Survivor: Cook Islands, Episode 12 MVP: Surprise!by Betsy Wasser -- 12/12/2006
After thirteen seasons of Survivor, the show is still able to surprise me. I certainly wasn’t expecting to see Jonathan go this week. And I really wasn’t expecting to say this:
The Most Valuable Player this week is… Parvati.
That’s right, faithful readers. In Episode 12, Parvati did more than flirt ineptly while wearing a sexy black bikini. She set off a chain of events that lead to Jonathan’s ouster and significantly improved her and Adam’s chances in the game. Let’s look at what happened.
Parvati, with the help of her dad, won the reward challenge. I’m sure the feast and swim in the cave were nice, but even more nice was the opportunity to send Jonathan to Exile Island. Choosing Jonathan was probably not a 100% strategic move – we all know that Parvati doesn’t like Jonathan, wants to throw up on his face, and so on. But regardless of whether or not she intended for it to be a strategic move, the results worked very well for her.
While Jonathan was away, the rest of the tribe realized that it was really nice not having him there. Yul, Becky, and Ozzy daydreamed about how nice it would be if they were the final three, with no one else on the island with them, particularly not guys who sound like Alan Alda and wear quirky hats.
Meanwhile, on Mitiaro Island, Sundra enjoyed not only the reward, but also the “more chilled out” Adam and Parvati that you find when Jonathan’s not there. She got to know them and like them better.
Parvati, Adam, and Sundra choose to bring leftover food back to the tribe. None of them had any idea what a critically timed move that was. While they were away, Yul, Becky, and Ozzy decided to stop feeding Parvati and Adam. They wanted to weaken them to keep them from winning challenges. But when presented with a big bag of meatloaf (who knew I’d ever type that phrase), their resolve was weakened. Parvati and Adam’s stock rose, thanks to their generosity.
By the time the immunity challenge was over, feelings around camp had changed. Life seemed more peaceful without Jonathan around. The animosity people felt towards Parvati and Adam for not working around camp was diminished. Jonathan made a solid appeal to Yul to keep him around, but the best Yul could promise was to try.
After Jonathan’s torch was snuffed, Candice mouthed “Good job,” to Adam. But it wasn’t Adam that made the change happen – it was Parvati. She won the reward challenge, showed everyone what life without Jonathan was like, and provided a good meal to her enemies. Because of that, she and Adam remain to face another tribal council. Any time you can buy youself a little more time, you have the chance to stay in the game. The previews for next week suggest that Ozzy might be amenable to casting his lot with Adam and Parvati. It would be a good move on Ozzy’s part to buy some protection at this point, since he’s such an immunity threat. That would mean that Parvati could stay in the game for even longer. We’ll see how it plays out.
I’ve already received emails about this episode of the show, and everyone has the same question: Could Yul really have been so foolish? We have seen Yul playing very well since the beginning. Voting out Jonathan is only going to hurt him. Jonathan would have made an excellent final two opponent. He was easy for Yul to work with, since his behavior was so predictably in his own self-interest (as is Yul’s). None of the Aitus should want to go up against a Raro, since the jury is so heavily weighted in their favor. And as we’ve seen in the previews, the longer Parvati and Adam are along, the better their chances of swaying someone to their side.
What was Yul thinking? Was Jonathan really that hard to be around? Just how good was that meatloaf? My guess is that he went along with the plan to avoid making waves with his alliance. He’s reluctant to be the godfather, and I suspect that’s in part because he doesn’t want everyone plotting against him. Maybe he was afraid that by insisting on Adam, the rest of his alliance would turn on him. The immunity idol only protects him for so long and does absolutely no good in front of a jury. I think Yul decided it would create fewer waves if he went with the flow this time around. I hope that next week, we’ll hear from Yul himself why he agreed to vote out Jonathan.
Betsy Waser is the Associate Editor of Reality News Online. She also once won a prize for her meatloaf recipe. Betsy can be reached with any comments at Betsywasser@Gmail.com.