Andrew Osborne Recaps Survivor: Phillippines

The episode starts with Russell bemoaning Matsing’s epic losing streak, yet vowing he’s willing to die for the game — a claim he keeps making that’s always annoying because — unless you’re a crazy person — you shouldn’t even consider giving your life for a reality show.  I mean, it’s not the Marine Corps.  It’s frickin’ Survivor.

But, of course, Russell is a bit of a crazy person, as he demonstrated by pushing himself to the brink of extinction in his previous season and proves again this week after the immunity challenge.  But at least he’s a fairly nice crazy person…

…unlike koo-koo bananas Abi over on Tandang, who FLIPS…THE…FUCK…OUT when the clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol turns up in RC’s bag at camp, despite the fact (A) la señora loca brasileño already has the H.I.I., which (B) she didn’t tell RC about, and (C) she did tell Pete about the clue and the idol, plus (D) it’s hard to think of any particular advantage RC would gain from digging up the clue and putting it in her bag which means (E) the only logical conclusion is that loathsome Pete — the only other possible suspect — did the deed to make RC look bad.

But Abi refuses to even talk with RC about the incident, because the Brazilian bombshell’s either crazy like a fox or just literally off-her-meds crazy.  Yet either way, even she’s not loco enough to say she’d die for the million (though she’s probably willing to kill for it).

Meanwhile, over on Kalabaw, baseball enthusiast Jeff Kent finally seems ready to give Penner the full five-finger “manly” handshake of alliance, which the old lions also extend to Carter, because teaming up with a goofus surf dude while leaving all the ladies in the tribe out of the loop seems like solid strategy to the XY chromosome brain trust.  But Dana has no use for their little sausage party anyway and quickly organizes her sister Survivors into a seemingly solid counter-alliance.

None of which really matters this week, however, because after a strong start in the reward/immunity challenge, Matsing once again screws the Philippooch, sending Russell into a full-blown meltdown.  After accidentally calling Probst “Lord” and wondering why the Man Upstairs has forsaken him, he explains that he thought he was living a life of excellence and perfection, which makes the whole “sucking at challenges” thing very confusing for him.

Then, back at camp, sad music plays as Russell explains how he got beaten up once, but how it felt much better when he turned the tables and became the one doing the beating.  So, uh…see?  It gets better, kids!

Unfortunately, all the inspiration, divine intervention and African ancestral mojo in the world can’t save him at Tribal, since neither Malcolm nor Denise can bear the thought of spending all day alone on a beach with Mr. Receding Braid-line, so Russell gets voted off in a highly predictable 2-1 vote (or, as he calls it, a “blindside”).


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