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Survivor: Guatemala – Why Brooke Lostby David Bloomberg -- 10/07/2005
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After a tribal switch, Brooke found herself in a dangerous position – but not an impossible one. She had three old tribemates with her, against four new ones. So she was in a potential tie situation if everybody voted along previous tribal lines. But they didn’t. Brooke stayed with Nakum, but Nakum didn’t stick with her. What happened? Why did Brooke lose?
We’re at the fourth episode of the eleventh season, so by now I’m sure you all know how we answer such questions – by looking back at What Guatemala Survivors Should Have Learned. So let’s get to it!
The first rule tells players how important it is to scheme and plot. There were definitely a few people on new Nakum who understood this… unfortunately, Brooke didn’t appear to be one of them.
Rafe, Stephenie, and Jamie knew they had to find somebody to pull from original Nakum to their side. Lydia sat around and hoped for the best. On the opposite side, Margaret took the lead in keeping the three original Nakum women together and also hoped she could persuade Judd to stick with them. Judd, on the other hand, was taking it all in and trying to figure out which side was the best to be on. Cindy didn’t seem to do much of anything while Brooke, much like Lydia, appeared to just be hoping for the best.
What we didn’t see what Brooke lobbying Judd to keep her around. Margaret tried to do it for her, but you should never trust your fate to somebody else. Brooke needed to do more to either convince Judd to stay on their side.
Alternatively, Brooke could have tried to bring somebody from old Yaxha over to them. For example, she could have approached Lydia to try to form a “weak link” alliance, telling Lydia that after Brooke herself left, Lydia would be the weakest remaining and, well, she’s seen how the voting has gone. Or she could have gone directly to Stephenie and Jamie and told them she knew they were targeting her, but did they really trust Judd? She could have offered herself to them as a pawn, just in case Judd turned on them. But from what we saw, that didn’t happen.
Obviously, Brooke didn’t scheme and plot too much. She did have an open alliance with the other original Nakum members, but there wasn’t a whole lot she could do about that.
The third rule says not to let emotions control you. While this didn’t really play into Brooke’s ouster, we do have to look back at what I talked about a couple paragraphs ago and wonder if the reason she didn’t try to side with somebody from old Yaxha was due to her friendship with the other original Nakum women. Did she even consider it? I doubt it.
Unfortunately for her, it also was not a problem for Judd, who very easily (and wisely) tossed aside whatever relationships he had built up over the previous week and a half.
Fourth is to pretend to be nice. No problems here, so let’s move on.
And the fifth rule says not to be too much of a threat. This was definitely not a problem, because old Yaxha members and Judd saw her as too little of a threat. Of course, by being weak, she threatened their success in challenges, but we’ll discuss that later.
Sixth is to be flexible. As we’ve already discussed, we saw no signs that Brooke was flexible at all in her mindset when it came to the split tribe. She was sticking with original Nakum, but she should have been open to other possibilities and, indeed, tried to force such possibilities. We saw none of that.
The seventh rule says not to be lazy. While nobody said Brooke was lazy, people did notice how hard Lydia worked around camp. It might not have seemed terribly important, but I wonder if Judd would have so easily jumped ship if it would have meant keeping a lazy good-for-nothing around. In other words, following this rule didn’t necessarily help Brooke, but it almost certainly helped Lydia – which in turn hurt Brooke.
The eighth rule tells fellow tribe members who to vote off in what order. We are still definitely in the phase where the weakest links need to go. I don’t believe that Brooke was the weakest – I think that has to go to Lydia. But Lydia has escaped the Darwinistic approach three weeks running now! This just goes to show how important strategy is, even when people claim to be voting based on challenge strength. Lydia could have easily gone, but she had a more solid alliance. Brooke did not, so she was the weak link picked to go home.
Was Brooke a weak link? Yes, compared to some of the other tribe members. Was she the weakest? Not necessarily. So Brooke’s loss cannot simply be described as due to a “survival of the fittest” approach. The three women of original Nakum had a strong bond, but that bond did not appear to include Judd. Original Yaxha quickly realized who the weakest alliance link was and pulled him over to their side. Meanwhile, Brooke and her fellows made little or no attempt to do likewise and pull over an original Yaxha, apparently content to let it be a tie and go from there. This lack of strategic planning is the real reason to explain why Brooke lost.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our other Survivor: Guatemala Episode 4 articles:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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