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

Is this 2003? Because this felt like a Survivor episode from long ago. It was one of those episodes that prove that the formula for Survivor works and really doesn’t need to be radically tweaked (i.e. Medallion of Power, Redemption Island, etc). Idol play was background and used to supplement the story – not be the story – in all three camps. The challenge was a raw physical challenge, with built in drama and real stakes that did not need manipulation. The breakdowns and conflict did not appear to be “look at me, I’m on TV” like they have been in many recent seasons. I half expected to see Lex, Jenna, Jerri or some old school Survivor wandering around camp at some point.

What I am trying to say is that this was a good installment of Survivor in what is shaping up to be a very interesting season. Matsing continues its headlong descent into Ulong Land, while the other two tribes continue to slowly boil over the side as they have been cooking for 10 days with the same six people and no chance to hit Tribal and air out the grievances. The story in the early going is the Matsing Melodrama – but we have lots of interesting things going on in the other camps in what I assume are some future plotlines waiting to explode. Just one thing…

…is the show going to shuffle the tribes before the merge or not? Because if that’s a no…then we have a very interesting scenario about to take shape. It is not going too far out on a limb to think that Malcolm and Denise will not be able to avoid last place as a Tribe of Two and are potentially the next two out. This would be remarkable for the show’s history – when Steph was a Tribe of One it was only for a night. She didn’t have to compete against Koror by herself. But let’s say the Ulonging of Matsing is complete and we wind up with six Tandang vs. six Kalabaw. Well, that’s probably the merge. All hell could break loose at that merge – neither tribe is completely unified (and next week’s previews bode very badly for Kalabaw) and there could be some scrambling.

RC is starting to see that her alliance has dissolved right behind her back. Abinormal is out of her mind (like the nickname? Thanks Mel Brooks). Could RC and Skupin flip to a new alliance with Kalabaw’s crew? What about the growing gender divide on Kalabaw? Could the Kalabaw men lure Artis and Skupin, with RC coming in with nowhere else to go? Could the women form a cross-tribe alliance? Might we have another 6 vs. 6 Tribal and some potential Cochran-style flipping? Or the second ever appearance of the Purple Rock?

How about this? Kent’s bad knee introduced in the first episode pulls him from the game next week and one Matsing survives to the merge. Does Malcolm/Denise join Kalabaw’s six and even things up, or join Tandang’s six to set up a Pagonging of Kalabaw? The later is a safer bet – as they go further and becomes the wedge vote in a dysfunctional group of six. Ironic if this scenario takes hold – the show wanted the three tribes to avoid the early alliances from domination, only to have one tribe implode and potentially ensure two early alliances to take power.

Tandang – I looked up my preview to see what I wrote about Pete, because he made no impression in the first two episodes before showing up with a vengeance last week. This week – more of that. I saw him as either an early out or a real player, depending on the execution of his Alpha Dog intentions. He wanted to be another Russell Hantz. Well, based on this week, he is on his way. The tribe found the idol clue peeking out of RC’s stuff – you know, the clue that was hidden previously. Abinormal lost it – she somehow saw this as RC’s betrayal of her and the split between the women became official. And Pete was the one who dug it up and planted it to ensure Abinormal would write off RC for good. He sees RC as his big threat in the tribe (correct) and he has now put her first in line for the vote should Tandang ever lose.

By the way, I know it is hard to reason with crazy, but just how would that clue’s appearance in RC’s stuff have betrayed Abinormal? Weren’t they supposedly a team searching for the idol – at least in RC’s mind? Wouldn’t that mean the clue was equally hers? Wouldn’t that also mean that it’s discovery would logically have been an error? An error is something you can be mad at her for committing – but to call it a betrayal? Not to mention – of course – that Abinormal is the one who betrayed RC by linking up with Pete and finding the idol without her!!! This is one wacky tribe.

Kalabaw – Amazing what an idol can do to the dynamic of a tribe. On Tandang, it exploded an alliance and formed a new one with an emerging mastermind. On Kalabaw, it saved Jonathan Penner. Like Coach, he was treated as an outsider by the new players at first. Unlike Coach, it’s taken him 10 days and an idol to change things (Coach did it after the first day or two). Thankfully for him, they haven’t had to go to Tribal at all, so he had the time to make things right. This week, he had another bit of good fortune. In a stunning bit of news (and I mean, not stunning at all), 40-something Kent is having a hard time talking to the younguns. Maybe having Penner – an intelligent, witty guy – around for a while ain’t exactly a bad idea after all. And he has an idol, which helps.

The interesting side effect is that the new Kent-Penner alliance – sealed with the full handshake, mind you – came with a little brother. Carter. It seems the previously unheard from Carter was unheard from for a reason. Oh my, if he goes deep he will be Samoa Brett all over again, a seemingly nice young guy with absolutely nothing to say.

What’s Hot on TV Tonight – Vice Presidential Debate

Last week we saw the matchup between President Obama and Mitt Romney. Tonight we'll get to see how Vice President Joe Biden and Paul Ryan fare in the Vice Presidential Debate . Catch up on your favorite shows you may have missed at TV-Links.

1. The View. Michael Symon and Seth Meyers. 10:00 AM CT ABC

2. MLB Baseball. Game 4 of National League Division Series, St. Louis Cardinals at Washington Nationals. 3:00 PM CT TBS

3. MLB Baseball. Game 4 of American League Division Series, Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees. 6:30 PM CT TBS

4. The Big Bang Theory. Amy feels threatened by Sheldon's new assistant, and Wolowitz begins to feel the pressures of being in space. 7:00 PM CT CBS

5. 30 Rock. Jack and Liz disagree on a political satire for the show, Liz tries to put spice back into her love life, and Jenna finds out that Kenneth's mom and boyfriend still buy music. 7:00 PM CT NBC

6. Last Resort. Marcus and crew look for three missing members, find Serrat's company and get an ominous demand, and Adm. Shepard and Kylie have a clandestine meeting 7:00 PM CT ABC

7. The Vampire Diaries. Season premiere. Elena comes to the realization she needs to go through a transition and become a vampire, Bonnie tries to change Elena's fate and pays a steep price, and Matt becomes the target of Damon's frustration and rage. 7:00 PM CT CW

8. The X-Factor. Night two of The Judges' Houses. 7:00 PM CT Fox

9. NFL Football. Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans. 7:00 PM CT NFL

10. Two and a Half Men. Lyndsey and Alan try to spice up their love life. 7:30 PM CT CBS

11. Up All Night. Chris runs into his irritating college roommate and gets stuck attending a party, and Reagan helps Scott host a sleepover for his son and his friends. 7:30 PM CT NBC

12. Vice Presidential Debate. Martha Raddatz moderates from Centre College in Danville, KY. 8:00 PM CT All Major Networks and Most Cable News Channels

13. Beauty and the Beast. Series premiere. A cop, Cat Chandler, investigates a case that brings her to Vincent, a man guarding a secret. As she gets closer to him, she has to keep their relationship secret. 8:00 PM CT CW

14. The First 48. A dallas schoolgirls fight leads to a deadly home invasion, and an innocent man gets fatally short during a Cleveland attempted carjacking. 8:00 PM CT A&E

15. The Real Housewives of Miami. Some of the Miami ladies sit down for a lunch, and what’s supposed to be a calm discussion quickly blows up as Joanna confronts Adriana about flirting with her fiancé. Adriana denies she ever did anything close to what Joanna’s accusing her of, and flips the conversation to why Joanna needs to calm down if she ever wants to make female friends. Later on, Karent and Rudolfo put on a sensual show for Karent’s parents, who can see their naughty afternoon activates through their kitchen window. Awkward much? 8:00 PM CT Bravo

16. Four Weddings. Sara has both a Macedonian and a Persian ceremony before an adults-only reception, Mattea enjoys a candy theme, Michelle features a dance, and Lori has a cocktail reception inside a wedding chapel. 8:00 PM CT TLC

17. Project Runway Tim heads to the final four designers' hometowns, and they will have to present their looks to the judges to earn a spot in the final three. 8:00 PM CT Lifetime

18. Tamar and Vince. After Tamar and Vince work on their issues in couples therapy, they go on a lovers’ retreat to Hawaii with LaShawn and April. Despite a few moments of relationship stress and jealousy, Tamar and Vince spend most of the trip remembering why they fell in love in the first place, until that falls through as well. 8:00 PM CT WE

19. MLB Baseball. Game 5 of American League Division Series, Detroit Tigers at Oakland Athletics. 8:30 PM CT TNT

20. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Season premiere. Dennis and Dee decide whether they should pull on their sick grandfather, the gang finds out about Pop-Pop's history as a Nazi, and Mac, Charlie, and Frank start searching for Pop-Pop's spoils from the war. 9:00 PM CT FX

21. Beyond Scared Straight. Four New Jersey-ians get a look at what life in prison is like, thanks to a corrections officer and prison inmates. 9:00 PM CT A&E

22. Little Shop of Gypsies. Thelma starts searching for ten new trainees, and once they're in place, she just act fast before it all falls apart. 9:00 PM CT TLC

23. Jersey Shore. Snooki moves out, Deena struggles with her gone, Mike deals with recovery, and Jenni organizes a surprise party for Roger. 9:00 PM CT MTV

24. The League. The league gets ready for the draft and Kevin and Jenny's baby boy's arrival, and Taco's business dealing with Jerry Jones get the invited to the Cowboys' training camp. 9:30 PM CT FX

25. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The guests tonight include Terry Bradshaw, Capt. Mark Kelly, and Grizzly Bear. 10:35 PM CT NBC


What’s Hot on TV Tonight – X-Factor Goes to the Judges’ Homes

<div style=”clear: both; text-align: left;”><a style=”clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;” href=”” target=”_blank”><img id=”blogsy-1331585522309.6763″ src=”” alt=”” width=”268″ height=”300″ /></a></div>This is the most unique part of The X Factor. While the judges on The Voice battle it out with each other, The X Factor judges are inviting the contestants to audition in their homes. Could be interesting to see Britney Spears’ and Demi Lovato’s homes. Check out your other favorite shows at <a href=”“>TV-Links</a>.<p>
<p><strong><span style=”color: #ff0000;”>1. The Ellen DeGeneres Show.</span></strong> Eric Stonestreet, Rachel Maddow, and Joshua Radin are the guests. Syndicated, check local listings.</p>
<p><strong><span style=”color: #ff0000;”>2. MLB Baseball.</span></strong> Game 4 of National League Division Series, San Francisco Giants at Cincinnati Reds. 3:00 PM CT TBS</p>
<p><strong><span style=”color: #ff0000;”>3. MLB Baseball.</span></strong> Game 3 of American League Division Series, Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees. 6:30 PM CT TBS</p>
<p><strong><span style=”color: #ff0000;”>4. Survivor: Philippines.</span></strong> A survivor shares a shocking childhood story trying to avoid elimination. 7:00 PM CT CBS</p>
<p><strong><span style=”color: #ff0000;”>5. Animal Practice.</span></strong> After performing surgery on the mayor’s dog, Dr. Yamamoto gets media attention, and Dorothy hires a doctor. 7:00 PM CT NBC</p>
<p><strong><span style=”color: #ff0000;”>6. The Middle.</span></strong> The school therapist suggests Frankie and Mike get Brick a small pet to help him learn to interact, the the bunny instead teaches the family about evil. Axl dates two cheerleaders. 7:00 PM CT ABC</p>
p><strong><span style=”color: #ff0000;”>7. Arrow.</span></strong> Series Premiere. Five years after a shipwreck left Oliver Queen stranded on a remote island, he is discovered and return home, and now tries to right the wrongs of society and his family by developing a secret vigilante persona, Arrow. 7:00 PM CT CW</p>
<p><strong><span style=”color: #ff0000;”>8. The X Factor.</span></strong> Boot camp continues at the judges’ homes. 7:00 PM CT Fox</p>
<p><strong><span style=”color: #ff0000;”>9. Guys with Kids.</span></strong> Gary experiments with unconventional discipline, Marny tries to force her help on Chris, and a school project has Nick feeling overly competitive. 7:30 PM CT NBC</p>
<p><strong><span style=”color: #ff0000;”>10. The Neighbors.</span></strong> Marty and Debbie make plans with their human friends to get a break from their neighbors. 7:30 PMCT ABC</p>
<p><strong><span style=”color: #ff0000;”>11. Criminal Minds.</span></strong> With murder victims found in San Diego and L.S., the team believes a murderous due is repsonsible. 8:00 PM CT CBS</p>
<p><strong><span style=”color: #ff0000;”>12. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.</span></strong> A TV host forces himself on the young author of an erotic novel, and Det. Amaro learns a secret that could damage both the author’s career and her case. 8:00 PM CT NBC</p>
<p><strong><span style=”color: #ff0000;”>13. Criminal Minds.</span></strong> In the first half hour, Haley is embarrassed when Claire and  Phil drop her off at college, Manny makes Gloria and Jay take a class, and Lily gets in a fight on her first day of Kindergarten. In the second half hour, Phil gets a vasectomy, Gloria and Jay can’t decide on whether or not to find out the sex of the baby, and Mitchell tries to coerce Cameron into getting a part-time job. 8:00 PM CT ABC
<p><strong><span style=”color: #ff0000;”>14. Supernatural.</span></strong> Sam and Dean check up on Kevin’s mom and find that Crowley has surrounded her with demons 8:00 PMCT CW</p>
<p><strong><span style=”color: #ff0000;”>15. Ghost Hunters.</span></strong> The team investigates the Old State Capitol building in Baton Rouge, and travels to Charleston to investigation a generational plantation.8:00 PM CT Syfy</p>
<p><strong><span style=”color: #ff0000;”>16. Toy Hunter.</span></strong> Jordan Hembrough heads to Los Angeles to meet bigwigs who send him on a hunt for their next “big ticket” items.  Finding wow-factor toys is Hembrough’s specialty, and since these clients are willing to pay top dollar, Hembrough must live up to his title.  He’ll need to claw through toys on his hands and knees to find what they want.  But the toy gods are working in Hembrough’s favor and he makes some major flips!  Special Guest: Expert designer/sculptor Jordu Schell from Travel Channel’s “Making Monsters.” 8:00 PM CT Travel Channel</p>
<p><strong><span style=”color: #ff0000;”>17. MLB Baseball.</span></strong> Game 4 of American League Division Series, Detroit Tigers at Oakland Athletics. 8:30 PM CT TNT</p>
<p><span style=”color: #ff0000;”><strong>18. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.</strong></span> When the CSI arrive at their favorite diner, they find a gruesome crime scene and eight victims. 9:00 PM CT CBS</p>
<p><span style=”color: #ff0000;”><strong>19. Chicago Fire.</strong></span> Series Premiere. The Firehouse 51 members struggle when one of their own dies in a fire, and as Lts. Casey and Severide put the blame on each other, Casey also secretly goes through a separation. 9:00 PM CT NBC</p>
<p><span style=”color: #ff0000;”><strong>20. Nashville.</strong></span> Series Premiere. Ryana gets upset w hen her label asks her to tour with a newcomer as the headliner, and her father disregards her wishes when he backs her husband in a run for mayor . 9:00 PM CT ABC</p>
<p><span style=”color: #ff0000;”><strong>21. Paranormal Witness.</strong></span> A couple moves into a small house, with the wife feelings a Peeping Tom out there, and a man sees an apparition of a red-haired girl running in his backyard. 9:00 PM CT Syfy</p>
<p><span style=”color: #ff0000;”><strong>22. Life After Top Chef.</strong></span> The chefs return home after visiting Aspen, and continue with their non-stop lives. Fabio dives into various projects, like production meetings and charity cooking classes, but gets chewed out by a crazed client. Will he loose his trademark cool? Later on, Richard learns that his Flip Burger employees are lazy and clueless, putting his professional reputation on the line….9:00 PM CT Bravo</p>
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<p><span style=”color: #ff0000;”><strong>23. Addicted.</strong></span> A 22-year-old heroin addict who has been using since elementary school.9:00 PM CT TLC</p>
<p><span style=”color: #ff0000;”><strong>24. Food Paradise.</strong></span> This episode features the best places to get your burger on, from a heart-stopping monster burger in Las Vegas and juicy cheese-stuffed burgers in Minnesota, to wild game gut-bombs in Texas. 9:00 PM CT Travel Channel</p>
<p><span style=”color: #ff0000;”><strong>25. Late Show with David Letterman.</strong></span> The guests tonight include Salma Hayek Pinault, Nick Offerman, and KISS.10:35 PM CT CBS</p>