Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
Survivor: Guatemala – Why Judd Lostby David Bloomberg -- 12/02/2005
View Printable version of this article
Judd thought he had the game exactly where he wanted it. He had a plan – final four alliance, final two with Stephenie, win a million bucks in the end. The problem was that other people had plans of their own! How dare they? They were obviously “scumbags” for wanting to win as much as he did. But how did those “scumbags” pull it off? Why did Judd lose?
The answers to such questions, of course, can be found within the pages of What Guatemala Survivors Should Have Learned. Therefore, we will take another stroll through its rules to see where Judd went wrong.
Judd understood the first rule, scheming and plotting. He knew that they were all trying to get to the million and were playing a game to do so. Well, he knew that right up until he was voted out, when it seemed he forgot it all. But that has to do with hypocrisy, not the reason he lost, so we’ll put that aside.
After the tribal mix-up, Judd quickly recognized that he needed to jump ship and leave his former tribemates behind so he could progress in the game. This he did without the slightest hesitation – which was absolutely the right thing to do. He formed a solid alliance that took him far into the merge, and seemed to have it all planned out.
But along the way, Judd got the reputation for scheming and plotting too much. While his claim in his final words that he never lied was certainly itself a lie, it is safe to say that it appeared he fully intended to honor his alliance and partnership with Stephenie. At least, it appeared that way to us. His own allies had other thoughts.
But if he seemed solid, where did they get such thoughts? Partially from Judd himself. Because he so often talked about Survivor being a game and how other people had to leave so he could move forward, etc., people began to suspect that they too were just pawns in Judd’s game. When he had some speculative discussion with Lydia and Danni, his allies took it seriously rather than talking to him about it – it actually reminds me a bit of the situation Ian found himself in last season when he talked about the possibility of voting off Tom, though he never really intended to.
Ironically, Judd was possibly the most solid member of the alliance, as he was the only one who stuck by Jamie when everybody else turned. But people thought of him in a far different way.
The reason he did not vote against Jamie was that he followed the third rule and didn’t let emotions control him. Jamie was annoying, irritating, paranoid, and a bit nutty. But he was also an ally. Jamie bothered Rafe, who in turn talked to Stephenie and the others. Judd knew better than to turn on an ally needlessly just because of emotional issues, but the others did it without him. That is an indicator of how he played throughout – game, first and foremost (again, until he was voted out).
However, Judd didn’t do so well in the fourth rule, pretending to be nice. He and Margaret went at it something fierce earlier in the game, and I believe this contributed to the impression some people had of him as a bit of a jerk who would turn on anybody. After Margaret left, he did calm down somewhat, but there was always an aura around him that indicated he would speak his mind no matter what anybody else thought.
One of Judd’s main problems arises in the fifth rule, which says not to be too much of a threat. While Rafe has been the main challenge threat lately, Judd still has been one of the strongest players. More importantly, Judd was seen as a threat to turn on his own allies and vote them off – therefore, they had to vote him off first. As we’ve seen, this wasn’t necessarily the case, but it was their perception that mattered, not reality.
Judd did well early as far as the sixth rule was concerned, as he was flexible when he needed to be. We’ve already mentioned how quickly he jumped ship from his original tribe to help form a majority alliance after the initial tribal mix-up. After that, though, he became a bit set in his ways. He intended to go all the way with his alliance, period. As the rule notes, “you can’t simply tie yourself to one alliance and hope that it survives.” Judd did, and the alliance didn’t.
The seventh rule says not to be lazy. Judd wasn’t, and it didn’t have any impact here. So let’s look now at whether his tribemates made the right decision. It is obvious that Lydia did – she was on the chopping block otherwise. But what about Rafe and Stephenie? From their standpoint and the information they had (though, remember, they never actually talked to Judd about it), it seemed like a reasonable vote.
For the long-term, Stephenie can almost certainly count on Judd voting against her from the jury box if she is in the final two. Rafe may have the same issue. But from another standpoint, it’s better for Stephenie to have Judd as a juror instead of facing her in that final two. She should try to bring Lydia with her, giving her the best chance to win against somebody who she could claim didn’t really deserve to be there. Judd could have made much better arguments in his favor, so Stephenie made the right call. It’s more difficult to say for sure with Rafe, but he too would be better served to bring Lydia along, and thus probably made the correct decision.
In the end, Judd was undone by a combination of things. He set himself up for problems by repeatedly insisting that this was all just a game. People began to think that if he really felt that way, they could not trust him just because they had become friends. Then, Danni saw an opportunity to use this to her advantage and she jumped at it.
Judd’s own behavior made it seem like he schemed and plotted too much. Danni’s contribution was to make it seem like he was a threat as well. This combination was enough to convince Stephenie and Rafe to jump ship – and it also explains why Judd lost.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our Survivor: Guatemala Episode 12 recap:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
Be sure to sign up for our e-mail update so you can stay informed about new articles on the site! And take a look at the rest of the site. You can find all of our recaps and other info on this show at the Survivor: Guatemala page, and take a look at our The Amazing Race 8 page and our Apprentice: Martha Stewart page. You can even buy reality show stuff at our Reality TV Store!
View Printable version of this article