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What Amazonian Survivors Should Have LearnedPage 3
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We've already mentioned Shii Ann, who I think deserves a bit of special dispensation because she was tricked by the producers. It's easy for us to say she plotted and schemed too much (as she said herself), but the fact is that she was on the right track and then the train turned out to be heading in the wrong direction.
An important part of this rule is that players should not be open about their scheming. This part Shii Ann definitely did violate, as she flat-out told Ken that she was going to join with the other tribe. Similarly, the Samburu split was obvious to one and all. On the other side, Lex felt he needed to be honest to Clarence and then again (at least partially) to Kelly before voting them off. Sorry, but that was the wrong move. Lie to their faces, and then vote 'em off. There is no reason to alert them to their impending doom - it only gives them time to plot their own counterattack, which Kelly almost successfully did against Lex.
The downfall of the Rotu 4 in Survivor: Marquesas is almost entirely due to their failure to recognize this part of the rule. They thought they had it made. They were in the final four and there was nothing anybody could do. So when it came time to chop down those coconuts in an immunity challenge, they laid out their plans just as clearly as if they'd written 'em down and handed them out. Paschal and Neleh were shown that they were not part of the core alliance and the best they could hope for would be fifth and sixth place. By making their scheming so apparent, the Rotu 4 were instead chopped down one by one, just like those coconuts. And make no mistake - challenges like this will be present again.
This also leads to a corollary to this rule, which is that if any alliances do get out in the open, do not let it be known that you are the decision-maker. Rich Hatch succeeded in great part because he allowed his cohorts to believe they were making the decisions. On the other hand, Lex made it clear to the Boran Boys Club that he was in charge, and that caused problems. It caused even more problems for John of the Rotu 4.
I'm also going to bring in one more point regarding open scheming - couples. I'm talking about joining up openly with another person for any reason, whether it's love/lust, a father-daughter type thing, or whatnot. While we haven't really seen it so much yet in Survivor, shows like Big Brother have indicated that open partnerships are just begging to be split up. It draws attention to both people and that can lead to votes. Plus, it violates Rule 4, below, about not letting emotions control you. Like I said, it hasn't really happened in Survivor yet, and it probably won't this time simply due to the gender dynamics, but I think it's just a matter of time.
Another point in discussing the open scheming takes us to Peter, from Survivor: Marquesas. What's that you say, you barely even remember Peter? Yes, that's my point. He was the first one booted off in large part because he tried to discuss the vote with everybody in the tribe. He wanted to force them to talk openly about who should get the boot. What was the result? They decided that he should get the boot!
The main point in dealing with the backstabbing portion of this rule is that it goes along with scheming and plotting, and backstabbing too early is scheming and plotting too much. In the second series, the Colby/Tina/Keith alliance didn't get rid of Jerri until they had whittled down the numbers of Kuchans to the point that they felt safe. Frankly, they weren't really safe since Amber could have joined the remaining Kuchans to overthrow the alliance, but things ended up working out. The same was true when the Borans decided to get rid of Kelly. In that case, they actually mistakenly thought Kelly had betrayed them, but even if she had, so what? They were lucky to have the numbers to get rid of her, but sometimes you have to keep the person you don't like for a little while longer if it means keeping the alliance (and therefore yourself) secure.
Of course Brian showed precisely how to hold your knife until the last minute. Ted knew he was probably going before Tribal Council, but by that point there was nothing he could do about it. And Helen was utterly clueless until the knife had been plunged in deep.
3) Pretend To Be Nice/Keep Your Politics and Controversial Beliefs To Yourself
As you're making alliances, you have to pretend to be nice. It's like diplomacy. Keep your real feelings inside. In general, people aren't going to ally themselves with you if they think you're a jerk or you're untrustworthy. Look at Jerri (who received a full induction into the Hall of Shame) as the prime example. Even if you do make it past that point and you somehow get down to the final two, if the jury thinks you're too much of an ass, you still don't get the big money (such as would have happened with Keith, had Colby used his brain - and as did happen with Clay against Brian).
This applies to politics and other controversial beliefs as well. As Kel noted in an interview with me, most Survivor players are not on the far right wing politically. So it's not terribly smart to start a discussion blasting gun control and the liberal media, as Frank did in Survivor: Africa, even if you believe you are 100% correct. Frank was probably going anyway at that vote, but it's still just not a good idea to give people any reason to vote against you. Another good example - dealing more with beliefs than politics - was Peter of Survivor: Marquesas. His "holey" yoga speeches made others in his tribe think he was a fruit loop. He had already attracted their attention with his attempts to get everybody to vote a certain way, and his bizarre spoutings only made it easier for people to target him. Maybe later on in the game, after people already know you, things like this can be discussed - but definitely not early on when people are just looking for a reason to boot anybody.<--Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next-->
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