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Who’ll Win the Survivor Guatemillion Sweepstakes, and Other Vexing Questionsby Ken Kellam III -- 12/09/2005
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Before we look at those left in the game, let’s take a look at the jury-bound Cindy. The challenge which won her the car, but may have lost her the game, was done with something called “macanas.” When she announced her decision to keep the car, I thought, “Yep, she has some ‘macanas’ alright.” In fact, I agreed with her logic that just because she gave them all cars, didn’t mean they would turn around and vote her the million dollars.
That leads us to the first question: Did she think after Judd’s ouster that her tribal goose was cooked no matter what she did? After all, she cited the pattern herself: Jamie was out of the loop on the vote, and soon after got handed his walking papers, and the same was true with Judd.
Honestly, I’m not sure she was a goner. After all, she still had time to turn the game around, similar to the way Danni did. But did the reward challenge finally do her in?
Since she was already on the outs, she probably didn’t help her case by winning the reward challenge, although you certainly can’t fault her for trying. But she further failed to help her cause by going on and on about the car after she and Stephenie got back. She said the others didn’t seem bitter at listening to her talk about it, but it seemed as though she was off in her own little world, seriously lacking awareness about how her talk was affecting the others.
Having said all that, however, I can see why she did what she did, and if I were in her position, I might have done the exact same thing. At the time she made her decision, I didn’t think it would come back to haunt her, but if it didn’t, winning the challenge certainly did, because it confirmed for the others what a challenge threat she was. Think about Lydia’s and Rafe’s comments when voting her out: Neither of them mentioned the decision to keep the car, or the decision to keep talking about it, but they both cited her strength.
In the final analysis, Cindy’s ouster may be one of the more complex and hard to figure out: It may have been because she was out of the loop, because she won the challenge, because she decided to keep the car, because she couldn’t seem to “utup-shay” about it, or a combination of all the above.
As for the curse, I believe in it as much as Cindy did. After all, remember that there was once also an alleged curse that the winner of the final three immunity didn’t win the game. But since then, Brian from Thailand, Jenna from Amazon, Chris from Vanuatu, and Tom from Palau have all won both the final three immunity as well as the million-dollar check. In other words, there’s always a first time, and I have to salute Cindy for trying to beat the odds. It didn’t work out for her, but maybe a bird in the hand, or in this case, a car on the island, is worth two at the council.
As far those left, who has the best chance of winning? Let’s go alphabetically by first name and start with Danni. If the others are smart, they’ll get rid of her at the next Tribal Council. No, she may not be the biggest challenge threat, but neither has she really irked anybody in this game. In addition, she wasn’t part of the original alliance that screwed over Jamie, Judd, and then Cindy, so she may get votes just because those players are voting against her opponent.
Then there’s Lydia, who’s taken the “under the radar” strategy to new heights this season. But to me, she’s the “Mama Kim” of the season. Simply put, she’s gotten where she is by luck more than anything else, and hasn’t really played the game. Even though I feel she may be the least deserving, the jury might not quite see it that way, especially if she goes against Stephenie. Of course, she probably can count on not getting Jamie’s vote, as he cited in his closing words how disappointed he was with her.
While the odds are against her winning either of the final two immunities, they were also against Mama Kim, and she ended up winning them both. But even if Lydia doesn’t win the next one, it’s hard to see her being targeted because she’s not seen as a threat and the original alliance has obviously disintegrated.
What about Rafe, the last male in the game, and a perpetual challenge threat? Personally, I’m not sure Rafe has played hard enough to win the game. After all, remember his “Axis of Evil” comment regarding a previous vote? In addition, one of the other players referred to him as “Stephenie’s lap dog,” and if the jury sees him that way, he may not garner votes so easily.
On Thursday night, Rafe asked if he’d been playing the game a little too nicely, and I think the answer is yes. He just seems to lack that “killer instinct” that was prevalent in Brian Heidik and Rich Hatch. Even Outback winner Tina, who was outwardly sweeter than pie, still played the game when she had to, voting out Mad Dog and Mitch even though she seemed to like them.
Having said all of that, Rafe really hasn’t offended anyone too badly in this game, if at all, and coupled with his prowess at challenges, he probably has a decent shot to take home the million, should he make it that far.
Then there’s Stephenie, who won her first individual immunity, and may win one or two more before all is said and done. However, I have a feeling she won’t be winning this one no matter who she goes against. Jamie, Judd, and Cindy are all likely to blame her for their ousters and vote for her opponent out of spite. In the case of Judd and Cindy, they both shared rewards with her before she turned around and voted them out, so they might seek vengeance in final Tribal Council.
Well, there are no guarantees as to who will win, or even compete for, the million in final Tribal Council. In fact, the only thing we can be sure of is that there’ll be two more immunity challenges and three more Tribal Councils. Given who’s in the jury, however, and how they got to be in the jury, don’t be surprised to see final Tribal Council turn into, in the words of U2, “Sunday, Bloody Sunday.”
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our Survivor: Guatemala Episode 13 recap:
Ken can be reached with any comments, criticisms, or money orders at YourNextOfKen@aol.com.
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