Speaking of Brandon, he leads the Favorites tribe into the challenge, holding up the immunity idol with a Bikal buff on it for all to see while yelping with pride in a move sure to intimidate the opposition. Just one problem: The opposition isn’t even there to see it. (The tribe that lost the previous immunity challenge always comes last so the others can see who was kicked off.) Anyhoo, I’ve got good news and bad news for you challenge fans out there. Which do you want first? Well, characters in a movie always take the bad news first so let’s start there. The bad news: It is another reward/immunity combo platter. This marks the second straight episode we have not had two challenges in an episode. (I asked Jeff Probst about this in this week’s Q&A and I encourage you to go read his answer as to why they’re only giving us one challenge per episode.) Okay, now the good news, which is really good news. Once again: no puzzles! This is actually remarkable when you think about it. This marks our fourth challenge of the season and we have not even had one single leg involving puzzles. After the past few years of Puzzlepalooza, this is a more than welcome respite.
The entire challenge is a big ball of awesomeness. The contestants must swim out in water to a large bamboo cage, climb over it and in it. Then they must open an underwater gate to the cage and drag a submerged chest through that gate and back to land. But not unlike a Ginsu knife collection — WAIT, THERE’S MORE! Then they must place themselves and the trunk on a track, use a grappling ring to retrieve three missing sections of track, traverse across them and push the chest to victory. Damn, I got tired just typing that.
Making an already awesome challenge even awesomer (new word) is the fact that the lead changes hands multiple times. The Faves are the first ones to the cage thanks to Laura’s “backstroke in the wrong direction,” but then the Fans get their trunk out of the gate first. The Faves then catch up in the water somehow (even with Cochran basically walking a few feet behind them), and take the lead by getting up on the track. Then the Fans take the lead, then the Faves. The lead goes back and forth so many times I’m pretty sure Jeff Probst is suffering from a severe case of whiplash. It’s like a classic battle between Larry Bird’s Celtics and Phillip Sheppard’s Lakers. Who will make the last shot to win? Turns out it is Brandon as the Favorites enjoy their second straight victory. And we are all winners for having been able to witness such an incredible competition. Except for the Fans, who are technically still losers. Sorry about that, Fans.
NEXT: Shamar can’t keep his mouth shut. (Surprised?)