Whoa, it’s Tree Mail time already. You know what that means: Get your camera out because we are about to come across an endangered species — an actual reward challenge! Talk about getting back to your roots. What’s next: some awkward Jeff Probst narration and a cheesy trunk of cash at Tribal Council? (Go check your season 1 DVDs, folks.) The Tree Mail lets the tribes know it will be a blindfolded challenge, so naturally it is time for Sergeant Tasha to take over and put her tribe through basic training once again. Because that worked so well last time! (Yes, they won that challenge, but only because of the puzzle after falling waaaaaay behind in the water-tossing portion they practiced back at camp.)
So off to the challenge we go, where one person will call out to a blindfolded pair to collect five items and then hoist them up to the caller before going and getting a flag to hoist up as well, and I don’t know why Survivor keeps making me write the word "hoist," because the word "hoist" is close to the word "moist," and the word "moist" freaks me out. And then, in a twist almost as shocking as the Survivor: Race War edition (a.k.a. Cook Islands), Jeff Probst asks the contestants if they’d like to see what they’re playing for? Not know, but see. And what do they see? Chickens! First place gets three hens and a rooster, while second place gets a dozen eggs. Brawn sits Woo and Sarah out, and Beauty sits Morgan.
I’m not sure what the exact name of this challenge is, but I’m pretty sure it’s something along the lines of “LJ Gets Hit In The Nuts.” And really, that’s an understatement because LJ does not just get hit in the nuts once. The dude just repeatedly runs his groin region right into pole corners, to the point where I seriously doubt if he can still have children. This is no accident, as far as I’m concerned. You notice how those poles are all positioned exactly at crotch level? Challenge producer/penile pain enthusiast John Kirhoffer knows exactly what he is doing here.
Unlike J’Tia. Once again, rice’s mortal enemy is blowing it for her team because while Spencer and Kass are bringing back the materials in a timely fashion, J’Tia keeps failing on her end when it is time to hoist — DAMMIT, THAT WORD AGAIN! — them up to Tasha. It is because of her inability to pull a rope and lift objects in the air that the Beauty tribe takes first place. And it is because of J’Tia that the Brawn tribe is able to come all the way back and — with Probst practically frothing at the mouth and yelling “Unbelievable!” — actually steal second place and the dozen eggs that come with it. Just a positively epic collapse by J’Tia. Spencer throws his blindfold down in disgust…which one has to assume is promptly picked up and used by LJ as extra padding for his sore man parts.
The Beauty tribe takes their spoils back to the beach, and finds a clue to the hidden immunity idol sitting right on top. Remember when producers used to actually bother to hide these things deep down in the reward goodies? Now they are so desperate for every clue and every idol to be found they don’t even bother. But there is some confusion regarding their reward. “Does, like, the rooster have to get it on with one of the hens to make eggs?” asks Alexis in the most Beauty tribe moment of the Beauty tribe thus far. “I was wondering that,” responds one of the other women. Chicken biology is then explained to Alexis, but she still doesn’t believe it, stating that the other people who say they know are just faking it when they don’t really know. And now is the point in the recap where I point out that Alexis attends Northwestern University. Good school! I have tons of friends who went there. And I now plan to make fun of each and every one of them. (First up: EW’s own Dan Snierson.)
NEXT: Throwing a challenge — and watching it get thrown right back at you