First up is Joe and Douche. I think we all know who will win this race. Yes, it's Joe by a mile, giving Jalapeño a nice early lead. It lasts until Stephen's turn, when he has trouble untying the puzzle piece knot and loses most of their lead. But Sandy is surprisingly fast against Sierra, so Jalapeño's slight lead stays intact. But then -- oops! Sydney's plan to flirt the knots apart doesn't work and Debbie takes the lead for Tempura. Brendan and Tyson repeat their turns for Tempura (once again, Douche does not step up to take another turn with his supposed physical superiority), and Tyson gets the last piece back with J.T. pretty close behind. Now it comes down to which team works together the best to solve the puzzle. Brendan quickly figures out that the last word is "immunity." But then, cruelly, we see that the pieces spell out lots of things, like "tribal" and "council," that aren't part of the solution. Jalapeño gets the first word, "escape," right, and it looks like they've got it, but somehow, Tempura gets it first and actually wins something!
While Jalapeño feel the burn of losing, Tempura gets the idol from Probst. He gives it to Erinn, who hugs it close. Debbie's hands are free to do a dated "raise the roof" in celebration. She is so lame. Probst dismisses them and asks J.T. if tonight's vote will be tough. J.T. says it will, because they've become close and work well together. Probst doesn't give a shit. Spencer gives us the post-challenge wrap-up interview, saying that they were really hoping to win the challenge and get a serious number advantage over Tempura, but now the teams will be even. Thanks for doing the counting for us, Spencer!
Jalapeño head back to camp. They talk about the loss and someone (I think Spencer) blames it on Tempura's beans being cursed. This is not completely ridiculous, actually. The beans took Candace out when she argued about them with Douche, and they took Jerry out by making him sick. Taj interviews that she wasn't surprised that the tribe lost since they were kind of due after winning so many times. Joe lights a fire and says to Sydney that he's almost glad that they lost, because now they can get rid of Sandy. Although, being slick about it, he doesn't say her name, just that the person he wants off's name "rhymes with Andy." Meanwhile, Taj, Sandy, Stephen, and J.T. go for a swim. Taj asks what they're going to do tonight, and says she doesn't want to go home. Obviously, neither does anyone else. Taj is my hero when she suggests that Sandy is stronger than Sydney, especially if they're basing it on the last challenge. Stephen says it'll be tricky to convince Spencer and Joe to vote for Sydney. As for reasons why they should keep Sydney in the game, Stephen says "she's a nice presence around camp." "We don't need eye candy. We need championships," Taj says. I'm still trying to figure out how Sydney's good looks are something that would appeal to Spencer. Sandy interviews that she's not sure what to think right now, but it was good to hear that Taj would rather keep her around than Sydney. Then again, Taj hasn't been around camp long enough to be annoyed by Sandy like everyone else.