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Survivor: Guatemala – Why Brianna Lostby David Bloomberg -- 09/30/2005
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Last week, we saw the Yaxha tribe boot a fairly strong (though small and young) woman in favor of a weaker one who works hard around camp. This week, Yaxha reconsidered that opinion in the face of a devastating loss. But there were several potential targets – why was Brianna the chosen one? Why did Brianna lose?
The way to determine the answers to such questions is of course through What Guatemala Survivors Should Have Learned. And so it is through that article we shall go, pointing out the flaws in Brianna’s game plan and where she did things well.
The first rule, as always, is to scheme and plot. Brianna actually didn’t do a bad job here. According to Morgan (from her interview with me), Brianna was in an alliance with Gary, Stephenie, Amy, Rafe, and Morgan.
Obviously, that alliance worked about as well for Brianna as it did for Morgan the week before, but she had the right idea. As a weaker player, it was smart for her to side with some of the stronger ones like Stephenie and Gary. She followed the rule well by “making alliances and cementing relationships” from the start. Unfortunately, her allies had little problem dissolving that cement, and Brianna had nothing else to fall back on. This was something of her own doing, actually, because she played a role in stabbing Morgan in the back. According to Morgan, she and Brianna had a specific agreement not to vote against each other. If Brianna had been a better ally the first time, perhaps she would not have been a target the second time.
It is little surprise, therefore, that Brianna had no problem with the second rule, scheming and plotting too much. The same is true of the third rule, not letting emotions control you.
The fourth rule says to pretend to be nice. Brianna had a bit of a problem here, apparently. She complained repeatedly about Lydia not liking her or talking to her – but how much of an effort did Brianna make to engage Lydia? I mean, does she think saying that it’s going to rain is a real conversation starter? She apparently decided that Lydia didn’t like her, so she made little or no attempt to change that opinion. Brianna should have been clued in when the tribe rallied around Lydia the previous Tribal Council that perhaps it could happen again.
But Lydia wasn’t her only problem. Brianna was not terribly well-liked by some of the others either. For example, Jamie told us she should go back to the mall. Some of this stemmed from her lack of action in the challenge, but if she had forged tighter bonds to begin with, it might not have gotten so bad.
Fifth is a rule that definitely did not apply to Brianna: Don’t be too much of a threat. Moving on.
The sixth rule says to be flexible. As I’ve already noted, Brianna was a member of a five-person alliance within her tribe. She also had a one-on-one agreement with Morgan within that alliance. This would have been a good situation for her – except that she blew ‘em both by helping to vote out Morgan last week. This meant she had no fallback position, no flexibility. It was stick with her alliance or… nothing. So when her alliance turned on her the way she helped them turn on Morgan, there was indeed nothing she could do.
The seventh rule encourages players to provide food and work hard. Brianna apparently wasn’t working all that hard at the beginning, but she did pick up the pace at least in her last few days. By that point, though, it was no longer an issue of working at camp – rather it was all about the challenges. Also, Brianna needed to realize just who her competition was: Lydia. There was, from all accounts, no way anybody was going to outwork Lydia. With that in mind, even if Brianna worked at camp, she would suffer by comparison.
Brianna’s real problem came because her tribemates were properly looking at voting out the weakest link, in accordance with the eighth rule. Brianna did not do well at the physical challenges, and especially showed her inability during the most recent one for immunity. At least Lydia was trying, but Brianna was just standing there. Heck, Amy did more on an injured ankle than Brianna did with her healthy body.
And that really sums it up. Brianna’s tribe chose to aim simply at the person who was most likely to hurt them in a challenge – that person was Brianna. Since Brianna had already participated in the ousting of one of her own alliance members, she helped set the precedent for not sticking to that particular promise and hurt her own flexibility. So there was nothing to stop them from voting against her. Brianna was considered a weaker link than even the injured Amy – and from all we saw, it certainly seems they were correct in that decision. That is why Brianna lost.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our Survivor: Guatemala Episode 3 recp:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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