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Old King Brian and His Allies Three Toss Big Ted Out to Sea; or Should Ted Have Been Voted Out?by Peggy Keller -- 12/16/2002
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Watching Brian confess to the world what a huge creep he is, I am reminded of that other smug bastard who won Survivor – no, not Vecepia, but Richard Hatch. Richard was someone I started off rooting for and then gradually realized he was just too much of a manipulator to like, however I did respect his ability to play such a great game.
Brian is probably the most like Richard of anyone we have seen play Survivor since season one. We had Silas pretending to be ruthless, and some others who thought being two-faced was a good game strategy, and then we had Tina and Ethan who played it straight and chose people they trusted to ally with.
And that is where Ted went wrong. Way back in the first week or so, Brian and Ted went for a boat ride and swore loyalty to each other. Apparently Brian also did this with Helen and Clay, but the only one we really saw him vocalize an alliance with was Ted. In his CBS chat, Ted admits that Brian was "president" of the tribe while he himself was "CEO." Ted considered himself to be the real leader of his gang of eight, the one who motivated people and made decisions –but in a non-visual way. Ted is obviously still in denial. Brian and Helen are the leaders here, Clay is only along for the ride because he is so obnoxious, the rest of the tribe realize he is who they need to be with in the final two. Brian has been sitting back like king. He would let Ted to opt out of any responsibility in the Ghandia grinding issue, even when Ted was willing to admit he did make a mistake, Brian would have none of it. Nothing happened, nothing happened. Brian tried to keep Ted from admitting to something that could ruin his game. Brian has Clay as his court jester, the target of ridicule. Helen is his spy, running to him with every scrap of information she can garner from anyone who might threaten their empire. Then there is Jan, the queen mother whose prescience is only symbolic. Ted was, at times, the boy prince, the henchman, the guard. Ted had opportunities to truly be CEO: to stage a coup and steal the King's men (or women), Jan and Helen, and defect to the other tribe with Jake and Ken.
But Brian is a Roald Dahl villain, the Willie Wonka of used cars, Matilda's father super supergluing the fenders. Brian is a salesman, every day he lies and schemes and plots to move the inventory. He boasts about loyalty and honesty and then sells you a lemon. He is an actor pretending to be a doctor on TV and pretending to have sex as often as the rest of us answer the phone. Why anyone who has ever bought a used car believe a word out of Brian's mouth is beyond me.
Should Ted have been voted out? Maybe, if you are Clay. But what if you are Helen, Jan, or Brian? You are only as strong as your closest ally is, and Ted is strong. He would probably fare well in a longevity challenge, each one of those people should have been tightening the rope and pulling Ted closer. Brian's game has been so under the radar that the people sitting on the Jury will not know that he was pulling the strings until they get home and see the actual show. By then, the votes will have already been cast so they might not give him the ruthless manipulator credit he deserves. They will know, however, if Brian betrayed them.
Ted will know as he writes that final vote, that Clay is a jerk – but a jerk to everyone, and Brian looked him right in the eye and said "No, Ted, you are not going, Jan is going."
Although Ted says he voted for Jan because she was physically the weakest player out there, he says that in hindsight. Brian told him to vote for Jan and he probably followed orders from the King thinking Jan was next to go. He may have had an inkling that he was next, but Brian sold him the junker and he took it. Had Ted known his vote was a throwaway, he might have voted for Clay just to let Clay have that brief moment where he thought maybe he was going.
If Brian was as confident as he tells the world he is, then he could have been honest with Ted. He could have said, "You are a threat and we need to get rid of you." Ted could have thrown a fit and tried to get the others to oust him but, according to Brian, he already had everyone else securely on his side and it would not have mattered. If I were Ted I would remember that moment. I would also remember Helen's betrayal and understand it, but not accept it.
But Ted did deserve to be voted out for two reasons: 1) He is a challenge threat and 2) he had the chance to create his own fate and he did not go for it but instead chose to be a pawn – and pawns always go before the King.
And next week if Jan wins immunity, Helen is gone and vice versa. Clay will finish in second place and earn just enough money to pay off all those creditors he owes – except, oops, let's not forget taxes. Sorry, Clay, but you won't even break even. Brian on the other hand, needs to file for divorce this week so he doesn't have to share his million bucks with the women who won't put up with him DWBS (drinking wile baby sitting).
I look forward to seeing the previews of Survivor: Amazon more than I look forward to the actual finale.
Peggy Keller is Mother and Behavior Therapist to her two autistic sons and teenage daughter. Click here to e-mail her. (Note – this is a new e-mail address!)
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