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Survivor: Palau – Why Janu Lostby David Bloomberg -- 04/22/2005
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Janu and the Koror tribe found themselves in an interesting situation. Janu was not well-liked by her tribemates, but they still didn’t want to vote her out. In some previous seasons, the dislike that was felt on both sides would have meant the end of the game for Janu. But this season, there are actually strategically-minded people on Koror, and they wanted to keep Janu around for their own purposes.
But Janu had her own ideas about that, and showed them who was, at the end of the day, really in charge. The debate about whether her actions were horrible, thus deserving a spot in the Reality TV Hall of Shame with the other quitters, or were wonderful, thus deserving of accolade, continues. If you’d like to add your two cents, feel free to E-mail me. But in the meantime, we aren’t here to discuss whether what she did was right or wrong, we’re here to look at why Janu lost.
In this case perhaps more than for any other quitter, the question is more difficult than simply saying, “She lost because she quit.” So how do we figure it out? By looking back at What Palau Survivors Should Have Learned to see where she went wrong.
The first rule, as always, is to scheme and plot. As far as we can tell, Janu should have been on the dearly departed Ulong tribe, for all the scheming and plotting she did. She was apparently pals with at least Coby (he mentioned in my interview with him that he and Janu were the only ones who thought Janu was going, and she encouraged him to vote against her so he wouldn’t stick out), but that didn’t exactly make it an alliance. Instead, she was among those outside the main alliance, and I’m not sure she cared. Word has it that Janu was sick for a good portion of her time on Survivor, and she didn’t have a whole lot of energy. If she never had the energy to start the fire, for example, it’s no wonder she didn’t have the energy to talk to people about becoming allies.
Obviously, we can quickly skip past the second rule about scheming and plotting too much. That takes us to the third rule, pretending to be nice. Janu had a problem here – she didn’t feel the others were being nice to her, so she wasn’t nice back. Before I get a bunch of e-mails saying, “But they weren’t being nice to her,” I agree, they weren’t. But in the game of Survivor, that’s not necessarily a good reason to return the favor. If Katie wants to gossip and act like a teenager, let her. Confronting her and arguing in front of the whole camp accomplishes little other than forcing people to take sides and increasing the overall tension.
I imagine it was difficult for Janu at this point – she wasn’t feeling well, the tribe had just pulled a fast one on her (though it kept her in the game), and then there was Katie acting like a little brat. In such situations, it is extremely difficult to hold your tongue and your temper, but sometimes you just have to do it.
Also, things didn’t just suddenly get tense at Koror. We didn’t get to see as much about life at Koror because they kept winning. And what we did see often involved things like killing snakes or a shark. However, the tribe didn’t just suddenly decide they disliked Janu – it had obviously been brewing for a while. During those earlier weeks, Janu should have made more of an effort to be pleasant. Again, if she was indeed sick for much of that time, it certainly would have been difficult. But sometimes you have to do difficult things in the quest to win a million dollars.
As a continuation of this train of thought, we hit the fourth rule – don’t let your emotions control you. It’s pretty obvious from what we have already discussed that this is exactly what Janu did. Rather than thinking strategically, rather than concentrating on the game, Janu was simply a bundle of emotions. In fact, quitting might have been the first non-emotional thing she did, if her goal was to screw over her fellow tribe members. However, the events that led up to that point certainly were filled with emotion.
While this article is about Janu, the actions of her Koror tribemates bear mentioning here. They knew she wanted to quit. They didn’t particularly like her. They did like Stephenie. Yet they wanted to keep Janu around. Why? Because like Tom said, this isn’t about camaraderie – it’s Survivor. They knew they couldn’t let their emotions control them. What they didn’t count on was Janu taking that control into her own hands.1 2 Next-->
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