Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
Survivor: The Amazon – Why Alex Lostby David Bloomberg -- 04/25/2003
View Printable version of this article
Alex was the fourth person in a row to be voted out after thinking he had the game in the palm of his hands. First Roger thought everything was going according to plan, and Dave with him. Then Deena thought she was in control. Finally, Alex was certain that he was going to the final four. Instead, he is number three on the jury. So what happened? How did he end up going from the top of the world to the bottom of the heap? As always, we will look back at What Amazonian Survivors Should Have Learned to see where Alex went wrong.
Normally we start with rule #1. But in this case, we have a hint of things to come in the introduction itself. In discussing what the various series have shown us, I noted: “Survivor: Marquesas showed us how to lose. You lose by showing your hand and practically daring anybody to go against you. You lose by being obnoxiously lazy.” Wow. Prophetic. We’ll get to more detail on that in a moment, but you know things are bad when you can’t even get to the first rule before you start going wrong.
OK, that first rule says to scheme and plot. Alex did this, but he kept getting distracted. He was part of the original male alliance with Butch, Roger, and Dave. He was one of the swing votes in getting rid of Ryan and Daniel, though it’s not totally clear why he chose to do that instead of ridding the tribe of the annoying Roger and sticking with the younger guys. Upon switching to Jaburu, he kind of lost his way in becoming attracted to Shawna and being the only one to note vote against her when she was voted out. But he recovered, stuck with the group, and got rid of Roger and Dave.
Then came Alex’s triumph. When he found out that Deena was planning to vote him out, he turned the tables. How he pulled in Rob is still something of a mystery, but the fact is that he did it. Deena was overthrown and Alex became king.
Unfortunately for him, Alex’s reign was not to last very long. He completely blew rule #2. He schemed and plotted too much, he didn’t keep his scheming secret, and he backstabbed before he absolutely needed to. Wow – three for three. That’s impressive. Impressively bad, that is. They are all related to one thing, though – his revealing to Rob that he would vote against Rob in the final four. By doing this, he was looking too far ahead and scheming too much. He obviously was not keeping it secret since he told the person he was planning to vote out, and he backstabbed too early – he turned Rob from a friend to a foe by taking out the knife, showing it to him, and telling him exactly where he planned to stick it in Rob’s back.
We actually got a preview of this behavior back when Alex was in Jaburu. Before Shawna was voted out, Alex openly told Matt (and everybody else) that his vote was going towards Matt. This allowed the others to join together to make sure that they kept Matt – who was a strong competitor for the group – and dump Shawna, who was more like a rag doll at that point. Alex apparently didn’t learn his lesson.
Nor did he learn from past Survivors. Quoting from the examples within rule #2 provides us with this: “An important part of this rule is that players should not be open about their scheming. … 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 give them time to plot their own counterattack, which Kelly almost successfully did against Lex.”
Well, now we have an even better example to use in the next iteration of this article – one where the person actually did exactly what I said. Rob planned a counterattack and overthrew Alex. If Alex had kept his big mouth shut, that might very well have never happened.
In the third rule, about pretending to be nice and keeping controversial beliefs to yourself, Alex did alright. Except for an argument with Roger about homosexuality – in which Roger was definitely the one with the “controversial” belief – Alex was generally nice and kept politics and the like to himself, from what we could tell. Indeed, his final core alliance – or at least what he thought was his core alliance – was based on friendship, being nice.
But that’s where he also went astray of rule #4 – don’t let your emotions control you. Rob pointed out that it was because they all thought they were great friends that Alex felt he should tell Rob what would happen in the final four. As I said in this section, “Friends are great, but this is a game show.” Ethan was a friendly guy, but he didn’t let it interfere with his game play. Alex could have done the same thing, but he blew it. He allowed his friendship with Rob to override his judgment.
The fifth rule is that providing food wins allies and you shouldn’t be lazy. Alex definitely blew this one at the end. He and the other three in the core alliance literally were lying around while Matthew, Butch, and Christy did all the work. Matt, who claims he doesn’t really understand the political side of the game, hit the nail on the head by pointing out that they were losing potential votes should any of the four end up against somebody else in the final two. We can’t be sure, but it also might have helped spur them into action. After all, something changed in Matthew from the previous episode to this one. He went from believing Rob and thinking he would be in the final group to realizing that he and Butch and Christy were all outsiders. It may have been the actions of the four allies that helped give him this clue.
So, were the others right in voting Alex off? Matt, Butch, and Christy certainly were. They were due to be voted out one at a time, starting with Matt. They had to knock out somebody strong, namely Alex. So what about Rob? Did he make the right decision?
The larger alliance had picked off Roger and Dave. They got rid of Deena at the previous vote. The core alliance was going to pick off the stragglers, but the problem is that Alex showed his hand too soon. This left Rob feeling like he wasn’t really a part of that core after all. So he need to focus on the person in his own alliance who would threaten his chances in the end. Looking at it from Rob’s viewpoint, although Alex oh-so-graciously said that he expected Rob would vote him off at #4 if Rob won immunity, up to that point Rob was not exactly a huge immunity threat. Alex knew this. Rob knew this. Plus, Alex was, in general, probably more well-liked than Rob should the two of them somehow end up on the jury. It was in Rob’s best interest to get rid of Alex now because if he waited, there was no way it was going to happen. (I still maintain that it was in Rob’s best interest to get rid of Alex in the previous vote, but I’ll have to let bygones be bygones on that one.)
Alex had Rob right where he should have wanted him. He had convinced Rob to overthrow Deena at the previous Tribal Council. He had Rob thinking they were a core four. He could have gotten rid of the stragglers – Matt, Butch, and Christy – without any problem, and then turned on Rob. But Alex is perhaps not cut out to play the game of Survivor. Twice he revealed his plans and twice he had those plans overturned. The first time resulted in the voting out of his ally and perhaps sweetheart, Shawna. But he didn’t learn his lesson. The second time resulted in a trip to the jury for him. It was definitely not a smart move on his part. And it’s why he lost.
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to sign up for our e-mail update so you can stay informed about new articles on the site! And take a look at the rest of the site. You can find all of our recent Survivor articles at the Survivor: The Amazon page and take a look at our sections on Joe Millionaire and The Osbournes. You can even buy reality show stuff at our Reality TV Store!
View Printable version of this article