Survivor: Cook Islands Episode 9 MVPs - Message in a Bottleby Betsy Wasser -- 11/21/2006
Welcome to another week of Survivor MVPs. Itís always fun to root for the underdog, and with these past two episodes of Survivor, itís been even more fun. I love watching the little and scrappy Aitu tribe take down a tribe thatís twice their size. Itís especially impressive when you keep in mind what those reduced numbers mean. While Raro members can sit out every other challenge, the four members of Aitu have to give it their all each and every time. They also have fewer people around camp to do things like get water, tend the fire, and catch fish. Theyíre working harder both on and off the challenge courses, and itís fantastic to see the way itís paying off for them. Raro, on the other hand, is struggling in challenges and in tribal politics. Who is playing the best on each tribe? Who are the Most Valuable Players?
Little Aitu has absolutely won my heart. The four of them work very well together. It was smart to spend so much time before the reward challenge memorizing the nautical maps and quizzing each other. Although they did dig out the chests faster, they could have easily blown their lead if they didnít know the flags. They were focused and didnít make careless mistakes like Raro Ė such as hearing the coordinates wrong or taking off before the rest of the team made it to the mat in the reward challenge.
Although we didnít see them doing it, I bet the four of them studied the map of the islands just like they did the flags. Raro, in contrast, delegated that task to Rebecca, seeming to have in mind that if she screwed up, they could blame her and vote her out. Aitu doesnít see things that way. They canít afford to lose, so they do everything they can to keep that from happening. The four of them move together as a smooth, single unit. It is gratifying to see that hard work pay off, whether theyíre being carried to the reward feast like C-3PO in Return of the Jedi or hoisting the immunity idol. Thatís why I canít single out any one of them in particular for an MVP award this week. The four of them can share it, just like theyíve shared everything else. Keep up the good work, Aitu.
I loved the twist in this weekís Survivor that forced Raro to vote out two people at Tribal Council. Not only did they have to lose a second member, but they werenít able to talk about it beforehand. Thatís what made it so interesting: the vote was much more of a pure reflection of where everyoneís minds were at the time. Itís no wonder Jenny was so mad when it was over. Iím sure she thought Jonathan would be the next to go.
Jonathan himself was probably pretty worried about it, too. He admitted in the beginning of the episode that switching tribes was an impulsive decision, and probably a bad one. He vowed to make the best of it, continuing to work his butt off around camp. Unfortunately, his thinking was flawed. He figured that the tribe was losing because they didnít know how to work together, so he decided to show them how to work hard. Bad move, Jonathan. Being critical and setting yourself apart from the rest of the group isnít exactly going to ingratiate you.Adam and Candice arenít exactly playing well either. They could not make it more obvious that they have a bond and wonít turn on each other. Well, actually, if next weekís previews are any indication, they can indeed make it more obvious, but you see my point. They are painting huge targets on their backs, and the other members of their tribe would be smart to split them up.
The trouble is, Nate and Parvati so far donít seem to be that smart. Parvati watches them in amusement, talking about how theyíre the all-American couple, apparently thinking that theyíre no more of a threat to her than a celebrity couple in People magazine. Wake up, Parvati. Candam (thatís my new celebrity couple name for them; feel free to quote it) arenít just two cute blondes holding hands. Theyíre standing between you and a million bucks.
Meanwhile, Nate is talking about wanting to get rid of Jonathan, because heís not ďfamily.Ē Why Candice has escaped this same scrutiny is beyond me. Nate should realize that the rest of the tribe doesnít see things quite the same way, and that just as they can vote out Rebecca or Jenny before Jonathan and Candice, they can do the same to him. I like Nate, so hopefully the vote against Jenny was a wake-up call for him. He and Parvati need to break up Candam. It should be easy enough to do Ė they just need to align themselves with Jonathan, who would undoubtedly be happy at this point to have an alliance with anyone. If Nate makes that move, heíll have a good shot at being my MVP next week.
But this week? No one on Raro impressed me. So while Aitu gets four MVP trophies, Iím sending Raro home empty handed. I canít wait to eat a turkey sandwich as I watch the next episode to see what happens.
Betsy Wasser is the Associate Editor of Reality News Online. She can be reached with MVP nominations at Betsywasser@Gmail.com.