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Survivor: Thailand, Episode 1 MVPs: The Older the Betterby Phil Kural -- 09/21/2002
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Every episode of Survivor has that one person who stands out. This person goes the extra mile for the team and does not care if they are at risk of being voted out, or how they are viewed. To me, that is an MVP (Most Valuable Player, to the sports-impaired). This season, I plan to focus on one person from each tribe every episode, and dub them the "MVP" of the episode. That person will be picked out, and praised for the actions they performed that week. When the merge occurs, just one person will get this coveted title. Who can win the MVP? Well, it could be anyone from the one who wins immunity, to the one that gets voted off that episode. It all depends on how the person handled her/himself, and how s/he played the game. With that, let's find out who will be the first two MVPs.
As the survivors made their way to the island, two of them in particular were put in awkward situations. Jake and Jan had to pick their tribes. This seemed to work out well for Jake, but it looked like poor Jan was going to have a heart attack up there. However, she pulled though, and chose a team that she was happy with. As Jake went for the brawn, Jan went with the brains. Each of the tribes assembled had strengths and weaknesses. Besides forming the tribes, Jake and Jan both led their teams the whole episode, and for being the oldest players, they stayed grounded, and did not stick out as people who would hinder the tribe. For these reasons, they will be the first MVPs.
Most of the players who ended up on the Sook Jai tribe did not want to be picked by Jan. This can be for several reasons, the most obvious being her age and that she is a woman. To an extent, I can agree with them. I thought she would be the first one voted out if her tribe was to lose an immunity challenge, and I was wrong. Apparently, she is tougher than we think. She was the first one to dive in the water for the first part of the immunity challenge, not to mention figure out that rope maze quickly. She did not come across as bossy, and she did not try to pull survival tactics out of her rear end, which is always a plus. She kept low on the radar, except for when we saw her pick her tribe, and cast her vote for John. For these reasons, Jan is an MVP.
Jake is an MVP for a totally different reason than Jan is. When Jake picked his team, he looked solely for physical ability. I think he was worried about who could carry him. I'm not saying Jake is out of shape, but he is the oldest player this time around, and that always factors in when it's time to cast votes. Jake bonded with his teammates, and tried his best to be a leader. The morale in his camp stayed high, except for a few minor disagreements, and Jake made sure that everyone was happy. His team had a come-from-behind win in the immunity challenge because Jake refused to let them give up. He could be heard the whole way, rooting them on.
The way that Jan and Jake chose their teams shows what kind of people they are. Jan chose older people, showing that she was looking for people to relate to, and have things to talk about with. Jake chose the people that he thought he would be able to use their muscle. Neither way is wrong. Sook Jai may be strong, but if they cannot figure out how to have everyone get along, their strength will be useless because there is no teamwork. That is where I think Jake will come in. He has already emerged as a leader, even though he is the oldest in the tribe. Chuay Gahn is much more family oriented, and I think they will come together more as a team in the future. I think to an extent, they are already pretty close. (Hence the tears when John was voted off after only three days.) Jan will probably not be a leader, and will pass that off to Ted, who seems to already be doing a great job. Jan, however, will probably hang around for awhile. She is likable, pleasant, and not as weak as I had originally thought.
There you have it. Jan and Jake are the first two MVPs of Survivor: Thailand. Let's just hope they can keep this status, and possibly make it two weeks in a row.
After each episode, if there is someone that you think deserves to be an MVP, don't hesitate to email me at email@example.com with an explanation as to why you think they deserve it. I look forward to crowning next weeks winners.
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