Survivor: Cook Islands – Why Nate Lostby David Bloomberg -- 11/30/2006
It would be easy to say that Nate lost because Jonathan flipped back to vote with those he had previously abandoned. And it would be true. But it wouldn’t really explain anything. We need to look deeper to find out why Nate lost.
And how do we look deeper? I bet you know the answer, my dear readers. We peruse through What Cook Island Survivors Should Have Learned to see where Nate went wrong and how he might have been able to save himself.
Nate seemed to do okay by the first rule, which tells players to scheme and plot. He was tight with Adam, and the two of them had an agreement to take Candice and Parvati to the final four. Along the way, he also made Brad believe he was part of the alliance, right up to the time when Brad was voted out.
But Nate was not in on every decision, as evidenced by the fact that he voted against Jonathan in the second vote of the double Tribal Council, while everybody else in his alliance voted out Jenny. He told me in our interview that voting out Jenny was a mistake – and he was probably correct. But he apparently couldn’t convince his cohorts of this.
Part of the problem, I believe, is that everybody on Nate’s alliance is so opposed to being told what to do. I have to wonder if this affected their ability to discuss voting even amongst themselves. As the first rule notes, “The second most important attribute [of an alliance] is that they will vote the same way as you will for somebody else to take the long hike.” The problem is that Nate’s alliance didn’t support him. They left him hanging. And no matter what he might have thought about how tight he was with Adam, that should have been a clue for him.
Nate also told me that he didn’t trust Jonathan. However, it’s unclear if he actually did anything about this lack of trust. The key thing he should have done was to use his connection with Ozzy to attempt to make a back-up alliance. No matter how tight he was with his allies, he needed to have other plans, and he didn’t. He had the opportunity, but he just didn’t use it.
The second rule tells players not to scheme and plot too much. He was fine here, since we just discussed how he didn’t scheme and plot enough. It also says not to backstab until you absolutely need to. Again, he was fine there. But a key to this rule is to keep your scheming secret. Here, Nate failed.
Of course, Nate was not the only one – he just paid the ultimate Survivor price for it (so far – the others may be following shortly). Adam, Parvati, and Candice acted like they controlled the game. None of them hid their allegiance to each other. There was never a doubt in the Aitu alliance as to who stood where. That meant Nate was an obvious target.
We’ve already partially addressed the third rule, which says to be flexible. When I was discussing the first rule, I mentioned that Nate needed to have a back-up plan, but didn’t. Well, what does the third rule say? “You can’t simply tie yourself to one alliance and hope that it survives.” Yet that’s exactly what Nate did. If he had made an alliance with Ozzy, rather than just chatting with him, Ozzy might have been willing and able to aim the votes in another direction.
The fourth rule has certainly been ignored by at least two people this season, but they’re both still in the game (for now). It says not to let emotions control you, and it’s pretty obvious that Candice and Adam have blown this one. Indeed, we posted an entire article on this point. But we’ll talk about that more when Candice loses, in particular.
However, Nate does bear some responsibility here as well. I think the main reason Nate didn’t really seek out a back-up alliance is the emotional attachment he had to his main alliance. Hearing him talk about Adam, it was more than just an alliance, as indicated when he said things to me like, “Adam’s my boy.” Nate didn’t want to backstab his friends, and as such he bears some responsibility for what happened to him.
Nate did fine in terms of the fifth rule, though, which says to pretend to be nice. Indeed, I thought Ozzy might fight to keep him because they had a friendly bond. ‘Twas not to be, but nor was it a reason Nate was sent packing.
Sixth is to not be too much of a threat. Compared to the likes of Ozzy and Yul, Nate was not a huge challenge threat. However, he certainly was more of one than, say, Parvati, and this may have contributed to him being targeted this time around. Jonathan didn’t want to vote out Adam immediately, and Nate was certainly the next best choice as far as strength went. But it wasn’t a major factor.
The seventh rule wasn’t either – it says to provide food and not be lazy. Obviously, none of the Raro alliance other than Jonathan were exactly hard workers. They preferred to laze around while he did the work. I do think this angered Jonathan and made it a bit easier for him to double-cross the group, but it wasn’t what pushed him over the edge. Yul did that, and from what we’ve seen of Jonathan’s personality, it wouldn’t have mattered whether they were serving him peeled grapes – it came down to a choice of him staying or leaving, and he was going to choose staying every time.
So did the Aitu+Jonathan group do the right thing in voting off Nate? Aitu certainly did. Jonathan? Well, some have argued that he could have double-crossed the Aitu bunch by telling them he’d vote with them and then telling the Raros what was up and convincing them to vote against Becky rather than Yul, thus making the hidden immunity idol worthless.
However, this would have been a convoluted plan requiring the Raros to actually listen to Jonathan and do what he told them. Considering the way they historically bucked authority and the way they blew him off at other times when he tried to discuss strategy with them, it does not seem like it would have been a likely winner of a plan. Indeed, it could have totally backfired if the Raros decided that all this double-dealing made Jonathan the best target! So I believe he did the right thing, to Nate’s displeasure.
As we saw in his final words, Nate was certainly upset with Jonathan. But he needs to shoulder much of the blame himself. Jonathan was playing the game; Yul was playing the game. Nate was playing part of the game. He had an alliance, and an apparently tight one at that. But that’s all he had. He had no backup plan, despite having told me things like, “I knew if anyone would betray me it would have to be him.”
Nate’s alliance chose to keep Jonathan around. Nate should have seen the problem with this and done something about it by forging his own path. Instead, he followed them in lockstep, right up to the point where his torch was snuffed. That is why Nate 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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