Morning of Day 9 dawns and we get right to the Reward Challenge. Under a blazing sun and clear skies the three tribes join on the beach where Brawn & Beauty get their first look at the reduced Brains. Both tribes were pretty surprised that Liz was voted out but there's no time to worry about that because it's on to the challenge.
All tribe members will need to race through a series of obstacles to a log that they'll need to dig and crawl under and then make their way to a large circle where they'll need to dig to retrieve three bags of balls. Once they have the balls they'll need to roll them up a carnival game ramp to six targets to win reward. First tribe wins a Survivor kitchen set of pots, spices, coffee and mugs, while the second tribe to finish will win a wok, oil, salt and pepper, and a knife and chopping block. It's the scaled down version of the big reward. The last tribe to finish gets nothing. The Beauty Tribe sits out Julia and Anna while Neil sits out for the Brains.
Game on as all three tribes hit the hot sand running, with the Brain Tribe dropping behind as the other two hit the log. It took no time at all for Cydney to get under and through that log for the Brawn Tribe, giving them an early advantage. Then Debbie gets through for the Brains and Tai for Beauty. Brawn maintains their lead and heads over to dig up their bags, followed closely by Brains, while Beauty has now dropped into last place. They're not that far behind and everyone is soon digging through the sand.
Brawn gets a bag, then Beauty gets a bag, then Brawn gets another . . . and everyone is starting to slow down in the heat. Debbie looks like she's melting into the sand. Time marches on and the heat keeps pouring down on them. After 45 minutes nobody has found another bag . . . then Brain finds a second bag and then a third. Brain races to the ramp where Aubrey starts rolling their balls. That's one, then two, then Peter switches in and gets a third.
Meanwhile, the other two teams are still slowly digging through the hot sand in search of their bags . . . almost like digging graves at this point. Everyone looks exhausted in the sand as Peter gets his fourth ball and switches out for Debbie to get the fifth and then Peter comes back to finish up with a blowout for the Brain Tribe to win Reward.
Caleb finally finds the second bag for Beauty and then Nick finds the third just like that and they slowly saunter over to the ramp with whatever energy they have left. Caleb starts rolling and gets the first one while Debbie is starting to wane and Joe asks if she wants to call for the medic. She says no, but he still wants to call and I'm wondering why they're all sitting out in the bright sun still. Debbie goes down and Joe calls Jeff over suspecting that she's suffering from heat stroke. Jeff calls in medical as Beauty keeps rolling and Brawn keeps digging. All this and we haven't even gotten to the title credits.
Debbie is out while medical tends to her. Doctor Joe is pouring cold water on her to lower her temperature and she says that it's working. Debbie knew she was suffering from heat stroke because of her previous training and she was slowly recovering. Back at the ramp, Beauty is working on their last ball while the Brawn Tribe is still digging.
Well, actually it looks like the only one who is digging is Alicia, with a little help from Cydney, while Jason and Scot sit on their butts. Alicia is trying to keep her tribe motivated while she digs and Scot tells her to keep cheerleading because it's what she's best at. Seriously? Maybe he meant it as a compliment but it didn't sound like it. He sounded like an ass. When she says she's trying to motivate the team he comes back with the fact that he got two bags and asks how many she got. Yep, he's an ass. Then Jason tells her to shut up and keep digging as he slowly moves some sand around while the Beauty Tribe works on getting the last ball.
All of a sudden Jason shifts his butt and, lo and behold, there's the third bag . . . no wonder Alicia couldn't find it where she was digging as he'd been sitting on it all along. It makes me wonder if he was doing that on purpose because this whole tribe has been ragging on Alicia since day one. Right off the boat Cydney told Darnell that she didn't like Alicia and yet she hadn't spoken two words with her as far as the show was edited. With their third bag they race to the ramp and the pressure is on for Caleb and the Beauty Tribe.
Jason starts rolling all the balls he can and gets one, then switches out for Scot who gets a second and then a third. All the while Caleb keeps trying to nail that last target with his last ball. Every time he overshoots he has to run around to the back of the ramp, grab the ball and race back to roll again. Focus. And he does, getting the last ball before Brawn can pull themselves out of the back of the pack. Beauty wins the second reward and Caleb wanders off to the shade to catch his breath.
Out on the sand, Debbie is starting to come around, while Cydney is curled up on a platform unable to move. Doctor Joe is happy to report that Debbie has cooled down nicely and is now taking some water, . . . speaking of which, one of his tribunates is bringing water over to Caleb who has now collapsed in the shade. Jeff notices that Caleb is down and surrounded by his tribe who are trying to fan him down and he calls for medical to look at Caleb and races over. Jeff starts calling for water as Caleb starts to become unresponsive and Jason helps to get Cydney out of the sand and brings her over to lie beside Caleb in the shade. Doctor Joe turns around to check on Cydney and Jeff calls for everyone on the crew who is not essential to filming to bring coolers, water, anything to help and you get to see a little bit of the chaos that goes on behind the scenes.
While medical tries to get a response from Caleb, Jason tends to Cydney and pours water on her to cool her down while Scot does pretty much nothing but glare at everyone. I've decided I really don't like Scot and his "I'm an NBA player and I'm better than you" attitude. It almost looks like he's scowling at Alicia like it's all her fault. At least Jason is doing what a teammate would do and trying to help, . . . something Caleb seriously needs because he's almost non-responsive. Jason keeps pouring water on Cydney who's shivering and crying while the medics cover Caleb in ice.
Jeff goes to Cydney and lets her know that Jason is taking really good care of her while medical is right next to them. At least Cydney can respond through her shivering. Everyone looks like they're done as Doctor Joe tells Jeff they need the helicopter. With that Jeff calls for the chopper for an vac and Debbie is wondering if they're going to lose two people. Fortunately, Cydney's temperature has come back down to normal but Caleb is still overheating.
Jeff tells Caleb that there are only two ways to get out of the game without being voted out and one of those is quitting, which he's obviously not doing. Unfortunately, the other way is when the doctor decides that there is no other option but to pull you from the game to keep you alive and as much as Caleb is shaking his head "no" it's not his choice. Caleb pushed too hard and this is it for his game. Jeff goes over to join the Beauty Tribe in the shade to see how they're handling it and they're all pretty emotional and overwhelmed by the whole event. Jeff tells them that Debbie and Cydney are both fine but Caleb is being evacuated out and he's out of the game. As Caleb is carried out on the stretcher Jeff has them stop for a moment so that his tribemates can say goodbye and then he's gone.
Jeff gives everyone an update on what's going on and how proud he is of everyone despite the situation caused by the heat and exertion. Jeff asks how the Beauty Tribe is doing and Tai says how much he's going to miss Caleb. When Jeff asks Jason if, after tending to her when she was down, he could still vote out Cydney, Jason talks about his background in the military and says that in those situations you tend to the needs of the one not the many and that even though they may not like each other this is the hand they've been dealt and they're family. Jeff sends them all back to their camps and tells them to get some shade, drink some water and wishes them luck.
On the upside Caleb made a full 100% recovery and is healthy enough to play again . . . and hopes to do so. You'd think that after that kind of self torture you'd decide against trying it again but Caleb's a cowboy and when he gets kicked off the horse he just gets back on. We'll miss him in the game but I'm sure everyone is happy he pulled through.
Back at the Brain camp Debbie is cooling down in the water with Aubrey and she's so glad that Joe called in medical to help her when he did. Over at the Brawn camp Alicia decides to let Scot have a piece of her mind. I'll give him credit for staying calm and telling her what he was thinking at the time and that he did realize she was helping but he's still coming across as an ass. Of course, Alicia won't let it go as they lie down in the shade and Scot goes on about when he plays with the NBA he's playing with the best of the best as opposed to playing with her. Not his words but that's what he meant. The two of them arguing sets off Jason who sides with Scot while Cydney just minds her own business. Smart girl.
Scot then tells Alicia that she's lucky she's still there because the next tribal . . . bye bye. That sets her off again which then sets off Jason who gets angry with her and then walks off to stop yelling. For a guy who is raising two daughters I'm not sure why he's treating her the way he is but maybe it's just the bad influence form Scot. Either way, all Alicia has done is dig herself a deeper hole in the sand and it's not looking good.
Day 11 and it's time for the Immunity Challenge. Apparently Scot and Alicia argued all the way through Day 10. Jeff asks how everyone's doing in light of the past events and how those events have highlighted how important it is to stay hydrated. Jeff then retrieves the Immunity Idols from Brawn and Beauty.
In this challenge two tribe members will race off into the jungle to a wooden ladder, climb up and release three puzzle pieces and then run back, . . . then two more tribe members will swim out into the ocean , dive down and retrieve more puzzle pieces and bring those back, . . . and then two tribe members will use all those pieces to complete a winding snake puzzle. The first two tribes will win immunity while the loser wins a date to Tribal Council. Beauty has Tai sit out for this challenge while Brain has Joe sit out.
Three tribes race into the jungle and Cydney and Alicia are the first ones to the ladder, followed by Beauty and Brains. Everyone is pretty even at this point as Beauty heads back with Brawn on their tail. As Peter brings up the rear he notices that they forgot a piece and he has to go back . . . not to brainy. Brawn is back first and Scot and Jason head into the water, then Beauty goes in as Brain finally gets back and then they can head out. Brawn is already out there untying their pieces before anyone else gets out there and they're already on their way back but for some reason once they hit knee deep water they've slowed to a walk and allowed Shel and Nick of Beauty to pass them by. It's almost like Scot and Jason have decided to throw the challenge but don't want to look too obvious about it. So much for that idea.
Beauty gets back with all their puzzle pieces and Anna and Julia get started on the puzzle and then Scot and Jason hand the puzzle pieces to Cydney and Alecia for the Brawn Tribe. The Brain tribe has finally gotten all their pieces and are swimming back in but is it too late? Probably not because it looks like Cydney has left Alecia to her own devices on this, allowing Brains to get back into it and start on their puzzle. Peter switches in to help with the puzzle and . . . Boom! they got it and win Immunity. Beauty makes a swap and Nick moves in to take over on the Beauty puzzle while Alecia is almost working alone for the Brawn Tribe. With as little help as she's been getting it's no surprise that Beauty wins Immunity and Brawn will be going to Tribal Council.
Jeff asks what the feeling is like for Alecia and she says it's not very good and that she tried, at which point Cydney interjects with "we tried," but I didn't see much "we." Granted Cydney put more effort into it than the guys did but it looked like she was doing just enough to make it look like she tried. When Jeff asks if that comment says something about the tribe Scot mentions that he thinks Alecia has to always make it about herself, but apparently he doesn't see that same problem in himself. A little bit of self-delusion goes a long way in the NBA I guess.
Jeff figures that Tribal is going to be fun. He takes the Immunity Idol to the Brain tribe and then he takes the other Immunity Idol to the Beauty Tribe, commenting on their refusal to visit him at Tribal Council, and then he sends them off. Back to the Brawn Tribe and Jeff can tell this is not a happy tribe. Jeff asks Alecia what the odds are of her surviving tribal and Scot, ever the pompous ass, holds up a "zero." Jason says they could vote now, but Jeff needs Alecia to agree and she's not giving up so back they go to camp.
At Tribal Council the unhappy Brawn Tribe arrives and Alecia sets herself down right between Scot and Jason. This girl is not going to let these big guys bully her for one second. Everyone says that nothing has changed and Jeff points out that the reason that Alecia is on the Brawn Tribe is because she doesn't take anything from anyone for any reason. I don't see a problem with that, and Alecia agrees. She then points out that the guys haven't earned her respect anymore than she's earned theirs and Scot says that if he hasn't no one can. Yep, delusional. Every fault he sees in Alecia is mirrored in himself, they're both stubborn, opinionated, and . . . Jeff doesn't know what to say, . . . but he still roots for Alecia.
With that, it's time to vote and Cydney is up first. Even in the vote Scot feels the need to get in the last word (much like Alecia would have). Jeff gathers the votes, calls for the Hidden Immunity Idol that Alecia should have had if she hadn't confided in Cydney and then had Jason basically steal it right from under her, and then reads the votes. Alecia, Scot, Alecia . . . and no surprise Alecia. The fourth person voted out is Alecia, who takes it well and even wishes good luck to Cydney. Why? Because she's a team player.
With Alecia gone, Jeff points out that the one thing that's been consistent in the tribe has been the three remaining members and he wonders if that will be enough to get them to the end. I don't think so. If they don't merge next week, we'll be saying goodbye to Cydney. Jeff bids them farewell and that's it for the episode.
Next week, to save Cydney's butt, it looks like the tribes merge and it'll be time for Scot to find someone else to scowl at. The episode closes out with a narration from Caleb who had a great experience and appreciates how great the doctors were and he's looking forward to doing it again. I'm sure he will. In the meantime, something I'll be doing again is getting ready for my Amazing Race review . . . as well as catching up on my BBCan review as soon as I can. See you all real soon.