Survivor: Philippines – Episode 25-3 Review – “Shut Up And Dive”

You know what the best thing about this season of Survivor is? That we’re back in a location that allows for the awesome water challenges that I’d thought were long gone. I love water challenges because it allows for different people to shine in challenges. Some people are great swimmers and it’s a good opportunity for them to play a lead role in a challenge. Other people are not so suited to water despite their surnames being the name of a bird that glides through water with grace and a certain amount of snobbery.

Anyway, I think we have a lot to talk about following last night’s episode of Survivor so click through for the recap.


Mat-SINK is more like it!

Let’s cut to the chase: The Matsing Tribe lost AGAIN. This is just pathetic. I really do feel bad for Malcolm, who’s been watching this show since he was 12 years old. He’s dreamed of being on it, he’s finally here and it’s an epic disaster. And it’s not even his fault! I still think that Malcolm and Denise are really strong, well-rounded, smart players. I don’t think they could be doing any better than they are here; they’ve just been saddled with a terrible tribe.

Because they lost the challenge, Denise and Malcolm had to decide whether they’d vote out hot, blond, 20 year-old Angie or big, bossy, returning player Russell. It was a decision that wasn’t as easy to make as you’d think.

Should they have voted out Russell?

Here’s my thinking: Angie and Russell were both bad in that challenge. Russell couldn’t even climb up the ladder after his first dive, and then he was too proud to say he shouldn’t go out for a second time and cost the team a lot of time. The Matsing Tribe has consistently lost for three weeks in a row now, and having one Russell Swann on the team hasn’t prevented that.

So, maybe we should take physical capabilities out of the equation. I don’t think there’s any doubt that Angie was more loyal to Malcolm and Denise than Russell is. Would it have made more sense for them to keep her around, on the off chance that the tribes get shaken up next week? Perhaps.

On the other hand…

There very well could be one more challenge, and if Matsing loses that then maybe the two remaining players will each get sent to a tribe. In that case, Malcolm and Denise would want to win that challenge and avoid getting separated for as long as possible, and maybe they need Russell to do that. But like I said, he wasn’t exactly an asset in the challenge this week.

I understand why they voted out Angie, and I think it says a lot about Malcolm that his strong alliance really is with Denise, and not with his cuddle-buddy. But I can’t help but wonder if maybe they would have been better off keeping sweet, loyal Angie.

Or maybe it won’t matter at all – maybe they’ll lose the next challenge and vote out Russell then.

Crabby Abi and Hidden Immunity Idols

Over at Tandang, Abi continued to prove to RC that she was the worst possible choice for an alliance. I really hope RC is spending some of her time buddying up to the senior’s contingent (Artis, Lisa and Skupin – seniors only in Survivor terms) because Abi-Maria is a loose cannon that should be dropped like a hot potato. Honestly, they haven’t even been to Tribal Council yet and Ami is all suspicions, accusations and bickering. Who wants to be tethered to that for the next thirty days?

Oh yeah, and she’s completely untrustworthy too. Abi’s right-hand man is Peter, and Peter is trying to keep vote out Skupin instead of Lisa. Of course, Matsing would have to actually win a challenge for that to even be a possibility.

And then, of course, Abi found the Hidden Immunity Idol. She took Peter to look for it while everyone else was digging for clams. I knew it was a mistake for RC to share that clue with her, it was too early to share such valuable information. Now Abi has proven herself to be quite a nut, and RC’s on the hypothetical chopping block.

A tribal mix-up could change a lot, though.

Meanwhile, everyone on the Kalabaw Tribe knows that Penner has the Hidden Immunity Idol. They noticed the missing design on the rice container and drew their own conclusions. We didn’t see much of Kalabaw again this week, and I’ve still yet to hear my Survivor office pool player, Katie, speak. Penner and Jeff Kent seem to have some kind of tentative alliance, but apparently it was sealed with an un-manly handshake. What does that even mean, Kent? I don’t care for him at all.

The Diving Comedy

As I said above, we got a water challenge this week. Players had to dive out and retrieve seven puzzle pieces, and then solve the puzzle. Angie got Matsing off to a weak start, but I think it was Russell who really sunk the tribe. (Hahaha PUNS!) My favorite part was when Skupin jumped into the water face first and smashed the mask. Blood everywhere! As always! It’s like, not even a big deal when Skupin gets into an accident now. It’s just expected. Artis was pretty mad about that later, leading me to believe that Artis is a man who gets upset about things.

Kalabaw won again, because the last part of the challenge was a puzzle and Penner solved it. They should treasure him, because he solves all the puzzle challenges for that tribe. They won immunity, a big fishing kit and a canoe – quite the haul. Tandang won a smaller fishing kit.

Tribal Council

You know what’s sad? Seeing a large, 45 year-old educated man crush a sweet, naive 20 year-old girl to bits. By the end of Tribal Council, I just felt bad for Angie. She didn’t know how to stand up for herself against Russell (an experienced lawyer vs. a beauty queen) and she didn’t know how to make a good argument for herself to stay. Russell sucked in the challenge, she’s loyal. Those were the only two narratives she should have been going with. But she got flustered and upset, and her feelings were hurt, and by the end I just pitied her.

For the record, I hated Russell’s verbose, pompous lead up to Tribal Council. What was all that about his ancestors? Yikes. That is one notch away from saying that God wants you on Sur-oh, no, wait, he said that too. God has a plan for him, and it involves reality TV. He will disappoint generations of ancestors if he does not win Survivor. Dude, this is reality TV, not Roots. Get over yourself.

What do you guys think? Did Malcolm and Denise make the right call in voting out Angie? Does anyone from that tribe have a snowball’s chance in hell of making it to the end?