So, I was 1 for 2. Not bad, right?

As I’m sure we all expected, Matsing was once again their own worst enemy as they lost their third consecutive immunity challenge in as many episodes. With that question answered, we were left wondering for nearly half an hour who would be the next to exit. Would Russell’s poor performance end his run, or would Angie’s inexperience be her downfall?

Cry me a river…

The first two weeks leading up until tribal were pretty predictable, but this time it was much different.

I truly saw both sides, and weighed the positive and negatives of both, just as Malcolm and Denise did. So for me and the audience, it all came down to who could make the better “sales pitch” at tribal.

Angie basically advocated her no quit attitude and determination, which we never really saw. Russell played the experience card, admitted his mistakes, and seemed to be making the most valid points in the great debate.

Then, it happened. Russell, in a last ditch effort to retaliate against Angie, pushed a little too hard. Tears began to stream down Angie’s face, and I truly did feel bad for her as the others did, including Russell. But at the same time, I think it was this breakdown by Angie that sealed the deal for her exit, and this is why: When a tribe is losing over and over again, they already feel weak, they feel defeated. Breaking down in front of your peers when your neck is on the chopping block only proves to them that you were not meant to continue, and you have reached your breaking point.

If the others want to stay strong, they can’t keep someone around that will be unstable, and perhaps waver when the going gets even tougher. And unfortunately for Angie, it only further proves that her age is part of her downfall. Angie, I’ll miss you, but only for two reasons. I’ll leave that up to your imagination.

Now, with Angie’s exit, things are definitely going to change around Matsing. In fact, I am predicting a win for them in Episode 4. Why? We know Denise and Malcolm are in the driver’s seat physically and strategically, and Russell has the potential to hold his own. Why else? Well, they have eliminated the three weakest players, allowing each of them to step into a more powerful role that they all have wanted during each challenge.

But you may be thinking, “Well the other tribes have played so much better, they are stronger, more agile, and work better together”. Sure that’s true, yet you are forgetting one detail. Both Tandang and Kalabaw sat out some of their weaker players, who can’t sit out two challenges in a row. Ohhhh, the irony.

Whatever happens, I’m predicting a more level playing field next week, and finally the long awaited victory cries by Matsing.

Peter Picked a Pack of Players…

So we are three episodes in, and I'm still turning to my wife and saying "Who was that?" at least two or three times.

So much of the first two episodes focused on what the heck was going to go wrong at Matsing, we never really got to enjoy that much from Kalabaw and Tandang.

That changed this week, with the emergence of a new resident strategist in Pete. This kid is the real deal. Everyone pretty much wrote him off on day one as being a dumb jock, probably a model, and so self-absorbed that they would keep him around long enough to use his strength, then kick him out before he even realized what was happening.

Awesome misfire, Tandang!

In my opinion he is doing exactly what any great player should do in the beginning. He reminds me a lot of Rob Cesternino from Survivor: Amazon. Be seen and heard, but easily forgettable for as long as possible so you can make those strategic moves when no one is even thinking about you.

But is he too confident to early? He certainly believes he has Abi and RC under his control, with an idol to boot, but the danger that those two girls bring to the table may be the thorn in his side once a merge takes place. Both have been running their mouths outside of their alliance of two, with Abi being the biggest culprit and hypocrite.

For his own sake, hopefully Pete will be able to stay elusive, and survive whatever comes his way. This should be a fun one to watch.

Back to Basics

When I started this blog, I told you about my excitement toward the series going back to its roots. In past seasons, we have been introduced to some great locations, but often times, the island or location itself is not a defining character on the show.

To me, a successful season of Survivor not only brings the suspense of the game and intriguing players, but also the extreme ecological elements that push our castaways to the brink of their own will. When the players are always commenting about the attributes of their location, whether it’s the constant cold temperature at night, the water, or the nonstop rain, you know you have something special.

It’s reminiscent of some of my favorite locations and seasons, such as Samoa, or Tocantins, which all produced or held captive some of our favorite Survivor vets. I have a lot of faith that this season in the Philippines will rank high with all the other greats, giving us some of those moments that keep us watching for another 25 seasons. Cheers to you Survivor, you are making me proud.

Catch my preview for Episode 4 next Wednesday as I take a look at how all three tribes are stacking up, and what I make of the new "alliance" between Penner and Jeff.

Follow me on Twitter: @JoshWhino

Catch Survivor: Philippines every Wednesday on CBS, 8pm ET.