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Survivor recap: Philippines' recap: The Matsing-Off

Another loss by Russell’s team means another person needs to go home. Could this tribe be any worse?

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Survivor Philippines
Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS


TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Jeff Probst
Current Status:
In Season

Unlike the past few weeks, I’m not going to start this week’s recap off by mocking the lameness of manufactured let’s-get-this-show-trending! Survivor hashtags…even if they are #COMPLETELYIDIOTIC. Nor am I going to make an impassioned plea for the misunderstood power of cookies. Nope. Instead, I want to get all earnest-like and talk about something that made me very, very happy. It was a small thing. You may not have even noticed it. (Okay, so from that description I am clearly not talking about Angie’s boobs.) No, this was nothing anyone on the show said or did. Instead, it was a single camera shot. Not the shot of a raft — that may or may not have been planted by producers — drifting off in the middle of the ocean. Rather, the shot of which I speak was at this week’s immunity challenge. It wasn’t particularly fancy, and yet I watched it over and over again. (I’d like to once again assure readers I am not talking about anything boob-related.)

The shot was of Jeff Kent diving off a dock into the water to undo one of the deeply submerged puzzle wheels. The shot — taken by a cameraman filming up from the water — began just above the surface line as Jeff dove. Then, as Jeff entered the water, so did the camera, going completely underwater to capture his dive. “YES!” I said out loud. “This is exactly what Survivor has been missing for the past eight seasons!” Then I watched it again. And then I watched it again. And then my wife came downstairs and said, “Why are you talking to yourself?” And then I said, “Don’t you worry about who I’m talking to.” And then she said, “Stop being weird. You’re scaring the children.” And then she left. And then I watched it again.

Four viewings of a man in swim trunks simply diving into water may sound excessive…not to mention borderline creepy, but it is shots like this that made me fall in love with Survivor 12 years ago. It just screams…I don’t know…adventure. And that single shot brought the adventure straight into our living rooms. So cool. Go back and watch it if you still have the show on your DVR, and you’ll see what I mean. This is why I was so psyched for Survivor to return to a location that allows for legitimate water challenges. It just has a different feel to it. Yes, I love all the strategy and blindsides, but this is another important element the show has lacked while in locations (Gabon, Tocantins, Samoa four times, and Nicaragua twice) that did not allow for underwater challenges. So happy they are back, and big props to the crew for getting that incredible visual.

Incredible is a word you are not likely to hear used often while describing the Matsing tribe, who begin the episode returning from Tribal Council after ousting Roxy. Angie is upset that Roxy “threw me under the bus,” which is a phrase we have never, ever heard on reality TV before. Angie feels confident that the rest of her tribe knows she and Malcolm are not a couple, but Russell doesn’t like the Snuggle Bunny alliance and worries he may end up the odd man out.

NEXT: The Executive Assistant alliance crumbles