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Survivor: Guatemala, Episode 1 MVPs: Valuable Tools?by Betsy Wasser -- 09/21/2005
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Welcome to another exciting season of Survivor. It seems fitting that the eleventh season of this show started off with an 11 mile hike. Right off the bat, the players had to work together and see who was tough and who was a weak link. This season was different, in that two former players, Stephenie and Bobby Jon, got the chance to try their luck again. The castaways know their history and saw them play – Lydia was a bit starstruck by Stephenie. Will that work to their advantage, or will it make them, as Jeff suggested, an easy early boot?
In this column, and every week, I’ll watch the show and determine who the Most Valuable Players are on each tribe. Once the two tribes merge to one, I’ll crown just one MVP. Players can win the MVP award for the week with great work on challenges, contributions at camp, smart strategy – basically anything that makes you a good Survivor player can earn you the MVP award.
Let’s start off with the Nakum tribe. I imagine that after pretty much all of the guys were taken down at the end of that killer hike, and after Nakum lost immunity, this tribe collectively started to wonder if getting the better camp was worth it. One player on this tribe pretty much defined the term Most Valuable Player – Margaret.
Margaret is a nurse, and her ability to help the dehydrated, injured, and hurting members of her team made her a valuable asset indeed. Bobby Jon himself said that if not for Margaret, he might have had a seizure, which would have put his team in incredibly bad shape. After that hike, this tribe was struggling, and if not for Margaret, they’d have struggled even more.
Margaret’s skills were critical at an important time for this tribe, and if she’s smart, she’ll springboard that into something bigger. She can’t count on injured players all the time, so she’d be wise to use the relationships she’s forming now to build alliances, whether it’s with the men she’s helping or with the other people who are feeling strong. If she uses that opportunity, we may be seeing more MVP awards for Margaret. But for now, she richly deserves this week’s award. Well done, Margaret!
The one thing that Steph did that was not smart was, when bringing up that strategy, say, “When I played before…” I think Stephenie would be best served by not reminding her tribe that this is her second chance at the game. It will be easy for players to hold that against her and say, “She played before, she had her shot, now let’s give someone else a shot.” I don’t think anyone is likely to forget that Steph was on our TVs for so many weeks, but it’s not helping for her to bring it up.
The MVP for Yaxha is none other than Gary. Gary took on a leadership role in the reward challenge and helped the tribe find their way through the jungle. He also provided much-needed strength in the immunity challenge. Gary also showed some good thinking by not telling anyone on his tribe that he used to play for the NFL. Again, that might be considered a reason to vote him out. He could not only be perceived as a threat, but also as someone who doesn’t need the money. Ideally, Survivor shouldn’t be about who needs a million dollars, but players don’t always see it that way. Gary’s leadership role and obvious physical strength might not keep him around after the merge (I can’t imagine two winners like Tom in a row), but for now, it makes him the Most Valuable Player on the Yaxha tribe.
So there we have it – two MVPs for one exciting first episode. Here’s hoping that Margaret and Gary keep up the good work and stick with us for a while longer, or someone else might just snatch those MVP crowns.
Betsy Wasser is the Associate Editor of Reality News Online. She is also fascinated by Stephenie’s eyebrows and wonders if she brought tweezers as a luxury item. She can be reached with any comments at email@example.com
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