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Survivor: China – Advice for the Final Fourby Jeffrey Clinard -- 12/15/2007
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For the most part, the game is over. Todd or Amanda has won, and if there is a final two of Courtney and Denise, I hope they take their winnings and just go away. Neither of them deserves it. However, it does mean two other people were players, and the departed Peih-Gee made the most of her situation.
Indeed, if I were on the jury, I’d ask either Courtney or Denise the same question – what have you done in 39 days that entitles you to a million dollars? What grand strategic policy did you develop, what decision was yours, and what opportunity did you seize? What exactly makes you the deserving winner? I don’t have an answer, because I consider them strategic nothings who were used the entire game by superior players who knew exactly how to manipulate weak players.
Conversely, I’d like to ask Todd or Amanda if they deliberately picked strategic nothings as their allies knowing they could clobber them in a jury vote. The correct answer is yes, and I suspect I only want to be a little harsher on this set of finalists than most because it seems most of the game was played on autopilot. Pagongings aren’t very interesting, and neither is seeing Todd and Amanda winning a battle of wits against unarmed opponents.
The reward challenge was interesting in that people selected a pecking order in the distribution of bolts. Courtney had the most, though I tend to think that it had to do with a lack of perceived skill with the crossbow than her popularity. Peih-Gee got snubbed, getting only a single bolt from Courtney. That surprised me a bit, as most of the others considered her “next” when it came to Tribal Council and everybody should be trying to buy a vote where they can. In that way, Denise made another huge mistake by not taking Peih-Gee on the reward and insulting her in the process. I can only imagine that, as a jury member, Peih-Gee may have some choice words for Denise.
There are only four Survivors left, but it’s not really anybody’s game anymore. Still, everybody should at least try to plead their case if they make it to the finals. It’s time for advice for the final four.
Amanda: As one of the two people most likely to win the game, you need to ensure it by getting rid of Todd at the next Tribal Council. That leaves you as the dominant player in the game, and you should emphasize that during the jury argument phase. If you can get rid of Todd, you should have an easy time winning over the jury.
Courtney: It’s not easy finding a winning strategy for you at the final stages, because the sum of your actions so far indicate you are nothing remotely close to a deserving winner. Indeed, I suspect the reason you got so many crossbow bolts is because nobody had any faith in your ability to hit the target, and they were correct. If you go before the jury you’ll probably have to try the emotional card, making the ringleaders out to be the bad guy (despite the fact you as a henchman you were every bit as guilty when it came to writing down names on pieces of paper). It’s not much of a strategy, but it will have to do.
Denise: I’ve seen delusional Survivors before, but you have taken it to a whole new category. If you honestly think you can beat Todd before a jury, you’re sadly mistaken. You can’t even pretend to be a nice person before the jury, as you snubbed Peih-Gee twice on reward trips and made the further point of insulting her when going over your decision. That leaves you with very few options in trying to win over a jury. The one thing you’ll need to state to Peih-Gee is that it was strategy (not that I think that tactic will work on her, but it might work on the other jurists), and try to sell Todd and Amanda as villains. I don’t think it will work, but you’ve painted yourself into a corner in the game, and you’ll pay for it by losing.
Todd: So far you’ve played the best game and your only major worry is being voted off before you get to the jury phase. Sure, you’ve betrayed a lot of people and stabbed them in the back over the course of the game, and made an idiotic decision to essentially hand James both immunity idols, but this is Survivor, and few people get to the finals without stepping on a few toes along the way. Don’t apologize for your actions – say they were necessary to get you to the finals. Lay out a good solid case for your game-long strategy, and you should win the game.
Peih-Gee: What went wrong? Well, you didn’t win immunity and you didn’t have enough leverage to change the vote at any time after the merge, despite your best efforts. It’s not your fault that several players decided to play to lose instead of playing to win, but you suffered for it. Finally, if Denise is in the finals, give it to her with both barrels.
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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