Survivor: The Amazon - Why Roger Lostby David Bloomberg -- 03/27/2003
Roger thought he had the game in his pocket. He thought the guys would stick together and wipe out the women one by one. Yeah, well, that didn't go exactly according to plan, did it? Really, considering the way Roger acted one might be tempted to ask not why he lost but how the heck he made it as far as he did! But we'll stick with the first question as we look back at What Amazonian Survivors Should Have Learned to see where he went so far wrong.
The first rule, of course, is to scheme and plot. Roger did a pretty decent job of this early on. Indeed, that's really the only way we can explain the answer to the other question of how he lasted as long as he did - he had everybody else in fear. Alex and Rob talked about voting against him, but they never felt very secure. So first Ryan and then Daniel were given the boot, even as Alex and Rob talked about how much they disliked Roger! Did he have some strange power over them? No - but he did have a solid alliance with Butch and Dave. Those three votes meant that anybody else had better be sure their own alliance wouldn't ditch them, and it seemed that Rob and Alex couldn't trust that. So they went along with Roger, griping all the way and planning their eventual revenge.
The opportunity for that revenge came with the tribal swap and then merge. With Roger and company in one location and Rob free to plot on his own, Roger's scheming fell short of the mark. He thought the guys would just pick up where they left off. Somewhere in the back of his mind he appeared to know it was too easy, but he didn't seem to do anything about it. He didn't try to befriend any of the women to make sure the vote was solid. He didn't attempt to turn Rob or Alex or Matt against one another. He just trusted that testosterone would rule the day.
One thing is sure - he didn't plot and scheme too much, so that takes care of rule #2. But he blew #3 big-time. Let's see. First there is "pretend to be nice." Yeah, right. He threw that one right out the window, and judging from his final words, he knew it. He yelled at people, ordered them around, acted like he knew best, insulted their abilities, etc. Even if he had tried to make new alliances, I don't know who the heck would have gone for it. Quite the opposite - the original plan had been to vote off Dave first, but Roger pissed off everybody so much that he moved to the front of the line!
Part of this stems from his second violation in the same rule - keep your politics and controversial beliefs to yourself. He started off poorly with his homophobic rant to Alex. I still love the fact that it started with him saying people could do whatever they wanted and ended with him yelling about how it's unnatural and the like. Then he made apparently-racist statements about Daniel, like the "kung fu chop" line. And on it went. It was also obvious to everybody that he thought women were inferior, which only served to further incite them against him. Indeed, it was Heidi's observation (almost certainly the smartest thing she's done all game) that he needed to be given the boot before he could get on the jury and vote against any woman in the finals that made sure he was the next one to go.
Similarly, he didn't do terribly well in the area of not letting his emotions control him. When he got made, everybody knew he was mad. When he decided it was time to work, to hell with the fact that the others were sleeping - he was going to work, and loudly. He said himself in his final speech that he couldn't stop himself from being who he was. But sometimes that's necessary if you want to last in the game.
One area where he did well was in taking on work. He didn't provide food - he'd said earlier that he wasn't a fisherman - and it's doubtful that things would have turned out any different if he had. But his problem wasn't in doing the work, but in the way he did it and ordered others to do it.
So did the others do the right thing in voting him off? Absolutely. Right after the merge they should be gunning for strong players. While Roger didn't do well in this immunity challenge, part of it was because he didn't think he needed to. Dave is stronger than he is, but Roger was stronger in his opinions and the way he affected the camp. Also, we now have some people thinking about the jury phase. As mentioned earlier, it was indeed smart for the women to realize that if Roger made it to the jury, he would almost automatically vote against them if they were by chance up against a man. So the best solution was to make sure he never got to the jury. It wasn't imperative that they get rid of Dave immediately - they still have time (although the previews make you wonder if Rob may re-evaluate that). So better to go after Roger.
Under other circumstances, Roger would have been the first to go. He acted like so many others who were booted quickly because of their bossiness and general unpleasantness to be around. He had strong controversial opinions and shared them. He said apparently whatever was on his mind. He rubbed people the wrong way. And he assumed that he had it all in the bag. All of these reasons we have just mentioned played a role in why Roger lost.
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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