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Survivor: Cook Islands – Why Sekou Lostby David Bloomberg -- 09/15/2006
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Sekou came into the game with greater life experience and maturity than any of his tribemates. In theory, he should have been able to use these to aid his tribe and stick around for a while. In practice, not so much. So what happened between the two? Why did the women turn on him? Why did Sekou lose?
As in seasons past, we will answer questions like these by looking back at the blueprint article, What Cook Island Survivors Should Have Learned. Let’s go through it now to see why things went wrong so quickly for Sekou.
The first and most important rule of all is to scheme and plot. We didn’t see much of this going on during the first couple days, though it might have happened without us seeing it due to the limited time afforded to each of the tribes. What we did see was Sundra and Rebecca linking up due to their commonalities, including coming from New York. Thus, they followed this rule by making alliances from the very beginning.
But did Sekou? Well, we saw that he was tight with Nate, but that was about it. It was like the two men didn’t realize until after they lost the challenge that they were outnumbered in their tribe. Hello! That was something they should have recognized right off the bat and attempted to defuse from the outset. Instead, Sekou waited until they had lost and the women had already agreed to target him before he approached Stephannie. While he made a decent case, it was too little, too late.
Since the second rule is to make sure not to scheme and plot too much, I think it’s safe to say Sekou succeeded there. However, another part of the rule says to keep your scheming secret. The three women knew Nate and Sekou had teamed up, so they viewed them as a single target. If the men had not made it so obvious, perhaps things would have been different.
The third rule tells players to be flexible. Frankly, after only three days, there wasn’t a whole lot of flexibility to be had. I suppose he could have tried to see if the women were willing to go after Nate instead, but that likely would have been a fruitless effort.
Sekou did fine in the fourth rule, not letting his emotions control him. But again, this early in the game, there aren’t nearly as many emotions flying around, even if they did refer to themselves as a “family” after only three days! Although, Sundra and Rebecca did vote emotionally by linking together.
The fifth rule says to pretend to be nice. Sekou seemed like a genuinely good guy. Indeed, when she voted him out, Rebecca only had good things to say about him. But he still managed to annoy them with the way he took control of the tribe with Nate. And they made it so obvious too, such as when the two men stepped aside together to discuss who they would send to Exile Island, completely ignoring the women. Not smart.
Sixth is to not be too much of a threat. At this early stage of the game, there usually isn’t too much to talk about here. And that’s the case this time, as Sekou was not voted out for being a threat.
But the seventh rule has more applicability here. It says providing food wins allies and players should not be lazy. I don’t know that we can definitively say Sekou was lazy, but the show emphasized his need for breaks – and Stephannie noticed it as well. Considering that Stephannie was the person he really needed to flip, this was not a good thing.
So what about the rest of the tribe – did they do the right thing? At this early stage of the game, the tribe needed to vote out the weak. But this doesn’t just mean physically weak, as the rule specifically notes that weak players include those “who will cause divisions in the tribe that will overall weaken the group dynamic.” Rebecca believed Sekous was causing problems with establishing leadership and working together, and the women as a whole thought the team would be better without him. We’ll be able to judge the veracity of this as we see how the challenges go in coming weeks, but whether they were right or not, that was their perception.
I would say that Sundra and Rebecca were likely correct in picking Sekou to go. They had issues with him, but there was more than that. If they had chosen Stephannie instead, that would have left them in a tribe with two people on each side – not a good idea. So the way things ended up, they pretty much had to pick a man. Given the choice between older, flabbier, more annoying Sekou and Nate, it seemed obvious which way it would go. As for Stephannie, I’m not sure she made the right choice. As Sekou told her, if they lose again, she could go. The other women might not want to get rid of Nate if they lose again, since that would mean getting even weaker in challenges. So who does that leave? Stephannie. But if she stayed with the guys, she could have worked a deal to ensure that if Sundra went the first time, Rebecca would go the next.
But Sekou did go – and fast. He made several mistakes. Taking on a leadership role is not in and of itself an automatic sentence of death in this game. But doing it in a way that becomes a problem for teamwork is not good. And leaders should furthermore not be perceived as lazy, which Sekou apparently was.
But more importantly than any of this, we did not see Sekou attempt to make any alliances or deals until it was pretty much too late. He should have realized how he and Nate had split themselves off, and attempted to make some good allies in the women. Instead, he didn’t even talk to Stephannie about strategy, as far as we saw, until the challenge was lost and he knew he would be a target. At that point, it was too little, too late. The women had decided to take the racial twist and turn it into a battle of the sexes. Once they chose that path, voting out Sekou was the obvious choice. That is why Sekou lost.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Survivor: Cook Islands articles here on RealityNewsOnline:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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