It's day nine in the Philippines and the survivors are being exposed to even more rain and cold, which unfortunately for us viewers that means high definition close ups of pruney, white, wrinkled-up feet. Hooray! There's nothing better than gross toes the size of your 36 inch flat screen!
They are suffering the worst from the rainfall on Matsing where there are a mere three people left in the tribe. They try to keep things light and conversational but they are all miserable from the weather and at their dire status in the game.
Malcolm continues to prove that he has a great Survivor
head on his shoulders by keeping everything in perspective and not letting his personal feelings get in the way of his strategics. That's why he and Denise are perfect allies and if Matsing could just pull it together and win a challenge, these two may be able to do some real damage in the game.
Denise catches Russell scurrying around the camp looking for an idol and he makes up some story about replacing a frond on their shelter. He oversells it and she becomes suspicious enough to convince Malcolm to look through Russell's things for an idol. They don't find anything but they agree to keep an eye on good old Russ.
It's amazing that season after season Survivor
continues to find a villain that completely gets under the skin of the viewers but at the same time seems to manipulate themselves into a power position in their tribe.
Abi on Tandang is really proving that she is that person this season. Although Pete would like to think that he is the evil mastermind in the tribe, he seems about as threatening as a horse fly compared to crazy Abi. She spots the immunity clue in R.C.'s bag and points it out in front of the tribe which immediately makes everyone else in the tribe suspicious that R.C. was hiding the clue while at the same time making R.C. look foolish. R.C. will probably never forgive herself for sharing that clue with Abi in the first place, and her guilt will be even worse if Abi outlasts her, which she is like to do now that she has an idol.
When R.C. wants to talk to Abi about the immunity clue incident, Abi immediately flies off the handle and tells her she won't talk to he because R.C. betrayed her and she is "dead to her." Meanwhile, Pete is claiming that he planted the clue in the first place and continues to rub his hand together and laugh maniacally like he has any control over this situation.Word to Pete; sometimes it doesn't even seem like Abi has control over the Abi situation.
Meanwhile at Kalabaw, the red tribe that no one remembers exists because nothing happens there, the baseball player Jeff and the returning player Jonathan solidify their alliance and then ask Carter to join them because he also has a penis. But the women are wary of the men forming an alliance, so the three female Kalabaw members whose names are apparently Dawson, Dana and Katie (did she just sneak on the show, I swear I've never seen her before) form an alliance of their own. And that's all we need to know about Kalabaw for today, folks.Challenge
The challenge this week is for three members of each tribe to carry pots full of rice over their shoulders through a muddy bamboo course to place each pot on a post. Once all three tribe members get their six pots to the other side, they have to use a wrecking ball on a tether to break the pots. The first two to finish win immunity and additional cooking supplies or a tarp if they so choose.
Since both Tandang and Kabalaw are twice as large as Matsing at this point, they have to sit half their tribe and both tribes sit all three of their ladies. I'm officially rooting extra hard for Matsing (and especially Denise, who is the only remaining female competing in this challenge).
Malcolm leads Matsing to a quick start and Kalabaw starts off slow when the little guy Carter breaks a pot; serves you right for not putting...what's her name again?.... KATIE in this challenge, HA! Russell maintains Matsing's lead on his turn but Denise starts to lose it when Pete and Jeff are up for Tandang and Kalabaw respectively.
Tandang is the first tribe to the wrecking ball and Artis is a machine breaking pots left and right and sometimes two at a time. He finishes breaking the all of the pots and Tandang wins immunity. Kalabaw and Matsing are even with Jeff and Malcolm attempting to break pots for their tribe.
It comes down to a dramatic slow motion finish in which Malcolm misses his last pot twice in a row and Jeff smashes the last remaining red pot before Malcolm gets another chance. Matsing is going back to tribal council. Heartbreaking!
But wait, before you have time to start feeling bad for Matsing, there's Russell breaking pots and cursing God and acting the fool. He's embarrassing himself and making the other contestants and even Jeff Probst cringe. Jeff has to talk Russell down, reminding him that he's not actually a superhero, he's just a guy. Besides, there is only room for one superhero on this show, and that's Jeff himself. He is Survivor Man and his uniform is khaki cargo shorts and custom made blue tribal council shirts and a smug but handsome game-show-host expression and he wields the power of the torch snuffer. Even if you were a superhero, Russell, you could never measure up to ?Jeff: no one could
Loser Camp Matsing
Wow, I'm probably just as tired of writing about Matsing doing the Loser Camp scramble as the tribe members themselves.
Basically things at LC are a free-for-all. Denise and Malcolm assure each other that Russell is going home. Then Malcolm approaches Russell and tells him to vote for Denise. Then Denise approaches Russell and tells him to vote for Malcolm. Then Russell is stupid enough to believe that he is actually the swing vote.
Both Malcolm and Denise maintain a healthy perspective about their spots in the game, both being able to admit to themselves that they don't exactly know what's going to happen at tribal council but they won't take it personally if it's either one of them that is voted out. Russell believes that is is God's will for him to keep playing the game, and that it almost killed him once and he's not going to let him bring him down again. At least he kept the centuries of strife to African Americans out of it this time. Tribal Council
Jeff asks each of the remaining three Matsing members why it should be them to stay. Russell says that he doesn't consider the fact that he expects excellence out of himself in everything he does to be a weakness, on the contrary, it's a strength. Malcolm says that he is a physical asset to have on the tribe if they want to have any shot at winning a challenge, he should stay. And Denise says she is both a strong physical player and a social player.
In the end Malcolm says that the two remaining tribe mates going forward should be the two that have the best chance of making it further in the game. And Denise and Malcolm vote Russell out according to that philosophy.
In his final words, Russell says he is shocked that he is the one to go, indicating just how bright he really is (well that, and the fact that he was unable to find a hidden immunity idol when he had a clue in his pocket for the last nine days). He also says that this will probably be the last time he plays the game, which is probably the best thing we've heard Russell say all season. And we've heard him say quite a lot. (Image courtesy CBS)