The Chain

Episode Report Card
Joanna: B | Grade It Now!
A Bug in the System

Peachy advises the remaining four competitors to "take off [their] tops," and it's a good thing Rob Base(ment) is not still in the competition since those words probably sent him to a whole different, happy place. Five beetles are revealed as the next dish, and no one -- not even Matt -- seems particularly happy about it. Peachy insists that they're "medium-sized -- they're not large," adding that they're "baked" and "crispy." Matthew is fairly methodical in his eating, and although the beetles present the biggest difficulty he's faced so far in this challenge, he and his steely dead eyes prevail. Christy is shaking her head again and bending over as if she's about to vomit. She covers her mouth and bends over again, while a perplexed Matthew looks on with his hands on his hips and says, "Come on, Christy." Deena finishes next, leading Peachy to announce, "Deena is in. Christy is throwing up."

With Christy and Alex eliminated, Deena and Matthew advance to the final course, which merits display on a special Pier One tray. As Peachy busses their plates, he tells Matthew, "Specially prepared for you, Matthew." Alex repeats from the sidelines, "They ordered ahead just for you, Matteo!" to which Matthew oddly responds, "Yeah, thank God." I have this mental picture of the crew, after watching Matthew's nonchalance with the first three rounds, digging in the dirt and looking for the nastiest things they could find. We see a giant squirming beetle/caterpillar, which Deena proclaims is "nasty-ass." She slowly backs away from it while the sidelined members of the tribe want to know what it is. Matthew holds it up while contemplating it, announcing, "It's alive…it's just a big old nasty…" Alex interrupts to ask again what it is, and Matthew responds, "It's a big grub and it's alive and it's got big teeth." What an apt description of HeiDDi! As Matthew examines the insect's "really sharp claws," Peachy orders him to "put it back down now," as Jenna proclaims it "foul," while Alex yells, "Sweet, dude!" Peachy explains that it's a beetle larva found in the trunks of dead trees. Ew. He insists that they're very common, and the only difference between this and what they've previously eaten is that it hasn't been baked or barbecued. They've also removed their pinchers, so it won't hurt going down. Deena is clearly struggling with this -- or maybe she's throwing the challenge because getting rid of Alex has become more important to her than getting rid of Matt? That just came to me.

In any case, Peachy begins the challenge, and Deena makes an annoying, exaggerated gesture of reaching for the beetle larva with both hands, before pausing and pretending to hand it off to Matt. It's not like she could have won anyway even if she'd tried, because Matt swallows the thing whole. Peachy is amazed that he didn't even bother to kill it first, while Matthew creepily mimes the bug crawling down his stomach with his fingers. Just as his hands are approaching a place no man wants a bug to go, the camera cuts away as Peachy exclaims, "That thing is still workin' its way down!" Matthew hopes his digestive juices will battle the bug and win. Meanwhile, the tribe is totally flummoxed by Matthew's amazing bug-eating abilities, and Rob Base(ment) waves his arms in the air and in a hysterical falsetto warbles, "This guy is crazy!" Matt beats his chest while the rest of Jackée hails him, except for Deena, who is either really pissed off or acting really pissed off.

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