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Survivor: Cook Islands – Why Candice Lostby David Bloomberg -- 12/07/2006
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When Candice was voted out, the reasons seemed obvious. But “seemed” is the key word here. Once she hit the interview circuit and the Survivor Insider recordings were released, we found that appearances do not always tell the full story. With all of this in mind, why did Candice lose?
Although we will use information outside of what we saw on TV, we will still go through it in the usual way, by looking at What Cook Island Survivors Should Have Learned to see what we can learn from both Candice’s actions on TV and her words later.
The first rule tells players to scheme and plot. According to Candice in her post-vote interviews, she knew this. She says she is a huge fan of the show and has never missed an episode. And she says she knew she had to make moves to survive.
This is sharply contrasted by the Candice we all saw on TV. That Candice never showed any inclination to this type of behavior. But as we all know, behavior can be edited out – it just can’t be edited in. So let’s take a look at what she had to say for herself.
Candice says she decided to mutiny because she felt unsafe in her Aitu tribe and thought Raro would be better. She “wanted to make a move to control my own fate in the game,” according to what she said in her RealityNewsOnline interview. Controlling your own fate is indeed a positive aspect in Survivor, and it would have been smart to do so. Unfortunately, Candice made some significant mistakes in analyzing her situation, as outlined by Professor Sadow in his Strategic Overview of Survivor Special article. In other words, she tried to scheme and plot, but she just wasn’t very good at it.
Which raises the question of how she did in terms of the second rule, which advises against scheming and plotting too much, says you should keep your scheming secret, and further proclaims that you shouldn’t backstab until you absolutely need to.
Wow. Candice was zero for three.
Let’s work backwards. The mutiny is where Candice blew the third part. She stabbed her entire tribe in the back by jumping to Raro. This included portions of what could have been a solid alliance with Yul and Becky. The fact remains that we saw nothing to indicate those two were planning to turn on Candice. And indeed, even Candice herself talked about how honestly Yul was trying to play the game. So it would have gone totally against his character to tell her she was an ally and then vote her out.
Even if she was totally dedicated to flipping against Yul and Becky, though, Candice should have – and could have – waited. She let her true colors be known too soon, to her detriment.
Ironically, part of the reason Candice felt she might be in danger on Aitu was that she failed to keep her scheming secret. Part of it was the fault of Adam and Parvati, her true allies who saved her from a possible vote by sending her to Exile Island. But that wasn’t the only indication of where her true loyalties were. She was far too obvious about the possibility of rejoining her original allies.
And then, once the tribes merged, Candice made it clear that she would not even consider turning on those same allies. There is a reason Yul approached Jonathan rather than Candice. The Raros might have called Jonathan a “rat” and various other terms, but the fact is that he’s still there and Candice isn’t. Her loyalty was far too obvious.
The overall concept of scheming and plotting too much encompasses both of these, and more. She thought she could leave Aitu, where she felt like she didn’t have much of a say in things, and move to the king’s ear in Raro. This turned too many people against her for her to ever have a serious chance at winning.
The third rule tells players to be flexible. It might seem at first glance like Candice embodied this through the mutiny. After all, she was flexible enough to abandon her tribe. But really, I see it as inflexibility. Candice was locked in with her original allies, and nothing – but nothing – would change that.
Let’s compare the way Candice acted with some of the others in the game. Candice hit it off with Adam and Parvati. They became allies and friends. No matter what happened in the game, Candice wanted to go back to them.
Jonathan, on the other hand, believed himself to be part of the same alliance. Yet he was always making other plans. He schemed with Jessica, he schemed with Yul, he schemed with just about anybody who would listen. Then, when he found himself in potential trouble after the merge, he schemed with Yul again.1 2 Next-->
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