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Survivor: Vanuatu – Advice for the Remaining 10by Jeffrey Clinard -- 11/02/2004
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As the merge looms, and the remaining Survivors enter mid-game, each player has to examine the power structures in the game, and either align themselves with one, or play the game of selling votes to existing factions in short term deals. In this game, the factions are particularly problematic, since it's hard to tell where certain players fit (or don't fit) into the power structure.
Even more interesting is the poor play in the previous episode by the power structures in both tribes. Ami threw away her grand chance to snag Rory for keeps. I'm not certain how to interpret her comment that no female alliance has ever stayed intact in Survivor. What she ought to be thinking about is how five of the eight games have been won by women - none of whom particularly cared whether it was men or women who were part of their power base.
On the other side, John either felt as though he wasn't a part of the power structure, or actually was on the outside. Certainly, he was on the outside before the tribes were mixed, but once that happened, his position changed - as did the rest of the men's. Certainly, he can be blamed for sleeping while the others worked (thus showing he wasn't trying to work his way into the power structure), but his supposed friend Chris and the leader, Sarge, obviously failed to explain the new facts of life to him after the mix up. In any case, John signed his own death warrant when he attempted to broker a deal to go after Chad.
The interesting part will be how each faction either gets six votes, or if a voting coalition will form between a couple of factions to provide a majority. In addition, each player needs to figure out a way to ensure they aren't the targets of the dominant faction. It’s advice for the remaining ten.
Rory: Nice job in the immunity challenge. It wasn't for individual immunity, but it might as well have been. The good news is you merge, and can rejoin your old buddies from Lopevi. The bad news is your attitude (particularly the cockiness) may have annoyed Ami somewhat. If things fall apart, and the men face trouble after the merge, you could find yourself moved up on the list of targets. Try to take a more low key approach in the future.
Ami: The single biggest lesson to learn is that it doesn't matter who is in your power base - you just need a power base. Dismissing Rory was a bad move. It wouldn't have hurt to make him feel valued right up to the point where you wrote his name down on a piece of paper. Instead, he now wants to target you, and may be in a position to do it after the merge. It would have been so easy to turn him into an ally instead of an enemy. Reconsider your game plan and include anyone who might be useful, regardless of gender. It is now the time to plot for the mid-game. You need six votes. There are six women. You've got to get them all on board, and this is why dismissing Rory was a huge mistake. As the leader, you'll have to talk to the other women about the best way to grab those two votes. You'll have to work with Scout to get Twila back, and try to get Leann and Eliza to pull Julie in. Good luck.
Leann: There is going to be a fight for power, and I don't see any good options except for you to work with the women (particularly Ami) to try to get the needed votes at mid-game. It's going to be tough, but you have to try. The real problem is that, even if you want to sell out, there may be others who have a bigger incentive to do it and may beat you to the punch. Your position is sticky, but you have a little bit of wiggle room right now.
Scout: Perhaps you are still a part of the women's power structure, even if you aren't calling the shots any longer. For now, it's your best bet. Stay allied with the women, but realize it may be hard to completely trust any of them for now. The good news is that you have some time. Under most worst case scenarios you won't be an immediate target. Buy time right now by not doing anything to draw attention to yourself. Right now is the time to play defense.
Eliza: You've got a choice to make, and it will be an interesting one. You've always been on the shaky side of the women's alliance, but Julie will come back into play, and you might be able to join forces. If you do this, the key is to only sell your votes to factions that need them. Never let anybody get into the position where they can afford to eliminate you. You may wish to stick with the women, for now, to lull them into a false sense of security before you strike.1 2 Next-->
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