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Survivor: The Amazon - Why Dave Lostby David Bloomberg -- 04/04/2003
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By now you've read my full recap of the eighth episode and you know everything that happened. The question is why it happened. Dave knew he was in trouble but seemed to think he might be able to pull himself out. That didn't happen - in fact, it wasn't even close. So what did happen? Why did Dave lose?
As always, we'll figure out the answers by looking back at What Amazonian Survivors Should Have Learned. We begin with the first rule - scheme and plot. How did Dave do here? Well, frankly, not very well. Early in the game Dave seemed to be oblivious to the fact that alliances were being made and votes discussed. I mean, certainly he knew there was voting going on, but didn't seem to be working too hard on creating a lasting alliance to take him through the game. Even with the first vote he went against the rest of the alliance because he and Ryan were from the same area. Oh, well, there's a good reason to set yourself apart! Lucky for him, Ryan still went and he was accepted back into the fold.
I think a lot of the problems with Dave can be explained by one of the answers Roger gave in my interview with him. I asked him why he, Butch, and Dave voted against Christy last week after they had done so much to get Christy on their side. He answered: "The vote for Christy was decided by the original six of us before we met Christy. We obviously didn't know which of the women would be left, but we came up with the following order: Janet, Jeanne, JoAnna, Deena, Christy, Shawna, Heidi & Jenna."
Yes, that's right. The rocket scientist went along with a plan that was created with absolutely no reasoning behind it and without any possibility for updating it. Brilliant plan! Not. So rather than scheming and plotting and actually putting some work into it, Dave just sat back and assumed (like Roger) that everything was going just fine. No worries. Even when he made the smart move of separating Heidi from Jenna in picking the new tribes, he didn't do anything with that information. He could have picked off Heidi, but instead he allowed her to regroup. Not very smart.
The fact is, he really didn't start scheming until Roger was gone. And even then it wasn't very good. He begged for three more days. While I don't doubt that was just the beginning - given three days he might have been able to get three more, etc. - he wasn't offering the others anything in return. Oh, sure, they could vote off Matthew, but why? There was no compelling reason. He didn't offer one. And without it, there is no way they should have changed; and they didn't.
The second rule says to not scheme and plot too much. OK on that front. Don't backstab too early. Good there as well. Keep your scheming secret. Blew that one big-time. The little scheming that Dave did (and it's a stretch to call that "scheming") was known by one and all. He even said the women expected to be voted off one-by-one. Apparently, he just expected them to go like lambs to the slaughter rather than actually playing the game. Again, not very smart.
Third is to pretend to be nice and keep controversial thoughts to yourself. In this Dave did okay. He seemed friendly enough - well, except after the very first immunity challenge when he attacked Daniel for joking around about catching fish. But in some ways, he did too well. He was everybody's pal. He was slick with the ladies. Yes, he pissed off Rob to a great degree! But I think the others may have seen him as a threat for more than just physical reasons. You wouldn't want to be up against him in the finals because he seemed just too friendly. On the flip-side, he was also in an alliance with Roger, who most definitely failed in this area. And some of that stain carried over to him.
Fourth is to not let emotions control you. This really wasn't applicable to anything Dave did, per se. I mean he planned to vote out the women even though he was getting friendly with Heidi. (For her part, she voted him out after telling him his chances were 50/50, so she definitely followed this rule.) So we'll move on.
Finally, we have the rule that providing food wins allies and you shouldn't be lazy. Dave wasn't lazy. But this really didn't come into play here so it doesn't matter much.
Did the others do the right thing in voting off Dave? Quite simply, yes. It's individual challenges now, and Dave has shown himself to be a huge threat. In theory, the rocket scientist was also a threat in the mental challenges. He was not in the dominant alliance and he had the potential to win challenges - this is a bad combination. To make things worse, he actually won the reward challenge, just in case anybody had any doubts about his abilities. People like Alex simply were not going to give in to Dave's pleading for a few more days because they knew that Dave might win the next immunity challenge - and then what would happen? With somebody like this, you have to head 'em off at the pass.
It's interesting that nobody held to their claims that they would vote against Matthew to try to save him. I'm surprised that none of the others tried a Clay-like maneuver of telling Dave they'd vote to keep him around, knowing full-well that he was going anyway, just to get somebody favorable towards them on the jury. But even Butch voted against Dave! Yow.
It's ironic, but the two main things that caused Dave the rocket scientist to be voted off can both be characterized (as I have above) as "not very smart." Admittedly in science, once you get all the variables worked out, things should go as planned (though the often do not). So apparently Dave thought that was the way Survivor would work. The guys created a list and they were going to stick to it. No need to worry about scheming or plotting - it would just all fall into place.
Well, it didn't - at least not for Dave. Those who plotted against him are still there and more or less in control of the game. That's why Dave lost.
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at email@example.com.
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