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Survivor: Exile Island – Why Sally Lostby David Bloomberg -- 04/14/2006
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Sally was the next in line from La Mina to be sent packing in the Pagonging that is Survivor: Exile Island. How did she end up in such a bad position? For that matter, how did she make it this far when her goose appeared cooked at least twice before? Why did Sally lose?
It would be all too easy to say that Sally simply lost because it was her turn to go and Terry wouldn’t give up the immunity idol. But the easy path doesn’t fully explain what all went on in the game, though it may have a great deal of relevance. For that, we must turn to What Exile Island Survivors Should Have Learned, where we will fill out the picture.
First and foremost on any Survivor player’s mind should be scheming and plotting. Sally seemed to understand the need for this, and used it several times to get her as far as she got. Early in the La Mina tribe, Sally and Misty knew that Austin and Nick were their best chance for creating a majority alliance. They schemed, plotted, and flirted in an attempt to pull the two young men to their side. It was to no avail, however, because the guys thought they would be better off pairing with Dan and Terry.
That did not stop Sally from trying other maneuvers, though. After Misty was sent packing, the four guys made a deal with Ruth-Marie. It seemed like curtains for Sally, but she pushed the right buttons on Austin, who passed it along to Terry. Sally managed to change the vote and get Ruth-Marie booted instead of herself.
Once Sally survived to the merge (thanks in large part to a timely trip to Exile Island), though, she was stuck in the same trap that claimed Nick and Austin. We saw Sally trying to get people to flip, but it just never worked. As we’ve discussed previously, Sally and the other former La Mina members were trying to sell a “sure thing” to people who already felt like they had a sure thing! She tried and tried to get just a couple people to flip, but nobody felt like it was in their best interests. When you’re in an alliance of two, it’s hard to convince people in the alliance of six that they’d bet better off with you!
Just to be thorough, we should also mention the possibility that Sally could have tried to join with the Casayans. To quote from Survivor: Exile Island – Why Austin Lost, “the odds of that succeeding were even lower than trying to get one of the Casayans to flip.” The Casayans simply had no reason to bring Sally into the fold as long as they thought their six were strong.
With all of this in mind, it’s obviously a good bet that Sally didn’t scheme and plot too much. As I’ve said for a couple weeks now, it’s true that her alliance was not a secret, but there wasn’t much of anything she could do about that.
The third rule tells players they need to be flexible. Sally showed early on that she was able to work some options when it came to sticking around. However, her options were severely limited after the merge. In fact, given her situation, I can’t really think of anything she could have done that would have had any significant chance of success.
The fourth and fifth rules did not apply to Sally – one says to not let emotion rule you while the other says you need to pretend to be nice. Sally didn’t let her emotions run the game for her, and she seemed perfectly fine.
Jumping to the sixth rule, we are faced with the question of whether Sally was too much of a threat. Considering that she was the third one voted out from the group of former La Mina players – and would have been fourth if Terry wasn’t the challenge monster he is – it’s apparent that the Casayans didn’t consider her a threat. So again, not a problem.
The seventh rule says players should provide food and should not be lazy. Frankly, many viewers thought Sally was toast when she lost the Hawaiian sling early in the game, causing a fair amount of starvation in the La Mina camp along the way. She managed to overcome that problem, though, and wasn’t stuck with the label of a screw-up for it.
So we find ourselves at the question of whether the other tribe members were correct to vote off Sally. It’s a bit hard to say. I’m sure the Casayans are all hatching their own little plans for what happens when the La Minas are gone, but we have not been able to listen in to these plots yet. Still, it appears there are no Casayans who truly feel like they are in danger. Certainly they all know somebody has to go out in sixth and fifth places, but they all appear to believe those people will be someone other than themselves!
Since they’re making those plans, they really didn’t feel the need to have Sally and Terry stick around. The less, the merrier.
In any case, the tribe is firmly in the grip of the portion of the game where the Casayans are eliminating their non-allies. They would have liked to get rid of their strong opponent, Terry, but have been unable to do so. As such, they had to eliminate a straggler who was not in their alliance. That would be Sally.
So Sally fell to essentially the same set of circumstances that felled Nick and Austin before her. She played pretty well while she was on La Mina, turning away at least one vote and lasting longer than perhaps most viewers expected. But once she hit the merge with reduced numbers and an opposing majority alliance that has resisted every attempt so far to crack them, Sally was doomed and just didn’t know it yet. Early in this article, I said it would be too easy to simply say Sally lost because it was her time to go, but this was a definite contributing factor. Sally tried to maneuver a way to stay, as she had successfully done earlier in the game. But those maneuvers failed. The Casaya alliance has been simply impenetrable up to this point. Sally wasn’t in the alliance, and she was the only available target who fit that description. That is why Sally lost.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other Survivor: Exile Island Episode 9 articles:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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