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Survivor recap: Love is a Many Splendored Thing

Matty is overjoyed to see his girlfriend and proposes, Bob tries a second pass at fake-idol bluff, and Corinne makes a desperate move to stay in the game

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Survivor Matty
Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS


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

I’m a horrible person. Seriously, if you can go to Hell for things you write in a TV Watch, than you may as well book my one-way fare right now. A partial list of sins: I once made fun of someone (Katie from Palau) for being the only Survivor contestant to actually gain weight while stranded on an island. I was yelled at by both Parvati Shallow and hotshot director Peter Berg last spring for writing that I was surprised Micronesian natives had to teach her how to catch crabs and not the other way around. And just a few weeks ago I mocked a 58-year-old physics teacher for sounding like his testicles had been chopped off upon receiving a letter from his wife back home. Not only that, but I’m the one guy who always hates the Survivor loved ones visit every season. How can you hate loved ones, you ask? I don’t know — BUT I DO! I’m not proud of these things: It’s just how I watch television. I’ve been making fun of stupid crap I see on TV ever since What’s Happening‘s Rerun got caught trying to bootleg the Doobie Brothers concert with a tape recorder roughly the size of Texas. (And to think, he and the gang then later got nabbed for scalping Stevie Wonder tickets. Will those knuckleheads ever learn?!?)

But I’m going to surprise you right now. There are so many ways to make fun of Matty for his dock-set marriage proposal to girlfriend Jamie: the repetitive stammering, the struggles to fasten his homemade necklace around her neck, the belated drop to a knee. But I’m not going to do it. And right now I feel a bit like the Fonz, who never was able to say the words “I’m sorry” but I was genuinely m-m-moooooo-moooo…mooooooved by the whole thing. And here’s why.

This wasn’t some calculated, attention-grabbing stunt à la Boston Rob at the All-Stars finale or that clown Mike Boogie at the Big Brother 2 send-off. This was genuine emotional overload — in a good way. I’m buying what Matty was selling here. I spoke with him before the game, and all the guy could talk about was his girlfriend and his dog. We saw that new scene from last week’s recap show — at least losers like me who bother to watch recaps shows did — where Matty awkwardly forced his whole tribe to sing Jamie “Happy Birthday.” This is a dude who has never traveled anywhere in his entire life — not even away for the weekend. His girl and his dog are his life. Now, we all know that being stranded out in the middle of nowhere with little food, sleep, or shelter while also trying to outwit a bunch of strangers who drive you nuts leads to hardcore emotional amplification (Sugar would be Exhibit A for this). So it is entirely possible that Matty’s emotions got the best of him and he got a bit carried away, but it was also refreshingly real and not some calculated publicity move. Good for you, Matty. I wish you two (three, if you include the mutt) luck. I really do. Now stop turning me into such a softie!

NEXT: Sugar’s other nemesis