Survivor Philippines continues with episode 4 this week, and time to once again have a closer look at the episode and give our ‘expert’ opinions from not only Jarryd in another amazing recap, but also hear from Ben & Lancey as well! Oh, and we’ll even speak to a real expert in Clay Jordan from the 5th season in Thailand!(For the Australian viewers who haven’t watched episode 4 yet, clicking the link below will spoil the hell out of the next season, so if you don’t want to be spoiled then don’t click the link!)
Welcome back to our Survivor: Philippines recap! With episode four done and dusted we look back over the episode and discuss why this season really has five returning players, three of them from Survivor: Palau.
Once again we begin with the morning after tribal council at Matsing (or better known now as Ulong 2.0) camp. It’s a strange beginning, no talking, just music and visuals of the camp on day nine. Whilst some viewers might think we’ve gone back to vintage Survivor, and all is quiet because Jeff Probst isn’t commentating a challenge… we haven’t. Simply the producers are just giving us a visual picture of what’s going on. It’s raining heavily (like always in this season), Matsing are cold, their feet and hands are wrinkled, they have no fire, they’re a tribe of three up against two tribes of six… there is no need for words or confessionals to describe their situation sucks and that they are now desperate.
After several minutes without talking, we get some confessionals from the remaining Matsing (Ulong 2.0) members. Denise (who we’re calling Stephenie LaGrossa because of her strength in challenges), comments on her shock at the situation she’s in. Malcolm (Bobby Jon, likewise for his strength in challenges), comments on how a win will improve camp life. Finally, Russell (Ibrehem, because of his weakness in challenges), tells us that the remaining Matsing members won’t quit and that they are going to pull off the biggest comeback in Survivor history. (Russell also mentions that he almost died on Survivor last time and he’s willing to do it again – we’re getting sick of Russell reminding us he almost died last time, we remember! It’s almost as bad as Mike Skupin bragging about that boar he killed all those years ago.)
We now switch over to Tandang. We understand that living on a deserted beach, with a dodgy shelter and constant rain would be tough. However… you’re nine days in, you’ve won three immunity challenges, you haven’t been to tribal council, you have a tarp, you have fishing gear and a fire making kit and you still complain! Come on Tandang, you guys have everything you need, think of poor old Matsing and stop complaining!
The game is well and truly on at Tandang though. Whilst everyone is huddled in the shelter, Abi-Marie leans over and notices the clue to the hidden immunity idol has fallen out of R.C.’s bag.
Abi calls her out, which leads to R.C. reading the clue to the tribe. Surprisingly, only Abi is upset at the fact that R.C. has the clue to the hidden immunity idol. At this stage we’re having flashbacks to the two previous episodes as Abi once again fights with R.C. as to why she has taking the clue from the place the pair buried it. We really don’t understand Abi. She already has the idol, it’s something you don’t want to shout about, so why point out the clue? Especially when it lead to a R.C. reading it to the tribe, meaning everyone now has somewhat of an idea where the idol might be. Sure, they won’t be able to find the idol, but they might work out that somebody has it! A confessional with R.C. plays and she insists she didn’t put the clue in her bag, whilst also worrying about her position in the tribe.
R.C. reads the clue to the location of the hidden immunity idol to Tandang. (Image credit CBS)
The quest of how the clue got there isn’t left unanswered. Pete does have a clue what Survivor is all about! In a confessional, Pete admits that after Abi showed him where the clue was buried, he returned to the spot, dug it up and then planted it in R.C.’s bag in order to create some chaos. Pete is certainly starting to live up to his pre-game prediction that he is similar to Russell Hantz, (he’s not quite there yet), though planting the clue in R.C.’s bag was a very smart thing to do. However… with Abi’s behaviour extremely unpredictable, he needs to be careful. Abi sold out R.C. very quickly, she might just do the same to Pete, or she might implicate herself in Pete’s “puppet mastery” and it will come back to bite them.
Next up we go to camp Kalabaw. The men, Penner, Jeff and Carter (or is he just a younger version of the “talkative” Rick Nelson from Survivor: South Pacific?) go out fishing in their boat they won in last weeks challenge. Not much fishing gets done however, a few clams are found but the main point of the fishing trip is for Penner to solidify his alliance with Jeff and to recruit Carter as a third member. This conversation goes much smoother this time around and the threesome look like they have formed an alliance (Jeff even gave Penner a five-fingered handshake!).
Jeff’s turnaround has been amazing. Day one he wanted Penner gone first, now he has an alliance with him! We can understand why Penner has chosen Jeff, but we can’t understand why Jeff has changed his tune on Penner. In a confessional, Jeff states that whilst Penner might be a veteran, he’s done a good job of including him in a predominantly younger tribe – not the best reason to make an alliance with Jonathan Penner; who we know will and can turn on his alliances. We think Jeff has been blinded by the power of the idol, and just wants to make sure he is in a safe position in the game.
Before moving on, we just want to point out that the invisible man of Kalabaw (who seems to have been around only for the challenges so for this season) had a confessional! Yes, Carter got his first confessional… and its little wonder he hasn’t had one up until now. Carter points out that whilst he’ll align himself with Penner for the time being, when they get further into the game he’ll vote him out. Good to know Carter has a voice, yet anybody could have told me that.
Whilst the boys play around in the boat, on the opposite side of the beach, the Kalabaw girls are also fishing and talking about alliances. They correctly assume that Penner and his followers are creating an “all-boys” alliance, so to counter this; the girls make an “all-girls” alliance. Now whilst this is the only thing they could really do, we’d like to mention that only twice in Survivor history has an “all-girl” alliance been successful. (The first time, in Survivor: Micronesia, lead by the illustrious Queen P (Parvati Shallow), and of course with Kim Spradlin in the most recent season of Survivor: One World.) The girls need to be careful, all-female alliances and Survivor generally don’t mix. (Just ask Survivor: Vanuatu winner, Chris Daugherty).
Back to Matsing where Malcolm calls out Russell in a confessional for being susceptible to a leadership position and having no self awareness. Good call Malcolm, that wasn’t apparent at all! Whilst Malcolm does come across as arrogant, he seems to know what he’s doing, so we’ll let it slide. Russell does have some strategic clues; he points out that neither Malcolm nor Denise have approached him to make an alliance, leaving him feeling vulnerable. Russell then bags out the voted off members of Matsing, blaming them for the tribes failure.
“Once again not to make the merge… because of a smoker (Zane), a lunatic (Roxy) and a beauty queen (Angie).”
Russell then goes off to look for the hidden immunity idol, something he should have done several episodes ago! However, bad luck continues to follow him in Survivor. Whilst searching for the idol, he’s caught in the act by Denise. Whilst Russell does come up with a cover story, it’s know where near as good as Penner’s from earlier this season, leaving Denise, and later Malcolm wary. So what do the pair decide to do? Search through Russell’s personal belongings of course! Whilst they don’t find the idol (they wouldn’t because Russell doesn’t have it), we hate it when people do this to others. Even though you’re playing a game and it’s all about lying, cheating and stealing, you should be able to leave your bag in the shelter without others looking in it to check for a hidden immunity idol (or beef jerky).
Russell continues to look in all the wrong places for the hidden immunity idol. (Image credit CBS)
Back at Tandang Abi is doing what she does best, complain and argue with R.C. After complaining that the rice isn’t seasoned enough, Abi enters into another argument with R.C. Whilst we understand R.C. wants to clear the air with Abi, she needs to give up. Abi’s made it clear she wants nothing to do with R.C. so just move on and start working on recruiting Artis or Lisa – (who’s more concerned about keeping the war between R.C. and Abi going than building any sort of an alliance herself).
We now head off to another combined reward and immunity challenge. Up for grabs this week for first place is a steak dinner, complete with vegetables, spices and utensils, and for second place, a handful of vegetables, seasonings and a pot to cook in. Jeff also reveals that either tribe can trade their reward in for a tarp. Maybe it’s just me, but has the steak reward come a little early this season? In saying that, Tandang and Kalabaw have almost everything they need at camp in order to survive, so maybe it is time for the steak reward.
For the challenge, one at a time, three members of each tribe need to load two very heavy pots of rice onto a bamboo pole, make their way through an obstacle course, remove the pots and place them onto their stand at the end, before crawling back underneath the obstacles (getting nice and muddy). Once the tribe has all six pots on their stands, all tribe members have to make their way through the obstacle course before one tribe member uses a wrecking ball to smash the six rice pots. The first two tribes to complete the challenge win reward and immunity.
Both Tandang and Kalabaw have to sit out three members of their tribe. Both tribes sit out their girls (Lisa, Abi and R.C. for Tandang and Katie, Dawson and Dana for Kalabaw). Before we get onto the challenge, we just want to point out that aside from the first challenge; Dawson and Abi have sat out of every challenge since. We know they must be happy they aren’t losing, but If we were on Survivor we’d want to compete in every possible challenge, we’d be shattered if we’d only competed in one out of a possible four.
We begin the challenge and almost immediately Carter breaks a pot for Kalabaw, putting them behind early. For Matsing, Malcolm is first on the course and gets through it easily, giving Matsing a rare lead going into the second leg of the obstacle course over Skupin of Tandang and Carter of Kalabaw.
Russell takes the second leg for Matsing and after his poor performance in last weeks challenge redeems himself by maintaining Matsing’s lead. Artis struggles for Tandang, taking his time on the course, however still maintain second place, whilst Penner makes up a lot of time for Kalabaw. Denise (the only female competing in the challenge) takes over for the last leg for Matsing, whilst Pete runs the course for Tandang and Jeff runs for Kalabaw. Denise struggles on the course (after her performance last week, we’re not going to blame her), and losses the lead for Matsing, as Pete over takes her close to the end of the course.
Going into the wrecking ball section of the challenge, Tandang have a slight lead of Matsing, whilst Kalabaw brings up the rear. On the wrecking balls for each tribe are Artis (Tandang), Malcolm (Matsing) and Jeff (Kalabaw).
Artis makes light work of the pots, securing first place for Tandang easily. Once again, the Survivor Gods come into play and favour Kalabaw. Malcolm has a huge lead; he has two pots left to smash compared to Kalabaw’s four. Now we may have been harsh on Jeff Kent continuing to reference the fact that he’s a former MLB player in the past, but today we reckon some of his talents shone and all those years of practicing throwing a baseball paid off. After a few misses by Malcolm, both tribes were left with one pot left to smash. We must admit, we were hoping for a Kalabaw victory just to see what will happen to the Matsing tribe – luckily we got our wish. Jeff smashed his pot before Malcolm, securing second place and immunity for Kalabaw.
As has become apparent over the first four episodes, Russell once again has a tantrum after the challenge. After smashing Matsing’s last remaining pot, and calling Jeff Probst “Lord” (which we believe he secretly enjoyed) he launches into speech. Jeff asks Russell why he likens himself to superman, to which Russell begins an outburst in front of everyone about why he is excellent and that he shouldn’t lose.
“I’m a guy who was formed by God’s hands as the perfect creature. Everything I do is suppose to be excellent” – Russell Swan (Image credit CBS)
The expressions of Denise and Malcolm say it all following the challenge, and it seems Russell’s papers have been marked. Once Russell has calmed down, Probst sends the tribes back to camp. Kalabaw deciding to trade in their reward for another tarp – A good decision we think, a handful of vegies and a pot won’t go far, whilst they have a tarp, another won’t go astray and it can double as a blanket.
We return to Matsing following the challenge for the usual pre-tribal paranoia. Malcolm and Denise decide, that incase Russell has found the hidden immunity idol, to convince him that he is the swing vote, and either Denise or Malcolm are going home. The plan works well, with Russell believing he is safe at the vote and weighing up his options. We get some insight into why Russell believes he’s superman when he seeks some therapy from Denise, telling her he was bullied in school and how playing Survivor is similar, causing him to feels the way he is about the game being against him.
Once again we go of to tribal not one hundred percent sure who is going home.
Tribal is a relatively subdued affair. There are no comparisons to onions, or requests for cookies. Nobody throws anyone under the bus or makes others cry. Jeff questions why each Matsing member deserves to stay and why someone else deserves to go. It’s made clear that Denise is going nowhere when Russell and Malcolm join the ‘Denise Stapley fan club’. It’s still up in the air when we go to the vote, with Russell and Malcolm both copping heat during tribal council about being serious physical threats (Really? Russell a physical threat?).
The votes are read and Denise stays true to her alliance with Malcolm, voting Russell out. Again, we’re content with this decision from Matsing. Russell overstayed his welcome and we’re glad Denise stayed true to Malcolm.
Russell… the tribe has spoken (Image credit CBS)
This week’s sexual innuendo comment from Jeff comes from his challenge commentary. I’d just like to remind you this is all in good fun. Take it in whatever way you like…
“Denise tries for two… but can’t do it!”
This week was tough to select a top and bottom three… we’ve decided to go with:
We’ve got a new number one this week! Mr Jeff Kent (did you know he’s an ex-MLB player?) takes top spot this week. Jeff’s developed himself what looks to be a strong alliance with Penner and Carter, then bought home the win for Kalabaw by making up a heap of time in the challenge and destroying the rice pots very quickly.
Another first timer in the top three. Pete has positioned himself in a dangerous position in the Tandang tribe. He has a strong alliance with Abi, has a hidden immunity idol in that alliance and was able to put the heat on R.C. His strong performance in the challenge only helped him gain second spot in this weeks ranking.
Penner drops down to third place this week. Another strong challenge performance and has solidified a strong alliance with Jeff and Carter, plus still has his hidden immunity idol.
It killed me to put my girl in the bottom three but it had to be done. R.C.’s position in the tribe continues to decline because of her friendship and alliance breakdown with Abi. Things went from bad to worse when Pete planted the clue to the hidden immunity idol in her bag. Not competing in the challenge couldn’t boost up her rating like last week.
14. Katie “Purple Kelly” Hanson
Once again, Katie got no air time! Yes, she made an alliance with her fellow Kalabaw girls, but she didn’t talk in that scene! Come on editors, give Katie some air time!
What can we say? Over the past four week the aura of Russell Swan has, (in his words), crashed and burned.
Well I was worried last week that we could have another One World on our hands with the declining quality of each episode, but this weeks episode delivered and delivered strongly! Want to give a massive shout out to the editing this episode, as boy oh boy was it intense! I’m usually the first person to speak out about making things ‘overly dramatic’ but the way it came about this week with the slow motion and cinematic challenge it was incredible. The use of music with the pots smashing then making it go silent during Russell’s rant was superb, and even the opening minutes in which there was nothing but soft music, rain and emotional faces was a sight to behold. So massive props to CBS and it’s editors who still can spring a surprise 25 seasons into a show!
Other than the editing, what can I say? Poor Russell is what I have to say. Sure, he shot himself in the foot, but just wow. The guy certainly is passionate about this game and if that was enough to keep him in the game then for sure we would’ve seen him go far. But this is Survivor and passion can only get you to a certain point, a point which unfortunately for Mr.Swan was only episode 4. It was unusual to see him go into that Jesus filled rant after the loss, and him calling Jeff Probst ‘Lord’ was priceless! But that I feel sealed his fate. Even if he had of stayed and Malcolm went, could you imagine the other tribes keeping him around if they are to merge or swap at any point? No way. Malcolm and Denise now have to rely on their smarts and skills to see how they’ll go. Chances are both of them will end up separated next week or soon after that, and we’ll be back to a two tribe game. Having said that though, it would almost be good to see Ulong take 2 and see one of them be the next Stephenie. It will remain to be seen if that is the case.
Kalabaw is a two person tribe it seems. Penner and Jeff have it down. Dana though I think could spring a surprise, and even the ever loveable Carter as well. Carter to me is a ‘Fabio in disguise’ and could really end up at the pointy end before anybody realises he is there. Dana has got some spunk about her, and is doing just enough to get on camera and make herself known, something that could quickly turn into a ‘winners edit’. Dawson and Katie? Well when we see them, I’ll let you know what I think.
Over at Tandang it’s the case of “where’s Skupin” at the moment. Did we even hear from him all episode? Possibly because he didn’t injure himself, there wasn’t much to show. Abi-Maria on the other hand, oh my Probst, that woman is going to kill someone! She certainly is letting a few crazy signs go out there, and one that is possibly putting RC in danger. Pete on the other hand, where have you been all season my man?! That move to put the clue in RC’s bag, GENIUS! He is almost like Russell Hantz but with social skills, and if he can make it as far as Russell then we might be looking at our winner folks. Lisa is fitting nicely into her Holly/Dawn role, while Artis is obviously hanging out with Dawson and Katie in the “we’ll show more of them when they get voted out” part of the island.
I’m really glad to see that this episode was a good one, it has restored my faith that this season isn’t just a season in the lead up to 26, the one that Jeff Probst is already calling ‘the best ever’. Bring on next week!
Another enjoyable episode!
This season really has kicked off with a bang, and whilst we might not be seeing much of the “winning” tribes, it’s always enjoyable watching a tribe lose again and again.
I hope the producers don’t absorb the remaining Matsing members into the two remaining tribes, I’d much prefer if they did exactly what they did in Survivor: Palau and see if Matsing can be concurred. Admittedly this does cause problems in challenges, as they are designed for tribes of more than two people, however in saying that, I have enjoyed all the challenges so far this season.
I’m a little worried about my girl (R.C.); she’s not in a very good position at the moment after starting the season well. Abi-Maria, is a loose cannon, similar to Brandon Hantz, you have no idea what her next move will be, which is a major liability in Survivor. Pete needs to be careful, whilst I think he’ll be able to manipulate Abi easily, who knows what she’ll do with the information he might give her.
I like the dynamic at Kalabaw. I’m glad Penner looks like hes finally found a strong alliance, but the “all-female” alliance created in the last episode was interesting. Katie has gone completely unnoticed, which makes me think of a couple of things. One, she might be involved in the possible med evac that looks to be occurring next week, or two, she becomes prominent post-merge (similar to Natalie Bolton in Survivor: Micronesia.)
Matsing suck, simple as that. Looking back, they had a distinct disadvantage from the beginning; however they just haven’t performed in challenges. Russell has really let them down from a physical perspective. I’m still questioning whether I like Malcolm, but I’m a big fan of Denise. It’s good to see an older women doing well in the game and in challenges. Maybe I’m just old school, but I love it when an older castaway is better than some of the younger ones.
I’m looking forward to next week. From the small preview we got, it looks we’ve got a medical evacuation next week and it looks like the person being evacuated is from Kalabaw. Looking closely at the preview, the person Probst is bending down and talking to in the shelter, looks like they have a wedding ring on, meaning that he’s probably talking to either Penner or Jeff. Although, he might just be talking to one of them about another tribe member, who knows… that could all be about setting up suspense. Either way, I’m counting down the hours until next week.
I’m writing this re-cap from my hospital bed because the prospect of Denise being voted out gave several small heart attacks. I am alive and well however, as is she! What a devestating and embarrassing loss for Matsing, as for the fourth consecutive time they were forced to visit Jeff at tribal. Oh the shame as Russell threw a temper tantrum and yelled at God…or Jeff, I’m not quite sure. Whilst I was certainly sad to see him go, I was relieved the fantastic force that is Dencolm (my attempt at a team name for Denise and Malcolm – no?) lives to fight another day. Now maybe they’ll finally start looking for the idol before the impending merge/dissolution/Palau style amalgamation.
Abi-Maria, CALM DOWN. I am still astounded at the amount of dynamic shifts happening at Tandang before anyone has even been voted out, and it’s pretty obvious who is responsible for it. R.C. has again been shafted, though this time by Pete, and has no idea how her Survivor dream became this wicked nightmare. I’ve got to give Pete a mention for his sneaky and pretty amazing move, but his alliance with Abi-Maria may end up being more than he bargained for. An ideal world would see Abi-Maria accidently voting herself out so we could all move on with our lives. Run R.C.! Run!
As Dawson noted, Kalabaw is likewise going through some interesting changes. Through a clever chat with Jeff Penner has found himself in a seemingly solid alliance, and I’m not sure the alliance of Dawson, Katie and Dana has the same foundation. The teaser for next episode suggested a medi-vac may be upon us, and aside from the obvious upset it causes it also means that there may not be a dramatic tribal council with deadlocked votes. Apparently safety comes before drama: thanks a lot CBS.
Looking forward to seeing Jeff in his raining day clothes next week…
Survivor Re-capper: Clay Jordan
Each week we’ll bring you the viewpoint of a former Survivor contestant to hear what they have to think of the episode and their thoughts for the rest of the season!
Our fourth special guest is Clay Jordan from Thailand, as he discusses Russell’s gameplay and being a ‘jackass’, Abi-Maria and her crazy factor, the emergence of Pete and comparing him to Brian Heidik and Russell Hantz, ‘Lord Probst’, Mike Skupin going missing as well as liking Malcolm and the girls wanting to hunt and kill chickens and how dangerous that can be! Clay’s ‘Philippines Four’ answers were:
TIP TO WIN: Malcolm
DARK HORSE: Denise
NEXT TO GO: RC
CONTESTANT MOST SIMILAR TO: Denise/Carter blend
Join us next week for our recap of episode 5, featuring special Survivor guest Billy Garcia from the Cook Islands!