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Survivor: Cook Islands – Why Billy Lostby David Bloomberg -- 09/22/2006
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Billy wished he were on the heavy metal tribe instead of the Hispanic tribe, but you can’t always get what you want. Fans of the Rolling Stones know, though, that if you try sometimes, you get what you need. Did Billy try? He sure didn’t get what he needed to stay in the game! What happened? Why did Billy lose?
In order to answer such questions, let’s look back at, What Cook Island Survivors Should Have Learned to see how Billy could have done better and what, if anything, he did right.
Every week, we begin by talking about how the first rule is the most important and contestants need to scheme and plot. This week is no different. As we go down the list of rules, we’re going to get to some that scream out Billy’s name (like #7, for example). But that doesn’t make this one any less important.
As a matter of fact, let’s switch things up a bit here and look at the seventh rule first, and then go back to number one. The seventh rule says providing food wins allies and you shouldn’t be lazy. Holy cow – I don’t think Billy could have broken this one more if he had tried. And, frankly, trying would have meant using energy, and we all know Billy wasn’t going to do that.
Not only did Billy fail to provide food, but he admitted to the camera that he was going to lie back and feast on the fruits of other people’s labor. And so he did. He let other people spearfish. He let other people gather coconuts. He let other people do almost everything. It only took a few days for his tribemates to get really sick of that attitude.
Meanwhile, there was another person whose attitude bothered a couple tribemates – Ozzy. Cristina sure didn’t get along with him, and yet she voted to send Billy packing. Why? One big reason is the seventh rule. She knew who was bringing home the bacon, and Billy wasn’t it! She might not like Ozzy’s attitude, but he was providing, and right now that’s more important.
OK, let’s jump back to the first rule again. Despite the fact that Billy was incredibly lazy, that was not the sole reason he was voted out. We’ve seen lazy people make it before. We’ve seen food providers voted out first. Why? Because of alliances.
The problem is that Billy appeared to be just as lazy in his scheming as he was in food gathering and other camp-related work. From what we saw, he didn’t approach Cristina until after the tribe lost the challenge. While she seemed receptive to his idea, it was too little, too late on his part.
As the first rule notes, Billy should have been making alliances from the very beginning. But he didn’t. Instead, he allowed two duos to form – Ozzy & J.P. and Cristina & Cecilia. He fit into neither of them, and didn’t even really try.
Sure, Billy talked to Cristina and attempted to get her and Cecilia to switch sides, but by then there was too much set. Hell, the tribe had just thrown a challenge to get rid of him! That’s a lot of momentum to fight. . If he had acted sooner, maybe things never would have gotten to that point.
Moving to the second rule, it seems fairly obvious that Billy didn’t scheme and plot too much. So we’ll skip on over to the third rule, which says to be flexible. For example, the rule says you have to look at your situation and proceed accordingly. While the rule talks about not overworking on a lazy tribe, the converse is true as well – Billy needed to realize that he was on a workaholic tribe, and lying around simply was not going to cut it. It’s all well and good to moan that you’re not like the rest of the tribe, but it doesn’t get you anywhere. So he needed to buck up and work.
The fourth rule says not to let emotions control you. While the temptation is certainly there to talk about Billy’s love at first sight, it really didn’t contribute to his loss – just his embarrassment. Really, this rule doesn’t apply much here.
What about the fifth, which says to pretend to be nice. Billy wasn’t a jerk or anything, but nor did he go out of his way to be friendly with his tribemates. As the other guys noted, he couldn’t even be bothered to join them to read treemail! He believed himself to be an outcast and behaved accordingly.
The sixth rule says not to be too much of a threat. Well, Billy certainly didn’t have to worry about that. The only threat he posed was to the continuing sanity of his tribe.
Since we’ve already addressed the seventh rule, that only leaves the question of whether his tribemates were right to vote him off. Let me begin by saying it is almost always wrong to throw a challenge like Billy’s tribe did. If Cristina and Cecilia had decided differently, Ozzy, the orchestrator of throwing the competition, would have been toast!
Probst also didn’t like the idea of throwing a challenge, but he seemed more focused on the fact that they’re now down a player. The thing is, if the player voted off wasn’t really doing anything, they aren’t down at all. The bad judgment in this case was more because of what it meant to the other individuals in the tribe than the tribe as a whole – putting each of them possibly one step closer to being booted than they needed to be.
Anyway, this is the stage of the game when the weak should be shown the door. Ozzy and J.P. certainly don’t fit that bill. Cristina and Cecilia? I don’t know that we’ve seen enough to judge. But there was one obvious candidate: Billy. He was weak in two ways. First, he couldn’t carry his own load either at camp or in challenges. Second, he was weak in that members of his tribe already didn’t trust him and he was causing divisions in camp. He had to be culled from the herd. So while the tribe was wrong to throw the challenge, they were right to vote out Billy.
Billy said in his final words that he didn’t play the game the way he wanted to. As of this writing, we’re not sure exactly what “way” he is talking about, but presumably it involved actually, you know, playing the game. Billy failed in two main areas. He was in a tribe of worker bees but he sat around and ate the fruit (and fish) of their labors like a parasite. And he didn’t do anything to work his way into alliances. Either of these two might have been offset by the other. But doing neither of them was fatal to his chances on Survivor. That is why Billy 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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