Survivor: The Amazon - Why Butch Lostby David Bloomberg -- 05/12/2003
Butch came into the merge as part of an alliance with Roger and Dave and - they thought - Matt, Rob, and Alex. When Roger was given the boot and then Dave immediately after, it looked like Butch's days were numbered. Specifically, the number was "three." But it didn't turn out that way. Matt was Butch's link to the alliance, and while both were on the outs, they managed to stick around while the alliance tore itself apart. First Deena, then Alex were booted. Finally, it swung around and Christy was next, with only Butch - again - not being privy to the plan. Once again it looked like Butch was sure to go, but it was Heidi instead. Then, in an ironic move, Butch was supposed to stick around for another vote, but with Jenna's immunity challenge win, he ended up headed to the jury in fourth place.
Let's take a look back at What Amazonian Survivors Should Have Learned to see where he went wrong.
The first rule, as always, is to scheme and plot. Frankly, from what we saw, Butch did very little of this. He was in alliances, but he was never the key person. In some cases, this ended up working to his advantage. For example, Roger and Dave were voted off because they were threats (and because they were annoying to other people there). Butch stuck around. Deena and Alex were voted off after plotting. Butch was still there. Christy was voted off because she schemed with both sides. Butch was still there. You get the picture.
Butch did scheme a bit with Matt, but that seems to have been initiated by Matt and, once again, Butch was still out of the loop (such as when the others voted for Christy and he didn't). He then tried one final time after Jenna won immunity. He talked to her about her vote but apparently never cemented the deal. All in all, Butch most resembles Jan from Survivor: Thailand. Both are great people (I had the pleasure of meeting Jan this weekend, and she just exudes happiness and it truly a great person) but neither really did a whole lot of scheming, yet made it to the final four. However, making it to the final four still isn't winning it all.
The second rule is not to scheme and plot too much. Obviously, Butch didn't have a problem here. So we'll move on.
Third is to pretend to be nice and to keep controversial beliefs to yourself. Butch didn't have to pretend to be nice. He just, well, is. The only message he brought with him is to believe in yourself - nothing controversial there. You just have to like the guy, even if he did go a little wood-crazy and occasionally would walk like an Egyptian.
The fourth rule is to not let your emotions control you. Because Butch is such a nice guy, it seems like he might have a problem voting out those who need to go. But we really didn't see that. He got along with everybody, but never let that get in the way of the voting, from what we could see.
He also definitely succeeded at providing food and working hard, the fifth rule. No matter what position he held in the game - in what he thought was a controlling alliance, out of any alliance, whatever - he always was out fishing, gathering wood, doing chores, you name it. It never occurred to him that if his alliance was in control, he should make others do the work. It never occurred to him that if he was probably going to be voted off, he should let others do the work. He was there, and he was working, and that may have kept him around. If he had been lazy like certain others who left the game before him, there might not have been much incentive to keep him around as long as he was.
So, should Butch have been voted off when he was? The answer is a quick "yes." While the three men wanted to get rid of Jenna, she won immunity and this was not an option. Butch was the next logical choice for all of them.
The fact is that Butch is simply too nice a guy to go up against in the final two. No matter who would have gone against him, he'd have likely beaten them. Against Rob? Rob played well but stabbed too many people in the back and Butch would have had a good chance at winning, at least from what they could predict. It's always difficult to figure out which way a jury will go. This particular one did seem to put a value on game play and seemed to be favorable to Rob's playing skill. But at the time, Rob couldn't have known that and his best move was to get rid of the most likeable person. Against Matt? There likely would have been a result similar to the way it ended up, just with Butch instead of Matt. Against Jenna? Again, Butch was too nice a guy and she knew she had enemies on the jury. She couldn't risk taking him along. So the obvious choice for all of them was to send Butch packing.
Butch played the game as a nice guy all the way. Even when he had teamed up with Roger, the taint never spread to Butch. There are advantages and disadvantages to this type of play. The advantage is that you tend not to be targeted for personal reasons, as was Roger. The disadvantage comes later when nobody wants to face you in the jury. Butch made it to the final four by following the alliance decisions of others, but he didn't have enough pull to make it past that point after Jenna won immunity. Nice guys might not always finish last, but in Survivor, it is rare that they finish first. That is why Butch lost.
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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