Kelly, on the other hand, suffers her first real freeze-up of the race. She gets turned around so she doesn't have her feet against the wall, and when she can't walk down with her feet planted, she feels like she doesn't know how to get down. "I'm stuck," she panics. Her breathing gets quick. "You're all right, you're all right, you're all right," Jon calls up to her reassuringly. She lets out a scared holler.
Commercials. Face it -- there is no further interest to be squeezed from the grilled chicken sandwich concept. It is time to move on.
Kelly continues to have trouble breathing. "Step out from the wall," Jon advises her. "Oh, my God," she continues to wheeze. "Good, good, let the rope go," he says. Reichen, right beside them, is finishing the descent. "Awesome!" says the overwound Chip. They take off as Kelly continues to struggle, not actually very far from the ground. "Step on the wall," he tells her, and Kelly does, and this begins to get her reoriented. BuffJon voices over that this was the first time on the race that he felt like Kelly ran into something that did hang her up a bit. "You could see a little bit of fear on her face," he understates as we see her holler, "I hate this! I hate this!" She voices over that she was "frantic...scared to death." She explains that she panicked, which made her clutch the rope so tightly that she couldn't let herself down. Jon reminds her to let the rope go, and she does, and she starts to come down again. "Perfect," he says to her. "Catch me, catch me, Jon," she says. He reaches up toward her. "I gotcha," he says, and she lands in his arms. Aw. I thought that was kinda sweet. My feelings about him are decidedly mixed, but I thought he handled that really well from a partner perspective. He's smiling at her as he sets her on her feet, and then he voices over that Kelly does whatever it takes to get done. "I didn't like that," she says unhappily as she gets undone. See, I don't have any objection to people being scared. I object when you seem to be manufacturing your fear for effect, or when you want to quit before you even try things, or when you start screaming at your partner about how much you hate him because you're scared. But the scared part is very human to me, and I didn't fault her for that alone. She kept going, which is what's most important, and she didn't seem to collapse into begging for someone to rescue her, unlike some past winners I could name.