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Strategic Overview of Survivor, Episode 12: Making Enemiesby Jeffrey D. Sadow -- 05/08/2006
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After mistakenly sending off Courtney last time, Cirie (obviously with Aras’ and Danielle’s assistance) had little choice but to send the previous better choice, Shane, packing. The way she did it, however, only compounded last time’s error, and possibly could be giving Terry a chance to get back into the game.
As noted previously, Shane was the better choice to go because Courtney would have the best chance of defeating either Aras or Terry at the last immunity challenge, whence she likely would have taken Cirie in front of the jury. But another good reason was Courtney’s loyalty that would have enabled that scenario to happen and will produce repercussions after having been sold out. We must realize that the more intense the loyalty, the bigger the backlash on the jury by them when allies get sent off.
Maybe Cirie partially dodged a bullet because her next preferred partner now to the end is Danielle (being that she could beat Danielle in front of the jury while Aras probably would beat her) and Courtney might be more likely to blame Danielle for her demise since she thought Danielle would join her in selling out Aras (yes, it is a truism that those who plan to sell out somebody who instead get hung out to dry are likely to forgive their own treachery while condemning it in others). So Cirie may have escaped the fallout in terms of a jury vote.
But the way Shane was done in will make him bitter as well. He begged them, her specifically, to tell him if he was going, and that they didn’t lower the boom on him verbally reflected just poor tactics. They had three votes, and there was no way he could have changed that outcome, so why not tell him? Unlike last time, when he could be allowed to shunt a vote Danielle’s way in case the intended victim Courtney defected to Terry (which she did) making the deception useful, here it just antagonized for no purpose.
She might get lucky again – Shane might harbor enough antipathy towards Danielle that Cirie would get his vote. But she continues to tempt fate needlessly, and in doing so she may be letting Terry back into the game. This is because Cirie also may have stoked such feelings of resentment that if she and Terry did meet up in front of the jury, Courtney and/or Shane both may vote for him despite his bumbling handling of the post-merge environment. One of them probably is enough for Terry to win since he very likely has the votes of Austin, Sally, and Bruce.
And we can throw Aras onto this list as well, for now Cirie basically has to bet the ranch on Danielle, and since Terry will not go next, she must now double-cross Aras. Her only way out is to hope she or Danielle wins the next immunity, they and Aras vote for Terry but that he predictably votes for Aras and reveals the hidden idol, booting Aras. Otherwise, an Aras win may well mean she goes home on the bounceback vote (but if not, puts her at best in front of a jury against someone she can’t beat, Aras, or another against whom her chances of beating have been jeopardized), and a Terry win creates even more chaos.
If Terry wins the next immunity challenge, suddenly the hidden idol has lost any value for him but means a tremendous amount to somebody else. What he should do is pick the person he most would want to go up against in front of the jury to receive it. That should be Danielle, the most beatable of the ex-Casaya left, making her promise to vote off the person of his choice, which should be Aras. In fact, she should be most willing to do this anyway because her chances are better against Cirie than him in front of the jury.
(Whether Terry will realize this, both to utilize the idol in this way and to pick Danielle, remains to be seen. Perhaps assisting the most with this installment of Survivor in becoming known as the edition where players dealt good hands consistently bungled them is Terry. This is why he cannot “sit out” the last challenge because he is allowing somebody not of his own choice to become immune, instead of shielding the person most likely to help him win and perhaps getting cooperation to oust the least likely person he can beat, presumably Aras.)
In any event, this means Aras, and Cirie only somewhat less so, now are in serious jeopardy. Both Terry and Danielle have every incentive to vote him off and the only possible way he can be saved without winning immunity is if he and Cirie figure this out and split a vote off on Danielle, hoping she and one of them vote for Terry so if he doesn’t have the idol he’s gone (with Danielle’s vote), but if he does, a tie between Aras and Danielle occurs – which is not in Cirie’s best interest, since she needs Danielle more than Aras. In short, Aras must win the next immunity challenge or else (and this is perhaps not a sure thing given the lack of good strategic thinking out of this bunch to this point) he’s gone.1 2 Next-->
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