Why Mitchell Lostby David Bloomberg -- 07/10/2002
In a fairly astonishing finish, Mitchell was voted out of Ogakor due to a single vote that wasn't even cast in that week's Tribal Council! But why did Mitchell lose?
Rule number 1 has always been to scheme and plot – form the alliances necessary to stick around. Mitchell definitely managed well on this front – forming an alliance with the other younger tribe members, led by Jerri and supported by Amber and also, they thought, by Colby. He even listened patiently to Tina as she tried to sway him against Jerri, but his decision never wavered. His downfall didn't come in this department.
He fell prey to part of rule #3: Vote off the weak when they are hampering your tribe's performance, and keep those who can help. Colby chose to go against the alliance because he felt that Keith was helpful and should stick around. Mitchell, by his own admission, was tired and weak. They weren't getting the food they needed, and Mitchell wasn't a whole lot of help in that regard, either.
Keith, on the other hand, could not only help them because he was stronger, but also because he is a chef and showed them how well he could cook. Sure, several of them talked about how others could do it, but I'm sure there was some doubt in Colby's mind about that. Both of these fall into rule #7 (Providing Food Wins Allies), as does the idea of working hard. Keith noted in his Tribal Council speech after the first tie vote that he would continue to do the hard work he'd been doing. This was an indirect jab at Mitchell, who apparently had not been doing a whole lot.
It also helped that Keith spent a great deal of time with Colby, and certainly lobbied to bring him over to his side. Whether this falls into the "pretend to be nice" area (rule #5), we can't say for certain yet. But it sure didn't hurt.
Looking at Colby for a moment, we see that he was able to adhere to my sixth suggestion of not allowing yourself to be swayed by emotional bonds. It's obvious that he was attracted to Jerri, but he also recognized her as a cutthroat player. While it seems that Keith and Tina first tried to get him to vote against her, Tina's discussion of why she voted against Mitchell indicates that they hatched a new plan. So maybe they couldn't get Colby to vote directly against Jerri, but they were able to get him to go against her alliance. While Jerri and Amber were less than thrilled about this, they have been trying to bring him back into the fold. Luckily for them, Ogakor has not had to go back to Tribal Council since then.
It may seem that this has little to do with why Mitchell lost, but all of it must have been running through Colby's mind as he made that fateful decision to break with the rest of the younger crowd and go with the 40-year-olds instead. He ended up deciding to do what was best for the tribe – and that was getting rid of Mitchell.
According to the Survivor II Field Guide, Mitchell came into the game with a goal of having fun for as long as possible. He planned to join an alliance, which he did. But that was about the extent of it. "Having fun" is hard to do an empty stomach when you're too weak to really do much of anything. He said he was most concerned about keeping the cool people around. But perhaps he should have worried instead about keeping the competent people around.
Colby switched sides for exactly that reason. He wanted to help the tribe by getting rid of its weakest link, and so he banded together with Tina and Keith – who had been alienated by Jerri's alliance – to do so. In the end, Mitchell's own weakness is why he lost.