Survivor: Cook Islands, Episode 2: Questions and Questionable Behaviorby Ken Kellam III -- 09/27/2006
It occurred to me while taking notes for this article that one of the bad things about having four tribes instead of two is that we see less of each tribe, and so there’s not always as much to go on. Of course, if all four tribes have conflict and turmoil, that means four groups to keep up with instead of two, and so far, there seems to be plenty of conflict to go around. No, every tribe doesn’t have the same amount, but some seem to have enough conflict for two tribes.
Let’s start with the Hiki, or African-American tribe. Sundra alluded to the pressure of having to represent her race, which brings us to this question: while in this game, is it fair for them to have to carry the expectations of an entire race on their shoulders? I think back to Real World: Boston, when the lone African-American contestant was a young lady named Kameelah. She said that before she left to tape the show, ladies from her church said to her, “Now you go represent us.”
But eventually, she realized she was just better off being Kameelah, and if the African-American community came out of that, so be it.
By the same token, I wonder if the Hiki tribe could enjoy this game more if they felt as if they were representing just their team instead of a whole race of people. But then, maybe that’s what happens when you divide the game up by races. Whatever the case, the Hiki tribe this week seemed to be perhaps the only tribe without too much questionable behavior.
The same can not be said regarding the Aitu, or Latino tribe. First off, was Billy’s demise really due to his culture being heavy metal and not Latino, as stated in his post-game interview with RNO ? Personally, I think he’s kidding himself if he really believes that. I don’t know that it was the culture of heavy metal that bothered the others so much as the culture of lazy.
Yes, there have been plenty of lazy players in the history of Survivor, but that only works if that’s what the majority are doing. Here, Billy was clearly outnumbered by those working, but it didn’t seem to matter. Maybe he’s right about the rest knowing more about how to do things then he did, but it could not have hurt his game to say to them, “You know more about food preparation than I do, but I’m certainly willing to learn and pitch in.”
Instead, he used the excuse of saving his energy for the challenges, a questionable strategy, at best. The irony is, some of the others saved their energy during the challenge. By the time he tried to expend energy on keeping himself in the game, it was already too late, like a football team that’s behind by five touchdowns with two minutes left in the game.
Suppose Billy had gotten his wish and been on a heavy metal tribe? That may have not made much of a difference, given his work ethic, or lack thereof, unless the others in the tribe were equally lazy.
Many of us found his sanity questionable when he made his comments regarding Candice, and love at first sight. When I heard him say that, I had to go back and check the tape. What Candice actually said was, “WE love you,” not “I” love you. Big difference there, Billy Boy. Was it really a moment of weakness, as he explained in his Early Show interview, or was that the explanation he came up with after thinking about if for three months? Only Billy knows for sure.
Here’s a question about Cristina from Billy’s now-former tribe. Is she putting her pride above the good of the tribe? She claimed that every idea had to be Ozzy’s idea, but when his idea of how to catch the chickens worked, she stomped off, unable to be happy for the tribe. Hmmmm…maybe every idea had to be her idea? In this instance, at least, her behavior was extremely questionable.
Speaking of Ozzy, at first I thought he was a bit of a know-it-all, and no one likes a know-it-all, especially one ten years younger than you. Yet, in this setting, it seems as if Ozzy really does know it all. Even Billy, who didn’t particularly like Ozzy, noted his tribemate had “an extraordinary amount of skills.” If J.P. and Cecelia can be happy his idea worked for the good of the tribe, why can’t Cristina? Could this make her the next to go?
Speaking of which, was throwing a challenge the best idea? Talk about questionable behavior! I’ve never liked this particular strategy, because that’s one less buffer between you and eviction from the game. Jeff Probst probably said it best during Pearl Islands when he stated, “Throwing a challenge is really cocky.” But in that case, at least the Drakes had a numbers advantage when they did it. The Aitu tribe enjoys no such advantage, and should they lose again, they may wish they’d kept Billy around for when they needed someone to boot.
Throwing the challenge was apparently Ozzy’s idea too, though in my opinion, not one of his better ones. Maybe because he knows so much about the environment, the others assume he also knows a few things about game strategy. But this is one decision that, despite what Ozzy thinks, can not bode well for the tribe, and may prove fatal.
Finally, how would Ozzy fare if he were in a tribe with Rob Mariano from Marquesas and All-Stars? In a way, Ozzy is the “Hunter” of his tribe, at least as far as knowing what do to in the environment. But we all saw how Rob M. made short work of the pilot. No, booting Ozzy so early wouldn’t make sense, but then, neither did booting Hunter.
Let’s take a look at the Puka, or Asian-American tribe. Why has Cao Boi not gotten the message regarding his jokes? His inability to take a hint has definitely led to some questionable behavior. Now granted, he’s right when he says there’s nothing wrong with laughing at yourself, but in this instance at least, he’s outnumbered, and should probably give it a rest. It’s theoretically possible that he could’ve been given four tribemates who not only thought the jokes were funny, but told a few themselves. But since it’s not going over with this crowd, he should probably take a hint and leave well enough alone.
In hindsight, should we be surprised Yul found the immunity idol? Anyone resourceful enough to catch the chickens probably shouldn’t have much trouble with the instructions on how to find hidden treasure. Tell you what: If I were on Exile Island, and I had to follow those instructions, that idol might still be buried.
That brings us to another question: What’s the smartest thing to do in deciding on whom to send to Exile Island? Do you send the strongest person over there, or do you send someone who doesn’t seem to be so resourceful, hoping they’ll have a hard time finding it? Billy said he chose Yul out of revenge on his tribe, because he knew Yul would find it. Maybe the Aitus could’ve made a better choice, although it’s hard to tell sometimes who is and isn’t resourceful.
Finally, a look at the Raro, or Caucasian tribe. While Jonathan certainly had a point about the raised floor, I questioned his wisdom in taking charge immediately. If he’s not careful, he could be sleeping in a nice warm bed permanently.
Can we safely assume that despite what he said in the premiere episode, he has forgiven Jessica/Flicka for her “chicken” gaffe? In an ironic twist of fate, she was the only one who helped him work on the raised floor, while the other three seemed content to play around. Too bad Billy wasn’t on THIS tribe. Maybe he’d still be in the game.
But I digress. There was plenty of questionable behavior in the Raro tribe. Why did Adam feel it necessary to raise his voice about the raised floor? Somehow I don’t think this was strategy on his part to turn the others against Jonathon, and if it was, it failed miserably. The worst part was when he pressed Parvati and Candice, presumably his allies, to see how they felt about it.
He asked under the premise of honestly wanting their feedback, but in truth, he was asking a loaded question, and when he didn’t get the answer he wanted, he became even more irate. When it was apparent he was outnumbered on this one, he could’ve just said, “Okay, that’s fine,” but no, he couldn’t leave well enough alone.
Could it be possible that he saw himself as the leader of the tribe, and saw that leadership being threatened by Jonathan, the tribe’s only other male? Remember, it was just Adam and the three ladies while Jonathan was on Exile Island, and maybe his crankiness was due partly to having his competition return. Maybe he feels threatened by Jonathan the way Cristina feels threatened by Ozzy, and like Cristina, he’s putting his own ego ahead of the needs of the group. At least Candice, his closest ally, was smart enough to tell him he needed to tone it down and not make Jonathan into the enemy. Her laziness may have been questionable, but the way she handled Adam certainly was not.
Well, the “Battles of the Races” is now in full swing, and no doubt there are plenty of surprises ahead. See you Thursday!
Ken can be reached with any comments, criticisms, or money orders at YourNextOfKen@aol.com.
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