Commercials. I suppose it speaks well of The Amazing Race that it's got Visa Check Card commercials ripping it off now. I think that guy with no Visa Check Card at all is still going to get to the finish line before Team Who.
We return to the Ghost Tribe Challenge, where the remaining members of Morgan and Drake are absorbing the fact that they're staring down all the people they've booted. Jeff explains how the three-tribe challenge will work. They'll all compete against each other, and any tribe that loses to the Outcasts has to go to tribal council. That means that if the Outcasts come in first, both Drake and Morgan send somebody home. If the Outcasts finish in the middle, whoever finishes last sends somebody home. But after the voting out has concluded, the Outcasts will go to a special tribal council to vote for which of them should return to the game in place of whomever is booted. So there's the opportunity for one or two Outcasts to rejoin the game, and they'll be the ones to decide who it will be. Furthermore, if an Outcast makes it back into the game, they'll be immune at the next tribal council, in order to give them what Jeff calls "a fair shot." "If the Outcasts kick your ass, you may be going home," he says, showing unusual candor. "On the flip side," he says cheerily, "if you really are the ten most worthy survivors, this should be no trouble." Snerk. Nice. He then goes on to assure Drake and Morgan that the Outcasts have been living on limited food, just as Morgan and Drake have. Well...probably not just as they have. I doubt the Outcasts were eating moldy rice.
As for the challenge itself, each tribe starts with most of its members tied up in the cages and one person running for a flag. When that person returns, he digs under the edge of the first cage and unties the person in there. Together, they dig under the edge of the next cage and untie the people in there. Then they all have to assemble a pole to snag a hanging key to the last cage. When they've untied the person in there, they'll make a new pole to snag one last key and unlock the cage. When you've got everybody out, you win. So in terms of competition phases, we've got running, digging, untying, pole-building, and key-snagging.
The flag-runners are Burton, Andrew, and Shawn. "Survivors ready...go!" Burton unsurprisingly jumps out ahead in the footrace. He does, I have to say, look way more well-rested and well-fed than the other guys, so while I think there was an effort to provide some equity, there certainly continued to be a physical advantage to not having been in camp life for the last week or two. Soon, all three guys are digging by the edges of their cages. "Dig, Bur-uhn!" Michelle yells. Burton is indeed the first to dig himself a hole and shimmy under the edge of the cage. He works on untying Trish in the first cage. Shawn is second to get under, followed by Andrew. Shawn does well untying Christa, while Burton unties Trish and Andrew unties Ryan-O. Christa and Trish crawl under the cage at about the same time, with Trish showing a little pixelized ass as Burton shoves her under. Burton and Shawn follow. Andrew and Ryan-O bring up the rear. Hee, "rear." Rupert starts to assemble Drake's key-grabbing pole. Soon, the Outcasts and Drake have everyone untied and are working on the poles, while Morgan still struggles to untie their last couple of folks. Now, one thing that's very interesting here is that while there are sticks and string on the ground from which the poles are ostensibly being built, Lill also has with her a bunch of strips of purple fabric that she and Trish are using to lash their pole together. It's not that I didn't expect Burnett to cook this challenge in favor of the Outcasts, but...that seems more blatant than I expected. Moreover, Probst specifically said you had to build the pole from the sticks and string that were on the ground in the second cage. I loved the Outcast twist generally, but...boooo. If you look back, it seems like they brought the strips in tied around their hair and biceps and hanging from their belt loops and all manner of things. Certainly looks seriously cooked and not very subtle.