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Survivor: China – Advice for the Remaining Fiveby Jeffrey Clinard -- 12/12/2007
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Again, another thanks to Brian Towers, who covered the article last week. While the last two times were when I went on vacation, this time it was due to family emergencies. Fortunately, the situation is stable for the time being.
Right now, I want to focus on power. In Survivor, there is too much power, too little power, power at the right time, and changing the definition of power. Of the four, the second is the easiest to understand.
Too little power means you don’t have enough votes to control the eviction, or enough popularity, value, or are too big a threat to win the game to stay in the game. When a Survivor’s threat level jumps over his safety value, he or she loses the game, just as James learned a few weeks ago.
James was a classic case of too much power. He had two immunity idols, but didn’t realize how much that made him a threat. The opportunity under the game rules was to blindside him, which the others did two votes back, though Peih-Gee and Erik took out insurance by voting for Todd.
However, under different game conditions, Terry and Yul also had too much power with immunity idols that could be played after the vote. While I think players can conspire to outwit the rules most of the time, there is a huge difference between the insurance hidden immunity idol provides if it can be used after the vote is read as opposed to before the votes are revealed.
Power at the right time is the goal of many Survivors who know they are dead unless they have it in the form of immunity. Many Survivors have held it at the right time in the right place to live to fight another day. Peih-Gee has dodged a few bullets by wearing immunity during at Tribal Councils, and thus has another chance to try to change the game.
The reward challenge forced Denise to pick people to share in the reward with her, and she made a classic mistake in the process. While Survivors traditionally pick their friends or allies to go with them on such treats, the most strategic option is somewhat different.
In general, members of a minority group should take an ally and somebody they hope to make a deal with, while members of dominant alliances should try to insure that both the reward group and the camp group are dominated by members of the majority alliance. Lobbying is a big part of the game, and smart players keep in mind the lobbying opportunities and work to maximize or minimize the chances, depending on their situation.
With all that in mind, five Survivors remain and should be looking to win the game. Who should be doing what? It’s advice for the remaining seven.
Amanda: You probably have two opportunities left to put yourself in a winning situation. You need to rid the game of the one person who can probably beat you in a jury vote: Todd. It only takes three votes (and Todd not wearing immunity) to change the game, and you can easily get one of them from Peih-Gee, who has a tricky situation and will vote to save herself. That means you only need to convinced Courtney or Denise to go against Todd. The real trick is to convince them Todd is going to win the game unless you get rid of him while not mentioning the logical follow up; that if Todd is eliminated, you are the likely winner. It’s time to make the move to set yourself up as the winner.
Courtney: At this point, you’re in a bad position as two Survivors are left that have a better lock on the game, and you’re game play hasn’t exactly been stellar. Your best hope lies with getting rid of both Amanda and Todd and hoping you can win over the jury, though I’m a bit skeptical over your ability to convince anybody you’ve played the best game. Still, it’s your only chance, and if you take the initiative to get rid of the power players you’ll have something to present to the jury if you make it that far.
Denise: You made a tactical error in not taking Peih-Gee on the reward challenge along with either Todd or Amanda. By snubbing her after she brought you to the temple you made it much harder to win her vote if she makes the jury, and you gave her the opportunity (as well as Erik) to try to tag-team Courtney while they were on the beach. You also voted out Erik, and lost your chance to try to change the game in a way where you could win. Your only real chance is to get rid of Todd and Amanda and use that as the basis of your argument to a jury as to why you deserve to win.
Todd: You’re actually playing your endgame well by tossing out reasons why other people are going to win Survivor, despite the fact that the jury has traditionally rewarded the best player. As it stands, you need to continue with that strategy, getting rid of the outsider Peih-Gee (sell it as “finishing the job”) and then getting rid of whoever you can when there are four, though Amanda is your likely target. As long as you can keep the game focused on things other than gameplay, you can win the game.
Peih-Gee: Immunity saved you again, but you can’t count on it rescuing you from another vote. In short, you need to change the game, playing every card you have in order to get rid of Todd and Amanda. You’ve done a fairly good job laying the groundwork, such as playing on statement of Todd’s sister with Courtney, and trying to get Denise to change the game. You’ll need to play the final cards; tell them they can’t win as long as Todd and Amanda are in the game. Both of them are threatening to win the game, so you need to suggest it’s time to play to win instead of playing it safe. If you have to, work with either Todd or Amanda to take out the other this week, but your best chance of winning stems from getting rid of both o them.
Erik: What went wrong? Despite your best efforts to change the game, Denise elected to play it safe instead of playing to win, and voted you out. Once she made that choice, you were the only target available as Peih-Gee was wearing immunity.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Survivor: China articles here on RealityNewsOnline:
Jeffrey Clinard has written about Survivor since its second season, and has provided advice for around 200 Survivors. . His patronus takes the form of a penguin. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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