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Survivor: China – Why Ashley Lostby David Bloomberg -- 10/03/2007
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Being a physically strong woman is usually a good thing in the early goings of Survivor. But having a strong personality often isn’t. Ashley showed us the latter, but not so much of the former. How does this all link into why Ashley lost?
For the second time this season, we’ll answer these questions using What China Survivors Should Have Learned. Are the answers going to be as obvious as they were with Chicken? Let’s find out.
Ashley’s most obvious problem was probably with the first rule, which describes the need to scheme and plot. At least, that was the problem according to what we saw on the show. There, she talked about how she wasn’t going to try to talk to the others around camp to convince them to keep her, but rather would allow Dave to show his true colors at Tribal Council.
As soon as she said it, I had a bad feeling. Rare is the case when people change their minds at Tribal Council – almost no matter what is said there, people go in pretty well knowing who they are voting against.
This time was no different. Look at Sherea. Even though she got visibly angry at Dave, she still voted out “friend” Ashley.
We didn’t see the whole picture, though. In my interview with Ashley, she said she did talk to Erik, Sherea, and Jaime before Tribal Council. So does that make things okay here?
Frankly, no. Ashley also admitted she didn’t even bother to try to talk to Frosti or Peih-Gee. And it’s clear that she didn’t do enough in talking to the others – she just “was hoping Dave would show them at the very last minute.”
Ashley should not have relied on Dave to shoot himself in the foot (even though he was obviously very good at it). She had to load up her own gun and explain to her tribemates why she was better to keep than him – and she needed to counter his hard work around camp with strategic reasoning to keep her instead. Instead of focusing on work, she needed to talk about the game.
Moving to the second rule, it’s pretty obvious she didn’t scheme and plot too much. Skipping quickly to the third rule, we ask if Ashley was flexible enough? Well, she didn’t really have a chance. However, this takes us back a paragraph. While working hard is a good thing in Survivor, there have been plenty of cases where hard workers were voted out for strategic reasons. Ashley needed to pick up on that aspect of the game and use it to her advantage as a way to convince the others that she was better to keep around. But from what we saw, she never really did so.
The fourth rule describes how players cannot let their emotions control them. Before I get into Ashley here, let me point out that at least we know Sherea followed this rule, as I’m sure she would have rather kept Ashley on a personal level, but voted to keep Dave instead.
But this article is about Ashley. How did she do here? Do I really need to answer that question? It’s pretty obvious that she didn’t do so hot – though not in the same way that Sherea did do well. Ashley’s problems came in the “negative emotion” area, because she and Dave were constantly fighting.
That merges right into the fifth rule, which says players must pretend to be nice. Although Ashley told me, “There’s a lot I held in against Dave,” there was also a lot she didn’t hold in. Indeed, one of the first things she told me was, “I just decided I was going to try to get along with everybody as well as I can, which obviously didn’t go as well as I planned.” The situation got to the point where the tribe knew one of them had to go.
While Ashley was one of the strongest women of this bunch, the sixth rule didn’t end up applying in the way some people thought it might – she was certainly not too much of a threat from a physical standpoint. However, she was a threat to tribal unity. As I said above, one of them had to go. The tribe was likely hoping that with Ashley gone, things would become a bit smoother and maybe they’d have a chance at working together better for their common good. We’ll see how that goes.
The seventh rule cautions against being lazy. While Ashley did not show any signs of that, she did get sick early on and was obviously weakened overall by the general situation. Dave, on the other hand, was acting like the big strong manly man and doing lots of work.
That takes us to the eighth rule, which normally asks if the other tribemates did the right thing. In this case, though, we also have to look at Ashley’s own statements. While it was not shown on TV, Ashley admitted to me that before the first Tribal Council, she tried to save Chicken and have the tribe go after Peih-Gee instead. Why? Because she said the tribe needed the manpower, and even though Chicken was annoying, he was strong and could help them.
Then it came time for the second vote and there was a choice: A strong but annoying man who could help the tribe, or Ashley. Hmmm. Apparently, Ashley did a better job of convincing the others than she thought, because they decided that at this point in the game, they needed to go after the weaker tribe members (which is generally true). Ashley was targeted as the weaker of the two. Whoops!
So maybe we should give Ashley some bonus points in the scheming and plotting area – it just ended up being used against her instead! Of course, she didn’t actually do well with that end of the game, and that caused her significant problems. By not solidifying herself with the others before Tribal Council, she left too much up in the air. Considering that the air was filled with her own suggestions to keep a strong man, and the arguing that had been done between herself and Dave, she put herself in a lot of danger.
When we pull it all together, Ashley said what she shouldn’t have, and didn’t say what she needed to. That is why Ashley 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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