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Survivor: Vanuatu – Why Rory Lostby David Bloomberg -- 11/05/2004
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Rory thought he was the cat who swallowed the canary. Little did he know that he was actually the canary. He thought he had made it through the long and trying time among the women, and was finally going to be rescued by the men. Instead, the men were dumbfounded and Rory was sent packing. What happened? Why did Rory lose?
The answer might seem obvious, and Rory himself said it was because he was a victim of a battle of the sexes. But on Survivor, rarely are things quite that simple. After all, there were two other guys who could have been voted off (Sarge is not included, since he had immunity) – Rory was not picked at random. So to find out the answer, we need to look back at What Vanuatu Survivors Should Have Learned to see what went wrong.
The first rule, of course, is to scheme and plot. Rory found himself in a good position early on because he joined up with the elder men. This was especially helpful for him because he apparently annoyed pretty much everybody around him at camp. If he had not been in a solid alliance, I strongly suspect Rory would have been one of the first couple guys to go.
The fact that he was in such an alliance allowed him to keep moving forward despite his best efforts to blow his chances in the game (the walks alone, eating food by himself, arguing with the others, etc.). However, the fact that he had somewhat separated himself also made it an easy call when Sarge had to pick which tribe he wanted to be on. Hmmm – the one with his closest allies or the one with the two guys who had annoyed him the most? No contest – so Rory ended up in an extreme minority position on Yasur.
At that point, it looked like he was pretty much doomed. Luckily for him, Bubba screwed up (see Why Travis Lost), so he stuck around another three days. Then Ami got it in her head that Lisa was making a play (see Why Lisa Lost) and he had another few days. He seemed to think he stuck around the latter time because of his speeches and playing on sympathy. But please. He stuck around because he was strong and because Ami wanted somebody she viewed as competition gone, while simultaneously drawing several weaker players to her side. So no matter what he thought, it wasn’t really his scheming and plotting that helped him survive through Yasur.
Once on the merged tribe, Rory immediately began scheming again, professing his continued loyalty to the men and aiming them right at Ami. Frankly, it was a good plan. It was the right plan. But it didn’t work.
I don’t think Rory had to worry about scheming and plotting too much. He went back to his original alliance because he had been told, in no uncertain terms, that he was not a part of the Yasur alliance. He was not a woman, and that was that. Frankly, they should have probably not been quite so blunt about it – after all, they might have needed him if Twila and Julie actually had switched sides. But in any event, Rory had no reason to stay with the Yasur group, so as I mentioned, he was correct in going back to the men.
Rory failed, however, in pretending to be nice. He didn’t get along with the men. He didn’t get along with the women. I’m not sure exactly who he did get along with (well, maybe Bubba, for the most part). Even if the men had swung Twila and Julie to their side, I strongly suspect Rory would have been the first of their alliance gone, just because he seemed to have the ability to annoy people. While I don’t think this was a major reason for him leaving at this point, I do think it played into it. Ami didn’t like Rory, and she was calling the shots.
The fourth rule says to not let emotions control you. Rory did let his emotions get out of hand several times throughout the game. But each time he managed to reel them back in. Sometimes, he even used it to his advantage, as in his speech after Bubba was voted out. Still, those emotions bubbling through were part of the reason Ami didn’t like him, and it didn’t seem that Leann was too thrilled by him either. None of this helped his cause.
What really hurt him, though, was the same thing that saved him the previous weeks. Rory was strong in challenges. He was kept around by Yasur in part because he led them to two victories and gave them a fighting chance in other challenges. However, as soon as the merge occurred, that strength became a threat.1 2 Next-->
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