Survivor: The Amazon - Questions About the Final Sixby Ken Kellam III -- 04/29/2003
As I've mentioned before, I avoid spoiler sites because they ruin Survivor for me. However, sometimes it's impossible to stay clear of it all. For example, before the show Thursday night, a friend told me someone he knew who was closely associated with the show told either him, or his Mom's mechanic's fifth cousin's dog, that it had been confirmed that Heidi would be clearing out her gym locker at the end of the show.
Another RNO writer told me his readers were certain Rob would be headed back to the mainland. At that point, I figured I had nothing to lose, and went to a major spoiler site that claimed Alex would be saying ta-ta. Of course, this was about the third time they'd predicted him to leave. Well, obviously, they finally got it right. But that brings me to my first question: Do people with spoiler info realize how they look when their information goes more sour than the milk in my fridge? It's not the same as when you predict at the beginning who'll be around at the end. When I make my picks for the roundtable, I have no idea who will stick around and who won't (and if you look back at my track record, you'll see what I mean).
Okay, now that that's out of the way, here's a question or two regarding Alex. Did he realize just how arrogant he came off when he and his contingent were laying around doing nothing? Probably so, but he didn't care, because he thought he had the game wrapped up. Matthew expressed his disgust with the core four's audacity, and well, Matthew's around to sharpen his machete another day.
Also, it's obvious that Alex was a natural for the show. After all, he's a triathlon coach, and he endured for 30 days. But was he really ready for the game aspect of Survivor? Judging by his Early Show appearance, apparently not. He told Julie Chen that he just couldn't lie to anyone, and with his triathlon friends they share training tips and strategies, and he did the same in Survivor. However, while you do compete against others in a triathlon, ultimately, you compete against yourself. This isn't the case with Survivor. You don't keep running, swimming, or biking harder in order to knock someone out.
While you can say Alex's honesty is laudable, it doesn't make for good Survivor strategy. He told Chen that that's how he was away from the game and he wasn't about to change his personality for it. But perhaps adapting is part of the key to "outwit, outplay, outlast." He claimed to hold no grudges against Rob, although that's not the way he would've played the game. Well Alex, that's why he's still out there and you're on the Early Show.
Does anyone to deserve to win more than Rob right now? That is to say, is anyone playing the game any better? Heidi and Jenna seem to think they're back in the high school cafeteria, Matthew is only now beginning to understand where he stands, and Christy and Butch, while nice, are way too passive. Personally, I think it's a credit to Rob's game-playing abilities that he came across in such a way that Alex felt he could trust him.
Did Rob make the right decision? Yes, he may be relegated to runner-up in the final tribal council due to the other three in his former alliance voting against him, but second is still better than fourth. I think he knew what he was doing, and decided to risk it. Now, was it a smart move for him to come clean with Matthew the way he did? I'm tempted to say yes. Unlike Alex, he was in more of a position to spill his guts. Now, I realize he wasn't going to Matthew out of some terrible sense of guilt. Rather, he was doing it because it was in his best interests, game-wise, whereas Alex's honesty with Rob was not. Now granted, Butch, Christy, and Matt may turn on Rob in the final four, but they're a lot less tight-knit that Jenna, Heidi, Rob, and Alex were, so Rob has time to work an angle.
Here's a question regarding Matt, and it's the same one people were asking about JoAnna before her ouster: How much of the show had he actually watched prior to his South American excursion? He said Rob knew Survivor, but not survival, whereas he knew survival, but not Survivor. Gretchen Cordy said, "I thought I had survival skills. That counted for nothing." As we've seen from the past, personal skills are more important than survival skills when it comes to advancing in the game. Gretchen can be forgiven, and maybe even B.B. can, because when they played the game, the principles of lasting in the game weren't firmly set. However, this group of players has no such excuse. Did Matthew realize what he was getting himself into? Probably not, as far as the game was concerned. However, he's made himself useful, has started to understand what's going on, and might be around awhile.
And here's another question:. Is he crazy, or crazy like a fox? In previous episodes, he looked downright psychotic sharpening his machete, and on the Early Show, Alex said it was kind of scary. But during the challenge, when the question was about who needed therapy the most, he answered himself, and he was right. He explained to Jeff Probst, "I know everyone thinks I'm crazy. We joke about it all the time." I'm not sure he always realized that, but he apparently does now. I wish we could've seen footage of this "joking." Also, he handled it well by saying in front of everybody, "I'm a lunatic, what can I say?" Instead of getting defensive, he just rolled with it and didn't let it get under his skin, as far as we know.
Now for a look at our favorite swimsuit model. Okay, second favorite, behind any other one. Can Jenna look any more obnoxious, and does she have a clue as to how she comes across? First of all, let me state the following: I think it's neat that she's close to her parents, and I'm sorry her mom has cancer, and I sincerely hope she beats it. And while I can understand why Jenna badly wanted to get a letter from home, did she think it was her birthright? Christy had no idea what Jenna's personal situation was, and even if she did, that doesn't necessarily mean she would've stepped aside so Jenna could have a letter from home, nor should have. And if the situation were reversed, don't think for a minute that Jenna would've shown that kind of compassion to Christy. I can hear her saying, "Hey, you knew when you signed up for this you had an ill relative back home. I'm not stepping aside just for you."
Jenna's biggest problem is the selfishness she's accused Deenna, and now Rob, of having. She's probably so used to getting her way, and being able to use her sex appeal to get it, that she's not sure how to react when it doesn't work. Matthew's right when he said Jenna was being selfish. One of Jenna's most telling comments was, "It's possible to play the game without hurting anyone in this group," meaning her alliance, the "in-crowd."
Maybe it's because I've usually been on the outside in such situation, but I find her smugness infuriating. In addition, most of the time I can look at someone's behavior in the game and give them the benefit of the doubt that they're probably nice away from it. Even Jerri is probably nice away from the game. But for some reason, I get the feeling that what we're seeing from Jenna is the real deal. In other words, she's always rude to the people she has no use for, or whom she deems beneath her. Maybe she'll realize that she can't be a swimsuit model her entire life.
In the previews of next week's episode, she's shown telling Rob he doesn't care about personal relationships, that he only cares about himself. I think what she really means is, "You don't care one iota of helping me advance in the game. How dare you not realize that I'm the center of the universe. I AM a swimsuit model after all." What Rob cares about is playing the game. In the words of Kelly Wigglesworth, "If you want to make friends, go to summer camp." And let's see how close she remains to Heidi and Alex once the game is over and everyone is back in the states. She may be so used to using people that she gets all huffy when all the kids at her lunch table don't ostracize whomever she tells them to.
Now for a question regarding Christy: Has anyone else noticed the irony of her now aligning with Matthew? Earlier, she said he creeps her out, but now they're voting together. I don't know if she's changed her opinion of him, but she knows what she needs to do to advance. Did anyone else get a kick out of her comments about Alex drooling over Jenna and Heidi? Was it jealousy on her part? Maybe a little, but it was still fun to see her say it.
Out of the three women left in the game, she is easily my favorite. Rob had it pegged when he said girls like Jenna and Heidi were probably mean to her in school. At least we learned from the letter from a friend that Christy has a whole community of people that are waiting for her when she gets back to the states. Not only do I think she'll go back to the deaf community a conquering hero, but maybe to a lot of people who aren't hearing impaired. While she probably isn't conniving enough to pull off the win, she's shown that a disability needn't preclude you from going far in the game.
Here's a question to wrap things up: Did anyone else notice the comments of Rob when asked by the host how important relationships were to the game? He said it's not just the relationships with your alliance, but rather, knowing where everyone's head is. He proved that by winning the immunity challenge. Whether or not he pulls off the win, he has probably played the best mental game by far of anyone this season. Yes, you can say he had the benefit of five previous editions of the show to guide him, but so did the others. They just haven't taken advantage of it nearly as well. His comments should be set in stone and memorized by everyone who wants to be on the show and win.
Ken can be reached with any comments, criticisms, or money orders at YourNextOfKen@aol.com.
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