Survivor Recap: Worst of the Worst
One of the worst things about having one team be really really REALLY bad at Survivor is that you miss out on anything interesting going on with the other teams.
For example, over in the red camp, the anti-Jonathan alliance is getting some cracks. Finding a hidden immunity idol will do that for your social status. Suddenly, Jeff, who had initially led the anti-Jonathan contingent, is looking at the returnee in a new light. They decide to hash things out the way Real Men do - through fishing and full-fledged, five-fingered handshakes. By the time they return with the boat, Jeff and Jonathan, with young puppy Carter thrown in, have a very manly alliance.
At least the girls recognized something fishy was going on. (Get it? Fishy? See what I did there? I'm here all week, folks.) While Carter was mumbling something with a lot of "you knows" and "likes" and somehow had something to do with not wanting to stick with the girls, Dana was busting out all her girl power quips while the ladies sat in a line doing each other's hair or picking lice off each other's backs or something. With the gender lines split three-three, things are going to get VERY interesting if they ever actually make it to Tribal Council.
Things look equally entertaining over at Team Yellow. While the entire group sat huddled in camp, having a group complain-fest about the rain, RC accidentally tipped over her purse. What appears but her found hidden immunity idol clue. Kind of interesting since she and Abi hid it after she first found it. Logically, each of the women blamed each other: Abi was the only person RC told about the clue and Abi figured the clue was in RC's control. Plus, after taking the clue's information, ditching RC, teaming up with Pete and finding the idol herself, Abi was looking for any sort of evidence that makes it seem like RC deserved it. I'm going to come right out and say it: Abi absolutely terrifies me.
The bizarre relationship between RC and Abi is both tremendous and predictable. They made an alliance on the first day, without realizing that they actually kind of hate each other. RC is trying to cling on like a bottom-feeder in the popular girls' group (Regina George also said she can't wear hoop earrings) while Abi gives off the vibe of a woman who very much needs to be the center of attention and cringes when any other girl is around. See the completely different ways she acts around RC and around cute guy Pete. Oh yeah, and Pete? He may look like another pretty face, but he's a pretty face that knows a catfight when he sees one, which is why he planted that clue in RC's things to get the whole fight started. When things are finally hashed out, RC realizes she's on the outs with Abi and Pete and Lisa is just gleeful that somebody else is drawing negative attention from the group.
But no, the blue team just has to keep on playing terribly. We can't see the boys vs. girls alliance play out with the red team. We're losing out on Abi's inevitable verbal (and possibly physical?) attack on RC at a Tribal Council. All because Russell and Malcolm and Denise can't get their stuff together.
They were appropriately pumped up about the immunity challenge. While the other two teams were developing new and deeper rifts, they were bonding during the rainstorm, talking about how much they needed to win the next challenge just to give themselves a boost of confidence and positivity. For a team that has played pretty terribly, it was a nice change of attitude. Go team!
And things started off well, even considering that since the other two teams had to sit three people to keep up with the blue team, they all got to keep their strong men for this physical challenge, and the blue team still had the strong-but-small Denise. In the first leg, each team member had to carry two heavy pots of rice through an obstacle course. Then, one person had to use a giant tetherball to break the pots. Malcolm ran through the course first and gave the blue team a pretty handy lead (helped by Carter's inability to walk straight). Russell kept the blue team in the lead through the second leg, but Denise's lack of strength allowed Pete to overcome her and give the yellow team the lead.
By the time they got to the tetherball portion, all three were fairly close. Artis took the lead and the win for the red team, giving them a fancy steak dinner in addition to immunity, while Malcolm and Jeff came down to the very last shot. When Jeff hit it, winning immunity and a tarp, the disappointment was fierce for the blue team. How fierce? Fierce enough for Russell to break up the other two teams' celebrations by breaking a pot with his hands and yelling and ranting to both himself and God. He got himself so flustered that he accidentally referred to Jeff Probst as "Lord" and I'm pretty sure it's only the CBS interns that are required to do that.
It's pretty obvious what's going to happen next for the blue team. Malcolm and Denise have had an alliance from very early and also, Russell is crazy town banana pants. But when Denise finds Russell doing something suspicious around camp (he was looking for the idol), they opt to make him feel as secure as possibly so he's not tempted to play any immunity idols he might have. The connected shots of Malcolm aligning with Russell, Russell aligning with Denise, and Denise aligning with Malcolm is all fun and games until Russell opens up to Denise about being bullied as a kid. Punching that bully in the face made him feel so much better. Not that he's into fighting or anything.
At Tribal Council, Jeff has all three plead their case. Denise says has a very good social game. Malcolm says he's strong, athletic and young. Russell says he's not as good as either of them. Yay? Neither guy can say anything negative about Denise, except the fact that nothing negative can be said about Denise and that anyone who takes her to the final three is all but assuring her the $1 million. (Russell gets the line of the night when he pretends to be a member of the jury so won over by Denise that he offers to write her a $1 million check on top of her Survivor winnings.) Not surprisingly, Russell got voted out.
Now Malcolm and Denise have to take on two teams of six single-handedly. Is that even possible? This has to go into some kind of merge, right? I'm kind of sad about the idea, because I want to see how the tension in the other tribes is going to play out, but I also don't want to see either Malcolm or Denise go, as they have to be two of the most likeable contestants in recent years. What do you hope for?