Survivor

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Sara M: B | Grade It Now!
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Only Shallow

The girls row up to a beach, where they are greeted by Probst. He takes the necklace back and explains the challenge. Each player has a long wooden cylinder that has been cut into pieces. In the middle of the cylinder is a block with a groove in it, in which rests a metal ball. "Ding!" says the metal ball. Each player will use handles positioned on each end of the cylinder to lift it in the air. For the first round they'll just be lifting the middle piece with the metal ball. Every five minutes, they'll lower the cylinder to the holder and add more pieces to it. The more pieces you add, the harder it will be to keep it together. So the challenge will require really steady hands, focus, and the strength to squeeze those handles sideways to provide the force necessary to keep the whole cylinder together. It's a pretty cool challenge. The last player not to drop her metal ball is the winner. Probst there will also be a five-second countdown before each round starts for the players to lift their cylinders and get their bearings. If they should drop the cylinder during that time, they will not be out of the game, and the countdown will start over. The first two rounds pass uneventfully. I think the hardest part of this challenge is not keeping focus or having the strength to squeeze the cylinder together, but being able to tune Probst out as he natters on about how hard this challenge is and how much focus is required. In the third round, Cirie breaks her concentration to look over at Parvati. As soon as she does this, Parvati loses her shit, drops the cylinder, and is out of the challenge. Even while focusing on winning the challenge, Cirie's mind control is so strong that she can will her opponents to quit. She's just that awesome.

Parvati takes a seat. The round ends, and Cirie's cylinder falls apart as she's setting it back down. She looks worried. Amanda looks cool. Uh oh. They add pieces, and Probst counts down. Suddenly, Cirie's cylinder falls apart! Oh nooo!!! But since it happened while Probst was counting, she's not out -- yet. Probst warns Cirie to be more careful, like she doesn't know that. The round begins again, and I see Amanda is going with the underhand grip this time around while Cirie sticks with the overhand grip. I'm not sure whose strategy is smarter; Amanda is taking a risk by going with a way to hold it that's untested. But she's also going to save her overhand strength for the next and final round, which will last as long as the women are in the game. So having as much strength as possibly for that is a good idea. Both women make it to the final round. They add their last pieces, and this round will go until someone drops her ball. Please let it be Amanda! She returns to her overhand grip and we begin. Amanda appears to be struggling; her cylinder is all uneven and her ball is rolling around dangerously. But it's Cirie who drops the ball. No!!!! Probst proclaims Amanda the winner and all three women hug. Amanda takes her necklace and Probst says she'll get to decide who to go against in front of the jury -- by voting either Parvati or Cirie out. Amanda doesn't look thrilled about this. "Have a fun afternoon!" Probst taunts.

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Survivor

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