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Survivor: Vanuatu – Why John K. Lostby David Bloomberg -- 10/29/2004
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John K. had been a target on the Lopevi tribe since… well, since the days when there were two Johns and he still needed to be referred to as “John K.” He managed to make it to the swap and had an opportunity to go much further. But instead of keeping the “men against the women” theme, his tribe unanimously sent him packing. Where did he go wrong? Why did John K. lose?
Honestly, between writing up this article and doing the same for the person fired on this week’s Apprentice, we have some pretty easy paths to follow. Of course, we are guided on this particular path by What Vanuatu Survivors Should Have Learned, so let’s find out where it leads us.
The first rule is to scheme and plot. Early in the game, John had the opportunity – along with all the other younger guys – to enter into an alliance. As J.P. noted in my interview with him, Sarge approached them first but the young guns blew him off. It was only then that he went to the elders, which now has spelled the doom of every young guy in the game.
Later, John tried to make up for it. He talked to Bubba and tried to weasel his way into the elder alliance as a replacement for Rory. That didn’t work. After the tribe swap, he had an opportunity to stick around simply because he’s a man. Instead, he told Chris that he trusted Julie and wanted to go after Chad!
That brings us directly to plotting and scheming too much. John had a ready-made target: Julie. She had several strikes against her. First, she is a woman. Second, she is a woman who did not mesh with the guys as well as Twila did. Third, he – of all people (because of his trip to Yasur earlier in the game) – should have known that while on Yasur, Julie and Twila were on opposite sides. Three strikes and you’re out. All John had to do was pledge loyalty to the male cause and throw his weight behind the idea of voting out Julie.
But he didn’t do that. Instead, John got ahead of himself and started worrying about the end-game before he had even reached the middle. He thought he could trust Chris – who was previously in an alliance that had targeted him – enough to suggest that Chris’ long-time alliance-mate Chad should go. Dumb.
Although John claimed in his final words that he would never have turned on the guys, that’s exactly what he was doing – backstabbing too soon. Maybe Chad’s leg will give him sympathy votes. But there is plenty of time to worry about that. First, John should have been worrying about saving himself! Instead, he tried to stab somebody in the back – and that somebody was a solid member of an alliance that had John on their radar screens for some time. Rather than recognize that, John overthought the situation and tried to play it too hard.
The third rule is to pretend to be nice. From what we saw, John didn’t really have a problem in this area. Same with the fourth rule, about not letting emotions control you.
However, the fifth rule was part of the reason John – and all the young guns – were targeted to begin with. He posed a threat to the elders later in the game. They felt John could have been better in individual challenges, which is something they certainly didn’t want to happen.
More than that, however, they felt he might turn on them after the merge. Let’s look at this for a moment. Rather than targeting Julie – who was already part of the female alliance and seemed a very likely candidate to go back to them – they guys took out John! That is how little they trusted him! Of course, he gave them good reason to be suspicious, as we’ve discussed above. His lack of trustworthiness made him a threat that had to be dealt with before it could grow.1 2 Next-->
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