I think the food challenge thing said you couldn't use your hands, not you had to use the chopsticks. So the ones who did chopsticks and/or leaned over to slurp it were OK --as long as they didn't pick it up. (Tilden: I used to do PR for a big poultry company. It was a challenge to try to explain the job of "milking" the male turkeys, who were too fat to breed the hens naturally. Tough choice over which is the worse job: turkey milker or frog fallopian tube gatherer.)
As for the guy saying he was scared of heights and people asking well then, why is he on the race? I'm sure he knew that there would be a height challenge or two, but there's always the hope that your partner will get that one. And maybe you go on the race anyway, hoping you can get past your fears.
Also, I guess we can add "abacus" to the list of things that the younger generation has never heard of. Like clocks with hands.