Todd and Amanda get water together, and he complains to her that James is in this great position, almost guaranteed F4 with the two idols. I wonder how James secured such a fabulous position for himself. Hard to imagine! If only there were something Todd could have done to keep that from happening! Amanda still wants to get rid of Peih-Gee now and take James out next, but Todd points out that you can't take James out, ever, unless you manage to do it when he doesn't win individual immunity and doesn't play either idol. So Todd's idea is that, this week, if James doesn't win individual immunity, they should take him out by surprise, so that he won't play the idol to protect himself. Amanda interviews that the plan was supposed to be to boot Peih-Gee, then Erik, then Frosti, but now Todd is all hot for getting rid of James. To this end, Todd pulls Frosti aside and explains all this, telling him that he wants to blindside James at tribal council if James doesn't win immunity. They won't tell Peih-Gee, of course, because she'd tattle to James. She...would? I'm not sure she'd interfere in a plan to get rid of someone else instead of her. In a bizarre interview in which he's perched in a tree and turned to the camera at a jaunty angle like a lady in a shampoo commercial about to expound upon the joys of washing your hair with real eucalyptus, Frosti tells us that he's being viewed as a "swing vote," which he still hasn't figured out is actually a really bad position to be in, because you're expendable to everyone once you're integral to no one. Frosti tells Todd that he's down with the blindsiding plan.
Immunity challenge. Jeff brings in the group. They're all forced to approach him through a grassy, swampy area with muddy water up to their knees, and of course, Jeff chuckles at them, because he's so much cooler than they are with his platform to stand on. Frosti brings the immunity idol over to Jeff. The challenge today involves sitting on a barrel full of water that's positioned horizontally -- so you kind of straddle it like a horse. It's not secure, though; it can roll from side to side. It also has a hole in the bottom, so water will continually drain out of it, making it harder and harder to balance on it as it gets lighter. When you fall off, you're out. Last one left wins immunity.
The contestants all clamber onto the barrels, which are set up to look like segments of a long dragon (because we have not given enough attention to Americans' stereotypical notions of Chinese NewYear, and they know so little else), and the challenge begins. It's remarkable how much the water dropping out of the bottom of the barrels makes it look like they're all peeing into the swamp. I mean, it's from the barrels, and yet...it's unsettling. At any rate, I immediately called this challenge for Courtney, based on how tiny she is, and how little people often come out ahead on balance challenges. Let's see if I'm right. Jean-Robert immediately announces that his isn't balanced right, though he appears to be joking. "Glad you're still around, Jean-Robert," Probst snots. "Always need a complainer." You know, this is what's wrong with having Jeff act like such a dick the rest of the time -- he can't effectively knock anyone down if he's being a bitch himself. Anyway, Courtney immediately says she thought she was the complainer. Heh. James's talents, it turns out, do not particularly include balancing, because he's on the verge of falling off from the very beginning. Courtney, on the other hand, sits upright and stone-still.