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Survivor: The Amazon – Who Is the Underdog and Should Janet Have Been Voted Out?by Peggy Keller -- 02/27/2003
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One of the keys in answering the question of whether or not Janet should have been voted out is in what Heidi said when she and the rest of the bikini brigade voted off Janet. "You were sick at first...," she told the camera at the voting urn. Not: "You are so ill," like Jessie, Ramona, and Tanya were in their versions of the game, but that she had been ill and was slow to recover. It does imply though that she was in fact recovering. She was fishing and bonding with Christy and did not look as if the physical torture she had been feeling was still affecting her by the time the vote came to pass. So although it is always an acceptable reason to vote someone home, in this case the illness was not really interfering in camp life. We saw no vomiting, even after eating maggot manioc, we saw no laying around like many of the other contestants.
Considering that all the women were feeling weak, it's doubtful that was enough to push Janet's name into the loser column. So then I guess we can look at the whole granola bar incident and assume that was the push that got Janet out of the jungle, and therefore she didn't really deserve to go.
In fact, Janet proved to be one of the few steady people on the women's tribe. She was nurturing and calm. She did not cause any arguments or throw a fit when she was betrayed and lied about (according to her version of the granola event). Janet did not seem to be whacked like Jan last season, wanting to bury the maggots in a little maggot cemetery. She was just there. I would have really liked to see if she could have been a mending force among a tribe filled with passive aggressive bitches whom are embarrassments to their gender.
So if Janet shouldn't have gone, who then? JoAnna, of course. JoAnna did one good thing in leading the blind but that does not outweigh the shameful actions she is guilty of. The whole Idol thing and saying she could not wait until the tribe loses so they can lose the idol would be enough to vote her off as far as I am concerned, but add on to that her "enthusiastic" fisherwoman singing, her big mouth late at night, and her threats of physical violence to a smaller woman for disagreeing with her, and you have someone who is going to tear the group down. Who wants a bully in their camp?
So that leaves our underdog of the week. In the Men's tribe, Daniel remains the underdog even though he is being smart and trying to fly low right now. I was tempted to say that Roger was for his attitude, which is nearly as bad as JoAnna's, but for some reason, with age comes the ability to be a bastard and you are more readily forgiven for it. Roger is a good leader even if he is a big jerk sometimes. I think the men realize that and when it comes to seeing who is more useful they will see Roger over Daniel simply because Roger seems to have been a big part of making their home a happy one. Of course, they could also see him as having fulfilled his duty as construction guy and leader and feel he is no longer needed. Daniel, though, by his actions, looks a little defeated, like his self esteem was voted out with his pal Ryan, so he remains underdog for one more week.
The biggest underdog in both camps, the girl with the huge target on her back, is Christy. I happen to like Christy and do not see her as a whiner the way some do. I see her as a woman who is faced with an overwhelming difficulty in communication and so she says what she means and means what she says. She was not thinking smartly when she told everyone she did the most work. It may be true, but she should have kept that as inner dialogue. Deena said that if Christy was voted out it would be for her personality and not her deafness, but I don't think you can separate the two. Christy is who she is and that person is deaf. Maybe Deena likes a special needs population where everyone is always smiling and happy like in a commercial for the special olympics, but what they don't show you in those commercials are the tears that come in the very beginning.
There has been a discussion among some who feel that Christy needs to be the one who accommodates the hearing players since she is the one with the problem. I think Christy has done this. She told the tribe members right off the boat exactly what she needed from them and she continues to forge her own way of finding out what is going on. I don't get the feeling that Christy is asking for any special favors, she just needs people to talk to her. It's as simple as that.
If one of the women cut their hand on some fishing line and needed help with things like buttoning their blouse, or tying their bathing suit top, no one would hesitate to help them. And yet for some reason these women who have jobs in the real world that require them to be kind and helpful to other people:(a teacher, a person who works for the families and the victims of crime, a retail sales clerk, a guidance counselor, etc.) have decided to put that aside for now and forget what team work means. The women are all very disappointing at this point. We can expect that kind of behavior from the swimsuit models of the world who bring beauty crowns to the jungle as their luxury item, but think about your own kids in school and think about that vessel of Christ Joanna – would you want her counseling your children?
They say you can tell a lot about a society by the way it treats those who need help, the poor, its elderly and children, its disabled. If Survivor is the Darwinian experiment that it set out to be, then it won't matter if the women ever have shelter. They are bound to implode simply for the way they treat each other. One thing about the survival of the fittest, it's not who is the physically strongest that is the fittest, it is the one with the greatest survival skills among those around them, and those skills go beyond getting water and building a fire. The one who wins Survivor is the one who can convince everyone else that they deserve the title of "fittest." So far, none of the women come very close to fitting that role. At least we know if Christy was in the guys’ camp, they would be talking to her. They are men and she is cute.
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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