Survivor: The Amazon Spoilers
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Episode 7
"Girls Gone Wilder"

Filmed Nov. 22-24, 2002
Airs Wed., March 26, 2003

Click below for:
RC speculation
IC speculation
Boot predictions
Video resources
Ep7 promo vidcaps
CBS Ep7 web promo
CBS Ep6 videos:
's final words,
, RC, 4, IC, 6.
Episode descriptions
CBS: A distraught Alex struggles over Shawna's departure.
The mysterious locked box brings sweeping changes to the tribes.
All eyes are on two women who strip in order to win their favorite food items at a Challenge.
One Survivor's smooth talk with the ladies irks Rob, who vows to target the suave tribe member.  
REWARD CHALLENGE/ No RC, "merge" instead.

Since we see the tribes getting the keys to the lock boxes, then running around frantically, then the two tribes rowing (in the web promo) in the same clothes and their yellow and blue buffs. Later, we see lots of shots of everyone in red buffs, giving confessionals in new locations (Dave), and what appears to be an individual challenge featuring people in red buffs standing on red-painted props. So we'll guess that Wezzie's pre-game spoiler that the contestants spent the last 20 days at a different location (the Forest of Life), suggesting all the contestants live together at one camp, has been proven correct. Presumably, the boxes contain directions to the new camp. The running around Jaburu is shown doing is probably because they have a limited amount of time to get their stuff, as with the switch. Taking into account the need for prior footage of Alex moping about Shawna's departure, the construction of a new camp, and time to highlight everyone's anger at Roger's bossiness, there probably won't be room for an RC in this episode. Besides, it looks like there is food at the IC.

But is it really a merge? Well, that's the relevant question. The previews make no mention of such a thing. Whether that camp involves one or two tribes remains an open question. There is also the matter of the next episode's title, "Sleeping with the Enemy," which has been recycled from the first post-fake-merge episode of S5. It's unlikely CBS simply colored the buffs red, because (1) they did a good job of it, even in action sequences, and (2) they also had the foresight to put red seats on the stools for the IC. This sort of attention to detail is not characteristic of CBS's false-color efforts, so we suspect they really are wearing red buffs.

So that leaves three options: (1) a real merge; (2) a fake merge, leaving the tribes as they stood in Ep6, or (3) as Seftor at speculates, a fake merge with the men and women switched back to their original tribes. At this point, we bring up a Jeff Probst quote in a interview, " Thailand, we did the fake merge. Now the Survivors that were shooting the Amazon did not know that.... But we do have to consider that our audience has already seen it, so if we do it again, we have to know that, for them, this is old news, and make sure that, if we do it again, we spin it slightly in a way that is different for them, as well as for the survivors." So it seems possible the red buffs could be the bait to fool the cast and audience.

To rule out some of the options:
(2) Fake merge with tribes still in twisted (mixed-gender) configurations. Heidi and Jenna are shown together in what appears to be a joint confessional, and collaborate in the stripping during the IC. This seems unlikely, since if it was a fake merge, they would have been told prior to the IC.
(3) Fake merge with contestants switched back to original tribes. Since the original tribes were gender-specific, this would be much more simple for the average viewer to keep track of, if everyone is wearing the same color buffs. But as TsMom points out in Seftor's thread at VO (link above), the original tribes are uneven (6-4), so the men would have to have been sitting two people out during the IC. So this, while it would have been an interesting twist, also seems unlikely.

That leaves a standard, 10-person merge as the most likely possibility. slimmyworm revealed several weeks ago that "During an E7 challenge, what appears to be the RC, Heidi is going to do something that likely involves nudity in some way, in an attempt to win the challenge and the food reward that comes with it." Perhaps the "surprise" here is that an IC win comes with food this episode. Or that Heidi and Jenna get naked (big surprise there).

IMMUNITY CHALLENGE/ Pole standing - Deena wins.
Since Probst himself said in the post-Ep6 promo that this was the IC, we'll go with that. Heidi and Jenna are shown collaborating in their stripping, presumably to distract the men.

As for who wins, that's a good question. Women have historically done very well in these endurance challenges, and we have no reason to believe someone like Deena couldn't be the last person standing here. And the caps seem to support this. The web promo shows Dave diving in, with Deena still in the game. The two people to the right of Deena (whom we have IDed as probably Matthew and Rob) have already given up at this point. And it seems unlikely that Heidi or Jenna would win, considering they can barely handle laying around in camp. Roger, along with Butch, is probably one of the stronger candidates, but Roger is shown wobbling. We'll throw our vote to Deena, until proven otherwise.

IC pictures: Click thumbnails above for larger versions. Pictures below are actual size, but feel free to click if you feel it's necessary.

Approximate locations in the IC. Heidi is to the right of Butch, cropped out of the picture.

Red buffs, red-striped stools.
"Hi Grandma! Guess what? I'm on TV!"

Dave diving off his perch, past a still-standing Deena and at least two empty stools.
BOOT/ Alex
If this is the merge, then Alex is in the most trouble. There are six Tambaqui men about to be reunited, and he just voted against one of them at the previous tribal council. And that guy (Matthew) is still around to tell the other three about it. Okay, that job will likely fall to Rob, but they'll be aware of it, either way. Also, Alex will be seen as a physical threat, in an episode that features a physical IC. That, and if he lasts one episode longer, he won't get to see Shawna until he gets home. Plus, we've learned (prior to Ep6) that Alex was very likely to have been a pre-jury boot. Tambaqui has a two-person advantage over the women of Jaburu, as well, and can afford to expel a wayward member. So... time's up.

Other people are also vulnerable, though:
Deena is outnumbered on a merged or reunited Jaburu tribe, and could be seen as a threat. She is also the chief remaining leader/schemer from Jaburu, and will not be using strategic nudity to gain favor.
Dave presents a physical threat. His dismay at being overruled by Butch and Roger at the direction new Tambaqui was taking (the others preferred to keep Christy over Dave's pact with Heidi), while listed in the Ep6 web bullets, never made it to the air. (Actually, this probably makes it more likely he's staying this week).
Rob remains on the outside of the core Tambaqui alliance, and has cut a deal with Deena. As long as Heidi and Christy both return to the Jaburu alliance at the merge, he's okay there. Notably, all three of these people (Rob, Dave, Deena along with bossy Roger), are highlighted in a "new" commercial featuring recycled footage, culminating with Probst (from the Ep2 IC) saying "somebody is going home." Alex is nowhere to be seen in that ad. Hmmm.

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