EPISODE 4: ROCK BOTTOM

                Well this is awkward. A tribe that started with 6 now down to 3, focusing on making a fire with not much to say. After Angie’s cookie comment, it’s kind of hard for Matsing to have a straight and honest conversation with each other.  Ignoring the elephant in the room is never a way to get past a problem, and a few comments at tribal council aren’t enough to get at the core of what’s making Matsing lose every time.

                Ladies and gentlemen, we have a villain! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, all it takes is an engineer to well, engineer one of the sneakiest moves this season to disrupt a tribe (without burning anyone’s socks). Planting the clue and turning Abi-Maria (whose confrontational strategy is better suited for Big Brother) and RC against each other makes him like the Joker. Just a few moves and he turned a tribe upside down. Good news for Lisa Whelchel, she’s got another week of being left alone and can now assume the Mom role she’s always been yearning for in the game! Lisa is a few weeks and strategic moves away from being this years’ Cirie. 

                 How is it that the season had a 90 minute premiere, yet someone named Carter finally made an appearance this season? He can learn a lot from Jeff Kent by being his shortstop and flying low under the radar.

What is it with the gender divisions on this show? That’s so last season Kalabaw women!  I can’t blame them. Sometimes the most boring alliances make the best ones in the game.  There are plenty of castaways we haven’t heard from, and this week, we still only got a few collective sound bites. An invisible trio of women hasn’t been done before, and there’s only so much room for floaters in the game before they get picked off. 

Malcolm’s comments on self awareness were classic Survivor, since Russell hysterically and inadvertently criticized his own mistakes in the game by missing the idol. Over and over and over again! No help at all from the producers when it came to Russell looking like crazy for his only chance at hope. Letting the social game organically play out is more refreshing and Burnett and crew finally see that. That or the stage is too big for 3 returning players, so Russell Swan was just expendable. 

Editing makes most challenges look closer or exciting than they really are. But this wasn’t one of them.  For once, Matsing had a glimmer of hope with an early lead that they started to taste, but fatigue eventually set in. Malcolm’s moment in the challenge was like “The Mighty Ducks,” when the young version of Emilio Estevez’s character couldn’t clench the victory.

                When Russell lost his cool, I was expecting another annoying twitter reminder like #somebodycallawhambulance! These crossover promotions are getting out of hand and are desperate attempts from the network to remind us like kids to tweet the show to our friends, which isn’t a problem in the least. I’ve lost count over the number of parodies done to death on Previously On Survivor. If these tactics don’t attract new viewers, they surely give the diehards something to talk about.

                Russell expecting perfection from him revealed a huge insecurity in his character, a moment that can’t be excused or brushed under the rug once it’s out in the open.  But Russell sure gave it a shot back at camp.

How is it ‘Survivor’ when a tribe can turn down food? Well, it was Penner’s tribe so he comes from the era of more food for contestants equals more drama. Skupin must have been offended by their choice to take luxury over food.

                I wonder what was left of Russell’s story that he told Denise that got left on the cutting room floor. He admitted to Denise that he’s a hothead and sealed his own fate with his young, violent recollection. The only way telling that story could have helped Russell is waiting for him to fully lose it at another contestant and pull some punches, literally.

Russell really let me down with his vote against Malcolm. It was inevitable that he was going to get a vote against him, but almost a bit ageist on Russell’s part to just pick off the young tribe members. Thankfully Denise didn’t think that strategy was a good one, as tempting as it sounded.

                Russell makes Survivor history by becoming the first returnee never to make the merge and jury in 2 seasons of Survivor. Face it Russ, with the best team, or the worst team, this game wasn’t meant for you to win.

                Malcolm and Denise are this season’s Stephenie and Bobby Jon, them against the elements. If either one of them finds the idol, will it still count on either Kalabaw or Tandang? I would hate it if the idol had a hidden clause working only on the starting tribe.

                There are pros and cons if either Malcolm or Denise hold onto the idol (if found). Malcolm can be seen as a big target with either tribe he’s put on, so giving him the idol wouldn’t be bad insurance. If Denise has the idol, it would be best for her to play low-key or even dumb key to deflect attention until the time is right (as long as her ducks, and alliances, are in a row).

                Ironically enough, in Denise’s biography, she listed Stephenie from Palau as the Survivor contestant she is most like, because she had will power, sheer strength, and was able to dig deep. Those qualities couldn’t have come at a better time for her and Malcolm since they are in for more twists and turns.

 

                Will Denise or Malcom find the idol?

                What will happen to Jeff Kent?

                How many more annoying hash tags will we have to deal with?

 

It’s going to be an amazing week! Stay Tuned!

 

Images Courtesy Of:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivor:_Philippines

http://www.survivorfever.net/vc_s25_ep4_challenge_last_two_pots.html

http://www.survivorfever.net/index25.html

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