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The Cost of Canoodling on Survivor: Philippines

Malcolm Freberg and Angie Layton of the Matsing Tribe during the second episode of Survivor: Philippines, Wednesday, September 26 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. #Survivor. Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS© 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

With week 2 of Survivor: Philippines now in the books, there is no question we have seen the emergence of two dominate tribes, and one in the process of initiating its self-destruct sequence.

In fact, this episode pretty much was the Matsing show. Led by inspirational cheerleader Russell, Matsing lost their second challenge in a row, assisting in a downward spiral that seems out of control. Let’s take a look at this and some of the other interesting things I noticed in this week’s episode.

You win some, you lose some. 

In my preview for this week’s episode, I made the bold prediction that Lisa would be on her way out if her tribe did not win immunity and if she did not prove her self worthy in the next challenge. Well Lisa, you live to fight another day. Not only did she lead her tribe successfully as the puzzle caller, she avoided tribal council all together. But that doesn’t mean she changed anything about her standing in the tribe. We got to see the full mental breakdown we were waiting for, and in a bit of irony, watched her atop her perch at the challenge, unable to embrace the rest of her team in their moment of glory. For her sake, there is still time to turn things around.

Tandang and Kalabaw are plowing full steam ahead, working together when they absolutely need to, leaving Matsing in the dust. I really don’t see how Russell and friends can recover from this losing streak. They have zero chemistry as a “team” right from the onset of each challenge, I’m surprised they don’t finish further behind. As Russell is the most outspoken of the remaining Matsing Four, look for his exit next week if they do indeed return to tribal.

Blinded by the Headlights…

Folks, it’s no secret…we are in the midst of island love at camp Matsing. Relationships like this one between Malcolm and Angie aren’t always a mainstay in every season of Survivor, but when they creep up, it usually has a big impact on the game as a whole. Whether they are falling hard for each other or not, doesn’t really matter. People will view any couple as a major threat right from the get go, based on what we know from past seasons. Some end with a happily ever after, while others end with one stabbing the other in the back for the good of their own game play. For me, the biggest question surrounding this new relationship between Malcolm and Angie is, how will it eventually end?

I so badly want to give Angie credit for making a great move by using her sexuality and charm to enter a romantic alliance with Malcolm, but honestly, I’m not even sure she realizes what she is doing. On the other hand, as hard as it may be, I believe Malcolm sees right through the beaming headlights, and is playing the game for real. He has a strategic alliance with a brilliant player, Denise, and an additional vote in his back pocket to use on whoever he would like, in Angie. What more could you want in a tribe of four? In the battle of the lovebirds, I’m picking Malcolm to outlast Angie.

Roxanne, Roxanne…

Unfortunately for Roxy, she was the catalyst in her own demise. Aside from the fact that she had a mental breakdown, and brings nothing to the table in challenges, she was the first to mention the canoodling between Malcolm and Angie. In fact she exploited it, making sure Russell and Denise new all about what she saw happening at night and around camp, thinking the three of them would band together and put an end to a dangerous situation. Yet, this in turn caused Roxy’s downfall. In the process of outing the new couple, and reminding people how dangerous they “could” be, she inadvertently caused a tribe wide shift in focus away from Malcolm and Angie, and on to herself. Nowhere in the episode was this more evident than her display at Tribal Council. This is Survivor 101 people. If two people are already being called out for being “targets”, don’t continue to open your mouth and become the focal point of the conversation. In turn, this just gives people ammo to call you out. Aside from that, Denise was keen to observe that someone ruffling the tribes feathers that fast, in a time when they all need to work together, cannot be trusted. Whatever way you want to look at it, it was Roxy’s time to go.

Do you think Roxy was the biggest factor in keeping Matsing from another Tribal Council, or did someone else dodge a bullet? Leave your comments below.

 

Check back for my preview of Episode 3, including my look at how our three returning castaways are fairing, and who I think will be going home next.

Follow me on Twitter: @JoshWhino

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


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