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Survivor: Philippines – Episode 4 – Move Over Ulong, We Have A New Pathetic Tribe

Meanwhile, as the dudes bond, the ladies notice something. The dudes are gone. And they’re bonding. Lydia the Tattooed Lady (Dana) has a brilliant idea…how about a ladies’ alliance (tm Kim Spradlin). So, Kalabaw is now Vanuatu with a Penner/Kent/Carter faction and a Tattoo/Dawson/Katie faction. So, of course, because Penner has no Survivor luck, Kent’s knee injury appears to be a factor next week. However, even though we see the brace in the preview does not mean that the medical situation is actually Kent’s.

Matsing – The train wreck continues. And I feel really badly for Malcolm and Denise who both seem as if they would be very good and dangerous players on a tribe that didn’t suck. However, they are on Matsing, which does, in fact, suck. For a while there as Swan talked about embarking on the greatest comeback ever, I thought for a moment the show was foreshadowing an unlikely Final Three for us. Now THAT would be dramatic – a la the Yul-Ozzy alliance and the Hantz-run Foa Foas. But no. Instead, we got more inept moments – Swan failing badly to find the Idol, Denise catching him and thinking he may actually have it, Malcolm failing to make fire, and of course, another lost challenge. This time they actually held the lead before Malcolm failed to seal the deal.

However, the episode really featured the final destruction of the Swan myth. Russell was Good Russell on Samoa. That tribe was dominant and he was the leader before he essentially knocked himself out by failing to drink water and almost dying as a result. In his absence they collapsed and became victimized by the Hantzian antics to follow. But here, Swan did the exact opposite of past returnees. Steph was more unlikeable her second time around, but she was more successful. Boston Rob finally won his title. Coach became a strategist. Ozzy 3.0 become even more of a folk hero. Cirie, Amanda and Parvati came back to dominate Micronesia. Most returnees who do battle with new players have succeeded. Few have failed – Swan was one of them.

Russell Hantz did well when facing a group of All-Stars who didn’t know him (and got aided by Tyson’s blunder), but when facing fans he was ousted early. The early exits for Fairplay and Yau in Micronesia came at the hands of the other returnees. Bobby Jon was about the same as the first time around, as was James 2.0. Penner got hurt. Ami, Eliza and Ozzy were somewhat disappointing in their second shot. Swan joins them. He tried to be the leader again but this group was different than Galu and didn’t respond. And his early failures to lead led to the first loss. His reaction to the losing was infantile. The smashing of pots this week – after the puzzle pieces last week – were like a child who tossed the game board on the floor after losing.

Probst got in his face – and it was awesome. He said to Swan that he keeps carrying on about how failure is not an option, but he’s not a superhero, he’s just a guy. Nothing could hurt someone with Swan’s ego more than that. He said he needed to be perfect – and as we all should have learned early on in our lives, nobody’s perfect. And that, is why you fail.

Treemail Top 10
• Loved the muttering of Penner after Swan’s outburst, “Well, then…” Because Penner is a grown up, as Kent discovered. Penner has made some huge errors in Survivor and never exploded like that.
• Reasons to never go on Survivor – the shots of Malcolm and Denise’s sickly skin on their feet, and the image of Denise picking something dark out of Malcolm’s ear after the challenge. Blleeeech!
• Pete is so much smarter than I gave him credit for – I guess I am prejudiced against Guys Who Look Like Taylor Laudner. “I don’t want people to play their game, I want them to play my game.” And he has succeeded – RC is now chasing his trail, Abinormal is unhinged, Artis is non-existent, Blair is in his pocket, and Skupin is blissfully ignorant of what’s going on. Pete is currently in control of about half of this game.
• Did Dawson really ask the group “is this a fire?” What else could it possibly be? Has fire ever been confused for other elements before?
• I would like to write a movie called “The Biggest Clam You Ever Saw.”
• Lydia the Tattooed Lady quote – “I’m a girl, I can make fire, I can kill a chicken…don’t underestimate me because I’m female.” That’s the strangest Girl Power slogan I’ve ever heard.
• Swan said he was undone this year by a “smoker, a lunatic and a beauty queen.” Well, they didn’t help, but I’d suggest a mirror to find the culprit for the poor performance. As Malcolm wisely said, “He met my low expectations for him…he lacks self awareness.”
• Loved the sequence where Denise put Swan on her couch and analyzed him. His problems seem to stretch back to bullying when he was a kid, which resulted in him striking the bully and making him cry. So kids, remember, fighting is always the answer. And, once you do, you too can cultivate an ego the size of Argentina.
• Challenge – pick up two pots of rice with a big stick and carry it through an obstacle course. Place them on spires and head back. Then have the other teammates go. One of the tribe has to smash the pots with a wrecking ball. With three to sit out, Tandang and Kalabaw each sit all of their women. But don’t underestimate them. Matsing took the early lead – for the first time – and held it until Malcolm failed to smash the final pot, as Kent’s shot just misses…but swings back to smash it. Tandang gets a feast we never get to see, while Kalabaw wisely passes up a handful of veggies and some cooking supplies for a tarp. Matsing gets the principal’s office again.
• Tribal – not much drama here. The lead up is a series of scenes where all three of them are seen paired up in all combos talking about how they should vote the third off. But to anyone paying attention, Swan was clearly the one to go. The only one who was surprised was Swan, whose ego controlled him down to the last moment. Blindside? Jeez – what side can he actually see?!?!

Votes – Swan 2 (Malcolm, Denise), Malcolm 1 (Swan). Best part – Malcolm’s deep sigh upon the reveal of Denise’s vote and his muttering, “That’ll get your heart pounding.”

Next week – Medical emergency. Ruh Roh.

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