Survivor
I've Been Bamboozled!

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The Naked And The Figuratively Dead

After the commercials, we come back, and are greeted with a warning: "THE FOLLOWING SCENE CONTAINS MATERIAL THAT MAY BE INAPPROPRIATE FOR YOUNGER VIEWERS. PARENTAL DISCRETION IS ADVISED." So if you've been letting your seven-year-olds watch the naked people and the snuggling and moaning and the bleeped swearing, this would be the point at which I suppose you would encourage them to leave the room. ["Hey, I'm well over seven, and there's stuff in this chunk of the show that I wasn't all that psyched about watching, myself." -- Wing Chun] A yelling chant on the soundtrack sweeps us into Mogo Mogo on Day 15, where Hatch and Jerri are retrieving some treemail. It doesn't give you a whole lot other than references to "speed and strength." "I think we'll win," Hatch interviews. "And if we don't, who cares? Lot of people we have to get rid of." He smirks, and then looks around. "Hope nobody heard me say that." Yes, yes, you're very enchanting.

Around a boiling pot of fish or rice or something, the rest of Mogo Mogo agrees that the challenge sounds like fun. Colby interviews, however, that they're having to change their approach a little, because up until this point, they've relied on finishing second in immunity challenges rather than last. And obviously, at this point, second will not do at all. "Second place now sends ya home," he says.

Jeff calls the teams in for the immunity challenge. He retrieves the immunity idol from Lex and reunites it with the half of the idol he took from the abandoned Saboga camp, and now there's just one immunity idol to rule them all. He explains the challenge. Basically, each team starts on a platform and has to walk across a web of balance beams to get to the other side of the course, where they can grab a team flag and make their way back. In the middle of the web, you're forced across a beam that's over a water pit. If you meet up on that beam with somebody coming from the opposite side of the water pit, you have a face-off, and the first person to throw the other person off the beam and into the water gets to go on. The other person -- just like anyone else who falls off a beam during the course -- just goes back to the beginning, losing any flag they may have already picked up. Each tribe can only have two people running the course at any given time, and you do have to go in order. First tribe to bring back twenty flags will be the winner.

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.

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Survivor

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