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Survivor: Guatemala – Advice for the Remaining 16by Jeffrey Clinard -- 09/28/2005
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Survivor: Guatemala continues to be a nightmare, not only in terms of the conditions, but also for the chances of the Survivors. Food is limited, conditions bad, and several player are still not at 100% due to injury. Plus, the challenges have been difficult, and designed to batter the players even more than the environment.
More importantly, the challenges have been designed to separate the strong from the weak. In the second episode, everybody (except Amy) had to attempt to retrieve one of the bags from the rope web in the reward challenge, and some came up empty handed. Then the immunity challenge had a not-so-subtle message that tribe strength was important (as shown in round one, which ended up being a 15-minute way to exhaust the Survivors, as well as a forum for Danni passing on information to Brian about Gary). It was immediately followed by three rounds of the strongest players going toe-to-toe. Unlike many challenges in the past, there was no attempt to have rounds of men verses men, or women verses women. While I wouldn’t have minded a round of Stephenie vs. Danni, the lesson was that only the strong will survive in this edition of Survivor.
Was there a better way for the tribes to have tackled the challenges? In the reward challenge, it was to the advantage of each team to send their strongest players first and have them go for the bags furthest from the start. It gave them a chance to do the hardest work first, and then rest for their next run, which would take less distance. Weaker team members could either go for close bags, or if they found the challenge suited them go for the middle bags.
In the immunity challenge, I don’t think there was any way either tribe could have won immunity with the group tug of war in the time allotted. The individual efforts didn’t have much strategy either. Gary tried a move which I assume would have led to him physically carrying Judd, which didn’t work. Jamie also tried to put a move on Brandon, which backfired, while Judd waited until Jamie thought he had it won and relaxed to get a last second victory. Still, it was mostly a physical battle.
Bobby Jon finally got a taste of immunity, and Yaxha played politics for the first time. Of the three names suggested, Stephenie’s never seemed to have much serious consideration, except by Jamie, and it became a battle of Morgan or Lydia. Neither was particularly strong, but Lydia was making herself more useful around camp by providing fish and making corn meal. In addition, since this tribe is skewed heavily to youth, I suspect Gary made a preemptive play to keep some of the older Survivors around while he could.
It’s not going to get any easier physically or politically, but everybody should have a game plan to get them further into the game. It’s advice for the remaining 16.
Nakum: Well done on winning both challenges. You’ve gotten fishing gear (and fish) with it, and most of the sick men seem to be recovering. Having won three of the four challenges, your tribe is in a good position, but there is some internal division due to injuries and attitudes towards them. The greatest weakness of your tribe is an internal rift.
Bobby Jon: Finally, you have held immunity, and I bet it feels good. However, I’m betting you still aren’t at 100% since you sat out of the individual rounds of the immunity challenge. Fortunately, Blake is still weaker than you and has bought you a little extra time to contribute and get wired into the game politically.
Margaret: One of the biggest ironies of the game is that your nursing skill is helping you create bonds with the weakest players on the tribe, and thus those that are the most likely to be voted out. However, on the plus side, if they go back to full strength, you’ll have a good bond with them, and they’ll be great to have on your side. Either way, you’re in a good position, as you’ll be around to vote out the sick or have a bond with the ones who recovered. You may be able to jump to either faction
Cindy: Not much airtime, which tends to indicate you are safe for the time being. You did make up ground on the reward challenge, which means you’ve not shown weakness, and I think it was you that went out and fished, so you’re making connections. So far, so good.
Danni: You decided to out Gary to Brian during the immunity challenge, and it was probably a good idea. Putting mistrust of a physical threat of the other tribe is generally a good idea, though I’m not certain if they believe you over him. There is a downside, and that is it may boomerang if you merge with him and are outnumbered. It may be used to brand you as a liar, though that’s a problem for the mid-game if either of you make it that far.
Judd: You did what you set out to do – become the hero for your tribe at the immunity challenge. That was good. However, you didn’t do so well at the reward challenge, failing to retrieve a bag. Still, you need to keep a lid on your attitude towards camp life. Use some tact when talking about your tribemates. You never know when a bond between two of them will end up in some of your talk getting back to them.
Brandon: Nice job on the immunity challenge. As the only male on your tribe who hasn’t had physical problems, you’re likely to be kept for your strength. I’d suggest bonding with Judd to create a pair of strong males, and leave the membership open to the other men if they get healthy, or the stronger women who are going out and doing things. You are safe for now unless your attitude towards the injured Blake (“Man Up”) gets back to him.
Blake: It was good to see you up and fishing after the reward challenge, since I think it means you are on the road to recovery. It may only take a few more days for your game to change from healing to contributing and having the right allies in the game.
Brooke: You did fine in the reward challenge, and not much else was seen of you. I think that bodes well for your immediate future, though you’ll still need to pull your weight at camp and in the challenge, and plug yourself into the tribe politically.1 2 Next-->
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