Survivor
Neanderthal Man

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Sucking At Puzzles

It is now Day 21 at Ulong, and Steph is still talking about how tired and hungry they are, but she's still sure they won't quit. Much to their delight, Bobby Jon grabs them some food by firing the spear into a bunch of fish. He also has brought home a clam, so they make themselves a fish-and-clam feast. "It was like the best thing I ever had in my whole life," Steph says. She says you could "feel the protein," and adds that in the twenty-one days they've been there, they've had practically no fish, so this was quite a treat. "That's all we need to really get our spirits up," she says hopefully.

Steph and Bobby Jon go and fetch some treemail, and they find -- damn! -- puzzle pieces. God. Steph explains that winning immunity is "imperative." She points out that if they lose, there's no more tribe. "It's pretty much do or die," she tells Bobby Jon, and then she interviews, "I think today, immunity is going to be Ulong's, finally." It's not like I expected her to say, "Well, it's a puzzle, so we might as well not show up," but I do admire her limitless capacity for apparently unmerited optimism.

The tribes meet up at a challenge beach. Unsurprisingly, Koror looks a lot cleaner than they used to. Jeff takes the coconut monkey back from Janu, which can only be described as a technicality at this point. He promises that "anyone can win." So what happens in this challenge is that each person swims out, pulls himself along a rope under a pontoon, and fetches a bag of puzzle pieces, which he brings back by running along floating balance beams and then swimming in. You do this four times: as it will work out, you have each of two people going twice, but whatever. Anyway, once you have your four bags of puzzle pieces, you assemble them on a board, and they create a word search. You complete the word search, and wherever letters intersect, you scribble those letters on tiles at the bottom of the board. You then unscramble the letters to form a three-word phrase. Running the challenge for Koror will be Gregg and Coby.

For immunity. Ready? Go. Gregg and Steph are out first. Steph gets out ahead of Gregg a little, but they're tied as they surface. They get up onto the pontoons and run back, and Gregg gets a tiny bit ahead of her. Gregg gets back just slightly ahead of Steph, so Coby goes out first. When Steph gets back, Bobby Jon goes running out with such insane fury that, as Jeff points out, he very nearly walks on water. Indeed, he and Coby swim under the pontoons, and by the time they surface, Coby and Bobby Jon are tied. Both run back, and in fact, by the time Bobby Jon gets back, he has a small lead, which Steph takes with her as she heads out for the third bag of puzzle pieces. Steph keeps the lead as she emerges, and Steph is quick enough on the run back that she's got a decent lead by the time she hits the shore. Bobby Jon heads out looking for the last bag, and he's got a fairly big lead. But for whatever reason, Bobby Jon is totally and utterly spent, and he sputters around, unable to get underwater and get the puzzle pieces right away. As they get up onto the pontoons, Bobby Jon and Coby are basically tied. It's neck and neck up on the beach, which means that Ulong will have to beat Koror at the puzzle section in order to win. Sigh.

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Survivor

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