Survivor: Thailand

Episode Seven: Assumptions

By Dan Krovich


The early action takes place at Sook Jai, as they return to camp after voting out Robb, and I must say I'm already beginning to miss everyone's favorite dimwit. Although the five remaining tribe members have voted as one at every tribal council, it becomes obvious that there are some deep tensions amongst themselves. Penny and Erin don't trust Shii Ann, and by extension, they're worried about Ken because he seems friendly with her. For their point, Ken and Shii Ann don't trust Penny because they think she's sneaky. Ken then tries to picture Penny in high school. Everyone is trying to set themselves up for the expected merge.

Tree mail comes with arts-and-crafts supplies. Each tribe gets five different colors of body paint, one for each person. Each tribe member picks his or her own color and then decorate his/her body with that color paint. If they all moon Jeff Probst and yell, "Freedom!," I'm out of here. But no; instead they are just doing a little color coordination. To get to know each other, the blue Sook Jai person gets to spend time with the blue Chuay Gahn person, red with red, yellow with yellow, etc. This sounds like some sort of segregation to me. Haven't they learned that "Sneetches are Sneetches, and no kind of Sneetch is the best"?

Two of the couples have further instructions to go to one of the camps so they can see how each other live. Ken and Helen visit Sook Jai. As they talk about their respective tribes, they play it close to the vest. They are both smart and don't want to give the other team any information, so they are careful not to spill the beans. Shii Ann and Clay, meanwhile, are visiting the Chuay Gahn camp. Beans. Spilling. All. Over. The. Place. Shii Ann lays all of Sook Jai's dirty laundry out for Clay, revealing all the tribe's plans and particularly selling out Penny. The tribes reconvene and decide that they will all go live together at Chuay Gahn.

The ten survivors are now all living together at one camp. They spend some time together in the water washing off the paint, and Shii Ann really seems to be enjoying herself in this new situation. Ken seems happy for her that she is feeling at home here. Penny is still very suspicious of the "one big, happy family" stance. Shii Ann and Ted discuss whether their racial differences isolate them from the rest of the tribe. Dude, the Sneetches, the Sneetches. Shii Ann continues to sell out her tribe-members.

That night they crack open the wine. We get the amusement of watching an old lady fall over drunk, and Brian singing off-key, though he sounds pretty much the same as when he is sober. Brian stumbles off onto the beach and Ted goes with him so they can talk strategy. Then Brian serenades Ted. No, wait; that's vomiting, not singing.

Chuay Gahn has seen Shii Ann blatantly declare herself to be the weak link, so they continue to work to get her on their side. Now Shii Ann was supposed to be the smart one, playing the game with her brain, but she is easily manipulated, and is moving closer and closer to joining Chuay Gahn to vote out Penny to get her back for hurt feelings. You do know what this means, don't you? Yes; it was Robb's first instinct that has turned out to be correct.

Now strategically, she knows that Ken and Jake are on her side, so grinning and bearing Penny to stick with tribal loyalty would seem to mean that she would have a good chance to make the final three if Sook Jai could get the advantage of this tie. Joining up with Chuay Gahn at this point would seem to get her to sixth place, but it would be a crapshoot after that, so Shiv Ann in her ultimate wisdom decides to go with that plan to get Penny out. She tells Ken her plan, and he explains to her why she should stick to the strategy step-by-step, completely logically, and it makes sense. Shiv Ann sees this as manipulation and intimidation coming from one of the two people she has admitted has been on her side since day one.

It's time for the immunity challenge, and everyone is anxious because this will be the first individual immunity challenge. They arrive at the challenge site and Jeff explains the rules. Those rules involve the fact that he never did say that the tribes have merged; just that they will be living together. They are still two separate tribes and will be competing for tribal immunity, not as individuals. Close-up on Shiv Ann. DOH! The challenge involves the two tribes being locked up in cells. They have to use sticks from the cell to retrieve 15 keys from outside the cell, unshackle themselves, and dig their way out of the cell. Chuay Gahn wins the immunity challenge, so Sook Jai will head to tribal council.

Just so we're on the same page: Yes, when they thought they were merged, Shiv Ann turned on her tribe in a matter of minutes. She was willing to join Chuay Gahn to vote Sook Jai out for her own selfish gain. Not only that, instead of keeping that a secret just to be safe, Shiv Ann blabbed her Benedict Arnold strategy to her tribe mates. The pre-vote interview pretty much lays the groundwork that Shiv Ann is going to pay for her traitorous ways. Shiv Ann lamely attempts to play the pity card, then the strategy card that she should be kept because she knows the ins-and-outs of Chuay Gahn because she has infiltrated them, and then tries to convince them that she hadn't ever really made up her mind to turn on them. All is to no avail, and Shiv Ann gets the boot four to one. Penny can barely contain herself from doing a jig.



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Friday, October 19, 2018
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