Survivor: The Amazon, MVP Moments for Everyoneby Phil Kural -- 05/19/2003
Well, it took me a little time to recuperate from the fact that Rob didn't win Survivor: The Amazon, but now that I have accepted it, I'm ready to figure out each player's MVP moment. It was hard for some because there were too many dumb moves by certain people this time around. However, at one point or another everyone did make a smart move. I mean, I still think Rob should have won and that he was a great player, but in the end it was Jenna who took home the prize. Oddly enough, I found myself wanting her to beat Matt. Maybe it's the Pennsylvania pride, I really don't know. In any case, here it is: MVP moments for everyone.
Ryan: Now, it's a little hard starting from the bottom because certain people were not around long enough to have that many "moments." That is the case with Ryan. If there was something that he did do correctly, it was gathering people that were around his age to try and form an alliance. He understood the game, but like Jeff Probst said at the reunion, being in an all-male tribe was really a disadvantage for him. Ryan's MVP moments comes courtesy of when he gathered up Matt and Daniel to vote for Roger at the first tribal council. He was smart to know that an alliance was key, but he just didn't get enough people to get rid of annoying Roger that early. One can only wonder what would have happened if his alliance had succeeded from the beginning. If only he had gotten across that dumb balance beam in the first immunity challenge.
Janet: Janet was one of my original picks to make the final four. Yeah, that really worked out. Honestly, she wanted to go when it was her time. The Amazon was just too much for her. I don't think she had the attitude for the game anyway, she seemed too nice. Anyway, Janet's MVP moment was in episode two when she voted for Jeanne. Instead of voting for Christy, hoping that she may have a chance of not going home, Janet took the road of vengeance and voted for Jeanne. I loved that. Only for the fact that she was bitter over the fact that Jeanne said that she had smuggled a granola bar into the game. To this day that still sounds ridiculous. Give Janet a little more credit then that. I wish she would have lasted longer.
Dan: I honestly think Dan got a bad rap. I just don't think he was as lazy as he was portrayed. He only lasted until episode three, so there isn't much to go by on him. My MVP moment for Dan was when he told Matt to vote for him. He knew that Matt was probably going next (after himself) so he tried to get the attention off of him by telling Matt to vote him off with the rest of the guys. That, to me, is taking the high road. You know you're leaving; no reason to drag someone else with you, especially if you consider them your friend like Dan considered Matt. Too bad about him catching malaria in the Amazon. That has to really suck. I don't even know exactly what malaria is, but it sounds painful.
JoAnna: Way back at episode one, I pegged JoAnna as the first MVP for Jaburu, saying that she was going to be a valuable person to this tribe for morale and strength. Well, I was right on the strength part, but when it came to morale, I'm not so sure JoAnna was that much of a team player. She was loud, obnoxious, rude, and mean. Her actions to Christy still have me all in a huff (and they helped earn her that Reality TV Hall of Shame Moment). Anyway, the only possible thing I can think of to give JoAnna as an MVP moment is for her actions in episode one when I still had respect for her. Now, I find her to be a hypocrite and really could care less to ever see her face again. I have yet to hear some kind of apology from her to Christy.
Jeanne: What a tough break Jeanne had. I mean, she was next to go on Jaburu, then got switched, and was still the next to go. Goes to show you that being a hard worker doesn't always pay off. I don't really believe Heidi when she said that the older women were giving her looks because Jeanne doesn't really seem like that kind of person. However, I loved when she came back from tribal council after JoAnna had been voted out and basically refused to do any work and let the other women have it. That is Jeanne's MVP moment. I'm sorry, but it was great to finally see her speak up and say what was on her mind. At the reunion, I was glad to see that she wasn't really bitter of the fact that the boob troop had screwed her, but still stated the fact that she was too busy working to care about how "cute" the other girls were. Jeanne understood that working was more important in the beginning of the game instead of ripping into the other women.
Shawna: Oh, Shawna. Poor, sweet, innocent Shawna. I have to wonder if she even knew she was going when she did. I think her whole sickness thing was a fake because nobody recuperates as quickly as she did when the men got to their camp. Honestly, now that I think about it, Shawna didn't do a damn thing during the whole game, and I have nothing else to say about her, not even an MVP moment. NEXT!
Roger: Even though he was annoying, Roger was one of the hardest workers. He understood that in order to live comfortably, a shelter had to be built and the food had to be gathered. He constantly worked on the shelter, collecting wood for the fire and making sure that there was ample fishing being done. Not a bad thing to say about his work ethic. However, when it came to the social aspects of the game, he totally messed up. Roger just rubbed too many people the wrong way. So bad, that he was bumped up from Dave to be voted out because he was considered by the women to be too much of a jerk to be on the jury. Rob came to agree. Roger's MVP moment was just like Ryan's: Forming the first alliance. Roger knew that he may be a target for the young guys because he kept ordering them around. So what did he do? Well, he gathered up Butch, Dave, and Alex, the other hard workers, along with Rob, who knew it was important to be in the majority, and took them out. Ryan first, then Dan. Had the switch not occurred, which I wish it had not; I think Roger would have lasted until at least the final six. Oh well, that's what you get for being bossy.
Dave: My pick to win the whole thing became the first member of the jury. Don't worry Dave, I ain't mad at ya. Dave was an excellent motivator. I liked his never give up attitude and I appreciate that fact that he didn't rub in everyone's face that he is a rocket scientist. I mean yeah, he said it a few times, but I don't think it got old. MVP moment for Dave? Well, I don't think there is just one. Dave was an MVP every time he would give one of his little motivational speeches because time and time again he would encourage and lift morale for his team when things were looking bleak. Even when they were going to lose a challenge he still tried his hardest. A real competitor. Can't seem to fault him on that one. Basically, he ended up on the wrong side after the battle lines were drawn and alliances were established, well for that episode anyway - they did change so frequently this season. Bottom line is that he was too strong to remain in the game.
Deena: In one episode, Deena managed to go from being one of the favorites to win the game, to the jury. All because she got a little greedy and decided to try and get rid of Alex before his time, not realizing that she was on the outs when she thought she had the votes of Jenna and Heidi. Sorry Deena, you don't have a "male organ" so it may be a little tough to get Jenna and Heidi on your side when it comes to Alex. Anyway, I would say that Deena's MVP moment is a toss up. First, you have her joining with the "boob troop alliance." That was a smart move on her part because she was protected from the vote. Also, we have when she formed her secret alliance with Rob. That was also a smart move because she understood that she was going to need a male ally when the tribes merged if she wanted to stick around. Why not hook up with the best strategizing male. Oh Deena, you could have lasted so much longer had you just voted out Butch instead of Alex.
Alex: Um, Alex? I still don't understand why you told Rob in the final four you were going to vote for him. That was such a dumb thing to do. You basically said: "Hey Rob, do me a favor and gather up some people to vote me out tonight because if I we make the final four, you're out." I must say that in the beginning of the game I liked Alex, but he really went through a change when he went over to Jaburu. He became lazy and mesmerized by the women. However, his MVP moment was turning Deena's alliance mates on her and having Jenna and Heidi join him in voting her out. After catching wind that she was trying to organize his ouster, Alex, very cunningly I must add, gathered up enough people to get rid of her. I must say that in the end though, Alex really did get what was coming to him, and the look on his face was satisfaction for me.
Christy: (An open letter to Christy) Dear Christy, you know I love you. You were by far my favorite woman this time around. Nobody comes close to being as sweet as you were when it came to this game. I just wish you would have actually played the game a little more in the beginning. Why, oh why, did you have to tell Rob you weren't sure how you were going to vote? I wish you had just said yes. If you had said yes, I truly believe that you would have had a great chance at winning the game. The jury would have voted for you to win in a heartbeat. I am not going to sit here and give you an MVP moment. You were the MVP of the GAME. The obstacles that you had to face early on were rough. You were ignored, treated badly, and at some points harassed. However, you had the courage and the strength to persevere over all of this. Being the first deaf Survivor is something to be proud of. You lasted very long and nobody can say anything bad about you. If anyone in this game has ever been a role model, it is you. There is no reason that you should not hold your head high, you're an inspiration to many. Your friend, Phil.
Heidi: I could sit here all day and write negative things about Heidi, but everyone seems to be doing that these days. Therefore, I'm going to say some positive stuff. First, Heidi played the game very well. She understood that an alliance was necessary, and in my eyes, was the leader of the "boob troop." That is her MVP moment, actually forming the first woman's alliance. She made it very far by flip flopping alliances just like Rob and pretty much everyone else did. I don't think she meant to come across as the way that she did, but you can imagine how much editing has to do with it. Do I think she should lose her job from her actions on the show? No. Yeah, she is a teacher, but like she said, hunger can make you do some crazy things and if I was in her situation I would have no problem showing my manhood for some stuffed shells. Okay, I'm rambling, just wanted to say that I think it's time we gave Heidi a break.
Butch: Butch really didn't play the game at all. His dancing had me in stitches though, so thank God for that. I would say that Butch's MVP moment came when he torched the camp. Oh, come on people… why else would he be obsessed with all that wood.
Rob: Like Dave and Christy, there is not one moment that I could name for Rob that he really went above and beyond. He has several. So many, that it would take me forever to list them all. Rob was a master strategist and I think he deserved to win far more than Jenna or Matt did. Although, isn't that so often the case that third place seems to deserve it a little more? Anyway, in order to see all of Rob's moments, you would have to re-read all my MVP articles because from episode four and on, Rob started to play the game hard-core and really started to shine. It was fun to watch him because he was unpredictable. Rob made this season interesting to watch because you never knew who he was going to stab in the back next. I loved it. Anyway, I'm sure this is not the last we will see of him, and I hope he is in the All-Star edition.
Matt: Wow, Matt REALLY lost. I thought he had a few votes in there. That few votes… ended up being one. Oh well, Jenna outplayed him, and that is what the game is about. Matt was a hard worker and always did what needed to be done. However, when it came to knowing how to play the game, he just wasn't quite all there. His MVP moment is actually courtesy of Rob because Rob let him follow. Matt was smart to stay in the background while Rob was doing the scheming because it made it look like he was just doing what Rob said. However, that may be the reason so many people did not vote for him in the end because they knew he was not really playing the game, but rather letting Rob do all the work for him. Heck, that is probably why Rob didn't even vote for him. In the end, it all came down to Matt not playing enough, instead of playing too hard.
Jenna: She won. Is there really anything else to say? I think Jenna's MVP moment was when she started to answer the jury questions. I have to say that she really stated her case about why she deserved to win and why Matt didn't. She played the game, struggled in the beginning, was comfortable in the middle, and struggled again in the end. However, she pulled it off by telling the jury a mix of the truth and what they wanted to hear. I have to give her kudos because I really wanted her to beat Matt in the end simply because she came a long way. I said some things about her in the past that weren't so nice, but you have to give credit when it's due, and Jenna earned it. I would have rather seen Rob win, but what are you going to do?
Phil Kural is finally a SENIOR at Temple University, and can be reached at email@example.com with any MVP suggestions.
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