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Survivor: Vanuatu – Why Julie Lostby David Bloomberg -- 12/10/2004
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As those of you who have read our recap know, the #1 ranked University of Illinois Fighting Illini basketball game pre-empted Survivor in my area, meaning I had to wait ‘til this morning to find out that Julie lost. And we all had to wait about 59 minutes into the episode to find out just who was going home!
I had predicted that Chris would pick the other side and Julie would eventually win. However, Chris is a smart guy, and if I could see that possibility coming, perhaps he could too. There are good reasons for going in either direction, and I could go back and forth for pages. But while we need to discuss Chris’ actions, we will be doing so here in light of our discussion on why Julie lost.
Of course, that means we will look back at What Vanuatu Survivors Should Have Learned to see how Julie ended up on the jury box with alliance-mates Ami and Leann rather than vying for their votes in the Final Two.
The first rule is to scheme and plot. At first glance, my initial thought was to say that Julie hadn’t done a whole lot of this that we have seen, but instead had appeared content to make her alliances and then float along. However, upon further reflection, this really isn’t true at all. It might be what we remember most about her, but she has, indeed, done some seriously good scheming.
In fact, Julie told a lie that changed the entire outcome of the game. The guys had convinced Twila that she was in their Final Four plans. Julie knew that this spelled doom for her, so she told Twila that the guys had told her the same thing! It was a brilliant move and it planted the seed of doubt in Twila. That seed grew quickly and when the merge occurred, Twila jumped back to the all-female alliance that she had earlier been so desperate to get away from!
Later, after Leann was voted off, Julie did her best to make Eliza feel like one of her best pals, hoping to get her vote aimed at somebody other than Ami. And of course in her last episode, Julie properly picked Chris to take to the reward and did everything she could to get him to flip over to her side.
Unfortunately for her, Twila also knew that, as the rule says, “part of plotting and scheming can also be making good use of sneakiness,” and she stood to the side while listening to Chris and Eliza talk. I do think this had some effect on the way Chris ended up voting, because he could no longer completely blindside Twila.
So Julie schemed when she needed to, but she also avoided it when she didn’t have to. She made only a couple real alliances. First she went with the other young women, and was solid there. Then she went with Ami and Leann, and was solid there. She had a couple other passing “flings” with Twila and Chris, but both were really just ways to get her to the next stopping point.
That means the only real problem she had with the second rule is pretty much the same one that brought down Leann and Ami – though Julie was locked in the follower’s role and therefore doesn’t deserve quite as much blame. Those problems were in failing to keep their scheming secret and backstabbing too early. The former is due to the fact that everybody knew where Julie stood, and that made her next in line for the vote. The latter is because she went along with the plan to oust Eliza before getting rid of somebody more dangerous, like Chris. Both of these have been discussed quite a bit in the articles on Leann and Ami (linked to above), so I won’t rehash it here.
One thing she did right in this rule is that she avoided being known as the decision-maker. She was definitely a follower, and that meant when the tide turned, the initial target was not on her. She had two more weeks to make plans and try to turn the game around for herself. She almost succeeded because of that.
The third rule says players should pretend to be nice. Julie succeeded here, and indeed the reason that many people tend to think of Julie as more of somebody who just floated under the radar is that whenever there was a fight going on, Julie was always there, but stayed out of it. When Mia and Twila were screaming at each other, Julie was Mia’s ally but kept her mouth shut and just sat there. When Ami and Twila were yelling at each other, Julie was Ami’s ally but kept her mouth shut and just sat there. Julie seemed to understand that by screaming at people, she would only put a target on her own back.1 2 Next-->
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