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Survivor: Guatemala, Episode 7 MVPs: Pool Partyby Betsy Wasser -- 11/03/2005
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Every week when I watch Survivor, I watch it like the rest of you do – taking in the strategizing, the game play, and suspense – but I also watch it with this column in mind. Sometimes it’s easy to pick Most Valuable Players. When Amy hurt her ankle and then got right back up and competed in the next challenge last week, for example, she was an easy choice. But this week, it wasn’t so easy. To be honest, no one player on either tribe really stood out for me as MVP worthy. That’s not to say everyone played lousy. In fact, quite a few players had good moments. So this week, I’m going to take a departure from my usual practice of giving MVP awards to one member of each tribe. Instead, I’m going to recognize MVP moments.
The first MVP moment was a bit of good strategizing from Jamie. He said in an interview that he knows Judd is a bit of a nutjob, but he plans to stick to their alliance and keep him around. Jamie figures that he can beat Judd in the final two, and I bet he’s right. In fact, if Jamie went up against either Judd or Stephenie, he’d have a good shot at winning in front of a jury. Stephenie, he could point out, has already had the chance to play the game. Some players might be convinced that, as a result, she doesn’t deserve a million dollars. Judd is an even easier argument. All Jamie would have to do is sit back, let Judd run his mouth, and wait for him to talk his way out of winning.
I actually pondered giving Jamie the MVP award for Nakum this week, but after his behavior at Danni’s pool party, I couldn’t do it. I can understand his misgivings about socializing with the opposing tribe. And I agree with his attitude, like that of Brian, the winner of Survivor: Thailand, that this is a business trip, not a chance to make friends. But Jamie made his feelings a little too plain. He showed every one of his cards and made it very clear to everyone around him exactly how he feels. That isn’t a smart strategy with the merge so close ahead. He would have done better to keep his feelings a little more secretive. He might have been approached by Yaxha members for his vote at tribal council and would have had some leverage. Now he’s made it clear that he wants nothing to do with Yaxha – not the smartest place to be.
My other MVP moment for Nakum goes to Stephenie and Rafe. They did a great job of putting together the puzzle for the immunity challenge, allowing them to keep their slight lead and win immunity over Yaxha. And how did they do it? Apparently they remembered the rules from first grade or so and were smart enough to do the edges first. Once they had the border of the puzzle complete, it was a snap to put together the rest of the puzzle. Well done, Steph and Rafe.
Yaxha also deserves an MVP moment for smart play in a challenge. In the reward challenge, Gary and Brandon wrapped themselves up facing the same direction, rather than facing each other like Stephenie and Lydia did. It made it a lot easier for them to walk together to the next post. And when they were unraveling, they had a much easier time of walking together. It was a smart little bit of gameplay, so Gary and Brandon can enjoy an MVP moment.
My final MVP moment of the week goes to Danni for her birthday pool party idea. I don’t question her sincerity when she said that she just wanted to do something fun for her birthday, and that she wanted to put the game aside. But the game is always on, and by bringing the other tribe over to their pool, Danni gave herself (and the rest of Yaxha) a great present- a bit of insight into the tribal politics at Nakum. I’m sure they noticed that Jamie wasn’t too keen to socialize, but that Judd was a bit more receptive. Since the tribes are now merged, that kind of information could be quite useful. Happy birthday, Danni, and congratulations on having an MVP moment as part of it.
I really like the little twist that the tribes will merge immediately after tribal council. No one was expecting it, and I love it when those sneaky producers keep the players on their toes. I can’t wait to see how things play out when Yaxha shows up at Nakum’s camp. See you next week!
Betsy Wasser is the Associate Editor of Reality News Online. She can be reached with any comments and MVP nominations at email@example.com
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