Survivor: The Amazon - Why Deena Lostby David Bloomberg -- 04/11/2003
So you've read my recap of the ninth episode. You've seen the discussion of why Rob did what he did. Now it's time to look at another aspect - why Deena lost. After all, she said she was completely in control of the game. She said she didn't need to win the immunity challenge. Well, we saw how well that worked out.
So, as usual, we'll look back at What Amazonian Survivors Should Have Learned to see where Deena went wrong.
Well, let's start right off the bat by saying it wasn't the first rule that did her in. She definitely schemed and plotted. When she saw the chance to join the cute girls alliance, she took it. She figured she could get them to obey her wishes. When Shawna wanted out because she was down, Deena rallied the troops to keep her around because it would have hurt her plans if Shawna had left. When the guys came to camp, she found a partner in Rob. But let's face it, with two schemers like this, it was only a matter of time before one stabbed the other in the back. Still, she plotted, schemed, and aimed her knife well. She helped take down Roger and Dave, even after telling Dave that she would do what she could for him. She was there, planning everything, being a miniature Machiavelli, in control of the game… or so she thought.
The problem is that she completely blew rule #2. There are three parts to this one, and she did wrong by each of them. First: Don't scheme and plot too much. Oy. As Jenna said (and who would have thought I'd ever be talking about something Jenna said in a positive light?), Deena was always thinking of another plot. Hell, as she said it, we cut to Deena thinking up another plot! And Deena herself said she always has a backup plan to her backup plan and she's thinking 24/7. That's pretty much the definition of scheming and plotting too much.
The second part is to keep your scheming secret. Deena didn't blow this one in the same way that Shii Ann did by telling Ken which way her vote was going (when they thought the tribes had merged) or that the Rotu 4 did in showing their hand during the coconut challenge. Deena didn't specifically tell Alex he was going, but she did the next best thing - she ignored personal relationships. She, of all people, should have known that Heidi and Jenna were attached at the hip. Asking Heidi to hide something from Jenna was just not very smart. And even I could tell from just the way Alex quickly said he wanted Jenna to share the reward with him that the two of them had obviously grown close - Deena should have known that as well. This was not a case like where Dave picked Deena to join him on the reward because she had helped him to win it. Alex picked Jenna because he wanted to spend time with her, pure and simple. So let's connect the dots. Deena tells Heidi. Heidi tells Jenna. Jenna tells Alex. So much for a secret!
The third part is that you shouldn't stab somebody in the back until you absolutely need to. The fact is that Deena did not need to stab Alex in the back yet. He was in her alliance. Was he a physical threat? Sure. So what? Yes, you want to eliminate the strong, but not those in your own alliance! If Alex were able to win immunity, that would mean that somebody outside the alliance (like Matthew) wouldn't have it. So what if Matt won this time? The plan was to vote off Butch, so why not do it? The alliance stays together and there is no problem. If Matt loses next time, he's gone. If not, Christy is gone. Then Matt would have another chance to lose immunity. Only then, if Matt won three straight times, would the alliance have had to turn on itself. But Deena didn't want to wait that long. She wanted Alex out right away. Bad move.
The third rule is to pretend to be nice. She had this one pretty well taken care of. Even with Roger, she only made faces at him when he wasn't looking. Oh, sure, she made the comment during the immunity challenge about how she outlasted him, but it was Roger, so I can understand it. She really didn't have a problem here.
Fourth is to not let emotions control you. Deena did well here - too well. See, she did so well that not only was she willing to ignore her own emotions, attachments, and friendships, but she also blinded herself to the fact that others might not be so eager to do so. Even her final words indicated that she thought people were going to vote out the strong, but they had made personal attachments. Yes, Deena, they had. They are not Vulcans, all logic and no emotion. Even if her logic had been completely sound (which it wasn't), she simply forgot to contend with them being human.
Finally, we have the rule that providing food wins allies and you shouldn't be lazy. Deena had no problems here whatsoever. So we'll move on.
Did the others do the right thing in voting off Deena? Well, it wasn't like Alex had much of a choice. What about the others? As discussed in my recap, I'm not entirely sure why Rob chose to side with Alex, Jenna, and Heidi. (After some e-mails and more in-depth pondering, we now have a working theory - click here to find out why Rob voted Deena off.) When he did, he took Matt and Butch with him - they apparently don't have free will of their own. So that leaves Jenna and Heidi to discuss. At this stage in the game, they should be targeting strong people outside their alliance. That's where the problem comes in - both Alex and Deena were technically inside their alliance. Alex was stronger and so, in theory, should have been voted off. But because of the turmoil Deena created by going for the throat (or the back) too early, they felt as betrayed as Alex. They couldn't trust her. And if you can't trust somebody, you don't want them around anymore. So should they have voted her off? I'm just going to shrug on this one and say that it could have gone either way and I understand both sides of it. After all, now Heidi and Jenna are quite sure where they stand with Alex in a solid alliance. They could never have been sure about that with Deena.
All players should be thinking about the jury phase at this point in the game, but nobody really had much to gain or lose here. No matter where they cast their vote, they were stabbing somebody in the back. Then again, pretty much everybody was, so unless they face Christy at the end, Deena will have to give her final vote for the money to one of the people who she thought supported her.
Most of the reason that Deena was voted out is contained in the discussion of the second rule. If she hadn't changed the plan by scheming and plotting too much and by backstabbing too soon, the alliance would have stuck together at least a little while longer. She would still be there and Butch would be gone. The following week, either Matt or Christy. And then only after that, and only if Matt won immunity for three straight competitions, would the alliance have broken apart. In all likelihood, Matt would have been gone by then and they would have yet another week of relative quiet. At that point, it would have been the final five and who knows which way the votes might have turned? But 'twas not to be. Deena ripped the second rule out of the book and burned it in the fire. That is why Deena lost.
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at email@example.com.
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