Survivor: Cook Islands, Episode 8 MVPs – David and Goliathby Betsy Wasser -- 11/16/2006
Another episode of Survivor means another tribal switch up. In this case, Candice and Jonathan ditched the Aitu tribe and joined Raro, thus making Aitu seriously outnumbered. This mutiny created a major tribal shift. Raro had to decide what they thought of their new members, and Aitu had to scramble to survive against a much larger tribe. One player on each tribe stood out this week for their superior play. They are, of course, this week’s Most Valuable Players.
When Cao Boi initiated Operation Voodoo, he did so in part because he was afraid that the Caucasians would vote together again after a merge. The rest of his tribe, apparently, did not agree… or at least decided they’d prefer to get rid of Cao Boi instead. But it turns out that there may have been some validity to what he was saying. Candice told Jonathan early in the episode that she was eager to rejoin with Adam and Parvati, and Jonathan agreed he’d stick with her. When the opportunity came to switch tribes, both of them jumped ship.
For Jonathan, it was a huge mistake to switch tribes. For whatever reason, people just don’t trust him. There had been rumblings at Aitu about voting him off because he made some of his tribemates uneasy. And now the members of Raro think that if he was willing to betray Aitu, he’d do the same to them. Interestingly, they don’t seem to have the same feeling about Candice. Jonathan didn’t help himself at all when he talked to his new tribe about why he jumped ship. He didn’t really offer up a good reason why he switched, which just made them all the more uneasy. Jonathan should have told them that he was sure he’d be the next to go, that he never fit in with his old tribe, that he had always wanted to be with the cool people on Raro. Any of those statements might have bought him a little more understanding.
The only reason Jonathan wasn’t voted out this week is that Brad made himself a more attractive option. If Raro doesn’t win immunity this week (or if the tribes don’t merge), Jonathan is in serious trouble. He made an impulsive move following Candice, and I think it will be his undoing.
Changing tribes was a calculated risk for Candice. She felt, before the tribes were mixed up the first time, a very strong bond with Parvati and Adam. She was eager to rejoin them and decided not to wait until the merge to do so. On one hand, it was a decent idea. If she really wanted to go to the end with the two of them, it made sense to make a move early. If she’d waited until the merge, Adam and Parvati might have questioned whether or not Candice was really with them, or if she was just trying to trick them to gain an advantage for her fellow Aitus. By putting herself on the line, Candice did what she could to show them that her intentions were pure.
On the other hand, Candice’s mutiny could have backfired on her. Sure, at the beginning, she was close to the two of them, but they’ve been apart and on new tribes for quite a while. Smiling at Adam during that tribal council is not exactly the most rock-solid way to confirm that they’re still on solid ground. Adam and Parvati could have formed different, stronger alliances over the course of the game. They might not have been as desperate to get back together with her as she was to get back together with them. And by jumping ship, Candice has likely ruined her chances of getting jury votes from any of the other Aitu tribe members. Candice’s move was too risky for me to award her an MVP.
Instead, the one person who was truly thinking smart about the entire mutiny issue on Raro was Adam. Adam came up with the idea of voting out Brad instead. As he told Nate, a merge is looming, and when that happens, Jonathan has completely burned his bridges with Aitu and has no choice but to vote with Raro. Brad, on the other hand, would have a lot more flexibility. Adam considered getting rid of Jonathan first after Candice told him that Jonathan sent him to Exile Island, but cooler heads prevailed. He led the tribe in getting rid of the immediate threat, Brad, and put Jonathan’s ouster on the back burner. I think it was a smart move, so smart, in fact, that Adam is this week’s MVP for Raro.
While Raro may have a tremendous numbers advantage, Aitu proved themselves to be incredibly tough this episode. Every single member of the tribe contributed well to their two challenge victories. Ozzy, as always, swam like a fish in the reward challenge. Becky quickly figured out the buoy puzzle in the immunity challenge. Sundra was a total team player. But if I were to single out one person on this fantastic tribe to be the Most Valuable Player, it would have to be Yul.
Aitu was considerably behind Raro in the immunity challenge. Losing the challenge would have been horrible for Aitu. Not only would they lose a tribe member when they were already so outnumbered, but the four of them had really bonded. Voting someone out would have been disheartening for them. Still, things were looking bad for them – until Yul figured out that instead of looking through the glass bottom on the boat to hit the target, he could look directly through the hole that the cannonballs went through. His technique was a lot more precise – and a lot easier. It was Yul’s smart thinking that won the challenge for Aitu, so he is the winner of this week’s MVP award for his tribe.
Who will be our next MVPs? Tune in next week!
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Survivor: Cook Islands articles here on RealityNewsOnline:
Betsy Wasser is the Associate Editor of Reality News Online. She can be reached with MVP nominations and feedback at Betsywasser@Gmail.com.