Survivor: Cook Islands, Episode 3 MVPs – Melting Potby Betsy Wasser -- 10/05/2006
The big twist of dividing the tribes by race lasted, as I predicted, a whopping three episodes. Frankly, I’m disappointed. If you’re going to have the guts to do something controversial and potentially interesting like that, then stick with it. Let us see how things play out. At least keep the tribes split like that for a few more episodes. My frustration aside, we are now down to two tribes. The players all talked about how energized they felt and what a great opportunity it was, but not everyone has handled that opportunity well. Who’s coming out on top? Who are the Most Valuable Players of the two tribes?
For Raro, Parvati most certainly does not get the MVP award for her pitiful attempts to flirt with all of the men. She said in an interview that she had Adam “from the beginning,” all evidence of his closer bond with Candice to the contrary, and announced her intention to work on Nate next. First of all, it’s rather close quarters there on the island. Didn’t Parvati realize that Adam might see her flirting with Nate and figure out that she’s not 100% sincere? Wouldn’t her strategy be awfully transparent? And her attempts to seduce Nate were pretty pathetic. Her opener was to tell him that his pants were falling down. Um, sexy? Not really. Later, she literally batted her eyes at him and suggested he could eat the whole octopus by himself. Not cute, not sexy, and not subtle. She might as well have told him directly, “Hey, I intend to flirt with and flatter you to secure your favor!” The girl needs to work on her technique in a big way. She is not nearly as clever as she thinks she is.
Nate, however, did quite well for himself on Raro. Not surprisingly, he doesn’t seem especially swayed by Parvati’s supposed powers of seduction and is keeping a clear head. Even better, he managed to spear a gigantic octopus for the tribe. A lot of players would have tried to keep as much of that glory to themselves, so they could crow about feeding the tribe, but when Nate needed help wrestling the octopus in, he wasn’t afraid to ask for it. That was smart, as ego could have cost the tribe a hearty meal. Personally, I wouldn’t be that excited to eat octopus. I don’t even like calamari, but hey – they’re hungry. Nate came across as a big hero, and for that reason, he is the winner of the MVP award for Raro. Nice going, Nate.
At Aitu, there was a lot of maneuvering going on. Becky and Candice quickly decided to pair up, bringing along with their former tribemates Yul and Jonathan. Jonathan had a pretty good plan to get Flica on their side by telling her that she’d go to the final five with them, and that she’d have a secret final three alliance with him and Becky. That’s a good offer, one most players would be amenable to.
The problem is that Flica was the wrong person to approach. As soon as Jonathan mentioned alliances, she said she wasn’t thinking along those lines, that she was “here to make friends and see what happens.” Uh-oh. To make matters worse, Raro exiled Candice, meaning Jonathan, Yul, and Becky needed not only Flica, but also someone else. Jonathan never should have assumed that Flica, a person whose philosophy varies so wildly from his own, could be manipulated, at least not be the same arguments that might have convinced him. Flica made that even more clear when Jonathan suggested that she think ahead and she explained that she doesn’t work that way. As the group discussed at tribal council, there are two approaches to Survivor. One is to look at Survivor as an experience. The other is to look at it as a game. Jonathan, who is looking for a million dollar payout, is having a hard time relating to Flica, who wants to meet different people, see the Cook Islands, and so on.
While Jonathan tried to sway Flica before tribal council, Yul talked to Cao Boi. Cao Boi explained that he wanted to vote out Becky because she’s weak at challenges. Considering that none of the women performed all that well in this immunity challenge and that Puka won their previous challenges, I’m not sure where he was coming from. Yul might not have either, but he made a good move in speaking Cao Boi’s language. Instead of talking about alliances, friendship, or trust, he argued that Cecilia was weaker. That was a point Cao Boi was willing to consider, which was very smart of Yul. Yul also offered that they could get rid of Becky later down the line. He might not have meant it, but if Cao Boi really wanted to boot Becky, the door was still open. Jonathan tried to get Flica to change to his way of thinking, but Yul adapted to Cao Boi’s way of thinking in order to change his mind.
By swaying Cao Boi, Yul also managed to get Flica on their side. Flica and Jonathan absolutely don’t relate to each other, but she and Cao Boi get along great. Both of them are used to feeling like outsiders, and that bonds them together. Whatever Yul said to Cao Boi resonated with him enough for him to convince Flica to change her vote.
Yul was thrown into a tough situation. The tidy alliance he thought he’d set up fell apart when Candice was sent to Exile Island. Worse, Flica, the person Jonathan proposed adding, was unpredictable. He could have saved Becky at tribal council by giving her the secret immunity idol, but hanging onto it was, of course, a much better option. Jonathan took the wrong approach with Flica, and it could have hurt their alliance. But Yul handled Cao Boi so skillfully that he was able to not only secure Cao Boi’s vote, but also Flica’s. Yul adds another MVP award to his trophy shelf.
See you all next week, when we’ll find out who the most valuable players are!
Betsy Wasser is the Associate Editor of Reality News Online. She can be reached with comments and MVP nominations at Betsywasser@gmail.com.