Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

On night 27, Ken Stafford, the 29-year-old New York City police officer, was forced to turn in his buff when he was voted out of the newly formed Chuay Jai tribe in a 5-3 vote. After the two tribes merged, Ken's dominating physical presence and charismatic personality posed a threat to the Chuay Gahn tribe members, who banded together to oust the Top Cop. After his torch was extinguished, Ken delivered his Final Words: "This is definitely a life-altering experience. I have learned to appreciate things like never before."

Certain of his position in the game, with five Chuay Gahn members to Sook Jai's three, Ted Rogers explained, "Whether there is a merger or not, Chuay Gahn is in a very powerful position right now." Relishing their new power, the confident Chuay Gahn tribe sat around the fire mocking the members of Sook Jai while they were out of camp attending Tribal Council. Upon returning from Tribal Council, in which Erin Collins had been voted out, Jake Billingsley took the loss hard, noting, "I don't know if I'm tired or depressed. It's hard losing someone that has been with us for so long. I do not want to go back to Tribal Council."

Intending to win over the hearts of his competitors, Jake did his best to entertain the two tribes with his adventure stories. "Guys, I am an adventurer just like you. I just happen to be an old adventurer," he explained, as he continued his hard-to-believe tales. But Jake's attempt at fitting in with the tribe backfired as an annoyed Clay Jordan complained, "Everybody in the group is sick of his Roy Rogers tales!" ( Ted on Jake's storytelling )

Homesick from having been away from their families for the past 26 days, Clay asked, "Hey, does anyone miss their families?" As the two tribes sat gazing at the full moon, Helen Glover serenaded them with her rendition of "Are you Lonesome Tonight?" Fighting off tears, Clay then added, "This is the hardest thing I have ever done."

Both tribes met Host Jeff Probst at the Reward Challenge, where he informed them that they have officially merged and that they would now live as one tribe. Jeff then gave the Survivors a second surprise: videos from home! After each Survivor was given a brief preview of their loved ones, he explained the rules and the reward for the upcoming Challenge. ( Videos from home )

Pairing up, each group of Survivors would have to race through an obstacle course, with various tasks to perform along the way. First team to successfully complete the course and cross the finish line wins and moves on to the next heat.

After randomly selecting pairs, Jake and Jan Gentry battled Clay and Ken in the first round. Clay and Ken won, moving on to the next heat to race against Brian Heidik and Helen, who had previously beaten Ted and Penny Ramsey. Helen and Brian beat out Clay and Ken in a close battle, pitting the two teammates against each other in the final round, which consisted of a pyramid puzzle. In the end, Brian outwitted Helen and won the reward.

As Brian and the tribe sat admiring his loved ones video from home Helen's mind was on the game: "It looks like Brian is doing pretty good for himself. If I were against Brian right now, that would be enough to vote him off."

Frustrated and grumpy with tension mounting in camp, Ted needed to get away for some alone time. Paddling out to sea, Ted relished in his privacy. "It was real good quality 'me' time," he noted. Ted's temporary departure from camp caused true feelings to surface, as Clay remarked to Jan, "Ted, if he just leaves me alone, he doesn't piss me off, but it's his way or the highway with him."

Hearing of Clay's distaste for Ted, Jake approached Clay to lure him into a Sook Jai voting block to oust Ted. "If we could get some kind of alliance set up right now," explained Jake, "we could handle this thing systematically."

The tribes met host Jeff Probst at the first individual Immunity Challenge, where he explained the rules of Thai Numbers. The Survivors had to compete in a two-round race. First, a simple elimination round tested the Survivors' memory skills, matching Thai numbers with numbers in English. Clay and Ken both moved on to the final round, where they were pitted against each other in a test of memory and skill. Clay finally outwitted Ken and won the first individual Immunity Challenge. Donning the Immunity Necklace for the first time, Clay yelled with excitement, "I know I look sexy!"

With the upcoming Tribal Council in mind, Ted clarified his tribe's voting tactics: "The fact that NYC (Ken) was in the finals of the Immunity Challenge basically proved his strength today. So our strategy now is to eliminate the strength." Realizing he was a threat to the others, Ken made one last effort to secure his time on the island. "Basically, we need to bring one of them over to our side, or we are screwed." Ken explained.

In the end, the old Chuay Gahn bond remained strong as the five members ousted the 29-year-old New York City police officer. Ken becomes the ninth person vote out of SURVIVOR: THAILAND, and is now the second member of the Jury that will eventually vote for who will be the Sole Survivor.