'Survivor: Philippines': Matsing continues to struggle

survivor-philippines-matsing.jpgApologies for the lateness of this recap of "Survivor: Philippines." Our CBS station preempted it for a congressional debate and "Survivor" aired in the middle of the night. Anyway, let's find out if Matsing can finally win something.

Matsing

Malcolm, Russell and Denise seem in pretty good spirits, all things considered. They certainly are down to three very strong competitors, so in the right kind of challenge, they could definitely win.

Russell starts looking for the Idol and Denise catches him. In a rather delightful bit of editing, he talks about how he's probably walking back and forth right in front of the Idol and the camera crew is going to focus right on it and of course, that's just what they do. It's nice he has the self-awareness to at least acknowledge he's kind of a doof. Heh.

Tandang

The clue to the Idol is found in the camp spilling out of RC's bag -- because Pete put it there. He thinks he's such a mastermind, but he really doesn't seem like much of one. It'd be nice to see him get knocked down a peg or two. But anyway, since the clue is seen by everyone, RC just reads it out loud to the group.

It does drive a wedge between RC and Abi and Pete just smugly smugs all over the camp about it, while Lisa is just glad the heat and focus are off of her.

Kalabaw

Jeff and Jonathan are realizing they are each other's best bet for an alliance, since they're not 12 years old and both have a brain in his head (we may be paraphrasing). They seem to bring Carter into the fold (who? We love how in the early days of "Survivor" there are people you swear have not been there the whole time, haha).

Meanwhile, the three girls are realizing it's becoming guys vs. girls in their tribe, so they're bonding. It would be pretty interesting if this tribe had to go to Tribal.

Immunity Challenge


There's an obstacle course they must traverse to college pots full of grain, then use a big tetherball-like thing to smash the pots that are then on posts. The reward in addition to Immunity is steaks, veggies and spices for the winners, and the second place gets veggies and a pot.

Both tribes sit out the three women, so Denise is the only female competing. But as we saw last week, she's a total beast and we have no doubt she can handle her business. Anyway, Carter for Kalabaw really struggles with the obstacle course. You know, perhaps Dana would've been a better call for Kalabaw. She seems like the Denise of their tribe.

Going into the pot-smashing portion, Tandang is in first, followed by Matsing and then Kalabaw a decent ways behind. Russell, meanwhile, is completely sucking wind after crawling under the obstacle course. FOr a musclely dude, he's in terrible shape.

Tandang wins and Matsing only has two to Kalabaw's four, but Kalabaw totally catches up and then wins. Wow. Wooooow. Matsing had a rather huge lead, in the scope of this challenge. Meanwhile, after they lose, Russell starts smashing pots like a big sore loser. He also starts talking out loud to God, which is awkward for everyone.

Also, they may have had more time if Russell hadn't been so slow through the obstacle course that last time. Just sayin'. He goes on to talk to Probst about how God created him this perfect man and how he shouldn't fail and shouldn't make mistakes.

And just for the record, we don't think he literally means he's perfect, we think he means it in that way Christians talk about being made in God's image and how their body is a gift from God and so on and so forth. Maybe we're putting words in his mouth, but in this instance, we don't get the sense that he's being some I'm-the-best jerk. He's just frustrated and has high expectations for himself. Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments.

Tribal Council

So, the show does its level best to make it seem suspenseful about who is going home, but obviously Denise and Malcolm are tight plus Russell is kind of unstable and not as good at challenges as he looks like he should be. Not that Angie would've helped in that challenge -- even Denise struggled with carrying those heavy pots.

It is pretty cute at TC to hear the three players talk about why each person should be voted out. There is obviously not animosity going on here, they all know they're all threats in their own way and it's just about making the best decision for each of their individual games.

So, by a vote of 2-1, Russell goes home. Not a huge shock. At this point, Malcolm and Denise are totally rocking the Stephenie LaGrossa vibe and we hope the show doesn't merge any time soon, so Malcolm and Denise can start kicking butt and taking names.

Next week: Medical gets called in. Is it for Jeff Kent? It's hard to say.

Photo/Video credit: CBS