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Strategic Overview of Survivor, Episode 9: Strategic Genius?by Jeffrey D. Sadow -- 11/12/2004
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Of course, we get an edited version of Tribal Council, and this column gets written right after the show's end, before Survivor Insider comes out. I'm very curious about what everybody has to say about their votes because I can fathom no good strategic reason for the rhetoric and votes that went out surrounding the setting of Lea's moon.
Out of the confusion one thing does seem clear from it all - the guys are far short of being strategic geniuses. Again, we are hostages to Mark Burnett's editing, but he makes it appear that, after the vote sending Rory out, the Three Amigos sat around despondent for awhile, then during the reward challenge began to think Eliza could be converted, and only close to the vote itself suddenly figured out that they could and should get another possible defector in Twila to save themselves. It's not like they haven't been cooped up for three weeks with plenty of time on their hands to think about strategy ….
A cataloguing of strange strategic behavior may give us clues to what actually was going on here, disregarding for the moment the obvious conclusion that the Three Amigos naturally play idiotically, so whatever they were thinking was poor strategy:
Let's start with the last oddity. This vote could mean only two things, one being that Chris thought Lea's pig was cooked and so he wanted to insinuate himself in with at least some of the women to be, at the very least, voted off after Chad, at best somehow work a new alliance and/or take advantage of immunity wins all the way to the end. But Ralph Nader had a better chance of winning last week than this has of working.
Or, perhaps this signaled a much more complex strategy. Let me try to build a semi-plausible case for this possibility.
Let's assume that, after all was said and done, the Three Amigos could get just one woman to defect, further assuming it was Twila. Let's say that she just didn't think she could get Scout detached from the women, or Eliza as well, or even Julie (no option should be discounted). In that case, Lea's fate was sealed and the thought may have been to try to use Tribal Council to detonate the women's group down the road.
Thus, we get the conversation designed to sow seeds of distrust among the women followed by the strange voting. Eliza and Julie drew votes as signals that their positions were somewhat precarious, to worry them and encourage them to defect later. Twila votes for Lea not to out herself and to show that, despite the rhetoric, she remains trustworthy to the gals. Chris votes for Lea just to make things extra confusing…
Wait, back up… maybe Chad and Lea thought they were getting two women, except Chris decided to cross them up, and Chad and Lea voted for different women because Twila was sandbagging them all along and was in on it with Chris with whom they separately told Chad and Lea different targets while they now hope to combine with Julie and Eliza or Scout which would force Chad to vote with them next time to dump Ami…
OK, I give up. I cannot fathom this strategy if it is anything except stupidity. The path was clear: Twila feels comfortable with the guys, Twila suspects too much power is accumulating with Ami and her female lapdog Leann, Twila is pals with Scout, Scout dislikes Eliza who Twila doesn't really trust as well… GET THE TWO OLDEST WOMEN ONTO YOUR SIDE TO DUMP ELIZA! Or, even more boldly (or more necessarily if Scout was unattainable), if they could have worked Twila and Eliza separately to cross over (admittedly a longshot), the Three Amigos would have had a wonderful 3+1+1 majority that would discourage a future defection by Twila or Eliza and basically would have assured themselves of the final four.1 2 Next-->
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