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Survivor: Exile Island – Why Courtney Lostby David Bloomberg -- 04/28/2006
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After a week off due to Bruce’s being evacuated for medical reasons (that would have made for an awfully short “Why Bruce Lost” article), we’re back with a vengeance. Courtney was voted most annoying, biggest poser, etc. Was that the reason she was sent packing? Considering how complicated the strategy was to get Courtney voted out, you can bet the reasons for it may be complex as well. Why did Courtney lose?
While we couldn’t use What Exile Island Survivors Should Have Learned very well last week, it definitely is back to being our roadmap again now. Let’s go through it step by step to see just where Courtney went wrong.
The first and most important rule is scheming and plotting – as Cirie masterfully showed us this week. What about Courtney? Well, she was obviously outplayed, but she gave it a shot. She saw that Casaya would have to break apart and made a few deals. Last week, she talked to Shane about having his back. This week, she made a deal with Danielle and Terry, hoping to ride on Terry’s back to the final two and then go up against one of only two people she even had a chance of beating.
However, Courtney screwed up when she hesitated and then got snotty at Danielle’s plan. Danielle, as you’ll recall, saw Courtney’s plan for what it was – a way to get Courtney into the final two. Obviously, Danielle had other thoughts about this. So Danielle suggested the final two in the last immunity challenge get to be the final two overall. Courtney should have enthusiastically agreed to this, and then worked out a separate deal with Terry to boot Danielle at that point. But she didn’t. She couldn’t get over the fact that Danielle would dare suggest such a thing. Danielle would have had to be an idiot not to realize that Courtney was unhappy about the plan and therefore might change it later on, which meant Danielle could not go through with it.
By doing the above, Courtney also managed to violate the part of the second rule saying to keep your scheming secret. Furthermore, she was also loud enough in her discussion with Danielle that Cirie overheard and was able to figure out what was going on. In Survivor, knowledge is power, and Cirie managed to collect quite a bit of information. The final piece was that Danielle was unhappy with Courtney, and Cirie put that particular bit of knowledge to good use, bringing Danielle over to her side.
Courtney also did other things to break that part of the second rule. She talked so much that it was not exactly a secret that she figured she would be good final two bait. While her talk had Shane and Terry convinced that she was right, it also meant the other players who weren’t Shane and Terry knew Courtney was a danger to them. And several of them (under Cirie’s lead) decided to do something about that.
The third rule tells players to be flexible. Courtney seemed to understand this, as she did have several possible plans to make it to the end. But as we’ve already discussed, she needed to be more flexible in how to implement those plans – specifically by agreeing wholeheartedly to Danielle and then screwing her over later.
But Courtney couldn’t do that because too often she broke the fourth rule and allowed her emotions to take control. When Courtney didn’t like something, everybody knew it. In the game of Survivor, that can often be a problem. For one thing, it annoys people (thus, they voted her as the most annoying). For another, it’s certainly not a good way to win the game at the end.
Sure, if Courtney’s plan had worked instead of Cirie’s, she might have made it to the final two. But while she thought she might have had a chance to beat Terry or Shane at the end, I doubt it in both cases. Terry might be seen as somewhat arrogant, but he would also have on his side the fact that he overcame incredible odds and won numerous immunity challenges. Shane might be nuts and also annoying, but he was nowhere near as bad as Courtney in either department. Courtney was not going to win the game, in large part because she could not control her emotions.1 2 Next-->
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