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Survivor: Pearl Islands – Why Osten Lostby David Bloomberg -- 11/04/2003
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Well, obviously this is not going to be our typical “Why XXXXX Lost” column. First of all, I never expected to be writing two of them at this point (if you didn’t read it already, be sure to check out Why Shawn Lost). But more importantly, we’ve never had anybody voluntarily remove himself from the game before. Oh sure, we’ve had people whine about wanting to go home – such as Shawna and Jenna last season – but they didn’t actually take the next step and “pull the trigger,” as Andrew would say. This time, Osten aimed the gun at his own torch and did indeed “pull the trigger.” And nobody stopped him.
So why even bother to write this column? Well, for one thing, it’s tradition. For another, I think we can take a look at what happened to cause this turn of events and at least speculate about it. Some things we will gloss over a bit if they don’t directly relate to why he lost, and will address them further in the coming Reality TV Hall of Shame induction (there was never any doubt about there being such an induction for him as soon as he checked himself out of the game).
Let’s start by looking at the traditional ways we examine why a player lost, basing it on What Pearl Island Survivors Should Have Learned and relating it to his decisions.
First, of course, Osten should have been scheming and plotting. While we never really saw much of this side of him (producers were too busy showing us the whiny side of him), we do know he was in a four-person alliance with Andrew, Ryan O., and Tijuana – and that he appeared to be particularly close with Tijuana. But it all seemed to be directed by Andrew, with some help from Ryan and maybe Tijuana as well. Osten seemed to mostly be along for the ride because the others felt they needed him. So it’s difficult to say for certain if he really got into this part of the game at all.
Obviously, he didn’t scheme and plot too much. Furthermore, he was generally nice – except when it came to animals, of course.
However, he failed miserably on the fourth rule, against allowing emotion to control you. As Andrew and the others noted at Osten’s final Tribal Council, it really did seem to be all in his head. He decided early on that he was going to get sick. He became emotional about it and that never really went away. Instead of focusing on doing what he needed to in order to survive, he seemed to focus more and more on how bad things were. He let his emotions run away.
Moving on, in theory, Osten should have been viewed as a threat, but never really was. He should have been providing food and helping out, but really never did. In fact, when Rupert was over and volunteered to help them move their shelter away from the water, Osten argued against it, saying they should wait until it was really a problem – which of course made no sense. Was he lazy or just mentally checked-out? It’s hard to say.
The seventh rule is to be flexible. Osten definitely was not. I’m not entirely sure what he expected in this game, but perhaps he would have been better suited to something like Big Brother. Although, frankly, I think he would have left that show too because even without physical problems, he still would have faced being cut off from the outside world and thus suffered mentally.
So, did the Morgan tribe make the right decision in agreeing to let Osten walk out? After all, he had wanted to leave once before and they convinced him to stick around. Considering that they would still be competing as a team, would there have been some benefit to keeping him? The short answer: No. First of all, if he had determined that he was gone, then that was it. As it was, he wasn’t really the strong man of the team at this point. Hell, Christa from Drake held up better in the previous immunity challenge than he did! And he was a weak link because he was bringing the whole tribe down with him.
Beyond that, at this stage of the game there was nobody else the main alliance really wanted off. Andrew, Ryan, and Tijuana seem to be the main threesome, but Darrah is not an outsider like Ryan S. or Lill were. So it made sense at this point to just let Osten leave.
So what was the chain of events that led to Osten losing? First, he signed up for a game that he had no business playing. He was complaining that he wanted to go home in just the first few days. While his cohorts convinced him to stick around, he was never really “in” the game from that point on. Sure, he competed, but he never seemed to quite live up to what he looked like he could do. As Morgan won three straight immunity challenges, Osten was okay. But as soon as they lost one – to the Outcasts – he was back to his same old self again.
Osten couldn’t handle the stress. He couldn’t handle losing. He couldn’t handle being out in the wild where horrible evil things like pelicans lurked on every beach. He looked like he should have been able to handle anything, but in fact he could handle nothing. He allowed his emotions to overrun him and fell prey to despair even when it didn’t seem warranted. That is why Osten lost.
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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