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What Cook Island Survivors Should Have LearnedPage 4
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This also leads to a corollary to this rule, which is that if any alliances do get out in the open, do not let it be known that you are the decision-maker – even to those within your own alliance, if possible! Rich Hatch succeeded in great part because he allowed his cohorts to believe they were making the decisions. On the other hand, Lex made it clear to the Boran Boys Club that he was in charge, and that caused problems. It caused even more problems for John of the Rotu 4. And of course, we must recognize Deena as she decided Alex needed to go but the rest of her alliance didn’t think this was such a great idea – and got rid of her instead!
I'm also going to bring in one more point regarding open scheming – couples. I'm talking about joining up openly with another person for any reason, whether it's love/lust, a father-daughter type thing, or whatnot. Yes, a couple went to the final two of All-Stars and another couple made it to the final two of Big Brother 5, while Big Brother: All-Stars had two showmance couples in its final four. However, the first was a special situation – friends allowing a relationship to continue when they should have been playing the game instead – and the second was, well, just strange. And the third was strategy.
But in general, we have seen on reality TV that open partnerships are just begging to be split up. If we are looking to Big Brother 5 and seeing one couple succeeding there, we also have to look at two others (one a dating couple, the other twins) being broken up and booted out, and the whole of Big Brother 6, where partners were specifically targeted. And Gregg from Palau showed us another violation of this rule in his behavior when he hooked up with Jenn as both a romantic couple and an alliance. This fact helped Ian and Tom decide that Gregg was an appropriate target.
In summary, pairing up draws attention to both people and that can lead to votes. Plus, it violates Rule 4, below, about not letting emotions control you. Just don’t do it.
Another point in discussing the open scheming takes us to Peter, from Survivor: Marquesas. What's that you say, you barely even remember Peter? Yes, that's my point. He was the first one booted, in large part because he tried to discuss the vote with everybody in the tribe. He wanted to force them to talk openly about who should get the boot. What was the result? They decided that he should get the boot!
The main point in dealing with the backstabbing portion of this rule is that it goes along with scheming and plotting, and backstabbing too early is scheming and plotting too much. In the second series, the Colby/Tina/Keith alliance didn't get rid of Jerri until they had whittled down the numbers of Kuchans to the point that they felt safe. Frankly, they weren't really safe since Amber could have joined the remaining Kuchans to overthrow the alliance, but things ended up working out. The same was true when the Borans decided to get rid of Kelly. In that case, they mistakenly thought Kelly had betrayed them, but even if she had, so what? They were lucky to have the numbers to get rid of her, but sometimes you have to keep the person you don't like for a little while longer if it means keeping the alliance (and therefore yourself) secure.
Then in Vanuatu, Leann earned herself a Reality TV Hall of Shame Moment in part for violating this rule. She had been annoyed by Eliza and felt she had the game in the palm of her hand. So rather than vote out Chris, the last man standing, and then move on to others she wanted to dispense with, she went straight to Eliza. As soon as Eliza was told what was going on, she jumped ship and the tables were quickly turned. Goodbye, Leann.
Both Brian in Thailand and Chris in Vanuatu showed precisely how to hold your knife until the last minute. With Brian, Ted knew he was probably going before Tribal Council, but by that point there was nothing he could do about it; and Helen was utterly clueless until the knife had been plunged in deep. After Leann’s mistake discussed above, Chris managed to convince Julie and Eliza that he was on their side; more stunningly, even after he sent Julie packing, Chris still made Eliza think he was standing with her! Similarly, the Stephenie/Rafe/Danni/Lydia combo was good at this in Guatemala, first sending Jamie home without telling Judd, then sending Judd without telling Cindy, and finally finishing with Cindy.
One follow-up: Never provide the enemy with information. Unlike most of the other sections, this one usually won’t get you voted out right away, but it can make your life more difficult. There are many opportunities in Survivor to accidentally give too much information to the other side. We saw it way back in the second series when Kimmi mentioned during a challenge that Jeff had a vote against him. When the merge came, that piece of information allowed the opposing tribe’s alliance to target Jeff, knowing that he would lose a tie-breaker.
A similar situation occurred on Amazon when Jenna blabbed (and blabbed and blabbed) to Dave about what was going on at the women’s tribe when they got together for their night of wine and showers. Dave pretty much kept his mouth shut, which allowed him to pick the new tribes with knowledge that Jenna had given him. OK, so she still won, but had she kept her mouth shut, Dave would have had to guess on how to create the new tribe, which would have made things more difficult for him.
And, of course, on Vanuatu Julie fed a variety of information to Chris. Maybe she thought there was nothing he could do with it. If so, she was very wrong.
3) Be Flexible!
We’ve seen numerous times that following these guidelines by the letter of the law is not always the best way to go, depending on specific situations. Players have to look at what’s going on around them and judge the proper way to proceed. For example, when you are in an alliance of lazies, working hard may not be the best idea. We saw this on Amazon when Rob C. had to work hard while in the tribe with Roger but then laid around when allied with Jenna, Heidi, and Alex.
An even better example is Boston Rob in the two different series. On Marquesas, he was one of the lazies. On All-Stars, he was one of the hard workers complaining about people he saw as lazy! He was flexible depending on his situation.
More importantly, you can’t simply tie yourself to one alliance and hope that it survives. On Pearl Islands, Rupert thought he would go with his tribe all the way, but after the game was over, he admitted that he should have jumped ship to go with Andrew and Ryan instead. In contrast, Cirie had an alliance with Shane on Exile Island that she saw was doomed, so she changed things up on him.
On Guatemala, the tribes switched up early and Judd saw immediately that he was in a dangerous situation. Rather than wait for the tie vote – or worse, somebody else switching sides – he jumped right into a new alliance with players who used to be on the opposing tribe. Meanwhile, Gary found himself doing the same thing in the other switched-up tribe. All of them did better because they were flexible enough to see that they couldn’t simply stick with their original tribe and expect to win.
Another point is that if you see that the majority is leaning another way, by all means make sure you’re part of that majority. You need to have your finger on the pulse of every member of your tribe. It’s not easy, but it will help keep you around. Usually it means you should do more listening than talking.
Paschal and Neleh did this in Marquesas. Kelly saw the chance in Survivor: Africa, but Brandon saw the same opportunity too, and took it without realizing what a completely idiotic move it was (indeed, it earned him a Reality TV Hall of Shame Moment). Vecepia saw it several times over in the fourth series, as did Kathy. Shii Ann thought she saw a golden opportunity in Thailand, but we've already discussed that. Sandra and Jon saw it many times in Pearl Islands and took every opportunity they could. We had Scout and Twila doing the same in Vanuatu. And a number of people did throughout the Guatemala series.
Besides the usual scheming, producers will throw in more twists and turns as we’ve mentioned previously. Players have to be ready for anything. If they get tunnel vision, they’ll likely find that the tunnel has a train heading right in their direction.<--Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next-->
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