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Survivor: Guatemala – Advice for the Final Fourby Jeffrey Clinard -- 12/10/2005
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In the endgame of Survivor, it doesn’t take much of a reason to vote somebody out. People are targeted because they can win immunity, are popular with the jury, or are an easy political vote. In the last episode, Cindy was targeted because she could win challenges, hadn’t made any enemies on the jury, and because she decided to keep the car for herself rather than give one to everybody else.
Survivors should have learned by now that winning a reward challenge is often a pyrrhic victory, as there is often a secondary choice that must be made. Cindy had to make one of the more difficult ones yet as she had to pick between keeping the reward she won, or giving everybody else a car, and then still face the possibility of losing the game, and giving up one of the bigger reward items.
I think there may have been a third choice for her, one that was potentially lucrative. She could have tried to bargain with the group, offering the cars if the winners of the next two immunity challenges promise to give her the necklace. The choice then reverses itself on the other Survivors; they are the ones who have to decide if they will trade something of great value to her. A ticket to the final three is a hard thing to give up, though the Survivors would also have to decide whether to live up to their side of the agreement. However, the point of Cindy trying to bargain would be to pass the buck of the choice to the other players, as it was no longer Cindy’s choice, but the tribe’s choice.
In fact, future Survivors should study the reward challenges, not so much for the reward but the political price that comes with it. It shouldn’t be any surprise to somebody that winning a reward comes with a secondary decision, and a smart Survivor will do what they can to minimize the effects of that price. Making deals beforehand (and keeping them) along the lines of “I’ll take you if you’ll take me” is one idea, though it’s not a complete solution. However, everybody should be aware of what is likely to happen, and be prepared to rationalize whatever choice they make.
Looking ahead, the final four should all know who they want to go against in the finals, and should play a game of keeping themselves alive first, and trying to keep around their ideal jury opponent second. Each Survivor should be examining the likely response of the jury to each candidate, and decide what they need to do to prove they deserving of the win. It’s advice for the final four.
Stephenie: You’ve played a hard game, but as you admitted, you’ve betrayed a lot of people on the jury. You betrayed Judd and Jamie, and those two are likely to be campaigning against you for your actions. Your best chance of winning is to go against Lydia. While Lydia seems nice, the jury usually (but not always) votes for the better player, not the nice one. Going against her would give you the opportunity to argue that you played the game, while she was simply along for the ride. Your next target should be Rafe. He’s proven himself to be a good challenge threat, and he also seems popular with the jury. That’s a dangerous combination you need to eliminate immediately.
Rafe: You can make a very strong case for winning the game against anybody left. Ideally you should want to go against Lydia in the end, as she hasn’t really made any active moves in the game. I think you can also beat Danni and Stephenie, though I think Stephenie may be tougher in front of jury since she’s been a decision-maker for a long time and the jury might respect that. Then again, Danni could argue she was in a bad position, but kept surviving and made it to the end (indeed, she was just recognized with a Reality TV Hall of Fame Moment). Your first move should be to talk to Lydia and agree to vote together to eliminate either Stephenie or Danni next. Your biggest problem in the game is that you are dangerous in challenges and as a jury opponent, so give it your all in the immunity challenges. Good luck!
Danni: I’m of mixed thoughts in which person you can beat in a jury vote. Against Stephenie you may have the votes of Gary, Bobby Jon, Judd, and Jamie, which is enough, so she’s a tempting opponent. Lydia is also a good person to be against in the finals, so your immediate goal should be to eliminate Rafe from the game. He’s in solid with the jury and has shown remarkable skill in challenges. Talk to the other women and strike a bargain for an all-female final three, then do what you can to win final immunity.
Lydia: You have a problematic position in the game, as you seemed to be a spear-carrier throughout the adventure. It doesn’t mean you can’t win, it just means you have to work a little harder at satisfying the jury than most. The person you’re going to want to go against is Stephenie. You’ll need to give the theme that she has played this game as a second chance and doesn’t deserve to win. You can also cite all the people she’s betrayed in the game. The person you don’t want to face is Rafe. Work to get rid of him immediately. He’s just too dangerous to be kept around in the game.
Cindy: What went wrong? Well, you were a threat, both in challenges and as a jury opponent. Add a dash of resentment from Rafe over your decision to keep the car you won, and it adds up to your loss.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Survivor articles:
Jeffrey Clinard has been writing about Survivor since the second series, and has published over 100 articles about the show and given advice to over 130 different Survivors on Reality News Online. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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