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Survivor: Cook Islands – Why Stephannie Lostby David Bloomberg -- 10/13/2006
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Stephannie got herself in hot water last week, and then pulled herself out of it. This week, she got herself into hot water again! But she couldn’t get away from it this time around. What did she do wrong? How did she make the same mistake twice? Why did Stephannie lose?
The theme for this week’s edition of this column will be “some people never learn.” In fact, we might even find ourselves tempted to skip over all the rules Survivor players should know and get straight to the conclusion, as it seems obvious. But we will resist this temptation and go through What Cook Island Survivors Should Have Learned as we always do – let’s see what we can find along the way.
The first rule tells players to scheme and plot. This requires making some sort of bond with other people and getting them to align with you. Unfortunately for Stephannie, she admitted she hadn’t formed any close-knit bonds with other tribe members. Sure, she was friendly enough with them, but nobody looked to her as their close ally, the person they could always count on to have their backs, etc. At a time in the game where everybody is looking for any reason to vote somebody out, being essentially an outsider is at least as good a reason as any!
And Stephannie didn’t make any real attempt that we saw to get in better with anybody. She didn’t drive the strategy or turn the players against somebody else. In fact, she specifically said she wouldn’t beg. Well, it might not always be pretty, but begging at least gives a player a fighting chance. Shrugging off the situation, not so much.
It seems obvious, therefore, that Stephannie did fine in terms of the second rule. She certainly didn’t scheme and plot too much!
I guess we could say that Stephannie was flexible according to the third rule, in that she didn’t tie herself to one alliance. But really, that’s not what we’re talking about there. It’s not like she was a floater, jumping from one alliance to another in an attempt to keep herself around. She was simply hanging out, alone – and was hung out to dry.
The fourth rule discusses not allowing emotions to control you. Generally, this means not voting against somebody because you’re angry with them or not trying to keep somebody because you’re their friend. But Stephannie shed a new light on it. She allowed her emotions to spill out in the form of several statements she made that should have been locked inside her head.
I’m sure it was an emotional time for Stephannie after the immunity challenge loss last week, when she and the other women couldn’t get a fire started. She felt responsible. That, in and of itself, is not a problem. But those feelings needed to stay bottled up inside. Instead, Stephannie admitted that she was responsible!
She managed to convince people that it was a momentary lapse of reason and J.P. was sent packing instead of her. But then this week she had another instance of her mouth saying what her brain should have kept inside when she mentioned how part of her wants some mashed potatoes and gravy. Another emotional moment and it spread through the tribe like wildfire.
Stephannie didn’t have any problems with the fifth rule – she was friendly and nice enough. Unfortunately, she was friendly with everybody without becoming solid with anybody, but we addressed that already.
The sixth rule certainly was not an issue, as Stephannie was not a threat in game terms. And the seventh didn’t apply either since nobody saw her as being lazy.
Thus we come to the time when we evaluate whether the tribe was correct in voting off Stephannie as opposed to somebody else. We are still at the time of the game when a weak link should be sent home. Unfortunately for Stephannie, she admitted she was a weak link last week! That’s a step in the wrong direction for her, to say the least.
And, really, Stephannie was a weak link in the immunity challenge last week – though certainly not the only one. This week, there was no one weak link causing the immunity challenge loss, but Stephannie made another comment that led Nate and the guys to believe her heart and mind weren’t in the game anymore. The weak link was getting weaker. And compared to Cristina’s bossiness, Stephannie appearing to not want to be there was much worse.
Pink Floyd sang a song, “One Slip,” that applies well to Stephannie’s situation:
It seems to take no time at all
A momentary lapse of reason
That binds a life for life
A small regret, you won't forget,
There'll be no sleep in here tonight.
Stephannie made two slips, but she fell down the Survivor hole. I’m sure it was a regret she won’t forget and she wasn’t sleeping with her tribe that night.
But her slips of the tongue could have gone by the wayside if she had laid some groundwork beforehand. Yes, the main problem was that Stephannie allowed her emotions to get the better of her and said things she should have kept as an internal dialogue. But she also had nobody to really speak up for her and watch her back. She had no solid alliance that we saw to try to keep her around.
Stephannie said she wouldn’t beg to be kept around. She also said she had no solid bonds with anybody. These two facts made her an easy target. Stephannie herself then pained the red bull’s eye on herself with her comments that made people think she didn’t want to be there anymore. This was a bad combination and the reasons that Stephannie 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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