Survivor: Cook Islands, Advice for the Remaining 16by Jeffrey Clinard -- 10/11/2006
One interesting part of the last episode of Survivor was the contrast between the two remaining Latino males in the game. Ozzy, upon return from Tribal Council, realized he was vulnerable and all the fish he caught would not be enough to save him if it came down to it. However, J.P. and the other males on Raro seemed to think they were safe because the women needed their strength for challenges. It led to a complicity that was shaken when the women, sick of the laziness of the men, went after them at Tribal Council. He never even saw it coming.
The point is that every Survivor should always be running the numbers and seeing where they fit into the group. The last two Tribal Councils have seen wildly different outcomes when the information about the target was leaked. Jonathan worked on Flica, and eventually her and Cao Boi came around to their side. It was an effective counter-attack. The women of Raro, realizing that Parvati was an unreliable vote, pulled in Brad. They eventually got him, Parvati, and Adam on their side, leaving Nate to hold the sack.
At this point in the game, Survivors are either on the right side of the vote or are outnumbered and waiting for their number to come up. The ones who are outnumbered need to immediately shift their game plan to play for time. Sure, Ozzy is on the wrong side of the vote, but heís bringing in fish and performed well in the immunity challenge. So if Raro goes to Tribal Council, heís probably safe since heís moved himself to the back of the line of political minorities. Somebody probably warned Adam before the vote that J.P. was a goner, so he opted to join the winning side and keep himself out of the ďnext to goĒ slot.
The challenges were both interesting and required multiple skills. The reward challenge had the obvious strategy of having the two smallest tribe members going through the rope obstacle course, plus delegated tasks for the tribe members helping them through it. Aitu did well because they had people doing the lifting and moving, and people on each end of the rope providing the slack and keeping it out of the way. Raro lost largely because they failed on the second part of it, getting tangled up. The immunity challenge required the tribe to sort themselves into rescuers, rescued, and fire-starters. The hard part was the fire starting. Tribes should have put their best fire makers in that part of the challenge, even if they were the best swimmer or the strongest guy out there. All other things being equal, the lightest tribe members should have been the person rescued, and the strongest swimmer part of the rescue team.
As a side note, itís interesting that three of the first four people voted out of Survivor: Cook Islands have been Latino, while three of the four people sent to Exile Island have been white. Still, it has been something of an equal opportunity edition, as one African-American was voted out and an Asian-American has also made the trip to Exile Island.
Jeff Probst only promised the winning tribe immunity for at least one more day, so everybody may have less time that usual to assess their positions. What should they be doing? Itís advice for the remaining 16.
Aitu: Your tribe seemed to get your act together, with fish a plenty and two challenge wins. Much of that is attributed to the way you allocated your tribe members during the challenges, which shows that strength isnít everything during challenges. The rewards may not be as big as some in the past, but most of that is because your tribes started with much more stuff that the last seven editions or so. Your tribe is looking strong.
Candice: Itís a very wise idea not to mention that the reason you were sent to Exile Island is because members of the other tribe were protecting you. It would give your current tribe an incentive to get rid of you. Iím not sure how many people are buying your playing-dumb act, but thatís a lot better than speaking up and giving them a reason to fear you. You should be safe for the time being.
Jonathan: Cao Boi may not have made the smartest decision in the world by going after the bird nest, but you pretty much need his vote for now. Bite your tongue, no matter how weird he gets. Itís nice to see you out fishing, even if Ozzy got the biggest catch of the day. You should be solid for now.
Ozzy: You canít take a defeatist attitude towards the game. You are not in a great position, but you have a bit of time on your side as Sundra is probably the next to go. Your fishing skills and challenge strength will make you hard to cut, and itís possible Cao Boi and Flica will self-destruct and buy you a new position in the game. Use any wedge you can to try to replace them in the power structure.
Sundra: Your position remains problematic, and the most realistic escape hatch is avoid Tribal Council. Ozzy isnít likely to go, and the rest of the group seems united. If you find a wedge to use against Cao Boi or Flica, use it. It might be another way out.
Flica: You are still in a solid position as long as you play the game instead of treat the experience as a camping trip with some cool people. Keep voting with your alliance and you should make it to the mid-game at the very least.
Cao Boi: It probably wasnít the smartest idea to go after the nest with the mother bird in it. It had no upside potential and ended up making you look foolish to the rest of the tribe. Carefully consider the risk/reward benefit in the future. However, you did a great job of making fire in the immunity challenge. As Probst said, you were either going to be a hero or look very silly. I think you were the hero. Just because your Zen fire techniques were unusual doesnít mean they were not effective.
Becky: It probably wasnít fun to see your name on a piece of paper at the previous Tribal Council, but you did emerge victorious and are in a safe position. Keep allied with your current group and youíll have a path to the mid-game. For now, you are safe.
Yul: Well, Tribal Council does suck, but itís necessary, and the end result put you in a good position in the game. You also did a great job in decoding the message in the reward challenge, and you have your insurance policy with the hidden immunity talisman. You have the strongest position in the game right now. Keep it up and youíll last a long time in this game.
Raro: I think you found out the hard way that strength isnít everything when it comes to challenges. Sure, it helps with some of them, but strategy and teamwork were more important in the last two challenges. You lost both of them by a big margin. In fact, the proof that strength isnít everything was evident in the results of Tribal Council. Other things are more important.
Parvati: When offered a deal, take it. It doesnít matter if you actually live up to it, but Survivor rewards people who make two promises and break one instead of making no promises at all. Unfortunately, your indecision with the women hurt your position. The others recruited Brad, and while you eventually sided with the women at Tribal Council, you went from a potential core group member to a ďme, tooĒ member.
Stephannie: Never give up, and never, ever think just because you were responsible for losing the challenge that you deserve to be voted out. Survivor doesnít work like that. Fortunately, you got a second chance and are now a core member of the Raro womenís alliance. You should be safe for now.
Cristina: Your position has gotten better and better after the shuffle. Youíve gone from the next to go to being a core alliance member. You suggested booting J.P. and the others ran with it, so it means you are a decision-maker. Also, if you have to sit out of a challenge, immunity is the right one. You were in no way responsible for the loss. Things are looking good for you at this point.
Rebecca: You are also in a solid position, as you are in a core group of women who now control the vote. In fact, it seems to have been your idea to unify politically and seize control of the vote. That is far more important than the strength of the men. Well done.
Jenny: Cutting your hand on the axe during the immunity challenge must have hurt. Of course, it hurt more to lose the challenge, but in the end you were forced to play politics and came out on the winning end. You also suggested a womanís alliance and are now a core member of the group. Your position is solid, even if your hand is damaged.
Nate: Being on the wrong end of the vote is never a good thing, and when you are the only person left on the wrong end, it is an outright dangerous position to be in. There might be a few ways out of your situation. One would be to avoid Tribal Council; another would be to make yourself useful and willing to vote out somebody else. You did catch an octopus, and if the right challenge comes along, you might be able to demonstrate that the tribe needs you. I would try to shift the target to Parvati if you can.
Adam: This was not a good week for you. Your tribe lost two challenges, and you were sent to Exile Island for a few days. Your strategy of hanging out with the boyís club was a mistake, as was letting the women do the work. Iím not sure who warned you about the vote, but it was smart to go with the flow if J.P. was a goner. It will buy you some time, which is something you need.
Brad: Iím not sure why you jumped ship, but it was probably a good idea. The women were probably going to control the vote, and by being the first to jump, you put yourself in a solid position. Parvati and Adam are ďme, tooĒ alliance members and Nate voted outside it, so you have a fairly safe position right now.
J.P.: What went wrong? Well, when watching the show, the song ďPut Another Log on the FireĒ came to mind. With all apologies to the songwriter, I thought Iíd present the reason why you lost to music in the form of a parody to said song.
Put another log on the fire
If you havenít 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 nearly 150 different Survivors on RealityNewsOnline. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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