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Survivor: Thailand, Episode 3 MVPs: Speaking Your Mindby Phil Kural -- 10/07/2002
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There was so much that happened this week, it took me longer than usual to figure out who deserved to be the MVP for each tribe. For the first two episodes this season, there were certain people who stuck out more than others, they were given more camera time, and their character was exposed more than the others in their tribe. That did not happen all that much this week. There was a troubled Chuay Gahn tribe facing six days without a win, not to mention the scandal involving Ted and Ghandia. Then we have a self-destructing Sook Jai tribe who can't decide if they want shelter or food, or for that matter even if they want to win the immunity challenge. After thinking it over though, I think I was finally able to figure out who deserved to be the MVP from each tribe, and the reasons for my decision.
It was relatively easier to pick the MVP for Sook Jai than it was for Chuay Gahn. It seems that of all the people in that tribe, many are scared to reveal what they are feeling, and hold back any comments that they have. That is not true for one person though. Shii Ann has, from the beginning, said everything that she was feeling. Her feelings came out especially during this episode. She voiced her opinion on how Robb was getting lazier, not to mention more condescending towards her. Shii Ann also threw in a couple comments about how Jed never felt the need to do anything, and that he is holding the tribe back as a team. Does her mouth hinder her? Well, apparently it garnered her three votes, which is not a good thing. However, I think the sane people in this tribe realize that Shii Ann is a good worker, and does her best to fit in. Her place in the tribe is safe for now. She has decided to be herself, and not hold herself back or her comments either. This makes Shii Ann an MVP for not compromising her morals, and saying what she truly feels.
Every week I am losing more respect for the Chuay Gahn tribe. This week, we had Ghandia saying Ted made advancements on her, which he apologized for, and she decides to bring the issue to the attention of everyone, after saying she wanted it kept between the two of them. I think it is safe to say that Ghandia will never win the MVP award, and if I gave one out for being a blooper, she would have gotten it every week so far. However, for the way that Ted handled the situation, I am going to say that he is the MVP this week for Chuay Gahn. I am not saying that I know what happened between the two of them because I don't think anybody really knows. However, the way Ted handled the situation - like an adult - showed that he was more mature, knew he made a mistake, and wanted to move on. He had apologized to Ghandia, she accepted the apology, and that was supposed to be the end of it. Ted even told his tribemates the truth, and confessed that the situation had occurred, and that he and Ghandia had spoken about it. If this had never happened, I still think Ted would have been the MVP this week for Chuay Gahn anyway. He did a great job in this week's reward challenge, knocking off the Sook Jai members one by one. This is a big guy who is an ex-football player, so it was going to be a tough job getting by him. Ted also did much of the lifting in the immunity challenge. His strength is still a benefit to the tribe, and his place in the group is still safe. Ted is truly an MVP this week.
Strategy-wise, Shii Ann is taking a risk with her loose tongue. However, the other tribe members will see that she likes to speak her mind, and will not really worry if she is talking about them behind their backs. This could work either way for her. To this point she has played a good game, and has to shake the three votes that she has received, learn from them, and move on. It is good that Shii Ann wants to stay true to herself, and if need be release the "Shii Devil," but she has to be careful in doing so not to ruffle any feathers along the way. If she can figure out who to align with at this point, her MVP status is safe.
Ted, on the other hand, has to start to watch his back. When Ghandia is gone, which I think will be very soon, Ted may be a target just because soon he will be seen as a threat, not to mention that the memory of this incident will linger. Ted has been an MVP from the beginning, just not the MVP. Now is his time to shine, and Ted is doing a good job at doing so. He has laid out the truth, and is hoping that he will be forgiven, and move on with the game. All that is left to do now is hope that they win immunity, or focus the attention on someone else if Chuay Gahn is faced with tribal council again.
There you have it. This week, it is Ted and Shii Ann that have the coveted title of MVP for their tribe. This is going to get very interesting. If Ted can keep everyone somewhat on his side, he will keep the title, which I think is a very likely possibility. Shii Ann however, will have to learn when to open her mouth, and when to bite her tongue. That can make a world of difference in this game. As always, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org if there is someone you think deserves to be the MVP after each episode. Let's see if someone can make it two weeks in a row.
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