Welcome to the land o' spoils. Population: well, us and you. Read on to see our especially crappy attempt at ruining Mark Burnett's fun.
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Episode 13: The Final Four (Air date: Two-hour special, January 10, 2002; filmed August 16-18, 2001)
Our picks:
X F4 IC winner: Lex.  We did predict MamaKim would do well at Fallen Comrades, and Lex did almost pull it off.
F4 boot: Tom

X F3 IC winner: Lex.  Okay, who in their right mind saw MamaKim winning a physical challenge?
X F3 boot: Ethan. Again, painfully close, and yet so far.  Guess Lex really was the new Keith.
Second place: MamaKim

X Sole Survivor: Lex, 5-2. Right tally, right opponent, wrong winner.

X 13a Final four IC: Lex wins, Tom is booted, 2-2, due to prior votes.  Just ignore that tally part.
The Lex win here is based on the fact that the recap episode picture of Lex's torch with the immunity necklace (Fig. 1) has still not aired.  Two slightly different pictures, both shot at the same time, have been shown.  One was in ep11 (Fig. 2), right after Tom won the IC (?), the second was a nearly identical one from the start of ep12 (when Tom still had immunity?!?).  Since the second immunity challenge is usually a game of "Fallen Comrades," and the necklace is obsolete at that point, we think this means Lex will get the necklace again in this first IC.

Boot: Tom.  We don't buy Lex wanting to cut Tom's throat, especially if Lex is immune - why bother?  Lex made a pact on his sons that he wouldn't vote against Tom, and while Tom has betrayed the spirit of the agreement, neither he nor Lex has betrayed the letter of it.  And we don't see Lex doing so.  Ethan is the swing vote here, he could go with either MamaKim, and vote against Tom, or stick with the guys and boot MamaKim.  We now suspect the former.  Why?  First, it makes strategic sense for Ethan to do so, since his chances in the F2 are much better against either MamaKim or Lex than against Tom.  Second, Tom will not know who cast the second vote - Lex or Ethan, and will probably suspect Lex. Third, a neighbor of Tom's posted way back at the end of August that Tom finishes fourth, on Surviiivor.com's message board.  Both KimP and Teresa indicated there was a surprise still to come, and this is where it most likely occurs. Teresa specifically said it didn't surprise her, since she'd lived with the four Borans for so long and saw how they interacted, but it will surprise us, because of Mark Burnett's editing.  That would be the mini-alliance of MamaKim and Ethan.

X 13b Final three IC: LEX wins again, and chooses MamaKim for the final two.
Depending on whether MB follows the S1 or the S2 model, this could either be an endurance challenge, or Fallen Comrades.  Most likely, it's the latter, to give MamaKim a fair shot. If so, this could go any way.  Still, if Lex wins, he's in, and if MamaKim wins, she should pick Lex (or could he be the new Keith?).  If Lex is smart, he could turn an IC win into a 7-0 victory over MamaKim.  Lex has been chatting with every person, even Clarence, before booting them. He has knowledge, and he's well fed, so he still has brain cells.  So we think a Lex win is the most likely outcome.

Evidence for: (1) The rumor that Lex's son told people that his dad won the show - at least indicates Lex's son thinks he made the final two. None too compelling, we admit.

Jury vote: LEX versus MamaKim
Again, Lex has all those IC wins, as well as strategy going for him here.  And what has MamaKim done, exactly?  We don't think the jury will be able to remember anything, either.

Kelly: Here, MamaKim's betrayal of her will come back to bite MamaKim: LEX
Brandon: LEX
Frank: He even voted against MamaKim once, and will take a guy over a woman. LEX.
KimP: Might go either way here. MamaKim could have saved her, but didn't. But she's still not Lex: KIM
Teresa: Simply because she gushed about him on the Early Show, and because MamaKim failed her twice: LEX
Ethan: Should give the nod to his strongest competitor, but will instead go with: KIM
Tom: Like Frank, will take the man over the woman: LEX

That's LEX winning in a landslide, 5-2.  Nice work Lex, you earned it.

On the other hand, if Ethan wins, he will almost assuredly opt for MamaKim.  At most, that will cost him Lex's, and maybe Brandon's vote. If so, that would shake down as an Ethan landslide

But screw it - we have nothing to go on, and we're usually wrong. We'll go with what we want to happen: Lex winning. Even though the rest of the world wants Ethan.  On to S4...

Episode 12: "Truth Be Told" (Air date: January 3, 2002; filmed August 13-15, 2001)
Our picks:  X RC - Could be anyone, possibly Tom.  Our first guess was Lex.  Our gut is good.
IC - Lex.
Boot - Teresa
Episode 12: "Truth Be Told" 
All we have to go on is what the CBS site gives us, once again.  View the web preview here. (Maybe, if CBS deigns to activate it).
What CBS says What we think it means What actually happened
(1) The tribe members find a special surprise in their water pool.  (1) This would be the heaping pile of elephant turds shown in the preview.  Symbolic of the entire episode, or the series?  We vote series. (1) A teaser actually reflected something in the episode!
(2) One Survivor becomes the ambassador of a momentous delivery.  (2) Could be anyone, but Lex has traditionally been the most ambassador-like. But we'll go with Tom here, just 'cause. (2) D'oh!
(3) An old alliance is cast into doubt, as the tribe must eliminate another member, thereby determining the final four.  (3) As pointed out by Snow Whiite of votedoff.tv, the only way this is even an issue is if Teresa wins immunity.  On the other hand, this is the spot where CBS swore up and down a female alliance might form. We think it's the latter.  Teresa goes, and no alliance is tested. (3) Yup. Nice try, CBS.

Reward Challenge
We're guessing that Tom is not the ideal ambassador, although, as noted by "Survivor Fan," this is a good spot for a visit from a family member, and Tom was rumored to have contacted his family at some point in the filming.  So, perhaps Tom is a candidate.  The new commercials show MamaKim and Teresa hugging. Both are clutching opened manila envelopes and what appear to be personal letters - probably the final delivery by the RC winner (in addition to the medical supplies they deliver to local townspeople).  This suggests that both MamaKim and Teresa have just read their letters, and are hugging to celebrate their mutual joy (*sniff*).  While it's possible one delivered the letter to the other, there's nothing in the shot to suggest it.  That'll learn us to trust other people

Immunity Challenge
New commercials (Fig. 1) show this to be a "super challenge," made up of bits and pieces of previous challenges (continuing the recycling theme, and yes, this idea was itself recycled from S2).  The course involves running across nets (so long, MamaKim), hauling carts, crawling, and finally, shooting another flaming arrow.  Ethan and well-fed Lex are natural candidates to win this one, as well as marathon mama Teresa.  Early shots show Lex and Ethan leading, naturally, with Teresa behind them (Figs. 2-3).  A later shot (not shown) shows Teresa falling, with no sign of Tom or MamaKim in the distance.  By the pulling of the carts (Figs. 4-5), Lex and Ethan are clearly out in front of the others, and Lex is slightly ahead of Ethan.  Lex appears to be nearing the end with a smile on his face (Fig. 6), and there's no sign of Ethan behind him.  Lex shot two targets to Ethan's three the first time through the archery challenge, despite an unorthodox stance, and will not have to take turns this time. He should feasibly get a couple of shots off before Ethan arrives, and either should conceivably light their targets before Teresa gets there.

Additionally, we're still waiting for the torch-with-necklace pic from the recap episode (Fig. 7: pic from the recap episode; Fig. 8: the one that popped up in ep11 after Tom won immunity - and yes, those are Tom's "lucky charms" hanging on the torch next to Lex's).  Our call: Lex wins.

7. The original torch pic, from the recap episode.

8. The out-of-place torch pic from episode 11.

We were fooled last week, but Teresa is the obvious choice here, barring immunity.  If not, Lex and MamaKim are the only other people vulnerable.  At this point, there are only two negligible "spoilers" left: (1) The spoiler from the EZ board, whereupon one of Tom's neighbors claimed he made the final four, and got to contact home - the posts were later deleted, making this seem marginally credible. Then again, were pretty sure Tom makes it through this episode, regardless. (2) Owen93's report that Lex was still sick from an intestinal infection in late September, coupled, as Snewser of votedoff.tv notes, with reports that Lex still seemed pretty happy.  From the start, we've thought Lex makes the final two, and we're going to stick to that until proven otherwise.

That leaves Teresa and MamaKim.  MamaKim is only a target if T-Bird wins immunity.  This seems unlikely, so we'll go with Teresa getting the boot. As far as Lex is concerned, everybody there is a threat to him facing the jury, so why create jury problems by double-crossing a Boran?  Business, nothing personal.  Teresa goes (finally)

Episode 11: "The Big Adventure" (Air date: December 27, 2001; filmed August 10-12, 2001)
Our picks:  X RC - Tom (you can't have a big, airplane-flying, balloon-riding adventure without Big Tom.  The adventure is staying aloft). We were pretty damn close here, and did pick Lex to join him...
X IC - Lex. Still a-waiting for that torch pic. Even with the hike to TC pic, we couldn't tell whether it was Tom or Lex...
X Boot - Tom, and MamaKim defects to Teresa and KimP.  Alternatively, she sticks with Boran, and Teresa is out.  Slight edge to Tom.  Ugh.  We can't believe we fell for that.
Episode 11: "The Big Adventure" 
All we have to go on is what the CBS site gives us this time.  View the web preview here.
What CBS says What we think it means What actually happened
(1) One person wins a day and night away at a magnificent safari and gets to invite another to join. Together, thanks to a little bourbon, they have an incredibly memorable time.  (1) Again, Tom has to be involved in some way here. It's hard to believe he wins something, but look at the competition.  As Cranky Andy points out, Big Tom's favorite drink closely resembles bourbon, making him the likely winner. (1) Well, what we said here was correct.  But Tom was the tagalong, and Lex won, instead of our backwards pick.
(2) The tribe members get to know each other a little better through their respective families, who participate in a challenge.  (2) The real question here is: Is this the RC, or the IC?  Tom was rumored to have contacted home, but this sounds more like taped stories from home, and the contestants are quizzed on the details.  It would be odd, even cruel, for this not to include an actual familial contact for the winner.  But at an IC? We already know about the safari reward, but the clue says memorable, so perhaps this is indeed the RC, since it involves memory. (2) Okay, we got that this was the RC.  Big whoop.
(3) One tribe member attempts to form an alliance along gender lines. Only the votes will reveal whether this plan has worked. Will it? (3) The fact that CBS brings this up on both their web site and the after-show previews leads us to believe that this does not actually happen.  But if Lex wins immunity, this could be MamaKim's only chance at the final three. If she can vote off Lex, she, Tom and Ethan are in.  But if Lex is immune, she has to take this chance while she can. Tom must be the target, due to his 3 prior votes. (3) Apart from Clarence being booted, nothing CBS has ever hinted at in questions has ever turned out to be correct.  We thought this was number two.  And it was, although not in the sense of being correct.

Reward Challenge
Apparently also recycled from Survivor 2 (EPMB is an eco-friendly kinda guy).  Survivors watch videos from home, and the winner gets to fly off in a plane, then take a balloon ride (most likely with another survivor; strategically, Lex is the obvious choice).  Tom supposedly got to contact home in some way, so perhaps he wins this one - maybe the winner actually gets to make a phone call?  Most likely the challenge involves remembering details from everyone's videos, and Tom has a decent memory, especially for people ("an elephant never fergits").  The reward includes bourbon, one of his favored beverages (more drinking footage = good CBS ratings).  Plus, he puts the "Big" in "Big Adventure."  The RC plus reward takes up two days.

Immunity Challenge
Waiting for previews, but chances are, Lex wins again.  He needs to stick around anyway. And while they could have taken the pic with the necklace on his torch before the IC, we're starting to think that shot was included in the preview of the "next 18 days" as foreshadowing, because he just keeps winning immunity.

If Lex does win immunity, it's either Tom or Teresa.  This requires MamaKim's decision - to go for an all-female alliance, or stick with Boran. Ethan has done nothing to merit her treason, so it seems a little odd that she would ally with Teresa and KimP.  But we're starting to think that this has been in effect since Episode 9 or earlier.  KimP's water-cooler talk of Brandon "setting me up" could really have been because he was supposed to be voting with them. MamaKim has been shown in two episodes explicitly saying people should not go against an existing alliance, at this point in the game.  Well, we think that point is now.  We think CBS registered the three remaining women's nickname domain names because they had an alliance, but MB has edited this part out, to build up the misdirection.  Anyway, in a 3-3 tie, both Lex and Tom would lose in a men-vs.-women vote.  Even if Lex does not win immunity, he's the smart choice to keep, just because everybody loves Tom, and you don't want to face the jury against him.  Silas apparently knows Tom, so he must have passed through the base camp at some point.  Never mind.

Either that, or the Pagonging of Samburu continues, and KimP or Teresa is tossed out of the boma for the hyenas to munch on.  Since CBS has not seen fit to provide more previews, this is all we have to go on.

Episode 10: "We Are Family" (Air date: December 20, 2001; filmed August 7-9, 2001)
Our picks:  RC - Food auction, no winner, except maybe Lex's gut.
X IC - Previews none too helpful.  When in doubt, guess Ethan. Frank is another possibility.  Lex again. At least Paratrooper got it
X Boot - KimP.  Nope, Frank.  Always trust the previews...
Episode 10: "We Are Family" 
This week, we would compare and contrast the CBS site and Zap2It's descriptions, but CBS has apparently banned Zap2It from giving them.  View the web preview here.
What CBS says What we think it means What actually happened
(1) One tribe member gives a selfless blessing to another. (1) Most likely Teresa "accidentally" not winning the IC, allowing Frank to just beat her. (1) What the hell was this?  Thanks to the Early Show, this was apparently Frank volunteering to sacrifice himself, so that Teresa could go further.  Nice editing, CBS!
(2) Some of the tribe members pair up on their own to cooperate at a Reward Challenge, revealing telling friendships and alliances.  (2) As suggested by Cranky Andy himself, this would appear to be the now-traditional food auction, which also appeared in ep10 of Survivor 2.  No word on whether the leaves available have holes in them or not. (2) Woo-hoo!  Thanks, Cranky Andy!
(3) Tom washes the women. (a.k.a. "Tom helps the women shower"). (3) Once again: More skin, more Tom = bigger ratings for CBS!  (3) Umm, was this actually some sort of mystery?

Reward Challenge
Sounds like a food auction. Everybody wins! (except the viewers, unless we get to see more toilet humor afterwards). Guess we got more Tom dancing, instead

Immunity challenge
This one appears to be a running around and answering trivia questions one, like the one on S2 where Keith dropped the locks (d'oh!).  We know it's IC because you can see the necklace in the shot of Ethan running (plus the CBS site says that people team up on the RC).  Contestants appear to pick up ribbons for each right answer, which they place on their staff.  There appear to be seven stations/ questions total, each with a different-colored ribbon.  Not clear from the previews who wins, but since it's a memory/ speed challenge, we suspect Ethan has the best chances.  Lex is also a strong contender, as is Frank.  In fact, Frank winning immunity would be a good reason for KimP being targeted for the boot.  One red herring from the web site preview: The last scene asks, "Who's next?" and shows only six survivors (not MamaKim).  Then MamaKim pops up and says, "It will be an interesting tribal council."  Call us crazy, but we don't think there's any way MamaKim can win immunity this week.  Unfortunately, we went with Ethan.

Boran, thanks to the dumb, dumb Samburus, emerged from the Lex's gut debacle, regaining a 4-3 advantage.  That means a Samburu is gone this week, and we believe, based on the fact that her screen time in episode 9 more than doubled her cumulative presence for the entire series, this week's victim is poor little bit/bear KimP.  Ethan and Tom had both previously mentioned booting KimP, and Tom and MamaKim both appear to have ties to Frank and Teresa. Plus Brandon and Kelly claim to have had fun on the jury, making it unlikely that Frank joined them this soon.  Another possibility is Lex, but the Borans would have to be completely retarded to sever their ties to him so soon.  Lex will, however, not get to push the vote on Frank, as Tom or MamaKim will now call the shots. KimP gets the boot.  We're not really sure why this episode is called "We Are Family," but it could reflect the post-KimP tribal makeup - everyone left was a Boran at some point.

Alternatively, several people seem to think "We Are Family" implies the emergence of an all-female alliance (conveniently, three of the "nickname" domain names belong to the three remaining women).  These domains were registered August 7th, which is day 1 of this episode.  It is a bit odd that CBS went to the expense of registering the domain littlebitpowers.com, when they have so far completely avoided associating KimP with this nickname on the show.  More to come?  Perhaps the Evil Pecker has been concealing a top-secret female alliance from us, but there's really been no solid evidence of one so far. The best we have is MamaKim stirring up girls-vs-boys sentiment in ep2, and the odd scene with Tom and Frank bemoaning the slow women in ep9.  That and Clarence's statement that MamaKim was "evil" in his final chat.  All three women were seen talking about Brandon at the start of ep9, so it is possible they are a "hidden trio," but that's the extent of their on-screen interaction, so there's no way to know that at this point.  If KimP doesn't go this week, and Lex does, we'll be significantly more suspicious.

Episode 9: "Dinner, Movie and a Betrayal" (Air date: December 13, 2001; filmed August 4-6, 2001)
Our picks: RC - Brandon, and his unlikely partner (Lex or Frank). Close enough.
IC - Lex.
X Boot - Ethan or Brandon.  Illogical choice: Ethan; Logical choice: Brandon.  Since we never actually called him, we won't be gloating here.
Episode 9: "Dinner, Movie and a Betrayal" 
This week, we'll compare and contrast the CBS site and Zap2It's descriptions.
What CBS says What Zap2It says What we think it means What actually happened
(1) The tribe reacts to Brandon's decision. - (1) Now why would they do this?  This takes up the first 20 minutes of the show. (1) Hmm, foreshadowing? 
(2) Tom helps the women shower.  - (2) More skin, more Tom = bigger ratings for CBS!  Eeew, Tom, what's that on your neck?  Stop spraying it on us! (2) CBS saved this thrilling footage to prop up the sagging ratings for the ritualistic ep10 Pagonging.
(3) An unlikely date is on the minds of many.  (3) Meanwhile, a reward challenge results in an unlikely date. (3) Brandon and ?, sitting in a tree... ? (3) Well, 50% right, and called either Lex or Frank.  Got the message from home part wrong, though.
(4) A tribe member breaks down in tears over a critical decision that needs to be made. (4) All is not well in Moto Maji when one tribe member is completely devastated by the actions of another.  One tribe member has difficulty grappling with the deceptive actions of another. (4) Could be just about anyone.  KimP makes little shooting motions.  Does Teresa finally crack?  Brandon? (4) Partial credit on KimP, we guess. Was that really "breaking down in tears"?  We sure as hell didn't see any cascading down her face.

Reward Challenge
There's eight people left, so it's about time for MB to pull out the trusted old gimmick of having the suckers compete to hear words from their families.  Sounds like videos from home is the reward, except the preview shows an actual film projector.  So it could be just about anything.  The previews show the challenge to be an obstacle course, which looks quite similar to the "Paired Off" challenge from Survivor 2.  In that, pairs of people competed in two-team heats, then the two winning teams faced off for the reward.  This was one of the best challenges that season, because Colby threw Jerri over a wall, Jerri hallucinated that they were on a honeymoon, and Colby almost got Survivor sued by Australia, by stealing protected coral.  Anyway, the only team we see here is KimP and Tom (Fig. 1).  We can tell it's Tom, because of the whitish brim on his buff (Tom's personal style).  The only other competitor shown is MamaKim.  So who is that spreading relish on the hot dog (the "dinner" part of the title, and part of the reward, Fig. 5).  We think it's Brandon, but it's possible that it could also be Tom.  The TV preview shows slapped-together-looking "frames" from the movie, which appear to have the letters "R" and "D" on them (Fig. 6).  Could this be a movie from home, perhaps with the winner's name written in pen at the start of the reel?  Or are the letters on the film just part of the written word, "reward"?  Brandon win? *Cough* ignore that other movie stuff *cough*

Immunity Challenge
No obvious previews, but at least Lex is painting something on his torch (to match last week's bogus necklace shot, maybe?). That's about all we have to go on.  On the other hand, MamaKim and Ethan are high-fiving about something, while KimP has her hand over her mouth.  Both Kims are dressed differently than at the RC (although KimP is wearing the same top as when she's reading the RC treemail), and both appear to be holding slips of paper. Could this be right after they pick RC teams, and MamaKim scores Ethan, while KimP is horrified to be anchored with Tom?  Since this shot is most likely RC, we have no info whatsoever about IC, so we'll pick Lex wins

    Okay, we'll play spoiler roulette this week.  Lex is toast unless he wins immunity.  But that doesn't fit "betrayal," even if his every Boran votes against him.  That's more of a mutiny.  Plus, the necklace-on-Lex's-torch picture had to come from somewhere.  So Lex either wins immunity, or he walks on water, and the remaining survivors bow down before him in worship.  Lex is safe.  Then there's the good old CBS-registered "nickname" domain names, all of which were registered after this episode (August 7th) - littlebitpower, bigtombuchanan, t-birdcooper, mamakimjohnson. So we'll wager that CBS would not have spent the cash to register them if they were not still on the show.  KimP, Teresa and MamaKim are safe. Tom should be as well, even though he's the logical target if Lex wins immunity, because he has three votes against him, trumping any Samburu. But the domain registration is a bit odd, and one of his neighbors claims he made the final four, and got to contact home as a reward (she has since deleted her posts on EZ).  We're wary of both these "spoilers," but we'll give Tom a bye this week.
    That leaves Brandon, Ethan and Frank.  This must be where the betrayal comes in.  Frank was invisible in episode 8.  So he's probably safe, although it's not out of the realm of possibility that Brandon would unite with Boran again to oust him.  But we think Brandon is smarter than that.  Brandon, however, was very, very visible in ep8.  But he's only just emerged as a focus, although he did make the horrific misstep of saying he was going to the final four to the voting booth camera.  Not good Survivor karma.  On the other hand, Ethan is looking an awful lot like Colby, and he said he would never forget his reward in Ep.8, no matter what else happens to him in the game.  Foreshadowing?  If Lex wins immunity, could the four Samburus and one Boran seize the opportunity to boot Ethan?  One way for this to happen: MamaKim, sensing she's number four in the pecking order, aligns herself with Frank and Teresa in a final three pact, and jumps ship (the "betrayal" in the title).  A Brandon boot requires the Borans to realize he's switched sides again, and one of the Samburus not to trust he's actually back.  Both Ethan and Brandon are possible.  But we'll throw caution to the wind, and pick the guy who's being "bugged" in the previews: Ethan. Our logical side says it's Brandon, though.

Episode 8: "Smoking Out The Snake" (Air date: December 6, 2001; filmed August 1-3, 2001)
Our picks:
X RC - Winner departs camp. Only clue is putative Singapore preview saying "they can't talk to Brandon." Preview images no help. Might as well guess Brandon. Brick.
X IC - Lex.  Preview image shows his torch with the immunity necklace on it. Airrrrrr balllllll.
X Boot: Okay, we're gonna keep guessing Teresa until she's gone. Frank is also highly vulnerable, based on Ep7 screen time. Flip a coin. Rejected!  A total drubbing!
Episode 8: "Smoking Out The Snake" 
Waiting for either a TV Guide or Zap2It description of the show.  Until then, the following hints from the CBS site will have to suffice.
What it says What we think it means What actually happened
(1) A brooding Lex is determined to smoke out the "rat" who voted against him, but first he must figure out who the "rat" is. Will he identify this person?  (1) Yes. If he asks Teresa directly, she might even tell him.  And Tom can work her over, too.  (1) Nope.
(2) The winner of the reward challenge and a tribemate of their choice get to visit a village and barter two goats for whatever they can get. (2) Sounds fascinating. Could be anyone, except Brandon or MamaKim. (2) Ah, we were quite accurate with that vague prediction. Push.
(3) An original Samburu works to pull over an original Boran to their side; the Boran tribe member shows interest.  (3) The previews show this is Teresa.  She's trying to convince the MallRats that it's time to strike.  She seems to be increasingly chummy with Tom, which can only work against her, since he's allied with Lex.  Would Tom defect?  Since nobody has in the past, we guess no.  Tom's affections may in fact just be a ploy to smoke her out, in which case, this attempted coup could spell her demise.  Too bad she didn't pick Kelly, who might have jumped ship. (3) Yet another preview shot that was misleading. All in all, a nice round of obfuscation from Mr. Evil Pecker.  Making up that whole Lex's torch with the necklace on it was a nice touch.

Reward Challenge
New TV previews from 12/2 show the hikes to both the RC (Figs. 1-3) and the IC (Figs. 4-5, because Teresa has the immunity necklace around her neck).  In the RC pictures, there is someone sort of wooden structure behind Teresa, that looks vaguely oil derrick-like. Not much to go on here, apart from Brandon's none-too-attractive body art. Also, the pic of the three Samburus plotting (Fig. 6) appear to be from IC day, based on Brandon's clothes.  So the absence of Frank from the plotting does not imply he's off getting the reward.  On the Spoilers EZ board, word from Singapore claims their preview said something about "They can't talk to Brandon," suggesting he might have departed for the reward.  Another possibility, since the reward involves bartering goats, is that Tom is there.

Immunity Challenge
No footage has been shown of either challenge (surprise, surprise) in the two weeks since the last episode aired.  But the recap show did contain Fig. 1, below, which shows a torch with a skull on it, holding the immunity necklace.  As pointed out by Paratrooper on Survivorfever.net, this torch appears to belong to Lex.  Figs. 2 and 3 show Lex hiking to TC in Episode 7, carrying a torch with a skull.  Fig. 4 shows that, at least at the Ep7 TC, only Lex's torch had any kind of skull-sized object on it.  Fig. 5 shows the skull matches the one with the immunity necklace. So, so far it looks pretty good that Lex wins immunity this week.

The only nagging doubt are the white letters on the immunity torch (Fig. 1). Big, thick white letters, reading left-to-right as you go down the torch, which appear to be "IM" or "IN".  Looking back at everyone else's torches, there are several with things written on them.  Brandon has "Grandma" on his (Fig. 7 - thanks, MESS), but the letters go from top to bottom vertically.  Someone (Clarence, Fig. 8) has emblazoned their torch with "I love U Mom" in letters that point the right direction, but are really skinny.  Frank supposedly carved his family's names into his torch, but they're now in white paint, too, reading from bottom to top (Fig. 9).  Lex clearly has some white letters on his torch, but they don't obviously match. Maybe he re-painted Corbin's name?  Anyway, since nobody else's torch matches any more closely, we'll stick with Paratrooper's orginal call, and say the skull makes it Lex's.  So despite Lex's witch hunt to find out who voted against him, he's safe this week. Lex wins immunity.

One Samburu has to go. The biggest targets are those who are immunity threats: Frank and Teresa. There are many valid points for and against each.
Frank Teresa
Pro-boot Con-boot Pro-boot Con-boot
- Probably the strongest Samburu left.
- Almost 50% of Ep7 was face time for Frank.
- Where else can his story arc go? Bossy leader to underdog family guy to helpful teacher to moody, elephant-teasing loner to... ?
- Clarence, in a radio interview, said he hopes Frank wins it all.
- Has had tons of screen time since Ep1.
- Supposedly returned with a full beard, which seems out of character for a guy who keeps himself so neatly trimmed, unless he's in the final two.
- Has not demonstrated any particular aptitude in any challenges so far.
- Made herself a target showing such endurance in Ep7 IC with Clarence.
- Shown conspiring with both MallRats (no surprise there) and Tom (uh-oh?) - if other Borans catch wind of this, she's toast.
- Lex's witch-hunt should eventually reveal her vote against him (too obvious?)
- Likeability and general resemblance to Tina should encourage Borans not to face her in the final two.
- Diane's list (ahem) still suggests she's the next Samburu to go.
- Only just starting to get screen time.
- "Nickname" domain name (T-birdcooper.com) registered by CBS, suggesting she does something memorable, and registered on August 7th, four days after the end of this episode.
- Episode 10 is titled "We Are Family," suggesting an all-female alliance, who, if they have a 4-3 margin, should be the final four.
- Episode 9 description says one tribe member is "devastated" by another's deceptive actions. That sounds a lot like Teresa being upset her supposed Boran defector didn't actually come through at the TC. Either that or Lex finally smokes out her vote. Either way, she's still there.

That's essentially a push. We don't see much weight in either the Frank's beard (has it ever been confirmed? what was the source?) or Diane's list arguments, making it still pretty even. We'd vastly prefer Frank sticking around, since he provides significantly more comedic material, so that almost ensures it's Frank that goes. He passed the lunatic torch to Lex in the recap episode, and we supposed there's still Big Tom around, so we'll sigh a resigned sigh, and go with Frank.

Episode 7: "Will There Be A Feast Tonight?" (Air date: November 22, 2001; filmed July 29-31, 2001)
Our picks: RC- no evidence of one in previews. Yes! One right!
X IC- Samburu wins if tribal, Clarence if individual.  Whoops.  This was predicated on the next pick, of course...
X Boot:  Gotta be Teresa, due to Diane's list.  Curse you, Diane!

Boot: Teresa.  This is the last week of Diane's list of Samburu friends.  Since this week's bootee is the last non-jury member, for Diane to meet Teresa (and not Frank, Brandon or KimP), Teresa has to go this week.  As confirmation, Carl complained about close sleeping quarters with T-bird on safari.  Hmm, we didn't learn before, when we said 'Guess we can't trust Carl.'
Episode 7: "Will There Be A Feast Tonight?" 
The tribes are anxious as they eagerly anticipate the "traditional" merge. Anxiety is high as the tribes try to figure out if (and how) the traditional tribal merge will take place.  Meanwhile, an ill tribemember suddenly finds himself surrounded by elephants; certain former power-players find themselves in a brand new world. (Also from Zap2It).
What it says What we think it means
(1) The tribes are anxious as they eagerly anticipate the "traditional" merge. (1) Is there a merge? We're guessing not until the next episode (ep8). The IC occurs before the merge, anyway, although there's no reason it couldn't be sprung on them that they're suddenly competing for individual immunity. Teresa's boot makes more sense if it's still two tribes, since she's on the short end of old tribal lines, and Frank is more useful if there's another tribal IC. Yet another conclusion crippled by a faulty assumption.
(2) An ill tribemember suddenly finds himself surrounded by elephants. (2) We think this is probably Tom.  Tom is shown sitting by himself in the TV preview, while the remaining four Samburu are reading the IC treemail. Tom previously played an elephant in Ep.1, so he should fit right in. Hmm, a week ago we said Clarence. Poor time to change our minds.
(3) Certain former power-players find themselves in a brand new world. (3) The previews show this is the MallRats. 

Immunity challenge: If individual, we're guessing Clarence wins; if tribal, Samburu.
Below is a series of images preceding and at the IC.  Clarence and Brandon are both holding canteen-like objects, which are probably the tree mail explaining the challenge.  The hike-to-the-challenge pics show both tribes going separately, and Clarence is holding the immunity idol. So if there is an RC, it's not shown, and both tribes are still separate at IC time.  At the IC, there is a wooden structure with rope hanging off of it. Most likely the tree mail objects are involved in some way - another tilting a seesaw to light a fire challenge, as in S2, maybe? Hard to tell from the caps.  Either way, Teresa gets booted, so it's probably a Samburu tribal win.  Clarence is the logical person to boot post-merge since: (1) Boran has a 6-4 advantage; (2)he complained to a Detroit newspaper that he wasted his time bulking up in the gym before going to Africa; (3) he's a huge threat to pull a Colby-like string of IC wins, and (4) nobody in his own tribe likes him.  Since Teresa's the one to leave, he must win an individual IC.

Episode 6: "I'd Never Do It To You" (Air date: November 15, 2001; filmed July 26-28, 2001)
Our picks: RC - Samburu, just because. IC: Boran, see below.  Boot: Lindsey (swish!).

Useful info from Ep.6 and Ep.7 previews:
Episode 6: "I'd Never Do It to You" 
One age-aligned group fights to save one of its own, while another considers betrayal. A "quiet" conversation is overheard by the wrong person.  A tribe member many seemed to dislike turns out to be a pretty good teacher. (From Zap2It, virtually indentical to CBS's claptrap).
What it says What we think it means
(1) One age-aligned group fights to save one of its own. (1) The previews show this extensively - it's the MallRats trying to hide Lindsey's votes against.
(2) While another considers betrayal. (2) Could be just about anyone...
(3) A "quiet" conversation is overheard by the wrong person. (3) Again, just about anyone here, too.  Likely prospects: an ex-Boran hears MallRats discussing Lindsey's votes, Kelly hears Lex and Tom calling her a "kid", or Brandon hears ex-Borans planning to vote for him.
(4) A tribe member many seemed to dislike turns out to be a pretty good teacher. (4) Archery challenge, Frank is an unliked archer.  Boran wins challenge.

Reward challenge: ? (Guessing Samburu, because they're  shown).
No obvious previews of this.  Squat from the Early Show. The web preview has one shot (Fig. 1) of Samburu walking together, in clothes that may or may not be different from the immunity challenge (Lex and KimP look to be wearing the same clothes, Tom and Lindsey are wearing slightly less than in the IC archery shots). So this pic is either going to RC, or possibly returning from IC (empty handed).  We're guessing it's most likely before RC, mainly because Lindsey has moved her buff from her neck to her wrist.

Fig. 3: The path of Tom's arrow suggests Samburu is shooting at the left-hand set of targets.
  Fig. 6: Which target is it?  As best as we can tell, the target in the inset most closely matches Boran's farthest target (arrow).

Immunity challenge: Boran - hey, whaddya know?  Vidcap analysis can actually work when MB plays along!
About time they came up with something cool.  This one involves flaming projectiles, and targets that appear to completely explode when hit by a barely-burning arrow.  Sweet.  We can tell this is IC, because the web preview shows Lindsey arriving, holding the idol.  Later shots show His Probstness standing next to the idol in an authoritative fashion.  So who wins?  The apparent order the teams are hitting the targets is front-to-back. Figure 5 appears to show Boran's farthest target getting hit (Fig. 5 and 6).  How do we know it's Boran's?  (1) It most closely resembles the farthest right-hand target (Fig. 6); (2) The crack in the rock, the lack of grass, and the patch of wate rin the background best fit this being the farthest Boran target, and (3) Frame-by-frame analysis shows not only (as was originally noted elsewhere) heat coming from the right of the target in Fig. 5, but there are also sparks flying over from the right.  This suggests there is a flaming target to the right, making the target in Fig. 5 Boran's last one.  Unless they hit this one out of order, that's a pretty strong suggestion they win.  We'll go with Boran winning this one.

Boot: Lindsey
CBS promises an "intense tribal council," which, while generally meaningless, might indicate some Lindsey fireworks.  In a tie vote, Lindsey would get to plead her case before the revote, which might not be pretty, since she knows she's doomed.  Certainly, any Samburu TC should be intense, because Linz has been trying to hide her votes against for six days now.  We're guessing that none of the ex-Boran votes will be shown before Jeffy pulls them out of the box, adding to the "suspense".  Ooooh.

Still-possible spoilers (in vague order)
(1) "Diane's friends" - list given by Diane in Final Chat of who she talks to from Samburu: "like Carl and Theresa [sic.], Linda, Lindsey and Silas."  Sounded fake at the time, but Carl's and Linda's boots are making this look better and better.  The importance here is that we think the non-jury members were sequestered from those bootees on the jury.  Based on the number of Samburus here, who Diane had never met beforehand, this would require every one of these people to be the next ones booted.  Linda's boot shows that the order was not exact, although for several reasons, we think it's roughly accurate, suggesting Teresa's next.
(2) "Carl's non-friend" (new!) - in Carl's Final Chat, he mentions he never really got to know KimP.  This would fit with the "Diane's list" of pre-jury bootees, all of whom presumably joined in on Diane's month-long safari as they were booted.
(3) "Silas' buddy list" - According to his final chat, he apparently did not go on safari, but instead hung out at base camp.  There, he would meet bootees as they arrived every three days.  He says his favorite contestant is 'Big Tom" (whom he did not meet on the show), and sounds quite close to him, right down to naming Tom's cologne.  He also says he does not correspond with Lex (whom he also did not meet on the show), later backpedaling to say they didn't "hit it off" - suggesting Lex may have been final two.  91X in San Diego reports Silas and Kelly (third person not met on the show) watch the show together, so they may have met at base camp too.

Episode 5: "The Twist" (Air date: November 8, 2001; filmed July 23-25, 2001)
Our picks: RC: Anybody's guess, since MB is fiercely protecting the new tribes' composition. We'll guess Boran (good).
X IC: Anybody's guess, since MB is fiercely protecting the new tribes' composition. We'll guess Boran again (bad).
X Boot: Leaning towards Teresa. (hey, Silas was our #3 choice...).  Ugh.

Question of the week
What the hell is "the twist?"  Possibilities, in rough order of likelihood:

(1) Three tribe members each are swapped between Samburu and Boran.  (You are correct, sir!)
    Evidence:  The CBS web site tells us: "A SURVIVOR first! Every friendship and every alliance will be shattered."  Taking CBS promos at face value is a risky prospect, but from these words, we think the most likely scenario is that the AllRats and Elder alliances on Samburu are broken up, by switching two AllRats and either Frank or Teresa over to Boran, and having three Borans join Samburu.  This leaves each tribe evenly matched again, at least alliance-wise: three former Borans, two AllRats, and one Elder.  MB himself has described this as a minor change, and "something that will make you laugh," and Les Moonves called it a "curveball."  We think this situation best fits these descriptions, and it would make us laugh to see the AllRats all pissed off at having to hike to another camp.  There is precedent, as well: Survivor is based on the Swedish show Expedition Robinson, on which a tribe-member swap takes place.
     If this does happen, we think this helps us predict the bootees, especially in light of three other active prognostications: (A) "Diane's friends", (B) the Episode 6 title: "I'd Never Do It to You," and (C) Survivornews.net's spoiler that Lindsey was hospitalized in early August.  Teresa looks vulnerable under a switched-player scenario.  She will likely be the oldest woman, unless she ends up with MamaKim, and even then, MamaKim will have two loyal Borans on her side, while Teresa has only two marginally-allied AllRats.  Teresa is on Diane's list.  In episode 6, we foresee a situation in which Lindsey's so-called "dehydration" illness progresses to something sufficiently debilitating that she gets voted off - against her wishes, and breaking her trust with one of the other AllRats, who considers voting against her (this would have her exit July 28th, just in time to be in the hospital in early August, when she realizes she's not just tired).  The next week is the Merge, in which Samburu is down 4-6, and Silas gets picked off, not winning the first individual immunity.  At least, that's our story for now, and we'll probably change it several times before these weeks play out.
     We will note, however, that in an even 3-3 swap, the strategy at TC should be, like at an even merge, to figure out who has votes against them from the other tribe, and vote them off.  That spells trouble for Silas, Lindsey and Clarence.  We still think Ep.6 is about Silas and Lindsey, but they are both highly vulnerable in Ep.5 - perhaps the other two Samburus (maybe even Silas and Lindsey) convince Teresa to act like she has prior votes (as Colby did in S2), then another tie vote happens, with Teresa losing yet another tie-breaker trivia quiz?

(2) A merge of the two tribes into one campsite, where three mini-tribes of four are formed.
    The single campsite is required due to the sentry problems - you can't have everybody in one tiny tribe up all night, then expect them to compete in challenges.  The "three tribes" rumor first came from a New York Post article in the summer, and shortly thereafter was repeated by former Survivors Jeff Varner and Sean Keniff, perhaps after a few payments from MB himself to keep it circulating.  The most logical scenario would be to keep ICs tribal, have one tribe win immunity, and the two losers go to TC.  This would require three new tribe names, new sets of tribal colors and flags, and then they merge again in two weeks anyway.  Seems like a lot of effort to go to, and fairly confusing rules-wise, for a minimal strategy-thwarting gain.
    If this is actually "the twist," it will immediately endanger strong players, such as Silas, Lindsey and Clarence.  The best strategy for avoiding TC the next week is to get rid of the other losing tribe's strongest player. Since all three of them already have votes against, if they are distributed onto different tribes, one of them is toast.  Fitting in with the "Diane's Friends" theory, the next two to go should be Lindsey and Silas, in some order.  But we can't see a scenario in which Teresa would be vulnerable with three tribes, so we think that may be further evidence against this.

(3) A simple merge at twelve, as opposed to the the merge at ten in previous shows.
    This seems less likely, simply because it does nothing to break up alliances and friendships.  That would come only from defections, which is likely in the case of Frank and Teresa, but they are in no way allied or friendly with the rest of Samburu.  Nor does it do anything divisive to the Borans or the Mallrats.

Still-possible spoilers (in vague order)
(1) "Diane's friends" - list given by Diane in Final Chat of who she talks to from Samburu: "like Carl and Theresa [sic.], Linda, Lindsey and Silas."  Sounded fake at the time, but Carl's and Linda's boots are making this look better and better.  The importance here is that we think the non-jury members were sequestered from those bootees on the jury.  Based on the number of Samburus here, who Diane had never met beforehand, this would require every one of these people to be the next ones booted.  Linda's boot shows that the order was not exact, although for several reasons, we think it's roughly accurate, suggesting Teresa's next.
(2) "Carl's non-friend" (new!) - in Carl's Final Chat, he mentions he never really got to know KimP.  This would fit with the "Diane's list" of pre-jury bootees, all of whom presumably joined in on Diane's month-long safari as they were booted.
X(3) "Carl's Women," Carl also mentioned that he went on safari "surrounded by beautiful women."  This suggests Silas is not the next one to go.  (Guess we can't trust Carl).
X(4) "The Blue Tribe" (Teresa, KimP, Lindsey, Lex - based on blue photos in opening credits), which goes hand in hand with...
X(5) "The Twist" in Ep.5 putatively being a merge/redistribution into three tribes - splintering the AllRats.  The "Blue Tribe" theory only helps if there are three tribes, really.  Alternatively, the three Samburu women may be randomly selected to go over to Boran, while Lex and two (non-blue) Borans join Samburu. (Bad week for "spoiler" theories).

Episode 4: "The Young and Untrusted" (Air date: November 1, 2001; filmed July 20-22, 2001)
Our picks: X Boran wins RC (did we say Boran? We meant... ah, read on...);
IC - probably also Boran;
Boot - leaning towards Linda slightly ahead of Teresa.  2-for-3... not too bad.

Question of the week:  Boran just won 100 gallons of fresh drinking water.  Why are they now going on a water run?  Top answers:
(1) Ethan decided to wash his hair.  Sadly, both the water and shampoo ran out halfway through.
(2) They decided the cooler clashed with their newly-painted mosquito nets in its current location, and decided to move it to the other side of camp. Since it was heavy, they dumped the water out first.
(3) They took turns taking showers under the open spigot.  Unfortunately, Big Tom went first.
(4) Clarence got thirsty.

Reward Challenge
Appears, based on clothing worn when accepting the reward, to be the obstacle course challenge.  We expect something along the lines of the heartwarming challenge we saw in S2, where Colby threw Jerri over a wall.  Now that was family entertainment!  We're assuming here that the reward is some sort of food-type-item, which is served to Boran, when they're standing on top of Lion Head Rock, near Challenge Beach (Fig. 3, below; the link takes you to Dan Bollinger's excellent Survivor Maps site - click on the IPIX on Lion Head Rock to compare it to the rock the Borans are on top of).  We say the clothes are the key here, because Ethan and Lex are dressed completely differently than in the construction challenge, which we think is IC.  The only positive correlation is that Tom appears to be wearing the same shorts (and no shirt) in both challenges, and on the mountain.  This would tell us, then, that Boran wins reward.

Immunity challenge
This challenge appears to involve carrying large quantities of both lumber (Fig. 6) and completed, box-like structures (Figs. 4,5).  They also appear to do some running (Figs. 2,3).  Some points of note here: There are only four members of each tribe shown.  Are the rest left to do something at the finish line?  Also, there does not appear to be any similarity between the stuff Frank is carrying and the boxes, so what's up with that?  Our guesses: the boxes are pre-made, and the lumber is for some other purpose.  Perhaps they have to run to pick up the box things, carry them somewhere, run back and get the lumber, bring it back.  They then either build something, or, because Mark Burnett really likes fire, perhaps burn their little forts.  Who wins?  Good question.  We think Frank and the lumber is near the end, and sicne he tells Lindsey, "Just go!",  Samburu may be lagging behind?  Or they could be winning.  But Samburu has three strong people plus KimP/Teresa, while Boran has four guys doing their heavy lifting.  Seems like a slight Boran edge.  Boran win?

Bonus note: In Fig. 1, Linda is facetiously thanking Lindsey, while the others look on, either mystified or disgruntled.  Lindsey's clothes match her IC garb exactly (although both KimP and Teresa are dressed differently than the front-runner in Fig. 2).  So it's probably IC day, but is this before or after IC?  If after, the downtrodden expression could signify a Samburu loss.  But that would seem too easy.  Probably before IC.

Here, we're still happy with either Clarence and Kelly from Boran, but we're guessing Boran wins immunity (for now), based solely on the highly suspect "Diane's Friends" putative spoiler.  From Samburu, Linda and Teresa stick out, since the AllRats purposely kept Frank around to help in challenges.  Insider clips from Ep.3 showed them mentioning both Carl and Teresa initially, then settling on Carl for the boot.  Also, Diane listed Teresa right after Carl in her list of friends, which might suggest Teresa came first.  But Linda is so over-the-top confrontational in the previews, and she grabbed so much screen time in Ep.3, that she seems more likely.  Also, if the "blue tribe" theory holds any water (and intro spec is the lowest form of speculation), Teresa needs to last until the "Twist" in episode 5.  We shall see.  We're probably wrong again.

Dead spoilers/spec: The "Boran loses four straight ICs" theory; theories based on Carl's lack of face time; "Carl grew a full beard and lost 40-50 lbs = late boot" theory.
Still-possible spoilers: (1) "The Blue Tribe" (Teresa, KimP, Lindsey, Lex - based on blue photos in opening credits), which goes hand in hand with...
(2) "The Twist" in Ep.5 putatively being a merge/redistribution into three tribes - splintering the AllRats.
(3) "Diane's friends" - list given by Diane in Final Chat of who she talks to: Teresa, Linda, Carl, Lindsey, Silas.  Sounded fake at the time, but Carl's ouster now casts this in a new light.
(4) "Carl's non-friend" (new!) - in Carl's Final Chat, he mentions he never really got to know KimP.  This would fit with the "Diane's list" of pre-jury bootees, all of whom presumably joined in on Diane's month-long safari as they were booted.  He also says he was surrounded by beautiful women, suggesting another woman takes the walk of shame in Ep.4.

Episode 3: "The Gods are Angry" (Air date: October 25, 2001; filmed July 17-19, 2001)
We stupidly picked: Boran wins RC (okay, good so far...)X Samburu wins IC (nope); X Clarence booted (55% likelihood), or Kelly (45%) - real answer: Carl (dammit!)
All right, we give up.

Let's check the CBS site, to see what morsels of excitement they have for us, eh?
A close call with lions awakens one of the tribe.  Hmm, Jeff Probst said this was Brandon in the pre-show press conference. But the CBS preview indicates this is Tom and Kelly. Looks like the previews are as dependable as always. Note, the wording here was later changed to "awakens one of the tribes." So perhaps Brandon's epiphany that "this @*%# is real" comes on a later episode? Hmmm.
While one tribe member is caught between loyalties to two factions within the tribe, another tribe member takes the opportunity to cook more food for his "friends" while his "enemies" are at the water hole.  Sounds like more fun at Samburu. Whoa, Brandon actually gets off his ass and does something? Maybe it will be interesting, after all.
One tribe member crashes from dehydration. Will she be able to continue? That would appear to be Lindsey.  Signs point to yes, although she was hospitalized in August.  Two weeks is a little long to be in the hospital for mere dehydration.
In summary: as always, a bang-up job, CBS!  There's some news we can use. Almost as helpful as that crap "Jeff Varner on Safari in New Jersey" piece that stunk up the Early Show!

More useful evidence: TVZap2it.com's previews for Ep. 4 and Ep. 5.  Specifically, in episode 4, "Meanwhile, two members of the Boran tribe, who are especially nervous about being the next to be voted out of the tribe, make separate attempts to stay in the game."  If Boran wins immunity in episode 3, there should be three people, not two, especially nervous about leaving (MamaKim, Kelly and Clarence).  This leads us to believe that one of those three is gone this week.  Kelly and MamaKim both fall in the ball-rolling race, and each lost a challenge in episode 2, so they are the most likely to go.  Kim is the Boran cook, though, and neither she nor Kelly has gotten a lot of air time (plus there's the "mamakim" nickname thing, which so far has only been evident in one snippet of an Insider clip).  Clarence, on the other hand, has lots of votes against, and (as pointed out by Snewser of Votedoff.tv), if Lex, Ethan and Tom decide one of the women should go, all it takes is the other woman to vote for Clarence, and all of a sudden, Tom's always-funny vote to remind Clarence of his sins ends up actually booting him.  Now that would be some fireworks to see!  As for Ep. 5, Zap2It's preview makes it sound very, very likely that this is the long-awaited split into three tribes of four people.  Would this be necessary if Samburu hadn't guaranteed dominance at the merge by getting an unbeatable 8-4 advantage?

Reward challenge
ETOnline has revealed that this challenge is the reward challenge, and not IC, as had been widely assumed.  Ah, the Sisyphus challenge (despite what Survivorfever has, we thought of this independently, so there).  Since dropping stuff during a fly-by seems much more reward-like, we're guessing this challenge is the IC.  Both teams appear to be rolling large, rock-like (in a Disney kinda way) balls along a trail, presumably in a race. The last shot could be the start, the middle, or the end, for all we know.  But the Samburu ball does at least appear to move past Kelly, suggesting she has some catching up to do, if Boran is all to finish together across the finish line.  Interestingly, a new commercial on Monday seems to show Boran winning this challenge: Boran is all smiles, apart from Tom, who looks near death.  Also, the rolling-over-Kelly part appears to be near the start of the race.  Boran wins reward, which is 100 gallons of pure drinking water.  This might explain the "Boran strips down" part of the previews - they are probably cleaning themselves (ick).  This also explains why Lindsey collapses from dehydration - Samburu didn't win.

Immunity challenge
It's possible that, as pointed out by Clewless at Votedoff.tv, this one is a regurgitated version of a Survivor 1 reward challenge, "Distress Signal."  In it, each tribe was supposed to create an SOS-type sign visible from the air, and the best sign won the reward, which was dropped by parachute.  The preview pics of "Boran strips down" show their clothes arranged in nice circular patterns, perhaps spelling out "Please don't let us lose again!"  It's also possible this is simply Boran enjoying their aqueous reward win from the ball-rolling frenzy.  We should have known more on Thursday morning, from the Early Show previews, but CBS decided it would be better to trot out performing chimp Jeff Varner instead. So, based on close to zero evidence, we'll go back to Samburu winning some unseen immunity challenge, simply because they always do, and because this agrees with Zap2It's preview for episode 4.  We do know that Lindsey collapses on the day of this challenge, because the clothes Linda is wearing when she says "I guess Lindsey's not so strong now" are different from the ones she wears on the day Samburu is collecting wood, which are different than their RC clothes.  Since RC is day 7, the collapse must be day 8 (IC day), and Linda's comments were made on day 9.  We don't however, think Lindsey is significantly injured, nor do we think this affects the outcome of IC:  Samburu win.

Here, we're split between Clarence and Kelly.  MamaKim would appear to be the weakest, but she's also the cook, and doesn't appear eager to teach Lex the tricks of that trade (and wisely so). Kelly would appear equally vulnerable, and there's no visible arguments against booting her, apart from her being younger.  But suppose they decide to vote off MamaKim (resurrecting Snewser's idea from above).  The votes are likely: Ethan, Lex, Clarence - MamaKim; Tom - Clarence. MamaKim also votes Clarence, because she's the bootee-elect.  Now, we would predict that Kelly would be getting pissed off about now that all the women are getting booted, yet Clarence is still around. She votes Clarence out of spite.  Tie vote: Clarence loses, because of prior votes against.  Alternatively, they could just target Kelly, for getting rolled over in IC.  In this case, MamaKim could defect and boot Clarence, but we suspect she'd be more loyal, and go along with a Kelly vote.  So it's either Clarence or Kelly.  Leaning slightly towards Clarence.

Episode 2: "Who's Zooming Whom?" (Air date: October 18, 2001; filmed July 14-16, 2001)
We picked: Boran wins X RC, X IC; X Brandon gets voted off. Boy, did we kick ass this week, or what? (The correct answers were, of course: Samburu, Samburu, Jessie).

Here's our sorry attempt at logic.  We will, in our defense, note that two straight episodes have had grossly misleading titles.

Reward challenge
Something involving standing telephone pole-sized logs near towers.  Given Frank's occupation, you'd think Samburu would have this in the bag, but the CBS web preview seems to show them failing.  Brandon, in the white tank top, is elsewhere shown sulking around camp in the same clothes.  Other shots show Linda and KimP looking pertrubed.  A Boran win?

Immunity challenge
This challenge appears to be the traditional "Episode 2, let's force 'em to eat something revolting" one.  Or, in this case, drink something revolting.  That would be: cow blood.  Mmmmmm... cow blood!  Here's an eyewitness explanation of the challenge, plagiarized completely from US magazine: "They now stand in a grassy clearing before host Jeff Probst at a makeshift bar with 15 shot glasses.  Enter a cow and five Masai warriors clad in traditional red cloaks, bearing bows and spears, stage left.  One contestant gasps 'Oh God.'  Another laughs 'Holy cow!' As four of the warriors struggle to hold the beast in front of the cameras, the fifth man shoots it in the upper shoulder with a blunt arrow from four feet away, and Probst fills two gourds from the streaming fountain of blood.  Probst explains that the Masai depend on cattle's blood, milk and meat for their daily protein - the bleeding ritual, he says, does not harm the cow.  One contestant looks away,a rms crossed, squeezing her eyes together with every bleating moo.  But once the blood's thick fibers are strained out, the two teams... stoically belly up to the bar for the blood-drinking contest, to match one another shot for shot."  Previews seem to suggest the drink-off comes down to Kelly vs. Linda, using super-sized glasses.  Since the tie-breaker in S2 involved the opposing team choosing the other's participant, we suspect Samburu will not hold losing against Linda.

Analysis: The title of the show, as the previews suggest, comes from Silas' attempt to align himself with both the Samburu elders (Carl, Frank, Teresa, Linda) and the Mallrats (Lindsey, KimP, Brandon).  We suspect the old guys are playing him simply to pick the kids off, one by one, until he's the last one, which should take them past the merge, where they oust him.  As Snewser on Votedoff.tv has pointed out, the preview shots showing Samburu in their IC clothes (not at the challenge) show them looking quite unhappy.  This is where all of Silas' conspiratorial conversations with Carl, Frank and Lindsey (separately) are shown - which Snewser concludes suggests Samburu lost the IC.  We agree.  So who goes?

It depends how Silas votes.  KimP, Lindsey and Brandon will vote together for an oldster, probably Frank.  Meanwhile, Frank, Carl, Teresa and Linda will target either Brandon or Lindsey.  Lindsey appears to see Silas and Frank whispering to each other, then rushes over to get Silas to assure her they're "going to the end together."  If Frank sees this, they will wisely pick Brandon, who Silas has shown no affiliation with.  We had previously considered Silas's chin stubble length in the US magazine picture with him lying next to Lindsey as evidence that Lindsey sticks around, but: (1) Zap2It has a picture that appears to show Teresa braiding Lindsey's hair (and she does not have braids in any Ep.2 pictures), and (2) further vidcaps show Silas with just as much stubble on day 5 as in the US picture.  Since we haven't seen Lindsey in her blue bikini (in the US picture), that may have been day 6.

That suggests Brandon may be the one to go.  Frankly, we were on the fence for a long time about Brandon vs. Lindsey, but Brandon does appear to be the weakest member of Samburu.  KimP should stick around because, well, she got them fire.  And Lindsey, for all her charm, is one of the stronger people on the tribe.

Episode 1: "Question of trust" (Air date: October 11, 2001; filmed July 11-13, 2001)
We picked: Samburu wins immunity; Diane gets the
boot. (yup).

Immunity/Reward challenge
This challenge, described in TV Guide, involves each team pulling a flaming 300-pound cart up a hill and through sand, trying to be the first to reach a tower, which must be set alight.  From the clothes Samburu is wearing in this picture, we know this is a different challenge than that shown on the Early Show preview on 10/9/01, which showed all eight Samburu members huddling, then Frank taking the immunity idol and handing it over to Jeff Probst.  This strongly suggests Samburu wins immunity, meaning someone from Boran is the first evictee.

As for Diane, she's the obvious choice. The previews practically scream she's booted (which could be taken either way), and she has no obvious assets for her tribe. In her solo TV Guide cover, she wears the same clothes as the Survivors wore before filming started (as they were being interviewed by the likes of Extra, E! and Access Hollywood. She does not appear to have this outfit with her on the actual show.  Meanwhile, other contestants appear to be being photographed during the show for their covers.  Also, the Early Show preview from 10/9/01 indicates the episode 2 IC takes place on a cold day.  Other preview shots (Extra, Access Hollywood) show Jessie and Tom, and Clarence and Lex, and Ethan wearing lots of clothes. Admittedly, this could just be early morning, but it's better than no evidence at all.  Finally, all of the Samburu pics from the 10/9/01 Early Show preview are from episode 2.  In the same preview, Tom and Kelly are shown, suggesting they last to ep2.  That roughly narrows it down to Diane and KimJ.  Given a choice, we'd boot Diane if we were Boran.



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