‘Survivor: Philippines’ review: Conflict over … cuddling?

Is anyone else loving this season of “Survivor” as much as we are? Really, there’s just so much to like this time around, and it just feels like the most exciting installment that we’ve seen since at least “Nicaragua.” Yes, there are returning players, but we are at least not looking at former winners here; and outside of Penner, neither Russell nor Skupin really have that much knowledge in how to play a good strategic game.

As a matter of fact, Russell spent most of this episode managing to dig himself into an even deeper hole when it came to the people that were on his tribe.  With the exit of Roxy, who was really just backed into a corner from the very beginning of this episode, he is on the outside of a three-person alliance of Angie, her cuddle buddy Malcolm, and Denise. We knew that the “Samoa” star would be kept around thanks to his presence as a physical threat in this game, but we’re still not entirely sure it was the right choice. We were getting a Purple Kelly vibe from Angie before the season, and now we’re getting it more as she doesn’t really appear to be playing the game. Instead, her strategy currently consists of “cling to Malcolm and make mean remarks about other people as you vote them out.” If she makes it to the end, she will absolutely never win. We’re just stunned that cuddling played such a major role here at the end of the day.

As for some of the other goodies that came away from this terribly dysfunctional tribe, Penner has an immunity idol! We don’t know what his plans for it are, but with Jeff Kent seemingly leading the charge against him, he’s at the greatest risk. By the way, we do hate that we still have no idea who Katie and Carter are on this tribe; the same goes for Artis over on Tandang, who were pretty quiet this time around after RC proved herself to be a pretty smart player in finding an immunity idol and telling one person about it. The problem? That one person in Abi has already freaked out about it, and will probably do so again to the point where she gets her in hot water. Meanwhile, Lisa Whelchel continues to dodge bullets left and right by continuing to win challenges?

We’ll have more from Roxie in our interview tomorrow, but we really feel rather bad for her. She seemed to be a pretty smart player, but her alliances along with her lack of cuddling sadly did her in.

If you want to see where we ranked the castaways in our latest weekly update, be sure to check out the link here.

Photo: CBS

Love TV? Be sure to like CarterMatt on Facebook for more updates!