At Pagong, the military men walk in the water along the coast to get to the camp, which definitely does not seem like the path of least resistance. Why would you get your shoes wet if you didn't have too? Gretchen and Jenna greet them like it's a little dinner party or something. Jenna says, "Welcome to Pagong. We've got spirit, yes we do! We've got spirit, how 'bout you!" But without the cheer part. The soldiers stick around this camp longer and I'm not saying it has anything to do with the lovely ladies on this team or naked Richard on the other team. Gervase says that he wants to be challenged and pushed and made to work hard for the victory, and I guffaw out loud and scream, "Tell me another one!"
Just Peachy gives the same speech he gave at the beginning and claims that "no one can predict the impact of unification." As Tagi comes down the beach, we see that Rudy's finally succumbed to wearing a kerchief. I can just see Colleen and Jenna getting hold of him next week, dressing him up in a sarong and parading him down the beach. We're actually not beaten over the head with the logistics of the race this time, but rather informed as we go along. The first leg of the race, which involves running and climbing, is Joel and Jenna versus Sean and Kelly. At an obstacle called "Blown Bridge," Richard and Sue for Tagi and Gretchen and Greg for Pagong will join in. Rudy sits this one out, as do Colleen and Gervase, who prefers to compete when his team can't see he's screwing around. Joel takes off way ahead of the others but Kelly gets ahead after the wall-scaling portion of the race. Gervase is in the background yelling, "Come on, Joel. Pick up the pace, baby," which is what he should have been telling himself during the Bungle in the Jungle. Joel seems to be lagging big-time at this point, but maybe it's because Jenna forgot to throw the swing rope back for him. My roommate entered the room at this point and said that the competitors looked like they were barely jogging, but I'm pretty sure they worked hard; it seemed like a strenuous race, particularly in an island climate. At about the same time, both teams reach the "Blown Bridge," which consists of four boards of various lengths which each team must use to move across without touching the sand. Rudy acts as the commentator and relays back to the Pagongers that they're "still shifting boards around." Gervase continues coaching from the sidelines and is extremely irritating as he whimpers, "Never panic. Never panic. Never panic," which is an acronym for "even in crap," which is exactly where the teams are right about now. Joel says not to worry about something and Gretchen snaps at him. As Rudy shades his eyes, he gurgles to Colleen and Gervase, "We possibly could be ahead." Tagi crosses the bridge with Pagong close behind. They have to run through some kind of obstacle course with their arms behind their heads and Richard is not much of a hurdler. Susan lags behind for Tagi and Pagong catches her but apparently unlike most of the other challenges so far, the entire team does not need to catch up in order to move ahead. For the last leg, the teams have to pull a pole bearing their flag from the ground and insert it elsewhere. At this stage, they're neck-and-neck. Tagi barely wins and they all hug each other and seem to like each other. Rudy comes running over and says, "Outstanding, outstanding" like the good grandfatherly figure he's become to me. Sean hugs Richard and puts his head on Rudy's shoulder for like twenty seconds while Kelly finds Susan because she hasn't hugged her yet. As testament either to the good moment of the show or my inner sap: I actually tear up here. After finishing this task, Tagi gets sent to Snake Island and are advised to "look for the snakes to find the idol." After they've fended off a few graphics-enhanced creatures to claim the idol, Sue pats Rudy on the back. Aw.