Guest Post: Survivor Philippines: Help Me Lord Dimples! Are you on Team Jacob or Team Edward?
Apologies for the delay in getting this up, I missed it in my email box. But once again JStar has sent through an epic recap on Survivor Philippines. Over to JStar:
Episode 4: Help me Lord Dimples! Are you on Team Jacob or Team Edward?
Earlier this year, your self-anointed esteemed guest poster was sitting in the cinemas watching the recent reboot of Spiderman in the uncomfortable knowledge that it was only five years ago that the last Spiderman entry of the old trilogy disappeared from the big screen. My heart almost gave out when rumours began circling that Mickey Mouse will replace Darth Vader in the next trilogy sequels of the Star Wars franchise. Will Hollywood know no shame? And now, with wall-to-wall publicity of the final Twilight movie coming out, I fear that in a few short years the whole series will be rebooted and a new cast picked to play Ever Mumbling Edward, Sourpuss Bella, and Abs Jacob. Let’s face it. Rule Number 1 in Hollywood is to milk a franchise dry even if the original source material has long expired [I’m looking at you James Bond]. But if there is a reboot of the Twilight series, perhaps those producers should be brave enough to check out the “talent” on offer on reality-tv shows. Every year, there is no shortage of people using reality-tv as a prelude to launching an acting/singing/publicity-whore career. Surely amongst the reality-tv graduates there are people who are capable of portraying the tortuously-turgid love triangle that has captivated tweens around the world with storylines about moral restraint and self-denial (gee, you can’t half tell a Mormon wrote those books). Perhaps a deeper review of this week’s episode of Survivor may shed some light to this intriguing prospect of a new Team Jacob, Team Edward, and Perpetually Sourpuss Bella for the next generation of tweens.
Previously on Survivor, despite giving two very pointed reasons to be kept in this game over Russell, the incredibly sucky Matsing Blue Tribe voted unanimously to send the ever-perky Angie home to enjoy her meal of Oreos – thereby forever robbing the viewers of the sneaky sexy-shots of her cleavage in their HD glory. Day 9 and it is raining yet again. Mother Nature sure knows how to put smart-alec recappers in their places for claiming that this season of Survivor was not filmed during the rainy season. We bear silent witness to the remnants of the Matsing Tribe. Everyone appears quite sad. No one utters a word during the next four minutes as we see Russell, Denise, and Malcolm shiver in their tarp-less shelter. Eventually they venture out to try and re-start their fire. Very solemn music is playing in the background. You have to feel for this tribe. How did it all go pear-shaped? Everyone is given a confessional and there is a common theme – the tribe just need to win once in order to find its feet in this game. Malcolm and Russell are praying for that one win as a catalyst to mount the biggest comeback in Survivor history. Denise adds that her tribe of three feels like her time back at the dorms in college when she shared a room with two other people. As a sex therapist in real life, Denise is all open-minded for a ménage-a-trois but in this game of Survivor, there is always one person on the outs in three’s company. She then proceeds to share some of her other college experiences with the cameramen but the censors deem them too racy for a PG timeslot and quickly cut to the Survivor intro. What prudes!
We return to see how the Tandang Yellow Tribe is coping sitting around in bored silence due to the rain. Because Artis has defied the producers’ orders and refused to wear any yellow-items of clothing, his punishment is to be a background player for this season until he redeems himself by dancing around the campfire in his yellow y-fronts with a feather stuck to his head ala Special Agent Phillip. So during a break in the rain, Artis decides that he will no longer play the “mute” role in this tribe. He manages to re-start the tribe’s fire as a prelude to his strip-down to his yellow underwear. But no, chaos is brewing and he has to thank Pete for stealing Artis’s moment in the sun for this episode. Abi-Maria, realising that she has to prove that she truly “injured” her knee, is shifting around under the shelter when she suddenly spies a piece of parchment that apparently fell out of RC’s bag. Using her “inside voice” (which is equivalent to the noise decibels heard on the tennis court when Maria Sharapova is playing) she demands to know what that parchment is doing next to RC’s bag. As everyone turns to see what Wiggle Hips is pointing to, Pete casually mentions that it looks like RC has the clue to the immunity idol. Looking extremely guilty and confused, RC tries to extract herself from this situation by offering to read the clue outloud to everyone else. Like Penner and Russell in Episode 1, everyone is confused by the vagueness of Dimples’s riddle about Friday, Friday, and how Saturday comes after that.
Abi-Maria is ultra pissed. She says in her confessional that RC and she had buried the clue to the immunity idol so that no one else can find it. However, the fact that it has now appeared next to her bag under the shelter proves to her that RC has been lying to her face the entire time and cannot be trusted. Wiggle Hips is now convinced that RC never intended to share the hidden immunity idol with her if she did find it herself. Unfortunately for RC, Wiggle Hips smugly notes that she found it first. Wiggle Hips is still pissed off and as the tribe lie around in the shelter away from the rain, she continues using her “inside voice” to tell Pete how she previously told RC that “she is dead in this game” the moment she betrays her in this game. RC is confused as she has no idea how the clue ended up near her bag. Pete sheds some light onto this in his confessional when he crows that he was the one who slipped the clue amongst RC’s belongings to create some chaos and drama in camp. That way, according to Russell Hantz 2.0, whilst everyone is too focussed on the chaos at hand, Pete can step over the carnage he created and take control of the game. [Unfortunately, your guest recapper is finding that “Russell Hantz 2.0” is too cumbersome of a nickname to give Pete for the remaining recaps this season. However, I will point out that Pete does bear a passing resemblance to a certain Taylor Lautner of Twilight fame ladies. He does have the same broad shoulders, abs of steel, and whiter than white teeth. Call off the search party! The location of the new Team Jacob is at the Tandang tribe].
Later in the afternoon, we are whisked over to the Kalabaw Red Tribe. It has stopped raining by now and the tribe are doing some house-keeping. Dawson (continuing her one-woman, one-fingered salute to the producers by parading around in her pink swimsuit, pink socks, and pink runners) is failing miserably in making fire. Jeff in his confessional notes that the tribe is made up of young, single individuals and his biggest rival, Jonathan, is the only person he can have an adult conversation with. [Oh that is so unfair Jeff! As a former Miss Delaware, Katie is well-versed on the intricacies of solving the world’s problems through the diplomatic art of spreading world peace whilst parading around in her very sexy red bikini. Cameramen are now happy as they have a new candidate for the sexy-shots quota for the remainder of this season.] Jeff, Penner, and silent Carter decide to take the canoe out to bond in the traditional manly-fashion of fishing and collecting clams. Although Jeff is adamant he doesn’t want either Russell, Cotton Wool, or Penner to win the game as they are veterans, for the time being he knows he needs to team up with Penner if he wants to get further in the game as Penner has the hidden immunity idol. Because Penner knows he is the likely first boot if Kalabaw loses immunity, Jeff approaches him and tells him that he will use his influence in the tribe to help keep him around longer in the game. Penner says he is hopeful he has now found a true ally to work with strategically to help each other advance to the end of the game. The two old dogs cement their new alliance with a manly handshake. [I still can’t help but think that infamous four-fingered handshake from the last episode is going to come back and bite Penner in the ass some time down the track. I reckon the clues have been laid down for a major blindside of Penner courtesy of Jeff].
And then, something miraculous happens on Kalabaw that has not been seen or heard of in the previous three episodes. Carter has been afforded a confessional. [OMG! Just when I thought he was going to equal or perhaps surpass Purple Kelly’s record of not speaking during an entire season of Survivor.] After we see Penner brining young pup Carter into the now three-person strong alliance, Carter explains in his confessional that “right now, he wants to go far with” Penner – [note the key words were “right now.” Penner is being set-up for a major blindside down the track. If you are Penner fans out there, you have been warned so brace yourself when the time comes.] Carter continues with his confessional that the three icky and smelly girls with cooties on his tribe will be the targets should Kalabaw lose an immunity challenge. [It has taken four episodes to hear from Carter but to my loyal female readers reading this recap because they have missed watching the episode, I implore you to not watch the catch-up episode on-line lest you want your fantasies ruined. How should I put it kindly? Carter’s monotonous tone would put any parliamentarian to sleep during Question Time. Because Carter has now been given more screen time that Artis thus far, the moniker of “Silent” has been passed onto Artis for the rest of this season. So he needs a new nickname. But you know what? Looking more carefully into things, Carter is a skinny pasty-skinned, non-attractive young guy who may not be able to tan but does have abs of steel. He mumbles and speaks in a monotonous tone to the camera whilst avoiding eye-contact when interacting with any other member of his tribe. And he has been running around this season in vampire-red chinos and vampire-red swim trunks. Ladies and gentleman, I bring you your new Team Edward! Now, all we need to do is find the new Bella on this show and Survivor Philippines has officially become the new home of Twilight: The Next Generation].
Perhaps there is a Bella amongst the women of Kalabaw? Let’s see now as the camera makes its way to find the three ladies of Kalabaw fishing in a truly spectacular tropical setting. The ladies note that the men have been gone for quite a few hours. Dawson explains that in the beginning, everyone wanted to boot Jonathan out first. But this smart cookie suspects (correctly) that the men have just formed an alliance with one another and are obviously talking about targeting the girls on the tribe. Dana rallies her sisters in arms and tells her allies that it would be a mistake to underestimate the females in this game. The men may think they have an advantage because they are stronger but Dana points out that she is just as competitive as the men, plus she can make fire and she killed the chickens on this tribe. She says that the women have better social games and when the merge comes, they hope to put together a dominant women’s alliance that has not been seen in the game of Survivor since One World. Katie agrees with everything Dana and Dawson just said and adds her two cents into the mix – “World Peace.” Suffice to say that as a former Miss Delaware, thinking too much would give her wrinkles so it is best to leave strategy talk to the cluey dynamite duo of Dana and Dawson. However, this scene does highlight one thing. There are no Bellas on this tribe because none of them are perpetually sulking or giving the stink-eye to the camera. The search for Bella continues.
We return from the commercial break to witness life at Matsing again. Malcolm is having a bitch in his confessional that Russell has met his incredibly low expectations he had of him. Malcolm says that Russell has no self-awareness in playing this game and he has sucked big time as the
leader dictator. The only reason why Russell was still in this game was because the tribe need his muscles for challenges. Malcolm is a little bit harsh on Russell. Realising that neither Denise or Malcolm has approached him to discuss the voting scenario should they lose the next immunity challenge, Russell knows he needs to find the hidden immunity idol in order to secure his continual presence in the game (particularly since he was told that due to the faltering US economy, the producers no longer had any money to continue bribing the tribemates to ensure returning players will be guaranteed a place on the jury). So Russell starts hunting for the idol but the damn rain has again washed away the trail of cigarette butts leading to the idol location. Proving that he has more self-awareness than Malcolm gave him credit for, Russell admits in his confessional that he knows the editors will be making him look like an idiot as he hunts around desperately for the idol. He knows that whenever he walks past the idol, the editors will make the location flash on screen for the audience and will continually zoom on the location of the idol as he searches desperately nearby. The editors don’t need further encouragement as they focus endlessly on the top of the rice basket as Russell continually walks past it, completely unaware that the idol is literally under his nose.
During a break in the rain, both Malcolm and Denise go off to gather more firewood. Russell takes this opportunity to look around and under the shelter, however he is caught by Denise. He tries to brush it off with a lame excuse about reinforcing the stumps of the shelter with a banana leaf but Denise isn’t stupid. Later on in the day, she tells Malcolm about what she saw and they both rummage through Russell’s bag to see if he has the idol. Although they didn’t find anything, Malcolm believes that if Russell does have the idol, they must take him out at the next opportunity before he has the chance to play it.
Day 10 and we are whisked away to the Tandang Yellow Tribe where there is scary music playing in the background as we are treated to another “clever” animal metaphor from Mark Burnett. Setting the scene straight out of a National Geographic documentary, the viewers see a yellow-and-black striped spider slowly making its way to the struggling caterpillar caught in its web. Who is about to devour the helpless caterpillar I wonder? We cut back to Tandang where we see Cotton Wool finally saying something on camera after being virtually mute the last two episodes. [For a returning player, he really has not been given much screen time compared to Russell and Penner]. Cotton Wool is having a conversation with Wiggle Hips about how best to boil the rice. [That’s right; I didn’t promise that this wait to hear from Cotton Wool would be of any profound significance]. Anyway, we hear Team Jacob gleefully congratulating himself about how he has orchestrated the beginning of the demise of RC. He wants her gone next because she is a dangerous player. RC is arguably one of the strongest female contestants – definitely one of the strongest competitors in water challenges after her starring effort at the last immunity challenge. She is smart and strategic as evidenced in forming the initial alliance of RC and the Pussycats on Day 1. Problem for RC, according to Team Jacob, is that he is on the island with her and he wants her gone and the Pussycats disbanded. With that, we see the spider begin to devour the caterpillar.
We later see RC trying to make peace with Wiggle Hips but she doesn’t want to talk to her. RC tries to clear the air but is shut down and talked over by Wiggle Hips who has completely blown up at her. Wiggle Hips tells RC to leave her alone and that she doesn’t want to hear from her or even let her explain. RC can’t get a word in as Wiggle Hips continues shouting saying that RC knows what she did and that she betrayed her. She is done with RC now. And with that, a sulky, sullen, sourpuss-faced Abi-Maria leaves in a huff. [Ladies and gentlemen, the search is over. We have found our next Bella. From this day forth, Wiggle Hips shall be now known as Bella-Latina].
Back to Survivor, a stunned RC is left to work out from Team Jacob about what she supposedly has done to offend Bella-Latina. However, Team Jacob is not going to help RC out. He wants to continue driving that wedge. RC senses that she is in trouble. She wonders if Bella-Latina intentionally planted that clue so as to instigate a fight with RC as a way of marginalising her in the eyes of the rest of the tribe. Stunned by the lack of assistance from Team Jacob, RC suspects that he no longer is one of her Pussycats. She wonders if Tandang does lose an immunity challenge, she may in fact be the first boot. Later, Bella-Latina (using her “inside voice”) bitches to Blair about how RC is just insulting her intelligence and treating her like a fool by denying she betrayed her trust. Blair is ecstatic with this development as she will use this to her advantage by continuing to subtly fan the wave of discontent between Bella-Latina and RC so as to take the attention away from Blair and her sucky performances in physical challenges. [With that, we get one more glimpse of the spider as it finishes cocooning the caterpillar. I guess a hardcore Christian can play this game with a bit of devil in her without having to resort to endless speeches about honour, integrity, and prayers. Yes Coach. I’m looking at you].
Back from the commercial break and we are whisked to the immunity challenge. No one on Tandang or Kalabaw seems surprised to see that Angie was cruelly voted out of the game at the last Tribal Council. Dimples greet the tribes wearing a serious expression to match his serious charcoal shirt with the top two buttons conveniently unbuttoned to flame the loins of the bored housewives of America. Today’s challenge is going to be a messy one as it has rained constantly and the ground is muddy. Each tribe member has to carry pots of rice on a pole as he/she tries to navigate an obstacle course. Upon completing the course, the pots of rice will need to be placed onto ledges of various heights. Once the tribe has placed its six pots, one member will need to use a wrecking ball to smash all six pots to secure immunity and reward. The tribe that finishes first will win a steak banquet with spices and vegetables. The tribe that finishes second will be given one capsicum, a clove of garlic, as well as a pan to cook this vegan feast (along with any rice the tribe can pick out of the mud whilst Dimples is distracted getting his make-up retouched). However, either winning tribe can trade the reward for more tarp if so required. Because Matsing is down to three members, only three people from Tandang and Kalabaw can compete. Given that this is a physical challenge where height and strength will play a major role, it comes to no one’s surprise that all the men will compete. [From out of nowhere, a piercing scream can be heard emanating from the loungeroom of Mary Murphy. Yes, it is the return of the Hot Tamale Train on Survivor. Every male player has brought his sexy to the plate as shirts are removed and torsos bared in the anticipation of getting down and dirty in the mud for the viewing pleasure of Mary Murphy and the bored housewives of America.]
Challenge starts and during this first leg, Malcolm is the star. He has no problems navigating the obstacle course to reach the end first. He is so impressive that Dimples reminds everyone that this is the first time in any challenge that Matsing has found itself in the winning position. Cotton Wool gingerly wades through the obstacle course completely determined not to injure himself for at least one episode this season. However, a major big fail has to be dished out to Team Edward. He starts off by dropping one of his pots of rice and then stumbling face-first during the obstacle course. [Seriously, I thought Team Edward was a track coach in real life? Hasn’t he ever done hurdles in his life?] Kalabaw fall quite far behind. Malcolm gives Russell a lead over the other two tribes and Russell continues to extend it. He too has no issues going through the obstacle course. Artis struggles somewhat for Tandang, slowing his team down marginally. Over at Kalabaw, Penner flies through the second leg of this challenge and makes up some serious ground however both the other tribes are still ahead of him by the time the third leg begins. Denise is still maintaining the lead for Matsing but not for much longer as Team Jacob flexes his pecs and motors his way through the obstacle course. Team Jacob finishes his leg first and Dimples reminds Tandang to run through the course again in order to complete the wrecking-ball portion of the challenge. Tandang is in the lead but Matsing is not too far behind them. Kalabaw has fallen further behind as no doubt carrying those heavy pots of rice has not done any favours on Jeff’s injured knee. By the time Tandang and Matsing reached the wrecking ball stage of the challenge, Jeff had only just returned to where Penner and Team Edward were waiting to run through the obstacle course one last time. Kalabaw is in big trouble.
Tandang chose Artis to swing the wrecking ball whilst Malcolm stepped up for Matsing. By the time Kalabaw reached the mat, Artis had already smashed four pots whilst Malcolm had destroyed two. Despite having just run the obstacle course back-to-back, former professional baseballer, Jeff, steps up to the plate to swing his ball in his muddy and breathless glory – [more screams of jubilation from Mary Murphy could be heard if you listen very carefully]. Artis managed to destroy his tribe’s last two pots and celebrates by looking very angry and sulky to the camera – [probably still pissed that he didn’t get the coveted nickname of Sourpuss Bella on his tribe]. Malcolm had just smashed his fourth pot and it really does look like Matsing’s curse has been broken. But one tends to have some handy skills in his backpocket after being a professional baseballer for two decades. Jeff mounts an amazing comeback, even smashing two pots of rice with one swing. Dimples is going nuts, screaming himself hoarse. Malcolm just smashed his fifth pot after Jeff had smashed his fourth. A fifth smashed pot from Jeff and both Matsing and Tandang are suddenly tied. Malcolm swings and misses his last pot by quite a distance. Jeff swings and misses his last pot by a few inches. Malcolm steadies and launches his wrecking ball. It misses to the left by a few inches. Jeff’s turn now to win it for his tribe. He steadies and swings. And then Survivor goes all Matrix-like; slowing time down. We see the wrecking ball nick the left-side of the last pot of rice for Kalabaw. Instead of breaking, it gets knocked onto its side but still sitting on its ledge. Then much to Matsing’s horror, the wrecking ball makes its boomerang return slowly back towards that last pot. Slowly, slowly, slowly until it shatters through Kalabaw’s last remaining pot. Time speeds back up to normal and screams of jubilation emit all round from every member of Kalabaw for this amazing come from behind silver-medal win. Malcolm and Denise are absolutely devastated. This is the second of four challenges that Matsing has lost by mere seconds. The celebratory music rings throughout the screen as we see the winning Tandang and Kalabaw tribes congratulate themselves for bringing the sexy on in their muddy glory. But all that celebration is short-lived as Russell interrupts the party by picking up the last pot of rice from its ledge and smashing it on the ground. Everyone turns around and proceeds to witness Russell have yet another post-challenge meltdown in front of everyone.
Unlike Episode 2 when he directed his rants at Angie and Roxy in front of the other tribes, Russell starts yelling at the true person who was responsible for the loss. Malcolm you say? No. Try again. Denise? Russell? Nope. God. He starts questioning why God would do this to him after he was blessed with another opportunity. He asks God why he is continually being tested like this. [Seriously, who brought Crazy Brandon Hantz back to the party?] When Dimples asks Russell who he is talking to, Russell tells him he is talking to him, Lord. Dimples tries to casually shrug off the comparisons but it is hard not to look at his perfectly smooth forehead, perfect talk show-ready baritone voice, his sexy forearms, and his collection of shirts that perpetually have the top two buttons missing and NOT draw the same conclusion as Russell did. Russell is looking for guidance and Lord Dimples will need to bestow some wisdom onto his young disciple. Lord Dimples tells Russell that he is just a man and not a vessel of perfection. However Russell points out to Lord Dimples that man was created in God’s image and therefore he should be perfect at everything he does and not be failing at these challenges. Lord Dimples bluntly tells Russell that a facsimile is never a 100% duplicate of the original. Therefore Russell should not be expecting to be as perfect as Dimples as envying something that is not attainable is a sin. Realising the wisdom of Lord Dimples words, Russell meekly accepts that man by design is flawed. Returning to the game, Lord Dimples hands out the feast of steak and vegies to Tandang. Kalabaw choose to take another tarp as its reward for coming second. Both tribes give a sympathetic wave to sucky Matsing knowing that Tribal Council tonight is going to be very unpleasant.
Returning from the commercial break, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that all three members of Matsing are absolutely devastated. Malcolm says he almost cried for the first time in this game at the end of the challenge. [Watching from her comfortable loungeroom surrounded by milk and oatmeal cookies, Angie curses Malcolm outloud because he had told her on Facebook that he cried when he was forced to vote her out last episode. What a cad! To think Angie let Malcolm snuggle on her pillow at nights out on the beach.] Russell is lost for words for having to go back to Tribal Council for the fourth consecutive time in ten days. Whilst all three were washing themselves down in the ocean, Malcolm pulls Russell aside and tells him that the vote will be for Denise as they need to keep the tribe strong because who knows when a merge will happen. Later when Malcolm and Denise find themselves alone in the shelter, he tells her that they need to convince Russell that he is safe so they can blindside him tonight without him using the idol they believe he has. Denise agrees with this plan and proceeds to put on her therapist hat and make Russell feel nice and comfortable – like a lamb to the slaughter.
Let’s face it. Russell is going home tonight. No amount of editing trickery is going to disguise the fact that Russell is the boot tonight. He is the odd one out in three’s company. But there are 15 minutes left before the episode ends and things need to be padded out. So Therapist Denise puts on her hat and tells Charlie Brown that the psychiatrist is in. After paying his five cents, Russell reveals a story of how he stood up to bullies at school, when he was eight, after months of being fearful of them. Seeing that he is vulnerable now, Denise makes her move and tells Russell that she wants Malcolm gone tonight as he is too big a threat if a merge was to occur after tonight’s vote. Russell agrees and tells Denise he thought he was a goner tonight as he assumed there was an alliance between Malcolm and her. Denise doesn’t deny that but deflects this by saying she has to always weigh up the scenarios when it presents itself to her. [Denise is smart. Her responses to Russell are very telling. She deflects a lot of things rather than confirm something to someone and perhaps make that person even more agitated. A lot of this is her therapist background playing as major strengths for her in this game. She tells Russell that she thinks she is vulnerable tonight, further convincing him that he is the swing vote for tonight’s Tribal Council. If Denise gets to the merge, she will be a very dangerous person to have around because she knows how to manipulate people’s feelings]. We get a few more filler scenes of Denise scraping what looks like dried mud-gunk out of Malcolm’s ear. We hear both Malcolm and Denise say that they think they may be being played by the other but we the viewers know that Russell is toast tonight.
Tribal Council time and it is pouring down with rain. The wind has whipped up and blew away the snake that had made its home at Tribal Council. Instead, we now get a millipede crossing its way onto the screen. Dimples is back and despite the wind wreaking havoc on everything insight, his hair remains remarkably unmoved during the entire Tribal Council. He has brought out the emerald green shirt for tonight’s vote along with the cargo pants and thongs. It may be cold tonight but he ain’t getting out of his chauffeured limousine to go to Tribal Council without his trusty thongs. And yes ladies, the top two buttons have been conspicuously left unbuttoned tonight.
Malcolm starts off by confirming Dimples’s assumption that every one of them have told each other that tonight’s vote is for Malcolm/Denise/Russell depending on who is not part of the conversation at the time. Dimples brings up Russell’s reaction at the end of the challenge but Russell defends his actions by saying there is nothing wrong to expect excellence from himself at every single tasks he performs, particularly when he is doing it in front of Lord Dimples. Russell says that if it is a fatal flaw to demand excellence from himself, then it is something he can live with. Because Dimples doesn’t want people to play nice at this Tribal Council, he wants to highlight how sucky Matsing has been as a tribe during challenges. He asks who nominated Malcolm to be the guy swinging the wrecking ball. Malcolm confirms he nominated himself and feels absolutely gutted that he let everyone down.
Now to the interesting part of Tribal Council as Dimples wants each person to plead his/her case as well as give each of them enough rope. Denise says that to keep her on tonight would be beneficial because not only is she a strong competitor, she has a strong social game that will help whoever she is left with further down the game. Malcolm says that because he is the best physical competitor amongst the three, he should be kept after tonight because no one can assume a merge will happen after tonight. Russell’s pitch is really to Denise that keeping Malcolm around is dangerous. Russell is also a good physical competitor (as long as it doesn’t involve swimming challenges or climbing two-foot ladders) but he has one very important trump card that Malcolm doesn’t have – experience as a returning player. [Seriously Russell! Has that been an asset for you these last ten days? You haven’t won one challenge!] But the most telling clue about how this game may turn out is what is shown next. Dimples asks Malcolm why Denise should be voted out tonight. He says that she is socially superior than either Russell or himself in this game by a long mile. Russell chimes in and says that if Denise got to the end, she would win the million dollars because she is such a strong social player. [Dimples would have asked a variation of this question to everyone else but I think it is telling that we only see Denise’s example]. In the end, Malcolm concludes one last pitch aimed at Denise by saying that the two people moving forward tonight will be the two that is best placed at go deep in the game together.
With that it is time to vote. Both Russell and Malcolm reluctantly vote for each other. The Tribal Council snake then makes a surprise cameo appearance before Denise’s vote which is naturally not shown. When she sits down she cannot give either man any eye contact. Perhaps maybe she is going to blindside Malcolm? Surely not! Dimples call for the hidden immunity idol to be played but to Malcolm’s great delight, Russell doesn’t play it (because he doesn’t have it). Dimples reads the votes. Russell and Malcolm. As Denise closes her eyes whilst the last vote is opened we see that she voted for…..Russell. He is shocked to see that she had voted for him tonight. He sadly gets up to fetch his torch for Dimples to snuff out. In his Final Words he says he had an extremely tough time on his second opportunity to play Survivor and he takes it as a sign that he is done with playing this game. Dimples states the obvious to the remaining Matsing tribe members that they
suck big time have to keep fighting. Next week’s preview show Malcolm and Denise hunting furiously for the hidden immunity idol and at Kalabaw, it looks like someone may be medically evacuated. That would be ironic given this season has been built around three medically-evacuated returnees. So who will be voted out next on Survivor? Will the Hot Tamale Train make another consecutive appearance at the next challenge? Will the producers spare us another mumbling confessional from Team Edward for next week? Will Cotton Wool take his injury-free streak to two consecutive episodes? Will Bella-Latina learn the true meaning of what an “inside voice” should sound like? Will Dimples ever appear on camera with his shirt buttoned all the way to the top? Find out more on the next instalment of Twilight: The Next Generation.
Postscript summary for all the clue hunters out there. After four episodes, one thing is very telling. Cotton Wool has had the least amount of air time (by a mile) out of all three returnees. That is very unusual in a season of Survivor where there are returning players. It also looks like the snake imagery next to Bella-Latina is bearing fruit as she is showing herself to be a truly unhinged individual. Blair, on the other hand, seem to be slipping and sliding her way deep into the game like her reptile imagery in the intro. But to all the Penner fans out there, I know you don’t want to hear it but it really looks like Penner is being set-up for a major blindside down the road by Jeff “Four-Fingered Handshake.” Jeff has been adamant from Day 1 about not letting a veteran win the game. Expect tears and tantrums from Penner when the knife is stuck in his back some time in the future.