The challenge starts. Hatch is a little shaky out of the gate, and Amber is, too -- but she executes a crazy balancing maneuver that involves a cross between a flamingo thing with the feet and something that looks kind of like a figure skating spiral. On his way back with his flag, Hatch falls off the beam and has to forfeit. Tom very nearly falls off, but he manages to stay on long enough to make it back to the team. Shii Ann winds up in the water. The first showdown takes place between Ethan and Rob. When they face off, Rob decides to go at Ethan's legs, and this drives them both back toward Ethan's side of the beam, so when they fall off, they're almost at the edge of the water pit. This results in Ethan's basically landing face-first on the edge. Ow. Wow. Yikes. That looks exceedingly painful, and for a minute, he looks like he's half-conscious and is going to sink under the water, which was a little scary. He shakes it off, however, and climbs out. Oh, and he won, because Jeff judges him to have hit the water slightly after Rob. I find the whole who-hit-the-water judging very arbitrary, because it generally seems to amount to luck in cases like that where you fall off the log clutching each other. I sort of expect Ethan to spit out all this teeth when he gets out of the water, but he doesn't do it.
Rupert falls off the beam. Yeah...I don't think "graceful" is on the list of attributes. Alicia, however, looks like she's walking on solid ground. Hatch and Jenna meet up on the balance beam. "Ohhh, baby girl," says Hatch. Jenna looks around with a little smile. "Have you ever heard the story of David and Goliath?" she laughs. Hee. This is an awesome battle, too, because Rob yells, "Go for his feet!", so Jenna does, and she throws herself against Hatch's ankle. But he doesn't move at all, so she winds up sliding around his ankle and falling off the beam, dragging him down with her. Now that's comedy, people. But she lands in the water substantially ahead of him, so she's hosed. All things considered, though, she acquitted herself well. As Hatch exits the water from the match with Jenna, he takes his shorts off. And that's mistake #1. I would never have allowed nudity in a challenge that has mandatory physical contact. That's just not appropriate. ["As opposed to all the other challenges in which his nudity is appropriate?" -- Wing Chun] But nobody says anything.