Challenge time! Wooden beams! Jugs of corn! Probst in his stupid hat! I'm not opposed to hats in general, but you can just imagine Probst standing in front of the mirror as he prepared to go to the airport to fly to location, adjusting the angle of his hat, and thinking to himself, "Aw. Yeah. I am super-fly." And his stupid girlfriend Julie was probably lying on the bed, watching him pack, and telling him that it looked awesome and would probably spark a trend. I'm surprised CBS hasn't started selling the stupid hats on its website. If it has, please don't tell me. I still can't get over the fact that people buy Survivor buffs. I mean, someone must, because they advertise them every season, and I just can't figure out where people would wear them. To work? To the mall? To church? To the beach? There's no right answer to that. Anyway, the players arrive at the scene of the challenge, and Jeff points out that there are four men and four women remaining. He explains that they will be divided into two teams, and that each team will be made up of two men and two women. Each team member will be attached by rope to a same-sex teammate, and the pair will have to go through a deep mud pit and both over and under a series of obstacles (something like the sort of gates horses jump over) to retrieve a jug of corn. They'll bring the jug back and fill a big pot. The first team to fill the pot wins. Jeff explains that the winning team will leave by helicopter to go to a private home, where the winners can shower, eat, and sleep. But can they mingle? Steph is actually crying over the description of the reward.
The teams are randomly chosen as follows: Jamie and Rafe, Cindy and Lydia on one side, and Gary and Judd, Steph and Danni on the other. The male teams head out first, and for some reason, Rafe veers off to one side and nearly wipes Jamie out before they even reach the first obstacle. Gary and Judd spill a few kernels of corn at one point, which Jeff makes a big deal of, but while you don't want to spill the whole jug or anything, I don't think a handful of kernels is going to make the difference here. It's just the beginning of Jeff's overinvolvement in this challenge. Gary and Judd make the mistake of trying to hand the jug to each other through one of the obstacles instead of passing it over the top, which slows them down, and Lydia and Cindy start out for their team. The teams must have been told at some point that they had to stay in the center of their path, because it's much muckier there, and I couldn't figure out why they wouldn't just stay on the edges where it's more solid. So there must have been a rule or something that they couldn't go outside certain boundaries. As Cindy and Lydia approach the finish line, Lydia totally bites it and is somehow unable to stand back up. It's sort of like Rafe being unable to climb the ladder; you feel bad, but you're also like, "What is the problem here?" It takes her a really long time to slither her way to the finish line, and they lose the lead in the process, but finally Rafe and Jamie take off.