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Some Final Thoughts on ‘Survivor: Cook Islands’by Belle Book -- 12/29/2006
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Well, another season of Survivor is gone. And I think we had one of the best seasons ever – certainly one of the best in a long time.
We had a thrown challenge, a huge case of foot-in-mouth disease, an ill-advised mutiny, an outnumbered team becoming the comeback team of the year, a successful use of the hidden immunity idol to protect an entire alliance, an all-minority final four, and a true clash between brains and brawn with brains barely winning out! Is that great or what?
I’m going to make my final comments on the 20 players who were in the game and note what caused their ultimate fate in the game, beginning with the last-place finisher and ending with the winner:
Sekou: There were several things that Sekou should have done better. While he had a good idea in taking a leadership role, the way he went about doing so actually caused division, which was dumb.
Sekou also seemed to need way too many breaks, and worst of all, he failed to realize he and Nate needed a third vote until it was too late. This allowed Rebecca and Sundra to make the vote a battle of the sexes. If he and Nate had realized this sooner, they could’ve pulled in Stephannie and Sundra wouldn’t have made the final four! But he didn’t, and was voted out accordingly.
Billy: This guy did almost nothing right! First, he proved to be inept at being a leader for Aitu and thus decided on a dubious strategy of being completely lazy, hoping to wear out the rest of Aitu. Then, he tried to play J.P. and Ozzy against Cecelia and Cristina, but the other four compared notes and realized what he was up to! No wonder they threw the immunity challenge! Although it was still ill-advised for them to do so, I understand why they yielded to temptation there.
The crowning moment for Billy was when he claimed he’d made a love connection with Candice! Although he was going anyway, it made him look ridiculous. Still, the look on Jeff Probst’s face was priceless!
Cecelia: I’m afraid part of the blame for Cecelia’s loss should go to sickness. If she hadn’t gotten ill shortly after the four tribes were merged into two, she might have given the hard-sell to Jessica (Flica) more, instead of doing very little to make certain Flica remained on her side.
On the other hand, if that had happened, Yul might have given the hidden immunity idol to Becky and Cecelia might have gone anyway. So in the end, she may simply have been on the wrong side of the political divide that developed on Aitu. Thus, she was the first of Yul’s many direct victims.
J.P.: I think J.P. simply got too comfortable with his position on Raro. There were four big, strong guys and he wrongly assumed that the women would want to keep all of them around.
J.P. also wrongly assumed that Cristina would remain true to him. Instead, she joined forces with Rebecca and Jenny to save Stephannie and boot out J.P. once they got Brad and Parvati on their side. Then Stephannie pulled off quite an acting job in letting poor J.P. think she was going, only to blindside him with the vote!
Stephannie: Poor Stephannie was just a weak link. She blamed herself for the loss of one immunity challenge (although she had plenty of help there), then after another loss she openly wished for mashed potatoes and gravy! Nate (and the others) decided that it was better to keep a strong woman (even if she was annoying) over someone who was nice but weak. They were probably right, but it didn’t help them much anyway.
Cao Boi: The guy was entertaining. He was colorful. He was also strategically clueless. He looked at Survivor as an adventure, not as the game that it was.
Although Cao Boi did try to scheme with “Plan Voodoo,” he thought the wrong person had the hidden immunity idol; and in any case he failed to consider that he was targeting people who were in the majority alliance. And by originally suggesting that Aitu should get rid of Becky in the first vote of the new Aitu tribe, he made a fatal enemy in Yul.
Cristina: I don’t think Cristina’s biggest mistake was in being (inadvertently) annoying. Rather, her biggest mistake was in failing to realize that winning and playing with total honesty and integrity just don’t work. However, she didn’t help her cause any by failing to dial back her strong personality soon enough. And worst of all, she wasn’t chosen to be “kidnapped.” If she had been, Jenny might have gone home instead.
Jessica (Flica): Like Cao Boi, Flica was interested primarily in the adventure, not in plotting and scheming. She too was completely clueless. And when Cao Boi was sent packing, she was hung out to dry. Although she tried her hardest to stick around, it was too little, too late. Especially since Ozzy was a major provider of food and Flica really wasn’t, though she worked hard enough.
Brad: Like Cristina before him, Brad thought he could come into Survivor and play with complete honesty and integrity. Unfortunately, he couldn’t.
However, Brad’s decision to do the puzzle part of a reward challenge led to further trouble when Rebecca just got too exhausted while swimming. Worse, it became pretty clear to the other Raro members that he would return to his original alliance – Yul and Becky – at the merge. So off he went, even though Jonathan and Candice had just mutinied and rejoined Raro.
Rebecca: Like Cecelia before her, the physical part of the game got to Rebecca. She didn’t have enough energy to do much work around camp, as she was conserving it for challenges. And she thought she had a tight alliance, but never made a sub-alliance or checked to make certain that she was as safe as she thought. Perhaps her exhaustion also took away her energy to plot and scheme. If so, that was a pity.
Jenny: If Brad’s eviction before Jonathan wasn’t necessarily a mistake, or even that of Rebecca, the elimination of Jenny definitely was a huge one, as most of the Raro jurors have since admitted! Jenny realized that Adam was too close to Candice and would never betray her. Unfortunately, Jenny revealed her suspicions to Adam instead of plotting and scheming against him! This set up the plan to oust her, which took place when the second double-elimination was revealed. She was taken aback enough to not plead her case before the vote, and that was that.1 2 Next-->
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