XFinityTV is blowing up their coverage of “Survivor: Philippines.” Every Monday Jeff Probst and I will tackle a wide variety of topics with the “Survivor” Question of the Week. Every Tuesday I’ll be squaring off against “Survivor: One World” favorite Kat Edorsson in this season’s Power Rankings challenge. Every Wednesday briefly after the show we’ll have a full episode recap and every Thursday we’ll have an interview with the latest eliminated player. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for all the updates!
Last Week: Penner pitched an alliance to Jeff Kent, Abi-Maria threw RC under the bus, and Matsing tossed their cookies.
39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog
Let’s take a look at the tribes as they currently stand…
The Kalabaw Tribe (wearing red)
Carter – Track Coach, 24
Dana – Cosmetologist, 32
Dawson – Insurance Sales, 28
Katie – Student, 22
Jeff Kent – Former MLB Player, 44
Penner – Writer, 50
The Matsing Tribe (wearing blue)
Denise – Sex Therapist, 41
Malcolm – Bartender, 25
Russell – Environmental Attorney, 45
The Tandang Tribe (wearing yellow)
Abi-Maria – Business Student, 32
Artis – Computer Engineer, 53
Michael – Professional Speaker, Author, and Coach, 50
Lisa – Former ‘Facts of Life’ Star, 49
Pete – Engineering Graduate, 24
RC – Investment Banker, 27
We start off with sad times on Matsing beach. The rain is pouring down and nobody is talking. Things have gotten so bad that Malcolm can’t even start up the tribe’s fire. He’s not totally down though, he thinks all it’ll take is one win to turn things around. You don’t even need a win, just don’t be last.
Russell’s plan is to mount a comeback. That’s a hell of a plan. My plan is to be good at everything and to never die. We’ll see how those turn out.
Over at Tandang, the rain can’t damper Pete’s good mood. Apparently he’s going for a Hantzian, let’s-make-some-chaos type of game. For his first trick, he plants the immunity idol clue in RC’s bag. This stratagem serves two purposes as it infuriates Abi while amusing Pete. Well played.
Meanwhile at Kalabaw, Penner, Kent, and a skinny, blonde dude decide to do some fishing. Penner and Kent eventually bring the guy into their alliance. Then the guy actually gets to speak! The lower-third graphic identifies him as “Carter.”
At camp, Katie, Dana, and Purple Dawson realize that the boys are plotting against them. Their plan is to make it to the merge, then start up some “One World” girl power with the other females.
Back at Matsing, Russell sums up the tribe’s problems as being stuck with “A smoker, a lunatic, and a beauty queen.” Sounds like a sitcom pitch to me!
Russell’s also concerned because nobody has approached him to discuss voting strategy. Realizing that his number is probably up, he starts hunting for the idol. Just now…like five days after he found the clue.
Denise catches him searching, but he denies what he’s up to. Later, her and Malcolm dig through his stuff in an attempt to find it. They have no luck.
Over at Matsing, RC tries to have a chat with Abi, but she’s not having it. It’s like a weird Springer episode. RC tries to get some info out of Pete, but he denies everything. This is pretty awesome. I kinda want Tandang to lose so we can see them at Tribal.
Immunity Challenge Time: One player from each team will put a pot of rice on each end of a yoke. They’ll then put the yoke over their shoulders and carry it over a weird obstacle. From there they’ll put the pots into holders and head back. Then, the next person will go. Once they have six pots in place, one player will swing a small demolition ball in an attempt to destroy the pots. First tribe to smash all six pots win immunity and a steak dinner. The second tribe wins immunity, veggies, a pot, and spices. The losing tribe gets a relaxing evening by the fire with talk show host Jeff Probst.
Katie, Dana, and Dawson will sit for Kalabaw, while Lisa, RC, and Abi-Maria will sit for Tandang. Soooo sexist.
The challenge starts off and Carter immediately drops a pot. No, I’m not going to make a Carter/pot joke. But, feel free to make your own.
Matsing has a bit of a lead thanks to Malcolm. Do you believe in miracles?!
Tandang eventually catches up and is the first to start swinging the demolition ball. Matsing is right behind them. Artis is swinging for Tandang while Malcolm swings for Matsing.
Kalabaw catches up and Kent, of course, is in charge of hurling the ball.
Artis does a fantastic job and the Tandangers win it.
Matsing and Kalabaw are neck and neck in the battle for second place. Both sides had several near misses, but eventually Jeff Kent managed to pull off the victory.
Quick Aside: The editing on Kent’s final hit was amazing. There was slow-motion footage of the ball knocking the pot over but it didn’t break. Then, when the ball swung back it smashed the pot. No lie, we loudly cheered in my living room. “Survivor” is the best show ever.
And true to form, Russell has another fit after the loss. The frustrated returnee walked over and smashed the remaining pot. He then started talking to God. He even slipped up and called Jeff, “Lord.” Oh c’mon, if Jeff was the Lord, “Survivor: Nicaragua” would’ve never happened.
And, as we’ve discussed before, God doesn’t care who wins “Survivor.” But if he does, he clearly isn’t a Matsing fan.
Also, Tandang and Kalabaw were greatly amused by the blow-up. This isn’t Russell’s day.
Back at camp, Malcolm seems a little torn between keeping Russell’s strength or Denise’s loyalty. I don’t believe him. No way he votes against Denise.
Denise is worried that Russell has the idol, so she and Malcolm decide to make Russell feel like he’s safe. Oddly enough, he seems to buy it.
That night at Tribal Council, Jeff Probst punches Matsing’s loyalty card. Two more visits and they get a free ice cream.
Russell thinks it’s OK to expect excellence from himself. He doesn’t say if it’s OK to freak out when you don’t get it.
Malcolm owns up to failing on the demolition ball portion of the challenge.
Denise thinks she should stay because she’s a physical player and has a strong social game.
Malcolm thinks he should stay because they can’t wait for a twist, they need to win a challenge.
Russell thinks he should stay because he’s no slouch in challenges and that he has a strong social game. Surely, the others saw Kalabaw and Tandang laughing at him, right?
Russell and Malcolm both think that Denise can’t be beat at the final Tribal. They might be right.
Voting Time: Russell votes for Malcolm, Malcolm votes for Russell, and the rest…well, there’s only like one other vote, and we don’t get to see it.
Jeff tallies three whole votes and returns. We’ve got one vote for Russell, one vote for Malcolm, and the fourth person to be voted out of “Survivor: Philippines” is…Russell.
Verdict: That challenge was awesome. I was literally on the edge of my couch. And frankly, it was fun to see a good, old-fashioned Ulonging.
That being said, a tribe of two is probably too small. Whether Denise and Malcolm are split up or there’s a full tribe reshuffle, it’ll be interesting to see how everything shakes out.
Who’s Going to Win: Could Lisa Whelchel win “Survivor”? As a non-dominant member of the dominant alliance in the show’s strongest tribe, she has to have a serious shot, right? That would totally blow my mind.
Power Rankings Results: Ooo…a tie. Kat’s getting good at this. We both pegged Mr. Swan as this week’s boot, so we both receive 15 points. So, the current score is Team Kat: 41, Team Awesome Thunder 47.
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes