Notes: Only one challenge, Ciera sits out.
Was the final puzzle fair, though? We think the challenge department made a blunder here, in choosing a puzzle design with bilateral symmetry. Ta Keo's solution looks fine, except that it's wrong. This is due to two things: (1) having a design that mirrors itself across the midline, and (2) the logistics of having the puzzle look the same from the front and back (to make filming easier). That creates Ta Keo's situation in which the left half, when reversed, is exactly the same as the right half. Because the contestants are not shown the solution before they do the puzzle, they have no idea whether it's symmetrical or a repeat of the same image. The only clue Probst gave was that "the design flows."
Here's the problem, though: The solution doesn't actually do that. There is nothing in the correct design connecting the two halves across the middle. Clearly, Bayon's solution is better, because Ta Keo's has a branch in the middle that ends in mid-air. But it's hard to claim Bayon's is the only possible solution. What if Ta Keo had inverted the symmetry, and had the branches run into each other in the middle (shown below). Would that have been wrong, too? Because based on Probst's clues, it's more right.
Make better puzzles, Survivor.
- Shirin received 5 votes, from Spencer, Peih-Gee, Varner, Wiglesworth, and Woo.
- Spencer received 4 votes, from Shirin, Terry, Abi-Maria, and Kelley.