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Survivor: China – Why Dave Lostby David Bloomberg -- 10/17/2007
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Dave was a guy who just didn’t learn. From almost the very beginning, he came off as a pushy annoyance while trying to be the leader of the tribe. He saw his buddy Chicken go out first for acting similarly, but Dave stepped it up a notch. He knew it was either him or Ashley in the second vote, but when Ashley left, he still kept right on acting the same way. But was this behavior the only reason Dave was sent packing? Why did Dave lose?
This week’s vote was an interesting choice. Both Dave and Sherea made big mistakes when compared to the advice given in What China Survivors Should Have Learned. In the end, the tribe felt that Dave’s actions were worse than Sherea’s. Let’s see if we can determine why.
The first, and most important, rule tells players of the need to scheme and plot. But we didn’t really see Dave doing that. He did a bit of talking to the others about voting, but nothing we saw about long-term strategy.
For example, in the first episode he sided with Chicken to target Ashley after specifically telling Ashley she wouldn’t be targeted. In his final episode, he tried to plead his case to a couple tribe members, but that was more an attempt at self-preservation than actual strategy.
What we really didn’t see from Dave was him making any particular alliances for the ongoing game. Well, okay, he said he formed a “loose” alliance with Todd on the other tribe by giving him the clue – but I wouldn’t even go that far. All they had was a deal for Todd to give Dave a clue if he had an opportunity. Dave needed to do more of that type of thinking in his own tribe – and do it better.
When I interviewed Dave, he said he “felt that there were” alliances in the tribe, “but I was not a part of them.” That’s bad news. Not only was Dave not in an alliance, he wasn’t even in the loop to know for sure if there were alliances!
It seems fairly obvious then, that Dave didn’t violate the second rule by scheming and plotting too much. Leslie did manage to do wrong by both of these last week, though, so we have to remember that it is possible. And frankly, I wonder if Dave didn’t make some of the same mistakes Leslie made. For example, when Dave was kidnapped, he went over to the other tribes and gave out kisses and hugs. This is a kidnapping?! He needed to show his own tribe that he hated the idea of leaving them, not that he loved it.
Indeed, some of his tribemates even commented on this behavior while Dave was gone. It’s not clear that it was a particular reason for Dave being voted out, but considering that the rest of the tribe was teetering on the edge either way, even something as seemingly minor as this could have tipped the balance.
The third rule advises players to be flexible. Considering the way we saw Dave act, I think it’s safe to say that despite his claims to the contrary in my interview with him, he blew this one. At camp, things had to be done his way and only his way. Heaven forbid anybody have their own ideas. Dave knew how he wanted it done and, dammit, that was the way it should be done!
It is true that the bulk of this rule deals with strategic flexibility rather than personal, but it still applies. Dave insisted when I spoke to him that he did try to change to better get along with his tribemates, but we didn’t see it – and obviously they didn’t either. I think Dave has a bit of a skewed view of the subject.
Moving to the fourth rule, did Dave allow his emotions to control him? From what we saw, we have to answer yes. He was fighting with Ashley previously to the point that the tribe knew it had to be one of them leaving. He won that battle, but when he began having the same arguments with Sherea, the tribe must have figured that it can’t always be the other person.
Dave’s situation reminds me of a college roommate I once had (coincidentally also named Dave). Shortly after I moved in, he told me about all the problems he had with previous roommates, who were too loud for him. I thought it was horrible luck. Then he started complaining about me for the same reasons. It all capped off when I was sitting in the living room reading a book and he came in to tell me the TV was on too loud. I pointed out that the TV wasn’t on. Well, then the radio. That wasn’t on either. I’m not sure where he was hearing noises or voices, but the point of all this is that at some point, a person has to look around and think about whether everybody else really has all these same problems, or if perhaps it’s you. To Dave, it was always everybody else, but his tribe decided it was him.
This also plays heavily into the fifth rule, which tells players they need to pretend to be nice. Dave could be nice – he could even be goofy and crazy. But when it came down to work around camp, he had to rule the roost. Any thought of being nice went out the window, because it had to be done his way and only his way.1 2 Next-->
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