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Survivor: China – Why Peih-Gee Lostby David Bloomberg -- 12/14/2007
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Peih-Gee was the last of the Zhan Hu, but she just couldn’t quite make it to the finale. What could she have done differently? Or was there even anything she could have done? Why did Peih-Gee lose?
For the final Zhan Huer, we will answer these questions the same way we’ve done for every other Zhan Huer (and the occasional Fei Longer) before her – by looking back at What China Survivors Should Have Learned. Let’s see what we can see.
The first rule tells players of the need to scheme and plot. Ever since Peih-Gee merged as a minority, she has been trying different variants of the scheming game. Sometimes, it seemed like maybe she’d made some inroads – as the tribe said goodbye to Jean-Robert and James, for example. But those were only short side trips and the Fei Long core alliance held true. Peih-Gee tried to find a crack, but just couldn’t succeed.
Her final episode gave Peih-Gee the best chance. She worked on Amanda during their day alone together. I do believe that Amanda was open to the possibility of staging a coup and keeping Peih-Gee, and I chalk at least part of that up to Peih-Gee’s plotting.
One thing I do need to mention, though, is the claim that Peih-Gee didn’t have a chance to talk to Amanda prior to their being left alone. I find this hard to believe, as many contestants have talked about the large amount of downtime they have, just sitting around with nothing to do. Certainly, Peih-Gee could have found some excuse to get away and talk to Amanda. If she had done so, maybe Amanda could have taken her side sooner – but maybe not.
In any case, by the time of the twelfth episode, they needed a third person on their side, with Denise being the most viable target. And Denise has been acting like a rock recently. Some would even say she’s been thinking like a rock, too. For two weeks running, she has picked the most conservative path, even knowing it might come back to bite her. Peih-Gee tried to get her to jump ship, but I’m not sure there was anything anybody could do to convince her.
So with all this work Peih-Gee was doing, could she have violated the second rule? Well, yes and no. No, she didn’t scheme and plot too much, which is the key point of this rule. However, like Erik, she could have done a better job of keeping her scheming secret. For example, when she and Erik cornered Denise in the middle of camp with the others watching in the previous episode, it ensured the other Fei Longers would do everything they could to counteract her maneuvers. She should have found another way to talk to Denise privately.
The third rule also brings us to another example of Peih-Gee being in the same boat as Erik was. It says players should be flexible, but I don’t know that Peih-Gee really had an opportunity to do so. While she didn’t try as hard to befriend the Fei Long members as Erik did, she, like Erik, was forever labeled “Zhan Hu.” She was stuck in her singular path.
Because she was in that minority position, Peih-Gee didn’t have the luxury of allowing her emotions to interfere with her voting. However, that doesn’t mean she completely escapes from the fourth rule. Her emotions did control her on several occasions, such as when she shot off her mouth to James after losing a reward challenge or to Denise (twice) after Denise didn’t take her on a reward. In both cases, Peih-Gee needed those people on her side to have any shot at cracking the Fei Long alliance; in both cases, her emotional side won out and she said things that would have been better kept to herself.
That leads us directly to the fifth rule, which says to pretend to be nice. Peih-Gee said in her final Tribal Council that she is a positive person. While Courtney rolled her eyes or gave a sarcastic look at just about everything Peih-Gee said this week, she was justified in doing so for this statement. I don’t think anybody watching the show since Episode 1 could really agree with what Peih-Gee said. She was abrasive since the very beginning and was one of the potential targets in the first vote. Indeed, if Chicken hadn’t been so over-the-top, I suspect she would have been the first person voted off this season.
Just as a reminder, here are some of the things I said about Peih-Gee in the very first episode:
Peih-Gee doesn’t appear to have a fun side. She complains that they’re the tribe that laughs and hangs out but doesn’t have food or fire. She thinks she’s on the lazy tribe, with nobody doing anything.And then there was:
Peih-Gee then takes over as she wipes away her tears, saying they all really need to pitch in at camp because even though everybody is working hard, there is still a lot to do. Hello? Peih-Gee? Did you not notice that you will all be voting somebody out in a little while? Do you really think it’s smart to start being bossy right now?My point is not to pile on Peih-Gee now that she’s off the show, but simply to point out that while she might have thought of herself as positive, others around her probably did not. And because of that, they were less likely to join with her in an alliance. This is especially true in a case like Denise’s, where she was teetering on the edge of jumping but just didn’t know if she should. Had Peih-Gee been more likable, maybe that would have been the slight push she needed to make the move. 1 2 Next-->
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