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Survivor: Guatemala – Why Amy Lostby David Bloomberg -- 10/28/2005
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Amy may be one of the toughest people to have ever played Survivor. She hurt her ankle twice and we saw it swell to the size of a grapefruit – but she made it past those Tribal Councils. The one she couldn’t get past was the one when nobody wanted anybody else to go. Why was Amy sent home when they were all such good friends? Why did Amy lose?
Each week we search for answers to questions like these in the same way, by looking back at What Guatemala Survivors Should Have Learned and comparing what players should do to what the player who was voted out did. So let’s see how Amy stacks up.
The first rule says that players should scheme and plot. Amy was able to do a bit of this when necessary, but I don’t think she showed the ability to “outwit” that she discussed with Danni before she was voted out. Amy did know she needed to be in an alliance, and from all accounts she did join in one quickly and stood by it (as much as anybody did) until the tribal switch.
Even during the switch, Amy stood by her original tribemates as they managed to convince the others to vote off their own ally, Blake. Then, when she apparently felt the time was right, she and Gary turned on Brian. I suspect this was a self-defense move since Amy’s ankle injury made her a likely target as well – what better way to deflect attention than by volunteering to switch your vote?
In the end, though, Amy was not able to persuade Brandon and Danni to switch their allegiance from Bobby Jon to her.
Part of the reason Amy found herself in this position may have been because she schemed and plotted too much. As I already mentioned, Amy jumped sides and helped vote out Brian. However, Brian has told us about his 3-2-1 plan that, if it had worked, would have eliminated Bobby Jon. By flipping and helping to vote out her own ally, Amy put herself in a bad position where she knew that if her tribe lost the immunity challenge, she would be a likely target. Amy should have been thinking ahead to how she could avoid this – the obvious answer was to help Brian rather than voting him out, and hoping that the plan would work. Instead, she backstabbed Brian too soon.
That said, Amy’s choice to vote out Brian showed that she was not letting her emotions control her. Despite the fact that he was an ally and an original tribemate, Amy had no problem in turning on him when she apparently thought it would benefit her. Similarly, she flat-out told Gary that if it came to it, she would cut his throat because it was every person for him- or herself. So she had no problems with the third rule.
Similarly, from what we saw, Amy was fine with the fourth rule in pretending to be nice. I hate to keep going back to it, but Brian certainly had no clue that her knife was aimed in his back – so she did an excellent job of putting on a happy face for him (as did the entire tribe). Amy was not voted out because of any dislike from fellow tribe members. As Probst noted, they truly did seem to all like each other.
And in Amy’s physical condition, she likely was not viewed as being too much of a threat. When Danni brought up the coming merge, Amy responded that she would not be able to outplay or outlast the others, and I thought Amy was going to point out that any of the three guys were bigger threats than she was. Then, however, she went into how she could outwit people. I don’t know that this was such a smart thing to say. I mean, did Danni really want to hear that Amy could outwit her? It sounds more like a reason to target somebody rather than a reason to save them. This could have played a role, though I doubt it was a major reason.
The sixth rule is to be flexible. Amy was certainly willing to jump to the “other side” when she thought it suited her, and that speaks to her flexibility. Furthermore, she clearly recognized the need to sell her vote in order to stick around if possible. Both of these speak well of her ability to understand how to operate under this rule. Unfortunately for her, she was left in a situation where her true flexibility was limited.
Seventh is not to be lazy. Amy certainly didn’t have a problem there, so let’s move on. That puts us at the eighth and final rule, which judges whether the tribe made the right choice. In this case, it’s a tough call. They were not yet merged, so continuing to vote out the weak might have seemed like the best idea. In a tribe full of strong people, Amy’s injury made her the weakest.
But everybody knew a merge was coming soon. That indicates that perhaps a bigger threat should have been voted out. Yet on the flipside of that, they were going into a merge two down from the other tribe. With this in mind, keeping the tightest alliance has certain advantages. This is especially true for Danni, Brandon, and Bobby Jon, who will be rejoining with previous members of their tribe and might be hoping to jump into the majority (though from what Blake previously told me, those three were not particularly close with either Judd or Cindy).
It was clear that Danni and Brandon were somewhat anguished over who should be voted out. In the end, they chose to side with their alliance-mate and not worry about who “deserved” it more. This was strategically the smart thing to do. After all, look at Colby in the second Survivor; he decided that Keith didn’t “deserve” to be in the final two and ended up costing himself $900,000! (Not to mention landing in the Reality TV Hall of Shame.)
Amy did her best to convince Danni and Brandon to get rid of Bobby Jon, but it just wasn’t enough. She, in part, put herself in this position by turning on Brian last week. Yes, she was trying to save herself, but she only bought herself three more days. She gave up her alliance in the hopes of building a new one, which didn’t pan out. Amy played a good game, a tough game, but despite her claims to Danni, she was not able to outwit the others. That is why Amy lost.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our other Survivor: Guatemala Episode 7 articles:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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