Denise Stapley of Cedar Rapids was up for "Survivor of the Week" last night (10/3/12), for her scrappy efforts that nonetheless, couldn't pull her tribe out of the last-place quicksand. (SOTW voting is closed, and the results aren't posted yet.)
"Denise is a warhorse today -- a little munchkin of muscle," her secret ally Malcolm said, after the two of them saved their team from total humiliation in the Day 8 Immunity Challenge on "Survivor: Philippines."
The rain that had plagued the players on the CBS-TV endurance test/game show gave way to bright skies and clear seas as the three teams queued up for a relay race in Episode 3. The challenge: dive deep to retrieve eight puzzle pieces, one by one, then thread them onto a pole and twist and turn them to find the secret word of the day, "treasure."
Denise and Malcolm were the only Matsing Tribe members to quickly slice through the waters.
Angie went first, only needing to dive 2 feet to unhook the first puzzle piece. The other two teams each unhooked and returned two pieces before Angie got even one back to the diving platform. Big and burly returning player Russell made it to the sunken treasure pieces, but came back empty handed, barely able to haul himself onto the platform. "Diving's not my thing," he said meekly later in the episode.
Matsing members didn't even get to finish their puzzle before the other two tribes were declared winners. The Kalabaws won a deluxe fishing kit, complete with a canoe, while the Tandangs won a smaller, yet welcome, fishing kit. And the Matsings headed back to Tribal Council for the third straight trip, to kick yet another team member off the island.
Angie and Russell made impassioned pleas for their survival, but in the end, the 20-year-old beauty queen/model/student from Provo, Utah, who had drawn tribal wrath for snuggling with Malcolm to ward off the evening chill, got the cold shoulder even from him.
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And then there were three, in what a frustrated Malcolm called "the goon tribe." The Matsing original six has been cut in half.
All that remain are Denise Stapley, 41, a mental health counselor and sex therapist from Cedar Rapids; her secret ally, Malcolm Freberg, 25, a bartender from Hermosa Beach, Calif.; and Russell Swan, 45, an environmental lawyer from Glenside, Pa., who is back for another chance, after being airlifted from "Survivor: Samoa" in 2009, after repeatedly fainting from dehydration.
Gone are Zane Knight, 28, a tire repairman from Danville, Va.; Roxanne “Roxy” Morris, 28, a seminary student Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Angie.
How will the remaining Matsing members fare next week? What about all the conniving and backstabbing among the other two tribes? And does anybody else think Jonathan, the returning member of the Kalabaws, sounds like Alan Alda?
Tune in at 7 p.m. Wednesday (10/10/12) to see how the drama in paradise plays out.