Survivor: Cook Islands Ė Why Cecilia Lostby David Bloomberg -- 09/29/2006
I donít know about you, my fair readers, but Iím still reeling a bit from the rather surprising vote this week. I was sure Becky would be going home Ė or at least that she would get the most votes, but maybe pull out Yulís immunity idol. Nope on both counts. But whether itís a surprise or expected, we have a job to do here. We have to figure out what caused Cecilia to end up on the losing side of the vote. Why did Cecilia lose?
A surprising result really brings about the need for us to look back at What Cook Island Survivors Should Have Learned even more. Letís see if we can shed some light on the subject.
We begin at, well, the beginning. The first rule talks about the importance of scheming and plotting. In this episode, there were several different levels of plotting going on. There was the serious plotting of Yul, Becky, and Jonathan. Then there was the low-level plotting of Ozzy, Cecilia, and Sundra. And finally, we saw the confused plotting of Cao Boi and Jessica.
Yul, Becky, and Jonathan were really working it and following the first rule. And even Cao Boi and Jessica, for all their opposition to scheming, were involved in it pretty heavily because they had a choice to make.
But what about Cecilia? Well, we didnít really see much there. She walked along the beach, talking to Ozzy, Jessica, and Sundra. They all agreed to target Becky. AndÖ that was about all we saw!
Did Cecilia ever go back and ensure that everybody was still together? Did she talk to Jessica before Tribal Council? We saw what a bad liar Jessica is, so certainly Cecilia could have gotten something out of her. But basically, Cecilia didnít really try. She admitted in her interview with me that she tried to reach Jessica on a personal level but didnít push on strategy. The problem is that in Survivor, sometimes your deal is only as good as the last person you talked to. Ceciliaís alliance allowed Jonathan and Yul to get to Jessica and Cao Boi, and they werenít able to counterbalance the issues. Indeed, Cecilia also told me that she was feeling sick and didnít push as hard as she otherwise might have to get the vote to go the other way.
Scheming and plotting doesnít mean having a few conversations and figuring youíre good to go, especially in a situation like this where the tribe is new and people are still trying to figure out the best road map for themselves. But thatís pretty much what Cecilia did. While Jonathan and Yul were giving the hard sell to two of her supposed allies, Cecilia was nowhere to be found. It seems obvious that Jessica is wishy-washy, which means her ďalliesĒ have to keep an eye on her. Nobody did.
Obviously, therefore, Cecilia didnít break the second rule by scheming and plotting too much. However, the scheming that was done was obviously not kept secret. I was going to write about how this wasnít really Ceciliaís fault, since we saw Jessica tell Jonathan about the plot to get rid of Becky. But it turns out Cecilia told him first Ė we just didnít see it! She told me this in my interview with her, and added that she doesnít know why she told him, but she did, and that obviously pushed Jonathan to turn on the hard sell even more.
The third rule tells players to be flexible. This episode tested the abilities of all players in this regard, as they suddenly found themselves with new faces surrounding them. Some took the initiative, like Becky and Jonathan. Others reacted, like Jessica and Cao Boi. And the last group just kind of sat back and let things happen around them. That is what appeared to happen to Cecilia. While the case could be made that going with the flow is the ultimate in flexibility, I canít say thatís what she was doing. She allowed herself to be pushed around by the flow, and was caught in the undertow.
Fourth is to not let emotions control you. We saw no hint of a problem there, so letís move on. The fifth rule says to pretend to be nice. Again, not a problem. Indeed, when the new Aitu tribe came to her beach, she acted as tour guide and was happy to show them around. And those who voted her out repeatedly said it was nothing personal, just strategy.
Similarly, the sixth rule didnít really come into play, as Cecilia was not looked upon as a threat to anybody. She was just on the wrong side of the tribal alliances. Nor was she seen as lazy, thus dodging the seventh rule as well.
The eighth rule talks about how Ceciliaís fellow tribe members should have voted and whether they made the right decision. At this stage, they need to be voting off the weakest members of the tribe. Frankly, itís not clear who that is. Several of them thought that title should go to Becky. The others thought Cecilia. But those views were colored by the alliances that had formed.
Still, it seems clear that on the non-Jonathan side, Cecilia was viewed as the weakest link compared to Sundra. Itís like the old joke about the two hikers and the bear Ė when they heard the bear approaching, one of them stopped to put on his running shoes. The other questioned him, saying there was no way he could outrun the bear. The first said, ďI donít have to outrun the bear, I just have to outrun you.Ē The comparison of Cecilia to Becky wasnít as important because they were on opposite alliances. Cecilia needed to be stronger than Sundra or one of the guys, and that didnít happen.
Looking back at what weíve discussed, itís obvious that the first couple rules were important here while the last bunch were not. Several people on new Aitu immediately sought out allies, while others mostly sat back and allowed events to unfold. Cecilia was in the latter group. Worse, when she believed she was in a majority group, she didnít do anything to make sure that group remained a majority. Obviously, a player at this stage of the game canít keep tabs on allies all the time, but allowing two members of their alliance to be swayed was a huge mistake.
Cecilia needed to take the bull by the horns like Becky, Jonathan, and Yul. She allowed the game to happen around her instead of actually playing it. The hard sell worked against her no-sell. That is why Cecilia lost.
If you havenít already, be sure to check out these other recent Survivor: Cook Islands articles here on RealityNewsOnline:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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