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Survivor: Guatemala – Why Jamie Lostby David Bloomberg -- 11/18/2005
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Into your heart it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
Step out of line, the Man comes, and take you away."
-- "For What It's Worth"
I don’t normally begin this column with a song lyric (in fact, I don’t think I ever have), but in this case, it just seems so appropriate. While we will of course look back at What Guatemala Survivors Should Have Learned to see where Jamie went wrong, that one song lyric does quite a bit to already explain why Jamie lost.
It’s not because of the first rule. Jamie knew that he had to scheme and plot, and that he needed strong alliances. Jamie had all of these things. In fact, Jamie’s alliance was so strong that they were willing to overlook many of his quirks – and even some downright bizarre behavior – for several votes. That is the power of an alliance based on strategy rather than friendship.
But Jamie’s behavior continued, and even got worse. He schemed and plotted much too much, though not in a way we normally see. Generally, the violation of this rule comes from trying to make plans with too many different people. That’s not what happened here. Jamie got in trouble for trying to make deals with the same people over and over and over again. It got to the point where they (well, Rafe, in particular) simply couldn’t take it anymore.
Jamie violated this rule in another way that almost everybody lately been doing – there were, up until very close to Tribal Council – no secrets. Everybody knew where everybody else stood. Indeed, even in Tribal Council, Judd was open about the fact that he was targeting Gary. Everyone knew Gary was the choice and Danni would follow next. Because of that, Gary and Danni knew they had to act fast, and knew exactly who to target in their attempts to change the outcome.
The third rule also gave Jamie serious problems, in that he definitely let his emotions run rampant. It’s one thing to play Survivor with heart, but the brain has to come in there somewhere too. Jamie had a lot of the former, but sometimes the latter balance was lacking.
For example, all of his antics at challenges served to turn people on the other tribe against him before the merge ever occurred. Then he made it worse by continuing during the balance challenge when he sat out to eat.
Worse than these, though, were the arguments he started at camp and his emotionally-needy behavior that made him sit down with almost everyone on his alliance repeatedly to ask them the same questions time and time again. It was like he needed reassurance every hour on the hour. Paranoia crept into his mind and set up shop.
We’ve already somewhat discussed how he did in comparison to the fourth rule, which says to pretend to be nice. Jamie was not terribly good at that. If he didn’t like somebody, it was obvious. Even if he did supposedly like somebody and they said something he didn’t like (or, in some cases, he thought they said something he didn’t like), he made it known. He simply was not able to bottle up his feelings and keep his true thoughts buried. That behavior rubbed even his allies the wrong way. They stuck with him for a while, but the repeated instances of it took their toll. They finally cracked and just couldn’t take it anymore.
The fifth rule says not to be too much of a threat. In the tenth episode – his last – Jamie made a comment about how people didn’t see him as a threat but they’ll eventually figure it out. Jamie was not voted out because he was a threat to win challenges, but because he was a threat to his supposed allies’ sanity.
Plus, I believe there was another factor, though it wasn’t shown. Rafe, Stephenie, and Lydia might have been wondering: If Jamie is making such a big deal about repeatedly asking who is with him, might he have been considering other options? I mean, the proper strategy would indeed be to seek out an alternate alliance if he thought his alliance wasn’t going to take him all the way. Therefore, Rafe, Stephenie, and Lydia might have figured Jamie could have been considering jumping ship. I admit it’s speculation, but it would certainly make sense based upon the way he was acting.
However, Jamie was not – from what we saw – that flexible. We never saw him talking to those outside his alliance in a manner that would indicate he wanted to change his plans. He had his alliance of six and wanted to stick with it. This means he did not do very well in comparison to the sixth rule, which indicates he should have had backup plans. And no, asking Rafe over and over again to go to the final three with him is not considered a backup plan!
Jamie didn’t have to worry about the seventh rule, which says to provide food and not be lazy, though I will point out that Jamie’s treatment of the other tribe when they came over for the merge did help plant a seed in Rafe’s mind that maybe Jamie was not the guy he wanted to take all the way to the end.
This brings us to the question of whether Rafe, Stephenie, Cindy, and Lydia made the right decision in voting off Jamie (Gary and Danni obviously did, so we don’t need to mention them further). In some ways, it’s hard to say. They did have a strategic alliance that has now been damaged. Judd will feel left out and hurt for not being included. That damage may be reparable, or he may choose to try to find an alternate way to the finals (though his options at this point are rather limited).
Since the ruling alliance still has a majority – five votes to two – it may not affect things at all. They waited until getting rid of Jamie wouldn’t really affect them. But we also know there are other ideas already swirling around. For example, Stephenie indicated she liked Gary’s logic of having the strong survive. So I suspect this will turn out to be a good move for some of those in the group, but a bad one for others. Indeed, it would not surprise me to find that Lydia ends up paying the price for turning on her longtime ally.
The other question takes us all the way to the finals. Did anybody consider that they might want to be sitting with Jamie in front of the jury? There are several people who likely would not have voted for Jamie at the end because he was such a psycho, and that could have played into the hands of people like Rafe, Lydia, or Cindy. We’ll have to see how it all plays out.
In the end, though, it was not really strategy that determined the outcome for Jamie. There may have been some concerns about him in that regard, but I think the biggest concern was simply for the way he was behaving. He let his emotions run wild, and his imagination followed soon after. Ironically, if he had just kept his mouth shut he would not have been a target and wouldn’t have had to worry about it. But by repeatedly questioning if he was a target, he became one!
Paranoia struck deep. Into Jamie’s heart it did creep. It started when he was always afraid. He stepped out of line, the votes came, and sent him away. That is why Jamie lost.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our other Survivor: Guatemala Episode 10 articles:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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