By Todd Peterson
Updated April 02, 2004 01:00 PM

For the remaining members of “Survivor: All-Stars,” Thursday’s competition was a trip through the looking glass, as cross-tribe pacts and promises led to a fateful decision and the ouster of Jerri Manthey.

“Merger” was the word on everyone’s lips, as the episode’s first tree mail arrived with face paint for each team and note hinting at an opportunity to make friends. As Chapera team members used its red paint to decorate themselves, Mogo Mogo did nothing with its green paint as no instructions had accompanied the paint telling this downward-spiraling team what to do.

Mogo’s lack of action would prove prophetic later in the game, as both teams gathered for a meeting in lieu of the Reward Challenge. As each team member chose a number, like numbers from both tribes paired off to share strategies and a picnic lunch.

Lex and “Boston” Rob met for a powwow, while Rupert and Shii Ann, Jerri and Tom, and Alicia and Kathy all went their separate ways. Chapera, with two members more than Mogo, had tribe mates Jenna and Amber dining together. Everyone seemed convinced the teams would be united after the exercise.

But when the teams returned from their lunch, host Jeff Probst had all the members ditch their tribe buffs and draw new buffs from a container. It was quickly revealed that the teams were not becoming one, but rather that they were being shuffled. And then an impossible thing happened: One by one the players removed a colored buff, and the teams remained exactly the same, except for the fact that all the Mogo members drew Chapera buffs, and all the Chapera members drew Mogo buffs. The only exception was Amber, who, due to the uneven numbers, drew a Chapera buff — forcing her and Boston Rob’s separation.

Then the teams switched camps — and possessions — with the better-outfitted Chapera losing their superior camp, equipment and Amber to the scruffy Mogo tribe.

Meanwhile, Boston Rob was plenty choked up over the absence of his sweetheart. “I promised Amber I’d take her to the end of this show,” he tells the camera. “It kills me to have her over there by herself.”

And as the teams prepared the Immunity Challenge, it became clear that if the new Chapera lost the challenge the person most likely to go would be new member Amber.

Chapera did indeed lose the challenge. And as the two teams prepared to leave, Rob whispered to Lex (with whom he lunched a couple days earlier) that if Lex protected Amber, Rob would look out for Lex down the road.

The ill-considered offer was enough to convince the Chapera members to ditch Jerri, one of their own, in the hopes that Boston Rob will look kindly on them in the future. Ouch!