Survivor: Cook Islands - Advice for the Remaining 17by Jeffrey Clinard -- 10/04/2006
After all the pre-show hubbub about the segregation of the tribes by ethnicity, three episodes into the game the tribes became integrated. While tribe captains and the final mixture of the tribes was done by random draw, no player was allowed to select what might be considered to be their natural ally - a person on the same tribe as themselves. The end result was a bit skewed, as the random balloon bursts put three members of the former Puka and Raro tribes together (with two former Aitu and a single former Hiki). Then again, the other tribe has a vote-controlling alliance of three Hiki and two Aitu, so maybe things worked out in the big picture, though not for certain Survivors. Not-so-oddly enough, I havení t seen politicians jumping up and down praising the show the same way they condemned it sight unseen.
The challenge was a replay of the classic one from Survivor: Palau, though it seemed to take less time. The new Raro tribe had the strength advantage, and took full advantage of it going into the challenge. Their women lasted longer as well. It helped, but was probably not a deciding factor in the outcome of the challenge. Yulís idea of fighting off the tackle was novel, though ineffective. It also underlined a mistake made by the new Aitu tribe when determining order; Cao Boi should probably have been in the middle of the group instead of at the end. It would have provided the lead position with some more slack while allowing two strong guys at the end to try to repel a tackle attempt.
Though only Becky and Yul know it, Exile Island is worthless to whoever goes, unless it allows them to duck Tribal Council. If that trend continues, then Exile Island can be played in more than one way. The first is to send a tribe member the winning tribe feels is going to be booted, effectively granting them immunity. The best reason to do that is to try to smash the alliances of the tribe and create dissent. This is better late-early game strategy, as it may appear members of some original tribes are being picked off one by one, as may happen in new Aitu. Right now, the better strategy is to send a member of the majority alliance to Exile Island, as the new Raro tribe did when sending Candice. It left Yul, Becky, and Jonathan scrambling for votes, which they were lucky to find. If new Aitu wins, theyíd be wise to consider sending a former Hiki member (probably Nate) to Exile Island to even out the playing field with two members of each original tribe going into Tribal Council. In any case, Exile Islandís new purpose is to mess with the politics of the enemy tribe.
Two tribes and 17 Survivors remain. What should all of them be doing to continue in the game to win the million dollar prize? Itís advice for the remaining 17.
New Raro: Your tribe seems to have an advantage in strength, which is a good thing, but also youth, which I generally regard as a bad thing. Older tribes seem to have more wisdom, and tend to be more successful. However, strength came into play during the first challenge, and it worked in your favor. Donít count on it being an advantage for long. However, your choice to send Candice to Exile Island was somewhat inspired, as it forced more politics. Keep that in mind for the future. For now, your best bet is to send Sundra off to Exile Island and force the eviction of Ozzy due to political reasons. It will weaken the new Aitu tribe greatly.
Parvati: Iíll tell you right now - if you continue to act like you have youíre going to get clobbered. You were one of the lazy people in the original Raro tribe, and you are severely outnumbered by workers in your new tribe. Also, the flirting strategy has been successful exactly zero times in Survivor history. A couple went to the finals in All-Stars, but itís not a winning strategy. Besides, flirting can only get you three allies at most (J.P., Adam, and Nate). It wonít work on the women or Brad.
Brad: Itís hard to judge positions on your new tribe for now, but as one of the strongest members, it might be hard to cut you immediately, even if you are part of a minority faction. Look at how things are going, and if they arenít looking good for your group, you might want to try to lure Parvati into an alliance with the men and her, as five votes control the tribe.
J.P.: As with most tribe members, it will be difficult to see your real position until you are tested by Tribal Council. Your best bet is to use the configuration of the new, updated Aitu tribe to your advantage by noting that there are six former Raro and Puka members and only one each of former Aitu and Hiki tribe members. Sell a counter-proposal to get rid of the former Puka and Raro members in your new tribe.
Nate: Great job catching the octopus. It provided a lot of meat, and made your good position even stronger. There are more Hiki members on this tribe than any other faction, so if you stick together and deal with only one of the former factions, youíll control the vote. Iíd suggest the former Aitu tribe as the enemy tribe is getting rid of them, but if there are personality clashes you can always bargain with another group.
Adam: You have a problematic position, as you and Parvati were not the hardest workers in the game, and it should have been evident by your shelter that the others moved into the slum of the Cook Islands (to be fair, you did win the tarps, but the lack of flooring is a danger signal). Unfortunately, you donít have the numbers to protect yourself politically, unless you do some serious selling to some people. Be proactive; approach the Hiki tribe with yourself and Parvati and suggest the five of you can dominate the game. If you donít, somebody else will.
Rebecca: You are one of the winners with the new tribe, as the ex-Hiki have more members than any other faction, and only need to pick up two votes. Have a conference with the other former Hikis, and decide who to bargain with. If you donít, some bright person from another faction might beat you to the punch by saying that as the largest faction, it would be easy for the others to unite to pick all of you off (three free votes at Tribal Council) before having to go after one of their own. Cement your power base early.
Cristina: You are also a winner by the new tribe shuffle, as I think you were the next to go if the original Aitu faced Tribal Council. As it stands, youíll need to find your numbers, and quickly. You and J.P. should approach the former Hiki member and bargain up front, and start getting rid of the weak links from the former Raro and Puka tribes. If you donít, your position will not have improved as you might be tagged as a weak link.
Jenny: Unfortunately, your position has been weakened by the shuffle, and it will be up to you to decide how to convert an integrated tribe into one that is to your advantage. Like most tribe members, the former Hiki tribe is the best starting spot, as it only takes them and one other vote besides yours to control the evictions. The advantage usually goes to the person who bargains before they need the vote. Good luck!
Stephannie: Out of all the people on the new tribes, you are one of the biggest winners. You were probably the next to go if Hiki had remained intact, and your tribe was probably the weakest. You had lost the first challenge, and were third in the second one, which Aitu threw. Now you have two allies on your tribe, and only need two more votes to insure dominance. Find them, quickly,.
New Aitu: Your tribe has had battle lines drawn, but when it appears to be a 6-2 majority (for now) consisting of the former Puka and Raro members, that division isnít worrisome, at least for the members of the controlling alliance. However, there was plotting on all sides, and the two nutballs (Flicka and Cao Boi) ended up controlling the vote. They could still end up controlling the vote if Yul, Jonathan, or Candice return to Exile Island, or Becky goes for the first time. With a missing tribe member, four votes control the eviction. If you do win immunity and can send somebody to Exile Island, Iíd suggest Nate. It would mean there are two members of each original tribe, but also leave the women in control with four votes to three.
Jonathan: I think you upgraded your position with your new tribe. You arenít saddled with the lazy people anymore, and youíve formed a solid alliance which will help you make it to the mid game. You obviously talked some sense into Flicka, and overall provided a better strategy for her to follow. She ended up talking it over with Cao Boi, who agreed on principle with it. Keep in mind, you canít fully trust her as sheís a known blabbermouth and doesnít seem to grasp game strategy. However, both those traits can be used by a smart player to their advantage, by feeding false information, or getting the useful idiot vote.
Yul: Iím not sure why you shared knowledge of the hidden immunity talisman with Becky, but promising to give it to her to save her if needed was a mistake. Keep the talisman for yourself, unless you are wearing immunity at the final four, in which case you can give it away to rig the end game in your favor. For now, you have control in the tribe. You can keep it by loosening up a bit with Cao Boi to retain him as an ally.
Becky: Half the tribe thought you were the weakest link in the tribe, while the other half valued you as a political ally. In a choice between power and politics, the politics should always win if an alliance is thinking rationally. In any case, you have perfect knowledge that Yul has the hidden immunity talisman, and a solid alliance. You are likely safe for now.
Candice: Youíve done something quite remarkable - gotten into a majority alliance while stuck on Exile Island, safe from the vote. Of course, your vote might have been useful, but your allies pulled through. You also handled the whole revelation of the Billy incident well. You are safe for now.
Flicka: Itís quite obvious you havenít prepared for Survivor, as hanging out with cool people hasnít been a winning strategy in any version of Survivor to date. However, your position has actually improved quite a bit. The chicken incident has been neatly swept under the rug, and you seem to have an ally in fellow misfit Cao Boi. You can either attempt to straddle the two groups in your tribe by switching back and forth with your votes (assuming one of the Puka/Raro alliance groups goes to Exile Island), or you can stick with them for now and prepare for battle at some point after the merger. I suggest the latter, as getting tagged with playing all sides will probably hurt you at the mid game. Also, donít blab like you did in the last episode. It only allows time for a counter attack, which Jonathan successfully accomplished.
Cao Boi: Your position has improved dramatically, to the point where your vote was needed. In the end, you decided to vote out Cecila, which was probably a smart decision. While both factions had the numbers if you and Flicka voted together, the Puka/Raro alliance has the physical strength and a better control of the tribe when missing Candice returned. You are in a solid position right now, which is made stronger by your influence and thus perhaps control over Flickaís vote. Nice job.
Ozzy: Perhaps you figured out too late that throwing a challenge was a bad idea. While you never know what would have happened, the odds would have been even that youíd have been shuffled into a tribe with another Aitu male, which would have helped your political situation. Right now, you are in trouble, though you have a bit of time to work with unless Sundra goes to Exile Island. Your best bet is to try to win back Cao Boi and Flicka if one of the former Raro or Puka members goes to Exile Island.
Sundra: You have problems, and there are only a few ways out of your situation. The first is to go to Exile Island while the others are at Tribal Council. That might mean doing some obvious signaling to the new Raro tribe if it comes to it. The second option is to try to work on Cao Boi and Flicka. This is the better solution if Candice, Yul, Jonathan, or Becky goes to Exile Island. Otherwise, you might need tribal immunity to keep in the game.
Cecilia: What went wrong? Numbers, politics, and strength. While you had a loose alliance and tried to bring in Cao Boi and Jessica, Jonathanís sales pitch worked enough for her to talk it over with Cao Boi. All things being equal, they apparently decided to stick with the side with the same argument, but with more strength. It probably helped that they were originally in the same tribes as they were, and might have feared getting picked off after the merger to a single tribe. Plus, you have to admit that throwing the challenge last week was a bad decision.
Jeffrey Clinard has been writing about Survivor since the second series, and has published over 100 articles about the show and given advice to nearly 150 different Survivors on RealityNewsOnline. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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