'Survivor: Philippines' Matsing tribe votes off castaway Angie Layton
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/04/2012
Survivor: Philippines' Matsing tribe eliminated Angie Layton, a 20-year-old student from Provo, UT, from their tribe during Wednesday night's third episode of the CBS reality series' 25th edition.
Angie was voted out of her tribe at the season's third Tribal Council, which was also the third elimination vote for Matsing.
"You know what? It sucks to be voted out this early in the game, but I hope that my tribe can go strong from here on out. I'm their biggest cheerleader, and I just appreciate life so much more now. Like in my life, I just appreciate how lucky I am and it's just helped me realize how blessed I am to have the life that I have," Angie said following her ouster.
Survivor: Philippines' third episode began following the Tribal Council session in which "Roxy" Roxanne Morris got voted off her Matsing tribe -- which then consisted of Angie; formerSurvivor: Samoa castaway Russell Swan; Malcolm Freberg, a 25-year-old bartender from Hermosa Beach, CA; and Denise Stapley, a 41-year-old sex therapist from Cedar Rapids, IA -- on Night 6.
Angie seemed appalled at the events that took place at the previous Tribal Council because Roxy had called her out for starting a showmance with Malcolm and becoming a potentially dangerous couple in the game, but Angie was convinced her tribe knew otherwise -- that she and Malcolm were just friends and Roxy had been wrong about them. However, Russell saw Roxy's point of view.
"Roxy was absolutely right tonight at Tribal. That alliance between Malcolm and Angie is real and I think it's pretty tight. At the end of the day, that's two votes. So all I need is one more. If Denise decides she's going to hitch her wagon to the young ones, then I'm dead," Russell noted.
The following day, drama was brewing up within the Tandang tribe -- which featured former Survivor: Australia castaway Michael Skupin; "RC" Roberta Saint-Amour, a 27-year-old investment banker from New York, NY; Abi-Maria Gomes, a 32-year-old business student from Los Angeles, CA; Artis Silvester, a 53-year-old computer engineer from Terry Town, LA; Lisa Whelchel, a 49-year-old former actress from Dallas, TX; and "Pete" Peter Yurkowski, a 24-year-old engineering graduate from Holmdel, NJ.
Abi-Maria had twisted her knee twice since she initially stepped foot on the island and she admitted she was often in pain.
In addition to her physical issues, Abi-Maria was beginning to lose her trust in RC, who had previously found the camp's hidden Immunity Idol clue and shared the news with her. Abi-Maria was very open with RC, complaining about her sketchiness around Mike and saying she felt like a liability in the game. RC continued to promise loyalty to her despite Abi-Maria's verbal attacks, but she was recognizing Abi-Maria's "paranoia was getting the best of her."
"Me and Abi really clicked from Day 1 and we built an alliance together and I really trust her, and I'm 100% percent with her. But she is a little more hesitant," RC explained. "Abi definitely got a little hardcore with our conversation. We gave each other our word. Our word is our bond. I feel like I shared the hidden Immunity Idol with her and that should really be proof enough that I trust her and no one else in this game."
RC told her other ally Mike that Abi-Maria was losing it, and she admitted the fact Abi-Maria didn't appreciate the two of them talking so much. Meanwhile, Abi-Maria was rounding up other troops. She said Peter was being more genuine with her than RC, so she told him about the idol clue and expressed how she wanted them to find it before RC. Pete said he was trying to play a quiet game by just being very observant of everything going on within his tribe.
Pete told Lisa that everyone wanted her out first, but he could make moves to keep her around. Pete told the cameras he liked her and didn't have a problem with her, while he also saw her as an easy target to get rid of later in the game when necessary.
Pete told Lisa they should blindside Mike if they were forced to go to the next Tribal Council session, but she secretly preferred to get rid of RC. However, Lisa didn't address that concern because she didn't want to make waves. Pete then told her they'd have three votes with Abi-Maria to eliminate Mike. Lisa said her spirits were "up but cautiously up" in the game, which was at least an improvement from her prior saddened outlook on everything as an "outcast."
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On Day 7, the Kalabaw tribe -- which consisted of formerSurvivor: Cook Islands and Survivor: Micronesia castaway Jonathan Penner; Jeff Kent, a 44-year-old retired baseball player from Austin, TX; Sarah Dawson, a 28-year-old insurance saleswoman from Silver Spring, MD; Katie Hanson, a 22-year-old former Miss Delaware from Newark, NJ; Dana Lambert, a 32-year-old cosmetologist from Winston-Salem, NC; and Carter Williams, a 24-year-old track coach from Shawnee, KS -- discovered a game-changing move had possibly been made by one of their own.
Jeff and Dana noticed the emblem that had been nailed onto their tribe's rice bowl was gone, so they figured it went missing because it was actually the hidden Immunity Idol. Due to the dynamic of the tribe which featured one experienced returning player, Jeff automatically assumed Jonathan had found it -- and he was correct, although he didn't have proof yet.
Jeff began kicking himself and said he was "pissed off" and felt "stupid," because he and his fellow tribemates weren't even curious about the piece of wood nailed to the rice bowl. Jeff was hoping he'd get the chance to flush the idol by eventually blindsiding Jonathan and removing a huge threat in the game.
Meanwhile, Malcolm and Denise secured their alliance with each other at the Matsing camp. Their bond was strong and they discussed how either Angie or Russell was obviously the next in line to get voted off the tribe. Malcolm and Denise loved how no one even suspected they were working together.
"There was such a focus on Malcolm and Angie as a couple at Tribal Council, but I'm still holding that trust that Malcolm and I, when the time comes, he'll cut Ang. Because it's a numbers game, I feel much stronger having Russell, because we have to win a challenge," Denise explained.
On Day 8, the three tribes met withSurvivor host Jeff Probst, who then explained the rules to what would be their third Immunity Challenge.
The tribe members learned that each tribe would have one member dive down to release a puzzle wheel attached to a rope. Once that person got the wheel loose, he or she had to swim it back to the dock, and then the next person could go. Each puzzle wheel happened to be deeper in the water than the last. Once a tribe collected all eight wheels, they then had to use those wheels to solve a puzzle.
The first two tribes to get it right would win immunity, while the losing tribe would be sent to Tribal Council that night to vote one of its own members out of the game.
In addition, the tribe to finish in first place would receive a reward in the form of a "massive" fishing kit, including a canoe. The second-place tribe would receive a smaller but still effective kit.
Dawson and Katie sat out for their Kalabaw tribe, while Abi-Marie and Lisa opted to sit out the challenge for Tandang to even up the numbers. During the challenge, Angie struggled to get the first puzzle piece off the rope and only went diving once for her tribe because she appeared to say, "I can't do it, I'm sorry."
At the end of Russell's first attempt, he couldn't get up the ladder. And his second time in the water, he simply gave up trying to get the piece and swam back empty handed.
In the end, Kalabaw won the Immunity Challenge and Tandang finished in second place. For coming in third -- and last -- place, Matsing would be forced to go to Tribal Council for the third straight time.
Angie noted that Russell was the weak link of the tribe based upon everyone's performance in the challenge, but it was clear her head was going to be on the chopping block for being a weak player as well.
After the challenge, Kalabaw celebrated their victory, but Jonathan was on to Jeff -- who seemed to always keep a close eye on Jonathan. To utilize the phrase, "keep your enemies closer," Jonathan decided he wanted to work with Jeff in the game. Jonathan not only suspected Jeff was wary of him, but he also had an idea that Jeff probably knew he had found the idol.
As a result, Jonathan shared the news of his idol with Jeff, and because Jonathan had some Survivor"power and knowledge" at that point, Jeff told him he'd definitely "ride in his boat for awhile." However, Jeff wasn't sure whether he'd maintain his alliance with Jonathan going forward, as he wanted to do what was best for his own game.
"Jonathan expressed to me that he had the idol. I'm happy he approached me and I'll try to be friendly a little bit and try to forge a better relationship... This is a 'me' game. This isn't a 'we' game. At the end, he wanted to cut a deal with a handshake, so I gave him a four-finger handshake -- not a manly shake, not a five-finger handshake. Because I'm not so committed. In my book, unless it's a manly handshake, it's not going to count," Jeff explained.
Meanwhile, Artis was getting increasingly annoyed with Mike, who was always getting hurt. Artis noted he was going to keep Mike "in his sights." While most of the tribe went off looking for clams, Abi-Maria separated from the pack and searched for the hidden Immunity Idol alongside Pete. Abi-Maria ended up finding the idol on her tribe's rice bowl and she was thrilled.
Pete then declared Abi-Maria his "right hand man" and figured he could get Artis and Lisa to do whatever he said in attempt to eventually get rid of Mike.
Over at Matsing's camp, Malcolm was pissed he got stuck with the "goon squad" who couldn't win a challenge and said, "Thank God for Denise." Although Angie seemingly didn't give the Immunity Challenge much effort, she tried to convince Malcolm and Denise she gave it her all and wouldn't have given up -- claiming she just wasn't good at the challenge and didn't want to weigh her tribemates down.
"For the record, I never said, 'I can't do this,'" Angie told Denise and Malcolm while they were talking.
Added Angie afterwards, "I don't want Malcolm and Denise to think of me as a weak link or as a girl who just gives up, because I never said, 'I can't.' I mean, I am the youngest. I have been proving myself and I hope they can see that."
"I think it would be a ridiculous choice to keep Angie at this point, but I don't know that I could get Malcolm to vote Angie. And then Russell, Russell couldn't climb a ladder. Maybe he needs to go home," Denise said.
Malcolm told Angie that Russell was "pathetic" in the challenge, so he'd probably be the next to go. Russell was worried his weaknesses showed and his tribemates could choose to "make a bold move" and get rid of him. He said he felt "down but not out" and didn't know what God's plan was for him in the game.
Angie continued to fight to stay, telling Malcolm that Russell certainly blew the challenge for them and quit. Although she was well aware she had been slow in the water, Angie explained she declined diving again as to not drag her tribemates down. She insisted she could've done the task again but strategically chose to stand back and let the strongest players get it done quickly and efficiently.
"Tonight's actually hard. Between Russ and Angie, it's a tossup for different reasons. Me and Russ have not talked strategy since Day 1. Angie, on the other hand -- I wouldn't say is in my pocket, but she would do whatever we want to do. I just gotta keep myself positioned as strong as I possibly can," Malcolm said.
Angie told the cameras she really wanted to win Survivorand would do whatever it takes to do that. At the same time, Russell wasn't going to lay down and die.
That night, Survivor: Philippines' four members of the Matsing tribe arrived for their third Tribal Council session -- the third session of the season overall.
Malcolm told Jeff Probst it was "heartbreaking" that he was placed on a tribe that lost every challenge and had to repeatedly go to Tribal Council. He felt embarrassed because his friends and family were watching the show and they probably wouldn't have much to be proud of.
Angie continued to argue she wouldn't have given up in the challenge like Russell did. Although Angie called herself a "fighter," Russell wasn't buying it. Russell also explained his decision to stop in the water and swim back to the dock mid-challenge without a puzzle piece in hand was a strategic move because he knew if he had attempted releasing the wheel, it would've ended in failure and wasted time.
"I hear what Angie's saying, but at the end of the day, Miss Angie can't hold a candle to what I'm going to be able to offer this tribe going forward. Knowing that there's 30 days left to go, she aint ready. I am. So, life experience, intellectual capability, physical capability -- to me, the choice is clear," Russell announced.
"I know I'm only 20-years-old and I don't have the experience that Russell has, but I think I can fight more than Russell, honestly," Angie told Jeff.
"Tah! I was willing to die for this game the last time I played. Are you willing to put your life on the line little girl? Come on," Russell said.
"Yes," Angie replied with a smile.
Russell went on saying that Angie had failed in the challenge simply because she lacked physical strength and had absolutely given up. He said her act might work on Jeff but not on her tribemates. In that moment, Angie broke down in tears and said she felt very small.
"It just sucks. I don't ever cry. I really don't," Angie said. "It's hard to compete with him. It honestly is, look at him."
"Because of the situation, she's getting thrusted in a role that was probably never meant for her -- a strength role. There's little girls on the other tribes that haven't had to do the things she's had to do in two challenges already. She's just in a tougher situation than any other young girl is in this game right now," Malcolm suggested.
Denise and Malcolm determined loyalty was important to them but they also needed a strong tribe to win challenges so they could actually get to the merge and test everyone's loyalty.
Jeff then revealed the votes. Everyone had voted to oust Angie from Survivor: Philippines, while Angie had voted to eliminate Russell.