Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
Survivor: Pearl Islands – Advice for the Final Fourby Jeffrey Clinard -- 12/14/2003
View Printable version of this article
The Final Four. It's a coveted position where the players are so close to the million dollar prize they can smell it. It's also the time the players need to shift gears from working to preserve their alliance and group political power into cutting out the people who stand in the way of getting to the final two and winning the game. The thirteenth person to leave the game should be the one who has the best shot to win over the jury, since if that person wins final immunity, it's all over for the rest of the players. The fourteenth person to be exiled is the personal choice of the final immunity winner, and the same logic applies – keep the person mostly likely to LOSE against the jury. The winner, of course, is up to the seven members of the jury.
There is something else to be said about tribal council after the exiles become jury members, and that is an examination of these people. Each time players enter tribal council, they should know who they are voting for, and (hopefully) who will be exiting. Once the Survivor has been voted out, the smart players should monitor the jury reaction. Burton's exile led to high-fives and smiles. A smart player should consider what that means. Either Burton was hated by the jury (and thus voting him out was a mistake), or Outcasts in principle were hated and Lillian should be kept! However, players who don't monitor the jury won't have that very interesting piece of information.
Once the tribe is down to three, every player should know exactly who they want to stand against at the final tribal council. The immunity winner gets to pick, but the person who is pulled into the finals along with them has an equal chance of winning (Survivor 1, 2, and 3 were won by the person brought into the finals; Survivor 4, 5, and 6 were won by the final immunity winner). Remember, there is a reason why the final two are given a day at camp before facing the jury – so they can plan out their arguments on why they should win. Finalists need to explain just how and why they were the better player than their opponent, citing instances and examples to reinforce the points. They should also consider the kinds of questions the jury will ask and consider the best responses. Players who have done their homework should have learned from the past editions of the series.
But before the Survivors can talk to the jury, they need to get to the finals. How should they get there? It's advice for the remaining four.
Sandra. It's taken some time, but you finally decided to fight the devil with his own weapons. Jon lies and breaks promises, so don't feel an iota of guilt for lying right to his face. The next thing you need to do is eliminate him. Like him or not, he's a pretty good strategist, but more importantly, he's vulnerable right now and you need to minimize the amount of time he has to try and cut deals with the other tribe members. You also need to sell Darrah on the idea that Lillian is too well-liked by the jury to stay in the game. There are only two ways to get into the finals: winning final immunity or being selected by the person who does. While I personally think Lillian can't win (she's not a good strategist and she's an Outcast), it can't hurt to put that idea into Darrah’s mind, since she's more of a challenge-winning machine than you are.
Darrah. Well done in winning your third straight immunity challenge and for helping convince Lillian to vote out Burton. The men made mistakes and you took advantage of them at exactly the right time. Like the other women, Jon should be your target for the next vote, to minimize any chance he can con one of the other women into carrying him forward in the game. You're in a good position right now, since none of the others have shown any ability to win challenges (Lillian shared a reward challenge win with Burton, but neither Jon nor Sandra has won a single individual challenge). With that kind of history, it's not too early to think about who you want against you in a jury vote. I'd suggest taking Lillian to the finals if you can, but I've upgraded your chances of beating Sandra and Jon based on the coup that took out Burton, plus your challenge-winning ability.
Lillian. You've finally done something decisive, taking the step to overthrow the men. Any doubts that you did the right thing should have vanished as you saw your name written down twice and knew exactly who wrote them. Continue this trend by writing down the name JON at the next tribal council, unless he's wearing immunity. If that happens, you'll need work to vote out Sandra, since she has expressed the opinion you are unbeatable against a jury. That means she won't take you to the finals if she wins final immunity. Unless something happens to change her opinion, you're better off keeping a person who might take you till the end instead of one you know will not.
Jon. For the first time in the game, you're in a world of hurt. The trouble began when you and Burton talked with Lillian about taking out Darrah before Sandra. While Darrah was a challenge-winning threat (and proved it again in this episode), it was completely unnecessary to talk about betraying one of your own before you had to. If you had simply waited until after the immunity challenge, you wouldn't have had the conversation to begin with. For the most part, people get angry and emotional when there is talk about voting out an ally before they have to. Both Alex and Deena from Survivor: The Amazon learned the lesson the hard way, and Burton had to learn it twice. In any event, you are now the free agent in the game and you need to try and work a deal out with any of the women you can to get them to target somebody other than you. I'd suggest starting with Sandra, and prey on her fear that Lillian is popular with the jury, and play up the fact that Darrah keeps winning immunity. You also might be able to sell Darrah on the fear of Lillian beating a jury, or suggesting to Lillian that you've stabbed too many jury members in the back to win the game. If all else fails, win immunity.
Burton. Why did you walk the plank... again? Well, there are plenty of reasons, not the least of which were your own conversations with Lillian. At the very moment she wanted reassurance, you failed to give it to her. I said you should have lied to her face and reassured her, but you felt the need to be honest. That led her to question her position in the game. Then you made a huge mistake in taking Jon on the reward instead of Lillian. While you didn't think the women had it in them to plot and scheme effectively against you and Jon, they did exactly that. In my last article I warned Survivors that they should consider the side-effects of winning challenges, particularly those that separate them from the others for a long period of time. The key player in the game was Lillian, not Jon. She should never have been left alone with two women who had their backs to the wall and anxious to secure that key third vote.
Jeffrey Clinard lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with his cats, Lam and Princess. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Be sure to sign up for our e-mail update so you can stay informed about new articles on the site! And take a look at the rest of the site. You can find all of our recaps and other info on this show at the Survivor: Pearl Islands page, and take a look at our The Simple Life page and our Average Joe page. You can even buy reality show stuff at our Reality TV Store!
View Printable version of this article