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Jan watch

By ERIC DEGGANS, Times TV Critic

© St. Petersburg Times
published November 15, 2002

WHAT HAPPENED: Producers finally ended the suspense and let the competing Sook Jai and Chuay Gahn tribes merge into an ungainly whole dubbed Chuay Jai. Of course, the conniving reached stratospheric levels as the outnumbered former Sook Jai members tried mightily to make friends with a team they had derided as weak and old just a few weeks earlier. Tribemembers got a peek at video messages from home -- Gentry's was recorded by three of her children in Tampa -- with used car salesman Brian Heidik winning a reward challenge that involved carrying wicker balls over an obstacle course of sorts. (His prize: viewing of the entire video message from his wife, which only seemed to alienate other tribemembers.) With everyone's tempers on a hair trigger, gentle giant Ted Rogers Jr. ruffled feathers by going off for hours in a canoe for some "me time," and wiry Clay Jordan surprised everyone by winning immunity in a complex competition that involved translating numbers into Thai and digging up cards in a dirt field. Don't ask.

JAN'S BEST MOVE: Her gleefully sarcastic imitation of transparently pleasant manipulator Penny Ramsey, filmed while Ramsey was engineering the ejection of a team member at the Tribal Council shown last week.

JAN'S WORST MOVE: In an episode that seemed light on Gentry, there were, thankfully, no bad moves.

BEST QUOTE: Snuffy Smith soundalike Jordan's unseemly crowing over his immunity win, showing off the gaudy immunity necklace while shouting, "I know I look sexy baby!" Umm, no. You look like a 46-year-old guy who hasn't had a decent shower in a month.

WHO GOT THE BOOT: Despite all the talk of new alliances and friendships, the vote fell along old tribal lines, with onetime Chuay Gahn members kicking off New York cop Ken Stafford, 30. But the three former Sook Jai members all voted for Rogers, mostly because Jordan set him up by suggesting Chuay Gahn was preparing to vote him off, too. What happens when the giant gets wind of how Snuffy targeted him?

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