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Survivor: Cook Islands, Advice for the Remaining 16by Jeffrey Clinard -- 10/11/2006
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One interesting part of the last episode of Survivor was the contrast between the two remaining Latino males in the game. Ozzy, upon return from Tribal Council, realized he was vulnerable and all the fish he caught would not be enough to save him if it came down to it. However, J.P. and the other males on Raro seemed to think they were safe because the women needed their strength for challenges. It led to a complicity that was shaken when the women, sick of the laziness of the men, went after them at Tribal Council. He never even saw it coming.
The point is that every Survivor should always be running the numbers and seeing where they fit into the group. The last two Tribal Councils have seen wildly different outcomes when the information about the target was leaked. Jonathan worked on Flica, and eventually her and Cao Boi came around to their side. It was an effective counter-attack. The women of Raro, realizing that Parvati was an unreliable vote, pulled in Brad. They eventually got him, Parvati, and Adam on their side, leaving Nate to hold the sack.
At this point in the game, Survivors are either on the right side of the vote or are outnumbered and waiting for their number to come up. The ones who are outnumbered need to immediately shift their game plan to play for time. Sure, Ozzy is on the wrong side of the vote, but he’s bringing in fish and performed well in the immunity challenge. So if Raro goes to Tribal Council, he’s probably safe since he’s moved himself to the back of the line of political minorities. Somebody probably warned Adam before the vote that J.P. was a goner, so he opted to join the winning side and keep himself out of the “next to go” slot.
The challenges were both interesting and required multiple skills. The reward challenge had the obvious strategy of having the two smallest tribe members going through the rope obstacle course, plus delegated tasks for the tribe members helping them through it. Aitu did well because they had people doing the lifting and moving, and people on each end of the rope providing the slack and keeping it out of the way. Raro lost largely because they failed on the second part of it, getting tangled up. The immunity challenge required the tribe to sort themselves into rescuers, rescued, and fire-starters. The hard part was the fire starting. Tribes should have put their best fire makers in that part of the challenge, even if they were the best swimmer or the strongest guy out there. All other things being equal, the lightest tribe members should have been the person rescued, and the strongest swimmer part of the rescue team.
As a side note, it’s interesting that three of the first four people voted out of Survivor: Cook Islands have been Latino, while three of the four people sent to Exile Island have been white. Still, it has been something of an equal opportunity edition, as one African-American was voted out and an Asian-American has also made the trip to Exile Island.
Jeff Probst only promised the winning tribe immunity for at least one more day, so everybody may have less time that usual to assess their positions. What should they be doing? It’s advice for the remaining 16.
Aitu: Your tribe seemed to get your act together, with fish a plenty and two challenge wins. Much of that is attributed to the way you allocated your tribe members during the challenges, which shows that strength isn’t everything during challenges. The rewards may not be as big as some in the past, but most of that is because your tribes started with much more stuff that the last seven editions or so. Your tribe is looking strong.
Candice: It’s a very wise idea not to mention that the reason you were sent to Exile Island is because members of the other tribe were protecting you. It would give your current tribe an incentive to get rid of you. I’m not sure how many people are buying your playing-dumb act, but that’s a lot better than speaking up and giving them a reason to fear you. You should be safe for the time being.
Jonathan: Cao Boi may not have made the smartest decision in the world by going after the bird nest, but you pretty much need his vote for now. Bite your tongue, no matter how weird he gets. It’s nice to see you out fishing, even if Ozzy got the biggest catch of the day. You should be solid for now.
Ozzy: You can’t take a defeatist attitude towards the game. You are not in a great position, but you have a bit of time on your side as Sundra is probably the next to go. Your fishing skills and challenge strength will make you hard to cut, and it’s possible Cao Boi and Flica will self-destruct and buy you a new position in the game. Use any wedge you can to try to replace them in the power structure.
Sundra: Your position remains problematic, and the most realistic escape hatch is avoid Tribal Council. Ozzy isn’t likely to go, and the rest of the group seems united. If you find a wedge to use against Cao Boi or Flica, use it. It might be another way out.
Flica: You are still in a solid position as long as you play the game instead of treat the experience as a camping trip with some cool people. Keep voting with your alliance and you should make it to the mid-game at the very least.
Cao Boi: It probably wasn’t the smartest idea to go after the nest with the mother bird in it. It had no upside potential and ended up making you look foolish to the rest of the tribe. Carefully consider the risk/reward benefit in the future. However, you did a great job of making fire in the immunity challenge. As Probst said, you were either going to be a hero or look very silly. I think you were the hero. Just because your Zen fire techniques were unusual doesn’t mean they were not effective.
Becky: It probably wasn’t fun to see your name on a piece of paper at the previous Tribal Council, but you did emerge victorious and are in a safe position. Keep allied with your current group and you’ll have a path to the mid-game. For now, you are safe.1 2 Next-->
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