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Surviving Guatemala, Episode 7: Who Deserves It More?by David Bloomberg -- 10/28/2005
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Last week, both tribes had to vote somebody out. Unfortunately, it was Margaret instead of Judd and Brian instead of… well… anybody else. When I interviewed Brian, we found out several important things, among which are that he’s a fan of RNO and that he did a lot more scheming than we actually saw on TV. I’m not sure why producers left his “3-2-1 plan” on the editing room floor, but I really wish we would have seen it – and seen why Gary and Amy decided to go against him. Unfortunately, we got to see more of Judd ranting and raving like a lunatic instead. Lucky us.
Speaking of the lunatic, we begin this new episode on night 15 at Nakum with Judd thanking everybody for keeping him and booting Margaret. He tells us that Margaret just pushed his buttons until he couldn’t take it anymore, so he had a “little outburst” and put her in her place. Jeez, I hope he had the sense to be embarrassed when he watched last week’s episode.
He assures us that he’s not a loose cannon – he’s always happy and a “big teddy bear.” Uh huh. He continues to rant around the fire, saying if somebody says something bad about him, he’s not just going to sit there – but he’s not going to get up and hit them either.
Jamie is thinking about the game, noting that Judd’s behavior doesn’t bother him – it makes him want to keep Judd around because he could take Judd to the finals and easily win.
The next morning at Yaxha, Bobby Jon is taking his shirt off and talking about how painful it is. As we’re wondering why, he explains that he was injured pushing the big ball, so apparently he has an open scrape/cut/wound there and over night it became pretty much pasted to his shirt. Let me just say this: Ew. But Bobby Jon says everybody is banged up so they just have to think about the pot of gold at the end.
Brandon and Amy compare bruises as Brandon explains he has “open festering sores.” Let me repeat: Ew. But when he goes to a challenge, he’ll forget all about them.
Which is our cue to cut to a challenge. The tribes get to see who was voted out, and Rafe – who you’ll recall got to see the Nakum Tribal Council up to the vote – looks rather surprised at Brian’s departure. After all, everybody was singing Brian’s praises during the Council. Dammit, Rafe, why didn’t you give Brian immunity?! Sigh.
But that was then, this is now. Host Jeff Probst says the challenge will require teamwork and a lot of dexterity. Four tribe members will wrap 30 feet of material around their bodies and then unspool it as they move downfield towards the finish. Oookay.
Alright, here’s how it works. The material is wrapped around a pole. The first person has to unspool it from the pole onto their body. When they are done, they hook to a second person and unspool the next pole around both their bodies. Etc. Then when all four are wrapped, they have to move down the field and unwind. When a person unwinds, they unclip and go to the finish line. A fifth person, called the winder, is also involved to help people wind the material around them or keep their balance. First tribe with all five people across the finish line wins.
What are they playing for? Probst talks about how the Maya discovered all sorts of things – but the one that’s important here is chocolate, and that’s what they are playing for. Also, the winning tribe can do a zipline canopy tour of the Guatemalan jungle.
Judd sits out for Nakum (good choice – he’s strong, but perhaps not so dexterous). Amy is the winder for Yaxha, Jamie for Nakum. And they’re off! The winders run in to tag the first person to wind. Jamie gets to Stephenie first and practically tosses her around the pole. Amy gets Brandon going. Stephenie is done first and joins up with Lydia to wrap both of themselves. Brandon joins Gary. Stephenie and Lydia are getting caught up while Gary and Brandon seem to be doing well. The difference may be that Stephenie and Lydia are face-to-face while Gary is behind Brandon. This also allows them to move more quickly to the next pole when they’re done, since they are both facing the same direction.
Both tribes get to the third pole, with Yaxha a bit ahead. Bobby Jon doesn’t seem to understand how Gary and Brandon did well, as they are now getting tangled. Still, they keep their lead over Nakum, who have added Rafe.
Yaxha adds Danni while Cindy joins Nakum. Nakum finishes the final wrap first and Jamie heads to the finish. Yaxha is close behind with Amy leaving. Both teams must now unwind all they’ve wound. Yaxha takes the lead back as they get Danni unwound. Nakum isn’t far behind, with Cindy leaving.
Nakum falls and can’t get up. Bobby Jon unwinds for Yaxha. Then Gary unclips. Rafe finally gets undone for Nakum. But it’s too late as Brandon unwinds and trots to the finish line to win reward for Yaxha.
Yaxha is taken directly from the challenge to their reward, heading across bridges high up in the jungle trees. From there, they clip onto zip lines, which is making Amy a bit nervous because she’s afraid of heights. She wonders what happens if she gets stuck in the middle. The zip line guy replies simply, “You won’t.” It doesn’t seem to calm her down much.
Amy is practically crying as they send her down first (now why would they do that – send somebody else to show her it’s okay!). Lo and behold, she makes it alive and doesn’t get stuck. She calls it an unbelievable experience. Each Yaxha member follows and give their own version of “unbelievable” when they finish.
When they arrive at their destination, there is a “chocolate fest” in the words of Bobby Jon: Cake, pralines, strawberries dipped in chocolate, cookies, etc. Brandon says he’s never pigged out so much on chocolate before. But that’s not enough – the tribe is apparently allowed to bring back whatever they can carry, and they try to carry pretty much all of it (I would too!).
The next day, we drop by Nakum. Rafe has created a deck of cards out of leaves and paint. Alrighty then.1 2 3 Next-->
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