An "Insider" Look at Survivor: Cook Islands, Episode 6 – Kicking and Screamingby Teeuwynn Woodruff -- 10/30/2006
Cao Boi's Final Words
Cao Boi sounds fairly relaxed and normal in his final words. He says it was a wonderful experience and he had a great time. He didn't make it as far as he planned, but that's how it goes. Jeff asked if he was often misunderstood. Cao Boi should have said he is often misunderstood by the Asian community.
They had a plan. It didn't work out. He was betrayed, but that's alright. He does much better outside that community. Everybody thought he was the weakest on the team, but he would have gotten stronger as time went on. He had a great time. He lives life the way he wants and he liked getting the chance to get back in the surf and sun. What he's going to remember the most is sitting around the campfire, watching people go in and out, being the central station. And he made two good friends, “Chicka-Flica and Ozzy.” He considers them truly his friends and he came away with them and a great experience and Cao Boi wouldn't trade it for anything.
Cao Boi says that what he learned most in the game was really a reinforcement of what he already knew, that he is most vulnerable among the Asian community – his own community. People who are like him, but not like him. He had changed his opinion of other Asians during the game, and learned to trust them. That was a mistake. He should have known better. His final message for Aitu is for them to roll on. He tells Flica to take care of herself and for Ozzy to keep providing. He wants the non-gamers to hang in there, do their best, and watch their backs.
Cao Boi smiled throughout his interview. He seemed regretful, but certainly wasn't stressing over his eviction over much. I get the impression Cao Boi's has experienced some rejection and other bad things in his life amongst other Asians. Those experiences seem to have had a strong impact on his life.
Cao Boi, The Day After
Cao Boi seems pumped and poised as he tells us what a great time he had on Survivor. He says it was very, very positive. It was like the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts and army all rolled up in one. His favorite part was the competition. Chopping wood and carrying water and getting food was a basic part of life at camp. But waiting for those challenges to come gets your adrenaline going.
Cao Boi says his strategy was to go moment-to-moment and enjoy the experience as much as possible. He wanted to be nice and kind to everyone and show that this kind of strategy could work in Survivor. He hoped to attract others who were of a similar mind on the game, so they could somehow take each other into the final moments of the game. But it didn't work out that way. He says he was totally trusting and naïve and that was the flaw in his plan. Well, that and having a non-strategy as a strategy.
Cao Boi says that “failure is the mother of all success,” and if he had a chance to go out and do it again he would be much more shrewd, but he would not change his overall strategy. He would still be nice and kind. But he would not have placed his trust willingly and taken people at face value.
Cao Boi says that the game is a real equalizer. It shows you who you are. In the real world you don't have that much time to bond with each other. We're too busy and separated. But with everything else stripped away and nothing but a campfire, carrying water, and chopping wood, there was nothing left but your humanity. Cao Boi says he has an adventurous spirit. He likes the adventure and the hardness. He wished for lightning and rain because the harder things get, the tougher he becomes. He counts on the opposition to not be as strong or as adaptable. They complain and whine because they're used to the comfort of their home. Cao Boi already lives that way! He lives without a TV or cell phone. He doesn't have those distractions and he has a bonfire in front of his house every day. But does he sleep on sticks and eat semi-cooked octopus soup every day? I think not.
Obviously responding to a question about whether he waited too long to make alliances, Cao Boi says he didn't wait too long. He actually united people early. But he made a mistake. He didn't just need good people. He needed strong people too. He needed people willing to lay it on the line and put their necks out for each other. He wasn't choosy enough. He needed honorable people, willing to die for each other and stick together no matter what. Cao Boi says that he should have voted exactly as he wanted at Tribal Council from day one, instead of letting himself be swayed. He went against his instincts. He was going to vote for Becky, but let Yul sway him. If he hadn't, things might have been different.
Cao Boi is hoping to take away a calmness, a silence inside, from this game. He felt like this was the culmination of his life – been there, done that – and all. So, when he got back to the world, most things would be meaningless. The human drama would no longer be as grand or require input. He would just step back and let people solve things, and only when asked would he give his input. Wow. Thinking of a couple weeks on Survivor as the culmination of your life. I guess that's one way to look at it. I'm not sure it's a healthy way, but it's a way.
Cao Boi doesn't think his tribe misses him being gone. They're just relieved they got a possibly dangerous player out. Someone who's vocal and opinionated and can bluntly expose them – going straight to the heart of the matter. Cao Boi says he would go back to the game in a heartbeat. He would volunteer. He would love to give it another go. He would not talk as much and be a shrewd, shrewd player. He would scheme, because he can scheme with the best of them! But he was just too trusting.
I'm not convinced Cao Boi could keep his mouth shut and scheme. He seems like someone who speaks his mind even when he doesn't realize how much he's saying. Cao Boi comes across to me like someone who is very self-aware in some ways and very clueless about himself – and how he comes across – in other ways. But he sure was an interesting character to watch!
Cristina's Final Words
If anything, she really enjoyed being on Survivor. It was a really great experience. She's disappointed she got booted off so soon, but glad she made it this far. She met some great people and some really awful people, but that's just part of the game. Cristina says that her fondest memory is eating octopus and doing other things she hadn't tried before. She's going to take back with her that she should be patient and more observant and take it all in first. If she has regrets, it's for opening up too soon to people she didn't know that well. Basically, she felt like she was taken advantage of and was vulnerable. She says good luck to the others and she hopes Rebecca and Brad make it through and win the million dollars. Adam and Jenny are nice people too, but she wants Rebecca or Brad to win.
Cristina didn't say much of note in these final words. She noted her friendship with Rebecca and Brad and pointedly excluded Parvati from her list of nice people. Otherwise, her speech was pretty much a big cliché sandwich.
Cristina, The Day After
Cristina looks very different hanging out by the water with her hair straightened and her makeup on. Wow. She says that the show brought her guard down. Normally, she doesn't trust people right away, but in this environment when you're working on a team you think about building a relationship instead of the game. This made her vulnerable, especially when it came to how people thought of her. She's normally thick-skinned, but this time it bothered her. She doesn't think people on her tribe bothered to get to know her once they knew she was a cop. That's all they could think of her as – a cop. In a way, she wishes she never told them she was a cop. That way she could see how they would react, and get to know her on a different level.
When Cristina first came into the game, she thought she'd just stand back and watch. But then her true personality came out just being a strong woman. You go into survivor mode and you want to help out. You want to organize things and take control a bit and that can come across as too controlling – especially when everyone has a similar personality. Cristina wasn't trying to be a leader. She just wanted to get her point across at certain times. But certain people can say certain things and change things around...
It was fun working together and building a shelter. It was also fun cooking things you never thought you'd cook and catching chickens with a fish net. Her worst time in the game was Tribal Council when she was embarrassed by Jenny and Adam. It was rude and unexpected and just a shock.
Cristina does think it's harder playing this game as a police officer. You're not going to use people to get ahead to win a million dollars. “As an officer you have moral values, integrity... you want to be a role model.” Cristina doesn't think it's being a good role model to be deceiving or backstab somebody – especially for kids. She doesn't want them to think you need to cheat or lie to get ahead. She wants kids to see her being a good role model. But that does make it hard to play the game. She just can't step over someone to get ahead. She won't lose herself to win a million dollars.
Cristina says the “survivor mode” of the game was awesome. But having to deal with some of the people in the game was pretty bad. It was interesting, the competitions were awesome, and part of her wants to still be in it. But dealing with some of the people was not fun. But if she were still in the game, she would have competed hard. She's happy she had the opportunity. It's an incredible game, she learned things about herself and it helped her grow. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And she wouldn't take anything back.
I'm always puzzled by how many people consider the way they play a reality show game as integral to how they live their real lives. I don't think most people consider how they play monopoly to reflect their values and character. I think a lot of it has to do with how quickly you become deeply immersed in your new culture and tribe. It's a 24-hour game and you never get away from it. I think that makes it difficult for many folks – like Cristina – to separate game from real life.
Kicking and Screaming
This clip is just a re-showing of this week's very physical challenge where the players drag members of the opposing tribe across the sand. There is much dragging and scrabbling and the like.
Ozzy thinks this week's challenge was awesome! He proudly shows off his “battle wounds” from the challenge and likes that it was the most physical challenge yet. It was gnarly! Dude. It was great to prove to Raro that Aitu has muscles too – and heart. Ozzy thinks the fact that they're a well-fed tribe played into today's win. He's been making it his duty to go out every day and catch enough fish to keep everyone strong and it showed today. He thinks that's why they won today, because they obviously don't have the muscles. Ozzy thinks they're going to keep winning.
After a quick edit, Ozzy talks about the tribe's “last meal together” before the vote. It's a bummer, but that's how it goes. Ozzy is going to take a step back and not worry about it. Yul and he have an agreement to be honest with each other. Yul says the girls are voting for Cao Boi, so Yul is too. Ozzy thinks the rest of the tribe will follow. But Ozzy might not vote that way out of respect for Cao Boi. Obviously responding to a question about why they should keep Cao Boi, Ozzy says that he's a great, fun guy. He does all the cooking. He has a lot of knowledge and is a good friend. But Cao Boi isn't the most subtle or gentle guy. He's brash and people don't want to handle that. Ozzy's just trying to stay fluid and adapt and have a good relationship with everyone on the tribe.
Ozzy says he'll exploit every advantage he has on the tribe. Yul is one advantage he has, because he's a confidante. He made a move after Cecilia was voted out. He bitched about it the night before, but went up to Jonathan and Yul and told them he didn't have an alliance any more. He told them he's a free agent now and told them whoever was straight up with him would get honesty back. Yul told him how the girls are voting tonight, and he appreciates that. Ozzy thinks he needs to stay in good with Sundra and Candice because if they understand their food is going bye-bye, they might think twice about voting him out. He's here to play a game and he'll be as nice as he can about it, but he's here for the game.
From his words, Ozzy obviously trusts Yul. Yul seems to have insinuated himself into all the factions on his tribe. He's a strong, quiet guy and he's got the hidden immunity idol. It's hard to imagine Yul not making it at least to the merge at this point in the game. Ozzy's playing the provider card pretty hard right now. It's not a bad card, and he's obviously an asset to his tribe, but his skills also put a target on his back because, as Jonathan noted, he could be quite a threat when it comes to individual immunity.
Tribal Council: Aitu
Jonathan votes for Cao Boi. “You're a good guy, but you talk too much. And in a game where they're throwing twists at us all the time, I think I have to take any wild card out of the game that I can. Good luck to you.”
Sundra votes for Cao Boi. I'm sorry. I just feel like you started telling too many lies around camp and it made a depressing (?) atmosphere and it was too hard to work with you.”
Flica votes for Jonathan. She then whispers so softly that her words are completely unintelligible to me. Sort of like her hair.
Ozzy votes (obviously reluctantly) for Cao Boi. “Sorry man. Strategy. We sacrificed Cecilia and now we have to sacrifice you. It's the only way to get to Jonathan. You probably understand.”
Cao Boi votes for Candice. “I hope we all stick with the plan and we can expose the queen... (garbled)... whoever has the immunity idol. Let's hope it comes out.”
Yul votes for Cao Boi. “Cao Boi, I'm really sorry to be sending you home. You're such a fascinating guy and you've done so much with your life and I've definitely grown to admire and respect you. But, for me, after you turned on Becky and tried to vote her out in the last Tribal Council, I just realized I couldn't put my faith in you, I couldn't trust you. You're so unpredictable. I feel that I can't put my future with you. I wish you the best of luck with your family and kids and hope you live a wonderful life. Thank you.”
Becky votes for Cao Boi. “The fact that you basically flipped so quickly, went behind my back, then tried to get the whole tribe to vote me out at the last Tribal Council. After that, I lost complete trust in you. That's why I'm voting for you.”
Candice votes for Cao Boi. “Cao Boi, I'm voting for you tonight for two reasons. One, because you're always trying to get me out. And two, because you drive me nuts.” Snork.
Tribal Council: Raro
Jenny votes for Cristina. “Cristina, I know you won't believe me, but I'm sorry.” This sentiment may be overshadowed by the gun Jenny draws shooting at Cristina's name. I've got to say, considering Cristina was seriously wounded by a gun and her father was killed by one, that this may be the most tasteless Tribal Council vote I've seen. If she meant it at a joke, she needs to stop making jokes.
Rebecca votes for Cristina. “I'm sorry I couldn't tell you, but we decided as a group that it was still going to be you. Take care and I wish you all the best.”
Adam votes for Cristina. “You're a nice woman. You're a great girl. But our tribe is stronger without you.”
Parvati votes for Cristina. “Just trying to get our team back on track.”
Brad votes for Jenny. “I don't trust you.”
Cristina votes for Jenny. “I just don't like people who are rude and manipulative.”
Except for Brad, the Raro tribe seemed united in their vote for Cristina. Which is fine. But Jenny's vote really left a bad taste in my mouth. It was uncalled for.
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