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Survivor: Thailand, Episode 5 MVPs: A Switch Would Set You Freeby Phil Kural -- 10/19/2002
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This week, we were faced with several tribe dilemmas. On Chuay Gahn, Ted and Brian lost the boat, Jan did a monkey dance with the reward challenge money, Clay talked and talked like he usually does, and poor Helen was left to swim to the water hole. Sook Jai had Stephanie gathering the food as usual, Robb and Erin complaining about people's eating habits in the jungle, Penny, Jake, and Ken staying low on the radar, and Shii Ann tearing that chicken apart. But did two people stand out this week? Of course they did, and that will make them each MVPs.
It seemed that finally, Sook Jai received more camera time this week than Chuay Gahn. That was probably to tell us that they were going to lose the immunity challenge, and since we know so little about half the tribe members they wanted to fill us in on what was going on. Anyway, everyone played some kind of role this week but one person did a little more than others, and attempted to finally try and play the game. It was a tight race this week between two people for Sook Jai MVP, Shii Ann and Stephanie. Shii Ann, for the most part, played smart this week. She knew to eat every part of that chicken, and stuck with the majority of the tribe to vote out Stephanie. However, Stephanie this week, as usual, was seen doing most of the chores at camp, boiling the water, and finally making an attempt to mesh in with the rest of the tribe. I am picking Stephanie as this week's MVP for Sook Jai.
Although she had a rough start, Stephanie was finally breaking out of her shell. She was shown this week mingling more with the other tribe members, and making a genuine attempt to get to know them. Last week I said that she could not be the MVP because she was not trying to fit in. This week, she has done that, and although it was too late, she came to her senses and realized that it was her only chance to stay. What would have been a smart move for Stephanie? Well, in my opinion, to switch tribes. Had Stephanie taken Jeff's offer and switched tribes this week, I think she would still be there. On paper, she looked like the strongest woman on the island, and I think she was. She was even my pick to win the whole thing. However, her actions from the first days there did her in, and it's known that people do not forget easily in this game. Stephanie was an MVP though. She constantly gathered food and water, cleaned up the camp, and kept the fire going. In the end, she realized that it would be in her best interest to bond with the others, and she tried. Just because it was too late does not mean that she didn't try. Had she tried a little bit earlier though, she would still be in the game. And the switch would have set her free.
Chuay Gahn looked like they took this week off. Everyone was off of their game, and it looked like they didn't even show up to play this week until the immunity challenge. Ted and Brian losing the boat this week was a big let down. I'm wondering if they are going to find it next week, or just swim for a few miles and look like bigger idiots than they already do. Helen didn't do anything wrong this week, but she didn't exactly do anything right either. She was just there, and I'm sorry, but Clay really gets on my nerves. Is it me, or does he think that everyone is always wrong and only he has the right answers? So, for the reasons that I will list below, I picked Jan to be the MVP this week at Chuay Gahn.
The second Ghandia was voted out of the tribe I'm sure that Jan realized that she was next to go. She even stated to the cameraman that she was pretty sure of this. What made her an MVP this week? Clearly, it was her attitude. Jan could have just moped around knowing that she was next, but instead she stayed with her tribe, and made the best of things. When she was offered the switch, I thought she was going to take it, to be honest. It would have given her a better chance against Stephanie in the other tribe, versus knowing that she was next to go in Chuay Gahn. But Jan had created her team, and no matter what happened she was determined to stick with them; although it was a stupid move at the time, it was very honorable. As usual, we see Jan doing work around camp, and she is by no means lazy. At the reward challenge, I almost fell out of my chair when she said enchiladas go with nachos. That was a classic line. In the immunity challenge, we saw her working her behind off to get the fish where they belonged. Yes, even though she is the next Chuay Gahn target, Jan was an MVP this week.
There it is, this week's MVPs. The switch this week would have benefited both of them, but neither took up Jeff on the offer. Was this a smart move? I say no because both of them were in situations that they needed to get out of. Stephanie suffered the consequences of not switching, and Jan may too if Chuay Gahn doesn't win the next immunity. If Jan can pull out another win for her team, she may be a shoe-in to be next week's MVP, but poor Stephanie doesn't have a chance.
Phil Kural is a junior at Temple University, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org any MVP suggestions.
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