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Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains – Why Amanda Lostby David Bloomberg -- 05/05/2010
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Amanda had the clue to the hidden immunity idol in her hand, but she didn’t even read it. The Heroes had both Candice and Sandra on their side, but not for long enough. Which of these two situations contributed the most to Amanda leaving the game – or was it something completely different that did her the most harm? Why did Amanda lose?
If we ignore the immunity idol situation, it might seem like much of Amanda’s predicament was out of her control. After all, Sandra and Candice were the swing voters – they could have voted against Amanda or against a Villain, and they went with Amanda. But the fact is that such things were not completely outside her control and there were still possibilities for her survival. We’ll find out more as we page through What Survivor Heroes and Villains Should Have Learned.
Amanda of course knew the importance of the first rule, scheming and plotting. I mean, she made it to the final jury in both of her previous appearances! The thing is, we didn’t see a whole lot of that kind of strategy coming from Amanda this time around. She seemed to just kind of sit back and take a wait-and-see attitude.
However, as she noted when I interviewed her, “I was sitting pretty until we merged – I could have gone with Candice and Colby or with J.T. and Rupert. I put myself in the best position possible. I had everything pretty much handled.” So by sitting back a little bit, she had indeed positioned herself to go with either of two duos on her own tribe.
The problem came with the merge, when she admitted to me, “I didn’t think enough about it.” Everybody assumed she would team up with Parvati, and indeed she told me as much, but she also noted that Parvati turned around and “told Russell everything I said, so I didn’t trust her anymore.” Can’t say I blame her there.
However, she needed a backup plan and she didn’t really have one, so she just ended up confusing herself. Even in dealing with Parvati in the previous episode, she couldn’t decide if she wanted Parvati to use the immunity idol or not. She had non-strategic allies (Rupert and Colby) on one side and non-committal potential allies on the other. And she got stuck in the middle.
But there were two other people stuck in the middle as well – Sandra and Candice. Whichever way they decided to go, that’s how the vote was going. As Amanda told me, “It was like a tug of war with Candice.” I don’t think it was simply a case of her talking to Russell last, because we saw her have the final discussion with Sandra about which way they would vote. Candice made a specific decision to jump ship and oust a Hero.
I believe she did this for a couple reasons. One, she must have believed it would be better for her game. And two, I think Russell, over the course of the few days, did a good job of recruiting and flipping her. He had two potential loose cannons in her and Sandra, and he played them against each other. Both knew that if either one didn’t do as promised, she would be left vulnerable and Russell would still get his way. So they were forced to work together.
Ironically, Sandra wanted to side with the Heroes while Candice wanted to side with the Villains. I think Candice really bought into Russell’s “top three” tale and she didn’t think she would get that far with Rupert, Colby, and Amanda. Since both Sandra and Candice needed to agree on how to vote, it was essentially a game of chicken, and Sandra was the first to swerve. This isn’t terribly surprising as Sandra has always been about voting in any way that doesn’t involve putting herself in danger.
Why have I gone off on what may seem like a tangent, considering we’re supposed to be discussing Amanda’s actions? Because the fact is that while Amanda was puttering around, Candice was making some real game moves. Were they good ones? Time will tell. But she schemed and plotted and was proactive while Amanda was reactive (that is, reacting to Russell trying to steal Candice). Amanda was outschemed.
So if she didn’t seem to scheme and plot enough, can we say for sure that she followed the second rule as far as not scheming and plotting too much? Well, sort of. We need to remember that part of the second rule also keeping your scheming secret, and it was very clear that Amanda was standing by the Heroes.
Indeed, while it might have seemed that Sandra and Candice were walking a fine line as they wavered between voting out a Hero or a Villain, in fact they were the only two safe ones because nobody knew where they stood! Everybody else was solidly on one side or the other. The Villains knew Amanda was classified as an enemy, so they could safely target her – and they did.
The third rule addresses flexibility. As we’ve already discussed, Amanda maintained good flexibility before the merge, keeping her options open in case she had to choose a side within the Heroes tribe. She even kept open the option of working with Parvati once the merge occurred. However, an open option that isn’t really acted upon doesn’t do anybody any good, and she failed to either indicate to Parvati ahead of time that she wanted to work together or to fully commit to such a plan once the merge did occur.
It’s not clear if Parvati would have gone along with her or not, given her attachment to Russell and the paranoia that already existed among her tribemates about the possibility of a Parvati-Amanda alliance resurfacing, but Amanda certainly didn’t do anything to convince her!1 2 Next-->
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