It's time for the reward challenge, taking place today on a wide swath of beach. Once we have dramatically swooped down the river, everyone arrives and stands on their mats. Peachy shows up to bring the explanation. He tells them that they should all have learned by now to appreciate the value of fire. Today's reward challenge is a fire contest. Basically, they've been given flint and steel, a magnifying glass, and plenty of wood of all kinds. There are four ropes that they have to burn through by putting fires under them. Once you build one fire, you're allowed to try moving it to where the next rope is. The reward today? A working refrigerator. Wow, that's a good reward. And what's it stocked with? Why, with tasty product-placed Coca-Cola, of course. Vanilla Coke, Cherry Coke...unfortunately, not Protein-Shake Coke, which is what they actually need. Everyone claps, though, because who doesn't love Coke? I mean, besides dental hygienists. (Killjoys.) ["Hey! Coke? What happened to the Mountain Dew of seasons past? Where did the Pepsico love go?" -- Wing Chun]
The teams prepare, and Jaburu sits out Jenna due to the current imbalance in team size. Then Peachy gives the signal to go. Everyone starts running around picking little starter-size sticks while the music turns tense and jangly in the background. Joanna scrapes the Jaburu flint, and gets the fire to spark ahead of the boys. "Thank you, Lord, you're so good to me," she mutters as she putters around adding sticks. It's very windy (God: "Yoooou're weeeeelcome"), so as Tambaqui continues to work with the flint, Jaburu tries to shield their nascent fire from the wind. Finally, the boys (principally Dave, Matthew, and Roger) get their flame to flicker. The women, however, already have the first rope burning. Before you know it, their rope pops, and Jaburu jumps into the lead. Peachy tells them that they can move as much of the existing fire as they can to the next location. The guys continue to tend their fire, and get up close and personal with each other trying to form a wind barrier. Quickly, though, the women's second rope burns through, and they look to be on a roll. Just as they start to move to the third rope, the men finally burn through their first. It appears that what happens here is that the women do a lousy job of moving the fire from the second spot to the third, because this is where it starts to fall apart for them. The women appear to move only a small amount of stuff to the new location, and then they put a big frame of heavy sticks substantially above it. No, no. The guys, on the other hand, are picking up speed, partly due to their enthusiastic embrace of...well, each other. I originally though someone said, "Your hand's on my leg, man," but I think it's actually, "The hairs on my leg, man..." as in "they're getting singed." Either way, hee. Alex says, "Don't worry about it." Once again, either way? Hee. Butch puts his hand on Matthew's knee to help shield his delicate leg hairs. Quickly, the guys get their second rope burned. As they work on their third, Dave starts to appear to be in actual distress. "I'm burnin', I'm burnin'," he says, as he huddles close to the fire to shield it from wind. The other guys gather around and try to block for his legs a little. If you look at the shot as they pull back, you see all these guys in a huddle with their hands all over each other's legs. Sexy! It's like a prison movie with more kerchiefs.