The teams gather on their platforms. Survivors ready...go! The first swimmers are Rob and Jerri. It takes Jerri two tries to get the puzzle piece untied, but Rob gets his right away and heads back. There's not a lot to the swimming portion of this challenge, quite frankly. There's a lot of swimming and unhooking and little of it is of consequence. Only Jenna struggles substantially with the unhooking and, like Jerri, she ultimately has to make two trips down to get it to go. Once the teams have all the puzzle pieces, old history comes back to haunt Chapera, and once again, they have trouble with puzzle assembly, while Mogo Mogo cruises. The best part is that Ethan decides to try to use one of the paddles to knock in one of the slats that you use to secure the boat once you have it assembled, and as he whacks the slat with the paddle (not dirty!), the end of the paddle snaps off. Hee. I could almost -- almost -- forgive him for being such a dick for the simple reason that he's such a complete clod, the poor kid. They take off paddling, with three good paddles instead of four. Paddling are Lex, Colby, and Kathy, while Ethan dabs the water with the half-broken paddle he created and Jerri tries to pitch in by paddling with the broken end. And who does that mean is taking the opportunity to do absolutely nothing? Oh, yes. Shii Ann the Totally Useless Whiner. She's basically ballast, as usual. Chapera takes off in their boat at last, but they've fallen behind. Mogo Mogo makes it to the beach first, and Ethan jumps off the boat and runs into the jungle. Why, why, why would they do that? Have they not diagnosed Ethan's Challenge Spaz problem? How can that be? When Chapera makes it, Rob runs into the jungle. He's a bit behind Ethan as he chops the flag rope, but as they work to untie the paddles, it becomes clear that Ethan is having a little trouble again. As the teams wait at the beach for their runners to return, we go to a very Race-like shot of the woods just waiting for someone to emerge. Ah, shades of the night Chuck and Millie were Philiminated. Makes me want to weep with happiness all over again. Anyway, first to emerge from the jungle is Rob, meaning that he beat Ethan the Challenge Spaz at the untying. Not a big surprise, since untying knots is exactly the kind of thing you can't do when you're completely overstimulated, as Ethan always is in this type of situation.
Chapera gets the other paddles from Rob and they start paddling. They're barely away from shore when Ethan emerges from the woods and gives Mogo Mogo their paddles. As the teams take off paddling for the platforms, it's actually pretty much a dead heat. Chapera is chant-rowing again, which always seems to work for them, while Mogo Mogo is still, you'll recall, short a paddle. As they race for the platforms, Mogo Mogo's boat veers sharply toward the left. It's hard to say, but I think this happens because Ethan and Lex and Jerri are all over on the right pushing hard, and with Colby in the center in back and Kathy in the center in front (alternating strokes on the left and right, I think), the only person actually paddling on the left side of the boat is freaking Shii Ann -- who is useless anyway and is, in any event, paddling with the stick end rather than the flat end of the broken-off paddle. So they've got far, far more paddling power on the right side of the boat than the left, and I think that makes the right side of the boat go faster, and that will push it to the left. By contrast, on Chapera, Alicia is in the front, Rob is in the back. Rupert and Jenna are on one side; Tom and Amber are on the other side. Perfectly balanced, pretty much. And once Mogo Mogo gets off course, they never get back on. Before you know it, Chapera hits the dock and wins reward and immunity. My favorite part is that Amber jumps onto the dock and flops down flat, and Jenna kind of jumps on top of her, and then Amber reaches over and slaps Jenna on the ass. I liked that, because you don't always get girls who will slap each other on the ass at the end of an athletic victory, and it seems to me like the polar opposite of the "Eeeeeeeee!" that girls on reality shows resort to all too often.