Jeff greeted the players with his patented: “Come on in, guys! Today’s challenge is an team cross country race. You will have to make your way over some rough terrain, crossing a river on a rope bridge, climbing a hill and swimming across a small lake. The first team to get all its members back to the finish line will win both reward and immunity and, once more, the losing tribe will have to eliminate two players. Want to know what you will be playing for?”
“No” said everyone in concert, earning them a dirty look from Jeff. Still, he simply went on, knowing that his editing team would take care of the jokers.
"The winning tribe will be sent by helicopter to a resort on a nearby island where you will enjoy all the amenities including a spa, a massage and a dinner. So, Survivors ready?”
“Wait” said Mick, “don’t we get to sit a couple of players?”
“No, everyone is participating in the race.”
“But doesn’t that give us a disadvantage?”
Sandra turned to Mick and pointedly asked: “Who are you calling a disadvantage?”
No one had an answer for that so Jeff smiled! It was as if he had just scored a point in his battle to surprise the veterans.
“So, Survivors ready? Go!”
Having no other option but to follow the little white flags that were outlining the course, the survivors raced out in a jumbled mess. Soon the better runners, Ian, Aras, Mick and Danni for the Nachos, Yul, Greg and Dreamz for the Doritos, took the lead but the cameras were more interested in the back of the pack. There, Sandra, Katie, Becky and Jenna were battling each other not to be last. Between those two pelotons is where we found Todd, Earl and Mike and these guys knew they had nothing to win by going faster and nothing to worry about being overtaken so they took their time and talked about the upcoming merge. The only thing the editors let us hear was Mike asking Todd if he thought he’d make it if his team lost. Todd answered he was working on it. They wished each other luck.
Earl gave a confessional about the race: “I always say that it’s best not to be in first or last place. Right in the middle worked for me in Fiji and it works in real life too: You keep your job that way and avoid the big reponsibilities!”
The scene cut back to the 4 women battling to stay out of last place. Sandra was having a hard time, falling face first after trying to jump over a ditch. She got up and said: “That ditch was a b*tch, that jump made me look like a chump. I’ll be in last place at the end of the race.” However, she soon swam right passed Jenna who was taking her time to wash herself in the stream: “We don’t have fresh water near our camp so I told myself this was a great chance to get clean.”
In front, Ian was well ahead of everyone but he had problems crossing the rope bridge. He flipped over, falling head first in the water. Coming up to the bridge, Danni and Aras saw Ian's flip and they broke out laughing. Ian recovered quickly however and got across still in first place.
At the end, it came to a sprint between Katie and Becky to avoid last place, Becky just made it ahead of Katie but then the camera showed the Doritos on their mat: Greg was missing! Everyone had crossed the finish except Greg. Where was he?
The camera finally showed him slowly strolling along in the woods, well off the course. When he finally made it to the finish line, Jeff asked: “What happened?”
“I got lost” said Greg but in an interview later he explained something that would never make in on air: “What I loved of season 1 was that we could explore our island. This time, we can barely make it more than a couple of hundred yards away from camp. I took this chance to relax and look around. Great place to visit!”
With that, Jeff could only say: “The Nachos win immunity!”
Mike couldn’t resist: “WE ROCK! WE WON! YOU LOST! NANNER NANNER!!!”
The Nachos had a great time but I will have to let you imagine the shower scene that included Danni, Aras and Ian…
Day 18 – Camp Doritos
The tribe was facing another Tribal Council which meant they would be trailing 8-4 to the Nachos just before the merge.
Yet Jenna had a confessional: “I think it's going well, It's difficult to ever feel confident because you really have no idea what may be going on behind the scenes. This game keeps you on your toes. I wanted to stay in long enough to be on the jury and I think I will be able to do that. The next stage is coming soon and I think we’ll have the numbers if our Nacho allies flip like we’ve been planning.”
Seeing that this was the case, the crew didn’t waste any time getting the Doritos over to Tribal Council.
There, Jeff asked a few questions, knowing that trying to shake things up was useless for now. The decision had been made: Becky and Yul wouldn’t make the merge.