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Survivor: One World, Episode 8 Missing Intelligence Award – The Fall of Troyby Chris Harris -- 04/10/2011
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It’s very easy to be led astray by a beautiful woman.
Goodness knows a large amount of the book of Proverbs is devoted to this topic. And we’ve all been there. It’s really hard to resist someone who looks appealing, speaks in a sweet, soothing voice, and tells us something that we want to hear – or at least in the way we want to hear it.
That said, while I sympathize with this week’s Missing Intelligence Award winner, I still have to bust him. That would be Troy – a.k.a. Troyzan – who allowed Kim to wrap him around her little finger this week and prod him into making a potentially disastrous decision.
We’ve heard a lot of talk since the merge about the threat of the alliances in this game once again being drawn along gender lines. Kim, in particular, has noted that either option – old Salani or new Salani – could work for her depending on how things go and she’s wanted to keep both those options open.
Well, it’s become pretty clear what’s happening now. With two men down – including one from new Salani – this game is once again a battle of the sexes.
The thing is, the guys saw this coming. Troy saw this coming. At the beginning of the episode we saw him discuss with Jay the need to alternate the boot by gender – a girl needed to go next. It would help make things fairer if new Salani was to stick together. Troy seemed totally on board with this idea at the time.
Later, Troy suggested voting out Christina, and Chelsea lobbied for Mike instead. This raised a red flag for both Troy and Jay.
Which doesn’t surprise me, because Troy has been one of our true power players this whole game. He’s demonstrated strategic ability, good judgment, challenge proficiency, a social game above reproach, and on top of all that, he has an immunity idol in his pocket. Troy has given us total faith that when it comes time to make a difficult decision in the game, he’ll make the right one.
Alas, we saw his first true misstep (you could say his first was going along with Colton’s ridiculous idea to give immunity to the girls, but it’s not exactly like Troy was the only guilty party there) this past week when he talked to the game’s other frontrunner this season – Kim.
Demonstrating the keen people-reading ability necessary to go far in this game, Kim and Sabrina fingered Troy as being vulnerable to the suggestion that Mike would want him out. Troy and Mike were never on the same page over on old Manono, and even being on new Salani didn’t seem to bring them closer together. Troy always seemed tighter with Jay, and really even Jonas after the merge. Mike just happened to be another guy with him on Manono. The women correctly ascertained that they could drive a wedge between the two men, and so that’s just what Kim did.
Kim told Troy on a walk through the woods and gave him the whole spiel about Mike wanting him out. It was a fabrication, of course, but Troy bought it hook, line, and sinker. In the process, he completely lost sight of the need to vote out a female, and now he and the other men are in trouble because the women have a 6-4 advantage and can pretty much pick off the guys one by one now.
In fact, Troy may now be the next to go. If he figures this out, he can save himself with his idol… But it will be too late. Even if the idol blowback takes out one of the women, they’ll still have a 5-4 advantage – assuming Troy does this at the next Tribal Council, and no other men have been voted out.
The only way this situation might be salvaged for Troy and the other men is by using the idol, taking out a woman, and then roping in the only true outlier woman – Christina – to even the alliances at 5-5. And Christina was ready to go with the men… But they haven’t done much to keep her in the fold since then, at least not that we’ve seen. All the talk has been men vs. women, and the latter has included Christina. Also, it was really Leif and Jonas who reeled in Christina before the merge… And Jonas is gone now. I don’t think whatever fragile connection might have been made with Leif when Christina was scrambling will be enough to salvage the potential alliance there. Right now, the all-women approach may be Christina’s best option.
In fact, the men who didn’t vote for Mike voted for Christina! They should have been trying to enlist her for their side – instead, they were targeting her! Talk about missing intelligence.
It should be noted that Jay and Leif also voted against Mike, but I’m quite sure that getting Troy on board was the key to making that plan work for the women. Only Mike, who wouldn’t vote against himself, and Tarzan – who’s perpetually out in left field – voted for Christina. Leif and Jay were clearly aware which way the wind was blowing and felt compelled to go with it.
Basically, the core women – Kim, Sabrina, Kat, and Chelsea – used Troy as a useful idiot for the purpose of getting strong Mike out of the game. Now the men are in trouble, and the biggest threats are next – even Chelsea suggested that as annoying as Tarzan may be, it makes sense to keep him around longer because he isn’t a threat. (And though she didn’t say so, he’s also ideal jury bait, as I discussed last week in this column.) The two biggest male threats remaining are Jay and Troy. It really isn’t hard to do the math here and figure out Troy is in big trouble… And believing Kim helped put himself there.
You could give Tarzan a nomination for the MIA for continuing to be wacky Tarzan, messing around with the shelter, and assuming that the reason Chelsea doesn’t like him has to do with her boobs rather than with him being a boob. You could also bust (bad word choice?) Chelsea for potentially disrupting the women’s plans by pitching the plan to vote out Mike to skeptical Jay. She essentially went rogue, and Kim wasn’t happy about it.
Yet the former candidate’s behavior is nothing new – we just gave Tarzan the MIA last week – and is mosttly irrelevant to the larger game. Chelsea’s behavior wasn’t smart, but it ultimately didn’t cost her alliance as even Jay voted against Mike in the end. Only Troy made a decision worthy of the MIA, since the resulting fall of the strategic dominoes means that the women’s alliance currently has a stranglehold on the game.
In his immunity blog for the CBS website, former Survivor contestant Rob Cesternino points out that while Tarzan might be the island’s resident surgeon by trade, it was Kim who surgically removed the threat that is Mike from the game by using expert skill and precision to manipulate Troy. It’s an amusing and true remark on Rob’s part, but while Kim deserves the credit, Troy also deserves the blame. I believed him to be every bit the player Kim was going into this week; now, I think we know who the real #1 is… And it isn’t Troy, who bought the lie of a pretty woman who got him to do her bidding. It happens to the best of us buddy, but it’s still worth a Missing Intelligence Award.
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Chris Harris is a newspaper journalist from Somerset, Kentucky, and has no quarrel with Chelsea’s plastic surgeon either. You can email Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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