Why Jerri Lostby David Bloomberg -- 07/10/2002
Wow. Where to begin? I mean, there are so many reasons, and most of them come down to one thing: Because of Jerri.
Yes, while her comments during the episode show us that she may be totally clueless as to what others thought of her, we don't have that handicap. We know that they all considered her quite a witch. Well, all but her puppy dog follower, Amber, that is.
But, since I use this series to analyze what people did in comparing it to my rules for succeeding at Survivor (see my author page for What Future Survivors Need to Learn), I'll still stick to that. Let's take a look.
The first thing is to scheme and plot. Well, she sure succeeded on that front. Indeed, that was the only reason she stuck around as long as she did! Her plotting got rid of Kel and then somehow convinced Tina to go along in booting off Maralyn. She couldn't save her cohort, Mitchell, though, and that's where problems began. Indeed, had it not been for Michael burning himself and causing Kucha to come in to the merge even, we'd likely have said goodbye to her several episodes ago.
This brings us to the first time in this series we've really had to look at rule number two – don't scheme and plot too much. She was always – always – trying to push her plans on others. Colby just wanted to be alone, but she had to follow him and force him into a corner regarding the Tina and Keith situation. He wanted to go on the reward to the barrier reef, and he had to specifically tell her not to bring up strategy or the other players. She just couldn't shut up about it. In the end, that really didn't contribute much to her leaving, but it still was not a smart move on her part.
She has been inconsistent in terms of the third rule, the order in which to vote people off. Rather than trying to keep Kel, a fairly strong guy who could have helped in challenges, she managed to get him voted off right away. Once the tribes merged, she did figure out to vote off the threats, but what she didn't count on was becoming so disliked that the others would turn against this rule and get rid of her. In this particular case, I think they were right to do so. No, she wasn't strong and wasn't a threat – except maybe to their sanity. But, jeez, she just had to go. Sometimes, ya gotta break the rules.
Rule four deals with not backstabbing until you need to. She never really stabbed anybody in the back because she was always holding the knife in plain view. Tina, Keith, and Colby didn't need to plunge the blade into her back this time, but it still was okay in my book.
Where she really fouled up was in the fifth rule: Pretend to be nice. Yeesh. Like I said earlier, where to begin? This woman couldn't pretend to be nice for 24 hours. In her final Tribal Council, she acted like it was a big surprise to her when she's say mean things, but nobody can possibly be that nasty on the show and be a nice girl in real life. But fercryingoutloud, she's supposed to be an actress! Perhaps that's why she hasn't had much success in that arena – she could never pretend to be a decent person.
As far as the sixth rule, she did sort of form an emotional bond with Colby, and it blinded her to the possibility that he might not be telling her the whole truth. Heck, she even ignored that he had turned on her to vote against Mitchell. Again, while this didn't directly cause her downfall, it still was not smart play on her part.
Finally, we have the rule that providing food wins allies and contestants shouldn't be lazy. She did win over some stomachs with her "famous" tortillas. But she did so at the expense of making other people mad. She made even more enemies with her continuous criticism of everybody who cooked anything. While this mostly falls into the area of pretending to be nice, it also deals with the fact that you have to provide food in such a way as to make people thankful, not hateful.
So, as we've seen, Jerri's biggest problem was in the interpersonal area. Simply put, she apparently has no skills in that arena. She isn't nice. She doesn't play well with others. She made enemies from the very first day she was there. Even when those enemies (such as Keith) reached out to her to try to heal the rift, she just kept picking at the scab. She couldn't even pretend to be nice to people. Her natural personality (and I think that's what it really is, no matter what she claims) just keeps shining through – and it isn't pretty.
Jerri was a nasty, mean, ill-tempered, petty, picky, evil witch. And that is why Jerri lost.