Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
Strategic Overview of Survivor Special: Candice’s Flawed DecisionsPage 2
View Printable version of this article
The best strategic players remove emotional considerations from the decision-making process. Simply, as Yul understood, Jonathan would decide what was in his best interest at a given moment, even if it meant a complete reversal of policy. While Jonathan is not in Yul’s class, he is enough of a strategist to have realized that he would go farther in an alliance with Yul than not. No matter what enmity arose among the guys Jonathan abandoned towards him, if it best served their interests to take him back, they would. Candice should have realized this
Lesson: history is just history, and any hard feelings generated from past actions must be put aside for strategic gain; one cannot limit your strategic frame by assuming emotions will dictate play.
3. Idol. Contributing to her flawed decision was myopia regarding hidden immunity idol placement. This is a real head-scratcher because, given the dynamics of who languished on Exile Island and when, only two possibilities existed in terms of where it was: either it hadn’t been found, or Yul had it – and Candice herself should have known the first possibility was remote given the amount of time she had spent looking for it. True, Adam apparently hinted he might have it but, given Candice spent so much time sucking face with Adam after the mutiny, surely one of the things she could have sucked out of him was knowledge that he definitely didn’t have it.
It boggles the mind that she so summarily dismissed what seemed so obvious when analyzed objectively. She claims knowledge of this well might have changed their decisions patterns leading up to the crucial voting off of Nate that would have prevented that from happening – but it just doesn’t seem that hard of a thing to have assumed.
Lesson: always assume the worst of events – take into account all possibilities, even the unlikely ones – and the best from people – that your opponents always will make the optimal move – and base your strategy on that. To build strategy on an optimistic outlook and to assume your opponents will make mistakes will set up most players for a rude awakening when assumptions are proven wrong and opponents outwit you.
So it must be understood that the defection did not set off a chain of events that led to Candice’s demise. Indeed, with Jonathan joining her, it worked out better than she might have hoped. Instead, it was mistakes after it that compounded to end in her elimination, borne of insufficient awareness or attention to some basic strategic lessons.
In fact, the chain of events leading to her demise makes one wonder whether Candice is credible in her assertions that emotional attachment to Adam did not impinge upon her game. The mutiny decision, while suboptimal, was not fatal, but the myopia on the flip and idol is hard to fathom when contrasted to Candice’s thoroughness and depth of strategic thinking in her interview. One of our writers directly lays blame to Candice’s hormones in explaining her game play; while she places too much emphasis on the mutiny as the cause of Candice’s departure (and the article was written prior to the post-game interviews), her central point remains valid, if only because the mistakes a presumably superior player made were so obvious and basic.
Which means that Candice, as a self-avowed big fan of the series, either did not draw from it the proper strategic lessons despite her great interest in the past seasons, or many of the explanations in the interviews are elaborate reconstructions and rationalizations to save face for an obviously-intelligent player who made mistakes you would not typically see coming from a talented contestant.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Survivor: Cook Islands articles here on RealityNewsOnline:
Jeffrey D. Sadow is an associate professor of political science at Louisiana State University in Shreveport where he teaches, among other things, classes in international politics, international organizations, and diplomatic history. He has published in the area of gaming simulations in international politics.
Be sure to sign up for our e-mail update so you can stay informed about new articles on the site! And take a look at the rest of the site. You can find all of our recaps and other info on this show at the Survivor: Cook Islands page, and take a look at our The Amazing Race 8 page and our Apprentice: Martha Stewart page. You can even buy reality show stuff at our Reality TV Store!
<--Previous 1 2
View Printable version of this article