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Onward Christian Soldier, or Why John Should Not Have Been Voted Outby Peggy Keller -- 09/20/2002
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Survivor is back and this season looks like it will provide fantastic viewing of some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. I can see all those poor Survivor: Africa participants banging their head against the wall and crying WHY AFRICA?
If you need a recap of episode one, David's got your hook-up right here. In case you have never read my weekly Survivor column, let me take a minute to explain it here. This column will take a look at the person voted out by their tribemates and ponder if that was really the right thing to do for the sake of the long-term game. We will see how voting someone out who could have been an asset quite possibly blows a tribe's chance of winning immunities, or a particular individual's chance at winning the game. Or at least, how losing a strong player could destroy having a better life while you are on the island. Hunter, from last season, is a good example of this.
Since this is a game, and someone has to be voted out, we will also look at who might have been a better choice to get the boot instead of the one whose torch actually got snuffed. There will be weeks where the most obvious person who should have been voted out does actually go (such as Sarah from last season). However, we will still try and view them with the respect an underdog deserves. Obviously, once they are gone, they are technically no longer an underdog since they have no chance of winning, so we will also ponder the player who looks like they have LOSER written all over their CBS bio photo.
So, on with week's evictee. Pastor John was voted out for apparently trying to take a leadership role too early – something he should have learned not to do if he ever watched Survivor before or read David's columns. However, was that action enough to give John the heave-ho? No.
John took the leadership role simply because it was left open. Jan, by virtue of being the eldest and getting to pick the tribe members, should have stepped up the way her Sook Jai counterpart, Jake, did and played Captain. She was not comfortable doing this and thus left a void. John tried to fill that void by directing the tribe on proper rowing techniques. Later, he took the scenic route to the water hole, hoping to find something worthwhile. I applaud John for climbing the rock ledge in the cave – who knows what could have been up there. Perhaps a wild goat was there waiting to lay himself down on the alter of Mark Burnett to feed our hungry campers. Maybe there was a huge ancient Buddha statue that Pastor John could have blown up by plugging all the electric eels together. Even though there was nothing of significance up there, it never slowed down the team and it was good to find out. John deserved a plus in my imaginary book for that.
If it were not for John, who knows how long CG would have been looking for water? They figured out that climbing mountains for water could not possibly be right, and John showed them that they were reading the map wrong. Perhaps he should have just sat back and let them keep going, but eventually it would come to light that he knew something they didn't and it was his duty to help his tribemates.
As far as the whole brackish water joke goes, it was John's idea, but he did ask his fellow players with him if they thought it would be funny. They should have said, “I don't think this is a good time to joke like that.” But they went along with the gag and should have taken equal responsibility for it's poor taste.
John was a smart man who knew how to read maps, row a boat, find water, and was willing to explore and have fun. He should not have been voted out of the game.
So, then, who should have been? I am really, really sorry to say this because I picked her to win the whole shebang, but Tanya and her puke-everything-up strategy is a poor one. We all saw how sick people handle this game. The sight of S3 Jessie's dehydrated and chapped lips was just sad. Ramona from S1 ended up being a lump and lost because of it. This kind of place, with these kind of conditions, you cannot go a day and a half without being able to keep anything down. Not only does it sap your own strength, but you become a liability for your tribemates. When Tanya threw up that little glass of water, that should have been their clue that she needed to go get some medical help. Maybe she will rebound and come back stronger than ever, but my guess is that if CG loses next time, and Tanya is still ill, she will be out.1 2 Next-->
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