Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
Survivor: Vanuatu Ė Why John P. Lostby David Bloomberg -- 10/01/2004
View Printable version of this article
In the third episode of Survivor: Vanuatu, there were two Tribal Councils with similar results, but very different tones. Both tribes have a generation gap, but the men are using it for strategy while the women are screaming at each other. The end result was still the same for John P. (or J.P.), which means itís time for us to figure out why J.P. lost.
So twice this week we will look back to What Vanuatu Survivors Should Have Learned to determine what people have done right and what they did wrong. Right now, letís look at J.P.
The first rule is to scheme and plot. It seems that this is where J.P. fell behind almost immediately. From what we saw in the first ďSurvivor InsiderĒ, the elders had an alliance the very first day. Unfortunately for him, J.P. didnít. In fact, J.P. was the first suggested target, but Sarge wanted him to stick around so he could try to make fire. Once they had fire, that reason didnít hold up anymore.
Basically, itís as simple as the fact that Sarge pulled together a team early and the youngins didnít. As the rule says, ďFrom the very beginning, you have to start making alliances and cementing relationships. Under normal circumstances, it can be difficult to know whom you can trust after just a couple days Ö but either you do it, or youíre gone.Ē J.P. didnít do it quickly enough. J.P. is gone.
Still, we have to give credit where credit is due. J.P. saw a potential crack forming in the elder alliance with the friction caused by Rory. He tried to make use of that crack to force Rory out and take his place in the alliance. It might have worked on some people, but Sarge and Chris (the only two we saw discussing the possibility) held firm to their alliance. They had made a pact and they were sticking to it, at least for now.
Given that J.P. didnít scheme and plot enough, itís safe to say he also didnít scheme and plot too much. However, he did fail to keep his early scheming (against Chris, with Brook and Brady) secret as they actually told Sarge about it. It seems likely that the elders would have gone down the same path anyway, though.
The third rule is to pretend to be nice. It seems J.P. didnít need to do a lot of pretending Ė he just was nice. Indeed, nobody seemed to have anything against the guy Ė he simply was not in their alliance and therefore had to go.
In other words, the elder alliance did not let their emotions control them. So they followed the fourth rule Ė how about J.P.? Well, frankly, we didnít see him really have a chance to follow or fail in this one. It didnít contribute to his loss, though.
One thing that did contribute was the fifth rule: Donít be too much of a threat. In a mixed-gender tribe, being a strapping young man could take you far. Your tribe would want to keep you around for a while to help in physical challenges. But in an all-male tribe with a drill sergeant, a former professional wrestler, etc., being a strapping young guy could be viewed as a threat rather than an asset. Indeed, thatís what happened here, as Chris flat-out told him. They didnít want to chance J.P. getting any further in the game, for fear he would become a major problem. By taking him out early, they donít have to worry about it.
The sixth rule says to provide food and not be lazy. We didnít really see anything about food, but we do know that J.P. was really trying to get fire early on. That may be the main reason J.P. made it past the very first Tribal Council, as we saw Chris originally proposing his name for the first vote, only to be overruled by Sarge. However, once the tribe had fire, J.P.ís services in that area were no longer needed.
Seventh is to be flexible. The problem here is that J.P. didnít have a whole lot of time to be flexible. He did try to alter the path of the elder alliance, as already discussed above, but it simply wasnít enough.
So did the rest of the tribe do the right thing in voting off John P.? Well, normally at this point they would be voting off the weakest links. However, as I mentioned earlier, in an all-male tribe itís more difficult to point to specific weak links. Yes, Rory is a weak link from a social standpoint, but he did come back with fruit. Chris was a weak link on the balance beam, but how often is that really important? With so many strong links, and with a majority alliance already in place, it made sense to get rid of the most threatening person outside that alliance.
We barely got a chance to really meet J.P. In large part, this is because he didnít get a chance to get rolling on making alliances. By failing to do that, he put himself in a minority position that could only be saved by immunity Ė which obviously didnít happen. J.P. was useful enough for the elders to keep around through one Tribal Council, but then he was more of a threat for later in the game than he was a use to the team. While there was another player who was perhaps more annoying, he was part of the main alliance.
J.P. was not part of that alliance. The elders got together without him, leaving him out in the cold. A player who is seen as a threat and is not part of a majority alliance is, as he himself put it, a dead man walking. That is why John P. lost.
If you havenít already, be sure to check out the Survivor: Vanuatu Episode 3 recap:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.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: All-Stars 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