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Survivor: Exile Island – Why Danielle Lostby David Bloomberg -- 05/15/2006
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Danielle’s stock in the game rose and fell several times as fortunes twisted and turned. She was in the main Casaya group, but on the outskirts. She chose to go with Cirie’s group and overthrew those who would have cast her out, but still was the third wheel. She made it to the very end, but really never had a chance. With all these ups and downs, why did Danielle lose?
What Exile Island Survivors Should Have Learned takes players from the very first day right up to the jury. Danielle came in second, but that really just means she was the last person to lose. Let’s see what happened.
The first and most important rule is to scheme and plot. Danielle sometimes seemed to understand this, sometimes not – and really, the only times she did understand occurred when she was left with little or no choice. An example of when she got it right was when Courtney was pressing her to go with Terry to the final three. It occurred to Danielle that Terry would want to take Courtney to the final two and Courtney would want to take Terry. Where did that leave Danielle? Third place. So she tried to do something about it.
Unfortunately, what she did was all wrong – she told Courtney the final two should be determined by who comes in first and second in the final immunity challenge. Courtney wasn’t thrilled by this idea, but sort of pretended it was okay.
Luckily for Danielle, somebody who better understood scheming and plotting – Cirie – picked up on the problems and brought Danielle into the fold. Even then, it seemed like Danielle didn’t quite know the right thing to do, and in some cases it appeared that her strategy was based on who she talked to most recently.
A case that showed how Danielle really didn’t understand scheming and plotting was her multiple opportunities to jump from the Casaya group to Terry and (when he still had them) his allies. Terry told Danielle he had the hidden immunity idol. Hell, he offered to give it to her! But she refused and decided to stay with her fellow Casayans. Bad move.
Eventually, Danielle realized that she was not in the plan for the core Casaya group, and going with Terry would likely have been preferable. Yes, she ended up making it all the way to the final two, but that had nothing to do with the original plan, little to do with her own planning, and it left her in a position where she couldn’t win anyway. Had she gone with Terry sooner, she might have found herself in a very different position. Lord knows she couldn’t have been much worse off in the final two, since she only received two votes and only would have received two votes if she had taken Terry.
Speaking of Terry, it wasn’t until Danielle essentially had no options left that she finally decided to team up with him. To move forward, she needed more than votes, she also had to beat Cirie in a fire-building tie-breaker challenge. Then she was left in the no-win position that eventually sent her to second, and no further. Her alliance with Terry was too little, too late.
Since Danielle didn’t seem to understand when or how to properly scheme, it seems unlikely she schemed and plotted too much. And indeed, she didn’t. Nor did she backstab too early by helping to take out Courtney, though Courtney obviously had a different opinion on that. It was necessary. Indeed, as noted in the previous paragraph, Danielle backstabbed too late, not too early.
The third rule tells players to be flexible. Again, Danielle failed here. She could have showed that she understood flexibility by jumping from the Casaya alliance early and mixing things up. Not to repeat myself, but she obviously didn’t. Aligning with Terry when there were no other choices do not constitute flexibility. And going with Cirie’s Triple-Play plan when it became blindingly obvious that she was destined to go home also does not constitute flexibility.
How did Danielle do in the fourth rule, which says not to allow emotions to control you? Well, I’m not sure we ever really saw a whole lot of emotion out of Danielle, which would indicate that she did pretty well. We know she had no problem turning on her pal Courtney when it became obvious that she was not in Courtney’s final two plans. And she talked about how she trusted Cirie but then turned on her when she needed to as well. And Danielle had deals with both Terry and Aras, so she had to turn on one of them – she specifically talked about how she was not going to allow emotions to play a role in that decision. So this is one where Danielle did okay.1 2 Next-->
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