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Season 5: Episode 8 - FIRST JURY MEMBER SELECTED: ERIN COLLINS VOTED OUT
Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

After an emotional Tribal Council, the 26-year-old real estate agent from Austin, Texas was voted out of the Sook Jai tribe 3-1. After 24 days of living together in the harsh Thai environment, the Sook Jai tribe bond grew stronger in the final days, making the vote even more difficult. Erin becomes the eighth member of SURVIVOR: THAILAND to be voted off the island and the first member of the Jury. She will return every three days to observe Tribal Council and will ultimately vote for the winner of the million-dollar prize and the title of Sole Survivor. After her torch was extinguished, Erin gave her Final Words: "I came to Thailand with a small bag and myself, and I leaving with far more than I could have ever expected."

STAYING UP LATE
Brian HeidikWhile waiting up for the Sook Jai tribe to return from Tribal Council, anticipation mounted as the men of Chuay Gahn speculated on whom the tribe had voted out. "There is a lot of tension in their camp, isn't there?" claimed Clay Jordan, the 46-year-old restaurateur from Monroe, Louisiana, as he rested near the fire. Returning from Tribal Council, where the Sook Jai tribe ousted Shii Ann, a vulnerable Penny Ramsey huddled her tribe together to reassure their allegiance to one another. "We are all four and we are all strong. Let's stay together and let's stay true to one another, and just want you to know that I love y'all, and thank you very much for keeping me around." As the two tribes sat around the fire, Ken acknowledged, "We are in a unique position because those of us that are left are now part of the Jury."

Penny, feeling vulnerable with her position at camp and wanting to bond with members of Chuay Gahn, approached Ted Rogers, who was sitting alone on the shoreline gazing at the sea. After exchanging pleasantries, she walked away and Ted rolled his eyes at Penny's brown-nosing attempt. Later, Ted explained, " Penny is going out of her way to be super nice to the point where it doesn't feel genuine, it feels fake. Observing Penny's manipulative actions, Clay Jordan added, "Penny is a cute, sweet little girl. She thinks her looks and her talent can get her whatever she wants out of men. I am 46 and she ain't getting nothing from me." (Penny on fitting in) (Brian's thoughts on Penny)

CAVEMAN TACTICS
"The cave smells like urine. Chuay Gahn has been peeing in the front of the cave," explained an annoyed Ken Stafford, the 30-year-old police officer from Brooklyn, New York. While lying in the cave with Jake Billingsley, Ken continued his rant, saying, "I do feel like a visitor here. Personally, I don't go around pissing where I sleep. Chuay Gahn does, and for that fact alone I can't feel comfortable. It smells like Coney Island under the boardwalk!"

A RECIPE FOR DISASTER
Helen cooks up a recipeHelen dishes it outAgitated from having spent the last 22 days together, the Survivors' nerves were tense and emotions ran high. As Helen Glover repeatedly boasted of her famous recipes, Jake's patience wore thin as he stated, "I love every person on the other tribe, but Helen with the constant recipes! I have heard recipes until I am just green in the face. It's nonstop, 24/7."

Needing to escape camp, Jake and Brian set out in the canoe. Living at the same camp, but as two separate tribes, the men relaxed on the boat as they fished for tribal information. Not wanting to reveal too much, Brian explained, "Jake might be trying to pick my brain a little bit, but I am not giving him anything."

Later that night, Ken, wary of Brian's actions, reminded Jake, "Remember, he is a used car salesman. What do they sell? They sell lemons." (Girls talk recipes) (Jake's strategy)

IMMUNITY CHALLENGE: BREATHING SPACE
After receiving Tree Mail, both tribes met host Jeff Probst at the Challenge location, where he explained the rules of the game. Using eight individual bamboo snorkels, four for each tribe, the Survivors had to submerge themselves underwater and breathe through the snorkel. Once a tribe member comes up for air, their time is stopped. The tribe with the longest cumulative running time under water wins. As the Challenge began, each tribe went below the surface and blew out the water that had accumulated in the snorkel. The Challenge came down to the final two: Jake for Sook Jai and Brian for Chuay Gahn. Eventually, Brian outlasted the elder Jake as Chuay Gahn won their fourth Immunity Challenge in a row.

MAGILLA RETURNS
Intertribal powwowWhile the hungry tribes were at the Immunity Challenge, Magilla the monkey returned to Chuay Gahn beach and raided the tribe's food supply. Upon returning to camp, the Survivors realized what the monkey had done as an angry Ken Stafford yelled, " All the bananas that we saved for tonight are gone!" (Magilla raids camp)

IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT
Jake Billingsley "I feel totally responsible for the fact that we are going back to Tribal Council," stated Jake, as the tribe returned from the Challenge. Ironically, Jake sought solace in the younger Erin Collins, who reassured her tearful tribemate. "We knew this day would come, and we knew that we would have to start voting out people that we didn't want to. We have to remain strong in our hearts. Nobody blames you; it's not your fault," Erin affectionately explained. (Erin consoles Jake)

UNLUCKY DINNER
Having won chickens in a previous Reward Challenge, the hungry Sook Jai tribe planned to kill and eat their last remaining chicken, which they named Lucky. Before killing the chicken, Jake held a ceremony out for respect for the bird's life. Anxious to eat, Clay later complained, "I have never seen such a ceremony in my life. It's not that big of a deal." However, a sensitive Jan Gentry, having already buried a baby bat, gathered peace by burying Lucky's feet and head in her makeshift pet cemetery.

TRIBAL MEETING
With the upcoming vote looming in the night, Sook Jai held a tribe meeting to figure out whether or not they should reveal each other's votes before leaving camp. "It makes me sick thinking about this," stated Erin. Ken Stafford then emotionally exclaimed, "This is the hardest vote because I love all of you guys." After a tearful decision and a group hug, the tribe decided to save their votes for Tribal Council. "It's tough when you have to vote someone off that you love," cried Jake.

Erin in a quiet momentIn the end, Erin Collins was voted out of the Sook Jai Tribe. Erin is the eighth castaway voted out of SURVIVOR: THAILAND and will become the first member of the Jury that in the end will vote for the Sole Survivor.