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Survivor recap: Cuddling commences


Here you go, Angie!


What a difference a few rain-saturated days make. After Russell just missed getting voted out because of his over-the-top bossypants style of not being a leader, the blue team didn't even think of putting the dreadlocked wunderkind on the chopping block after its second straight immunity challenge loss. But a few cuddling sessions and an emotional breakdown or two can really change things.

Let's start at the top. Thankful that his teammates ousted Zane instead of him, Russell made a pledge to stop being the team leader so that the rest of the group can see the error of their ways and crumble around him. Why, no, he's not bitter at all, thank you very much. We've heard this before from Russell (like, last week) but this time he seems to actually heed his own advice or at least to step out of the way when other people start shooting themselves in the foot.

How does one shoot oneself in the foot four days into Survivor? Cuddling with a teammate, for one, especially if you're the two most attractive members of your team. Teen beauty queen Angie and Malcolm, the studly bartender with the luscious locks, found each other for "warmth" during the cold evenings. After the Rob-and-Amber debacle, every Survivor contestant should know that anything even suggesting a romantic relationship should be shunned, but as I'm guessing Angie didn't win her beauty pageants with her Earth-shattering solutions to world hunger and Malcolm seems to be ranking other needs over his survival ones, we're just going to ignore all that.

Roxy isn't ignoring it, though. Roxy sees all and Roxy is ANGRY. She voices her concerns to Russell (who is just happy someone is talking about someone other than him) and Denise (who already has an alliance with Malcolm anyway). Roxy endears herself to her teammates even less when she stops working around camp and breaks down emotionally at a couple days' worth of rain.

Speaking of emotional loose cannons, meet Abi-Maria. After just four days of knowing her, RC has embraced Abi as her new bestie, ready to paint toenails and talk about which One Direction member is the cutest. (Trick question! It's Niall.) (Full Disclosure: That joke required an embarrassing amount of research. Did you know there are members of One Direction named Harry and Louis? Somehow boy band members are starting to sound like everyone's great uncles. The next big thing is going to feature teenage boys named Bernie and Milton. End side note.)

Being besties, RC thought nothing of sharing her newly found hidden immunity idol clue with Abi, who then put on her conspiracy theory hat and started confronting RC about her alliance with Mike. Abi transformed from pleasant pal to insanely jealous crazy person in about five seconds flat, and you wonder how many Brazilian men have heard her catchphrase "If you $#&% with me, you are dead" before having some serious accident.

There are worse things to be on Survivor than crazy and jealous and that's being an introverted loner. For someone who fought long and hard to be on this show, Lisa is showing no ability for it. Not only is she avoiding smalltalk, but she's also running off by herself, which both instills the fear that she's looking for the immunity idol and gives her teammates time to plot behind her back. SUCK IT UP, BLAIR!

Over at the red camp, Jonathan actually is looking for the immunity idol, taking advantage as the rest of his team huddles for safety from the torturous rain in a cave. Eventually, after a couple of close calls, he puts it together that the design on the top of the rice container actually IS the immunity idol and he is our first finder, much to his delight.

Onto the real immunity challenge, where once again, the teams have three options for finishing: the winner gets immunity, a tarp, pillows, and blankets; second place gets immunity and a tarp; and third place gets to trim some person-shaped fat off their team. The contest consisted of using a huge wooden sled to move three sets of puzzle pieces and then having a caller direct a couple of teammates in putting the pieces together. Because of the amount of players each team had, two from each team had to use the wooden sled twice, which for the blue team meant either Roxy or Angie would have to be one of them. Roxy would be the obvious choice, because she's got a bit more muscle than the teeny Angie, but Roxy conveniently hasn't been drinking enough water the past couple of days and allows Angie to take one for the team.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Angie definitely struggled in her first trip with Russell, putting the blue team way behind. Malcolm and Roxy pick up some time, but by the second go-around, Angie is dead tired and Russell looks like a workhorse lugging that thing by himself.

Still, the teams are fairly close together by puzzletime, and while Lisa has her issues with shyness and getting to know her teammates, the woman knows her puzzles and quickly directs the yellow team to victory. Things are somewhat closer between the red and blue teams but Jeff slides the last piece in just in time and sends the blue team back to tribal council.

By having such small teams, alliances are that much more important in this season of Survivor. There are only five members of the blue team at this point - Malcolm and Angie are obviously together; Russell and Roxy have a connection (mostly because Russell knows he's next if Roxy goes); and while Denise has a tentative alliance with Malcolm, she's also unsure about being the third wheel of their group.

When they get back to camp, it's pretty obvious why Roxy didn't want to work around camp or participate in challenges recently: she's been saving her energy to complain about Angie. I particularly enjoyed when she complained about how Angie was tired after doing her second leg of the challenge, the same second leg that Roxy refused to even try.

Things got better at tribal council. After Angie noted that life at camp would be much better with cookies (a quote originally attributed to Confucius), Roxy admitted that life at camp would be much better if CERTAIN PEOPLE would stop staying so WARM all night long. (Another side note: How come Malcolm isn't being called out on this? Two consenting adults are making a connection that may or may not be romantic, but only one is getting any sort of crap about it. I know Malcolm is more of a physical presence in team challenges, but still. She may be using some of her enhanced womanly guiles, but he's using his prettyboy face and body, too. End side note.)

Malcolm tries to laugh off both Angie's ridiculous comment and Roxy's accusations, and Roxy counters by calling Angie a "booby trap." I hope this isn't the type of God's love she's learning about in seminary school. Although, considering her comment of "God bless you and shut up" as she voted for Angie, I'm guessing that must be exactly the kind of love she's learning about in seminary school.

We won't learn much more about Roxy's interesting take on loving thy neighbor because she was the second person to be voted out of Survivor. Another win for snuggling!

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