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Survivor: Exile Island – Why Terry Lostby David Bloomberg -- 05/15/2006
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Terry came into the merge at a numbers disadvantage. The only way he could stick around was by repeatedly winning immunity – and he did! But he couldn’t win the final challenge and was tossed aside. What happened? Why couldn’t get convince Danielle to take him to the final two? Why did Terry lose?
Terry’s progression through the game was an interesting one. Certainly he couldn’t win challenge after challenge and stick around that way, right? Wrong. Terry hung on as long as he could. But interestingly, somewhere along the line he went from being good jury bait to a man to be avoided at the jury. Let’s look back at What Exile Island Survivors Should Have Learned to see how he played and what changed over the course of the game.
For Terry, it might seem that the most important rule was to win every challenge. But that’s not really the case. We still have the first rule, which tells players to scheme and plot. Indeed, Terry certainly knew that as well, as evidenced by his game play in the early stages of the season.
Terry made a quick alliance with Dan in the original “older men” tribe. Then, he and Dan made an alliance with the younger men in the new tribe after the switch-up. This kept the power in Terry’s hands and away from the women, who were also seeking to ally with the younger guys.
As they had to repeatedly vote people off, Terry made and broke at least two deals – one with Ruth-Marie, and one with Dan. Terry felt he was doing what was in the best interests of the tribe, but what was in the best interest of the tribe was also in the best interest of Terry.
After the merge, Terry tried (and tried and tried) to get members of the Casaya alliance to jump ship. None of them would crack. Perhaps, as some of Terry’s allies said in interviews, it was because Terry did not make good enough use of the hidden immunity idol. But even when he flat-out offered it to Danielle later, he still couldn’t get people to join him!
He finally found some good jury bait in Courtney and Shane, and might have made it to the finals with one of them. However, Cirie and the others sniffed out his plan and put the kibosh on it. So much for that.
This would be a good spot to point out that while Terry was very proud to say in his jury speech that he had not lied to anybody, the fact is that after the merge, he really didn’t have the opportunity. He was in the minority and didn’t have to vote anybody out. Besides, I still say he wasn’t exactly truthful about that statement anyway, as Dan and Ruth-Marie can attest. Anyway, if Terry had been in the majority and had tried to play the game with all the integrity he believes should have been used (and he didn’t have the immunity necklace on all the time), I suspect he would have found himself out of the game somewhat sooner.
Since Terry could not get others to scheme and plot with him, obviously we can conclude that he didn’t violate the second rule about scheming and plotting too much or backstabbing too soon.
So what about the third rule, being flexible? Frankly, Terry didn’t have much opportunity to be flexible. He did try a number of different tactics to get Casayans over to his side, but none of them worked. Bruce wouldn’t go; Danielle wouldn’t go (until she had no choice); Cirie wouldn’t go. When he was faced with a brick wall, there was no flexibility to be had. However, as noted above, he did try to figure out a way to get Courtney and Shane on his side, figuring he could probably beat them at the end. But those ideas were shot down as well, this time by the others.
The fourth rule says not to allow your emotions to control you. Terry was in some respects driven by his emotions. We saw this come out several times, such as when Aras beat him in a couple challenges and after Shane – Terry’s last best hope – was voted out. However, since Terry was never in the driver’s seat as far as voting, he never had a chance to allow emotions to cloud his judgment!
That said, the fifth rule talks about pretending to be nice, and so let’s refer back to the occasions when Terry allowed his emotions to bubble up to the surface. At the time, it seemed that perhaps these emotional outbursts might come back to haunt Terry if he had been in the final two, but Terry managed to get past them and move on, and so did everybody else. In a way, it might have been better if some people had gotten more upset with him about those incidents, because then maybe Danielle would have thought he could be beaten in the final two.1 2 Next-->
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