Survivor: Thailand

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Survivor: Thailand
Presented byJeff Probst
No. of days39
No. of castaways16
WinnerBrian Heidik
Runner-upClay Jordan
LocationKo Tarutao, Thailand
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes14
Original networkCBS
Original releaseSeptember 19 (2002-09-19) –
December 19, 2002 (2002-12-19)
Additional information
Filming datesJune 10, 2002 (2002-06-10) – July 18, 2002 (2002-07-18)
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Survivor: Thailand is the fifth season of the American CBS competitive reality television series Survivor. The season was filmed from June 10, 2002, through July 18, 2002, on the island of Ko Tarutao in Thailand, and premiered on September 19, 2002. Hosted by Jeff Probst, it consisted of the usual 39 days of gameplay with 16 competitors.

The two initial tribes were Chuay Gahn (Thai: ช่วยกัน "to help one another") and Sook Jai (สุขใจ "happy heart"). They eventually merged into the Chuay Jai tribe when eight contestants remained. At the live finale, Brian Heidik was named Sole Survivor, defeating runner-up Clay Jordan by a jury vote of 4-3. The season introduced several new gameplay twists. The first occurred on Day 1, when the two eldest contestants, Jake Billingsley and Jan Gentry, were given the power to pick their own tribes. This was the first time in Survivor history that the two initial teams were not preselected by the producers. The second was an offer of mutiny on Day 14: each of the twelve remaining contestants was given the chance to leave their tribe and join the other if they wished, though no one took the offer. The third was the fake merge: with ten players remaining, the two tribes moved onto one beach. They took this to signify a merge, but at the next challenge they were informed that they were living on one beach, but not yet merged.

The complete season was released on DVD exclusively through Amazon on October 25, 2011.


List of Survivor: Thailand contestants
Contestant Original tribe Merged tribe Finish
John Raymond
40, Slidell, Louisiana
Chuay Gahn 1st voted out
Day 3
Tanya Vance
27, Gray, Tennessee
Chuay Gahn 2nd voted out
Day 6
Jed Hildebrand
25, Dallas, Texas
Sook Jai 3rd voted out
Day 9
Ghandia Johnson
33, Denver, Colorado
Chuay Gahn 4th voted out
Day 12
Stephanie Dill
29, Ozark, Arkansas
Sook Jai 5th voted out
Day 15
Robert "Robb" Zbacnik
23, Scottsdale, Arizona
Sook Jai 6th voted out
Day 18
Shii Ann Huang
28, New York City, New York
Sook Jai 7th voted out
Day 21
Erin Collins
26, Austin, Texas
Sook Jai 8th voted out
1st jury member
Day 24
Ken Stafford
30, Brooklyn, New York
Sook Jai Chuay Jai 9th voted out
2nd jury member
Day 27
Penny Ramsey
27, Plano, Texas
Sook Jai 10th voted out
3rd jury member
Day 30
Jake Billingsley
60, McKinney, Texas
Sook Jai 11th voted out
4th jury member
Day 33
Ted Rogers, Jr.
37, Durham, North Carolina
Chuay Gahn 12th voted out
5th jury member
Day 36
Helen Glover
47, Middletown, Rhode Island
Chuay Gahn 13th voted out
6th jury member
Day 37
Jan Gentry
53, Tampa, Florida
Chuay Gahn 14th voted out
7th jury member
Day 38
Clay Jordan
46, Monroe, Louisiana
Chuay Gahn Runner-up
Brian Heidik
34, Quartz Hill, California
Chuay Gahn Sole Survivor

Future appearances[edit]

Shii Ann Huang competed on Survivor: All-Stars.

Season summary[edit]

The sixteen contestants were split into two tribes of eight by the two eldest contestants, Jake and Jan; this was the first time in series history that the tribes were not preselected. Jake's tribe, Sook Jai, was composed of younger players and took an early lead. Chuay Gahn, despite losing five of the first seven challenges, remained mostly cohesive barring a conflict between Ghandia and Ted, whom Ghandia claimed made unwanted sexual advances toward her. This led to Ghandia being voted off in the next Tribal Council, resulting in Chuay Gahn gaining momentum to win the next two immunity challenges, evening the playing field at five members per tribe.

On Day 19, the tribes were instructed to live on the same beach. Assuming a merge had occurred, Shii Ann from Sook Jai decided to switch allegiances to the Chuay Gahn alliance under the presumption that she was being ostracized by her tribe. However, the players were shocked to learn that they had not yet merged and were only living on the same beach; Shii Ann was subsequently voted off after Sook Jai lost the immunity challenge. Sook Jai was never able to recover from their numerical deficit, and they were systematically picked off one by one once the merge finally happened on Day 25.

With only Chuay Gahn members left, they were forced to turn on each other. Brian, who had made separate alliances with three of the four other people used his influence to manipulate the vote to his liking. First, he turned the tribe on Ted, who was perceived as the biggest physical threat. Then, he targeted Helen and successfully convinced Clay and Jan to follow suit. After winning the final immunity challenge, Brian decided to take Clay with him to the finals, eliminating Jan.

Both Brian and Clay were met with heavy criticism from the jury. Brian, who had made separate alliances and formed friendships with both Helen and Ted, was lambasted for his callous approach, but he was praised for his challenge performances and strong work ethic. In comparison, Clay was felt as not deserving for his lack of work ethic, and he was accused of making racial slurs against Ted. In the end, the jury voted 4-3 for Brian to win, awarding him for his control of the game.

Challenge winners and eliminations by episode
Episode Challenge winner(s) Eliminated Finish
No. Title Original air date Reward Immunity
1 "The Importance of Being Eldest" September 19, 2002 None Sook Jai John 1st voted out
Day 3
2 "The Great Divide" September 26, 2002 Sook Jai Sook Jai Tanya 2nd voted out
Day 6
3 "Family Values" October 3, 2002 Chuay Gahn Chuay Gahn Jed 3rd voted out
Day 9
4 "Gender Bender" October 10, 2002 Sook Jai Sook Jai Ghandia 4th voted out
Day 12
5 "The Ocean's Surprise" October 17, 2002 Survivor
Chuay Gahn Stephanie 5th voted out
Day 15
6 "The Power of One" October 24, 2002 Sook Jai Chuay Gahn Robb 6th voted out
Day 18
7 "Assumptions" October 31, 2002 None Chuay Gahn Shii Ann 7th voted out
Day 21
8 "Sleeping with the Enemy" November 7, 2002 Chuay Gahn Erin 8th voted out
1st jury member
Day 24
9 "Desperate Measures" November 14, 2002 Brian Clay Ken 9th voted out
2nd jury member
Day 27
10 "While the Cats are Away" November 21, 2002 Brian
Helen Penny 10th voted out
3rd jury member
Day 30
11 "The First 30 Days" November 28, 2002 Recap Episode
12 "A Big Surprise... and Another" December 5, 2002 Helen[b] Ted[c] Jake 11th voted out
4th jury member
Day 33
13 "The Tides are Turning" December 12, 2002 Ted
Brian Ted 12th voted out
5th jury member
Day 36
14 "Slip Through Your Fingers" December 19, 2002 None Brian Helen 13th voted out
6th jury member
Day 37
Brian Jan 14th voted out
7th jury member
Day 38
15 "The Reunion" Jury vote
Clay Runner-up
Brian Sole Survivor
In the case of multiple tribes or castaways who win reward or immunity, they are listed in order of finish, or alphabetically where it was a team effort; where one castaway won and invited others, the invitees are in brackets.
  1. ^ For the first time, the players would be bidding for items as tribes. Sook Jai and Chuay Gahn each received US$1,000 in American currency.
  2. ^ In a twist, the Survivors' family members competed in a food-eating challenge on behalf of their loved one. Helen's husband Jim won the challenge and the right to spend 24 hours at the Chuay Jai camp.
  3. ^ In another twist, the players and their loved ones competed as teams for immunity. Ted and his younger brother Aljuan won, thus earning immunity for Ted.


No. in
TitleCBS recapOriginal air dateUS viewers
Rating/share (18-49)
611"The Importance of Being Eldest"RecapSeptember 19, 2002 (2002-09-19)23.059.6/28

The sixteen castaways were dropped off at an island separated by gender, causing some players to think they were going to be divided into tribes of men and women. As the castaways introduced each other, Jeff warned them not to assume anything in the game. He then told the two eldest castaways, Jake and Jan to step forward. Jeff shocked the castaways by announcing that Jake and Jan would choose their own tribes and pick a name. Jake filled his tribe with mostly younger castaways. His tribe consisted of himself, Erin, Jed, Ken, Penny, Shii Ann, Stephanie and Robb. His tribe was "Sook Jai"; Thai for happy heart. Jan filled her tribe with mostly elder castaways. Her tribe consisted of herself, Brian, Clay, Ghandia, Helen, John, Tanya, and Ted. Her tribe was "Chuay Gahn"; Thai for to help one another. As the tribes arrived at their respective camps, Tanya became ill from what the tribe believed was dehydration, leading Chuay Gahn to search for a water source. After Helen, John and Tanya found a water source, John pulled a prank on his tribe by telling them a small pool of saltwater was going to be their water source, which didn't go well with some of his tribemates. Meanwhile, Sook Jai focused on their shelter, but Jed wanted to focus on catching fish, isolating him from his tribemates. Robb and Shii Ann argued over the tribe's division of labor.

  • Immunity Challenge: The tribes must race around a small island by paddling a boat. As they go around the island, they must solve puzzles along the way. One castaway will be stationed at each puzzle. First tribe to assemble their puzzles and retrieve their tribe's flag wins immunity.

At the immunity challenge, Chuay Gahn had an early lead, however Ghandia struggled with her puzzle, allowing Sook Jai to pull ahead and win immunity. After Chuay Gahn lost, Ghandia felt vulnerable after struggling with the puzzle. Tanya also felt vulnerable due to her illness. However, the vote ended up going against John, who was sent home.

622"The Great Divide"RecapSeptember 26, 2002 (2002-09-26)21.728.6/21

At Chuay Gahn, Helen and Jan paddled out to retrieve water from their water source, however they did not bring their map and got lost. Meanwhile, the men of Chuay Gahn put Clay's luxury item, a golf club, to use by playing golf in a makeshift golf course. At Sook Jai, their main priority was still to build their shelter. Instead of working on the shelter, Jed and Stephanie gathered food and water. While the other Sook Jai members feasted, Jed, Robb, and Stephanie chose to sleep on the beach. As the tribe awoke to a cold, rainy morning, Stephanie got ill from sleeping out in the rain all night. Meanwhile, Chuay Gahn celebrated Helen's 20th wedding anniversary.

  • Reward Challenge: The tribes must choose one castaway to act as a guide, while the others will be blindfolded. The blindfolded tribe member must carry their guide in a palanquin, while the guide helps them navigate through a course in order to retrieve tribe-colored bags. First tribe to complete the course and collect all of their bags wins a lantern, a fishing line, and hooks.

At the reward challenge, Tanya guided Chuay Gahn and Penny guided Sook Jai. Sook Jai ended up winning reward.

  • Immunity Challenge: Each tribe will be given a large, floating lotus flower puzzle that's missing six pieces. The six missing pieces will be tethered to the puzzle, each floating at an equal distance from it. First tribe to untether all of their puzzle pieces and assemble their puzzle wins immunity.

Sook Jai also won a tight immunity challenge, sending Chuay Gahn to Tribal Council for a second time. At Tribal Council, Chuay Gahn couldn't ignore Tanya's illness, and she was sent home.

633"Family Values"RecapOctober 3, 2002 (2002-10-03)20.608.5/21

At Chuay Gahn, Ghandia accused Ted of grinding against her at night. Ted later approached Ghandia and explained that he mistook her for his wife. Ghandia accepted his apology.

  • Reward Challenge: The tribes must race across a bamboo course over the water. In the middle of the course was a "contact zone" where the castaways were able to knock other castaways off the course. At the end of the course were two tribe-colored boats filled with baskets. The tribe members must steal baskets from the opposing tribe's boat. If at any point a tribemember was not in the "contact zone" when they made contact their opponent, they're disqualified from the challenge and their tribe loses a basket to their opposing tribe. First tribe to steal ten baskets wins a reward of Two Thai Red Beret Special Forces soldiers who will visit the winning tribe's camp for a day to help improve living conditions.

At the reward challenge, Jed, Ken, Robb, and Stephanie were disqualified for various reasons causing Sook Jai to lose their lead. Chuay Gahn ended up winning reward. Still bitter towards Ted due to the grinding incident, Ghandia approached Helen and Jan in order to oust Ted. Helen later told Brian about their plan to eliminate Ted. Brian approached Ted in order to hear his side of the story, causing Ghandia to become enraged. Meanwhile, Sook Jai's fishing net drifted away. Jed and Robb were blamed as they fell asleep when they were responsible for the net. Jed and Robb searched the water but failed to find the net.

  • Immunity Challenge: The tribes were given three stations and one temple made up of six large puzzle pieces. The tribes must transfer the six pieces from their first station to their third. Once the tribes have all their pieces at the third station, they must reassemble the temple so it is identical to the original. First tribe to assemble their temple wins immunity.

Immunity was won by Chuay Gahn, sending Sook Jai to their first Tribal Council. At Tribal Council, Jed was perceived by his tribe to be lazy, and was sent home.

644"Gender Bender"RecapOctober 10, 2002 (2002-10-10)21.168.6/22

After returning from Tribal Council in which Jed was voted out, Stephanie was upset at Sook Jai's decision. Meanwhile, Ghandia felt that she was on the outside of the Chuay Gahn tribe.

  • Reward Challenge: Before the challenge, the tribes received a 10-foot-tall (3.0 m), 250-pound (110 kg) dummy to be decorated. For the challenge, the tribes had to race around an island while carrying their dummy. First tribe to make it around the island and cross the finish line wins bananas and a mystery food prize, which turned out to be four chickens.

Sook Jai won the reward. After Chuay Gahn returned to camp, the women felt that the men weren't pulling their weight around camp. Meanwhile, Sook Jai enjoyed their bananas and discovered their mystery reward, four chickens.

  • Immunity Challenge: The tribe members must work in pairs to solve two puzzles, with the goal being to match a picture in front of them. First tribe to correctly assemble their puzzles wins immunity.

Immunity was also won by Sook Jai. After Chuay Gahn lost immunity, Ghandia attempted to form an alliance with the women to target Clay. She approached Helen and revealed that Jan was in on the plan, meaning Helen would be the swing vote. At Tribal Council, Helen voted with the men, sending Ghandia home.

655"The Ocean's Surprise"RecapOctober 17, 2002 (2002-10-17)N/A8.3/23

While Brian and Ted set out to catch fish, they took the opportunity to form an alliance. At Sook Jai, Robb stepped on a stingray and stung his foot. Meanwhile, Helen entertained the Chuay Gahn tribe by singing. While Helen entertained her tribe, their canoe floated away. Clay blamed Ted as he felt he had not secured the canoe enough. As the tribes gathered for the Survivor Auction in lieu of a reward challenge, Jeff offered the castaways the opportunity to change tribes. After a minute, no one accepted the offer, so the auction began.

  • Survivor Auction: Both tribes were given $1,000.00 (USD) to spend as a team on the items presented in the auction.

After returning to camp, Brian and Helen, without the tribe's canoe, swam out to replenish their water supply.

  • Immunity Challenge: The tribes were each presented with an entire pile of mixed fish. The tribes had to sort the fish into their respective bowls. The fish were Barramundi, Travelly, Squid, and Silver Fish. The first tribe to correctly sort their fish the quickest wins.

Immunity was won by Chuay Gahn. After returning to camp, Shii Ann and Stephanie discussed the upcoming Tribal Council. Feeling vulnerable, Stephanie wished she had accepted the offer to switch tribes. In the end, Stephanie's fears proved true, and she was sent home.

666"The Power of One"RecapOctober 24, 2002 (2002-10-24)20.88.4/22

After returning from Tribal Council, Robb began to feel vulnerable after his ally Stephanie was eliminated. Meanwhile, having to swim three miles for fresh water, the canoe-less Chuay Gahn tribe became frustrated. Some tribe members took turns looking for the boat, but they all returned empty handed.

  • Reward Challenge: The tribes must start by selecting one member to be a ball launcher. The remaining tribe members, who will be situated at four different stations, must use wicker baskets in order to catch balls thrown from their tribe's launcher. At the same time, they must try to prevent the other tribe from catching their balls. First tribe to catch five of their balls wins a Thai feast consisting of shrimp, pineapple, vegetables and wine.

At the reward challenge, Robb quickly caught four balls for Sook Jai, however Chuay Gahn quickly evened the score. In the end, Sook Jai caught their fifth ball first, winning reward. As Sook Jai enjoyed their feast, Brian and Ted explained the importance of winning the next immunity challenge so the tribes would merge at five members each. Meanwhile, Ken and Robb hiked out into the jungle and discovered a bat-filled cave. They explored the cave and settled their differences.

  • Immunity Challenge: There will be 21 flags placed in a circle. Taking turns, the tribes must gather simultaneously one to three flags. The tribe that takes the final flag wins immunity.

In a huge upset, Immunity was won by Chuay Gahn, when Sook Jai failed to realize that they could have ensured a victory by virtue of them getting to make the first move. After losing immunity, Sook Jai enjoyed the leftovers of their feast. Despite reconciling with his tribe, Robb was voted out.

677"Assumptions"RecapOctober 31, 2002 (2002-10-31)N/A7.5/

The tribes received Tree Mail along with body paints of five different colors. The tribe members were instructed to paint themselves with one color representing each member. When the tribes met Jeff, he explained that they would be having a "get-to-know-you". The castaways were instructed to pair off with the person wearing the same paint color. The pairs chose baskets at random. The pair of Clay and Shii Ann received a note telling them to travel to the Chuay Gahn camp. The pair of Ken and Helen were instructed to travel to the Sook Jai camp. The four were instructed to choose which camp would be more comfortable to live in. They chose the Chuay Gahn camp, and Jeff explained that everyone would be living at that camp. Believing the tribes had merged, the castaways created a new name, Chuay Jai by mixing the two tribe names. When they returned to camp, a feast was waiting for them. Later on, Shii Ann, who was on the outside of the Sook Jai tribe, talked to Ted about flipping to Chuay Gahn. Ted agreed to let Shii Ann into their voting block. Later on, Brian asked Shii Ann to flip to Chuay Gahn to vote out Penny. As the castaways gathered for what they thought was an individual immunity challenge, Jeff shocked the castaways by explaining that the tribes hadn't actually merged, but were simply living on one beach.

  • Immunity Challenge: The tribe members will be shackled in a prison. Using resources in the cell, the tribe members must gather keys hanging on the outside of the prison. First tribe to gather their keys and escape wins immunity.

Immunity was won by Chuay Gahn. At Tribal Council, Shii Ann's tribemates decided they could not trust her after she openly aligned with Chuay Gahn. She was sent home.

688"Sleeping with the Enemy"RecapNovember 7, 2002 (2002-11-07)N/ATBA

After returning from Tribal Council, Penny was relieved her tribe voted out Shii Ann instead of her. Still feeling vulnerable, she attempted to form an alliance with Chuay Gahn member Ted. However, Ted and the other Chuay Gahn men knew that Penny was trying to manipulate them and still didn't trust her. Meanwhile, Ken got annoyed when he smelled urine in the cave. While Jake and Ken set out in their canoe, Ken reminded Jake that Brian was a used car salesman and that he could be very manipulative.

  • Immunity Challenge: The castaways will be timed while underwater, using bamboo snorkels to breathe. When a castaway comes up for air, their time is stopped. The tribe with the longest cumulative running time underwater wins immunity.

At the immunity challenge, it came down to Brian for Chuay Gahn and Jake for Sook Jai. Brian outlasted Jake, winning immunity for Chuay Gahn. As the castaways returned to camp, they noticed that a monkey had raided their food supply. Meanwhile, Jake blamed himself for losing the immunity challenge. Erin attempted to console Jake. With Tribal Council on its way, Sook Jai held a tribe meeting to determine whether or not they should reveal each other's votes. They felt that it would be extremely tough to vote someone out. In the end, Erin was voted out, becoming the first member of the jury.

699"Desperate Measures"RecapNovember 14, 2002 (2002-11-14)21.628.6/22

With a five to three advantage in numbers over Sook Jai, Chuay Gahn felt that they were in a powerful position. Jake attempted to entertain both tribes and bond with Chuay Gahn by telling adventure stories, however he ended up annoying Clay. As the tribes gathered for a reward challenge, Jeff announced that they had officially merged.

  • Reward Challenge: The first round would be done in pairs. The pairs must navigate through an obstacle course performing various tasks along the way. The two pairs to complete the obstacle course first move on to the next round. The four finalists must compete against each other to assemble a pyramid puzzle. First castaway to correctly assemble their puzzle wins a video of their loved ones from home.

The challenge came down to Brian and Helen. In the end, Brian won his video from home. Back at camp, Clay revealed his distaste for Ted. Jake, taking advantage of Clay's distaste for Ted, lobbied Clay to form a voting block with the Sook Jai three.

  • Immunity Challenge: The castaways must match Thai numbers with the numbers in English. The first two to match the numbers move on to the final round, where they will be pitted against each other in a test of memory and skill. The castaway that outwits the other wins.

The immunity challenge came down to Clay and Ken. In the end, immunity was won by Clay. After returning to camp, Ted brought up voting out Ken as a physical threat. Ken, feeling vulnerable, attempted to break the Chuay Gahn alliance. In the end, the Chuay Gahn five stuck together, and Ken was voted out, becoming the second member of the jury.

7010"While the Cats are Away"RecapNovember 21, 2002 (2002-11-21)N/ATBA

After returning from Tribal Council, Ted was upset that the three Sook Jai members had targeted him. Jake explained that Clay had told them to vote for Ted, however Ted thought he was lying to him.

  • Reward Challenge: The castaways must race through a four-stage obstacle course. First, the castaways will pair up to navigate between towers using two wooden planks to bridge the gaps. The first two pairs to finish move on to the second round, where they will have to do a belly crawl underneath a bamboo course. First three to complete the belly crawl move on to the third round, where they will have to climb a wall with the aid of another castaway. Both Ted and Brian assist Clay to the top, where he tries to pull both of them up after himself. Not strong enough to do both, Probst insists he choose, whereupon Clay chooses Brian. First two to climb the wall move on to the final round, where they must race across a balance beam. The castaway that crosses the balance beam first wins an elephant trek through the Thai jungle, plus a Thai feast.

Brian won the reward challenge and chose Clay to join him. After Brian took Clay with him on the reward, Ted questioned the strength of their allegiance to one another. Back at camp, Jake lobbied Helen to flip to Sook Jai, explaining that the only way they could win is by getting rid of Brian or Clay. However, Helen was wary of his intentions. After returning from the reward, Brian and Clay brought back food for the others. Meanwhile, believing that her alliance with Jake could hurt her, Penny decided to distance herself from Jake.

  • Immunity Challenge: The challenge tested the castaways' knowledge of Thai culture. Each castaway who answered a question correctly was permitted to snuff another castaway's torch. The last castaway with a lit torch wins.

Penny's intentions became clear when she snuffed Jake's torch right away at the immunity challenge. Despite this, the Chuay Ghan alliance (minus Clay) quickly saw through Penny's scheme and immediately took her out of the immunity challenge. Helen won immunity, narrowly beating Ted. After returning from the challenge, Jake speculated on why Penny had turned on him at the challenge. In the end, despite her attempts to get Jake out before herself, Penny was voted out, becoming the third member of the jury.

7111"The First 30 Days"N/ANovember 27, 2002 (2002-11-27)N/ATBA
A recap featuring bonus footage of the first 30 days.
7212"A Big Surprise... and Another"RecapDecember 5, 2002 (2002-12-05)21.508.6/

As the castaways gathered for a reward challenge, they were shocked to see their loved ones. Jeff then announced that the loved ones would be competing against each other.

  • Reward Challenge: The castaways' loved ones were brought in to compete in the challenge. The loved ones would compete against each other in an insect-eating contest. Should a loved one fail to eat an insect, they are eliminated from the challenge. The loved one that eats everything all the way to the end wins a day at camp with their loved one.

The challenge came down to Helen's husband and Jake's wife. In the end, Helen's husband, Jim, won the challenge. After returning from the challenge, Helen gave Jim a tour of the Chuay Jai camp. Later on, Helen discussed strategy with her husband, telling him that she trusted Brian and didn't trust Clay. When the castaways gathered for the immunity challenge, Jeff announced that the contestants with their loved ones would compete as a team.

  • Immunity Challenge: The castaways, with the help of their loved one, must retrieve their designated puzzle pieces from a pile in order to construct a cube. The castaways will have their loved one tied to their wrist. First team to construct their cube wins.

In the end, Ted and his brother Aljuan won immunity. After returning to camp, Jake, being the last member of the former Sook Jai tribe, reflected on his vulnerability. In the end, the former Chuay Gahn tribe sent Jake to the jury.

7313"The Tides are Turning"RecapDecember 12, 2002 (2002-12-12)19.007.4/

The castaways received Tree Mail, along with a full-length mirror and pictures of themselves from prior to the game. While retrieving Tree Mail, Ted asked Brian if their alliance was still strong. Despite being told that their alliance was still intact, Ted was still wary of Brian's intentions. As the castaways gathered for the reward challenge, Jeff drove up in a new Chevrolet TrailBlazer and explained the rules.

  • Reward Challenge: This challenge was a word puzzle. The castaways must gather a series of placards, each bearing a letter, at different stations. Once they have gathered their letters, they must unscramble them in order to form a two-word phrase. The first castaway to unscramble their letters to form the phrase "Road Trip" wins a brand new Chevrolet TrailBlazer, plus a Thai dinner, a shower, and a massage.

The challenge came down to Brian and Ted. Brian managed to unscramble to letters, but misspelled the phrase and yelled it out aloud, giving Ted the correct answer. Ted took advantage and won reward. He chose Helen to come along. While enjoying the reward, Helen and Ted agreed to oust Clay at the next Tribal Council. After returning to camp, Helen approached Jan in hopes of forming a voting block against Clay. Later on, Helen, deciding to play on both sides of the fence, approached Brian and revealed her distaste for Ted.

  • Immunity Challenge: The castaways must assemble a staircase using jigsaw puzzle pieces. The first castaway to assemble their staircase and climb up to the finishing platform wins.

Immunity was won by Brian. At Tribal Council, the castaways decided that Ted was too much of a physical and mental threat and voted him out.

7414"Slip Through Your Fingers"RecapDecember 19, 2002 (2002-12-19)24.089.9/26

After returning from Tribal Council in which Ted was voted out, the final four anticipated the difficult choices they would have to make. The castaways received a flower kit with Tree Mail instructing them to design twelve floating krathongs in honor of the castaways who were previously eliminated. They would later release the krathongs into the sea.

  • Immunity Challenge: The castaways would compete in an obstacle course containing elements from previous challenges. The first castaway to complete the obstacle course would win.

Immunity was won by Brian. After winning immunity, Brian secured an agreement with Clay to vote out Helen. He approached Jan in hopes of swaying her vote. In the end, the tribe unanimously voted out Helen.

On the morning of Day 38, Jeff arrived at camp towing a gold canoe with instructions for the tribe's final rite of passage. As the final three castaways paddled, they released the krathongs in honor of the castaways who were voted out.

  • Immunity Challenge: Situated in the deepest portion of a cave. the castaways must wedge three large coins between their fingers on both hands. While holding the coins, the castaways would position themselves in frames constructed to hold them in an uncomfortable traditional Thai stance. The last person left standing with all of their coins in their hands would win.

At the final immunity challenge, Clay and Jan let their coins go, guaranteeing Brian a spot in the final two. At Tribal Council, Brian voted out Jan, who became the final member of the jury.

On Day 39, Brian and Clay set their boat ablaze and reflected on the time spent in Thailand. At the final Tribal Council, Erin asked the finalists why the person sitting next to them doesn't deserve the million dollars. Brian responded stating that Clay had not put forth the effort he should have. Clay responded by stating that Brian thought he was the head of camp, and that he expected everyone to call him the leader. Ken asked Brian why the tribe decided to vote out Ted. Brian responded by saying they felt that Ted didn't quite fit in with the group. Penny asked the finalists about whether they had bothered to get to know her at all. She started with Brian, asking him if he knew where she had grown up. Brian incorrectly answered the question, while Clay accurately listed several details about her personal life.

Next up was Ted, who told Brian that he was a great used car salesman. He then asked Clay if he made any racist comments behind his back. Clay did not impress Ted by saying he hadn't made any such comments about him, leaving Ted with the impression Clay was dodging whether he had many such remarks in any other context. The final statements came from a betrayed Helen, who confronted her former ally Brian. She asked Brian why he hadn't told her that she was the next to go. Brian explained that he heard from Jan that Helen and Ted were targeting him and felt that she had betrayed him first. He admitted that he had made a mistake. Helen then asked Clay, who she deeply disliked and vice versa, to name three instances when he had done physical labor to help the tribe; Clay responded by telling Helen he wasn't going to respond to her question.

7515"The Reunion"N/ADecember 19, 2002 (2002-12-19)N/ATBA

In the same manner as Survivor: Africa two seasons earlier, Jeff Probst returned to a Tribal Council site that was actually a CBS sound stage and read the votes as if he was reading them immediately after they were cast. Also, the audience held off applause until Brian was declared the Sole Survivor with a vote of 4–3 with Brian receiving the votes of Jan, Helen, Ted, and Jake and Clay receiving Erin, Ken, and Penny's votes. The castaways then discussed the season with Probst.

Note: Beginning with this season, all reunion shows have since been hosted by Probst.

Voting history[edit]

  1. ^ a b Clay and Jan were not eligible to vote as the only eligible players they could vote for were each other.


Survivor: Thailand was met with a mostly negative reception and is generally considered one of the weakest seasons in the show's history. The primary criticisms were aimed at the unlikable cast and the "Fake Merge" twist, which led to the demise of Sook Jai. In 2005, Probst stated that he was not fond of the season, going as far as calling it his least favorite to date.[1] He described the season as "mean-spirited and marred with hostility and ugliness" and called Brian, Clay, Helen, and Jan "the least likable final four ever."[2] Dalton Ross, the Survivor columnist of Entertainment Weekly, ranked it as the fourth-worst season of the series, only ahead of Survivor: Fiji, Survivor: Nicaragua, and Survivor: Island of the Idols.[3][4] Andrea Reiher of Zap2it ranked Thailand as the second-worst season of the series, only ahead of Survivor: Redemption Island, while Joe Reid of The Wire ranked it as the 6th-worst season.[5][6] In 2018, Survivor fan site "The Purple Rock Podcast" ranked Thailand as the 2nd-worst season of the series, only ahead of Survivor: Nicaragua, describing the cast as "a definite contender for least likable cast of all time."[7] Also in 2015, Thailand was ranked as the third-worst season of all time on Rob Cesternino's website, only ahead of Survivor: One World and Redemption Island.[8]


  1. ^ "'Survivor': Jeff Probst Ranks All the Seasons, Worst to First". Entertainment Weekly. 10 February 2010.
  2. ^ "Jeff Probst: "Survivor" seasons I loved – and hated". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on September 1, 2014.
  3. ^ Ross, Dalton (December 11, 2014). "Survivor recap: The Art of the Blindside". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  4. ^ Ross, Dalton (December 11, 2019). "Survivor recap: A player is removed from the game for first time ever". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  5. ^ Reiher, Andrea (December 10, 2013). "Survior's 10 best and 5 worst seasons". Zap2it. Archived from the original on June 17, 2015. Retrieved December 16, 2014.
  6. ^ Reid, Joe. "A Definitive Ranking of Every Season of 'Survivor'".
  7. ^ "Survivor season rankings (with spoiler-free summaries) - The Purple Rock Survivor Podcast". The Purple Rock Survivor Podcast. 10 September 2018.
  8. ^ "Survivor Top 30 All-Time Season Rankings Results –". 21 September 2015.

External links[edit]