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Survivor: The Amazon – Advice for the Remaining Sixby Jeffrey Clinard -- 04/28/2003
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Take my advice or be the next to go...
For the second time in a row, the Survivor Advisor shakes his head as another person who had the game under control made a stupid mistake that cost them the game. This time it was Alex, who was just too honest with Rob for his own good. After telling Rob he was out when it came down to four, Rob again, showing complete awareness of the game, shifted to re-align himself with a majority alliance, this time with the "outcasts."
The New Jaburu alliance has shown itself to be, in its implementation, the worst alliance ever formed in the history of the game (with the possible exception of the Rotu 4 alliance from Marquesas). An alliance can only exist if all the members in it feel it will get to them to the winner’s circle. This alliance has broken down twice because the members violated this tenant. It collapsed internally due to the first betrayal attempt made by Deena (which backfired on her), and then completely collapsed because Alex gave away his intentions regarding Rob's eventual fate. The true masters of the game, like Richard (Survivor 1) and Brian (Survivor 5) succeeded largely because they led everybody to believe they'd be going to the end with them, even when they had no intention of doing so.
Finally, let's take a look at the immunity challenge. It was another Burnett trap, though a much more subtle one than the mask challenge (or the infamous coconut chopping challenge). Some of the questions didn't matter as much, but most were designed to reveal information about the different strategies the players were using. Butch is trusted like no other player. Jenna is using sex appeal (and when she put up Heidi, my estimate of her intelligence went down a few pegs – Jenna made the first offer to get naked for chocolate and peanut butter a few weeks ago, and if that isn't using sex as a weapon, I don't know what is). She also is the one they don't think could survive on her own (ya think?). Matthew is seen as the most honest and most in need of therapy. Heidi is the one they all want to see naked, and is the one that has the most crushes. A smart player would note not only the majority answers, but how each individual answered each question.
Rob. You continue to show you are completely aware of the game. This was shown not only in the immunity challenge, where your insights into how the other players were thinking won you the immunity necklace, but once again you cut your losses with an alliance and formed a new one to continue to control the game, this time with longer range goals in mind. Immediately bargain with Matthew for an end-game agreement, and start tossing out Jenna and Heidi as fast as you can. It will be an easy sell to Christy, who has personal issues with those two. It shouldn't be a hard sell to Butch or Matthew either, both of whom have gotten a new hope due to the collapse of the ruling alliance. As for dealing with Jenna and Heidi, well, let them be angry. There isn't much they can do about it at this point in the game. It's the same situation you'd have faced last time if Alex had been voted out, except then you'd have had to win a lobby battle for votes that time, whereas now you have them in a position where they have lost ALL of their political power. One last piece of advice – now that you've repositioned yourself in the game (yet again), start working hard to better fit in with the hard workers of the tribe who are now your alliance partners.
Matthew. Thank you for taking the advice I gave you last time and pushing the issue with Rob. He may not have made the decision to sell out again until Alex had to open his mouth, but it was the decision that has revived your hopes in the game. If you want to be sneaky and really consolidate your political power in the game, make agreements with both Rob and Butch to partner until the end. This can keep you safe until the final three, and possibly, by vote, put you into the final two. Rob can be done in eventually due to his own web of maneuvers (his moves, which he can argue were for self-preservation, can be interpreted as backstabbing, depending on your point of view).
Butch. Your game life got a jump start when Alex effectively sold out Rob. Now is the time to forge a partner to take you to the end-game. I'd suggest Christy or Matthew. Christy seems to have no real bond in the game (except maybe with you), and Matthew is your fishing buddy. Either of them will make an excellent partner to work with for a final-two position now that the Jaburu alliance has cracked beyond repair. Also, nice job on the reward challenge. You got not only a meal, but something of lasting value (the bedding). It might be something you can use to try to bargain with to get the immunity necklace if you really think you need it down the line.
Christy. If there is ever a time for you to START playing the game, it is now. Try to forge an end-game agreement with Butch to provide the needed political power to move from the final four to the final two. You're in a much better position today than you were yesterday, when you were on the outside of the alliance. Now you are on the inside. Another piece of retroactive advice: When given the opportunity to decide whether or not to allow another letter to be put up for bid, you should have taken the opportunity to make the others pay the price for the chance to get them. All you needed to do was look around and ask how many of the others wanted the chance to bid. Then make them give up something of VALUE to get the chance. It may have been money or food from each interested party. I bet plenty of people would have paid you $20 or part of their food items to get the chance. You could have used that cash to bid on another food item (though the auction did end after the second letter, you couldn't have known that in advance).
Heidi / Jenna. The advice for you two is combined because it's pretty much the same for both of you. Just like Rob was the biggest loser by Deena's attempt at betrayal last time, you two are the biggest losers by Alex's talk with Rob about the end-game. You lost both your alliance partners; one to the vote, and the other to the outcasts. Unfortunately, you two also burned a lot of bridges along the way. You have almost no chance of recruiting Christy for an all-woman alliance due to the previous treatment she received at your hands. Matthew and Butch are suddenly on top of the game right now, and have no incentive to try to protect you. That leaves Rob. I suggesting using the weapon of last resort – threatening to deny him the big money if he makes it until the end unless he rejoins your alliance. It probably won't work, but I don't see any way out of the political grave Alex dug for you.
Alex. What went wrong? You threw the game out the window when you talked to Rob. You should have bargained with him for a "till the end" agreement to counter the Heidi/Jenna combination. Not only did you effectively tell him he'd be playing for the #4 position, that move also showed you were playing for the #3 position (since the Jenna/Heidi combination was unlikely to break up at the end). Rob was still in a position to do something about it, and sliced you out just like he did with Deena. Don't blame him, blame yourself. You brought your fate on yourself.
Jeffrey Clinard lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with his kittens, Lam and Princess. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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