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The Tribes

    Chuay Ghan 
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    Sook Jai 

  • Too Dumb to Live: They started fine, and clearly stronger than Chuay Gahn. Then they threw a challenge early on to get rid of an unpopular tribemate and never recovered.

Sole Survivor

    Brian Heidik 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s5_brian_heidik.jpg

  • The Ace: He is the first winner of the final immunity challenge to win the game, as well as the first winner to also win the most individual immunity challenges in a season.
  • Beneath the Mask: One of his more impressive strategies. A lot of players have said that it's impossible to play a character on Survivor, as the experience is so draining that it's just too much effort to be anyone but yourself. Brian was able to flawlessly present himself as a humble, kind and compassionate middle-class guy throughout the entire game, while his confessionals showed a much more ruthless and cutthroat side to him. The only person who really saw Brian for what he was is Helen's husband, whose warnings fell on deaf ears.
  • Born Winner: Once Helen was blindsided at the Final Four, there was absolutely no competition for him at the finals.
  • Evil Gloating: His famous "Mr. Freeze" confessional.
  • Freudian Slip: When he accidentally flipped off Clay as he counted down on his fingers how his Evil Plan was falling into place.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With Clay. With most of his tribe, really.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: He tried to shoot a puppy with a bow and arrow! Somewhat subverted though, as it turns out that he thought it was a rodent.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Somehow (must be his used car salesman charm) he managed to create a web of Final Two deals with everyone on his tribe, with everyone trusting him to honor the deal and no one double-checking with other members to make sure that Brian wasn't double-dipping. That's impressive.
  • Nothing Personal: Brian more than once refers to his time in the game as simply a business trip.
  • No-Damage Run: Played probably the most flawless game of Survivor up to that point, whether you liked him or not. The only time he stumbled even a little was at the jury questioning, and even then it was with the people whose votes he didn't even need.
  • Oh, Crap!: The only time in the game where he looks worried is when he and his tribe watch his wife's video and she shows off their mansion, grand piano and two luxury cars while saying they'll use the winnings to go on a luxury vacation, blowing the entire facade he had presented to his tribemates.
  • Ominous Walk: There are several challenges where he has such a strong lead that he just walks to the finish.
  • Out of Focus: Odds are people probably didn't really take notice of Brian in the first couple episodes, right up until he says in a confessional that things in Chuay Gahn have "reverted to the good old days" with the women in domestic roles.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Helen, Ted, Clay and Jan's Red Onis. Brian discusses several times the importance of staying calm, cool and collected and just listening to what the more passionate people are saying.
  • Self-Deprecation: In a post-game interview, his sole piece of advice for future players is that they shouldn't play like him.
  • Sexist Used Car Salesman: Well, he is sexist and also a used car salesman.
  • Showy Invincible Player: Didn't receive a single vote against him throughout the game and won the final three immunity challenges of the season, making him untouchable until the Final Tribal Council vote. Additionally, as Helen remarked when voting for him, there were tribe challenges in the earlier parts of the game that Chuay Ghan won largely because of Brian's efforts alone.
  • Slimeball: To a proverbial T.
  • Smug Super
  • The Sociopath: Or at least that's how he was portrayed. There are hints of this throughout the season that are difficult to pick up on unless you pay extra close attention, but the point at which it really became noticeable was when it came time for him to turn on his former allies. He had Ted and Helen ousted without hesitation or remorse, and he brought Clay to the final two for strategic purposes more than anything. Their friendships meant nothing to him. It was all business for Brian.
  • Sole Survivor: The winner of Survivor: Thailand.
  • The Strategist: One of the few contestants whom viewers saw enacting a game plan regularly throughout the season. It came through both in the way he presented himself as a helpful, supportive contributor at the camp and in the various one-on-one alliances he situated with people like Clay, Helen, and Ted, convincing the latter two that he was looking out for them right up until the votes they were eliminated on and taking the former to the finals because he figured Clay was perceived by enough people as either a Lazy Bum or aggravating personality to make him look better in comparison.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: The players knew him as a friendly and humble guy who worked hard at camp and entertained them by playing guitar. The viewers knew him as a very cold and logical man who only saw his enemies as cannon fodder and his so-called friends as weapons.
  • Tattooed Crook
  • Übermensch
  • The Unfettered
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: When Brian won a Reward Challenge to have an elephant trek through the Thai countryside (followed by a big lunch), Clay remarks with some laughter in his voice how scared Brian is of falling off.
  • Villain Protagonist

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Runner-Up

    Clay Jordan 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s5_clay_jordan.jpg

  • Cool Old Guy
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Determinator
  • Fatal Flaw: He tends to lash out at people when they aggravate him. He did just that to Jake (the one Sook Jai that didn't vote for him) at the jury questioning.
  • Fetish: He has a thing for asses.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Bordering on misanthropy.
  • Jerkass: Almost certainly brought to the final two by Brian because nobody liked Clay or thought he deserved the million in the slightest.
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: On the other hand, Clay took an active interest in all of the ex-Sook Jai members when the two tribes merged, unlike Brian. While this was undoubtedly only due to strategy (all three of the votes he received to win during the Final Tribal Council came from ex-Sook Jais), at least he tried to know who each of them was. When it came to the Final Jury questioning, while neither came off well, Clay at the very least was able to pass Penny's "what do you know about me" question with flying colors whereas Brian failed in a completely embarrassing fashion.
  • Lazy Bum
  • Malicious Slander: Clay was accused of potentially being a racist during the Final Tribal Council by Big Ted. Of course, Clay is going to deny this, but given all the other accusations levelled against him by the jury (that he's lazy, a jerk, a liar, etc.), he doesn't come off looking too well. Ted indicated during an interview though that it was in fact Helen that told him Clay uttered a racial epithet, and given Helen's intense dislike of Clay (she also accused him of being a sexist earlier in the game based on nothing in particular), this accusation comes off more a form of petty payback by Helen then something with any weight to it.
  • Mistaken for Racist: Some fans actually believed that he might have been one, despite the unreliability of Helen's testimony.
  • The Napoleon
  • The Nicknamer: "Bye, Bye Denver Diva"
  • Odd Friendship: With Brian
  • The Pawn: Somewhat subverted (though in the end played straight) in that Clay knew he was a pawn of Brian's and tried to invoke feelings of resentment towards Brian from the jury. He didn't win, but he got three votes, so how bad could he have been?
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: With Jake.
    • He and Jan didn't get along in the first half of the season, with Jan criticizing Clay for being a Lazy Bum and Clay being very annoyed by Jan's Cloud Cuckoolander tendencies, which was soon overshadowed by the arrival of the Sook-Jai members.
  • Self-Deprecation: While Clay can be pretty harsh to some of his comrades during confessionals, he's not above making fun of himself either.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Starts the season as a likable, cheery guy, but as the game progresses he becomes more and more blunt and misanthropic.
  • Two First Names
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Jan to a degree. While Clay isn't really best buds with her, his tongue lashings against Jan in the confessionals belie the general friendliness he shows to her back at camp. He also seemed to like Ted despite Ted severely disliking Clay.
  • Younger than They Look: He certainly doesn't look like he's only 46.
    • Lampshaded by Clay himself in the second to last episode. A full-length mirror appears at the Chuay Ghan camp after the tribe gets back from collecting shellfish, and Clay remarks with some surprise "I look... sixty."

The Jury

    Jan Gentry 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s5_jan_gentry.jpg

  • Cloud Cuckoolander
  • Cool Old Lady
  • Lady Drunk: As well as Jan herself, her friends and family who couldn't attend the Reunion show were all seen at a pub celebrating her third-place finish.
    Jeff: Where else would they be?
  • Manchild: Particularly her reaction to the bidding challenge ("see ya, wouldn' wanna be ya!"), as well as finding a dead baby bat on the beach.
  • My Tribe Right or Wrong: Said she would sink or swim with her tribe in the fifth episode.
  • The Pawn: All but referred to by Brian as one.
  • Sanity Slippage: During the animal graveyard scenes, at least.
  • Younger than They Look: She looked like a senior citizen back when she was competing in Thailand. She was actually only 52 years old at the time.

    Helen Glover 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s5_helen_glover.jpg

  • Boring, but Practical: Clay called her this, with different phrasing ("personality of an encyclopedia").
  • Deadpan Snarker: With a huge emphasis on deadpan. And on snarker.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: As well as happening to her, she quoted that in her speech against Brian at the Final Tribal Council.
  • Happily Married: It was obvious in the episode her husband appeared.
  • Only Sane Man: While she was the only relatively sane person in her alliance, her husband who won the loved one's visit (he got to hang out with Chuay Ghan for twenty-four hours) was also one. He observes right away that Brian is the one who's really controlling the tribe, and he tries to convince Helen to listen to him and vote Brian out. She doesn't listen.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives the mother of all speeches to Brian at the Final Tribal Council.
  • Unwitting Pawn: She was sadly "strung along" by Brian the entire time, only be duped and dumped at the final four.
  • Woman Scorned: A non-romantic example to Brian.
  • Worthy Opponent: Was the only person who stood any chance against Brian.

    Ted Rogers, Jr. 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s5_ted_rogers_jr.jpg

  • Can't Hold His Liquor: While Big Ted says that he never drank alcohol before, the first time he did, he became totally plastered.
  • Genius Bruiser
  • Gentle Giant: You can see him getting a little misty-eyed during Chuay Gahn's first vote, and when his tribe was planning to cook one of the chickens after the merge, Ted couldn't handle it (since he saw the chickens as pets) and went further down the beach to exercise.
  • Large Ham: When he got drunk for the first time.
  • Happily Married: According to him, he's "150-200% satisfied" with her as well.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Big Ted.
  • The Pawn: He was the first one that Brian cut loose when all the Sook Jai members were gone.
  • The Teetotaler: Ted comments more than once that he abstains from alcohol, except of course for that one time.
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    Jake Billingsley 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s5_jake_billingsley.jpg

  • Blatant Lies: In one episode he told stories about his life that would make even Coach Wade shake his head.
  • Cool Old Guy: The oldest contestant of the season and voted the most popular of the season.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: In one episode before Sook Jai went to Tribal Council (at this point there were only four Sook Jais left, and they all seemed pretty close to each other), Penny suggested that whoever the three that were left should all sleep together that night, and Jake suddenly blurts out "That sounds almost erotic". Either this comes off as hilarious or as Squick depending on your point of view.
  • In-Series Nickname: The Chuay Gahn members started calling him "Jake the Snake" post-merge because he attempted to find some way to keep in the game.
  • Noodle Incident: We don't get to hear about the adventures that Jake has had over the years (in the episodes where he told stories about his life), but one of them apparently involves something happening in the middle of an airport.
  • Team Dad: To Sook Jai in a big, big, big way.
  • Worthy Opponent

    Penny Ramsey 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s5_penny_ramsey.jpg

  • Alpha Bitch
  • Backstab Backfire: See the Quisling below
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: According to many of her castmates, including Ken, Shii Ann, and most of Chuay Gahn.
  • Gossipy Hen: According to certain members of Sook Jai.
  • Hypocrite Took great delight in whacking other players at the kneecaps. When it was her turn, as evidenced by the way she set down her torch to be snuffed, she was as far from a Graceful Loser as anyone could get.
  • Jerkass: Her rivalry with Shii-Ann bordered on racism.
  • The Quisling: Tried to turn on Jake to keep herself in. It didn't work.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: As the game progressed, her opinion of herself only inflated despite having done nothing to show for it.
  • Those Two Girls: With Erin

    Ken Stafford 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s5_ken_stafford.jpg

  • Big Brother Mentor: To Robb. In Episode 6, after a quarrel over a misunderstanding, Ken takes Robb under his wing and becomes this to him, teaching Robb how to better relate to his tribe. This calmed down the normally very unpredictable Robb into having an epiphany about himself and suddenly becoming much nicer to his tribemates.
  • The Big Guy: Of Sook Jai. Standing 6'5", Ken is still one of the tallest people to play the game.
  • Heroic Build
  • Mr. Fanservice
  • Only Sane Man: Incredibly level-headed and logical, and not prone to the weirder quirks of basically anyone else left at that point.
  • Out of Focus: Almost invisible until episode six and his quarrel with Robb.
  • Worthy Opponent: To Brian. Ken saw Brian for what he was and warned Jake not to trust the used car salesman. In turn, the night of the fake merge Brian took Ted aside and warned him to watch out for Ken. Once the tribes merged Ken was eliminated immediately, likely because he was by far the biggest threat to Brian's dominance.

    Erin Collins 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s5_erin_collins.jpg

Voted Out

    Shii Ann Huang 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s5_shii_ann_huang.jpg

  • Accidental Misnaming: In the episode after Shii Ann was voted out, the Chuay Gahn tribe are talking about her. Brian clearly didn't even care to remember her name as he called her (in the same sentence, no less) "Soo-yee" and "Sin-jo".
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Never feels like she belongs in Sook Jai, which fuels her failed attempt to turn on them.
  • Backstab Backfire: One of the most infamous in Survivor History.
  • Dark Chick
  • Deadpan Snarker: Especially with Robb.
  • May-December Crush: In one interview, Shii Ann expressed having a small crush on Jake, who is at least thirty years older than her.
  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple: Even before being picked to join Sook Jai, she wore purple clothing.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Shii Ann is currently the first and the only player from Thailand to return for a second season. Realistically, Shii Ann will also likely be the only person to have ever returned from this season.
  • Oh, Crap!: Tried to turn on Sook Jai post-merge... only to learn that there hadn't been a merge yet.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To Robb
  • The Quisling: Shii Ann attempted to be this and would have succeeded if it were not for the fake merge.
  • Token Minority: Shii Ann was the first Asian American to ever be cast on the show.
  • The Unfavorite: Believed she was this of the five remaining Sook Jai.

    Robb Zbacnik 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s5_robb_zbacnik.jpg

  • The Big Guy
  • Boisterous Bruiser
  • Coming of Age Story: His final episode.
  • Crying Wolf: See Funny Background Event
  • Dumb Muscle
  • Mr. Fanservice
  • Never My Fault: After the infamous Attack Zone challenge, angry Robb screams: "We lost just by bunch of rules!" Of course, and because he's was choking Clay.
  • Funny Background Event: When the rest of Sook Jai is distracted via goofing around near the shoreline, Robb slightly farther back in the ocean is screaming and then collapses, submerging into it. He got bit on the foot by a stingray, but due to Robb's loud nature, no one noticed until they noticed on land that he was bleeding.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: He had an epiphany about his behavior but was still voted out in the episode he had it.
  • Jerk Jock
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To Shii-Ann.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Lampshaded, and the first time at that point that someone had actually commented on their name being spelled wrong during jury voting ("two B's, two B's, guys").
  • Vision Quest: The day before his boot he goes on a hike with Ken. The beauty of the landscape along with a bit of wisdom from Ken makes him realize what's truly important in his life and that there is more to life than partying. He spends the night drinking with his tribe and the most aggressive and obnoxious player in the season finally gels with them. When they vote him off the night evening they seem sorry to see him go but he leaves the game in good spirits intending to live a better life.

    Stephanie Dill 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s5_stephanie_dill.jpg

    Ghandia Johnson 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s5_ghandia_johnson.jpg

  • Dude, Not Funny!: Her reaction to John's joke about Chuay Gahn's water source.
  • Four Is Death: Fourth one out and had voted votes against her.
  • Gossipy Hen
  • Malicious Slander: See "Rashomon"-Style. She made Ted out to be far worse than how he really seemed to be.
  • "Rashomon"-Style: Sort of. Ted allegedly made sexual advances towards Ghandia in the middle of the night when they were both snuggling in the cave. Ted claims that he was half asleep and not in his right mind, thinking he was back home with his wife, and the next morning he makes what seems to be an honest apology to her. Ghandia proceeds to tell the rest of Chuay Gahn that Ted was an unrepentant jerk who practically raped her.
  • Screaming Woman: After the tribe decides that they believed Ted's side of the story concerning the alleged sexual harassment, she has a fit and suddenly screams, causing Jan who was much further down the beach to ask "What was that?"

    Jed Hildebrand 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s5_jed_hildebrand.jpg

    Tanya Vance 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s5_tanya_vance.jpg

    John Raymond 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s5_john_raymond.jpg

  • I Coulda Been a Contender!: At the Reunion, Jeff Probst comments on how John was probably the most well-prepared first boot ever (for surviving in the wild), and he says that on any other season John probably could have done much better.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: His tribe voted him off for being too bossy.
  • Two First Names


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