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Survivor: Thailand - Why Ted Lostby David Bloomberg -- 12/12/2002
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Ted was the first to make a "solid" one-on-one alliance with Brian. He was also the first to be betrayed by Brian. More will follow, but right now we are only concerned with Ted. Why did he lose? Well, let's take our usual look back at What Thai Survivors Should Have Learned and see what happened.
First we have to ask whether Ted schemed and plotted properly. The answer is a qualified "yes." It's "yes" because he did make the alliance with Brian. He did have some sort of agreement with Clay for a while. He did try to get Helen over to his side and knew that he needed Jan as a swing vote to help him out. Even when Brian was telling him that things were fine, Ted picked up on the not-so-subtle clues that he was about to be left out in the cold. Rather than simply sit back and accept his fate, he did what he could to turn the tables.
Unfortunately, Brian has the deck stacked against Ted, just as he did against Jake. Because Brian is in the various one-on-one alliances, both Clay and Helen think they have a lock on things. Thus, neither of them is as likely to turn as if they were in a multiple-player alliance. Sure, Helen wanted to get rid of Clay, as did Jan. It was a good play for Ted to make. We're not entirely sure why Jan didn't go for it, but Helen and Brian both stayed flexible and decided to get rid of Ted instead.
So why the qualification of my "yes" answer? Because Ted had an opportunity to pick up on some of these things sooner. Jake had told Ted that his own tribe was selling him down the river, but Ted didn't believe (or perhaps want to believe) him. Jake didn't do himself (or Ted) any favors by playing coy and refusing to reveal just who was involved, but it should have set off a few alarms in Ted's head. Instead, Ted just went to them and informed them of what Jake had said. Had he taken Jake's warning to heart, the potential was there to flip the whole situation around. Instead, at that point he just sat back and let the Pagonging of Sook Jai continue.
Considering that we have qualified the answer to the first question, I think we can safely say that he did not scheme and plot too much. He also tried to keep his scheming secret - by drawing in the sand rather than talking about it. But he wasn't terribly successful there and people noticed him communicating with Helen. Perhaps the middle of camp wasn't the best place to be doing that.
Ted had no problem with the third aspect - pretending to be nice. The Ghandia thing was long gone and out of everybody's mind by now, and even then he was the one who apologized and then called the tribe meeting to air it all out. The only time anything even remotely close to an issue came up was when he had gotten tired of everybody and went out for a little "me time." I'm still not sure why that was such a big issue, but it may have played a part in separating him out and making it easy to target him. Frankly, though, I doubt it.
However, that was an emotional response and the fourth rule is to not let emotions control you. So did he fail here? No. He did not base his votes upon emotion - either positive or negative. Instead, his "me time" was intended to help him control those emotions so he didn't go psycho on somebody. So he was fine in this regard.
He was also okay in the "don't be lazy" area. Indeed, Clay was the "lazy" target, and that was what had a chance of drawing people together. Ted, Helen, and Jan have all been annoyed at his lack of work, but apparently that wasn't enough to change the vote.
So, now that we've looked at Ted, let's look at the others. Did they do the right thing by voting him off? Well, normally at this point you are down to cannibalizing your own alliance. In this case, there is not one single alliance, but a multitude of mini-alliances. So this puts us into the realm of voting off the strong who are not part of your alliance - or at least your main alliance, in this case. Ted was right in noting that he could be a target because he'd won two recent challenges. Plus, he is an imposing figure to begin with - that's why Jan picked him for the tribe! If Jan and Helen had chosen to go with him, they would have had a lesser chance of winning the final immunity challenges than if they stuck with Clay, although Brian has proven to be quite the competitor, so I'm not sure they really gained anything there. However, since Ted already had a weakened bond to several of the others, he could be seen as the most "unallied" of them all, not counting Jan. And when it comes right down to it, who is more of a threat, Jan or Ted? There's no contest. At least, that's what they might have been thinking. Me? I'm not so sure, given that past series have had pretty much the same final two immunity challenges. I think Jan has a better shot at the contestant trivia, though Ted probably would have done better in the endurance challenge.
In any event, I can't say they were necessarily wrong to get rid of Ted, though I can't say they were right, either. Clay was obviously right; Brian could probably have gone against anybody and been okay; I would have thought Jan and Helen would target Clay, but again, Helen thinks she's in good with Brian. So I'll leave this one up in the air.
Which brings us back to the original question - why did Ted lose? It's a combination of two things. First, he was an obvious target after winning two challenges. Second, and more importantly, he was simply outplayed by Brian. He put his trust in Brian and it was turned against him. He put additional trust in Helen, and that was turned against him as well - in large part by Brian! Brian has been controlling the game and he decided it was time for Ted to go. That is why Ted lost.
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline, and can be reached at email@example.com.
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