Will this be the week Matsing shocks us all by winning a challenge? Alas, no. Our beleaguered little tribe - and I do mean little, they’re down to three members - ends yet another show with a big fat Fail, losing yet another member. Are we sure that Matsing means monkey and not Total Failure?
It’s day nine, and Matsing once again trudges back to camp, less one member. Of course, it’s raining. And of course, they’ve lost their fire. Does anyone remember the old Hee Haw song, “If It Weren’t For Bad Luck, I’d Have No Luck At All...”? That song should be playing in the background. A sopping wet (but still smoking hot) Malcolm attempts a restart on the fire, but it’s a washout. They sit in misery, worried about their chances against the other two tribes. Russell declares that he wants to mount the “Greatest comeback ever seen.” While he’s making profound declarations, Malcolm confides that he thinks Russ has zero self-awareness, as evidenced by his tantrums every time they lose. They only kept him for his muscle mass, certainly not his lacking social skills.
Russell senses that he’s the odd man out in the tribe and goes hunting the idol, clue in hand. This doesn’t go unnoticed by Denise, who busts him rooting around under the shelter. Russell lies. Badly. So while Russell sits deep in thought on the beach, Denise and Malcolm shamelessly dig through Russell’s bag, thinking he may have found the idol. Of course, he hasn’t. It’s right under his nose and he knows it, but the editors had great fun in making a comical clip of his searching in vain, complete with goofy music.
That sound you may have heard during the show was Russell kicking himself at home after watching said clip.
Over at Tandang, they’re dealing with a leaky roof. Scarface Skupin helps Pete make a fire. And Sneaky Pete, whose main wish seems to be to create chaos in his tribe, a la Russell Hantz, places the clue that Abi shared with him in plain view, under RC’s bag. Of course Abi sees this and blows a gasket, yelling and threatening and then refusing to speak to poor RC, who has absolutely no clue what the crazy Abi is going on about. Former girl-on-the-outs Lisa is now enjoying the benefit of this created riff - the heat’s off her while Crazy and Clueless argue over the carefully placed clue. Pete just smirks in the background, quite pleased with himself.
Things are a bit happier at Kalabaw, as Jonathan enjoys what he calls “paradise.” He basks at the beautiful beach as Jeff, who has had quite enough of the young-uns on his tribe and yearns for adult conversation, joins Penner in the water. Jeff is warming up to Penner - it doesn’t hurt that Penner has the idol - and gives him a full-on manshake. None of that three fingered nonsense from last week, and no more vet hate. And for now, Penner seems to trust Jeff. Carter even makes an appearance, joining the guys in their alliance. I didn’t even know Carter could speak.
While the Testosterone Trio enjoy themselves in the water, the girls of the Kalabaw tribe spy all the camaraderie and get suspicious. Dawson, Dana, and the other girl whose name I can’t recall declare that they must stick together, having been left out in the cold by the men. “Don’t underestimate me because I’m a female,” Dana declares.
Time for the immunity challenge! First place lands a basket full of steaks, veggies, and spices. Second gets a handful of veggies, a pot, and maybe some salt and pepper. Or, they could trade these prizes for what’s behind curtain number three: a tarp. Kalabaw and Tandang outnumber poor Matsing, so they must sit out three members each. All the women sit out.
This challenge consists of carrying pots of rice through a muddy, nasty obstacle course, then placing the pots on posts and smashing them with a swinging “wrecking ball.” It looked good for Matsing for a while...til it didn’t. While an exhausted Russell collapses on the mat, gasping for air (insert rolleyes here), Malcolm battles it out for second versus Jeff. Jeff the baseball player, who probably has great aim. Malcolm is screwed. Either way, it came down to the last pot, with Probst hollering and spazzing out over the drama of it all.
Matsing loses by one swing. Could there have been any other outcome?
Cue yet another rant by Russell, who throws things and bellows about how things aren’t supposed to be like this for him. “Same old crap!” he hollers. A bemused Probst asks Russell WTF: “Russell, with all due respect, you sometimes talk like you’re a superhero. Like Superman’s never supposed to fail. You’re just a guy!” Russell babbles some more, and, yeah. It’s not looking good.
Second-place Kalabaw decides to take the tarp instead of the meager veggie basket, and Tandang goes off to enjoy their slabs of beef. Matsing takes the walk of shame once again back to camp, where Malcolm wants to cry over losing the challenge. Denise wants to keep Russell calm after his outburst (and just in case he does have the idol) and talks to him. He shares a story of being beaten up when little, finding and punching the brat in the face and never being afraid after that. I suppose this is his explanation for his never-say-die attitude. I'm trying to be nice.
After a rather friendly, very windy Tribal Council, Superman Russell is voted out. He seems genuinely shocked by this - really, Russell? - heaves a great sigh of disappointment, and leaves the scene without saying one word to his remaining tribemates.
Next week: Malcolm and Denise hunt desperately for the idol, and the medics are called in for some poor sap.