Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
What Amazonian Survivors Should Have LearnedPage 2
View Printable version of this article
In general, people who would do well in "real" survival situations have absolutely no advantage over those who would die of starvation or exposure to the elements. Let's face it, Jan from Survivor: Thailand probably would not have lasted too long in a "real" survival situation. But she managed to make it past the point where her weakness was, well, a weakness. She did it through making an alliance - and she was also somewhat lucky there were other scapegoats around. Similarly, laziness would not be rewarded in a real island survival situation, but Rob, Sean, Sarah, and Vee had that in common on Survivor: Marquesas, and used that bond to form an alliance that ousted the hard workers. The alliance supersedes work ethic or pretty much any other factor when it comes to surviving this game.
The most important attribute of an alliance is that the people in it won't vote for you to leave. The second most important attribute is that they will vote the same way as you will for somebody else to take the long hike. As the original Tagi alliance showed, if you get a group together, you have a much better chance of surviving against the rest of the unorganized clods wandering around, shooting their votes this way and that. Since then, the alliance based on original tribe has held sway in almost every single series - with Marquesas being the lone exception, and that mostly because of the stupidity of the Rotu 4 (who, like Colby, also earned a Hall of Shame Moment). Mind you, it wasn't always the best idea to stay in a tribal alliance. Survivor 2's Amber, for instance, should not have continued voting with her tribe after Jerri was booted. She should have approached the remaining Kuchans and formed an alliance that would at least carry her a bit further. She probably would still not have made it to the finals, but she could at least have had a better chance.
So players need to appear to be part of the overall tribal alliance, but they should also keep their options open. Players need to be opportunistic - convince the others in their original tribe that everybody should be loyal, but then take whatever opportunities they have to form other alliances to keep them safe. They need to be flexible enough to jump alliances if the need arises. Besides Paschal and Neleh in Marquesas, Kelly saw this in Survivor: Africa. Unfortunately, Brandon saw the same opportunity too, and took it without realizing what a completely idiotic move it was. Vecepia saw it several times over in the fourth series, as did Kathy. Shii Ann thought she saw a golden opportunity in Thailand, but we've already discussed that.
One other item of note happened in Thailand - Brian's variation on this theme. Brian created a tribal alliance, but also a number of sub-alliances that the others weren't aware of. He had a pact with Clay, one with Ted, and one with Helen. (Jan was kind along for the ride in each of them). Everybody was happy and secure - until the axe fell. This gave Brian the ability to figure out which opponent he would rather face in the final two - eventually leading to his picking, and beating, Clay. But if the others had taken a great dislike to Helen, for example, he could have simply changed his plan.
This was a risky maneuver because if, for example, Ted and Helen had talked about Brian on their little getaway, he might have been found out. Future contestants will really have to be something special to get people to believe in them the way these folks believed in Brian.
Note that I have been talking about making alliances, not making friends. See Rule 4, below, for advice about friendships.
2) But Don't Scheme and Plot Too Much/Keep Your Scheming Secret/Don't Backstab Until You Absolutely Need To
There's a fine line that needs to be drawn. If you spend all your time scheming and plotting, and you try to scheme and plot with everybody, everybody will know what you're up to - especially since Brian perfected that method. In the end, nobody will trust you and they'll turn on you. This is precisely what happened to Kelly in the first season. She tried to be all things to all people. Instead, it cost her everything when Susan turned from a trusted friend to a hated enemy. It happened again, of course. Clarence tried to plot with everybody and nobody trusted him. Kelly in the third series did not necessarily try to plot with everybody, but because she was friendly and spent time with some of the others, she was seen as a potential traitor. While she did not actually jump ship until it was obvious her shipmates were going to make her walk the plank, the seed had already been planted in Lex's mind (or gut) when Brandon helped it to grow. Gabriel in the fourth season did something similar when he was friendly with Rob and Sean and refused to swear a blood oath to stick with John's Rotu 4 alliance. But then John himself fell in part due to the same issue because he had made deals - fake or real - with just about everybody.
You need to pick a core group that you think is trustworthy and mature. The first series' Sean was viewed as immature by the Tagi alliance, in part because he thought it unethical to vote in such a manner. So he wasn't included in their planning, though they did use his stupid alphabetical system to help get rid of Pagong members. When he finally figured out how to play the game, it was too late.
In the second series, Debb tried to scheme too much, too soon, and started spreading stories that Jeff wanted to be voted off. When this got back to Jeff, it cemented the unanimous vote against Debb. In the third series, Brandon violated this rule by jumping from the Samburu + Kelly alliance to Lex's camp. He did indeed help get rid of Kelly, but then Lex's cohorts decided that if a guy couldn't even keep his word to his original team, he was not trustworthy enough to stay with them, either. Off he went.<--Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next-->
View Printable version of this article