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Survivor: Vanuatu, Episodes 6 & 7 MVPs: Surprise!by Betsy Wasser -- 11/03/2004
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I know you were all worried sick about me when there was no MVP article last week. Fear not! I’m all right – I’ve just been out of town for my sister’s wedding. Can you believe she scheduled wedding-related activities for a Thursday night? Honestly, where are here priorities? It’s a good thing I love her as much as I do.
This week, you get two episodes’ worth of MVPs – that’s four trophies to give away. And as I was watching these two episodes, I was surprised at which players I thought deserved the MVP. It just goes to show you never know who will come out on top.
Let’s start with the Lopevi tribe. The teams had just been switched around, and Lopevi was dominated by men. Twila was delighted to finally be around some guys she could relate to, since as you’ll recall, she wasn’t so sure she had a feminine side. So anyone would have guessed that Julie would be the next one to go, right? Wrong.
In Episode 6, Julie made an effort – for the first time – to talk to Twila to get her on her side. That’s a good idea – Twila is no fool and was probably very worried that the men would cut her loose as soon as possible. Best to try to secure an ally. But Julie didn’t put all her eggs in one basket. As an added insurance policy, Julie spent some time sunbathing bottomless on the beach. Having a nice butt is certainly no guarantee you’ll stay in the game (unless Boston Rob is playing), but it can’t hurt. And finally, Julie performed very well in the grueling water obstacle course that made up the immunity challenge. She covered all of the bases she possibly could to stay in the game. That’s good playing, and that scores her the MVP trophy for the Lopevi tribe in Episode 6.
Believe it or not, Julie deserved the trophy again in Episode 7. She honestly never impressed me before, but boom – two MVP performances in a row. Twila was obviously feeling insecure, so she asked Julie if the guys had offered her a final four alliance. Julie said they did, and I thought, “Wait a minute, they did?” Then, a few minutes later, she told us in an interview that she lied to Twila to get her on her side. How sneaky! How manipulative! How dishonest! How brilliant! Julie managed to not only find out about Twila’s alliance, but also to cast doubt in Twila’s mind. When it came time to vote, Julie, who should have been the most vulnerable, didn’t receive a single vote. Congratulations to Julie on winning two MVP trophies in a row.
Believe it or not, in the Yasur tribe, another player deserved two MVP trophies in a row – Rory. Like Julie, his head was definitely on the chopping block. He was, in fact, the only guy left on the Yasur tribe. And, like Julie, he’s still around. Let’s look at Rory’s strategy.
Rory got back from Episode 5’s tribal council hopping mad at the news that he was originally the one targeted (rather than Bubba). He proceeded to chew out the women for having the audacity to consider voting him out. Later, he gave another speech about how he would be loyal to his tribe and how he felt he deserved a fair shot. If I had been there, I would have been rolling my eyes so hard I’d pass out. After all, the entire point of Survivor is to vote people off and to avoid being the one voted off. I see no reason why those women should feel badly about planning to vote out someone with whom they had no past ties. But instead of telling Rory where to shove his little speech, the women quietly took in what he had to say. Interesting.
Still later in Episode 6, Rory pointed out that the tribe would need him for physical challenges. When the tribe lost the reward challenge due to a poor performance from Eliza, and then the immunity challenge after an even worse one from LeAnn, Rory’s argument looked pretty compelling. In the end, though, Rory stuck around due to some good luck – Lisa made a remark that made Amy question her loyalty. Since she and the other women were already unsure of Rory’s loyalty, I guess Lisa seemed more dangerous. Either way, Rory made some good moves to stay on the tribe.
Before I move on to Rory’s performance in Episode 7, I would like to say one thing: I don’t like him. I think his “how dare you think about voting me out” speeches are ridiculous and show an absolute lack of understanding of the game. Sure, he might not mean what he’s saying, but if I were on the island with him, I’d be annoyed enough with those speeches to vote him out just on principle – and to avoid an angry juror. I also think that Rory is playing the race card in a not-so-subtle way. Instead of saying he’s on the chopping block, he’s said he’s on the auction block. And he has also repeatedly said that he won’t “slave around camp” if he’s just going to be voted out. Since he is the only African-American in his tribe, I can’t help but think that choice of words is deliberate and intended to elicit some guilt from the women at the idea of voting him out. I think that’s cheap and I don’t like it. But I have to admit, whatever he’s doing is working.
In Episode 7, Rory made an attempt to worm his way into an alliance by talking to Ami and Leann about including him. The two of them weren’t interested – they wanted to stick with the women. Rory reminded them that they might need his strength in challenges. And in both the reward challenge and the immunity challenge, Rory performed incredibly well, thus pretty solidly proving his point. Thanks to those solid performances, Rory lived to see another week. And if the two tribes merge next week, Rory will be able to ditch his Yasur tribe and join right back up with his old alliance. That will put him in a solid position for the next few weeks.
Will there be a merge next week? And will double-header MVP winners Julie and Rory continue to surprise me with their smart game-play? We’ll soon find out.
Betsy is the Associate Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached with any comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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