It's Day 9 on "Survivor" and the Matsing tribe is suffering, even more than usual. The three members left -- Russell, Malcolm and Denise -- are miserable in the rain, and they can't get the fire restarted.
But there still is a spark, and they talk about mounting what Russell calls "the greatest comeback ever." We'll see.
It's raining at Tandang, too, and people are thinking about the game. Pete is planning to create chaos, because seriously, that's what we need, more chaos.
And speaking of chaos, Abi stumbles upon the clue to the hidden immunity idol under RC's bag, and then everyone reads it. Abi has already found the idol and she thinks that RC is scheming against her by bringing out the clue and leaving it where the others can see it. But it was Pete who put the clue in RC's bag. He likes people to be off balance. Cue the foreshadowing music.
Meanwhile, over at Kalabaw, it's not raining and they've got a roaring fire. Jonathan is giving lessons on survival and Jeff, the former baseball player, is starting to think Jonathan might be worth keeping. He had been opposed to letting any of the returning players (Jonathan, Michael and Russell) get far in the game, but he's starting to think he can work with Jonathan. Or use him. Whatever works.
Oh, who's this blonde kid? Four episodes in and they're finally starting to show some of the other players. Meet Carter, who wants to align with Jeff and Jonathan. On Kalabaw, lines are being drawn between the men and the women.
So as it turns out, Matsing is the most functional and happy tribe on the beach. Oh, maybe not. Malcolm has Russell's number -- Russell wants to be a leader, but he isn't that good at it. He's only still here, Malcolm says, because they keep losing and they need his muscle.
Russell is worried because Malcolm and Denise aren't talking strategy with him, so he's hunting for the immunity idol. He pictures, accurately, the camera showing the idol and him walking by it. And it does and he does. Denise catches him searching and talks to Malcolm, who then goes through Russell's stuff to see if he's found the idol. (He hasn't.)
Over at Tandang, trouble is brewing between RC and Abi. Pete wants RC out, and he's wound Abi up to be a mini torpedo. Abi refuses to talk to RC, but then she keeps talking about how she doesn't want to talk. Drama, drama, drama.
Today's challenge involves carrying two pots of rice through a series of obstacles and put them on posts. Once all six pots are in place, they use a wrecking ball to smash them. First tribe to finish get immunity, steaks, seasonings and veggies. Second to finish, wins immunity and veggies. They also can trade the food for tarps.
Because Matsing is down to three, the other tribes have sit three of their members. Both tribes sit the women. Surprisingly, Matsing takes an early lead. It's Kalabaw that looks bad. But of course, Matsing loses a heartbreaker. Tandang finishes first. Kalabaw catches up and finally, both tribes have just one pot left. Malcolm, swinging for Matsing, misses twice. Jeff misses, but the ball swings back and catches the pot, sending Matsing's hopes falling to the ground with the rice.
Russell starts smashing pots and talking to God. He's a total buzz kill for the other two tribes who are celebrating their victories. Jeff Probst calls him out, saying he acts like he's a superhero who is never supposed to fail. Russell says he's not. He's supposed to be perfect. Oh my.
Tandang takes its food and splits; Kalabaw trades its food for the tarp; Matsing slinks off to prepare for tribal council.
Back at camp, there is oodles of scheming and plotting and by the end of it, we're convinced all three may get their torches snuffed.
Probst revisits Russell's need for perfection. Russell says it's just a mind set -- if he does his best, he should win. Probst has each of them making a case for themselves, and for getting rid of another. Malcolm says he's strong, Russell has spirit. Denise plays hard. Russell and Malcolm agree that Denise is the most dangerous because she plays the better social game. But now it's time to vote.
Russell votes for Malcolm; Malcolm votes for Russell; and Denise votes for Russell, who reacts as if he's been punched in the gut. His torch is snugged and he walks away without looking back.
Next time: Malcolm and Denise search for the hidden idol, and someone is hurt bad enough that the medics are called in. We've got money on it being injury prone Michael.