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Survivor: Thailand - Why Ghandia Lostby David Bloomberg -- 10/10/2002
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Sometimes, you can just see it coming - and this was one of those times. Ghandia has been hanging on by a thread ever since she blew the first challenge for Chuay Gahn. In fact, I have already been getting e-mails saying the tribe should have voted her out first instead of Pastor John. But there was no way they could have known about all the "drama" she would cause. Hindsight is always 20/20. But then, that's kind of what this column is all about - looking back at what each person voted off did wrong. The hope, of course, is that the players were using foresight so we wouldn't have to use hindsight, but that is all too rarely the case. So let's take a look at What Thai Survivors Should Have Learned and see where Ghandia got it wrong and got it right - and why she lost.
The first item on the list, as always, is to scheme and plot. Well, it certainly seems like Ghandia did that. While it is still unclear whether she used the incident with Ted to drive a wedge in the tribe for potential political gain is uncertain as of this writing. Her final words indicate that she may done exactly that. But even if she truly believed what she said about Ted's advances, she definitely tried to use the aftermath to her advantage. Frankly, she needed to do something, since she was viewed as a definite weak link.
The problem is that she blew the second rule, which is a multi-parter. She schemed and plotted too much (especially if she purposely blew the incident out of proportion) and she didn't keep her scheming terribly secret. It was obvious that it was the guys against the girls, and she made no effort to hide that. On the flip side, neither did the guys, but they aren't the ones who took the walk of shame. She kept making an issue of pretty much everything - work, the incident, Ted's attitude, the incident, finger-pointing, the incident, etc. I'm sure that played a role in Helen's decision to switch sides. Keeping Ghandia would have meant keeping somebody who just couldn't shut up about anything. Ghandia worked too hard at it.
She really went against the third rule, which is pretending to be nice. Even if everything she said was true (and I am still leaning against it, for various reasons described in previous articles), this is still a game of survival - and you don't survive by making lots of enemies. She simply could not keep her bile down. Even after accepting Ted's apology, she had to go around behind his back and tell the women what had happened - with some extra pieces she hadn't mentioned before. Then when Ted did the mature thing and talked about it in front of the group, she still had to keep taking potshots at him. Maybe this was all part of her strategy; I don't know. But I do know that if she had been nicer about everything, she might not have been the one voted out. (Who would? Perhaps Jan, who was described as pretty much useless by Brian.)
Similarly, Ghandia completely blew the fourth rule as well - she let her emotions run wild and made no effort to control them. This relates to her behavior after the incident as well as in this most recent episode, where she talked about how she was not going to let the tribe be picked apart, but would say something, etc. Helen had it right - she knew that saying something would only get people to vote against you, and she kept her emotions in check. In fact, Helen did an excellent job of doing just that in this episode, and should serve as a model for future contestants. Even though she believed Ghandia's side of the story; even though she was upset about the men not doing enough work - she still voted with the men to get rid of Ghandia so she would have a better chance in the overall game. Very smart.
Finally, we have an area where Ghandia succeeded - providing food and not being lazy. She was good in both areas, but as noted in the discussion of this rule, the politics still outweighs everything. And she really messed up in that area.
But what about the others? Did they vote off the right person?
Well, as I mentioned earlier, there are more than a few people who think Ghandia should have gone the very first week. The physical challenge showed that she was actually a drag on the team. The mental one did not exactly show her to be a shining star either. They are still definitely in the mode of voting off weaker members (which even Jan and Ghandia understood, as they voted against Clay instead of Ted), and Ghandia was one of the two weakest. So why not vote off Jan instead? Because Jan is tolerable. She may be as weak as, or weaker than, Ghandia, but she also isn't the one constantly complaining and tearing the entire tribe apart. With Ghandia gone, it is possible that the tribe can function as a team again. So they were definitely correct in getting rid of her. If Helen had sided with Ghandia, there would have been a tie - and Mark Burnett only knows how that tie would have been broken. But it would have emphasized the split. If Clay had been voted off, then what? The women still want to get rid of Ted. And if he goes next, they have no chance in any further physical competitions. Even if Ghandia had lost anyway, Helen would have been marked as one of those who had tried to get Clay off and she would have been in danger. So her vote was definitely the right thing to do.
Ghandia, whether because she truly believed what she said about Ted, or simply because she was trying a strategy to portray herself as the victim, turned a "happy family" tribe into one that was completely torn apart. Her continued harping on every situation only made things worse. She thought she could form the women into an alliance that would pick off the men, but that failed because Helen was smart enough to see it as poor strategy. That is why Ghandia lost.
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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