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Jim Lynch becomes the first castaway to exit 'Survivor: Guatemala'

By Reality TV World staff, 09/16/2005 

Based on what he endured in his short three days in Survivor Guatemala, Jim Lynch, a 63-year-old fire department retiree from Northglenn, CO, was probably the first initial Survivor bootee who was glad to see his time in the game come to an end.

Already suffering from the effects of Survivor Guatemala's grueling opening hike, Jim was further injured when his left bicep snapped during the competition's first Immunity Challenge. Forced to carry his arm in a makeshift sling as the tribe prepared for Tribal Council, Jim suddenly stood out strongly even among the Nakum tribe's other hobbled male contestants, making the crippled castaway the group's obvious voting target.

Last night's premiere episode of CBS' Survivor Guatemala began with the already divided tribes being told that they'd be receiving (in one of the worst kept twists in Survivor history) one additional "tool" to aid them in the game -- previous Survivor: Palau contestants Bobby Jon Drinkard and Stephenie LaGrossa.

Once Bobby Jon joined Nakum and Stephenie joined Yaxha as "full-fledged members" of their tribes, Jeff revealed that the competition would begin with the show's first Reward Challenge -- a grueling eleven mile Eco-Challenge-style race through the Guatemalan jungle. The first team to finish the trek would receive firemaking flint and the right to remain at the hike's Maya ruin finish line -- a location that also doubled as the competition's better campsite -- while the losing team would have to continue traveling to the lesser camp location.

After determining which supplies and provisions to carry with them, the tribes took off on the hike, using their maps and compasses to navigate their way through the jungle. As night fell, Yaxha, navigated by Stephenie and Gary Hogeboom, found themselves trailing Nakum. Meanwhile Nakum, led by Jim and Margaret Bobonich, was slowly but surely working its way through the jungle. However, while Yaxha appeared to get lost at one point, Nakum also encountered its share of difficulty, with Blake Towsley hurt by a thorn-covered tree that fell on his shoulder and had him vomiting by nightfall.

Forced to spend the night in the jungle, both tribes resumed the race early the next morning. Rising before daybreak, the Yaxha tribe managed to momentarily catch up with Nakum, only to again drop back a bit when some of their members couldn't maintain the accelerated pace. However Nakum's pace caught up with them as they neared the finish line, as Bobby Jon began suffering from paralyzing cramps caused by dehydration -- a harbinger of the suffering that would befall nearly all of Nakum's men once the race was over.

In the end, Nakum overcame Bobby Jon's cramps (and Judd Sergeant's "premature evacuation" from the race's final boat paddling leg) to win the race and its finish line campsite. After crossing the finish line, the losing Yaxha departed for their camp (located on the other side of the lake), leaving Nakum to deal with the fallout of their victory.

Dehydrated from the grueling hike, Jim and Judd joined Bobby Jon and Blake as members of Nakum's injured, forcing Margaret, a nurse practitioner, to begin making "rounds" among the foursome. Bobby Jon appeared to suffer the worst, with his dehydration generating some scary "eyes rolling to the back of his head" moments. Among Nakum's men, only Brandon Bellinger, a 22-year-old farmer/rancher who used some of the tribe's excess water supply to soak himself down before the hike began, appeared to have survived the hike in good condition. Meanwhile, all four of the tribe's women appeared to have endured the race unscathed, tending to the camp and assisting Margaret in nursing the downed men.

After assembling for the Day 3 Immunity Challenge, the tribes learned that their second challenge would also be another task that required strength. Paddling out into the lake, the tribes would have to retrieve a torch, return to shore, and then use logs to roll their heavy boats up a hill to the challenge's finish line, after which they would use the torch to light a cauldron. Once the challenge got underway, the tribes were still very close as they began hauling their boats up the hill, however Nakum (still suffering the aftereffects of the hike) began struggling to move their boat, allowing Yaxha to move ahead and hold on to win the challenge.

The Immunity Challenge loss sent Nakum on their way back to camp, where the tribe learned that in addition to losing the challenge, Jim had also suffered his bicep injury. Already a prime target due to his status as the tribe's oldest member, the injury shot Jim past the also still suffering but much younger duo of Bobby Jon and Blake on Nakum's Tribal Council radar, sealing his fate as the first castaway to exitSurvivor: Guatemala.

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