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Survivor: Cook Islands – Why Cao Boi Lostby David Bloomberg -- 11/01/2006
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Cao Boi seemed destined from the start to leave Survivor fairly early. But he did make it through several votes that could have gone against him and had a pretty good strategy for making it through this most recent one. What happened to turn the tide against him? Why did Cao Boi lose?
We will not consult the spirit of the immunity idol to find the answer – it didn’t help to save Cao Boi, after all! But instead, we will follow our usual path through What Cook Island Survivors Should Have Learned to find our answers.
The first rule is to scheme and plot. However, that wasn’t so much Cao Boi’s first rule. Indeed, he even told me in my interview with him that “more people should look at it as an adventure rather than a million dollars.” While this may be an admirable recommendation in some ways, it’s not so much when it comes to sticking around in the game.
Cao Boi was there to have fun and participate in an adventure. He had barely seen anything of previous seasons and he was not going to sit around all day, scheming and plotting. He would much rather row over to a nearby island and have fun! Again, these are admirable traits in real life, but they are a sure path to destruction on Survivor.
It might have seemed like Cao Boi did a little scheming during his first Aitu vote, originally aiming at Becky and then switching to Cecilia. But more than anything, he was schemed against, as Yul “played the race card” according to Cao Boi, and helped convince Cao Boi to change his mind.
Cao Boi did indeed try his hand at scheming when it came to Plan Voodoo. But it was scheming of a somewhat undirected sort. That is, he was convinced that it was important to flush out the holder of the hidden immunity idol. He was further convinced it was one of the Caucasians on the tribe – Jonathan or Candice – and not Yul.
His plan was a good one… in theory. But Cao Boi failed to take into account several things. First, that Yul might hold the idol and not want that revealed. Second, that even if Yul didn’t hold the idol, he was allied with Jonathan and Candice! Third, most of the tribe was similarly allied with Jonathan and Candice, and not with Cao Boi. Fourth, Cao Boi did not really have a good reason for people to give up these alliances just to find out who held hidden immunity. He said the Caucasians might join together at the merge and dominate the others, but it seemed to be more of an excuse than a legitimate reason. And together, these rather important items spelled doom for Cao Boi’s plan.
The second rule says not to scheme and plot too much, not to backstab too soon, and to keep scheming secret. I wouldn’t say Plan Voodoo fell into either of the first two categories, but it certainly was in the third. By telling just about everybody on the tribe, Cao Boi virtually guaranteed the targets were going to hear about it and try to turn it around, even if their allies didn’t. The enormity of the plan ensured that a person in Cao Boi’s position – that is, a man without an alliance – would be highly exposed.
The third rule tells players to be flexible. Reading through that rule, we find that it talks a fair amount about working to fit in with your tribe. For example, if your tribemates are mostly lazy, don’t show them up with work. That’s not the case here, though. Instead, for Cao Boi, it perhaps should talk about how if the rest of your tribe is taking the game seriously, don’t take it too lightly. Yes, it must have seemed like a wonderful adventure to go over to the other island, but in doing so, it only underscored the main alliance’s view of Cao Boi as flighty and unreliable.
Fourth is to not allow emotions to control you. I’m sure that was difficult for Cao Boi, because he seems like a person who really lives by his emotions. Indeed, in my interview with him, he described the game as “exciting”; when he talked about going to the opposing camp, he truly did expect them to be generous with him. Cao Boi was not playing the game so much as living the adventure. While this rule focuses on dealing with people not as friends or enemies, but rather as opposing players, the fact is that emotions can interfere with game play in other ways.
But even the main focus of this rule came up for Cao Boi. He trusted Yul, considering him a friend. Because of this, he didn’t really consider that Yul might have the hidden immunity idol; he didn’t really consider that Yul was aligned with Candice and Jonathan; he didn’t really consider that by telling Yul the whole plan, it might go up in smoke.1 2 Next-->
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