October 10, 2012 06:28 PM by Ryan Haidet
In one of the most somber starts we’ve ever seen to an episode, the final three members of the ever-dwindling Matsing tribe were really down in the dumps on Survivor: Philippines. The close-up shots of their wrinkled fingers and toes from the nonstop rain as they shivered in the shelter truly captured the downtrodden vibe the three of them were giving off. Watching Malcolm struggle to start a new fire as Denise and Russell sat at his side in a zombie-like slow-motion state was the perfect portrait of how the Matsing tribe’s adventure has been thus far. But their fight to stay alive wasn’t the only battle in the Philippines this hour. Peter ignited a swirl of scandal at Tandang while the Kalabaw tribe found themselves starting to divide along gender lines.
Hidden Clue Exposed, Drama Ignites!
Surprise! We had another fight between Abi-Maria and RC. Abi-Maria, possibly one of the most volcanic women we’ve seen in the show’s 25-seasonhistory, got pissed when she spotted the clue to the hidden Immunity Idol sitting out in the open near RC’s belongings in the shelter. When the others were told about it, RC read the clue aloud to the entire group and acted as if she had never seen it before. Abi-Maria thought RC was trying to betray her by leaving the clue out for everybody else to see. Once again, Abi-Maria was wrong. Peter, who had the clue after helping Abi-Maria find it, chose to plant it in the open to get RC in hot water. “Keeping people on their toes is a big part of my strategy,” Peter said in confessional after making his move. It definitely worked.
The scam caused the divide between RC and Abi-Maria to get even deeper. When RC asked to talk about the Idol’s clue being exposed, Abi-Maria wouldn’t have any of it. “You betrayed me!” Abi-Maria shouted. Meanwhile, Lisa felt like this was the perfect opportunity for her to help fuel the fire between them by making sure they continue to fight. That way those two will be the primary targets in the immediate future.
Their nonstop bickering is definitely foreshadowing a big explosion between the two women. Something big is going down, but we haven’t quite reached the boiling point yet. You can expect the trigger to be pulled when Tandang loses their first Immunity challenge and has to send somebody home.
The men of Kalabaw were busy gathering giant clams when Jeff pitched to Jonathan some plans about how they can move deeper into the game. “Let’s ride together and see where we go,” Jeff said to Jonathan before shaking his hand. Jonathan moved to Carter next and shook hands with him on a deal. “I decided that Jonathan was no longer a target of mine, but somebody that I was gonna work with,” Carter said in confessional. With that, the three men were in an alliance together.
Meanwhile, the three women assumed the three guys were cutting deals, so they did too. Dana said they didn’t need the guys around to survive in the game. “Don’t underestimate me because I’m a female,” Dana said. “That’s the worst thing you can do to a woman.”
Russell was worried that he might not make it to the merge once again due to his tribe’s losing streak, which he attributed to “a smoker, a lunatic and a beauty queen.” How about placing some of the blame on your back? I really believe Russell has been the main detriment to Matsing. Nobody else. Russell, sensing that he is the next target at Matsing, started searching for the hidden Immunity Idol since he had a clue for it. He tip-toed around camp, searching high and low for the Idol — but got caught by Denise. She actually thought he had found the Idol by his actions. After she told Malcolm her suspicions, the two searched through Russell’s personal belongings in the shelter just to check and see. But they should know having watched Russell that he’s not smooth enough to find an Idol. The dude isn’t savvy whatsoever and I doubt he will ever be able to do something strategically smart on any season. Ever. He’s just not cut out for this game. Sorry, but he’s not.
A Dramatic Finish
Hoping to decimate the Matsing tribe once again, both Tandang and Kalabaw chose to sit out all of their women and only use their men since both teams had to sit three people out. Ultimately, Tandang dominated the challenge and finished in first place. On top of Immunity, they also won steak, veggies, spices and everything needed to cook the food back at camp. In an intense final few moments that actually had me on the edge of my seat, Kalabaw beat Matsing and claimed Immunity once again. They also were awarded with a meager amount of veggies coupled with salt and pepper, but chose to trade the food for another tarp as host Jeff Probst initially offered.
Shortly after the challenge was over, Russell snatched up one of the challenge pots and slammed it on the ground. “Same old crap!” he shouted. “Same old. Lord, I don’t know what happened! You gave me another opportunity. I don’t get what’s happening, Father. You gotta help me understand this. I just can’t take this!” When Probst interjected, he told Russell that he constantly seems to keep talking like a superhero despite being a normal guy. Russell’s response? He talks that way because he should never fail. But that’s all Russell has done this season. Fail. I mean, this is the guy who couldn’t even climb up a little ladder to get out of the ocean during the previous challenge. Despite his monstrous muscles, he was also the one who struggled the most in this challenge as he was the last of his tribe to reach the mat and stayed on the ground gasping for breath.
Three Cut Down To Two
After losing again, Malcolm said he was ready to cry because it hurt so badly. Back at camp, Malcolm made a move to play both sides to make sure Denise and Russell felt secure going into the next Tribal Council. He told Russell to vote with him against Denise before confirming with Denise that they were going to take out Russell. Before they made their way to Tribal Council for the fourth time in a row, Russell told a personal story to Denise about a fight he had when he was a kid. The discussion quickly turned into a chat about how threatening Malcolm is down the road. Russell felt like he was suddenly stuck in the middle of the power play having to choose between Denise and Malcolm. Really?!?! Are you kidding me?!?! This guy is freakin’ clueless! How on earth can this guy think he’s in any position of power up against two people who have been strongly aligned? Get real.
All three of them brought all of their personal belongings with them to Tribal Council in the event they were voted off, but there was only one obvious target — Russell. Finally, after multiple opportunities to get him out of the game, Denise and Malcolm voted together to get Russell out of the game. Even funnier, Russell said in his exit interview that he was totally blindsided by his elimination. Huh?!?! Are you that unrealistic, dude?!?! He finished off by saying he thinks he’s done with the game of Survivor. Ironically, I think that’s the smartest thing this guy has ever said throughout both his seasons. Don’t you?
What are your thoughts on tonight’s episode? Are you happy Russell was voted out? What do you think of his time on the show this season? What do you think of the rift between Abi-Maria and RC at Tandang? Sound off and leave a comment below!
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Photo Credit: CBS