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Survivor: Pearl Islands Ė Why Christa Lostby David Bloomberg -- 12/05/2003
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In an episode that had pretty much everybody lying to everybody else and many of those being lied to thinking it was actually the truth, Burton made a comment about how you donít really know where you stand until the votes are written down at Tribal Council. Very true. (For the entire recap, including that wise moment, click here.) Christa found this out the hard way. She didnít feel secure, but she also didnít think she was going. She was wrong on the second count.
So, as always, we will take a look at What Pearl Island Survivors Should Have Learned to see what she did right, what she did wrong, and why Christa lost.
First and foremost is to scheme and plot. Letís see, did Christa do this? Um. That would be a ďNo.Ē Well, at least not until her last episode, and then it was too little too late. Indeed, in this episode Christa seemed to have a revelation that this is a game and that the idea is to try to win rather than make friends. In some ways itís amazing that she made it this far without realizing this, but she had managed to grab some coattails and hang on.
First she tagged along with Rupert. Then, when he was gone, she used Sandra as her support. Finally, she realized that she might have to stab Sandra in the back to advance in the game, but by that point it was too late Ė Jon & Co. wanted her gone. Ironically, the only person who still supported her in her final Tribal Council was Sandra, the woman she was willing to stab in the back in order to advance.
Since Christa didnít really scheme and plot, it should be fairly obvious that she didnít scheme and plot too much. However, she did make a different error within the second rule. She backstabbed before she needed to Ė indeed, before she should have. Mind you, itís unclear whether she actually had much part in the decision or she just followed along with Sandra, but in either case, it came back to haunt her. Of course, Iím talking about their last-minute decision last week to vote out Tijuana instead of Burton.
For some reason, Sandra and Christa trusted Jon. Maybe it was because he swore on his grandmotherís non-existent grave. But when Christa asked him to swear on that again this week, she still wasnít sure he could be believed. So why did she believe him the first time? Whatever the reason, the fact is that they trusted him when they had absolutely no reason to do so Ė and a lot of reasons not to. So rather than get rid of Burton and then wait to see what they could next, they immediately jumped at the opportunity to stab Tijuana in the back immediately after gaining her trust!
Another area where Christa apparently failed was in pretending to be nice. Itís difficult to really judge this one because we were never really shown Christa rubbing people the wrong way. But boy did the others talk about it. Even Christa admitted as much in her final Tribal Council. While she raised it as a reason to keep her, the fact is that what we saw indicated that the others found her so obnoxious they just wanted her the heck outta there! A number of people had mentioned it and, indeed, it was even the excuse Jon used to convince Christa and Sandra to side with him Ė because Tijuana wanted her gone immediately after Burton.
Now some people might be saying that this didnít really matter because she was a goner anyway due to the way the alliances shifted. Maybe. But on the other hand, even if they played just by alliances, it was a choice between Christa and Sandra. We had seen Sandra get into some nasty arguments with Jon so we knew there was no love lost there. So itís possible that if Christa had not rubbed quite so many people the wrong way, the majority might have voted out Sandra instead, giving Christa another shot to stick around.
Obviously, itís impossible to say for certain as there are other contributing factors, such as how well they did at challenges and the general thought that Christa dumped the fish. But we didnít see any of those mentioned in discussions about who to get rid of and we can only work with what weíve got.
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