THAT’S HOW THE COOKIE CRUMBLES 

                3 years ago, Russell Swan was on one of the show’s most dominant tribes with an almost unstoppable reign of power. Fast forward to the present, things aren’t going Russell Swan’s way. Sorry to any Russell Swan fans out there, but this is what happens what indecisiveness gets you in the game. Now Russell has only 1 way to go…DOWN. Operation: Hantz isn’t working, and aside from burning everyone’s socks, there isn’t much he can do to further himself in the game. Unlike Samoa, there aren’t a lot of tribe members per tribe so he needs to cement himself with a group and a role either as leader or follower and stick to it.

                What’s this? RC and Abi-Maria are having a spat in their relationship. It’s interesting to see when a supposed tight alliance has an off moment. If there is a crack this early on in the show, then somewhere down the line the crack can widen into something bigger. Even Rupert and Jenna in All-Stars had a tiff deep into the game and Jenna ultimately betrayed Rupert.  It’s not good for Abi-Maria to abandon all trust in RC just yet, but being a business student she can’t dismiss the cut throat nature of the game, which is a business trip.

                Penner finally found the idol! It’s like being Susan Lucci, or Martin Scorsese with so many failed attempts…but now it’s over! Penner can still make a big mistake (he ran by Dana pretty enthusiastically after getting his idol). He’s been part of a blindsided season with Micronesia, but not there to see it play out. If he’s calm about it, he can pull a Yul and use his idol to gain trust in someone else (like RC sharing the clue with Abi-Maria) and pull them to his side. That’s if he’s calm about it. Maybe an outsider from another tribe could be that person.   

                I’ve been holding back referring to Lisa’s past “Facts of Life” days, but it’s hard to believe that former popular girl Blair Warner is having a hard time fitting in with the tribe. Lisa’s acting experience has been zero help to her. There were no storms on “The Facts of Life,” and Lisa needs to step up and muster up all the strength she can get if she wants to win. Anything less than a 180 degree turn on her part isn’t going to help her. Mrs. Garrett, where are you?

                The Tetris immunity challenge was another blow to Matsing’s disjointed spirit. Whatever happened to work smarter, not harder? Note to Russell Swan, whatever happened to accountability? Losing his temper after the loss made himself a target and a liability with his delegation of the loss, even if the loss wasn’t his fault. Why shouldn’t the other tribes be able to beat them? They only communicate and work together when problems are in front of them. Those are the qualities Matsing severely lack in the challenges and need to get in order to win.

                Roxy made herself a target by pointing out the negatives in Malcolm and Angie’s relationship, when a little bit of subtlety would have worked better. Sure a duo is deadly in the game, but they represent a form of unity, which a failing tribe like Matsing needs for now.  Being vocal (albeit honest) about people’s positions in the tribe is a novice mistake and Roxy committed it.

                Malcolm wasn’t afraid to go to bat for Angie, risky especially with Probst ribbing him for the answer. Probst is a huge fan of independent gameplay and susses out any opportunity of a couple like that ever since the Romber days of the game. Malcolm’s trying to portray the relationship as something safer, making everybody else around him feel they are in a stronger position with him and Angie on their side. Denise’s confessional is classic bad strategy in the game, much like a victim doing something bad in a horror movie. They know they shouldn’t be doing it, but they do, and it’s only a matter of time until the move backfires on them.  

                Angie had her Purple Kelly moment of the season with her twitter-worthy cookie comment at tribal council. Who could be thinking of food at a time like that? I don’t think it’s to foolish to be thinking of food in those conditions, but Probst and company were thinking along the lines of team unity, not what you want when you get to Ponderosa, which is where she might end up pretty soon.

Roxy wasn’t afraid to address the “booby” trap, pun intended, and make it a no holds barred match. Unfortunately, Roxy went home and the cookie crumbled on her in the end.

                Malcolm is slowly turning out to be the biggest power players on Matsing, making everyone feel they are above the number 3 position in their alliance with him and Angie. He’s making them feel above Angie on the food chain, even though strategically they know aligning themselves with them is a huge disadvantage.

                Maybe Matsing is expecting a tribe shakeup/dissolve pretty soon and expect to hit reset on their games pretty soon, but I wouldn’t count on it, despite being a fan and having the advantage of next weeks’ preview at my side.

 

                Next week, Skupin hurts himself…AGAIN!

                Can Jeff continue to rally from his injury?

                Will Matsing rally from their losses?

                Does Lisa stand a fighting chance?

 

                See you all next week!

 

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