Next up, Cindy/Brooke/Danni versus Steph/Lydia/Brianna. With the women, the athletic ability is, at best, a draw for Yaxha. In this particular matchup, they're clearly outgunned in terms of athleticism. One of the interesting pieces of this particular round is how Brianna just stands there and doesn't move, like, at all. ["That would be me, I'm embarrassed to say. It's why I failed Gym in Grade 8." -- Wing Chun] Lydia, having failed to grasp the rules, gets the ball and runs with it, so that won't work. Danni scores, so Nakum is up 2-1.
Now, Blake/Brandon/Bobby Jon versus Rafe/Gary/Brian. Nakum scores again, and they're up 3-1. Jeff reminds them all that it's 114 degrees outside. I'm sure they appreciate his bringing it up like that.
The next round is Blake/Bobby Jon/ Brooke versus Rafe/Gary/Amy, with Amy limping. Nice. That's an even matchup. Rafe actually manages to score, though, much to my surprise, so now Nakum is only up 3-2. Shows you what I know.
"Men on men!" Jeff announces. And...okay, then. It's always lingered right on the edge of turning into just that kind of show, really. Judd/Bobby Jon/Blake versus Jamie/Brian/Gary. Jamie manages to score, so now we're tied. This challenge is taking way too long.
Next round: Danni/Cindy/Brandon versus Amy/Lydia/Rafe. Danni scores, and Nakum leads 4-3.
Now Cindy/Margaret/Danni play Steph/Lydia/Brianna. As they prepare to go out, Steph asks Brianna and Lydia if they know what a pick is. Heh. They don't. She tries to give the two-second explanation, but it's totally not happening. Again, Steph needs someone to throw it to once she gets the ball, and again, Brianna just stands there. Lydia isn't doing much better, but at least she seems to be trying. It's not editing, either: when they're showing Steph and Danni, you can actually see Brianna just standing in the corner, completely motionless. I don't know what possessed her, I really don't. It's like Jeff said "Go!," but some part of her heard, "No!" Like, "No movement! No twitching! No trying!" The tribe starts yelling at Brianna, but she doesn't move. Steph ultimately has to give the ball to Lydia so that Steph can at least move herself and pray for a pass, but Lydia immediately gets the ball stolen by Margaret, and before you know it, it's over. Among other things, Danni is about eight feet tall which, in this particular challenge, is way too much to overcome when you combine it with everything else. So Yaxha will be going back to tribal council.
Later, it is not a good time at Yaxha. Steph gives an interview that starts out okay as she expresses her frustration at being on a tribe that "doesn't seem to be too good at winning in the beginning, and someone sprains their ankle." You'll remember, she did have an ankle-sprain on her last tribe as well. She tells the tribe about how dehydrated she felt during the challenge, and how she was trying not to cry so that no more water would get out. Heh. See, if she were talking more like that -- that's kind of the way I remember her from the first time. Steph interviews that Amy has a lot of strength and is now injured, while Brianna just kind of stands around. She explains how Brianna's head was "completely up her butt" during the challenge. "I had to literally pull it out," she adds. By which she means "not literally," I certainly assume, because I really think they would have shown that, complete with a little popping sound. And then there's Lydia, whom Steph loves, but who is also not great at challenges. The thing is that Steph is basically right that her tribe is completely overmatched athletically -- I don't disagree. And the injury to Amy, who actually has some ability, really sucks. Steph's also right that Brianna reached a level of lump-like inertia that one rarely finds during a challenge, unless you're talking about one of the really Zen ones where your task is not to move. "Part of me just wishes, like, why, just once, why can't I just be on a great tribe?" Steph wonders. Ugh. It's such a bad thing to say. For one thing, most people only ever get to be on one tribe, so complaining that no matter how many times they bring you back and put you in the game, your tribe still isn't good...that's not going to make you any friends. Furthermore, Ulong certainly appeared to have it all over Koror in athleticism until they inexplicably kept getting their asses kicked. A lot of these challenges have been really close, too. The web challenge was super-close, as was the tent one earlier in this episode, and without Danni's height advantage and the fact that all the guys on Nakum who are left are athletes or are at least big like Judd, Steph's tribe could have competed in the thing today. She's not losing so badly that it's time to conclude that her tribe can't win. Also, it's just snotty, which is sad, because I don't like seeing Steph be snotty. I know what she means, and she's legitimately frustrated, but she's coming off way too self-pitying.