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Survivor: Cook Islands – Why Cristina Lostby David Bloomberg -- 11/02/2006
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What we saw of the tribe plotting against Cristina suggested a specific reason she was voted out. But was it really that simple? Was she just the bossy one who was destined to go because she annoyed them? Or was there more to the story? Why did Cristina lose?
As we’ve seen over the years, it’s all too easy to find a simple reason for a person being voted out – and because it’s so easy, it’s often wrong. Is that the case here as well? Let’s go through What Cook Island Survivors Should Have Learned to find out.
The first rule tells players to put aside the way you would normally behave and scheme and plot like your life depends on it – because your game life does. And thus we encounter the first problem for Cristina.
While the main problem we saw on TV was her alleged bossiness (which we’ll discuss later), Cristina had an even bigger problem with this first rule. As she told me in my interview with her, “Being a police officer, I have to be a role model and there is life after the game. Little kids are going to be watching. If I can win the game that way [with integrity], then I win. If I can’t, I still have to deal with my job and people.” Later, she added, “I could have come in lying and pretending. But I’m very proud of being a police officer and wanted to come in being a role model and being honest and having morals and values.” In other words, she did not come into the game with the plan of playing it like most winning players do. She wanted to win and be honest – a feat that is virtually impossible.
It is fairly obvious, therefore, that Cristina did not scheme and plot too much. Indeed, while she participated in discussions about who should be voted off, I think it’s safe to say she didn’t really “scheme and plot” as such at all.
The third rule says to be flexible. Part of this includes doing your best to blend in with the rest of your tribe. So if, for example, they are fairly laid-back, you probably shouldn’t order them around a lot. And if they just recently voted out a guy who tended to order people around a lot, you should consider that perhaps you might not want to turn into the next version of him!
Fourth is to not let emotions control you. While Cristina did get upset after the Tribal Council at which she was told she was annoying, I don’t think her emotions really controlled her actions. Indeed, she attempted to overcome them – rather than staying mad at those who called her out, she approached them directly and tried to talk them into giving her another chance. Who knows, it might have even worked if they didn’t have to go right back to Tribal Council again (I doubt it, but you never know). But by that time, it was too late.
The reason it was too late is because she couldn’t quite follow the fifth rule, which tells players to pretend to be nice. Cristina might be a very nice person, and indeed she told me in our interview that she was simply trying to take the initiative, but it was looked at as being bossy. The fact is that different people deal with others in different ways, and those ways are often shaped by our usual environments.
To illustrate, let me tell a brief story. A number of years ago, a new employee began working at my job. She had some problems dealing with some people, because she was extremely direct and blunt. People took her behavior as being rude. But that’s not what she was trying to do at all. It turned out that at her previous job, she was expected to say what she was thinking and not beat around the bush. If she thought somebody was wrong, she was supposed to say so and explain why. That work environment, however, was not the same as the one she moved to. It took a little while for her to recognize that she needed to change. Eventually she did – now she’s the boss!
On Survivor, people don’t usually have the luxury of time. Cristina is a police officer and probably not used to having to make nice to people to the extent her tribemates expected. By the time she was called on it and tried to make it better, it was just too late.
The sixth rule tells players not to be too much of a threat. I don’t really think that was an issue here, so we’ll move to number seven. It says not to be lazy. Again, not an issue.
That brings us to a discussion of whether the rest of the tribe was correct to vote out Cristina. And really, it’s a bit difficult to say. The alliances on this tribe are still a bit murky. But certainly Cristina had been called out in the previous Tribal Council and was the obvious choice to go. It was smart for the other players to allow this to continue rather than trying to shift the vote – such an action could have caused a backlash.
What we saw on TV was that Cristina was voted out for being annoying. But people have been annoying and survived before. The key is that Cristina was not a schemer or a plotter. She specifically did not want to be! She joined the ranks of so many players before her who wanted to win with morals and integrity, failing to understand that Survivor is a game, not real life. That is why Cristina 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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