Matty and Sugar return with the treemail, and the tribe quickly figures out that they're looking at some kind of horrible endurance challenge. That's pretty standard for the first challenge following a merge, although there was no merge this time. This makes me wonder if the non-merge was pre-planned, or the producers came up with this twist upon seeing Kota potentially run away with the game. Matty tells us that he knows how important it is for Fang to win this challenge, since he could very well be the next person to go if they don't.
The tribes arrive, and Probst acts all superior and says it looks like they don't have this game as thought out as they thought they did. Marcus says his game plan changed as soon as the merge didn't happen. Corinne says she still feels like a member of Kota, so much so that she's even gone as far as to rename her new tribe "Fang" (pronouncing it with a long "a" instead of the short "o." You know, like how Kelly insisted on saying it. That puts you in some great company, Corinne). That's so insulting to the old Fang members and pretty much tells Matty and Sugar exactly where they stand -- and Crystal and Ken, too, once the merge happens. Smart, Corinne. Probst asks Matty how, as the only person who's been on Fang for the entire game, Corinne's comment makes him feel. Matty says he's "trapped in the ghetto" and "whatever you wanna call it, I don't care ... I just wanna get out of there one day." Probst smiles because he hates Fang.
For today's challenge, players have to place a pole on the top of each hand. The poles are underneath a small board, so that the player must apply upward pressure to the poles to keep them under the board and stop them from falling. If you lower a hand, the pole will fall and you're out. Wow, that does not look like fun. The last player left wins immunity for his entire tribe. Probst helpfully clears that not-at-all-confusing statement up by saying that the first tribe to have all its members drop their poles will lose and go to tribal council. With that, the players take their spots and the game begins. "This challenge is officially underway," Probst says. Thinking that her poles are holding up rice, Crystal immediately drops them. "And after one second, Crystal is out," Probst says, disgusted. For real. I was disgusted, too. How far does Eric "the Eel" Moussambani live from Gabon? Is he close enough to make it over there and smack her? Even he is a better Olympian than she is. Sugar is quick to follow Crystal out. "After ten seconds," Probst snarls. He starts nattering on about the need to concentrate and how little food and sleep everyone has had until Susie drops her pole and angrily throws down her other one. I'm disappointed. I was hoping she would outlast Corinne and prove that her upper body strength was, in fact, superior. Unfortunately, Susie is easily distracted and finds it difficult to care about anything, so she lost her concentration.