Goodbye, million bucks.
After playing an honest and principled game, Carter Williams — the blond, svelte, 24-year-old running and fitness coach from Shawnee — got voted off the island on Wednesday's episode of “Survivor Philippines.”
That’s not how it was supposed to go.
Members of Malcolm’s alliance — Lisa, Michael and Denise — initially plotted to vote off Malcolm, hoping strategically to blindside a strong player whom they feared could beat them. But after Malcolm — the long-haired bartender who bears a striking resemblance to Jesus — won immunity in a close contest with Carter, the Shawnee kid found himself in the elimination crosshairs with Brazillian bad girl Abi-Maria.
Throughout the second half of the episode, the alliance of four debated between harmony (keeping Carter around, whom everyone likes) and strategy (keeping Abi, who is considered so mean she could never win the million in a final vote.)
Carter, who Lisa said played the game most like Jesus, made his case to be kept over Abi, whom Malcolm called a “soul sucker” and a “dementor from Harry Potter.” “Out of respect for this game and out of respect for me keep me around,” Carter said.
As Carter walked away, Michael Skupin told him, “I respect your game play.” Just not as much as he covets his chance to win a million dollars.
In the end, as nice as he was, Carter was viewed as too much of a threat and was voted out. And he had come so far. Only two episodes remain in the season, one airing next Wednesday on CBS and the finale on Sunday, Dec. 16.
But Carter did have a nice moment on his final show.
In the reward challenge the contestants got a surprise in the form of a visit from a loved one. Many became weepy and uncontrollably emotional. When it was Carter’s turn to see his loved one, host Jeff Probst said: “Carter, who would you like to see right now?”
“My mom,” Carter said without hesitation.
“Carter,” Probst said, “here’s your mom, Bianca.”
Just then Carter’s mother came running out of the woods and leapt into her son’s arms. Beaming, she patted his back as everyone clapped. A usually reserved but clearly emotional Carter put his hands up to his face and said, “Oh my God. This never happens!”
Probst looked at him. “What never happens?” he said.
“I never break down like this,” Carter said.
After being voted out, Carter gave his exit speech.
“The realization that my 'Survivor' experience is over is weighing heavily on me,” he said. “It does hurt to know that that four would rather play with someone like Abi, who they feel like they can beat in the next few days, as opposed to me. I can understand it, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. They’re playing with their heads and not their hearts at this point.”
Well, look at the bright side, Carter. You’ve been back in Shawnee for months now. At least you don’t have to keep your secret any longer.