Survivor: Cook Islands – Why Rebecca Lostby David Bloomberg -- 11/21/2006
The past three people voted off of Survivor had barely watched the show in seasons past. So their reasons for losing ended up being perhaps more obvious than most. But Rebecca is a fan of the show and has watched every season. Still, she’s just as much voted out as they were. So why did Rebecca lose?
Whether people watched the show or not, we judge them according to the same criteria, found in What Cook Island Survivors Should Have Learned. Let’s see what we can determine.
The first rule tells players to scheme and plot like your life depends on it – because your game life does! Rebecca was part of the main Raro alliance; at least, she thought she was. But that was really about it as far as her scheming appeared to go. She didn’t have any sub-alliances, she didn’t try to figure out what the next step might be or where she might want to be in the game.
This turned out to be a big problem. After Raro lost their most recent immunity challenge, Rebecca knew something was wrong, as she told me in our interview. “The vibe at camp was definitely different and no one was looking at me. No one came to me to talk about who we were voting off except Nate. I knew things were not right.”
This should have been an immediate indicator to her that she needed to do some work, and fast! Indeed, I asked her if she tried to convince the others to vote out Jonathan, but she said that since nobody told her specifically that they were voting her off, and since Nate said they were going with the original plan (to vote off Jonathan), that was it. At that point, she just “hoped my loyalty would persevere.”
But we know how much loyalty is generally worth in Survivor. It’s not nearly as valuable as the ability to change people’s minds. If Rebecca could feel that something was wrong, then she needed to act immediately to try to correct it. When people don’t come to tell you what’s going on, you should know you’re in deep trouble.
So, if Rebecca didn’t scheme and plot enough, it seems obvious that we can’t criticize her under the second rule, doing it too much. So we’ll move on to the third, which says she should have been flexible.
In this, I’m afraid Rebecca also failed. I mentioned it briefly above – Rebecca had no sub-alliances or side alliances. She did exactly what the rule says not to do: “you can’t simply tie yourself to one alliance and hope that it survives.” I’m not saying she should have mutinied, because there was no reason for her to do so at the time. But she should have had some sort of back room deal with a subgroup of Raro so she could be protected or at least be warned.
Indeed, the third rule also says, “if you see that the majority is leaning another way, by all means make sure you’re part of that majority. You need to have your finger on the pulse of every member of your tribe. It’s not easy, but it will help keep you around.” Rebecca had a feeling that she might be in trouble, but by no means can we say she had her finger on the pulse of what was going on. She took Nate’s statement about sticking with the plan at face value and that was that.
The fourth rule was not an issue with Rebecca. It says not to let emotions control you, which had no bearing on her ouster. Same goes for the fifth rule, which says contestants need to pretend to be nice.
Sixth is not to be too much of a threat. Here it gets interesting. Rebecca obviously wasn’t a threat in terms of challenges. Quite the opposite. And she wasn’t a threat strategically, either, though from Adam and Candice’s point of view, keeping any of the Raros around could have been a threat if they turned against Candice. We’ll get to that more when we talk about Jenny. For Rebecca, this wasn’t really an important issue.
But the seventh rule says providing food wins allies and players can’t be lazy. We never saw anything to indicate that Rebecca was lazy, but Adam did make a comment during Tribal Council about productivity, which followed a comment he made previously about her productivity at camp. Still, I don’t think it was an overall comment on her so much as it was a comparison to the very productive Jonathan.
Even so, Rebecca should have seen what Jonathan was doing and tried to fight against it. She told me it was obvious that Jonathan was working his butt off, but she was too weak and wanted to save her strength for the challenges. It’s understandable, since that’s where she had shown herself to be weakest, but it also may have hurt her.
So then, did the tribe make the right decision in voting off Rebecca? It’s hard to say. Given that they still didn’t know when the merge would arrive, voting off a weak challenge link did make sense, even though she didn’t cause the most recent loss. But in the overall game strategy, it was not in Jenny’s or Nate’s best interest because it meant the four-person original-Raro alliance got to stick together. The problem is that Jenny, Nate, and Rebecca were suddenly in the minority. It’s not clear how hard they tried to convince the others to get rid of Jonathan, but that should have been their number one priority. Jenny found that out right away.
Rebecca said that although she was very familiar with Survivor, the game just took away her endurance. That hurt her in the challenges and around camp. But the one thing she needed to find the strength to do was to scheme and plot – especially when she felt a change in the vibe of the camp and nobody was really talking to her anymore. She should have had a sub-alliance in place long before then, but even at that point she might have had a chance to turn things if only she had given it a try. But she didn’t – she allowed events to play out around her, sending her right out the door. That is why Rebecca lost.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Survivor: Cook Islands articles here on RealityNewsOnline:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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