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Survivor: Exile Island – Why Shane Lostby David Bloomberg -- 05/05/2006
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Shane’s fate seemed to be sealed last week, when Courtney was voted off and he was left out of the loop. Mind you, Shane didn’t seem to realize that, and there appeared to be a small chance that Cirie might change her mind, but everything pretty much went as I expected. Why was it so obvious? Why did Shane lose?
Even seemingly obvious votes often have a lot of background that led up to that point. And, of course, this vote certainly wasn’t obvious to Shane, who was positively stunned. So let’s look back at What Exile Island Survivors Should Have Learned to see how Shane ended up bamboozled (as the episode title called it) and what he might have done to change his outcome.
The first rule, of course, is to scheme and plot. Shane seemed to understand this, though he did not start off well. His first alliance was for “final four” and he swore on his son’s name. This would have been fine, but he took swearing on his son’s name very seriously and would not break that promise unless released from it. That meant he couldn’t very well secretly plot against his supposed alliance – he felt the need to publicly request a release. To me, it was all a bit ridiculous, but in the end I don’t think it ended up hurting him because Casaya all but Pagonged La Mina before having to turn on themselves.
Beyond that, Shane had several alliances and sub-alliances. He had a final four deal with Courtney, Aras, and Cirie. He had some sort of strong alliance with Aras that Aras took to be final two. He made another separate deal with Courtney. And who knows where he stood with Cirie.
Unfortunately, Shane was not terribly picky about who he talked to about these alliances – in other words, he failed in the second rule by plotting too much and not keeping his scheming secret. Weeks ago, he told Terry how he saw the final four shaping up, which allowed Terry to let Danielle and Bruce know they were on the outskirts of Casaya. Neither acted on it at the time, but that doesn’t mean it was smart on Shane’s part.
And it continued. Cirie and Aras found out that Shane planned to take Courtney to the final two, which turned them against him. Danielle knew Shane was targeting her, so of course she was eager to strike first. Shane found himself on the outs while thinking he was the core around which everything else revolved. Even up until the end, Shane was so sure of himself that he flat-out told Terry (and his wife) that Danielle was going next. He just couldn’t keep quiet.
The third rule tells players to be flexible. At first, Shane made himself inflexible by the bit about swearing on his son’s name. Eventually, he realized that was a bad idea and when he made his newer alliances, he didn’t do that anymore. That gave him a bit more breathing room and allowed him to make the separate deals noted above. But while Cirie did an awesome job last week of making sure people didn’t talk to each other too much and ruin her plans (thus earning herself a Reality TV Hall of Fame Moment), Shane did a horrible job and almost ensured they would talk to each other and find out his supposed secrets. Thus, his flexibility came to be used against him.
Fourth is to not let your emotions control you. For much of the game, it seemed that Shane was nothing other than a big ball of roiling emotion. Luckily for him, that behavior managed to sort itself out because of the time he had without needing to worry about being voted off. However, there was one emotion that never left Shane – pride. Shane couldn’t control it. He was certain he was in control of the game. He knew he was safe. The others were only there to serve him. He would make it to the end and then win. That pride caused him to let down his guard. He trusted when he should have been skeptical. He talked when he should have kept his mouth shut. Heck, he even laid out the very reasons to send him home in his final Tribal Council, noting that nobody would want to go up against Aras or Cirie! Pride is one of the seven deadly sins for a reason.
The fifth rule tells contestants to pretend to be nice. By the time Shane was sent home, we had gotten to know him well enough to generally laugh at his antics. But early on, he really needed a lesson in pretending to be nice. He snapped at people, showed a temper, etc. Maybe it was nicotine withdrawal, but I don’t really care – if he was trying to win a million dollars, maybe he should have thought about that and quit smoking before getting to Panama.
The rule that hurt Courtney quite a bit last week was the sixth, which says not to be too much of a threat. Shane was, in some ways, the male equivalent of Courtney. He was good jury-bait because people felt they could beat him. But at the same time, that meant somebody else would not get taken. For Cirie, Aras, and Danielle, that simply was too big a risk to take. They banded together to get rid of the weakest links.1 2 Next-->
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