Survivor: Cook Islands – A Few Questions to Feast Uponby Ken Kellam III -- 11/20/2006
Those of you who have read me for any length of time know how much I like to ask questions, and it’s time for a few regarding Candice and Adam. Namely, do those two have any idea how obvious they’re being? The more they snuggle, the more they kiss, the more likely it is to make their teammates question whether or not they can play the game with their heads and not their hearts.
Or is it that they feel so protected by their alliance, they think they can do whatever they want and get away with it? Maybe they think that just because Rob and Amber got away with it, they can as well. But they should also remember the fate of Gregg and Jennifer in Survivor: Palau whose closeness left the others so uneasy they gave Gregg his walking papers.
Here’s a question regarding the reward challenge: has there ever been a more foregone, more obvious conclusion than seeing Candice get sent back to Exile Island? You just knew that when the Aitus started to count down in unison, she would again be sentenced to solitary confinement.
Later, when she got there, she remarked that it’s not fun when people you like want to see you suffer. Did it occur to her that it wasn’t much fun for the remaining Aitus when she sold them out? She may have liked them, but for whatever reason, she didn’t think sticking with them was the greatest strategy. And why did we never hear her talk about how much she liked them until they started banishing her every few days?
To be honest, I really don’t feel strongly about Candice one way or the other, and while I won’t say I’m glad she went back to Exile Island, it is fair to say she has no one to blame but herself. She stated she hoped it would all be a character-building experience, but that begs another question: did her jumping sides serve as an unintentional character-building moment for the Aitu tribe? Since she and Jonathan became mutineers, their former tribe has yet to lose a challenge. It seems as though the betrayal of Candice and Jonathan has ironically become the glue that has held the Aitu tribe together.
That brings up another question: suppose no one had jumped ship when given the chance. Would the Aitus still be on such a fabulous winning streak? Not necessarily. Since their numbers have dwindled, all four remaining Aitus have had to take part in each challenge, and the more these four work together, the more comfortable they have become with each other as a unit.
By contrast, the Raro tribe has to send a different group out every time, and it doesn’t seem as though they work well together in any configuration. Aitu isn’t just winning, it’s winning big. Yes, Raro had a lead in the previous immunity challenge, but they could not sustain it and lost by not the smallest of margins.
Aitu’s success in challenges has also shown us how well people of different races can work together. Think about it: the tribe contains people from three ethnic groups, but it seems as though whether it’s performing at a challenge or enjoying a reward, tribe comes before race. The Aitus don’t just work well together, they play well together, judging by the way they interacted at the last couple of rewards.
Is Mark Burnett pleased with the way the mutiny turned out? I believe he should be, and here’s why: after so many seasons on the air, sometimes the show gets a sort of “seen it all,” rather predictable feel to it. But thanks perhaps to the mutiny, we are seeing something we have not seen in previous episodes of the show: a smaller tribe consistently dominating a larger tribe time and time again. Yes, we saw the smaller tribe come back after being down in the Outback and Thailand, but not with this few members. And while many remember Koror’s domination of Ulong in Palau, they were the larger tribe the entire time after the first immunity challenge.
Here’s what makes the Aitu tribe so special: after finding themselves way down through no fault of their own, they played the hand they were dealt (by Jonathan and Candice) and played it very well, and now have a chance to get even (numerically) with the Raros.
What can we make of the double-eviction? I actually like this twist because it kept the players on their toes, giving them no time to plot and scheme, instead forcing them to think on their feet. Jenny claimed in her final words that if she knew this was going to happen, she would’ve done everything she could to make sure she remained in the tribe, but I’m not sure there’s much she could’ve done. After all, Jonathan has kept the tribe eating, so she probably would’ve been ousted anyway.
Speaking of which, has there ever been a more volatile non-verbal ouster than Jenny’s? If looks could kill, she would’ve been charged with multiple homicides after her torch was snuffed. Of course, she wasn’t totally silent, choosing to communicate with her middle finger as she made her way to “Loser Lodge.” What I want to know is, does she now regret doing that? Yes, it reflected how she felt at the time, but now that she’s had time to think back and reflect, does she somehow wish she had not been seen in that light?
Okay, talk to you after Turkey Day. Bon appetit!
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