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Erin Go Bye-Bye, or Should Erin Have Been Voted Off?by Peggy Keller -- 11/14/2002
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Welcome to my own personal twist, one at least half as shocking as the one CBS promised us last week on Survivor: Thailand. Was there anything even remotely resembling a twist except the fact that there was no reward challenge and that Burnett decided to take his individual immunity challenge game of bamboo snorkeling and make it a tribal challenge instead?
I am so bored with Survivor this year that I decided to stir the pot a tiny bit, at least on my end. Instead of assuming that the person who got booted really didn't deserve to get the boot, I will ask the question: Should XXX have been voted off? This week, due to a malfunction that wiped out my Internet access and television, I am behind schedule, I have not had the chance to discuss Erin's boot and will do that here.
Should Erin have been booted or should she have stayed on the island? Well, this could really go either way. She wasn't ever really there in the first place, so does it matter that she is gone? Sook Jai is severely understaffed and will probably be picked off, so does it matter if she stayed three, six, or nine more days? Not really. Erin will turn out to be one of those sweet, quiet tribemates who flew under the radar so well Mark Burnett cannot even give them a story arc. She is forgettable, which could be a good thing. She may be able to go back and blend into society.
Depending on who you are in the game of Survivor will answer the question of whether or not Erin should have gone. If you are a member of Chuay Gahn, it matters very little, unless Helen or Jan could get a clue and try to make a run for a top secret women's alliance. The boys would probably prefer to see Ken go because he looks so much stronger, but he has not proven that he is, yet.
On Sook Jai, Penny should have voted off Ken. He has done nothing worth considering keeping and he is after Penny anyway. She is likely as anyone else to go next because Chuay Gahn see her as manipulative and so does Ken. No matter how much Jake likes her, if he did not dump Ken for Erin, he will probably not dump him for Penny either. Penny should have forced a tie vote rather than trying to remain loyal to Jake. At this point, true alliances matter as much as strength. Ken, in the Jury, would not dislike Penny any more than he does now. Erin in the Jury, after being lied to, does.
Jake should have played the numbers game. He had two women under his arm, now he has one woman in Penny, and one man in Ken - but they are tugging on him rather than holding him up. Jake should have kept Erin in. So should have Ken. Ken, for his own reasons, needed to get rid of Penny. Down to Sook Jai's final three, Penny might just have enough manipulative powers to get rid of Ken and convince Jake that her self-sacrifice in getting rid of her pal Erin is worthy of payback.
So, adding up all the players, Erin should have stayed and Ken or Penny should have been the one to go instead. If Ken really is hiding strength under the guise of a bad back, when will he decide to bring it on? And the bigger question, even though Chuay Gahn won with Brian in the snorkeling contest - why did they sit out their professional water player, Helen? Are both teams hiding their light under a big bushel so the other teams don't get suspicious? When will they bring out their secret weapons (other than defender Ted)? And the final question of the day: Has there ever been a more boring, pathetic episode of Survivor yet? Have Mark Burnett and his editors been around game players so long that they somehow have managed to make the whole series begin to fly under the radar thinking they can sneak up the ratings just by maintaining a low profile?
On to who the underdog is. This week I think that will be determined by who the richest tribemate is. Clay recently had a nearly half million dollar bankruptcy written off, meaning he is either really poor or got to keep half million bucks worth of stuff for next to nothing (most of his loans were unsecured). Brian sells used cars, Ken is a cop, Helen is in the armed services, Jan is a former teacher, Penny sells drugs, (factual statement: she is a pharmaceutical salesperson - what were you thinking I meant?!). So I am thinking Ted, who is a software developer, might have some cash, but more likely it's Jake. Jake is a land broker. I have met a few land brokers in my life, the ones I know buy up large tracts of land, create infrastructure and subdivide it. They often make out like bandits. I am going to say that Jake is the underdog. Helen talks about the person with the brand new car in the driveway being the one to go and real estate agents often drive really nice cars, it helps them be seen as a good seller. Jake seems like a pick-up driver to me, but if it's a Lincoln Navigator or a Lexus SUV, it may make him the target. So Jake is the underdog, the tribes will merge and he will get the boot. Just speculating here.
So much depends on what kind of day Mark Burnett is having. If it's windy on the golf course, he might decide to really shake things up and mix up the tribe again and divide it back up. He might make three tribes. He might do nothing and the show will end up with Jake, Penny, Ken, Jan, Helen, Clay leaving and Ted and Brian in the final two. Brian will win. Just speculating.
Peggy Keller is Mother and Behavior Therapist to her two autistic sons and teenage daughter. Click here to e-mail her.
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