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Survivor: Thailand, Episode 2 MVPs: Strength Brings Victoryby Phil Kural -- 09/30/2002
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First, I would like to say that Jan had another phenomenal week. I was way off concerning her in the S5 Preview Roundtable. She is more physical then half of the people on her tribe. There is no way I thought she would be able to compete in that immunity challenge, but there she was, swimming away and getting her piece of the puzzle. Was that enough to make her the MVP for Chuay Gahn two weeks in a row? The answer to that, is "no." Why? Well, even though she was able to hang around for another week, and pull her weight, that simply is not enough. Someone else took the leadership role this week in Chuay Gahn, which makes that person the MVP.
As for Sook Jai this week, it did not seem like they were shown that much, and I can understand why. As bad as the truth may sound, I think they are a very boring tribe to watch. They remind me of Boran. Nothing all that great ever happens there. So, working with what I had actually seen of them, I based my MVP pick on who stood out the most and stayed true to themselves. With that, Helen from Chuay Gahn, and Jed from Sook Jai are this weeks MVPs.
Jed pulled himself out of a rocky start. It seemed as though he was starting to distance himself from the other people in the tribe. In this episode, however, he seemed more relaxed, and more excited to interact with the others. Granted, at first he stayed separate from the group with his parter-in-crime, Stephanie. However, when the rain started the night he slept outside, he had enough sense to swallow his pride and sleep in the shelter with the rest of his tribe. I think by doing this Jed proved that he was a team player, unlike Stephanie who chose to stay out in the rain. Jed was also seen gathering and cooking food for the tribe. Even Robb said that Jed was pulling his weight, although it may not seem like it. Food is essential in this game, and Jed was responsible enough to realize this and gather food for the tribe and prepare it for them. Last, Jed did a phenomenal job in the immunity challenge. Not only did he get his piece of the puzzle, he also pulled through for Penny when she couldn't get to her piece. Jed definitely came on the rebound this week, making him the most valuable player in his tribe.
It was much harder for me to pick an MVP this week for Chuay Gahn. It seemed as though everyone was helping out in some way. Clay was keeping morale high, Brian kept everyone entertained, and Jan, with her great personality, made everyone feel comfortable. However, it is Helen this week who played the best game in Chuay Gahn. From the beginning of the episode, Helen was hard at work rowing the boat and looking for the water source so that the tribe had water. As Jan sat in the boat, Helen ventured each time into the woods to see if they were at the right place. It was great when she was almost brought to tears when the rest of her tribe surprised her with the anniversary party. It may hurt her in the long run though because she will not cry or show any real emotion to the rest of her tribe. In the immunity challenge, Helen jumped right in there and completed her part quickly. Pretty good for a woman in her late 40s. Personally, I don't like Helen all that much. Probably because she looks/reminds me of someone I used to work with who could grate on my nerves with the drop of a pin. But Helen nonetheless had a great week. Sure, she had two votes cast against her, but that is no big deal because past votes do not count.
Each of the MVPs this week took a different approach to the game. Jed tried to lay back, and just let things happen naturally. It seems that by him being this way his tribe is starting to view him as lazy. He is lucky though, because there are a few people in his tribe who are good at sticking out. In my opinion, Jed is going to be around for awhile. Helen tries her best to be assertive while trying to not come across as too big of a threat or a leader. I think she wants to run the tribe, but doesn't want to make it obvious that she is doing so. If Chuay Gahn has to go to tribal council two more times, you can bet she will be gone one of them.
Well, there you have it. Each MVP this week used a completely different strategy. What does this prove? That they apparently both work - at least for now - because they are still on the island. After each episode, feel free to email me at email@example.com if there is someone you think deserves to be the MVP for their tribe. Let's see if Helen and Jed can hang on to it for another week. Personally, I don't think Helen has a chance, but I've been wrong before (See my aforementioned S5 Roundtable opinion of Jan). I look forward to crowning next week's winners.
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