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Survivor: The Amazon - Why Jenna WonPage 2
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On the flip side, she did pretty much wear her good feelings toward Heidi on her sleeve (or, in at least one case, on her face). Heidi and Jenna were a pair that would never vote against each other. We have seen in both Survivor and Big Brother that pairs are often targeted for this very reason. In Big Brother 3, Lisa lost her on-show boyfriend, regrouped, and went on to win. Jenna lost her on-show best friend, regrouped, and went on to win. It almost seems like when Heidi was voted off, Jenna got a spark of energy that carried through to the challenges (much as Luke Skywalker gained help from Obi Wan when the Kenobi was killed by Darth Vader). Being part of a pair is what led, indirectly, to the foursome alliance breaking up - Alex never would have spoken to Rob about the final four if he didn't know that Heidi and Jenna were so tight. If she hadn't won the final two immunity challenges, I would have cited being part of a pair as one reason she lost.
She failed completely in providing food and working hard, a huge violation of the fifth rule. Call it laziness, weakness, whatever you want - but Jenna didn't go out and get wood, get water, get food, etc. Instead, the older ladies with body fat could go do that. That's one reason this rule is so far down on the list. It's a good idea, but it's not always critical, depending on who your allies are. Jenna's allies were not as interested in doing work, so that went well with them.
So then we arrive at the jury phase. Even before the actual jury had been fully filled out, Jenna was saying that she wanted to bring the strongest competition. She made them think that she didn't want to have an easy walk in the park. Whether this had any real effect on them, I don't know for sure, but it probably didn't hurt.
Then, Jenna gave several good answers to questions posed by the jury - perhaps she's used to being questioned at pageants. When Heidi asked who Jenna believed should have been there instead of her, Jenna used Matt's answer (he had to go first on that particular question) and also said Rob. And why not? Rob had come in third place. It was good to show Rob that she respected his abilities. She didn't have to think of anything else for somebody else. And even though it was obvious that Heidi wanted them to jump up and down and yell, "You, Heidi! Of course, you!" the fact is that Jenna knew she had Heidi's vote in the bag already, so there was no reason to say anything further. When she was asked about her lies, she did a good job of explaining that they were part of a strategy to vote out somebody who had betrayed her. While I still think the finalists should have told the jury to stop being so self-righteous, in place of that, Jenna's answers were good ones.
Jenna was also fortunate that most of the jury was made up of ex-comrades in alliances - but that she was not necessarily blamed for their being there. Dave would have blamed Matt more than her, since Matt was supposedly in his all-guys alliance immediately after the merge. Heidi, of course, would not side against Jenna. Same with Alex, who had been voted out by Matt. Christy was certainly a lost cause in Jenna's eyes (though it didn't turn out that way), as was Butch. The others were up for grabs. So all she had to do was play to those who already liked her and she could take home the million. She did that fairly well.
So now, the big question - should the jury have voted for her? Initially, I was as shocked as anybody. I couldn't believe it. The reunion answered some questions, but not all. When I caught up with Christy after the show, I asked, "Why? Why??!! WHY???!!!!" The answer was similar to the reunion. Deena told me that she saw Jenna grow as a player. I received similar answers elsewhere. It was a combination of Jenna actually being in the game the whole time (as opposed to Matt who only really joined the game later on), Matt making some mistakes (see Why Matthew Lost), and her getting tough to win the last two immunity challenges.
Was Jenna a hard worker? No. But many in the jury didn't value hard work as much. Was she nice to everybody? No. But many in the jury were among those she counted as friends, while most of those to whom she wasn't nice were gone before the jury phase - remember how she and Heidi convinced Deena to get rid of Roger before the jury? Was she the best strategist in the game? No, that honor must go to Rob. But she used what she had and pulled it together.
Jenna did play the game, and played it well on both the strategy and challenge aspects. You don't have to be the nicest person to win. In fact, the nicest person usually doesn't win. But you do have to do whatever it takes to stick around. In Jenna's case, that meant a couple of strategic moves, such as dumping Deena when Deena tried to take out Alex, or making sure Roger was gone before the jury, or temporarily aligning with Rob despite her anger to give herself another three days. And it meant some physical moves, giving her all in the last two immunity challenges to get into the final two.
The jury in this game of Survivor will not be going to the Hall of Shame, despite the many requests. Indeed, many times on this site I have gotten angry at juries for voting with their emotions rather than their brains. Three of the Rotu-4 were targets of my wrath because they voted against Neleh. Why? Because they were mad that she had beaten them. Did they give her props for outplaying them? No. They instead got mad about it.
So after I thought about things further and examined the way the jury voted, I realized that they voted the way I would like to see juries vote. Christy overcame her anger at the "evil stepsister" and recognized that she had been outplayed. Deena, although stabbed in the back by Jenna, recognized good play when she saw it as well. Rob, the master of strategy, knew that Matt had not come prepared to play the game and had also been outplayed by Jenna. The jury voted not according to personality or emotion, but according to who played the better game (notice I said "better" and not "best" - because I still think Rob played the best strategic game, he just was outdone in the last two immunity challenges; see Why Rob Lost for details). For that the jury should be applauded, not shamed. And that is why Jenna won.
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at email@example.com.
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