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The Importance of Being Eldest

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"The Importance of Being Eldest"
Flying your flag
Episode Information
Version: United States
Season: Thailand
Episode Number: 1/14 (057)
Original Release: September 19, 2002
Viewership (in millions): 23.05[1]
Ratings/Share (18-49): 9.6/28
CBS.com Summary: Link
Episode Chronology
Previous: The Sole Survivor
(previous season)
Next: The Great Divide
Subpages
Transcript
Gallery

The Importance of Being Eldest is the premiere episode of Survivor: Thailand.

Story

Day 1

Sixteen strangers were sent to a local fishing village in Thailand. The contestants were separated into two motor boats, each holding eight people of the same gender. Once the boats were docked at a beach, the groups convened in front of host Jeff Probst, who welcomed them. The host separated the group into two smaller ones according to their gender. After a series of introductions, Jeff called the oldest male and female contestants Jake Billingsley and Jan Gentry respectively to pick the tribe mates they want and which beach their tribes will be living on, with Jeff only hinting that one camp had a nearby water source but building shelter will be a challenge, while the other camp had a much further water source, but shelter is a non-issue. Jake chose the purple buff (which was the buff used for the tribe called Sook Jai), while Jan chose the orange buff (which was the buff used for the tribe called Chuay Gahn). With the group divided according to gender, the castaways had assumed that the groups they were on will be their tribes. Jeff dispelled all speculations by tasking Jake and Jan to select their tribemates, paying homage to Thai culture, where elders were given utmost respect. Thinking that they will be divided into tribes according to gender, Jeff revealed that the two of them will select their tribemates.

When Jeff said we are picking the tribes, I kinda get scared, and I'm not really a leader, and I was put in the spotlight, which kind of frightened me.

Jan Gentry


During the picks, Jan made curious choices right from her first pick, as she chose older contestants (with Tanya being the only Chuay Gahn member in her twenties), while Jake seized the opportunity by picking the younger, more athletic contestants, with Jake himself being the oldest member of their team, and many castaways showed preference for the Sook Jai tribe during selection. After the formation of the tribes, the castaways boarded on tribe-colored boats, each with identical number of supplies, and paddled their way to their camps. The selected tribes (according to order of selection) were:

Chuay Gahn
S5 jan t
Jan
S5 ted t
Ted
S5 helen t
Helen
S5 john t
John
S5 ghandia t
Ghandia
S5 brian t
Brian
S5 tanya t
Tanya
S5 clay t
Clay
Sook Jai
S5 jake t
Jake
S5 stephanie t
Stephanie
S5 ken t
Ken
S5 penny t
Penny
S5 jed t
Jed
S5 shiiann t
Shii Ann
S5 robb t
Robb
S5 erin t
Erin

While paddling to their camp, Sook Jai realized they were rowing with the stern in the front. Upon reaching shore, the over-enthusiastic tribe scattered around the beach, with some looking for other food sources, while others fooled around.

I have a crew that is totally enthusiastic and is ready to go, but they know nothing.

Jake Billingsley



When the Chuay Gahn tribe reached their camp, they were delighted to see numerous caves, making shelter a non-issue, especially during Thailand's monsoon season. With this, the orange tribe decided to forage for food sources. By nightfall, their food containers were filled with clams, oysters, and crabs.

Day 2

At Chuay Gahn, the tribe realized they have to find their water source. Confused of where their water might be, the tribe split themselves up to search for it, with John, Helen, and Tanya venturing the other side of the island, in which they became successful. While the other five members were approaching, John tricked them by making them believe that their water source would be the pool of dirty water he found meters from the actual water hole. Ghandia was upset by the joke.

At Sook Jai's camp, the purple tribe noticed their water source almost in an instant. But unlike Chuay Ghan, there was no cave to protect them from rainfall. The tribe squabbled over tasks. Jed tried to fish, but he eventually failed. Robb, started to complain about cutting wood for their shelter for hours. He vented his frustrations on Shii Ann, who walked him over.

My tribe's priorities right now are out of whack. Everyone wants shelter. I'll mention food and people will say, 'I want a floor.' We have to split work up.

Jed Hildebrand frustrated over his dysfunctional tribe.


He is messing with the wrong girl. You do not mess with the 'Shii-Devil' and not get the horns.

Shii Ann Huang



Day 3

After the tribes received Tree Mail, they met Jeff Probst for their first Immunity Challenge.

Chuay Gahn took an early lead when Jan finished the maze faster than Penny. Brian extended the lead by unhooking their second flag underwater quickly before Sook Jai even reached the station. Chuay Gahn's lead evaporated when they reached the last station, where Ghandia panicked and struggled at the slide puzzle to the point the rival Sook Jai caught up with them. Jed from Sook Jai got past Ghandia by solving the slide puzzle first, giving Sook Jai the lead. In the end, Sook Jai made a comeback victory, sending the defeated Chuay Gahn tribe to Tribal Council.

Chuay Gahn returned back to camp with Ghandia sobbing, blaming herself for the loss. The tribe made a group hug to console her, though Ghandia was still worried she might be the first to go. Meanwhile, Tanya also felt vulnerable because of her frequent vomiting.

I am a legal secretary; I work with facts. The fact is that we had a big lead, and the lead was lessened because I took too long to figure out that puzzle. So now I am feeling like it is time for a sister to go.

Ghandia Johnson


I kinda feel vulnerable. I have been sick and I can't control what my body does, but I am still going to try to stay here. My vote will probably be for John; from the first day a lot of the people have been upset with John because he's saying you not work hard enough, you need to do this. A lot of people are starting to get annoyed because he's taking the leadership role.

Tanya Vance



Jeff asked Ghandia what went wrong at the Immunity Challenge. Ghandia explained she anxiety struck in when Jed arrived. Clay then explained it was hard to deal with strangers, let alone in a harsh environment, which indirectly brought up John's controversial joke about the water source being a swamp. In the end, the joke was on John, as he received six out of eight votes, sending him home.

Challenges

Immunity Challenge: Flying Your Flag
The Survivors had to race around a small island by paddling a boat. Along the way they would have to visit several stations, where they would have to complete certain tasks or puzzles in order to receive a tribal flag. However, only one person from each tribe would be allowed to compete at each station. The first tribe to have successfully completed each puzzle, gather their flags and race back to the floating dock, would win immunity.
Winner: Sook Jai

Immunity Challenge: Flying Your Flag
Result Tribe Rope Maze Underwater Flag Knife Puzzle Rowing Only
Won Sook Jai S5 penny t
Penny
S5 jake t
Jake
S5 jed t
Jed
S5 erin tS5 ken tS5 robb tS5 shiiann tS5 stephanie t
Erin, Ken, Robb, Shii Ann, Stephanie
Lost Chuay Gahn S5 jan t
Jan
S5 brian t
Brian
S5 ghandia t
Ghandia
S5 clay tS5 helen tS5 john tS5 tanya tS5 ted t
Clay, Helen, John, Tanya, Ted

Tribal Council

Tribal Council 1:
Chuay Gahn
Voted
Against
Voter
S5 john t
John (6 votes)
S5 brian tS5 clay tS5 ghandia t
S5 jan tS5 tanya tS5 ted t
Brian, Clay, Ghandia, Jan, Tanya, Ted
S5 clay t
Clay (1 vote)
S5 helen t
Helen
S5 ghandia t
Ghandia (1 vote)
S5 john t
John
VOTED OFF:
S5 john bw
John Raymond

Voting Confessionals

(voting for Ghandia) Ghandia sweetheart, you have a killer smile. God bless you, it's a tough game. Have a great vacation.

John Raymond


(voting for Clay) The only thing I can say is, it's a financial move. I think you might be a little better off than the rest of us so maybe you don't need the money as much as us; but glad I got to know you.

Helen Glover


(voting for John) John, you're an awesome leader. I just felt there was tension and I thought in the long run, it would sap us of our energy and we need to be strong all the way without the tension.

Jan Gentry



Final Words

Well, I get the, uh, distinguished honor of being the first one voted off of Survivor 5. This is, um... uh, quite a surprise for me. I didn't think there was any alliances on the team but I guess there were and I just wasn't a part of it. I enjoyed all of my teammates, we had a good time out here. It's been an incredible experience, it's been wonderful. God bless you, and, uh, see you back home.

John Raymond



Still in the Running

 John
16th
S5 john bw
 Brian
Chuay Gahn
S5 brian t
 Clay
Chuay Gahn
S5 clay t
 Erin
Sook Jai
S5 erin t
 Ghandia
Chuay Gahn
S5 ghandia t
 Helen
Chuay Gahn
S5 helen t
 Jake
Sook Jai
S5 jake t
 Jan
Chuay Gahn
S5 jan t
 Jed
Sook Jai
S5 jed t
 Ken
Sook Jai
S5 ken t
 Penny
Sook Jai
S5 penny t
 Robb
Sook Jai
S5 robb t
 Shii Ann
Sook Jai
S5 shiiann t
 Stephanie
Sook Jai
S5 stephanie t
 Tanya
Chuay Gahn
S5 tanya t
 Ted
Chuay Gahn
S5 ted t

Trivia

Behind The Scenes

  • In an interview, John revealed that he kept himself busy by scuba diving, elephant riding, and mountain climbing while being sequestered.[2]

Other

  • This is the first time that the contestants were not divided into tribes by production. Instead, the contestants themselves, got to choose the tribes.
  • This is also the first time where the first challenge of the season was not fire related.

References

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