Finally, the last immunity challenge. Probst explains: each player has a small wooden figure and a stick with a platform on it for the figure to stand on. Every two minutes, they must add another foot-long segment to the pole, thus making it harder and harder to balance the figure on the platform. If your figure falls, you're out, and the last person wins immunity. The contestants place their statues and begin. Soon, they have 30 seconds to "add another section of pole," as Probst says. Heh heh heh. This requires reaching over to the table, grabbing a section, fitting it in "the slot" and moving both hands at or below the white line at the bottom of the above pole section. All contestants do this successfully a few times in a montage until they're at five feet and Mick loses his statue while using one hand to fetch another pole section. So the guy they took with them because he was their best chance at beating Brett is out first. Natalie is out right behind him, also unable to keep her pole still during the transition. Which means... BRETT MIGHT ACTUALLY HAVE A CHANCE! That's so boring for the rest of the episode, and yet it would be kind of great to watch Li'l Russell's game go down in flames. Mick and Natalie can only watch (and in Natalie's case, pray) that Li'l Russell will win this for them. Brett gulps visibly like a cartoon character. Probst smirks. Li'l Russell is focused.
And then, the wind picks up. That makes things difficult for both Li'l Russell and Brett, but amazingly they both manage to keep their poles steady enough and their statues on the platform. "Good recovery," Probst says, already bored. I'm not -- this is actually a nail-biter. It's one of the only suspenseful moments we've had all season. It's time to add another pole section. Li'l Russell waits for Brett to start adding first, hoping he'll lose his statue in the process. It's a good plan, actually, except that Brett gets his section in and now Li'l Russell has to rush to do the same in the time limit. He does -- barely. Brett's pole (heh heh) wobbles quite a bit while Natalie looks very pleased, no doubt certain that the Lord has provided this. Somehow, Brett manages to recover. I have no idea how. "Nice recovery," Probst says, although you know that inside he's pissed because he wants Li'l Russell to win with all his heart and soul. Soon, Li'l Russell is starting to have problems with his pole. Mick and Natalie look on in horror, but then, as we see in a wideshot, Brett's statue falls. He's out. And if you pause that wideshot, as I did on my parents' big HDTV (home for the holidays!) you can see that Li'l Russell's hand is CLEARLY on the section of pole ABOVE the white boundary. Like, blatantly so. So much so that I think they must have re-shot this or perhaps Brett's statue fell in the middle of the transition period and for some reason they edited that part out of the show.