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Sara M: A- | Grade It Now!
Play With Fire

Finally, the tribe arrives at the reward challenge. It's another two team contest, this time involving two teams of five who must use rope, four barrels, and two planks to get the entire team across a stretch of beach. If anyone's foot touches the sand, the entire team must go back and start over. The first to get all its members across wins a trip to "one of the most active volcanoes in the world," which does not sound like a reward to me at all unless you like being covered in molten lava. The winners will then taunt the Goddess Pele by sledding down the volcano and enjoying a picnic of nasty Survivor pizza, brownies, and soda. The teams are selected with a "schoolyard pick" since we've now learned that random selection is not a good idea.

On one team are Chase, the other Kelly, Jane, NaOnka, and Jud. On the other, we have Sash, Holly, Brenda, Dan, and Ben. Well, that is clearly Team Fail. Probst calls go and both teams take the wood planks, barrels, and rope and throw them on top of a nearby fire to protect it from the rain. Actually, they both dispense with the seemingly useless rope (I mean seriously, are they building a raft? No. Then the rope is useless) and try to construct a mobile bridge using the planks and barrels. What's stopping them from just using the planks? I would just have three people walk across putting one plank in front of the other, then send one person back to the start with the planks to come back to the finish line with the remaining two. That might be easier than what they're both doing now, which is balancing on barrels lying on their sides while trying to move other heavy barrels around. This is all very boring, so Probst entertains himself by making fun of Dan and his attempts to crawl across the plank. Chase's team decides they don't need to drag the fourth barrel along and leave it behind. Probst announces this strategy, and of course the yellow team decides to do it, too.

Soon, one of Team Fail's barrels rolls away and knocks half the team onto the ground, forcing them all to go back to the start. Dan takes a while to make it back, as he has been grievously wounded by hitting his hand on the plank, much to Probst's delight. Team Success continues to make its way to the end as Brenda tries to basically roll a barrel across the sand like she's in a log-rolling contest or something. "That'll work. For a minute," Probst scoffs. "Is this were life or death, you'd be dead," he then informs Team Fail, just to be an extra asshole. Jud is the first to reach the platform and so excited about it that he jumps off the plank and nearly causes the rest of his team to fall. But they stay up and soon the rest of the team join Jud on the finish platform and celebrate their victory. Ben is a giant tool, so he does a backflip off a barrel and onto the sand just to get attention. It works, as Probst singles him out for his "ceremonial loser dismount." Wow, Probst hates these people so very much. He congratulates Team Win on their victory and then informs them that the helicopter flying overhead is there to take them to their doom. I mean "active volcano reward." NaOnka says that she never thought she'd have a passport, let alone ride in a helicopter. Really? Is the idea of visiting another country still that exotic to people? I mean, she lived in Iowa, and that's probably scarier and more foreign than any other country.

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