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Survivor: China – Why Jaime Lostby David Bloomberg -- 11/08/2007
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Let me start this article in a somewhat different way than usual – by answering a question that a number of people have asked me since my interview with Jaime: Do I think she knew the “idol” was fake, or is she just covering up for making a dumb move?
Obviously, we can’t say for sure – only Jaime knows that. However, I do think a person would have to be awfully dumb to believe that there were three hidden immunity idols and that somebody would just leave one lying around – especially when its match was still up at the Fei Long camp. I also think it's possible she did talk to the camera about knowing it was fake, as she indicated, and they simply didn't include those interviews. Also, she did admit in talking to me that she didn't know Todd knew about James’ idol, so that was at least one dumb thing she admitted to rather than covering it up, which lends support to the idea that she is not just trying to cover the other stuff up.
Some may say that Jaime would have acted differently if she knew it was a fake. But this goes back to the editing – she might have indeed acted differently and we just didn’t see it. It is, after all, a TV show and viewers want to be entertained. I don’t know about you, but I was highly entertained while watching and believing Jaime thought it was a real immunity idol. It was simply funnier that way than it would have been if we had all known she didn’t really think it was the idol.
So, all in all, I believe that she at least had a darned good idea it was fake, but she also had nothing to lose by offering it up at that point.
With all this behind us, what we can conclude is that Jaime didn’t lose because she was just some dumb blonde who thought she had the immunity idol. That’s good, because it would have been an awfully short article if that had been the reason. So why did Jaime lose?
To answer that question, we will take the usual route of looking back at What China Survivors Should Have Learned. Since we’ve eliminated the non-idol as the reason, I’m sure we’ll be able to find it in here.
The first and most important rule, of course, deals with the strategy of scheming and plotting. Early on, Jaime seemed to understand the need to do this, as she planned with Leslie to exchange information about the hidden immunity idols while making alliances on her own tribe with Erik and Peih-Gee. She also knew her group needed numbers, and that meant figuring out the best way to pull people together.
Unfortunately, what she couldn’t figure out was how to do that. Jaime admitted in Survivor Insider footage that she failed in the strategic aspect of the game. There were a couple ways in which this happened.
First, Jaime needed to hatch a plan and stick to it. Either they were throwing the challenges or they weren’t. I know Jaime told me that they decided to throw the first challenge on the spot when they heard James plotting with Todd, but we also know that they discussed it earlier, when Sherea was still around and then before the challenge. So it wasn’t really a spur of the moment decision.
In any case, after throwing the first challenge, Jaime & Co. needed to throw the second. While it’s true that Sherea didn’t give them positive signs in the reward challenge, they really had no choice at that point. They had chosen a road and had to follow it to the end.
Instead, Jaime chose to trust that James would stick with the Zhan Huers and even bring over Denise rather than go back to his old group. Mind you, this is the same James who Jaime heard plotting with Todd during the previous immunity challenge, which was what caused them to throw it! The logic of this, quite frankly, escapes me.
Jaime did claim to me that she and Peih-Gee were afraid James had the idol, but that seems unlikely given that there was no hint such a thing would have happened. Mind you, he did have the idol and would have voted her out a week earlier, but that’s 20/20 hindsight.
The real key is that if she hadn’t admitted to throwing the previous challenge, it would have helped her position with James. And if they hadn’t thrown any challenges at all, it’s possible things might have turned out much different indeed. She could have worked on making inroads with James and even Aaron instead of making sure James would never stick with her.
With all of this in mind, it might seem that Jaime didn’t scheme and plot too much and thus is okay by the second rule. But that wouldn’t quite be true, because she had problems in another main area. Specifically, she utterly failed to keep her scheming secret – everybody knew exactly where she stood and, perhaps more importantly, where they would stand if they decided to side with her. Thus the reason Frosti decided against rejoining his former Zhan Hu allies.
One important part of this was that Jaime had formed an open couple – of the friendship type – with Erik. People knew that the two of them would not turn on each other, and that made them a threat.1 2 Next-->
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