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Survivor: One World, Episode 5 Missing Intelligence Award – March Madnessby Chris Harris -- 03/21/2011
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I’m gonna need to get this in boilerplate: The Missing Intelligence Award goes to Colton and the Coltonettes.
Of course, the “Coltonettes” is just an easier way of saying the folks who are foolish enough to go along with Colton’s cockamamie plans. This is a diverse group, ranging from players who should know better but feel compelled to follow Colton because of the idol’s influence (like Jonas or Troy), or players who are wacky enough to be MIA regulars themselves (Alicia, Tarzan).
I’m gonna keep this brief this week: The reason Colton and the Coltonettes get the MIA this time is because they voted out Monica.
You remember Monica. She’s the one who actually managed to score a basket for a woefully outmanned team in the immunity challenge. She’s got the most athletic body (at 41!) on a tribe that spent most of the episode bemoaning the fact that the other team looked like Greek Gods in comparison. She has a toughness and resolve and can-do attitude in a group that was pretty much ready to concede every future challenge as soon as those eggs broke.
Seriously. Colton spent so much time bitching and griping about how awful his team was and how the other team got all the strong players and yada yada yada… and then he goes and leads the charge to vote out someone who proved almost immediately that she could help them compete.
In fairness, it didn’t look that way at first. Monica’s repeated falls in the water-carrying challenge made her look like a liability. By the time the basketball challenge rolled around, those spills were pretty much forgotten, since Monica joined Leif as being the only Manonoans to look like they actually gave a damn.
Of course, though Leif may have tons of heart, there are physical limitations there which, if we’re being honest, can prove a liability (especially if it’s a challenge where you’re shooting hoops -- kind of unfair, producers). That means Monica becomes Manono’s MVP. She’s the best overall combination of physical ability, attitude, and intelligence in challenges.
Colton made the mistake of looking too far into the future. He proclaims that Monica is “scary” -- in a post-merge scenario. Yes, Monica’s dangerous. She can win challenges, and she can win jury votes. But is this really the time to be worrying about that?
Seriously. You’re going up against the Salani Pantheon and now you’ve got Tarzan, Leif, Colton, Jonas, Alicia, and Christina. Let’s put that into perspective. A person described as resembling a “wounded hippo.” Someone with physical limitations, height-wise. Um… Colton. A guy whose most natural role on a tribe would be “camp cook.” Two ladies who couldn’t even agree over whether or not it was a good idea to weave palm fronds in return for fire.
Unless upcoming challenges include: a) competitive whining and bitching; b) a wet T-shirt contest (Alicia wins that one hands-down); or c) catching fish and using them to make California rolls, this team is screwed. Good grief. When you’ve got two guys with a Tarzan obsession on the island and you get the undesirable one… that’s when you know you’re in bad shape.
Long story made short, Colton shouldn’t have been worrying about the merge. He should have been worrying about the here and now. Clearly, he’s proven that he doesn’t care that much about going to Tribal Council (since he’s willing to give tribal immunity away to flush out one of his enemies), but he should want to avoid losing in the tribal stage of the game as much as possible. I don’t care how scary Monica is down the road. You could use her now.
Moreover, Colton seems to allow his personal feelings to dictate his voting order once again. Much as Colton wanted to boot Bill simply because he didn’t like him, in an Insider clip, Colton labels Monica “fake.” Pot. Kettle. Black. Colton claims that Monica is trying to play up the angle of Colton being her son, but Colton is totally playing that angle too. Another Insider clip shows Colton approaching Monica and saying, “Okay mama, I need advice.” If that’s not how Colton feels, then he’s being fake too.
And I have no problem with being fake. As we’ve already heard this season, it ain’t Survivor if you ain’t lyin’. I do have a problem with you basing your decision on whether or not to vote out somebody – even if just in part – based on a personality trait if there’s no sense in doing so. Hypocrisy equals “no sense” in this case. It’s about as bad as wanting to vote someone out because they’re poor, but let’s not go down that road again.
And hey, again, it’s Survivor. You have to expect people to be fake, right? The good thing for Colton was that Monica was taking on that role of mother. She was willing to be a loyal confidante as long as Colton was true to her. In a game that’s all about duplicity, you want to take someone with you to the endgame that you can trust – and who can you trust more than your surrogate mom? Alicia? Ha. Christina? I don’t think so. From both a challenge standpoint and a strategic one, it made more sense for Colton to keep Monica than any of the other women.
I do agree with the idea of staying with the men and getting rid of one of the women. But if Colton was trying to sell Alicia, frankly Christina would have seemingly been an easier sell anyway, since she and Alicia have such a contentious history. A smarter voting pattern would have involved getting rid of Christina, then Tarzan next, which would still leave the guys up 3-2 in the tribe. Then boot Alicia. Or hell, boot Monica then, since you’re so worried about her at the merge and this would be much closer to that time anyway. Whatever the case, Colton should have been sitting in the water talking to Alicia about getting rid of Christina, not Monica.
And Alicia went along with it. Jonas went along with it. Everyone who was on Colton’s side went along with it. Once again, this was Colton’s big idea, but nobody stepped in to make sure they didn’t get rid of their best player on a challenge-weak team. They just kind of collectively decided, “Hey, as long as it isn’t me.” Monica even made the point to Leif that if the guys are going to vote off a woman, they should do so with tribe strength in mind. Yet the little tyrant Colton couldn’t be stopped.
Yes, the odds are greatly against Manono’s survival, but we’ve seen tribes face dire situations before and come through. Remember the “mutiny” twist in Cook Islands and how outmanned the four-person Aitutaki tribe appeared? Yet they crushed Rarotonga in several straight challenges until the merge. They were able to do so because they had strong challenge players and great leadership.
Consider those two factors. Now consider that Manono just booted the one person who embodies both of them. It’s like they considered Aitutaki – the ideal tribal role model when facing a seemingly superior enemy – and then decided to go in the exact opposite direction. This is all because of their real leadership – Colton’s leadership. And if you’re looking to win, that’s no kind of leadership at all.
Unless, of course, you’re talking about winning in front of the final jury, Then I’d drag Colton’s butt to the end and watch the jurors rake him over the coals. That’s about the only way you can win by siding with Colton. Anything else will just get you and your fearless leader a big, fat Missing Intelligence Award.
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Chris Harris is a newspaper journalist from Somerset, Kentucky, and hates it even more that Bill is gone now, since he’s proven he’s such a nice guy. You can email Chris at email@example.com.
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