A solitary flower on the edge of a cliff suggests impending doom. Or at least it's supposed to. Rob and Gina check the tree mail at Maraamu and return to camp. Vecepia reads, "Challenges of brain and brawn are nothing compared to this/ Your world will turn, your head will spin, as you stand upon the disk." Sean immediately thinks they'll be participating in a "wheel of fortune," but he's perhaps just confused about what game show he's on. Meanwhile, Rob proffers a more intellectual guess: the challenge "could be, like, if you get dizzy or not." Vecepia tells us in a confessional that the tribe threw some ideas around but then decided to "just shut up and wait." She says that they've made assumptions so far about every challenge and have been wrong every time, so this time they'll go in "expecting the unexpected." Maybe that means they'll go in expecting to win?
Peachy welcomes the tribes to the challenge. At first, I think Maraamu isn't wearing their buffs, but then I see that they are wearing them on their forearms, and the once-bright yellow buffs now just sort of blend into their grimy skin. Both tribes clutch at themselves as Peachy announces that today's challenge is not for reward or immunity, although it is "an activity of sorts." (And for the lazy members of Maraamu, surely standing on a disk for ten minutes is a full day's work, but more on that later.) Peachy says that some of the S13 will feel rewarded after the challenge, while some will, "as always," return to camp disappointed. He points out that there are thirteen little brown disks laid out in a grid on the ground, and advises the members of the S13 each to randomly pick a disk and stand on it. He tells them to "follow [their] gut[s]," which was an expression I had not yet missed this season. The others settle on disks pretty quickly, but Sarah half-pushes Paschal off one to claim it for herself.
Peachy announces that Zoe is first; he tells her to step off the disk, flip it over, and "pull on [her] new buff." While the others ooh and aah, Zoe turns over a blue buff and then just stares at Peachy with this great expression on her face: half-disbelief; half-threatening. Zoe could kick Peachy's scrawny butt from Marquesas to Pulau Tiga. Peachy repeats that she should remove her old buff, and decrees, "Nothing changes for you; you're still on Rotu." Gina's next, and she's still with Maraamu; then The Moppet, who also maintains his Rotu tribal status. Neleh is the first to discover that she's changed tribes; she looks upset, as does Paschal. Neleh heads off to Maraamu's mat, where she hugs Gina and tries not to act totally disappointed. John remains with Rotu, and he still looks bothered. Most likely, he cut himself turning over the disk. Vecepia finds out that she's now a member of Rotu and preaches, "God is still good, regardless," but I'm not sure that's what the former members of the Rotu tribe are thinking at this point. Rob is the next to flip over his disk, and he also finds that he will join Rotu; he high-fives his new tribe mates with a peeved expression on his face. I'd be peeved, too, if someone I'd just met called me "Robster." Actually, I'd be more amused than anything else, since my name is Joanna. Peachy coaches Kathy to "say hello to [her] new tribemates" as she discovers that she'll be leaving Rotu behind. When Sean learns he'll switch to Rotu, his transition is significant enough for the editors to pull out the trusty old gong sound effect. Vecepia looks pleased. Sarah is still a member of Maraamu and she says, "What's up, ladies?" as she approaches the group, causing Kathy to yell, "It's all about the chicks!" They hug. Robert will remain a member of Rotu, and it's at this point my viewing group begins to realize that the tribes may be new, but the 8:5 distribution will remain the same. Evil! Paschal pulls a Maraamu buff, and Zoe winks at him in encouragement. Neleh is happy, but Kathy is very weepy; I don't think it has anything to do with Paschal, though. Tammy is last, and will remain on Rotu, causing John to look very happy. And really, it's amazing; suddenly with its new and bigger members, the new Rotu tribe looks immense compared to the mostly female and feeble new Maraamu. Peachy points out that the tribes may have changed their members, but that the numbers have stayed the same, and then assures them that -- "like everything else in this game" -- their "destin[ies]" were planned long before they arrived on the island. That seems to suggest that the contest is rigged, so I'll wager that that's not what he meant. Even if it is true. Peachy doesn't doubt that some of the S13 view this as a reprieve (cameras close in on a grinning Gina) while others see this as a "sentence" (camera closes in on a stern-looking Paschal and weepy Kathy and Neleh). Peachy insists that the change-up is neither.