Survivor: Cook Islands – Advice for the Remaining 19by Jeffrey Clinard -- 09/18/2006
Survivor is back, starting with an interesting mix of people once again playing for a million dollars and the title of Sole Survivor. Dividing the tribes by ethnic background was certainly controversial, but that was the whole point. People are talking about Survivor again. By taking the risk, they got huge exposure. In terms of actual play in the first episode, it seemed like a complete non-issue. Outside of a few ethnic jokes about rice or paddling a raft to an island instead of away from one, the basic situation was unchanged. Besides, as several players noted, each tribe had a lot of diversity within it. Plus, each tribe has its own resident misfit.
The first real challenge came on the boat when each tribe had two minutes to grab supplies before the ship sank on them, at least in a figurative sense. I'm not quite sure how the grab worked, though it seemed like each tribe had some of their own supplies, while other items were up for grabs. Prioritizing what to grab from anything that was there for the taking was the first item of business. Machetes and Hawaiian slings were probably the top priority items. Staple foods, such as rice, were next, followed by water jugs, rope, fish traps, luxury foods (chickens and bananas), and lamps. Dead last was firewood. It isn't easy to see which tribe did the best, though Raro did end up with rope, two chickens, two Hawaiian slings, two buckets, a water jug, two machetes, and a lantern, which is a pretty good set of supplies for any tribe to start with.
Later, the reward/immunity challenge required puzzle solving skills, rowing, and teamwork. Both Puka and Aitu excelled at all aspects of the challenge, and came in first and second. Raro did a sloppy job in securing the braces of their boat, and seemed to have problems with the puzzle, though I will note that it appeared that the women sorted out the braces while Adam and Jonathan were doing the puzzle, as they had them ready in the correct order to assemble their ladder. However, that smart thinking was offset by them not having a plan on who was going to put the puzzle pieces in, which made them all look bad. As bad as their teamwork was, Hiki seemed even worse. They essentially lost the challenge because they were not able to assemble their boat by the time two other teams had already assembled it, rowed out, gotten fire, and rowed back.
Exile Island's first clue was probably half-correctly interpreted by Jonathan. I agree with him that the A shaped wreckage was the starting point. However, the second half of the clue clearly indicated a direction to face. The southern island needs to disappear. Depending on the orientation of the A frame, the player should face north, or as close to north as possible to remove the view of the southern island. My only other guess is that hidden immunity is probably somewhere in the ocean, but I can't be sure of that.
Still, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or any other factors, all 19 remaining Survivors need to understand their position in the game, and plot out their strategy to win. It's advice for the remaining 19.
Puka: Well done on winning the first challenge. Your camp looks to be in great shape, and more or less getting along for now, even if Cao Boi is a bit strange. If you had any faults, it was letting the chicken get away from you during the scramble for supplies, though that can be forgiven as it was pretty chaotic. So far, so good.
Cao Boi: You need to fit in with the group. If the others like your stories and Asian jokes, great, if not, you're in trouble when it comes time to go to Tribal Council. You already see yourself as a misfit in your tribe (a thought shared by some others). You need to do a better job of fitting in, or making yourself in disposable to the tribe. By the way, I'm not knocking your alternative to aspirin – I'm in big believer in going with whatever works.
Yul: If Cao Boi is a misfit, that's good for you. It makes him the target. However, having a target isn't enough; you need to develop a core group of allies within your tribe in order to keep playing, both now and when the tribes are inevitably shuffled. Start making the deals now.
Becky: We didn't see much of you, but so far you've fit in well with your tribe. You might want to start plotting with some of the others for an alliance that will carry you through any tribe shuffles or merges. However, so far, things are good.
Jenny: You've noticed the diversity among your own tribe. I'm not sure if you think it is good or bad, but at some point you'll want to be in a tribe with other ethnicities (otherwise it means you'll have been eliminated). You'll need to start connecting with your other tribe members to protect your own position.
Brad: Well, you may have a mark above your nose, but your headache is gone. It was probably a good trade. Like the others on your tribe, you'll need to start bonding with the people who are going to be your allies, and figure out which ones are disposable in the early game.
Aitu: Your tribe did a good job at the challenge, and also seem to have gotten things accomplished at your camp. If you have a fault, it looks like you came out a little short on the supply grab, though I'm not sure of the extent of it. Still, you have fire, all your members, and you seem to be getting along so far. That's always a plus.
Cristina: Not much footage of you was shown, which probably means you are safe for now. With Billy starting to paint a target on his own back, you should allow him to fail on his own. You should be safe enough for now.
Ozzy: You pulled a really good trick in gently taking the leadership role away from Billy without causing hard feelings. By showing you knew what you were doing and getting the first food for the tribe, you have immediately shown your value. You are in a great position right now. Don't blow it.
Cecilia: So far, you're representing your community well, as your tribe is getting things done, be it camp life or challenges. Your tribe did a great job in the challenge, and so far you shouldn't be worried about being eliminated. So far, so good.
J.P. : You made a correct assessment on Billy in not judging him because he's out of shape. What you need to consider is his value to your game. While Billy might not be the best challenge winner or survivalist among your number, only cut him if you have deals in place with a majority group in your tribe.
Billy: You seemed to start to direct the tribe, but more importantly, let go when Ozzy showed the right way to construct the shelter. Work harder at fitting into the tribe, or you will be making a quick exit.
Raro: First, the good news. Your tribe did a pretty good job when it came time to grab supplies. However, it was all downhill from there. Your camp doesn't look to be in very good shape, and some nitwit (Jessica) let the chickens loose, which is worse than not having them at all. Plus, you only salvaged a third place finish in the challenge since you made a couple of serious mistakes, including the puzzle boat coming apart, and forgetting the puzzle pieces. Next time, plan a strategy and assign responsibility for tasks, otherwise you are going to lose and face Jeff Probst at Tribal Council.
Jonathan: Perhaps it was unfair for you to be singled out and sent to Exile Island for grabbing the chicken, but as Puka apparently abandoned it, it was up for grabs. The real problem is that the others back at camp are going to do some bonding and it might be harder for you to fit into the group if the dynamics change. Still, you got lucky in the Jessica is already in the doghouse for letting the chickens escape.
Jessica (Flicka) : Be very glad you didn't lose the challenge, because losing the chickens is something of a shooting offense in Survivor. The trouble is the tribe doesn't need you for strength, and your mistake was a serious one. Right now you need to try to make amends any way you can, and keep winning challenges to avoid Tribal Council. You also need to pray for a tribal shuffle sooner rather than later so you can get a fresh start with new tribemates.
Adam: You are right that it is all about the kind of personalities people bring to Survivor – far more than their skin color. It's only going to be an issue if somebody makes it one. However, remember than relationships are always a double-edged sword on Survivor, and you seem to be forming one with Candice already. The good part about it is that you aren't likely to be going home soon. The bad part is that eventually your bond will become a power structure that has to be broken up. Tread carefully.
Candice: Hooking up with Adam is not a bad short term idea. However, you need to play it carefully, as long term being in an unbreakable pair situation is going to work against you. Still, I think you have the advantage; if you go late in the game with him, he's much more likely to be targeted than you are. Use him for what he's worth for now.
Parvati: We didn't see much of you outside of the “kosher” comment, but the fact remains that you are playing a game where the tribes are broken up by ethnicity, and you'll have to live with it. Also, while your tribe has more women, I think you might have to cut Jessica (the nitwit who let the chicken get loose) first, with Jonathan second. Your tribe is skewered towards youth, and you'll have to try to make that work when you get shuffled eventually.
Hiki: Well, there is a lot of love on your tribe, and no hard feelings, but you do need some kind of social structure in order to get things accomplished. While you seemed to well enough at camp when building your shelter, you fell apart completely in the challenge. You need to find a way to agree on how to approach the tasks. If you don't, you can expect another trip to Tribal Council soon.
Nate: You have problems. The women voted out Sekou, and you are the only male left. Still, your escape is to use Stephannie's outsider status to your advantage. Work on convincing Sundra and Rebecca that the tribe needs a male for challenge strength, and suggest getting rid of Stephannie if you go back to Tribal Council. You can also earn points if you are able to get the fire going and catch some food. Good luck.
Sundra: Well done. You ducked the first vote and have a core group of allies in the women of your tribe to protect you. You've also created a bond with Rebecca which will benefit both of you. If you go back to Tribal Council, you can cut either Nate or Stephannie and still have control of the tribe, even if you go back a third time. You are safe for now.
Stephannie: I'd be uneasy if I were you. Both the men and the women lobbied for your vote, and you are still an outsider, even to the side you voted for. Work intensely with the women to try to keep them from working with Nate. I'd try building a fire so you can show the women that they don't need the men. Despite the last vote, your position is unsteady at best.
Rebecca: Like Sundra, you have a solid position in your tribe due to your friendship with her. Indeed, your position is a bit better than her as she was the target of the men during the vote, indicating she was thought to be the weakest link of the tribe by them. That will only help you if your tribe is shuffled. For now, you are safe.
Sekou: What went wrong? Well, your tribe lost the challenge and the women got together to take political control of the tribe. Between you and Nate, they decided Nate was the more valuable tribe member.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Survivor: Cook Islands articles here on RealityNewsOnline:
Jeffrey Clinard has been writing about Survivor since the second series, and has published over 100 articles about the show and given advice to over 150 different Survivors on Reality News Online. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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