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Survivor: Vanuatu – Why Eliza Lostby David Bloomberg -- 12/13/2004
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Eliza was almost voted out several times over the course of this season of Survivor. She was always worried that she would be the next to go. Then, when she finally got comfortable that she was definitely going to stay… she was sent packing! How was this ironic situation created? Why did Eliza lose?
We have three such questions to answer this week, plus one about winning, but we’ll still answer them all the same way – by looking back at What Vanuatu Survivors Should Have Learned. Eliza, in particular, should not only have learned from past seasons, but from what she saw while she was at Vanuatu.
The first rule says to scheme and plot. Eliza was definitely involved in a lot of plots, but she was always the person pulled in to make the numbers work – never the one to initiate the scheming. From the very first time her tribe had to cast a vote, she was at risk. Ami presented the idea of joining the elders to make sure Dolly’s decision didn’t matter when she eventually made one, and Eliza jumped on the idea.
As the game progressed, Eliza basically hung around whichever alliance would agree to keep her. It’s not a horrible strategy if it’s done with forethought (as Sandra did in Pearl Islands, and won). However, Eliza was rarely thinking ahead. It was more of a reflex action taken when she was in danger.
Eliza didn’t really seem to have much of a strategy, as far as making alliances and such. It finally came back to bite her when she thought Chris would stand by her side at the end. First, Chris stabbed Julie in the back after promising Eliza that he would keep her around. But still, Eliza believed him when he said he really would be going all the way to the Final Two with her. As I said in my recap: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. So, Eliza, shame on you.
Some might reply that Eliza really didn’t have any choice in the matter – she either trusted Chris or… she went home anyway. However, I would disagree. Eliza could have approached the other two women with Julie a day earlier and tried to reignite the all-female idea. She could have pointed out that the final challenge was likely to be endurance and Chris could beat them all. She could have tried to turn Scout and Twila against each other in the Final Three. She could have done something… but she didn’t.
Since it looks like Eliza didn’t scheme and plot enough, it’s unlikely that she broke the second rule about doing so too much, right? Well, mostly right. What Eliza failed to do was keep her scheming secret. She simply talked too much, and at one point last episode, Twila caught her bending Chris’ ear about their supposed alliance. It was not smart, and if Chris had been considering sticking with Eliza, getting caught might have changed his mind. Loose lips sink ships, and Eliza may have had the loosest lips ever on the show – or at least the most active.
Eliza definitely failed in the third rule, pretending to be nice. From the very beginning, Eliza could not help but show how she felt about people. When she was sent out of the coconut reward challenge immediately after the men, she bitched and moaned about it both at the challenge and then pretty much for the rest of the day, at least. She simply could not keep quiet.
Behavior like that is not the way to make friends and influence people – with influencing people the most important point here. (Jeez, I’m using an awful lot of clichés in this article, aren’t I?) Yet that is the behavior we saw from Eliza all the time. She could not let something rest. She could not let any perceived insult slide. She had to respond to every little jibe.
Earlier I noted that Eliza didn’t even try to approach Scout or Twila about joining forces against Chris. As you were reading it, you might have been thinking, “Yeah, that would have worked well – they didn’t get along!” That’s where this rule comes in. The main reason Eliza probably felt it was pointless to even approach Scout and Twila is that she had failed to simply put on a happy face and thus had created enemies out of them. Maybe by that point it was too late, but if she had been following this rule throughout the previous 38 days, she would have had a better opportunity.1 2 Next-->
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