Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
Survivor: Cook Islands - Advice for the Remaining 18by Jeffrey Clinard -- 09/25/2006
View Printable version of this article
After watching the second episode of Survivor: Cook Islands, I began to wonder if I had dreamed or hallucinated the entire thing. Aitu threw strategy out the window when it came to the challenge, and the Tribal Council was so increasingly bizarre I began wondering if somebody had slipped something into my diet soda.
Let’s start with the idea of throwing a challenge. There are a few cases where it makes sense, such as if a merge is looming and the tribe has somebody ready to jump ship. The trouble is, nobody can really be sure when a merge or shuffle will occur, so tribes can get stuck with a real loss piled on top of their thrown challenge. It happened in Survivor: Pearl Islands where Drake threw a challenge and suffered for it.
Throwing individual challenges makes more sense, particularly when the consequences of winning are worse than the rewards gained by a victory. It occurs with some regularity in the season-specific variation on the Survivor: Marquesas coconut challenge. A player can win the battle but lose the war if they give away too much information in the challenge.
The decision by Aitu to throw the challenge didn’t qualify as a good idea on any front. Maybe they think they still have a strong tribe with the four remaining players, but those four can quickly go down to three if they lose another challenge, or if somebody rolls their ankle on a coconut or something. Another trip to Tribal Council might force battle lines, which hurts everybody. Besides, original tribes tend to stick together somewhat after shuffles, and being outnumbered cannot help the position of the four remaining Aitu members. No matter what any given person brings to the table in terms of challenges or camp life, the most important thing a Survivor brings to the table is a vote. Virtually everything else in the game is meaningless compared to the value of a vote.
The challenge itself lent itself well to being thrown, as tribes could make choices at various points as to their best strategy. Aitu wasted time by rereading the story first, then, according to reports, Billy was pulled down from untying a clue, and Ozzy rocked the rope bridge to cause Billy to lose his balance. Well, Aitu did a great job of throwing the challenge, but they should have considered it trading two tarps for a few more days with Billy. If they had played to win, there is no guarantee they’d have taken home two tarps, or even managed to beat out Hiki, but as it stood, they gave aid and comfort to all their enemies, with Yul in particular being a huge winner due to the results of his visit to Exile Island.
Yes, Yul now has hidden immunity. I think we can safely assume that the strategy of sending a strong guy to Exile Island isn’t the best one in the world. Both Terry and Yul promptly dug up the hidden immunity idols, which will protect them, most likely during the jury selection phase of the game. Holding hidden immunity provides a psychological barrier to voting off a player, particularly if the ricochet vote rule is in effect. It is going to be tricky to get rid of Yul now that he’s got the hidden immunity talisman in his back pocket.
Then, of course, there was Tribal Council. There were times when I think Jeff Probst wanted to whack the tribe members on the head with his torch snuffer. Besides admitting they threw a challenge, Billy and J.P talked over each other, then out from left field Billy said his million-dollar prize was Candice. Few things in Survivor have flustered Jeff Probst more than that statement, which he had to clarify simply because he couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
Still, with lots of game and Survivors left, everybody needs to adjust to the changing situation and figure out the right moves to make to progress in the game. It’s advice for the remaining 18.
Raro: Your tribe continues to be the good news / bad news kind of tribe. The bad news is your camp life situation is pathetic. The relative low age is probably part of the reason, but even the Little Rascals could have built a better clubhouse in six days than the mess of sticks and leaves you’ve put together. On the other hand, you did a great job in the challenge battling Puka to a draw for first place and earning two tarps – something that will greatly improve your shelter. Still, your tribe is cracking between the workers and the lazies... and I’m afraid the lazies are winning.
Jonathan: I feel for you. I agree with your belief that your shelter should be improved with flooring to keep you from sleeping in the mud when it rains. However, as long as nobody else wants to do it, you’re better of getting a tan or something with the others. In a game like Survivor, it’s often better to be a conformist than to be right.
Jessica (Flicka): It seems that no matter what way you turn, you’ve ending up making things worse for yourself. Losing the chickens put you in hock with the tribe, and you seem to be siding with Jonathan on the whole building the shelter thing. While that is what your tribe should be doing, your short-term problem is shifting the target to another player. In other words, let Jonathan be the misfit who is building the shelter while you hang out with the other young people of your tribe. It can save you in the short run.
Parvati: So far, you’ve fit in well with your tribe, but I’d be very careful about trying to couple up with Adam at this point. You are better off associating with them but letting them get tagged with the unbreakable pair stigma. As long as Jonathan is off working and Jessica has lost the chickens, you are probably safe, and should play it that way for now.
Adam: I don’t think you are treating the survival situation seriously, but you’re making good inroads in the social end of things. You seem to be bonding quite well with the others, and you’ll probably have enough votes to keep yourself around if you go to Tribal Council. It was also wise to stay out of the challenge; it didn’t require the kind of raw physical strength that might be your best advantage, and if your tribe lost, it wouldn’t have reflected on you.
Candice: It seems ironic that most of the focus on you was at a Tribal Council you weren’t at and weren’t witness to. In your own tribe, you’re in a good position. If you ever get shuffled up with some of the Aitu tribe, they are probably going to tell you a story that you might find hard to believe. Just roll your eyes – even if you do like Billy, he’s out of the game and in no position to help you. On your own tribe, you did a good thing in trying to defuse the situation with Adam and Jonathan. This isn’t because of those two in particular, but because after a shuffle Adam might end up in the same situation with other players... and in a situation where he doesn’t have the votes to stay.
Puka: Your tribe is the one to be envied right now. You’ve won two challenges in a row (counting the draw with Raro), and your tribe is catching chickens two or three at a time. Your left-right timing crossing the rope bridge showed both teamwork and intelligent strategy. Even if you do go to Tribal Council, most of you are probably safe as you have a resident misfit to get rid of in Cai Boi. So far, your tribe is looking to be the one to beat.
Yul: I knew there was a reason I picked you to win. Simply put, you are fitting in well with your tribe, and are starting to form the connections that will be the basis of your political base. Aitu did you a huge favor by sending you to Exile Island where you promptly solved the puzzle and dug up hidden immunity. Keep it hidden for now. There is no reason to let anybody know you have it at this time. Later that will change.1 2 Next-->
View Printable version of this article