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Survivor: The Amazon - Advice for the Remaining Fiveby Jeffrey Clinard -- 05/05/2003
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Take my advice and reach the final four...
OK, it's official. This game has had the worst ability to create a stable alliance in the history of the game. You can even give it a name - Rob. He's created and broken a record number of alliances, all designed to advance himself in the game. The real question is, why should it surprise anybody that somebody is willing to do whatever it takes to win the game? Didn't these people learn ANYTHING from the previous series? The Survivor Advisor has a few answers to those questions.
It is once again the fable of "The Scorpion." In fable, the scorpion asks for passage over water from some kind of amphibious creature; I'm not sure which. When questioned about the nature of the scorpion, the scorpion tells the simple fact; if I sting you while we are in transit both of us will die. The other animal agrees to transport, but is stung in-route. When asked why, the scorpion tells him: you knew my nature before you agreed to transport me. It was also the title and theme of a season-ending / season beginning of Star Trek: Voyager, where Captain Janeway agrees to deal with the most deadly enemy of the Federation, the Borg, in exchange for free passage through their space. However, she understood the nature of the scorpion, and took steps which defeated them.
In this game, Rob is the scorpion. The others should understand his nature by now. Yet everybody is still making deals with him because he makes the deals the others WANT to hear. It advances them. But make no mistake, Rob is the scorpion in the game, and he will sting without notice or warning.
Rob. You made a few mistakes this time, and I think they are fatal. First, you never should have told Jenna you wanted her against you in the end. You should have kept that a secret. You did well in plotting Christy's demise in order to get to that point (she's a sure vote against the wicked step-sisters), but it was a tactical mistake in several ways. Here's why: For the first time in the game you've lost your political power. All Jenna and Heidi have to do is approach Butch (who you left out of the decision to boot Christy), and urge him to join with them to boot YOU out next. You slapped the girls in the face when you voted out Alex, and you left Butch feeling vulnerable. So while you might have an ally in Matthew, you don't control enough votes to keep yourself safe at tribal council. Second, if Jenna hadn't known you wanted to stand against her in the final two, she never would have given up immunity to Heidi. So instead of keeping the alliance together to boot out Heidi (unimportant to you or the alliance), you were forced to break ranks and take out Christy prematurely. There are three ways out for you at this point. First, you can plot with Jenna and Heidi to dump Butch next. Second, you can plot with Butch to dump Heidi or Jenna next. Finally, you can declare yourself the least likely person to win a jury vote, and let the chips fall where they may.
Matthew. You have got the winning hand in the game if you just play your cards right. You bought friends when you gave up your prize on reward, no matter if you got to see your mom or not. It was the correct play. Now you have the hated Rob as your partner, and Jenna and Heidi have bought themselves some enemies on the jury as well. Use Rob for all he is worth. Get rid of Butch (who hasn't made a SINGLE enemy), then let the games begin. You shouldn't care who is left against you (as long as it's not Butch) at final tribal council; you can probably beat any one of them at this point. So play along with Rob and get rid of the others as fast as you can. Then, if you have to, make the deal to get to the final two no matter WHO you betray. It's the deal for the big money prize.
Jenna. I have to admit, giving up immunity to Heidi was an inspired move. It forced the issue with Rob, and while he probably plotted with Matthew beforehand to ditch Christy, it was the best play you could have made. Now you have some political power again, and it's time to use it. You can either work with Butch to toss out Rob, or you can keep dealing with the devil and work with Matthew and Rob to dump Butch. I'd suggest the former, as a three person alliance can control the game at this point.
Heidi. You lucked out when Rob opened his mouth and telegraphed Jenna the correct move to make. She saved you and made the pair of you a power in the remainder of the game. Like her, you need to bargain with Butch, the controlling swing vote in the game, or with the scorpion and his partner, Matthew. Either way, you can advance in the game.
Butch. You may not know it, but you have the power position in the game right now. There are a pair of two-person teams (Rob and Matthew, Jenna and Heidi), and you control the swing vote to control which faction emerges triumphant. Use it for all you can get. You need a final-three agreement with one faction, and a final-two agreement with one of their members. Take it if you can get it. You have the power to do it, if you are willing to use it.
Christy. What went wrong? You were a victim of Rob's big mouth and treachery. Rob is the scorpion, and he stung you to advance his own agenda. I'm sorry it happened because I do like you, but you really didn't play a very good game. You should have made the deal with the scorpion to advance. Or perhaps not. You were too likeable and thus dangerous for Rob to keep around. He played it out, and you lost. I'm sorry it happened, but I think history will record you as a hero, not a villain. You did well in the game and kept your public image. Good luck and my personal best!
Jeffrey Clinard lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with his kittens, Lam and Princess. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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