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Survivor: Vanuatu – Why Mia Lostby David Bloomberg -- 10/01/2004
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In the third episode of Survivor: Vanuatu, there were two Tribal Councils – one for each of the men and the women. We’ve already looked at Why John P. Lost, so now it’s time to examine the second result of the evening, where for the second week in a row, a person who expected to stick around ended up leaving instead. Mia was certain that if her alliance stuck together, they could pull somebody from the elders and wave goodbye to Twila. Instead, just the opposite happened. How did she end up in this position? Why did Mia lose?
This week we have to look back to What Vanuatu Survivors Should Have Learned twice to determine what people have done right and what they did wrong. Now, it’s time to look at Mia.
The first rule is to scheme and plot. Here, Mia did a fair job – though obviously not good enough. The groups basically broke down by age, though 31-year-old Ami was with the elders and 44-year-old Lisa was with the youngins. But it wasn’t purely by age, as work ethic also played a major role.
That said, Mia did succeed in quickly finding a group of allies. Unfortunately, what she didn’t find was a group of solid allies. At the first Tribal Council, Dolly wouldn’t commit and Eliza switched sides. At the second, you were worried about Eliza, but Lisa switched sides. As the rule notes, “The most important attribute of an alliance is that people in it won’t vote for you to leave.” That is, of course, presuming they truly are in your alliance!
Unfortunately, Mia didn’t keep as good tabs on her alliance as she thought. Before the first vote, she and Julie saw Eliza talking to Leann and Ami. This should have given them pause – but instead they assumed all would be fine. Never assume, especially in Survivor! They should have approached Eliza and at least asked her about the discussion. Eliza is not James Bond – I bet she would have given it up pretty easily, as she was already struggling over whether to tell them or not.
Before the second vote, Mia kept harping on Eliza and wondering if she was “teetering,” to the point that Eliza was about ready to “teeter” right on over to the elders! She assumed everybody else was solid. Nope. She also assumed that they could just force a tie and magically pull an elder over to their side. Nope again.
Speaking of which, I’d like to know just how they planned to convince one of the elders to vote with them. Ami was really their only shot, and for a moment in Tribal Council it looked possible! However, I had a feeling Mia’s outburst could only hurt her, not help, and I was right. On Survivor Insider, Ami said she voted against Mia because she got so angry and frustrated that at some point she said to just vote her off. So Ami did. We’ll discuss emotions later, but the point here is that Mia figured another vote would magically materialize on her side, but we never really saw her trying to get that vote. Maybe she did, but even if she did, her attitude and outburst was only going to work to her disadvantage, and she should have recognized that, and tried to plan around it.
Mia obviously didn’t scheme and plot too much, and she didn’t backstab too early. However, she didn’t keep her scheming secret, either. John K. was at their tribe for a short while and he immediately knew where everybody stood. As ANT from Last Comic Standing would say, “it didn’t take Scooby Doo to solve that mystery.” So if everybody knows what the alliances are, it doesn’t take much of a nudge to push them one way or the other, as Lisa did.
I have to admit, though, I am baffled by Lisa’s vote. On Survivor Insider, when she voted she said that she hoped Mia wouldn’t be leaving and that’s why she was voting for her. Huh? How could she not know that Mia was the target? Did she think all of the elders were going to band together and join the youngins to get rid of Twila? I guess we’ll have to wait for next week’s episode to find out what the hell she was thinking. But whatever the case, the fact is that everybody knew only one vote needed to switch because everybody knew where the alliances were. That kept all the elders in line as a unified front.
Mia obviously had serious problems with the third rule, pretending to be nice. Screaming at other tribe members is not generally the way to “be nice.” As the rule says, “Keep your real feelings inside.” Mia couldn’t do that.
If Mia took offense at what Twila said (and really, I think Twila went out of her way to give the youngins more credit than they necessarily deserved), the other youngins should have as well. But we didn’t see them joining the screaming match. Julie sat there in the hammock and watched it all happen. Nobody else joined in. Everybody should have known (though apparently Lisa didn’t) that a screaming match in the middle of camp might have some affect on the vote. Mia made herself the target by causing such disharmony.
Why couldn’t Mia stop herself? Because she was not in control of her emotions – her emotions were in control of her. She couldn’t just sit back and let Twila make the comment (which, again, really wasn’t that bad). She screamed and yelled at her. To make it worse, she had to get the last word in. It seemed the argument had faded and Mia was walking away, but then she came back to scream some more! Apparently, at one point in her yelling she made the comments that Ami referred to in voting for her – saying something about “just vote me out then.” Not smart.1 2 Next-->
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