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Survivor: Pearl Islands – Who Will Go In Episode 2?by Betsy Wasser -- 09/23/2003
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This past week on Survivor, Lillian told Ryan that she was afraid she would be voted off the tribe at the first tribal council. Ryan assured her that there is always hope, and that the game isn’t over until your torch is snuffed out. That night at tribal council, Jeff Probst gave the same advice. He told the members of the Morgan tribe that even if they thought they were being voted out, there was always a chance to stay in the game.
Jeff and Ryan are right. A savvy Survivor player can always find a new angle, a way to stay in the game for longer. It’s happened in past seasons of Survivor. Kathy, Sean, and Vecepia thought they were done for, doomed to be voted out by the Rotu 4 alliance, until Pascal and Neleh decided to align with them. And last season, Heidi and Jenna saw Rob turn on their alliance to vote out Alex and were afraid they would be next. But they saw an opportunity to convince Rob to keep them around to vote out Christy. On Survivor, the minute you give up the fight is the minute you lose the game.
Someone will be voted out next week, either a member of Drake or Morgan, depending on which tribe wins immunity. After watching this week’s episode, I’m going to try to predict which member of each tribe has his or her head on the chopping block. These predictions are based entirely on speculation, not spoilers. One of the things I love most about Survivor is the unpredictability of it, so I run away from potential spoilers as fast as I can – so let me assure you, there will be none in this article. Once I’ve predicted who is likely to be voted out next, I’ll suggest strategies for those players to allow them to stay in the game.
First, let’s start with the Drake tribe. I was very impressed by how well and how quickly this tribe pulled together to work as a team. At the marketplace, they teamed up to use their money and resources wisely. And once they got to their island, they didn’t have the predictable first day on the island squabbles about whether to get water first or build a shelter. At the challenge, they dominated, keeping the lead for almost the entire race, and then recovering handily from the setback of getting stuck in the sand. If Drake keeps playing like they have been, they might not even have to worry about tribal council next week. But in case they do, whose position is the shakiest?
At these first few tribal councils, you’ll get voted out if you are lazy, weak, or weird. So far, no one strikes me as lazy. Rupert made a point of catching a lot of fish on the first day to ingratiate himself with his tribe mates. No doubt he was familiar with David Bloomberg’s rule on the importance of providing food for your tribe. The trouble was, he fished to the point of exhaustion. Rupert needs to be careful to make sure he doesn’t wear himself out before the challenges. So far, he seems to be a smart player, so he probably won’t make that mistake. I’m not seeing anyone coming across as especially weak, either. No one seemed to be lagging behind on the challenges.
That leaves us weirdness as a cause for being eliminated. Shawn and Burton rubbed some people the wrong way by taking leadership positions right away and by not sharing coconut milk with the rest of the tribe. That’s bad behavior and may hurt them in the long run, but because Shawn and Burton are so physically strong, they will be fine for the time being. The weirdest member of the Drake tribe seems to be Jon. Jon drank way too much wine on the first night and clearly annoyed several of his tribe members. I found it especially creepy when he started talking about how that wine would be excellent for getting teenage girls drunk; bring on the teenage girls, etc. I bet Michelle, Trish, Sandra, and Christa didn’t find that behavior especially endearing. Both Christa and Sandra said that they found Jon obnoxious, and Rupert also found Jon’s behavior irritating. That’s five votes against Jon easily.
It’s not too late at all for Jon to redeem himself. In fact, it would be easy. All Jon needs to do is to gather the rest of the tribe and apologize for being a little out of control. If he were to tell them that he was nervous being around new people in this very stressful situation, causing him to drink too much, the rest of the tribe would probably accept his apology. After that, all he’d have to do is work his butt off around camp and in challenges to quickly be back in everyone’s good graces. But if he doesn’t shape up soon, Jon will be the first member of the Drake tribe voted off the island.
The Morgan tribe did not fare nearly so well in the first episode. In the village, they ran off in a million different directions, got their shoes stolen, offended the natives, and exited with money left to spend. It was so bad, that they have been handed a Reality TV Hall of Shame Moment. Once on the island, they built a shelter that only lasted them one night before they decided it was uncomfortable. It took them ages to even think to look at the map to figure out where the well was located. They lagged behind for the entire challenge, and then gained a small lead when Drake’s cannon got stuck in the sand. Then they blew their lead, losing the challenge. I can think of three possible candidates for elimination on the Morgan tribe.1 2 Next-->
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