Looks like we will no longer have the much-maligned Matsing tribe to kick around anymore. The Little Tribe That Couldn’t has been disbanded, the buffs tossed in the trash. Not that this breaks either Malcolm’s or Denise’s hearts. Or mine, really. They knew it was coming, but they never guessed it would have happened on day ten!
Last time we saw Matsing, they had just booted Russell and his tantrums. Awakening to cold, misty rain and mosquitos buzzing in their faces, Denise and Malcolm see the writing on the wall and hunt for the immunity idol in earnest. Clueless - and I mean that literally, they never did get a clue to the location - they stomp around camp, digging in promising areas and hunting randomly. Malcolm drops a few cusses in frustration. He knows it’s there. Somewhere. Finally, a lightbulb goes off and he takes the machete and whacks off the top of the rice container. Voila! The sun comes out, birds sing and rainbows stretch across the sky: Malcolm has found the idol. He does a happy dance with Denise and pockets the treasure. Sadly, Denise gets nothing but warm fuzzies to take to her new tribe.
And her new tribe is Kalabaw, with Malcolm going to a happy Tandang. Hey, I’d be happy, too, if he came to my camp. Just sayin’. Probst splits up the duo before the Reward Challenge, and while they’re not happy to leave each other, no tears are spilled over Matsing’s demise. The prize for this challenge? Coffee, tea, biscuits, and....cookies! Poor Angie, she left too soon. Somewhere, her little lip is poked out in disappointment.
To win this challenge, one tribe has to knock a little handheld idol out of the opposing’s tribe’s hand. Five points gets you the goodies. They match up in comical pairs: Artis easily reaches around tiny Dana to get her idol; Dawson yanks Abi’s hair accidentally/on purpose, causing Crazytown to wail long and loud. Skupin tries a great strategy by tossing his idol high in the air, then jumping in to knock his opponent’s down before his hits the ground. It works: Malcolm adopts this technique against Jeff to win the final point for Tandang. The happy tribe takes their drinks and sweets off to enjoy. I don't even want to know what all that sugar does to their empty stomachs later.
And cookies aren’t the only thing that tribe is enjoying. Lisa sings Malcolm’s praises, enjoying the positive energy and all-around good juju that Malcolm brings. Oh, and he’s pretty easy on the eyes, too. Sneaky Pete even gets in on the Malcolm action, buddying up to him instantly. RC is disappointed to see this and plans on flirting with Malcolm to try and sway him, knowing that she's on the outs with her former alliance. You snooze, you lose, girl. Malcolm basks in all the attention, buzzed on sugar and ecstatic to be on a winning tribe for once.
Over at Kalabaw, Denise plans on doing her best to blend in with her “new family.” And beauty queen Katie sees an opportunity to add one to the girls’ alliance with the arrival of Denise. But then Dana falls ill, feverish, shivering, dizzy, nauseous and just all around miserable. Jonathan sweetly tries to comfort and warm her and they cover her from the rain, to no avail. The medics are called to check out her stomach pains, and Probst arrives to see what’s up, much to Dawson’s delight. It’s all she can do not to jump the host’s bones right then and there. Girl has a serious thing for Jeff!
The medics clear Dana to stay for 12 more hours, deeming her issues to be non-life threatening. Jeff tells Dana it’s up to her, and she decides to throw in the towel, crying and curling into a ball on the muddy ground. Poor thing, they could have laid her on a blanket or something. Jeff calls Kalabaw over to hear the news. They show her some love, tell her it’s okay, and Dana gets carted away to warmer, drier places. Katie is not happy to lose her ally.
Tonight’s immunity challenge is a mish-mash of obstacle course, wood chopping, and word puzzles. Abi sits out yet another challenge - she’s only played in two! - and Probst rakes her over the coals for it. Kalabaw has issues right from the start: not only can Katie not get herself over the hill without help, but Jeff takes his sweet time pecking at the wood with the ax. An irritated Jonathan takes over and whacks the wood like he means it, helping catch them up to Tandang. Jonathan and Dawson then get grabby with the puzzle pieces, allowing Tandang to beat them by seconds.
So while Katie bemoans her crappy performance in the challenge - hey, at least she has the self-awareness to know she sucked - Jeff is busy bringing Denise into the Guy Alliance with himself, Penner and...um, that guy who sorta looks like Sean Penn in Fast Times at Ridgemont High....Carter! Yeah, that guy. Penner and Jeff are torn as to which girl was worse: Dawson or Katie. Dawson does nothing to help her case by taunting Jeff with her knowledge of his pro baseball past. She cleverly drops hints that she knows him in front of the tribe, making him squirm.
And making him vote her clever self out at Tribal. Denise breathes a sigh of relief while Katie looks stunned. And Dawson takes the opportunity to hug on Probst after her torch is snuffed. She tried for a kiss, but he turned his head and all she got was cheek. Heh. Somewhere, Probst’s wife rolls her eyes.
Next week: big balls get pushed around and Artis gets pissy over something. Probably his lack of screen time thus far.