Friday, October 19, 2012

Survivor Philippines 4&5: Wherein it is still raining.

By Lorraine Jackson

Episode 4:

As much as I want to open with a zinger, what CBS did to open the 4th episode of Survivor Philippines deserves nothing less than complete reverence. In an age of reality TV based around screaming, yakking, drunken embarrassment, and skanky girls pulling each other’s hair, the show opened with two minutes of starkly depressing silence. Matsing, being short half a tribe and completely down on their luck, tried to start a fire. And failed. Bravo, CBS.

Amongst other tribes, Kalabaw has an interesting twist when several days in the wild seem to reform the early alliances, and the tribe quickly divides as boys vs. girls. Keep in mind, that’s 3 vs. 3. Good luck with that. In Tandang, Abi continues to prove that the hotter and more exotic a woman is, the crazier she is.

Then the camera crews spend about 5 minutes following Russell while he looks everywhere for the idol. In a confessional interview, he correctly predicts to those of us at home “you’ve probably all watched me walk past it 100 times, and the camera guys are showing it to you right now.” You have. And they did.

I can hardly bear to watch the reward/immunity challenge.People are muddy, pots are breaking, people are screaming, and Loserly Matsing spends the first 70% of the challenge in the lead, and I start chanting survivor hymnals at my cubicle, to the alarm of my coworkers. (at least it was during my lunch break.)

To no avail. Matsing loses, Russell wrestles with God on national television, and not only does a higher power fail to help him win the challenge, that higher power doesn’t do much to intervene with Wise Malcolm and Therapist Denise from Sending Russell home. Sorry, Russell.

Episode 5:


By the end of last week’s episode, it was abundantly clear that Matsing was poised for dissolution. Malcom is sent to the crazy but athletic tribe of Tandang to be the new eye candy, and Denise is sent to the stable but accident-prone Kalabaw. What hurts most for me about this is that, as a Matsing Sympathizer, I know that one of them is about to lose a challenge, again.

Poor Denise.

They briefly show Wise Malcolm chowing down on the chocolate chip cookie rewards, surrounded by smelly beautiful women wooing him and rugged strong men secretly telling him of their idols and alliances. Malcolm is probably wondering just a little bit if he actually died in his frozen wet sleep in Matsing and that this is actually Heaven.

Denise was busy watching Dana puke her guts out.

It’s not long before the 80 pound blondie is tended to by the Emmy-Winning Jeff Probst, and begs for mercy. Because, you know, in America, when you’re hungry and starving and sick, there’s a camera and a medivac team to rescue you. #firstworldproblems. EWJP reassures her that “the pain is about to go away”, which was a little ominous for my tastes, but seemed good enough for her. Dawson introduces herself to America for pretty much the first time ever by wondering aloud “is now the wrong time to chat up Jeff Probst?” Yes, Dawson, it is. Nice to meet you.

Kalabaw decides to keep Denise’s losing streak alive by losing the immunity challenge, and I return to my cubicle chanting on behalf of my favorite player, who is clearly vulnerable as the new member of the tribe. But it’s quickly obvious that BaseballJeff, BlondeCarter, and ReturnerJonathan are happy with her contributions, and bring her into their alliance to take out the weak girls.

They send home Dawson, the Delusional Future Mrs. Probst, leaving her with mere seconds to leave a mark on America, and, apparently, on EWJP’s heart. He snuffs out her torch, and she tries to light his fire with a tender hug and a smelly cheek smooch. EWJP takes this in stride, which is why he deserves all those Emmys.

Stay tuned in next week to see if any more people try to kiss Jeff Probst!

Lorraine is a University employee by day, trash TV enthusiast at night, and equestrian nutcase all the time. She is wildly outnumbered by dudes in the house she shares with her husband Dan, cat Jeoffrey, and dog Reverend Trask.

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