Memo to future (first-time) Survivor contestants: If by chance you find yourself on a season with a semi-famous former TV star or pro athlete (and since CBS seems so pleased with the two they have this season, we're guessing this will be true for all future non-All-Star seasons), and you want to be shown on camera, boy, do we have a simple, three-step plan for you:
(1) Stand next to the star all the time. Seriously. Even if they're going to the bathroom, vomiting profusely, or have some other unsavory problem, such as excessive flatulence, or being a Hantz. A small puddle of urine soaking in to your shoes is a tiny price to pay for being seen on the show you applied for 25+ times. Sure, the camera operators will probably try to frame the shot such that you're not in it, but if you're vigilant enough, you can probably get an arm , or at least a hand on screen. Dig deep. Having a conspicuous absence of facial hair, comically oversized facial hair, or an amusing hairstyle is not enough to get noticed these days. You've gotta work for it.
(2) Make sure that whenever that person is talking, you're there talking to them. Even if it's just to repeatedly say, "Oh, Famous Person, you are so learned!" Be aware, however: the producers may try to peel your celebrity off for a solo "confessional." But come on, they don't really mean it. You can totally sneak up on them and then jump right in as they're discussing their secret strategy, and switch the discussion to your entertaining anecdote of that time you went to an assembly in middle school. Who doesn't appreciate the determination and persistence of a stalker?
(3) If all that doesn't work, fake an injury that requires medical to get called in. Yeah, the doctors might get a little testy about the whole "false alarm" thing, but keep at it. Then, when you're laying on the stretcher, contorted in agony, reach out to the famous person, and when they touch you (or vice versa), claim you've been miraculously cured! If there's one thing Survivor loves to show, it's supernatural explanations for things. And if there are two things, it's that and famous people. Combining the two? Genius.
So, Kalabaw... they're the red tribe, right? Tribe 1 or Tribe 2 (because as we all know, Tandang is Tribe 3. That's easy to remember, because roosters have three toes in the front. From that we'd assume Kalabaw is tribe 2, since the water buffalo is an even-toed ungulate. And obviously the Matsings must be tribe 5, as monkeys have five fingers, just like the people in the tribe. Except Jeff Kent!, who has four, but he's not on that tribe. Phew, glad that's settled.)
And... okay, wracking our brains here... the people that are on that red tribe are: Jonathan Penner, Jeff Kent!, and... the (now re-) hidden immunity idol. Then there's the rice bin, the checker board, and the cave. That's the full six, right?
When Sophie Clarke and the Upolu six broke the Survivor blue buff curse (with assistance from Cochran, or as Coach would probably characterize it, honor, integrity, and massive amounts of praying), it seemed safe for contestants to once again don the previously ignominious colors of hapless tribes such as Ulong and Espada. But wow, Matsing seems to be going out of their way to not only resuscitate that curse, but make a run for Worst Tribe Ever status. So we're awarding the entire tribe (mostly Angie) a Sitty this week, because, well, we think they've really erased any possible perception that they'll be post-merge challenge threats. Except Malcolm and Denise, of course... who are now two-thirds of the tribe.
Why Angie specifically? Well, as Malcolm pointed out at Tribal Council, it's a bit unfair to point out that she's fairly unhelpful in challenges, because if she'd just been on a tribe that wasn't so consistently horrendous in challenges, she might have been able to hide that by sitting out all the time, like Abi-Maria. ("Hey everyone! I just found the hidden idol! So this is a great time to announce I'm totally injured, so please try to vote me out for appearing useless!") Instead, Angie's been forced to do her sitting in the middle of challenges, such as stepping aside after struggling to retrieve a puzzle piece she didn't even need to dive for this week, following up on her previous performance of laying down under the tower, which followed her first-episode tantrum about being forced to help out on a puzzle.
But, you know, she didn't quit and never would. Of course.
It's tempting to offer praise to one or both of the the two idol-holders, who took wildly divergent paths in their attempts to exploit the idol's power : Abi-Maria in trying to piss off her tribe by sitting out again (the Scout Cloud Lee approach, which... failed to attract any votes in Vanuatu); or Penner, in trying to persuade Jeff Kent! to former a mutual self-interest partnership (the Yul Kwon approach, which was taken using a far-more-powerful idol in Cook Islands, and which appeared to be failing here). But neither of these plays have actually played out, so instead we'll celebrate the player who did the most to improve her position on the tribe that visited Probst for the third time in a row: Denise.
At the end of the last episode, Denise had been fretting about having to choose between two Matsing pairs (Malcolm-Angie, Russ-Roxy). Now she's successfully split both pairs, and remains the glue holding the tribe together - serving as the closest ally of either of her two remaining tribemates. Matsing may be down to three people, but if the worst-case scenario comes true next episode, and they have to cut yet another person, Denise is all but guaranteed to be part of the remnant duo. There's no controlling how production puts your tribe together, but if you're keeping your survival in your own hands as it falls apart, that's deserving of a Slitty.
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