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What’s Love Got to Do With It? – How Ten Seconds Cost Five People a Chance at One Million DollarsPage 2
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Candice’s stupid decision doomed more than herself, however. If nobody had switched positions, Aitu might not have had the same winning streak. Given a strong numerical advantage, Aitu might have even decided to throw a challenge in order to boot Ozzy, saving themselves a possible betrayal and a post-merge threat. Aitu also wouldn’t have developed such a tight morale, a fire that helped lead them to win after win. Would they have tried so hard if they hadn’t been the underdogs? What if they had chosen to throw the message in the bottle challenge? After all, the main players knew that they were safe. It wouldn’t have been a smart decision, but then they didn’t save Cristina when they had the chance a few days earlier. In the wake of the most recent episode, Yul may look like a genius, but he hasn’t always made the right decisions.
If Aitu had ended up going into the merge short-handed because they threw one too many challenges, Candice would still have been protected from Pagonging by Pavarti and Adam, and she would have had a better justification for her betrayal if she had to face the jury. She could also make the choice to betray no one at all – and could have possibly been carried to the final two on a silver platter, with Adam and Pavarti sure votes in the jury. She might even have been able to protect Pavarti until the final five, as she would have been less of a challenge threat than Ozzy and would have practically guaranteed a Jonathan-Pavarti-Candice final three. Either way, Candice would be in a stronger position than she is now with more knowledge to act on. Her move left her without either of the options of an Aitu advantaged tribe.
The other alternative is that Aitu would have been left with an overwhelming strong advantage. If so, Adam and Pavarti probably would have managed to survive Raro’s internal culling. If they hadn’t, the disparate and dispirited Raro members who were left would have been easy to unite and desperate for leadership. If Candice didn’t trust Jonathan, then solidifying an alliance with Sundra and Ozzy would have likely given her the votes to form a coalition of the wretched. She could hide behind her other allies’ physical prowess and clamp like a leech to whoever was strong enough to carry her to the end. Of course, if one of the survivors of the post-merge mess had been Adam, their attachment would have made her an obvious target, but Survivors sometimes show an odd reluctance to vote out couples.
With Pavarti and Adam secure at Raro, and Jonathan the tail to her dog, post-merge, Candice would have had herself an unshakable final four. She could have used her feminine wiles to convince Adam to throw off Nate for Jonathan at the end, as Nate was much more likable. Together, Jonathan and Candice could have forced Adam to ditch Pavarti to prevent a tie, and Candice could have thrown the final immunity challenge and be taken by whoever won. She would have had a good chance of picking up former Aitu votes by blaming Jonathan for their defection and a good chance of picking up Raro votes just by being a nice person.
Instead, Candice made a bad decision, and now, barring miracles, Jonathan is the only one of the four who has a shot of making the final two – and that’s only because he probably can’t win against anybody. He made his own bed by choosing mutiny, but he obviously thought that Candice knew something that he didn’t. Maybe she had found out that Yul and Becky were about to turn on them. So, because he was oblivious to how strongly she was attached to Adam, he trusted her desperation and stepped over.
Jonathan may deserve a slap on the wrist, but at least he had paranoia and his “trustworthy” ally as reasons to switch tribes. Candice relied on her river of hormones. If she had been that desperate for Adam’s company, Candice could have at least tried to persuade everyone to step off the mat into a voluntary merge. What would the producers have done if they suddenly had to prepare a string of individual challenges? The look on Probst’s face would have been priceless.
Ironically, her romantic gesture leaves her true love worse off. Out of anybody out there, Adam had a good chance of winning just because of his sheer number of remarkably solid alliances. Jenny, Candice, Nate, Pavarti, Jonathan… Adam was an octopus with tentacles galore. Presuming Aitu cut Ozzy off at the next challenge loss, Adam would have been one of the strongest physically. Even if his allies had betrayed him, he might have been able to win immunity all the way to the end. Adam may be enjoying the attention of his tribal girlfriend, but if they had never met each other, he or one of the other original Raros could likely have been a million dollars richer.
Candice sabotaged herself and everyone she was close to.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Survivor: Cook Islands articles here on RealityNewsOnline:
Jennifer McBride is a journalism student at the University of Oregon. She is a rabid student of game theory and would apply for Survivor if she didn't have triceps tinier than Osten's pelican.
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