This Tribe Will Self-Destruct In 5, 4, 3…

Episode Report Card
Miss Alli: A | Grade It Now!
The Finish That Was Weirdly Satisfying

Okay, so...the challenge takes place on this course that has eight stations surrounding a circle in the middle. Getting around between the stations and the center requires you to do all kinds of different obstacles, including a crawl-through, walking on planks, and so forth. It's basically a ropes course, and at each of the eight stations, you pick up a bag of puzzle pieces. When you're done, you put the puzzle together. Jeff informs the contestants that, in thirteen seasons, this is the hardest puzzle ever. I originally thought it was Adam who said, "Oh, man," like a puzzle is the single thing he was hoping most frantically would not happen, but it's actually Ozzy. It was funnier, and more inadvertently self-aware, when it was Adam. I prefer moments when people accidentally insult themselves to moments where they go for the false modesty.

Ready? Go! Interestingly, Ozzy falls behind at the beginning here, and Yul surges into the lead. However, they're all starting at different stations, so it's really hard to conclude anything about what's happening. Ozzy eventually surges and gets ahead, but you'll notice that Yul and Ozzy wind up fairly close to each other. So in this lengthy and physical part of the challenge that would seem custom-made for Ozzy, he and Yul finish in a strikingly similar length of time. In fact, Ozzy doesn't even have his bags untied when Yul returns with his. Of course, Yul would have every reason to go all-out on this challenge, because Adam is right on his heels. If you accept some of what Yul said later -- that while he might well not have been able to beat Ozzy at anything anyway, his goal was always to stay right behind Ozzy in case Ozzy fell or something -- then it makes sense that he would never have let up in this challenge, because Adam was close. Obviously, they really didn't want Adam to get it and wind up in front of the jury at the end. So Ozzy, Yul, and Adam are all working on the puzzle. The best part is where Adam hammers on the puzzle with his fist, like that's going to make it fit. (Miss Alli's Mom: "Come on! Hit it, Adam! Hit it harder!") Everyone works and works, and the first to finish the puzzle is...oh yes, it's Ozzy. So Adam is...out of luck, in a big way. Ozzy gets the necklace again. Tribal council tonight, and somebody goes home.

As I threw myself into an overly analytical and probably wrongheaded dissection of the consequences of all this, just as I usually do, I wondered whether it was actually really lucky for Yul that Ozzy won immunity here instead of Yul, in addition to it being lucky that Adam didn't win. If Yul had won immunity here, there would be huge temptation to boot Ozzy. Huge. And Becky'd admitted already that she had it on her mind. Suppose Becky decided to push this, and she got together with Yul, and he went along, and they got together with Adam and booted Ozzy? Then look at the F4, and look at Adam with a one in four chance at winning immunity and getting in front of the jury. How would Adam do on that final challenge they're going to have later? I mean, he probably wouldn't win, but...I don't think we know. Of course, this is the problem they created by booting Jonathan instead of Adam, and if Yul had won immunity here, I think it would do nothing but hurt his chances of winning the money, not that he could have entirely understood this at the time. But not that I would put it past him to have understood it, either.

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