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First They Were Afraid!

Kimmi checks Kucha's mail, and I hope for her sake there aren't many running challenges because she doesn't seem too accomplished in the actual running. She reads the clue, which tells us that the challenge is for both matches and immunity. "Fire" is also two syllables for Kimmi -- "FIE-er." Cheerleader Kimmi tells us that Kucha needs to "fight hard and win," and Cheerleader Elisabeth tells us they need to "beat beat beat" the other tribe. Back at Ogakor, Mitchell -- who actually seems kind of likable -- says that they have to show the other tribe they're better, and also it wouldn't hurt to be able to eat. Seems to me that Mitchell, all ninety-eight pounds of him, should have worried about eating a little more before the show started.

The teams trek to the déjà-vu challenge -- for waterproof matches and immunity. Peachy smirks as he tells the tribes, "You know this guy really well," as he shoves the Immunity Idol in their faces. The challenge is my least favorite type -- a hyped-up obstacle course filled with silly man-made obstacles. The goal is to keep a torch lit, and eventually to light a pyre at the top of what appears to be a wooden lifeguard stand. The first leg involves crossing "The Old Bridge," which was probably constructed in the, oh, early twenty-first century. After they've crossed this relic using planks to cross where boards are missing, the next leg is a swim through the water keeping aloft a raft which bears the torch. The third leg involves yet another raft, which all the survivors must sit on, using horizontal pulleys to move themselves to the other side of the shore. Finally, they will run up the beach, climb the lifeguard stand, and ignite the top of it. None of this appears to have anything at all to do with the actual outback environment, which I find irritating. They could be performing this in my back yard...if I had one. Ogakor is ahead from the very beginning and remains so throughout. It's not worth detailing point by point except to say my husband walked into the room, watched this débacle for two seconds, and made an "oomph" sort of noise, knowing instantly that Kucha had no teamwork and thus no chance at victory. Some highlights of the race: Elisabeth falls in the water and can't pull herself out -- my strong, (gentle)manly Rodger yanks her out with one hand, which is not returned later by Elisabeth when Rodger gets his foot stuck in a rope under the raft and nearly drowns if not for Debb, who shouts at the others to help him. At this point, I notice that all of Kucha is barefoot and all of Ogakor is wearing shoes. How is it that the footwear designer's team can't manage to shoe themselves? At one point, Jerri starts shrieking in victory and should really never do so again, since the ensuing facial contortions aren't pretty and won't help her acting career unless she's going the female Jim Carrey route. When Kucha finally begins the third leg by boarding the second raft, they pitch into the water while trying to maintain balance. It appears that Michael is standing, which tips them over, but perhaps he was standing to balance them. Kimmi, who was holding the torch, makes a valiant effort to keep it above water long after her head has submerged, but it's no use. By this point, Ogakor's on the beach. Either Mitchell's not bothering to hustle because they already won, or he's just plain slow. He's also not much of a climber. Who appointed gangly Mitchell to these difficult tasks, anyway? Kucha finishes the race, which is commendable since Ogakor already won. Unless maybe they don't understand the rules and keep competing, like Kelly did twice last season. Peachy smirks as he tells Kucha that one of their own will be banished. Ogakor, meanwhile, is encouraged to commit celebratory arson on the lifeguard stand.

At Kucha Day Three, the team prepares for Tribal Council, and Rodger tells us that the previous day's immunity challenge was a big letdown. Jeff pukes, and Debb says she thinks that she, Rodger, or Jeff will get the boot. Alicia tells Jeff that Debb told her that Jeff wanted to go, and that he's ugly and his mother dresses him funny. It's hard to tell here who's telling the truth, and Jeff tells us in an interview that he's not going to trust anyone. This is edited to look like everyone is plotting against Jeff -- irrefutable proof that he's not going anywhere. In a random bit, Jeff says that he puked, and Michael asks if he "save[d] it." Ew. Kimmi tells us that Tribal Council is like going to court -- which is probably a better metaphor than Ramoaner's Judgment Day example.

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