Why Jeff Lostby David Bloomberg -- 07/10/2002
So we need to look at why Jeff lost in this new light. I am, of course, still using the criteria I put together in my earlier (now updated) article, What Future Survivors Need to Learn, because the suggestions I gave there took all of this into account. Well, most of it.
Certainly Jeff was fine in the scheming and plotting arena of rule number one. The entire Kucha tribe voted as a single bloc. Unfortunately for Jeff, the entire Ogakor tribe did the same thing. Yes, people definitely learned from the Pagong debacle of last year.
As I've already discussed, the strategy for voting has switched from aiming at the weak to aiming at the strong. Ogakor needed to pick off a member of Kucha. In this case, it didn't really matter which one. Jeff was certainly among the stronger members, but most of Kucha's remaining players are strong in one way or another. So Ogakor had to make a choice. That choice would not be based on who was the strongest, but on who had a history that could come back to haunt him.
In making this decision, Ogakor had two advantages. They knew, from Kimmi's big mouth, that Jeff had a vote against him in a previous Tribal Council. They also managed to get one of their most vulnerable people, Keith, the immunity necklace. So, when Kucha followed the same path and voted against the strongest Ogakor member, Colby, they actually shot themselves in the foot. It was a strange situation, and one I didn't plan for in my previous work.
Both tribes followed suggestion number five to the letter – pretending to be nice. Even as they all sat around, sharing food and drink and laughs, they were eyeing one another to figure out who the best target might be.
Most of the rest of the suggestions didn't really come into play. In this case, the most important feature was to stick together as a tribe. Even Jerri managed to keep her true feelings about Keith mostly hidden, and they all worked together.
So, if everybody followed my suggestions, what happened?
Well, the problem is that if everybody follows them, somebody still has to go. Jeff gave up his chance for immunity in favor of a big hunk of peanut butter. Keith knew he was a potential target and gave his all to end up with immunity. That is one reason. Part of the game is "outlasting," after all.
The other is just plain dumb luck. First, Kimmi blabbed the fact that Jeff had a previous vote against him to Ogakor. Then, Mike was injured and sent away. These two factors combined to put Kucha in a bad position. Maybe they should have figured out that Jerri could have been a better target than Colby, but it's hard to say whether she kept on her "nice" face enough to prevent them from realizing the kind of tension that had been building in Ogakor. So they went for the tough guy. And it was the wrong guess.
So why did Jeff lose? A combination of somebody else's big mouth, another person's bad luck, and good planning by Ogakor. It's not the most satisfying answer in the world, but the fact is that Jeff is gone, and Kucha had better figure out a way to steal a vote from Ogakor, or I'll soon be writing about why Alicia, Nick, Rodger, and Elisabeth lost as well.