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Survivor: Thailand – Why John Lostby David Bloomberg -- 09/20/2002
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Yes, it’s that time once again – time to begin counting down the castaways as they become cast-offs on Survivor: Thailand. For those of you who haven’t seen these columns in previous seasons, what we do here is take a look back at my What Thai Survivors Should Have Learned article and see how each player who’s been voted out succeeded or – more likely – failed in heeding that advice. So, with that in mind, let’s set about answering the question of why John lost.
The first and most important rule, as always, is to scheme and plot. John didn’t. In fact, he says he didn’t think there were any alliances yet. He didn’t think there were? Well, frankly, we didn’t see any indication of that either. But just because there aren’t any alliances that you know about, if you are playing Survivor, you should make the alliances. Don’t wait for somebody to happily invite you in. And Lord knows there was fodder for an alliance to aim at either the sick girl (Tanya) or the one who screwed up the immunity challenge (Ghandia). He just seems to have assumed that other people would see it the way he did with Ghandia. We all know what assuming does. It gets you voted out.
Obviously, he didn’t have to worry about the second rule, against scheming and plotting too much. Yeah, he was free and clear there.
He blew the third one, though – pretending to be nice. He immediately took on what he probably thought was a leadership role. Others took it as a bossy role. He apparently learned nothing from previous Survivors – unless he figured that only bossy women get voted out first (in which case, I would refer him to B.B. in the first series). He should have stayed with the group as they went to get water. Instead, he went off hiking on his own. Yes, he was the one who correctly identified the water hole location on the map, but the way he did it probably left a bad taste in the others’ mouths. He saunters in like Mighty Mouse coming to save the day. If he had just stayed with them to begin with, they wouldn’t have gotten lost in the first place.
Then he goes off paddling in the boat while most of the others have to swim quite a distance. When he sees them nearing shore, does he paddle out to help them? No. He sits and watches as he snickers to himself about the joke he’s going to play. Oh, and what a joke. After going all that distance, he tells them they only have a small brackish pool to use as a water source. Yup, they were just hysterical with laughter when he showed them the actual water source. Hoo-boy, what a killer – for his chances, that is.
It doesn’t seem that he violated the fourth rule, about not letting emotions control him. There wasn’t really any time to build friendships. And the only real anger in his tribe was directed at him. Similarly, he did okay with the fifth rule, which says you shouldn’t be lazy. But neither of these really played any role here.
What about the rest of the tribe? Did they vote properly in getting rid of John? Well, yes and no. At this point, the weakest links should go. Tanya’s illness is definitely a sign that she could be too weak to really help them. But she competed in the challenge and, other than throwing up, we didn’t really see anything that she did that stood out. Ghandia certainly blew it in the challenge, but it wasn’t like she tripped and fell because she was old and out of shape or anything like that. She just couldn’t deal with the pressure. Weakness? Maybe. But for John to assert that she wouldn’t help in the physical challenges was just ridiculous – she looks like one tough woman.
On the other hand, Jan got it right when she said that the tension John is causing will sap their strength in the long run. Indeed, he may not have been “weak,” but he could have caused weakness in the tribe; we may see something similar in the next week or two in the Sook Jai tribe as people have already been fighting there.
John acted like he had never seen an episode of Survivor before – or at least never seen the first episode of any series. He acted like B.B., like Debb, a bit like Kel (by going off on his own rather than staying with the tribe), like Patricia, etc. He was bossy, acted like a conquering hero, and then played a bad joke on some very tired people. None of these things worked very well to endear him to people he had only met a couple days earlier. That is why John lost.
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline, and can be reached at email@example.com.
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