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.
At ten minutes in, J-R tries to psych everyone out by talking about how they must all be itchy from their mosquito bites. All he accomplishes, however, is distracting himself to the point where he's the first to fall off. He wasn't going to win anyway, but still: idiot. Denise is the next out. And then James runs out of luck at last, and he's out. Erik goes out. Peih-Gee goes out. Amanda touches the wrong part of the barrel and she's out. So it's Courtney, Frosti, and Todd. Frosti sings a little song that goes, "Starving artists on a dragon, balancing on barrels for Jeff Probst." I've heard less catchy tunes, believe me. Todd is out. "And then there were two," Jeff announces. "Lov-ahs!" Frosti announces dramatically. Hee. Jeff points out that Courtney has yet to move. "I am lazy," she agrees. Hee, again. When did Courtney and Frosti become a comedy duo? Frosti is kind of sliding around now, and the amusement really comes in watching him make a series of miraculous saves, owing to his background in monkey-style athletics. His abilities are remarkable, but he's no match for tiny, tiny Courtney, who sits motionless atop her barrel and wins. She collects the immunity necklace, commenting that it feels just like winning a pageant! The necklace is about a foot from her clavicle, because she now looks like pantyhose stretched over a frame made of coat hangers. Jeff reminds them all that later on, they will have to vote someone out. I don't think they had forgotten.
Hae Da Fung, Day 24. Panda. Monkey. Panda again. Monkey again. I have a feeling there aren't very many animals around, so these same ones are getting a lot of coverage. The tribe congratulates Courtney -- even J-R, who I'm sure is completely sincere. Fairly nicely, Courtney attributes her victory to not wanting to get dumped in the swamp. She interviews that she really never anticipated that she'd ever win immunity, but now, she doesn't care who goes home, because it won't be her. Peih-Gee, however, interviews that she was most bummed not to win immunity, because she knows that her neck is on the line at tribal council. She says that she's doing everything she can to save herself, and that Denise actually seemed open to voting with Peih-Gee, Erik, and Frosti, so she's hoping that somehow, this is all going to keep her safe for this week.