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Survivor: Pearl Islands – Why Darrah Lostby David Bloomberg -- 12/15/2003
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I’ll admit it – I thought Darrah was going to win. I thought the women would boot Jon first, then she would win the final immunity challenge and take Lill into the Final 2. So it was something of a shock when she was voted off first in the final episode. (That’s why Why Jon Lost was posted to the site first even though Darrah was voted off first – I was sure he would lose and got a start on the article before the show aired.) But really, when we look back at What Pearl Island Survivors Should Have Learned, as we do for all of these articles, it shouldn’t really be such a shock after all to find her being booted in fourth place.
The first rule is to scheme and plot. Darrah seemed pretty much out of the scheming loop for much of the game. In the early days of Morgan, she was outside the main alliance of Andrew, Ryan O., Tijuana, and Osten. In fact, it was a bit of a toss-up whether Darrah or Lill would be voted out third. Obviously, it was Lill who left, apparently because Ryan O. wanted to keep Darrah, not because of any great strategizing on her part. Had Morgan lost another challenge right away, she likely would have been toast.
After Osten left, Andrew and Ryan decided to replace Tijuana in their now three-person alliance with Darrah because Andrew thought Tijuana might betray them now that Osten was gone. (In case you’re wondering, much of this information comes from our interview with Tijuana, in which she discusses what went on with switching alliances.) Again, it doesn’t seem like Darrah did much to scheme her way into that position – instead, somebody else made the choice to bring her in.
After Andrew and Ryan had been voted off, Tijuana and Darrah didn’t seem to be doing a whole lot of work in trying to save themselves. However, what we didn’t see was that Tijuana was trying to win over Rupert, talking to Lill, and trying to make something happen with Jon. Eventually, Tijuana worked something out with Jon where he claimed to take Darrah and Ti to the Final 3 (claiming that he’d have a better shot against a Morgan than a fellow Drake). Again, it seems like somebody else did all the work and Darrah just kind of went along for the ride. Maybe she was doing something in the background, but if so it wasn’t shown and nobody else has talked about it yet!
The first time we really saw Darrah do any scheming at all was when Burton and Jon had their reward trip to the ruins of Panama City and she joined with Sandra and Lill. And then after Burton was gone, she didn’t even really want to talk about it. Jon tried to press her on things and she ignored him. Then Lill started asking her and she tried to push that aside too, but only succeeded in making Lill think Darrah wouldn’t take her into the Final 2. It seemed like Darrah just didn’t want to lie to Lill, but she was unable to connive her way out of the situation.
Considering the above discussion, obviously Darrah didn’t have to worry about plotting and scheming too much. Moving on to the third rule, she did a fine job of being nice. In fact, she was so nice that most of the time we saw very little of her – reality TV producers tend to want to show conflict more than people being nice. And she was nice enough that Ryan O. liked her and wanted to keep her around more than Lill and more than Tijuana. So it helped her get as far as she did, but wasn’t really an issue at the end.
Another non-issue was the fourth rule, against letting your emotions control you. For a while, it was difficult to even see that Darrah had emotions!
Now we arrive at the fifth rule, “Don’t be too much of a threat.” For quite a while, this was not something Darrah had to worry about. However, once they got to the eleventh episode, Darrah started to pick things up. She won three immunity challenges in a row and was suddenly perceived to be a threat. Mind you, the first one she won after several other people blew the spelling of words in the scramble – and it certainly was not a physical challenge. The second one she won involved shooting the muskets, which again is not exactly a physical challenge. Plus, she literally won by inches as Christa hit the wood holding the target and would have at least tied her but for that small distance. The third was a more physical challenge with getting the planks unlocked, but really she won in large part because she has small hands that could reach inside the tube to grab the floating key with less water than the others needed.
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