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2012-10-03 9:46 PM
Where's Our Raft?
WARNING: SURVIVOR SPOILERS AHEAD>> The game of Survivor brings together people of different backgrounds, abilities and attitudes. Survivor: Philippines has given us examples of how these diverse players can work together, and how sometimes they can't.
At Tandang, trust is kind of a myth. RC found the clue to the hidden Immunity Idol and shared it with Abi-Maria, because they made a connection on day one. Instead of strengthening the bond between them, though, this act of faith caused Abi to turn on RC. She didn't find her "genuine," she said, even though it was Abi herself who threatened RC with "death" if she betrayed her. Her paranoia took her to another ally, Pete, and together they used RC's clue to find the Idol, and made plans to use it against first Michael, then RC.
At Kalabaw, the Idol had another effect. Jeff has suspected from the start that Jonathan had the hidden Idol, even before he actually did find it. After Jonathan realized that Jeff was suspicious, he approached him and tried to forge an alliance that would take both of them further in the game. Two potential powerhouse players can definitely make a big impact, but Jeff wasn't exactly all in. He gave Jonathan a "four-fingered handshake" to represent his hesitant acceptance of the bond.
But let's face it. This show hasn't been about Tandang or Kalabaw. This has been the season of Matsing, the tribe that cannot win a challenge. Tonight's Immunity Challenge tested them in ways beyond merely diving ten feet down to release puzzle pieces. Angie took so long releasing the first pieces that she didn't try again. Russell couldn't complete his second attempt and came back to the base without any pieces. Malcolm and Denise did all the work and kept the tribe in the challenge, but in the end it wasn't enough and they lost again.
With only four members left, the choice for Matsing was clear, and the dichotomy was easy to parse. Since Malcolm and Denise carried the tribe in this challenge, they had the power to decide who went home. Obviously Russell and Angie were going to vote against each other, but Malcolm and Denise had to consider how to strengthen their own position.
Keeping Angie would mean keeping a loyal ally who would be grateful and pliable. Assuming they made it to the merge, she would be someone they could manipulate into voting their way. She's also enthusiastic about the game, and she made the point, a valid one, that yes, she had been slow and struggled in the challenge, but at least she hadn't quit, as Russell had.
Russell, on the other hand, despite his problems with this challenge, still has both strength and experience going for him. He made the argument that his decision to quit was strategic, allowing the stronger swimmers to take more turns. And he was right about that. Once Malcolm and Denise took over the challenge, Matsing caught up with the other tribes and gave themselves a chance to win.
At Tribal Council they weighed all these points. When Angie reminded them that she hadn't quit in the challenge, Russell could only laugh and remind them that he had nearly killed himself trying to win a challenge in his first time on Survivor. He asked Angie if she was willing to die for her tribe (an unfair question to which she responded with a weak "yes"). But despite all the expressions of belief in loyalty, it was Angie who was voted out.
Now they are a tribe of three, but possibly a strong enough tribe of three to win a challenge, if it's the right kind of challenge. Just keep Russell out of the deep water.
And yes, it was indeed Tandang that let their raft drift away into the open sea. Figures.
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