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Survivor: The Amazon - Why Deena Is in the Perfect PositionPage 2
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Picture a merge after 18 days with the Harem minus Christy and the remainder of Tambaqui. Ordinarily, a 6-4 advantage probably would spell curtains for Jaburu. But if the Hotties go to work, they could peel off some younger guys, batting their eyes, shaking their you-know-whats, convincing the Young Lions that they want to take them to the final four. And the younger guys will believe it and think it's better to go up against the Hotties in challenges than the Old Lions. And the Hotties will know when to turn on the younger guys, this time not sexually but connivingly, knowing they have a better shot against Deena in challenges and (best of all) they probably think that if one of them got to the jury their looks would get the younger guys' votes even after jettisoning them.
In fact, a 5-5 merge (assuming Jeanne and Matthew, the two marginalized players, get ejected) would be somewhat boring by comparison. With two potential 2+1+2 groups, no one would be willing to risk a jump into the opposite sex's camp (although the Hotties have a much better chance of breaking up a Tambaqui 2+1+2 than vice-versa.). A PROD situation would occur and the loser of that faces a likely Pagonging. But at 6-4, there are many possible permutations. What if, for example, the two junior dyads (that is, the most endangered after a successful Pagonging of the other tribe) decided to make an early Wretched of the Earth (WOE) coalition and bring down a senior dyad member by a 4-3-3 count. Then what if those outside this group make their own WOE alliance and win the next vote 5-4? It could be a lot of fun watching and speculating.
Deena's next few moves are clear. For the next three days, she should try to form a junior dyad with Christy, giving Shawna the singleton role by default. If Jaburu does not lose the next two immunities (again assuming the merge happens after six are gone), she stays with it and hopes to Pagong Tambaqui. At endgame, however, she has got to get Christy dumped, as she would by then would be her greatest competitor, ally with Shawna, take out a Hottie (perhaps by PROD), and waltz to the jury with a sure win against Shawna or one of Heidi or Jenna. If Jaburu does lose the next two immunities, Christy must go and Deena will have to carry Shawna (frankly, Christy probably would win on sympathy against Deena).
This is why it is imperative that Deena not allow Shawna to go and (crediting Deena with enough foresight) was why she would not support a move to oust Shawna last time. She needs Shawna not only to hold together an five-woman alliance, but she needs to carry her for one or more critical votes in the end. If she can get Shawna through this rough period (using house mother skills that the other Hotties are too young and/or immature to have), she, rather than the other Hotties, will have Shawna's loyalty. Clearly, the superior strategic move was for Deena to ally with the Hotties and to expand the alliance with Christy. Unless something weird like falling into fires occurs in the near future, this promises an interesting next few episodes of Survivor 6.
PREDICTIVE MODEL UPDATE: The results of the predictive model created before the show began are demonstrating more and more that the sex-segregation scenario of Survivor 6 has produced a different set of dynamics than what we saw modeled along the result of the first five series. Predicted final four guy Daniel is gone but two of the five picked to be in the final four, Deena and Roger, are still looking like the top two choices to win.
Jeffrey D. Sadow is an associate professor of political science at Louisiana State University in Shreveport where he teaches, among other things, classes in international politics, international organizations, and diplomatic history. He has published in the area of gaming simulations in international politics.
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