John is the first off ''Thailand'' -- But forget about him, says Jessica Shaw. She gives her first impressions of the rest of the crew and tells who she thinks will win

By Jessica Shaw
Updated September 19, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT
John Raymond: Robert Voets/CBS

Survivor: Thailand

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John is the first off ”Thailand”

The great joy of the first episode of a new ”Survivor” season is picking that one person who you’ll love to hate and hate to see voted off. This season, my friends, it’s practically a 16-way tie. From the first few minutes during the little introduction party on the beach, you could see these were no sweet little Elisabeth Filarskis.

Of course, most of the oversized egos in the game were chosen by Jake, who, while picking his Sook-Jai team, seemed most interested in surrounding himself with young hot bodies. At first I thought this group would rock every competition, but they’re all so damn full of themselves I think the concept of team effort will be lost on this group of cocky Alpha males and females.

Still, who among us wouldn’t have wanted to get picked by Jake when hotties Stephanie and New York cop Ken joined his team? Jan’s team, on the other hand, seemed so sad and pathetic during the team picking session. Not that things got much better once they got back to camp. Brian said things like “It’s all about love.” John is (well, was) the most irritating guy on the planet. And who can even look at Clay in a bathing suit without wanting to flip channels? And yet, I think a couple of the key players of the game — the ones who will dominate after the merge — will end up being from Chuay Gahn.

Now that we don’t have to concern ourselves with Father John anymore, let’s focus on who’s got the best shot and who’s destined for the cutting block.

As far as I see it:

o Jan‘s incessant crying will make her tough to tolerate.

o Penny, with her peppiness, and Tanya (why can’t she pronounce it right?), with her puking, are simply eye candy who won’t make it far.

o Shii Ann, the self-described she-devil, is already making enemies.

o Helen will be a competitor but she has too much of a Susan Hawk thing going on.

o Clay is too awkward to make alliances.

o Despite totally messing up the immunity challenge, Ghandia has the sense of humor (I love when she said under her breath, “Morons!”) to be a leader.

o Robb may be the most hateful human being ever to grace a reality show so he won’t last long.

o Brian and Erin are too tough to call, but don’t exactly seem like brain surgeons.

o Ken, Jake, and Ted are all decent guys, but who will win according to my extremely unscientific calculations?

o Jed‘s the best looking of the bunch, but he reminds me too much of Gabe from ”Marquesas” and Greg from the first ”Survivor,” which doesn’t bode well for landing a spot in the final two.

o The ultimate Survivor will be Stephanie. She’s confident, athletic, goes skinny-dipping, makes friends, and looks like she can stay under the radar until she really brings her game out.

I might add here that I picked Ethan as the winner of ”Survivor: Africa” moments after he appeared on screen. Okay, in all fairness, I should disclose that Vecepia never even made it to my radar.

Who do you think stood out tonight?

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Survivor: Thailand

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