Returning player avoided falling into the fire and made the Top 3
More than any of the returning players on "Survivor: Philippines," Mike Skupin was an enigma.
Jonathan Penner had played twice and we knew what to expect from him.
Russell Swan was a mystery, because barely anybody remembered him, but saying he was an enigma implies people had given him thought.
But Mike Skupin? He killed a pig. He fell into the fire. But for the full decade after his departure from "Survivor: The Australian Outback," he was always the show's great "What if?"
After seeing Skupin make it to the end of a "Survivor" season, some of the uncertainty has been cleared up. Even 11 years older, Skupin remains a formidable challenge force and a strong, uncompromising personality. And he made a strong alliance with Lisa Whelchel and knew when to break up his old alliance, which took him all the way to the finale.
Something was still missing from Skupin's game. He and Lisa only got one Jury vote apiece, losing to Denise, who Skupin was determined to take to the end because he was sure she was more beatable than Malcolm. He misjudged the Final 3 strategy and based on some of the less-than-complimentary reactions from his fellow castaways, he misjudged several of parts of the social game.
In our exit interview, Skupin mostly filibustered. He didn't answer several of my questions and dodged a couple others. He was, however, very happy to discuss whether or not he's accident-prone in his everyday life [a question I rushed to when it became clear I wasn't getting anything on my original approaches]. So there's that.
Click through for the full interview...