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Survivor: One World, The Big Picture, Episode 7 – Stick to Those Gunsby Sarah Freeman -- 04/02/2011
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Well, after one episode of optimism, this season has plunged me back into gloom. Goodbye, Jonas, my pre-season pick for the winner. I really wish I could have seen you pull something out and shake up the post-merge game. Instead, it looks like new Salani has the game locked up.
Fortunately, I have no real problem with anybody in new Salani; I just wish they would have targeted somebody other than Jonas first. As should be clear from my last article, I was not expecting new Salani to stand strong at the merge. This is an alliance that never got tested by a Tribal Council, and I thought that the pressure of a vote might show up the cracks. Apparently not!
Last week, I thought that the merged players would be hesitant to commit themselves to a definite path, and so they would vote out somebody who was not a key part of anybody's gameplans, citing Michael, Alicia, and Christina as likely possibilities. Instead, new Salani took out Jonas, Troyzan's erstwhile strategic partner and founding member of the Misfits. Both new and old Salani remain intact, but it looks like we've seen the last of a male alliance.
New Salani's core alliance was Troy, Jay, Kim, and Chelsea, or one male pair and one female pair. Kim and Troy were the dominant strategists of those pairs, the ones with the long-term game experience. During the episode, Troy said in confessional that he was just going to go along with whatever his alliance suggested for this vote. Kim expressed a similar sentiment on Insider, wanting to step back and let the others have their opinions.
In other words, the two players who have the most resources at their disposal are being cautious not to be seen as puppetmasters. It makes sense enough: they're in a safe position for a few votes at least. On the other hand, they were taking the risk of losing somebody who might have been a backup plan.
Still, they can't be directly blamed for Jonas' departure. That was Jay's idea, and we don't have the benefit of his motivations so we need to speculate. He cited Jonas or Leif, with preference to Jonas, but he was at one time in an alliance with them. It seems odd that he was so eager to eliminate an alternative alliance should New Salani not pan out. And why did he name these two instead of Tarzan?
It could be as simple as demonstrating his commitment to Salani. Unlike Troyzan, Jay felt that men vs. women was over as soon as he had swapped tribes. He was ready to be loyal to Salani from the moment his egg cracked. Remember that when he first approached Kim for an alliance (and it was Jay rather than Troy who made the initial pitch), he offered up Michael as a sacrifice. Jay's strategy could be to prove he's not double-dealing by eliminating the people he'd be double-dealing with!
Similarly, he might have wanted to weaken Troy's options by taking out his former second-in-command (as Matt saw them). This would effectively commit Troy to new Salani as well.
On the other hand, Jay came into the game planning to eliminate the strategists as soon as possible. It's not clear how much the players regarded Jonas as a strategist, but I've talked before about how he was in on all the plans around camp. Jay quite possibly had him filed under that category and so put him up for the vote as soon as possible.
This doesn't really explain why Leif was an alternative, since he doesn't appear to have done anything strategically. Possibly Jay mentioned a second name just to give the appearance of flexibility, but it's interesting he only named Manono members. Does he not think any of the girls are strategic enough to be threats?
It's likely a combination of the above and/or other factors. At any rate, I have to applaud Jay for taking the initiative. One of the most significant things Jonas had to say in his RNO interview was about the herd mentality with voting:
I realize how easy this was to fall into when I fell into voting for Bill. Bill was like my best friend in the game but it was so easy for me to fall into the [mode of thinking], “Hey, five guys are going to vote for Bill so why don’t I just jump into that too?” It was so much easier. Everybody just decided Jonas, Jonas, Jonas and they all fell in line.I love it when players discuss where they went wrong in interviews. Nobody ever plays a flawless game and even winners should be self-aware enough to know where they made a mistake. At the time Bill got voted off, I commented how a majority of Manono did not want to give up immunity, yet nobody spoke up against the plan. It's impossible to predict how the tribal swap would have panned out with Bill in the mix (instead of Alicia/Christina), but it would have improved Jonas's odds of ending up with loyal allies.
Instead, Bill went out of the game, and Jonas ended up with Colton whom he didn't trust, Tarzan whom he was in frequent conflict with (according to Leif's Insider clip), and Leif who is apparently too nervous to do anything. Even when the merged tribe was split for the reward, Jonas found himself with Tarzan, Leif, Michael – who he described as the most unreliable player in the game – Kim, who has proved herself resistant to influence, and Kat, who Kim quite possibly kept on a short lead for the duration. Losing the reward likely didn't matter half as much as missing out on bonding time with players who he could pull onto his side.1 2 3 4 Next-->
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