Survivor: Philippines – Episode 5 – So Long, Farewell. Auf Wiedersehen. Good Night.

To Matsing, that is.

One thing you can’t say about this episode…is that nothing happened. Boy, we had a LOT of developments for the season as a whole. The balance of power shifted in dramatic ways this week and we now have a clear picture of what to expect down the stretch – barring any unforeseen power moves. And for fans of Penner, like me, it does not bode well.
The crux of the episode is twofold – first was the mercy killing of Matsing, and second was the double whammy inflicted upon Kalabaw. We are now faced with a 7-5 Tandang lead and a merge likely on the horizon. The Pagonging of Kalabaw is now a distinct possibility unless something gets done – specifically a delayed merge and a Kalabaw win in the next immunity challenge. So, get ready America…PBP, Abinormal, TV’s Blair and quiet man Artis are currently the power team in Survivor and could be your Final Four.

First, we have the last two Matsing members returning after booting Swan. Malcolm was hoping to be in a tiny tribe, but on Day 39, not Day 10. They speculate about what their fate will be – linger, get absorbed into one Tribe, or get split up. But before they go off on their merry way…time to find the idol. They scour the campsite, finally hitting on the rice pot as an option. They are one step away from breaking apart the grains looking for the idol when Malcolm pries off the panel and BOOM, he has an idol. He tosses the machete into the air, which I highly discourage others from doing.

It is a good thing they found it – or should I say, Malcolm found it, because Denise ain’t getting diddly at this point – as they arrive at the season’s first pure Reward Challenge to the news that Matsing is no more. They randomly pick out buffs and Malcolm joins Tandang, with Denise going to Kalabaw. Tandang is thrilled to land the fit young man – but let’s see how much they like it once he becomes a threat. Both Malcolm and Denise blend in extremely well into their new tribes – and instantly become second and third on my rooting list behind Penner. RC is a close fourth – even if she is arguably the most endangered of all of them.

On Tandang, everyone loves Malcolm. Abinormal and Pete start to bond with him. RC rubs her breasts on him. Blair starts getting cougary in talking about how nice and good looking he is. The dude is a sought after man. PBP confides in the new guy that he has the idol, which was an odd move. Pete already has the majority, why would he reveal his secrets to the guy he just met. Malcolm, however, wisely keeps his mouth shut about his own idol. While they seem paired up for now, I am hoping for a Pretty Boy Pete vs. Malcolm showdown post-merge.

Meanwhile, on Kalabaw, they are bummed to have lost out on Malcolm for his challenge ability, but they have not done poorly in adding Denise. She rocks physically – but granted, the two young guys on Tandang are formidable. Carter is not as big as they are, and the only other guys on Kalabaw are hobbly Kent and flabby Penner. Throw in bumbly but fit Skupin on the other side and the Kalabawians are now in a physical hole.

Speaking of physical holes, The Tattooed Lady is falling down one before our eyes. She is a mess. Basically, she’s got Colton Syndrome. She’s massively dehydrated, she’s burning up with fever and she’s puking more than 100 pound freshman at a fraternity party. She also has a knife-like pain in her abdomen. She is curled up in a ball in the shelter. Penner hysterically comments about how the conditions and weather suck, and he’s a big fat guy so he can take it. She is freezing and weighs 47 pounds. Boy, that number 47 sure has some connotations.– both in real life and in the world of Hollywood.

Anyway, Penner is a rock star in this sequence. He tells her to take off the wet clothes and get under the blanket – the tribe will keep her warm. She winds up curling herself onto Penner’s lap while Dawson comments about the state of her fever. It is bad, folks. Probst and the medical team come, although the noted absence of Dr. Ramona makes me treat Dr. Joe with a great bit of trepidation, especially after his jargon term of her “tummy being irritated.” Tummy. Whoa there – try English, Doctor Medical Books. Where is the ouchy again?

So, she is given a choice regarding her status. She is not in life-threatening danger like Swan was in Samoa, or Penner’s risk of infection in Micronesia, or Skupin’s shock from the burns. She is in a bad way though. She is given a chance to go back and give it about 12 hours to see if it goes away or gets a little better, but the pain is too great and she bows out. She apologizes to her tribe, but Penner instantly waves it off, they’re sorry for her and they love and respect her. Boy, this is why I love Penner. Great Survivor. And when did he become the Kalabaw leader, because he sure seems like it.

Amazing Race 21 – Ep 3 – You Can Be Pretty And Ugly At The Same Time

Before I get into the wonders of Race Karma – which I don’t believe in when it comes to using the U-Turn, etc., but I do when it comes to attitude – I want to just give a small lesson to all future Racers.

I don’t care how good looking you are, or think you are. I don’t care if you have no experience outside of your own small town. I don’t care if you are the smartest person in your circle of friends. I don’t care if you’ve always gotten your way and are not used to struggle. I don’t want to hear about comfort zones. I don’t care if you are super tired and hungry on the Race. I don’t care about any of these things. As a fellow American I only ask one thing of you – don’t make us look like pinheads. One way you can avoid making Americans look like pinheads…don’t assume everyone in the world speaks English. Especially in countries where the British Empire didn’t do a whole lot of conquering.

It is the height of arrogance to assume that everyone in the world is just like you, and around solely to service you. It is the whole dislike of foreigners which is a national disgrace in some circles – leading to some politically charged policies (i.e. a giant fence stretching thousands of miles) and in my opinion, some awful veiled racism. It’s even worse (I guess that makes this the height of arrogance) to then go into another country with the same attitude. Do you go to your neighbor’s house and rearrange their closets because it isn’t exactly like yours? Ugh – it just makes me so angry to watch people treat other people like that when all they are doing is their jobs, or actually trying to be a helpful citizen.

The Blondes are the latest team in a long line of teams to act like American Asses. I don’t care how pretty you look, when you behave like this you look like an ogre. Watching Brittany and Caitlin – but mostly Brittany – vent their small minded frustrations out on various Indonesians was sickening. Shouting at one man. IN. STILTED. LOUD. VOICES. Was just pathetic. Yes, please shout at a man trying to help you in the train station and treat him like a moron because you don’t speak his language. Classy. She kept asking if “people like us” were through there – and the subtext to that statement is just perfect. No Blondes, there was nobody like you there. The funny thing is, you’d take that as a complement when I mean it as an insult.

Later, the Blondes found themselves in a race with Fantasy Island to avoid elimination while riding on little carts called becaks. These are basically the bicycle powered cabs that always get in my lane as I try to navigate around the Washington Monument on the way home from work. I hate them here, and would probably hate them there. However, the Blondes had to ride one – in fact, all of the teams did. And only the Blondes had a problem with the driver. The Twins actually avoided a skinny driver in order to find one with more powerful legs. The Blondes managed to shout at him. A lot. Including an awesome moment when they tried to pay him where Brittany continued to shout. HOW. MUCH. IS. IT? It turns out it cost “50” for them. A moment later we see Fantasy Island pay “2” for what we can assume was the same trip. HA!
They managed to get lost on the way to the U-Turn mat on this little contraption and as a result found themselves at one part of the Detour as Fantasy Island performed their U-Turn mandated task. Eventually the teams were neck and neck and at a literal fork in the road. The Islanders went right, the Blondes went left. Or should I say, wrong.

And they are out. Unlike the classy manner in which Amy/Dan went out last week thanks to a poor cab driver, the girls were ready to blame the driver and claim they were a stronger team than the Islanders. Nobody forced you ladies to be in the back of the pack and thus in the position to screw up. No one forced you to treat the man with derision rather than kindness. No one forced you to stay with a poor driver instead of getting out and finding a new one. You lost. Suck it up and stop saying the sun was in your eyes. Brittany became the first Racer I have ever unfollowed on Twitter because of her bad show behavior – and for her political comments which I found to be rather offensive. I see no loss in their departure from the Race.
Looks go a long way sometimes – but sometimes, it doesn’t make you attractive.