Survivor: Thailand Spoilers
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All the crap that happened in S4, S5, S6.
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Note: Your mileage may vary. S2, S3 or S4.

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Episode 11
"A Big Surprise... And Another"
Filmed July 10-12, 2002.
Airs December 5, 2002.
Click below for:
- RC speculation/spoilers
- IC speculation/spoilers
- Boot predictions
Video resources:
- Ep11 promo vidcaps
- CBS video: Ep11 Promo
- Ep10 videos: Penny's final words, 2, RC, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, IC, 12, 13

Episode description:
- CBS: "The castaways are offered a stunning opportunity that leaves the winner in tears of joy and the losers in tears of pain. Fallout from Tribal Council inspires harsh words from one castaway, causing others to criticize the outburst. One castaway faces a critical decision that could alter the entire game."

Reward challenge: Friends and family eat bugs - Helen (and her daughter?) wins

The tears of joy sounds an awful lot like the traditional family visit. The fudgenut thread on EZ claimed that Ted wins this with his brother, although it also claimed that it would be in the final 5 (possibly final 4) episode, and that it would be for immunity. Which is not to say that Ted and his brother don't (necessarily) win. What is clear from the promos is that family and friends do indeed show up (hence the excessive tears, and Helen's "Oh my god, oh my god!" pre-challenge leaping around, warranting a reprimand from Probst). Also, judging from the fancy plates containing scorpions and tarantulas, we finally get to see the gross food challenge. In the picture of the spider on Jeff's arm, it looks like two people are standing at the table in front of Probst, one looks like Helen (black shirt), and the other appears to be female, and not Jan, judging from the hand. Could the friends/family help the Survivors in their individual quests to eat bugs for reward? Looks that way, anyway.

Next, who wins? The fudgenut claim of a Ted win would make sense (two big guys, presumably), and the promo does show Ted standing out in the water, separated from the rest of the tribe, presumably watching a boat. Unfortunately, it's unclear whether the boat is arriving or departing. But Helen is missing from that shot, and Helen appears to be leaping up, crying, while the rest of the survivors are applauding (as in happy for her) at the challenge. This could just be as she's called up as the first lucky person to compete, though. So there are two options: (1) Ted wins, and his brother shows up at camp the next day (Clay has changed into his yellow shirt in the approaching boat scene), or (2) Helen wins, and she and her relative (daughter?) spend a night away from camp. We've gone back and forth on this, but after flipping Penny fifty times, it eventually came up "heads," meaning Helen wins.

Jeff explains the RC. Similar location to the food auction seating. Is everybody hungry?

Sit down Helen!
You'll get to see your family soon enough.

Unfortunately, you may have to eat some fairly unappetizing critters at that time.

Such as this happy little fellow!

Helen gets up again, this time to applause (while crying herself). Clay's buff has moved to his neck.

Jake, Jan, Clay, Brian and a separate Ted standing in the water, presumably watching a boat.

Immunity challenge speculation - someone (not Jake...) wins.

The web promo shows the contestants marching to the IC (Helen with the necklace), which appears to be on a beach, but that's about it for obvious circa-IC footage. We also see shots of Helen and Jan running along a beach in swimsuits. Unfortunately, careful analysis by VolcanicGlass at SurvivorPhoenix shows that this beach is just Chuay-Gahn beach, and not the surf-beaten one the contestants show up at for the IC. Not to mention that one of Bungler's vidcaps at the start of the running sequence shows the treemail stump. So we're left with Jake, in the same clothes he wears to the IC, talking about how he has "never experienced such hardship... and such joy." Could Jake be exulting in a (temporarily) game-saving IC win? It's possible. But Jake is also a positive-thinking guy, who could just as likely be reflecting back (as did Robb) on all the wonderful experiences he's had in his time on the show. We have no idea who wins this unseen challenge, but we'll still guess it's not Jake. We'll guess Helen, just for the Hel of it.

The tribe arrives for the IC. Very similar clothes to the RC, except for Jake.

Helen and Jan run along the beach. Unfortunately, this is at Chuay-Gahn, so it's not IC.

Jake, apparently on the same day as the IC, talking about highs and lows of the game.

Boot: Jake

The big shock here will be if the audience for this episode extends beyond the castmembers' immediate families. Because Jake now has to get three people to vote with him if he wants to reach the next episode. Unless he wins immunity. Which is certainly possible if it's anything mental. There's really no incentive for any of the CGs to betray their tribe now, with the jury vote looming so close. Better to give Jake a respectful sendoff, then start cannibalizing themselves.

If Jake somehow wins immunity, the next boots are a problem. And this could be where we see "One castaway faces a critical decision that could alter the entire game." Brian needs to whittle down his harem of final two promisees. Since Clay isn't going anywhere, that leaves Ted and Helen on the chopping block. Keeping one and booting the other (as opposed to booting the apparently non-allied Jan) allows him to say to the other, "see, I told you we have a real alliance." This is critical, because if Helen or Ted suspect that Brian promised the same thing to both of them, they could easily take Brian out at F5 or even F4. So one has to go, either this week, or at F5). Most likely, we are just going to see Brian thinking about this in a confessional, however, and no action until next week.

Ted appears the most vulnerable. Clay and Brian were probably able to convince the Sook-Jais they were voting for Ted not through their superior acting abilities, but because it wasn't all that unlikely. Booting Jan seems like a waste of a vote, since she's unlikely to win immunity. If Helen were to go, Jan would undoubtedly feel threatened, and could probably convince Jake and Ted to help her exact revenge at the next TC. So Ted is the safe boot if Jake is immune, perhaps as a show of confidence from Brian to Helen that their wink-wink-nudge-nudge Final Two pact is "real." (Except that it's not, of course). But we'll guess the plotting about this is actually shown to distract from the obvious Jake boot.

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