Hi Michel! Nice seeing ya again.
Very few posters dislike bringing back returning players as much as I, but actually I'm semi-cool with the Coach/Mentor idea so long as none of them go into the game as players. And they do get to complete...even if it's only against each other.
If memory served me correct I believe the F4 HOH Competition in Britney's season involved trying to navigate Christmas ornaments through an obstacle where smaller hands/fingers would be an advantage and she still failed miserably.
I suppose you're right that Production could devise something to try to give Britney an advantage so it's not their "creativity" I would underestimate...it would be their ability to whip up something that unique on just a day or two notice. But with Bogie, Janelle, and Dan you have above average challenge competitors who I think would beat Britney even if they did bring out a balance beam or small perch.
I'm not surprised the ratings are the lowest ever. Every season you have at least a handful of HGs who are very good challenge competitors. This season you really only have Shane and Frank. The rest of the hamsters this year are social butterflies and/or drama queens/kings. Clearly a recipe for disaster.
Sure viewers like drama, but at the end of the day BB fans want to see a game being played where the best competitors emerge victorious.
As for your Pearl Island exmple:
That challenge was designed more to eliminate Burton whose burly arm was unable to slide down into the canister to retreive the balls. The other four Survivors had no problem reaching down. Darah emerged with the victory because, once Burton was eliminated, she was competing against IMO the most pathetic and inept F3 in Survivor history with Fairplay, Sandra, and Lil.