Survivor: The Amazon Ė More Thoughts on Why Rob Voted Out Deenaby David Bloomberg -- 04/22/2003
Shortly after episode 9 of Survivor: The Amazon aired (it seems like so long ago because of the recap episode last week), I wrote an article on why Rob voted out Deena. I addressed a number of reasons, including, in the end, that he was just plain too lazy to fight against the tide even though it would have been to his benefit.
Since then, the e-mail has been pouring in on some other possibilities. I waited to write this article in case the recap episode told us anything new. Alas, it did not. So now itís time to see what readers thought about Robís decision and why he might have made it.
Beth spoke for a lot of people in her summary of why Rob may have voted against Deena:
I think you all ignore the biggest reason why Rob voted Deena off Ė he thinks Heidi and Jenna are hot, and he still harbors some hopes that one of them will pay a little attention to him sometime before the game is over. I think he would have really liked to get rid of Alex, who is his last real competition for the girls' attentions, but that would have meant voting against Heidi and Jenna and alienating them permanently. Voting Deena off was not the best move for Rob strategically, but the little boy inside who wants to be part of the in-crowd and hang out with the popular chicks made the decision for him.Kay said basically the same thing, but added:
He's still a card-carrying horny toad when all is said and done.Meanwhile, Heather said:
If we are to believe the show's presentation of Rob, then he's one of those guys whose spent his whole life wanting to be in the "cool club." He does seem to spend an awful lot of time discussing his attraction to Heidi & Jenna and acknowledging that, outside of the game, they are exactly the sort of girls who would never give him a second glance. Compare this behavior to someone like Alex, who the show portrays as way too much of a stud, a true ladies' man, to ever openly mourn over his lack of dating and sex opportunities. I think that Rob had his chance to join, finally, a symbolic "cool kids club" Ė he relished the idea of going into the final 4 with Heidi & Jenna. Deena would have been right there, but she screwed herself over, as discussed in your article on why she lost. Realizing how angry Heidi and Jenna were with her, Rob, I think, liked too much the idea of being in a continuing alliance with them, and the super cool Alex, to go along with Deena's plans. He liked that he was finally being courted by the "cool kids" and included in their plans.Myron also picked up on the high school aspect and gave us this to think about:
The one thing I noticed about this installment of Survivor is how much it resembles high school. This is classic in-crowd vs. outsiders stuff. Look at all of the high school archetypes: Rob, the geek who finally makes it to the in-crowd; Jenna and Heidi, the most popular girls in school; Alex, the big high school stud; Deena, the girl who made it in the in-crowd only because she is a family friend with the most popular girl; Matt, the oddball; Butch, the older guy who still hangs around but is not part of the current high school clique; Christy, the girl who is different; and so on. Based on the information revealed on Yahoo Premium, Deena was voted off for one reason, she tried to bring in Christy, the misfit, into the clique against the leaders of the pack, Jenna and Heidi. The popular girls decided to show Deena that she was only let into the clique out of pity and promptly tossed her out.I admit that I donít get Yahoo Premium and this was the first Iíd heard of Deena wanting to bring in Christy, so I canít comment too much on that aspect. As for everything else mentioned above, they are interesting points. However, they also conflict with Robís image of himself as the game-player, the strategist.
Rob has, as far as we can tell, always been on Survivor to play the game. Not to make friends, to get laid, or anything else. He did things early on that showed he could turn on those with whom he was friendly Ė such as Ryan and Daniel Ė if it meant advancement in the game (although I must note that if he had sided with Ryan from the first vote, he still would have advanced and we wouldnít have had to put up with seeing Roger any further, but I digress). Itís unclear why he would suddenly decide to, as he put it himself, think with his other head. Maybe it is some deep-seeded psychological need to be wanted by the cool kids, but if that is the case, he has violated the ďruleĒ against allowing emotions to control you and he deserves the loss Iím certain he will soon face because of this voting decision.
Letís move on to some of the other hypotheses. Dennis thinks:
The reason Rob voted for Deena was to put one of his allies on the jury. His surprised expression at TC was meant to tell Deena he was still on her side and so she should be on his.Another interesting point. However, I donít think Rob specifically decided to boot Deena for this reason. Instead, he might have already made the decision to boot Deena and then came up with the idea that it might be good with her on the jury. He of course knew that not all the votes would be shown, so maybe he was hoping to fool Deena the way Clay fooled Penny last season.
Another person who thinks Robís strategy was aimed at the final Tribal Council is Kevin, who said:
I think Rob's strategy has been to fly under the radar for the express purpose of looking like a non-schemer at final Tribal Council. Even with all the scheming he has done with Alex and Deena, he always seems to be the one going along with whatever the other person is saying. He may blab about how neither Deena nor Alex are in charge, but in conversations with them, he certainly allows them to feel they are.Indeed, this point of view is further supported by the way Rob acted in dealing with Roger. He went along with Roger at the first couple Tribal Councils and, even when it was obvious that Roger was going, Rob acted in that Tribal Council like he was the type to go along with whatever the leader said. Incidentally, Kevin also noted that even if this was the reason, Rob still did it at the wrong time. Once again, I definitely agree.
John thinks he has the answer as to why Rob voted off Deena:
The first, and perhaps primary, reason that Rob voted Deena off was she was the only person out there that he respected as a threat. Not a physical threat (that goes to Matt and Alex obviously), but in the one arena that he likes to fancy himself as being supreme in, namely, intelligence.Wow! Well, thatís quite a hypothesis, I must say. And some parts of it could be true. The only problem I have is that we donít really have any evidence to support it. While I am not saying itís impossible, I do have a hard time believing that Rob was planning the seed for Deenaís dismissal by joking with the group about what he told Matthew. I further think that itís a bit too much to believe that he planned the whole thing and then let Alex come to him so he would look like it had been somebody elseís idea. Again, Iím not saying itís impossible, just that we donít really have the evidence necessary to support at least some parts of it. And, frankly, if that is the reason Rob decided to vote out Deena, I really wish weíd seen more of it as that would have been an interesting storyline.
Several people wrote in to suggest that Deena had to go because it had become obvious to others that she was sneaky, a back-stabber. However, my take on this is: So what? She became exposed to those who would be voted off, so I donít think it really mattered. I canít say what Rob was thinking, so it may have been a factor in his decision, but if it was I would say he didnít think it through all the way.
Finally, A.J. surmises that Rob simply wasnít thinking:
He got himself worked up into believing he had a 5 person alliance: Rob, Deena, Alex, Heidi, and Jenna. He then believed the other 3 people Ė Matthew, Butch, and Christy Ė were outside of his alliance and should remain that way. He could've easily had the vote of Matthew and Butch, along with Deena and Christy, to take out Alex. However, he had already convinced himself that his alliance was his alliance. He didn't like Matthew and so he doesn't even consider Matthew as a potential ally Ė a fundamentally emotional problem. Because of this subconscious refusal to ally with the outcasts, he had to look at what would potentially keep his alliance in the best shape, which was to vote out Deena. Voting out Alex would have essentially destroyed Heidi and Jenna's loyalty and, thus, that alliance.Well, you certainly donít have to convince me of the outcome. And I think this particular point of view may be at least part of the final answer. I had suggested that Rob was simply too lazy to work on getting the votes together so he could get rid of Alex. But perhaps thatís not the full answer. Weíre trying to examine these decisions in a logical, rational manner. If Rob had it so ingrained into his mind that Matt was not a partner but a puppet and that Butch was even less than that, it might have taken a complete change in his way of thinking to accept them as new partners. Instead, he could vote out Deena and continue on with the main plan heíd been working on. Really, this converges well with the idea I had mentioned that he was just lazy. Whatever the reason, he chose to continue on with his older Ė and now flawed Ė plan rather than think up a new one that would have worked better.
Weíll see how it turns out in the next few weeks, but I have a prediction Ė he might make the final four, but he will not make the final three. Had he stayed with Deena, I think he could have been in the final two.
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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