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Survivor: Pearl Islands – Why Ryan O. Lostby David Bloomberg -- 11/14/2003
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Everybody pretty much figured that this week, Ryan O. would be the one to go (hey, I’m a poet!). But editors tried to make it look like it might be somebody else, and a few spoiler sites changed their predictions at the last minute to Lill, of all people. However, it was indeed Ryan’s time to say goodbye as the chances of a Pagonging for Morgan increase.
So that means it is time for us to look at Ryan’s departure through the lens of What Pearl Island Survivors Should Have Learned. Let’s see what we can figure out about why Ryan O. lost.
First and foremost is the question of whether Ryan schemed and plotted. The answer? Yes, but just not enough. As he said on this week’s episode, he formed a bond right away with Andrew. That bond served to keep him safe while he was in Morgan, as they also brought in Osten and Tijuana to their alliance – plus Darrah, to at least some extent, though we’re not really sure how much. However, that same bond also served to help exclude Ryan S. and Lill. As we all certainly know now, that rather ticked Lill off. When she came back, she was looking for revenge, and none of the Morgans apparently did anything to soothe her feelings. While Ryan claimed that she was mad at Andrew, he seems to have missed the point that she was mad at all of them. Ryan needed to make more of an effort to bring her back into Morgan – indeed, if he really thought she was only mad at Andrew, that certainly should have been a way to spark him into action to go to her and say, “Look, Andrew is gone, let’s be friends again.”
Yes, Ryan tried to work on Burton and he encouraged Tijuana and Darrah to talk to Lill, but he should have taken the initiative with Lill on his own. He knew his own butt was on the line, so why trust somebody else to do the job for him?
The same is true of his handling, or lack thereof, of the ex-Drakes. Tijuana knew there was some splitting of the ex-Drake ranks. If she passed this along to Ryan, he should have tried to use it to his advantage. He could have approached Rupert with the information that it looked like Sandra and Christa were plotting against him. Maybe Rupert wouldn’t have believed him, but it’s not like it could have ended up any worse for him. Besides, he and Rupert had bonded somewhat when Rupert was a “prisoner” of Morgan, so Ryan might have actually had a chance. Yet we saw nothing indicating that he did any of these. Ryan schemed and plotted, but he didn’t think outside the box in doing so.
Obviously, therefore, he didn’t scheme and plot too much. Next!
The third rule is to pretend to be nice. Mostly, Ryan seemed like a decent guy, nice enough, and all that. The only place he seemed to fail was, as already mentioned, his collusion in the (mis)handling of Ryan S. and Lill. Just as it came back to bite Andrew, it also came back to bite Ryan O.
Next up is not to let your emotions control you. With Ryan, we didn’t really see anything to indicate that this was a problem. He wasn’t going on and on about how unfair the Outcasts’ return was, like Andrew. He was willing to make at least a temporary alliance with Burton and Lill, if only they would have listened to him. So emotion never really came into play in his ouster.
But one thing that did come into play was Ryan being a threat. This was the case in two separate ways. First, he was the strongest of the ex-Morgans left. Thus, while Rupert – who had immunity – and Burton – who had a swing vote – were both bigger threats physically than Ryan, he was the biggest outside that core group. Thus, he had to be the next ex-Morgan to go.
The second way in which he was a threat was in the perception that he might be able to organize a counter-alliance. Burton reported back to various people that Ryan had approached him. Jon claimed Ryan was not trustworthy – which is rather ironic and was also aimed at keeping his alliance partner Burton around, but managed to include enough worrisome aspects to make it sound realistic.1 2 Next-->
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