Season 5: Episode 3 - JED HILDEBRAND "EXTRACTED"
Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

After a dramatic Tribal Council, Jed Hildebrand, the free-spirited, yet headstrong, 25-year-old dental student from Dallas, Texas, was voted out of the tribe in a 5-3 vote. Perceived by many in his tribe to be lazy, Jed became the first person voted out of the Sook Jai tribe. After his flame was extinguished, Jed gave his final words, "Anytime you go to Tribal Council, your head is on the chopping block. I hope that everyone takes a step back and enjoys the beauty of Thailand and the awesomeness of this experience."

Despite losing the first three Challenges in a row, the Chuay Gahn tribe's spirits remained high. Clay Jordan, the 46-year-old restaurateur from Monroe, Louisiana, explained the reasoning behind their feelings, "It was an immediate bond. The personalities didn't clash, they clicked. We are a family."

However, the intimate bond between Ghandia Johnson, the 33-year-old legal secretary from Denver, Colorado, and Ted Rogers, the 37-year-old software developer from Durham, North Carolina, grew too close for comfort during the night. Ghandia explained her position: "I didn't get much sleep last night. I feel depressed and used. Last night, Ted put his arm around me and pulled me into him, and I was okay with that in the beginning. But he kind of got sexual. Basically, he was grinding against me."

Later, Ted approached a visibly upset Ghandia and explained that in his sleep he clearly mistook her for his wife, and that he never intentionally meant to make any sexual advances toward her. He apologized for making her feel uncomfortable, and she accepted, finally ending in a conciliatory hug.

"We are horrible campers, we are terrible outdoorsmen, we are starving!" exclaimed Shii Ann Huang, the 28-year-old executive recruiter from New York City, describing the depressed mood at Camp. Having won a 30-meter fishing net in a previous Reward Challenge, the hungry Sook Jai tribe set out to catch fish. With blister-covered feet, Jake Billingsley, the 61-year-old land broker from McKinney, Texas, explained, "We got the net in the Challenge, and we don't really know how to work it." After numerous attempts, the tribe managed to catch only one tiny fish.

Frustrated and hungry while picking at the fish bones, a sarcastic Robb Zbacnik, the 23-year-old bartender from Scottsdale, Arizona, stated, "It's kind of strange to be out here and see where all the fish comes from at home, but not being able to get it."

Both tribes met host Jeff Probst at the Reward Challenge, where he explained the rules. The tribes would have to race along a narrow bamboo course over water. At the center of the course was a "Contact Zone" where the Survivors could physically knock each other off the course. At the end of the course were two boats, one for each tribe, filled with baskets. Their goal was to negotiate the course, steal a basket from the opposing team's boat and return it to their own team's starting boat. First tribe to steal ten baskets would win. The Reward: two Thai Red Beret Special Forces Soldiers, who would help improve living conditions back at camp for twenty-four hours.

As the two tribes ran across the course, Robb Zbacnik of Sook Jai was disqualified as he met Clay Jordan of Chuay Gahn in the attack zone and tossed Clay off the platform by his neck. Sook Jai's early lead began to diminish and swing in Chuay Gahn's favor as Sook Jai incurred several penalties for attacking outside the attack zone, losing one basket for each infraction. The competition heated up as tempers flared. Ultimately, it was Ted Rogers' immense size that helped topple Sook Jai's efforts as Chuay Gahn reached their ten-basket mark and took home their first victory.

"I knew that the Red Berets were the equivalent to our Green Berets in the U.S., so I knew they would teach us how to get food and help our survival overall," explained Ted. The Red Berets arrived and went straight to work, carving bamboo and foraging for food. Amazed by the Berets' knowledge of the land, the tribe feasted on a veritable banquet made from ingredients that they never knew existed all around them. "The Red Berets said you can eat it. So if it's edible, we are eating it," explained Helen Glover, the 47-year-old Navy swim instructor from Middletown, Rhode Island.

Still harboring ill feelings towards Ted and having decided to not accept his earlier apology, Ghandia approached Helen and Jan Gentry, the 53-year-old teacher from Tampa, Florida, and informed them of Ted's actions the previous night. Ghandia explained, "He made me feel like such a piece of trash. Now I feel that I need to stick with the women."

Later, Helen approached Brian and informed him that the women were going to oust Ted at the next possible vote. Helen added, "I am just letting you know that the three of us are going to take him out next time." Wanting to hear both sides of the story, Brian approached Ted for his explanation. Ted explained, "A mistake happened and I rectified it. Nothing happened." After hearing what Ted had said, Ghandia exploded in an emotional outburst, throwing stones and punching logs in frustration.

Ted further explained, "Ghandia was making an issue that was very small, and could have been handled in a professional, one-on-one manner, and has exploded it into an issue that goes beyond this game." Soon after, Ted called a tribal meeting to clear the air.

Hunger-stricken from a meager diet of coconut and an occasional crab, the Sook Jai tribe could do nothing right to help their cause. Waking from a nap, Jed Hildebrand realized that the fishing net the tribe had won in a previous Challenge had gone missing. "We figured if we left the net out we might catch some fish and eat. We might feel good. The net floated away. We don't know where the net is," explained Robb Zbacnik, the 23-year-old bartender from Scottsdale, Arizona.

After hearing the tribe's only fishing net was lost, Shii Ann Huang placed the blame on Jed and Robb for having fallen asleep when they were responsible for the net, "Jed was sleeping and unwilling to get up. The fishing net went bye-bye!" As Robb and Jed searched unsuccessfully in the shallow water, the net floated past going unnoticed.

After taking back the Immunity Idol from Sook Jai, host Jeff Probst explained the rules of the next Immunity Challenge. Each tribe was given three stations and one temple made up of six pieces. The goal was to transfer one piece of the temple at a time from the first to the third platform and reconstruct the temple identically. The catch was that they could never place a larger piece over a smaller piece. First tribe to successfully rebuild their temple would win.

The challenge began with Chuay Gahn putting all their heads to use and working together to figure out the puzzle. Meanwhile, Sook Jai allowed Jed to lead, and was fractured in their decision-making. In the end, Chuay Gahn was victorious and sent Sook Jai to their first Tribal Council.

In the end, it was Jed Hildebrand, the 25-year-old dental student from Dallas, Texas, who was the first person voted out of the Sook Jai Tribe and the third person voted out of SURVIVOR: THAILAND.