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Survivor: Pearl Islands – Why Rupert Lostby David Bloomberg -- 11/21/2003
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‘Tis a sad, sad day for Rupert fans. Well, not that sad, since it looks like we will get to see him again in January on Survivor: All-Stars. But still. In any case, Rupert went from being King of the Tribe – as evidenced by last week’s immunity challenge – to being just another jury member. What happened? Why did Rupert lose?
First, you should read our recap. Then, once you’re all caught up, we will try to answer this question by taking a look back at What Pearl Island Survivors Should Have Learned to see what Rupert did right and where he went wrong.
As always, we will begin with the first rule: scheme and plot. This Rupert did well – I would go so far as to say extremely well. Early on, he had people so loyal to him that they went out of their way to warn him when he was in danger – even though the people involved were not personally in danger themselves. In other cases, he managed to turn the tables on Burton when Burton wanted to throw the immunity challenge and he managed to turn the tables on Trish when Trish had the idea to join forces with Jon and Shawn to throw Rupert off. He welcomed Burton back into the tribe and secured his vote – at least in the beginning – to make sure Drake stayed superior in the merge. He made contact with Lill to help bring her over to Drake at the merge, again making sure his alliance stayed superior. He had alliances, he made promises, he was good to go. The problem is that others were plotting against him with even more fervor, and he trusted at least one of them – Lill – when he shouldn’t have. So instead of going all the way, he went to the jury.
Did that happen because he plotted and schemed too much, in violation of the second rule? No. That was not a factor. Nor did he backstab anybody too soon. However, he could be considered in violation of the part that says you need to keep your scheming secret. Everybody knew that he was in tight with Sandra and Christa. That much was unavoidable since they had helped turn around Trish’s overthrow attempt. But everybody pretty much also knew that he had agreements with Burton, Jon, and Lill as well. To some extent, this could have helped him – and likely did the previous week – because nobody wanted to make a move on him unless they were certain the others in other alliances were going to make the same move. But one he was vulnerable, everybody knew exactly where he stood.
More importantly, everybody knew exactly where they stood. Burton and Jon knew they would be in fourth and fifth place. Lill knew she would be the last ex-Morgan to go, but would only get farther if she won immunity. Maybe Rupert thought he was being nice by letting people know where they stood – I dunno. But it wasn’t smart. People don’t generally come on Survivor in order to say, “I came in fifth! Whoopee!” They want to win, or at least have a shot at it. With the others knowing that under the current regime they didn’t have a chance, they knew it was time to overthrow the king.
The third rule is to pretend to be nice. Everybody knows that Rupert had some problems with this one occasionally, but I’m not sure if he did those things intentionally or not. For example, when Shawn lost the tip of the spear, Rupert was angry. He made it quite obvious that he was angry. Nobody had any doubts. Similarly, when Jon voted against him, he screamed at Jon for a while. Both of these – especially the screaming at Jon – could have been planned out to get to a certain result. And Rupert was pretty much a big loveable lug the rest of the time. So I doubt this really had anything to do with his ticket to the jury box.
Which leads directly into the rule against letting emotions control you. Although he was angered, as mentioned, Rupert generally seemed to control his emotions and allow them to work for him rather than against him. That said, he did get a bit too caught up in the moment, what with calling it “my island” and “my spear” and all that. Yes, it did seem to often be the “Everybody Loves Rupert” show, but he needed to stop drawing quite so much attention to himself, and that would have meant putting more control on his emotions. Of course, if he had done that, he wouldn’t have been the Rupert that so many viewers have become fans of and might not have gotten a presumed second chance on All-Stars. Still, we’re looking at this particular game and the outcome, and I think it hurt him.1 2 Next-->
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