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Survivor: China – Why Chicken Lostby David Bloomberg -- 09/27/2007
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Chicken was a study in contradictions on Survivor. He is a big fan of the show who didn’t seem to understand how to play it. He wanted to voice his opinions and then decided not to even answer direct questions. He had never even left his home state but thought he knew more about surviving in the wild than anybody else. Did these contradictions get him voted out first? Why did Chicken lose?
As we’ve done for the past 13 seasons, we will look at each player as they are voted off and review their actions in light of What China Survivors Should Have Learned. So let’s see what we can figure out about Chicken.
The first rule, as it has been since time immemorial (or at least the first season of Survivor), is to scheme and plot. Chicken has watched enough of the show to know that forming alliances is a key to survival, and that such alliances should be made quickly. So when he was approached by three of the women on his tribe, as he described in my interview him, he knew enough to agree to an alliance.
But that alliance didn’t hold for very long. He told me that his word was good and he would have stuck to it, but from the way he described it (which is all we have to go on since none of this was shown on TV), it was not an alliance that he initiated and thus he was sort of brought in simply by happenstance. So it’s really no wonder the others were willing to turn on him quickly.
We did see Chicken talking to Frosti and Dave, but it was really only about the coming vote, not about particular plans for the future. Chicken seemed to realize he was in danger, but didn’t do a whole lot about it. He told me he believes his name was just the first one to come up and everybody agreed to vote him out. Maybe so, but then he should have done his best to come up with another name and a good reason to get rid of that other person!
Moving to the second rule, it seems pretty obvious that Chicken didn’t scheme and plot too much since he didn’t really do it enough. Indeed, we can quickly jump past this one.
Which brings us to rule number three. The guidance here is to be flexible. I think it’s fairly obvious that Chicken was anything but. He wanted things done his way, period. In the beginning, he was trying to be helpful, but went overboard to bossy. Then he went in the opposite direction and refused to even give his opinion when asked. It was a show of extremes, not an ability to go with the flow.
In large part, it seemed that he acted this way because he failed in terms of the fourth rule. He became upset at being ignored, and he allowed those emotions to direct the way he was behaving. Instead of getting over it and playing the game, he held a grudge and acted like a grump, drawing unnecessary and unwanted attention.
Of course, that meant he also failed the fifth rule, which says to pretend to be nice. Chicken needed to swallow his pride and his anger and just move on. But he didn’t – he couldn’t. He even told me about how mad he got at some of his tribemates when he didn’t feel they were helping out enough: “I said, ‘Dave, why do we want to do this? They’re standing right there and we could reach out and smack ‘em. We’re working our hind ends off, but for what?’” That attitude was evident during much of his time on the show.
The sixth rule wasn’t a problem for Chicken – he certainly didn’t represent a threat. And the seventh wasn’t either, as it tells players not to be lazy, and we know Chicken was quite the opposite.
What about the eighth? Were the others right to vote off Chicken? Well, according to Chicken himself, Ashley should have been the one to go, because she was sick and weak. But it looked like she was only that way for a day or so. Given that she is probably the strongest woman on the show, it wouldn’t have made much sense to penalize the whole tribe over a short period of illness.
It might have made sense to vote out Peih-Gee, given the way she broke down after losing the first challenge and then became Miss Bossy. But at least she was voicing her opinion at that point. By then, Chicken had become mute. A tribemate who refuses to even voice an opinion can definitely be seen as a weak link.
I do think if Peih-Gee had acted the way she did before the challenge, she might have been a viable target. But Chicken made a terrible first impression, which helped plant his name in people’s minds right away. He followed up that impression by making a worse second impression. Not good for the first three days of Survivor.
Chicken told me that he did everything he wanted to do just by going to China. And from the exuberance he had when discussing it, I believe him. But he was a fan of Survivor and should have been there to play the game. A big part of playing the game is playing the people, and that means at least pretending to get along with them. Chicken was too stubborn and set in his own ways to do that. He decided he knew what was best, and if people didn’t want to listen to him, screw ‘em. He showed them by refusing to talk at all. And they showed him… right out the door. That is why Chicken lost.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Survivor: China articles here on RealityNewsOnline:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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