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Survivor: Vanuatu - Who Gets No Respectby Ken Kellam III -- 10/11/2004
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Believe it or not, I didn't set out with the intention of mentioning Rodney Dangerfield in this article; then came tribal council, which brings us to our first question: Does anyone else find it strangely ironic that two days after the demise of the comedian, we hear Jeff Probst say to Rory, "You get no respect," in reference to his previous votes at tribal council? Don't get me wrong - I'm aware the episodes are taped months in advance, and the timing was simply a co-incidence.
With that in mind, who really DOES get no respect in the game? Well, that would have to be young, strong males in general. Last week, I noted that never have the strong been voted off so systematically so soon. One reader pointed out that in Thailand, Jed, Stephanie, and Robb were voted out of their tribe for being too strong. Now, while they were all strong and all voted out early, I don't think it was BECAUSE of their strength. Rather, Jed was booted due to laziness, Stephanie's ouster had to do with isolating herself from the tribe, and Robb was, well, Robb.
The way this game has played out so far, the younguns didn't stand a chance. Credit for that goes to Sarge, thought long-term (may TOO long), and banded the older players against the "young studs." To be honest, I don't like seeing the strong get ousted so early, as it might make the tribe potentially weaker and weaker. And yes, there's a switch next week, but the more strong members you eliminate, the better chance you give the women of beating you in physical challenges, if there are any more.
If this were a mixed-gender tribe, would any of these three be gone by now? Doubtful, unless they ended up in a situation like Hunter did in Marquesas. But those situations are rare indeed. I'd be willing to bet that in any other edition of the show, these three would make the merger, or at least come close to it.
If you think about it, all three of the ousted Lopevi members could do take-off of Dangerfield's "I get no respect" routine. Brook could say, "I got booted first and I didn't even cost us the challenge. Even worse, I didn't get much time on camera. Boy, my fifteen minutes of fame was cut down to about two." J.P. could complain, "We won the immunity challenge and I STILL got voted out." Brady could say, "Not only did my tribe and one remaining ally turn on me, Uncle Sam wouldn't even let me go on The Early Show."
But they aren't the only ones who have something to complain about. As Probst pointed out, Rory does indeed get no respect, not just because of tribal council: He could easily claim, "My tribe puts me in charge during the challenge and then doesn't listen to a thing I have to say." Well, after the immunity challenge, it was hard to respect ANY of the men for the way they were playing. That may have been by far the worst team showing by either tribe this season. The men seemed to all be doing their own thing, and showed absolutely no ability to work together. Although Rory said he took the loss squarely on his shoulders, there was plenty of blame to go around. It doesn't matter how good a quarterback is if his teammates don't listen to him and carry out their own assignments, and most of all, play together. In contrast, Eliza, big-mouth that she can be, quickly realized what needed to done, and her Yasur teammates were willing to listen to her direction.
This challenge actually reminded me of the logic puzzles I've done on and off as a hobby since junior high. They'll ask something like, "From the clues provided, can you match each of the four survivors below with his correct hometown and luxury item?" If you've ever done such a puzzle you know that if, for instance, "Paul" is from "Washington, D.C," you know how to fix your grid so that no other Survivor can be from there, and Paul can't be from anywhere else. If anyone on the men’s team were familiar with such puzzles, the outcome may have been different. Then again, men aren't supposed to be good at taking directions anyway, so maybe it wouldn't have mattered.
Now for a question or two about Sarge: Is he finding it hard to relinquish the control he's so used to back in the States? Maybe you really CAN take the Sarge out of (or away from) the military, but you can't take the military out of the Sarge. Maybe the fact that they call him Sarge is an example of that. For that matter, do any of his tribe members know his real first name? When the game started, he seemed to be calling the shots rather subtly, but as it continues, he's becoming more and more obvious.
Another point: He said the Brady was a strong teammate, and his experience was that you take your strongest warriors to war with you. But when it came time for the vote, why did he make Brady another casualty of war? It will be interesting to hear his comments while casting his vote on "Survivor Insider." It will also be interesting to see if we get any footage showing him trying to talk to others about ousting Rory but getting nowhere. Nevertheless, Sarge. if this is the group you're going to war with… let's just say Custer might've had a better chance against the Indians.
Now, let's talk about the women. Who on the Yasur tribe gets no respect? Apparently, Lisa and Eliza have no respect for each other. But in my view, it's deserved in Eliza's case. I can understand why Eliza switched her vote to Dolly, but for her to turn around and act shocked that Lisa would do the exact same thing and act all hurt and betrayed was hypocritical, to say the least. And frankly, I respect Lisa for sticking to her guns and not apologizing for her move. But was it smart? Probably smarter than when Eliza did it, because now, Lisa is in the majority alliance, whereas Eliza is on the outside looking in.
Did anyone think their fight to begin the episode was a bit over-hyped? Based on the previews, I expected an all-out battle a la Mia and Twila, but it wasn't nearly that dramatic. It brought to mind an episode of the show Cheers where two women are about to get in a fight at the bar, and all the men start chanting, "Cat fight, cat fight." However, when it becomes obvious the women will have best have a war of words, the men started chanting in a rather disappointed, dejected tone, "Kit fight, kit fight." Yes, Mia was obnoxious and it was good to see her gone, but her fight with Twila at least made for good TV.
When Yasur learned what their reward was, did they all chant, "Do Do Do Do, Dah Dah Dah Dah, is all Yasur has to say to you?" And how much of a shot in the arm did the native tribesman give the ladies anyway? At first, it looked like he was giving THEM no respect when he arrived ashore, walked right by them, and went up a tree. But in the end, they certainly came to respect HIM. The greatest effect he had on them was probably psychological, as they really seemed to come together as a tribe. That can sometimes be worth more than all the food he taught you to eat. And can there better be a better example than Dah of actions speaking louder than words? He got right to work from the get-go, and didn't stop until it was time to leave.
Well, it's time to end up with not a question, but a song:
"Here's the story, of a man named Brady,
Well, as mentioned before, it looks like we're in for a tribal switch next week. This should get interesting. See you then!
Ken can be reached with any comments, criticisms, or money orders at YourNextOfKen@aol.com .
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