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Survivor: Guatemala - Advice for the Remaining 17by Jeffrey Clinard -- 09/22/2005
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Survivor is back, and this time it’s a nightmare. They were immediately sent on an 11 mile hike with a better camp and fire at stake, and joined by two former Survivors - Stephenie and Bobby Jon from Palau. I originally thought they’d be kind of paid mascots or trainers or something. They’d have been fitting since they know how bad things can get on Survivor. Well, at least in terms of the game - they both know firsthand about losing repeatedly. While it might have been nice for them to be around to kick some butts into working (too many seasons have shown too many people not taking the adventure seriously, at least in the beginning, whether it was mud baths in Borneo or finding native beauty aids in Vanuatu) and giving the dirt straight at tribal council, they are now in it to win.
However, Bobby Jon and Stephenie are full-fledged members of their tribes, and Jeff Probst called them tools. He’s absolutely right; they are tools. They know how to survive. They know how to make fire, build shelter, and search for food. They also have some experience at challenge strategy, though admittedly they both have horrible track records at actually turning it into a win.
The question for the others is how useful they can be, and when to dump them. This largely is going to revolve around whether the rest of the tribe can use them politically or not. They will be a force to be considered if they are allowed to merge and join forces, but as with all forces it’s something that can be useful if proper care and caution is used. I peg both of them as having the same basic weakness. Being Ulonged before strongly biases them in favor of keeping a tribe around them that will actually win challenges. However, Palau was a very strange game, due to the extreme dominance of the Koror tribe which minimized the effect of political alliances. A focus on keeping people that can win challenges might blind them to plots among the strong against them politically.
Regarding the two challenges, the reward challenge was an orienteering challenge, something that hasn’t been done on Survivor before, at least in terms of a challenge. It was also another matter of choices, particularly given which items to take and what items to leave behind. Food was probably a lot more important than it was in Palau, but water was critical. What wasn’t a good choice was the fruit. My own gets banged up in a one mile trek via car from the grocery store. After 11 miles it would resemble mush. In any case, Jim was one of the key reasons Nakum won the challenge, despite the multiple injuries they suffered. Leapfrogging by sending one out to a point, then having the rest join them was efficient, allowed everybody to rest, and kept them in the right direction.
The immunity challenge involved rowing, then distributing people into pulling the outrigger, moving the rolling logs, and the easy role of torch-carrier. Pulling required strength, moving the logs required some brains and teamwork (to efficiently set up a rotating order), the torch carrying was the easy task. Both Stephenie and Bobby Jon have learned a lot about rowing an outrigger since their disastrous first challenge in Palau, with Stephenie telling her tribe that the person in the back had to be strong because they both rowed and steered, and both tribes implementing the strategy by putting Gary and Bobby Jon at the rear of their boats. Ultimately, I don’t think either tribe blew the challenge in either strategy or tactics, and Yaxha tribe simply outperformed the other, perhaps because the Nakum tribe’s pullers were not at full strength (it’s worth noting that all the men, except for Jim, were involved in pulling, while both torch carriers and all but one of the log movers were women).
Yaxha. You lost the first reward challenge, which delayed your tribe in boiling water and cost you the better camp, but from what I’ve seen you’ve recovered fully and made the most of it. You went on to win the immunity challenge, and still have a full tribe full of healthy members so far. Right now with the injuries hitting Nakum, your tribe has the advantage, and Palau showed everybody that advantages should be seized in every way possible.
Stephenie. Welcome back. You were the best of a horrible tribe, and you got another chance. Despite the first loss, you also knew how to suck it up and recover from the first challenge, get things together for the shelter, and then plot strategy on how to win the immunity challenge, such as putting somebody strong at by rowing and being a rudder in the canoe. It helped a lot. Your real agenda is finding political allies that will help you get to the merge, and thus a new game. There is a good sized part of the tribe that respects you from your first time around, and that’s the basis of what you have to start with. Palau is past history, and you need to play politics now. It’s worth the risk.
Rafe. Well, you’re not correct in that the leader always gets voted out first. They mostly get voted out first after the merge. Either way, you’re right that it’s not smart to challenge the take-charge person, or they might go against you first. Go with the flow for now, and target the weakest links. You are not one of them.
Gary. You are doing the worst thing possible for a man with your situation - taking charge in a father role on your tribe. Admittedly, I think your have a lot of serious problems given your tribe. You are outnumbered by both youth and gender, and the leadership role is often targeted as well. However, you can survive if you plug yourself in fast enough to Stephenie and the other strong members of the tribe and go after the weak immediately. You caught a huge break with Stephenie in the game as a rallying point to avoid a generational war. Also, keep up the lie about your former job, and if somebody calls you out on it (most likely Danni), just deny it - and use it against them if you can.
Lydia. I’m really worried for your position in the tribe, as you’ve got too many strikes against you in just one episode. You and Amy were partly responsible for the loss of the reward challenge, and the tribe pegged you as a weak link and put you in charge of the torch during the immunity challenge. I don’t think you have a choice but to go with some kind of anti-Stephenie group as the basis for your survival. You may like her, but Stephenie is very likely to go ruthlessly after the weak links in the tribe to avoid a repeat of her experiences in Palau, so your best chance is to go after her or her power base as fast as possible.
Morgan. What airtime you got was mostly informational about the game, not about you. It’s a good thing, as I think you’ve plugged yourself into the power structure of your tribe for now, and have in no way shown yourself to be weak. Keep it up, and I think you’ll do very well.1 2 Next-->
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