Survivor: The Amazon - Advice for the Remaining Sevenby Jeffrey Clinard -- 04/17/2003
Take my advice, and you won't be outplayed...
-- Jeffrey Clinard, Survivor Advisor
She was woman, hear her roar,
Yes, she's a wife,
If it came to it
He would do everything!
-- Parody, of Helen Readdy; Hear Me Woman
Yes, it's true. Deena didn't have to go. With proper play, she didn't even need immunity. Still, she failed on both fronts, and lost both immunity and the game entirely due to her own actions. As a trial lawyer, she failed in the most important case of her life when she tried to argue the case to vote out Alex if Matthew won immunity.
It wasn't a BAD argument. But it was premature. If Deena had simply held her tongue and let somebody unimportant to the alliance (and her jury at this stage) be convicted and sentenced, she might have won the battle. Butch or Christy would have been voted out and Deena would have preserved her position in the tribe. However, Deena didn't realize the power of chains... be it of friendship, allies, or just somebody who could yank them...
These are the times the Survivor Advisor just shakes his head in disbelief. The episode contained a power struggle that didn't need to occur. Since the episode was called "The Chain," let's use that analogy to figure out where everybody stands. Who is yanking chains, who was pushing on them, and who are the weak links in the chain at this point of the game?
Alex. Well done for now. You managed to eliminate an alliance partner without fracturing the entire structure of it. Jenna and Heidi made the decision to inform you of Deena's betrayal. So when Deena pulled the chain on Heidi, the effect was to pull Jenna and yourself, and you jerked the chain back harder. In a strange way, you were better off not wearing immunity this time around; it caught a traitor in your midst and you found yourself more popular with the majority of the tribe and the alliance. What you need to do is try to cement a final-three bond with Jenna and Heidi while the momentum burns in your favor. It's you or Rob in that position, and if you wait until later, I think Rob can outplay you. By making this bond sooner, you can ensure your position in the game.
Matthew. I was never sure if it was you or Alex as the fifth member of the Jaburu alliance. Now I know; it was Alex, even though you cast the deciding vote to toss out Shawna a few weeks ago. Here's my idea, since Rob probably fed you the information that Deena was on the line this time, why not try to test his loyalty to you by offering up Alex (or Heidi or Jenna) next time around? Pull the chain away from what might be his allies, and make it PERSONAL. Make it VERY clear that it is PERSONAL. Rob is very adept at controlling the game, but he also has to face a jury if he makes it that far. This forces Rob into balancing his priorities: alliance or jury.
Butch. You wanted to find a weak link in the chain and jump in to reposition yourself? That's exactly what you should be doing, though you'll have to find the weak links yourself instead of relying on the chain of information from Matthew (which means Rob). You are also the only person in the tribe left who can possibly pull the chain of Christy anymore. You won her over once and now that all her allies are gone, she's lost without direction. Suggest to her you can form a faction. If Matthew goes next, then you can offer the two of you up as a united vote to vote out a faction of the alliance with somebody in the core alliance. It's not guaranteed, but you have nothing to lose at this point in the game.
Christy. Wake up and start playing the game. I'm sorry, I like you, but I don't respect the way you are playing the game. I think the only independent vote you ever cast was against Jenna in episode two (that wasn't even strategic, it was personal). Since then you've been used by the cute girl alliance (episode four), the female alliance (episode five), the new Jaburu alliance (episodes seven and eight), and the Deena thing (episode nine). You've simply got to ally to create some political pressure. Butch is a start, he's outside the main alliance, but at least he's showing some understanding of his position (plus he's shown some human interest in you, unlike the other remaining Survivors). If you can't get an ally or two to bring pressure on the ruling alliances, you're doomed to jury duty. So start working with some other political outcasts and demand a day of reckoning with them!
Heidi. Your position in the chain was easy to see. Deena trusted you more than anybody else not around (that meant Jenna and Alex, who were at reward, and Rob, her ally). So you were first in her chain. But you instead decided your chain links to Jenna, and via her, to Alex, were stronger pieces of chain than Deena was. So it all reversed; Alex pulled hard (he had no real choice), then Jenna pulled again. Your chain link to Jenna was stronger than that to Deena, so that is where the chain broke. As it stands, Rob sided with your side of the alliance. What you need to do is to eliminate the unallied members of the tribe (Matthew, Christy, and Butch), and then see which male (Rob or Alex) makes a better offer. I think Rob can, since he has less chance at winning immunity, but that is up to you to decide.
Jenna. Obviously, your strongest link in the game is to Heidi. This isn't just evidenced by your statement in episode five (when you conceded that Heidi was your rock, and hated Dave for taking her from you), but also shown by you being in the middle of the chain between Heidi and Alex. Heidi is also something of a follower (she followed Dave when she voted out Jeanne in episode six, and followed your lead after you offered to take YOUR clothes off for cola in addition to chocolate and peanut butter in episode seven). You need to toss out several unallied members fast and hard (that means Matthew, Christy, or Butch), and then worry about your chances at winning a place in the final two via immunity or alliance. Alex might stand in the way, so be prepared to sell him out when the time comes.
Rob. I warned you last time you were juggling eggs. Well, one broke, but you made an omelet out of it. You had to pick between the Jenna / Heidi / Alex faction of the alliance or Deena. The numbers were obvious. You still retain your power position in the game because you chose to sell out Deena instead of the controlling members of the alliance Here's the game plan: knock out Matthew, Christy, and Butch, then reargue the case for voting out Alex with Heidi and Jenna. At that point, lobbying to oust him won't be a betrayal of the alliance (like it would be before then), and Alex is a clear and present danger to win immunity and reward. At this point they should see the advantages of facing you in challenges over Alex and you can get to the final three, with a decent chance to win immunity yourself. Heck, you even made faces of astonishment at Deena during tribal council once her name was read again and again. I don't know if she was fooled, but it wasn't a bad idea. She's either going to brand you as a backstabber or not at loser lodge, but she'll never know for certain if the final hidden vote was for herself or for Alex until after her vote is cast. So even if she throws it in your face come jury time, you can easily respond that she sold out the alliance, and you had no choice to vote her out if you were to advance in the game. The point you made at this tribal council was very important, and one to remember if you make it until the end.
Deena. What went wrong? You attempted to control the tribe too early. Instead of picking a mutually agreeable target (Butch or Christy if not Matthew), you had to go for a strong member of your alliance. The chain ratted out your idea to Jenna and Alex, and Alex pulled the chain right back at targeting you on a charge of betrayal. Rob, who was caught in the middle between two allies (you and Alex), decided if the alliance had to fracture, he was better off on the side with the numbers. You failed to understand where the strength in the chain is, and you suffered because the chain didn't break where you expected it to. So listen up at the remaining tribal councils. Then argue the case in favor of whoever you want to win. It's your last weapon.
Jeffrey Clinard lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with his kittens, Lam and Princess. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Be sure to sign up for our e-mail update so you can stay informed about new articles on the site! And take a look at the rest of the site. You can find all of our recent Survivor articles at the Survivor: The Amazon page and take a look at our sections on Joe Millionaire and The Osbournes. You can even buy reality show stuff at our Reality TV Store!
For more news about reality TV, be sure to check out SirLinksALot!