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Episode 9
"Desperate Measures"
Filmed July 4-6, 2002.
Airs November 14, 2002.
Click below for:
- RC speculation/spoilers
- IC speculation/spoilers
- Boot predictions
Video resources:
- Ep9 preview vidcaps
- CBS video: Ep9 Promo
- Ep8 videos: Erin's Final Words, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, IC
, 10, 11, 12

Episode description:
- CBS: "News from home draws sharp responses for one Survivor and may impact that person's future. A group of Survivors renew their vow to one another and concoct a plan to get one of their own to 'infiltrate' the others. Meanwhile, other tribal allegiances fall by the wayside as one Survivor vows to 'stir things up.'"

Reward challenge: Videos from home, a merge, and an obstacle course - Brian (plus Helen?) wins

Several things happening here. First, the Survivors get to watch videos from home. They seem to arrive and watch each other's family members as separate tribes. And then, the trick/ treat comes: they merge. New gold buffs appear, making everyone look like members of Boran. After this, it's not clear exactly what happens.

One possibility is that the initial video viewing was just short teasers for each contestant (hence the many tears in original tribal colors, including Ted seeing his kid). There are later shots, apparently in the same place, of Ken and Helen, each wearing the same clothes (but now a yellow buff) and looking intently at something, presumably more video. But the obstacle course pictures also feature Brian, Ted, Helen, Penny, Jan and Jake, all in the same clothes as the initial "watching video" shots, but in yellow buffs. As suggested by Snewser at, this is probably all part of the reward challenge. The winner of the obstacle course presumably getting to see their full video from home. Perhaps the rest of the merged tribe gets to watch it, too. Since Brian's is the clip shown, and he has a decent chance of winning a physical challenge such as the obstacle course, he's a reasonable choice as the RC winner.

Perhaps in support of this idea is Helen's confessional about someone having new cars in the garage, and therefore not deserving the money. Brian, as a used car salesman, might appear to fit that description, especially since his audition video seemed to be in a nice car. Much better support comes from the new scene of Brian, with a gold buff-wearing Jake now sitting behind him, saying "She's a little wild" in response to his wife's booty-shaking antics. It's unclear if he wins alone, or if he is paired with Helen. Given the looks of anticipation on the faces of Brian and Ted as Helen and Penny climb the ladders, a paired challenge seems possible. If so, Helen also wins. So, at least Brian wins, possibly Helen as well.

The (two) tribes gather for videos from home.

Ken and Jake celebrate the news that they made the merge (barely, for one of them).

Helen and Penny, presumably near the start of the obstacle course. Brian and Ted waiting to go.

Jan and Jake take a tumble together.

Ted auditions for ESPN's Great Outdoor Games.

They return to watch the winner's (Brian's) video, in gold buffs. Brian: "She's a little wild."

Immunity challenge: Trivia, maybe? - Penny wins

One shot in the new TV promos (below) shows Brian, Ted and Jan sitting in a spot similar to their video-watching location, in yellow buffs. Closer inspection (again prompted by Snewser at reveals things are not quite the same. First, Ted is in a different (non-sleeveless) blue shirt, and is wearing his gold buff differently than in the wood-chopping shot. Also, to the right of Jan (her left) is a woman wearing her gold buff as a shirt (possibly Penny), holding what appears to be a stack of green card-like objects. Since neither Penny nor Helen is wearing her buff in that fashion in the obstacle course shots, this must be a different day. Also, Clay is wandering out of frame, wearing his bright yellow t-shirt. Presumably this is the immunity challenge.

Is it about time for Survival trivia? The green cards Penny/Helen is holding, and the gold ones Brian is holding, look similar to the stacks of cards (A-B-C, etc.) used in previous multiple-choice trivia tests. It's unclear who might win such a challenge, but we note that when Ken is shown complaining to Jake about being a target, Clay's hat appears to be sitting on the (tribal) imunity idol. Interestingly, the yellow buff seen behind Ken (which places this shot post-merge), was sloppily colored purple in the close-up shots of Ken talking. Seems odd CBS would try to conceal that this is post-merge, but it probably is, and is probably still pre-IC.

In the pictures of the challenge itself, Penny/Helen and Clay both appear to be standing, and Brian, Ted and Jan are seated. It's possible seated people have already been eliminated. As VolcanicGlass points out at SurvivorPhoenix, Penny/Helen appears to be holding a large stack of cards (at least four, maybe five), while Brian has only three, and Clay perhaps only one. Could the cards get taken away as you answer incorrectly? If so, Penny might be a good guess as the winner.

IC. Clay walks past in a yellow shirt, Penny or Helen is next to Jan, wearing gold buff as a tube top.

Ken and Jake talk strategy. Tribal immunity idol is wearing Clay's hat. Yellow buff behind Ken.

A second later, in this close up shot, CBS has colored the gold buff purple (poorly). Very deceptive.

Boot - Ken

The title is "Desperate Measures," the promos play up the attempted infiltration of CG by Jake and Ken (and probably Penny), and they actually do get around to merging this week. Given that Chuay-Gahn occasionally have two brain cells to rub together, that may not end up being too successful.

So in all likelihood, if Ken doesn't win immunity for himself, he's dead meat. He acknowledges this himself in the previews, though, making it hard to push this theory too far. Chances are, the long, slow demise of Sook-Jai continues, and a Ken boot is similar to the posthumous kicking and wriggling of Lucky.

Still, there's a possibility someone smart like Jake could seize upon perceived rifts in the five-person Chuay-Gahn alliance, and cleverly drive a wedge down the middle. You'd think he'd go with the two people on the outside. But their fates (fourth and fifth place, on either tribe) would not be improved by this. So he could try to get the CG men to oust one of the women (or he could even volunteer to join in Ken's boot, if that protects Penny). The obvious target (strong, smart, abrasive) would be...

Helen. She started off as an outsider in Chuay-Gahn, and was painted as one in Ep8. It seems a bit early for someone who lost 35 lbs and loves gourmet food to get booted, though, especially since Erin only lost 17 lbs. Still, Antithesys' excellent TC imagery analysis suggests Helen or Clay is next on the CG list, and that same theory correctly predicted Erin in Ep8. But it also predicts Ken next for Sook-Jai, which seems much more likely.

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