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Survivor: Guatemala: Advice for the Remaining 15by Jeffrey Clinard -- 10/05/2005
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Survivor: Guatemala is turning out to be one of the toughest editions yet, with high heat and humidity, and a body of water that has its own dangers in the form of crocodiles. For Stephenie, the nightmare of continually losing is also ongoing, having been on the losing side of five different challenges. Maybe she’s a jinx as long as she’s wearing a blue buff.
Part of the reason for the nightmare seems to be what I noted from the start about the tribe composition. Yaxhá has been skewered for youth, but it also seems to be skewed away from strength, particularly compared to the Nakúm tribe. Outside of the departed Jim, the men on that tribe have an edge (Bobby Jon, Judd, Blake, and Brandon) over the four Yaxhá men (Gary, Jamie, Rafe, and Brian). Some with the women; Stephenie and Danni may square off equally, but Cindy, Margaret, and Brooke probably are more than a match for Morgan, Brianna, Lydia, and Amy. Since the challenges have been designed to show strength and weakness of both tribes and players, I’m not surprised that Nakúm is dominating the match so far.
Still, the reward challenge was up for grabs, and the Yaxhá tribe did quite well in selecting Gary as the caller. I always think a loud, strong voice works well in those situations, and Yaxhá did get their pieces retrieved before Nakúm. However, they blew the second part of the challenge, and ended up losing during the construction phase.
The immunity challenge was a nice bit of culture, with a Mayan courtball game determining which tribe sacrificed one of their members. I wasn’t too thrilled with the random draw determination of the matches, though the effect of it was minimized due to the number of games that needed to be won in order to claim immunity. However, there was one move some people (particularly Stephenie) might have considered when nobody was open, and that was deliberately losing control of the ball and trying to reclaim it in a new location. Still, not much would have altered the outcome of the challenge. Side note to the hockey fans out there - Cindy and Danni were statistically the strongest players, each with a +3 rating, though Danni also scored 3 goals. Lydia was the worst, with a -3.
What we haven’t seen is the creation of formal alliances on either tribe, though there do seem to be some bonds formed that are the basis of most alliances. The Yaxhá women were all by their dock, and it was pretty clear Brianna had nothing in common with them as the others talked. Over at Nakúm, the tribe may be split up by those who are braving the crocodiles and those who aren’t, but they haven’t had a real political decision to make yet (Jim’s injury made him the obvious target in their one visit to tribal council). Smart players need to realize that political protection is usually just as good as holding immunity and seek it out.
So what should each of the players be doing to chart their path through the game? It’s advice for the remaining 15.
Nakúm: Well done in winning five of the six challenges so far. The momentum and advantage is with you for the moment. However, you can’t afford to have tribal anarchy, as that can directly lead to a failure to perform in challenges. So far you’ve done well, but I’m seeing cracks form in the tribe.
Bobby Jon: I know winning challenges is a new thing for you, but it does lead to a different type of problem than you faced on Palau. There is one basic reason people get tossed out of Survivor, and it is because they are a threat. In Palau, all you ever knew was the threat of losing the next challenge, but now you have to avoid being a political threat, and that means playing politics yourself. In other words, get yourself into an alliance with Danni, Brandon, and Judd (all of whom braved the lake and the crocodiles) to carry you forward politically.
Margaret: Well, I have to think that the thanks you got for nursing the men when they were week was a lot of ingratitude when it came to other aspects of camp life. Apparently the tarp was a “man thing” and your suggestions were unwelcome. Back off of that, and work out a plan with the others who declined to risk the crocodiles (Cindy, Brooke, and Blake) to start taking political control of the tribe.
Cindy: I know you’re a zookeeper by trade, and enjoyed what you said about howler monkeys, but from the looks of things, the only thing about them some of the others in your tribe wanted to know was how to get them to be quiet. You did a nice job during the immunity challenge, taking on Stephenie and matching up nicely against her. Your biggest problem is allies. I’d suggest the others who declined to risk their skins against the crocodiles.
Danni: Great job in the immunity challenge. You did well in the courtball game, and are a good part of the reason for your tribe’s win. You also seemed to have made some allies in Bobbie Jon, Judd, and Brandon during your shared dip in lake. Those attributes should keep you going for some time.
Judd: Yes, I know that the only people you take orders from are your wife and boss, but tribes need some kind of organization or they fall apart. There was a guy named James in Palau who echoed your thought about the leaderless Ulong tribe, and we all saw how well that worked for them. Still, if you can make Margaret the common enemy of your little band of lake bathers, it’s all good for you at this point.
Brandon: You seem to be wired into the tribe and holding your own in the challenges, which is a good position for you to be in. As the one man who has never been ill and thus has contributed every day, you’re likely to be kept for some time. Going out on for a swim was a good bonding experience - those are the allies you are going to need in the game.1 2 Next-->
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