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Survivor: Pearl Islands – Who Will Go in Episode 4?by Betsy Wasser -- 10/07/2003
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For those of you keeping track, I now have a perfect two-for-two record of predicting who will be voted out next in Survivor: Pearl Islands. Will I be able to maintain this streak? Remember, my predictions are based on educated speculation, not spoilers. Who will be voted out next, and what can that person do to stay in the game?
Let’s start with the easy tribe, Morgan. On the last episode, Drake continued to dominate the game, beating Morgan at both challenges and adding Morgan’s water pot to their pilfered booty. As I predicted, Lill was sent home. But a few of the members of the Morgan tribe did one thing that suggested that they aren’t completely inept. Andrew, Tijuana, Ryan O., and Osten were the first players in this edition of Survivor to form an alliance (at least one that we know about). Last week, the Morgan Four debated whether to send Lill or Darrah home. Since Lill’s already gone, it’s pretty clear to everyone, including Darrah, that if Morgan loses another immunity challenge, she’ll be on her way home.
But Darrah isn’t completely doomed. On the last episode, the alliance made the mistake of telling both Lill and Darrah that they were being considered for that night’s vote. Darrah knows that she’ll be targeted at the next tribal council, so she has time to react. One thing that Darrah doesn’t have to do to stay alive is contribute around camp. She hasn’t done much so far, but that apparently isn’t a priority to the alliance, or they’d have kept Lill. Darrah needs to focus her energy instead on plotting and scheming. She needs to break up that alliance.
The first person Darrah should get on her side is Tijuana. Take Tijuana fishing and talk to her about her position in that four. She’s teamed with Osten, Ryan, and Andrew. Is there really any doubt that she’d be looking at third place at best? Andrew and Ryan seem close, and Osten is likely to win immunity with physical challenges. Darrah can offer Tijuana a position of power in an alliance with her. And if Darrah can get Tijuana, Tijuana can get Osten. Osten respects Tijuana – look at how he heard her out when he was thinking about quitting. If she switches sides, he’ll follow. And the ultimate way that Darrah can get this new alliance to work with her is to propose that they knock out Andrew. Ask Tijuana and Osten how tired they are of losing and of being miserable around camp. Isn’t Andrew, the leader, responsible for how things have been going? It’s time for him to go and for the three of them as a team to turn things around for Morgan. Busting apart the alliance and staging a coup isn’t going to be easy, but it’s the only shot Darrah has if she wants to stay in the game.
Life has been good so far on the Drake tribe’s island. Their shelter is comfortable, they have plenty of food, and they haven’t lost a challenge yet. But the previews for this week’s show suggest that there will soon be trouble in paradise. There are murmurings in the tribe about throwing a challenge so that they can vote out a player who is annoying them. Shawn approaches Rupert and asks him if he will help them deliberately lose the next challenge. Rupert, in full-on pirate voice, says that any pirate who’d suggest such a thing would be forced to walk the plank.
What does all of this mean for Drake? First of all, if Drake is thinking about throwing a challenge, I hope they change their minds because that is a stupid idea. Things might be great at Drake now and maybe they feel like they can afford to lose a challenge, but the game could change at any minute. Once the two tribes merge, members of Drake should want as many friendly faces and known entities around them as possible. No matter how annoying a member of your tribe might be, it’s worth putting up with that annoyance if it increases your chances of winning the game. Drake should do everything they can to keep winning challenges – it’s the smartest way to play at this stage of the game.
Which member of the tribe is annoying everyone else? Sandra is a possibility. She and Jon had a nasty clash about which one was the weaker swimmer and should sit out a water challenge. The minute Jon dared to suggest he’d be a better competitor than she would, Sandra lost her temper. She came across as volatile and irrational, not qualities you’d want in a fellow tribe member. However, I don’t think Sandra is the one who is irritating everyone to the point that they’d consider throwing a challenge. I suspect that that person is Jon. We saw him drink too much and make inappropriate jokes on the first night. And on the last episode, he and Sandra had that noisy clash over which one of them should sit out a challenge. He doesn’t appear to have made friends, nor does he seem to contribute much to the camp. Jon is very likely to be the person who is irritating everyone.
If Rupert really does get angry that Shawn suggests throwing a challenge, that might change the dynamic. The two of them have already butted heads when Shawn lost the head of the spear in the ocean. If Rupert thinks Shawn is betraying the tribe, he may try to organize the rest of the tribe to vote out Shawn instead. If he does, I think it would be a mistake. If Shawn is willing to talk to Rupert about taking a dive, I bet he has the backing of several other tribe members already. Rupert can make speeches about pirates all day long, but it won’t sway people who have already made up their minds. If anything, it will set Rupert apart from the rest of the tribe, turning their valued member into someone who isn’t willing to go along with the majority. Rupert seems to be a smart player, and if he is, he’ll keep his mouth shut, saving the speeches for his interviews with the camera.
So, for the third week in a row, I’m seeing Jon’s head on the chopping block at Drake. So far he’s ignored the advice I’ve given him: work hard, keep your mouth shut, and do something – like initiating the treasure hunt – to make yourself an irreplaceable member of the tribe. At this point, it’s probably too late for those plans to work, so here’s my next idea: form an alliance. Get together with all of the women except Sandra – she hates you, but Christa, Michelle, and Trish might listen to what you have to say. Ask these smart strong women (a little flattery won’t hurt) if they want a chance at winning, or if they want to help some alpha male like Rupert, Burton, or Shawn win. Propose that the four of you form a secret alliance that will kick in after the merge. Send Trish, who seems to have the best relationship with the guys, to convince them to vote out Sandra. Have her tell them, sure, Jon’s annoying, but he really is stronger than Sandra, and we need strength going into the merge. Then after the merge, stick with your tribe to get rid of any pesky Morgans that are left. Once they’re voted out, the secret alliance of the women and Jon kicks in to vote out the alpha males one by one. Convince the women that it’s their best shot at making the final four. It’s a risky, risky plan, and it can easily go wrong. But frankly, it’s all I can think of to help Jon, barring the possibility that Probst initiates a tribal switch. If that happens, I hear there’s a woman on the Morgan tribe who needs a friend.
Betsy can be reached with any comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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