Abi-Maria. Abi-Maria continued her feint about having a fourth Hidden Immunity Idol. Carter told the alliance of four that they had previously said that they wanted to play with people who deserved to be there instead of who they can beat and that he deserved to be there more than Abi-Maria. At Tribal Council, the alliance of four decided that Carter was too much of threat and he was sent to the jury.
|377||13||"Gouge My Eyes Out"||6.3/10||2.8/8||December 12, 2012||10.37||#17|
Abi-Maria continued her bluff about having another Hidden Immunity Idol and talked to Lisa about voting out Denise.
At the Reward Challenge, Michael took the win and selected Malcolm and Lisa to accompany him on the reward. While on the reward, Malcolm proposed to Lisa and Michael that they go to the final three together. The two agreed, though Lisa kept her options open about making a different alliance. On the morning of day 36, Denise woke up with severe pain on the left side of her neck which she surmised was from a bite.
|378||14||"Million Dollar Question"||6.8/10||3.2/8||December 16, 2012||11.46||#12|
Day 37's tree mail announced an unexpected Reward Challenge. The challenge was closely contested, with Malcolm edging out Denise. Jeff gave a sealed note with details of the challenge advantage to Malcolm to be opened at the Immunity Challenge. Back at camp, Denise asked Malcolm if he was willing to commit with her to forcing a tie vote between herself and Lisa at the next Tribal Council, but he hesitated in committing to the deal. This made Denise suspicious of Malcolm's loyalty and forced her to strike a deal with Lisa and Michael to vote out Malcolm.
Day 38's tree mail announced the traditional journey honoring the castaways voted out before heading to the final Immunity Challenge. Malcolm's sealed note stated that he would be given a mulligan in the challenge. If he were to drop the ball, he would be allowed to replace the ball and resume the challenge. Malcolm quickly used up his second chance when he dropped his ball during the three segment stage. With Malcolm using his second chance, all the castaways reset to redo the three segment stage. Malcolm struggled after the reset and dropped the ball for a second time. With just 30 seconds to go, Denise dropped her ball, leaving Lisa and Michael to fight it out. The two made through the five segment stage and to the seven segment stage, where Lisa finally dropped her ball, giving Michael the win. Back at camp, both Malcolm and Denise made their pitch to Michael and Lisa to keep them in the game. At Tribal Council, the two alliances of Lisa/Michael and Denise/Malcolm and who could win the game were discussed. In the end, Michael and Lisa chose to keep Denise in the game, sending Malcolm to the jury.
Denise, Lisa, and Michael enjoyed the traditional day 39 breakfast. Before the three headed to the final Tribal Council, they set their shelter ablaze. At the final Tribal Council, the three made their opening statements to the jury. The jury made their statements to the three and questioned the three about their game play. Artis took his statement to attack the three for betraying alliances. Carter asked Michael why he voted him out. Pete questioned Lisa over her perceived betrayal of the former Tandang members. He questioned Denise about why she played a better game than Lisa or Michael. RC questioned Michael about his role in her being sent to the jury. Malcolm also questioned Denise about why she played a better game than the other two. Jeff asked Michael if he was a person who made things happen, watched things happened, or wonder what just happened. He then asked Lisa to give him examples of her not playing in the middle and being assertive. Abi-Maria asked all three why they deserved her vote. Jonathan spent his time attacking the final three and revealing Lisa's past as a television star to the jury. When the final vote came, the jury decided that Denise was the Sole Survivor by a vote of 6–1–1.
|379||15||"Reunion"||N/A||2.3/–||December 16, 2012||8.77||N/A|
|The castaways discuss the season with host, Jeff Probst.|
|Original tribes||Absorbed tribes|
- No vote: Dana chose to quit.
- Jonathan played a hidden immunity idol, therefore the five votes cast against him did not count.
- Abi-Maria played a hidden immunity idol, therefore the three votes cast against her did not count.
Dalton Ross of Entertainment Weekly ranked it as the 9th best season, praising the overall cast and particularly the "strong final four." In 2014, Joe Reid of The Wire ranked it as the 11th-best season, and the highest-rated post-Heroes vs. Villains season, praising the characters of Malcolm, Denise, and Lisa in particular. It was ranked as the 10th-best season by Examiner.com, and the 5th-best season by fan site "The Purple Rock Podcast," which summarized: “The Philippines rescued Survivor from a four-season slump by giving us a strong cast,” with “an excellent winner” and “some great storytelling (and narration) along the way.” In 2013 and 2014, fan site "Survivor Oz" consistently ranked Philippines as the 9th-best season of the series, with its 2013 position also ranking it as the best post-Heroes vs. Villains season, and summarizing: "Considered 'a breath of fresh air' after a run of seasons that disappointed, it gave us...some great characters and amazing gameplay," which "set the bar high for future seasons."
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