Survivor: Cook Islands - Advice for the Remaining 11by Jeffrey Clinard -- 11/14/2006
Smart Survivors should always examine their position in the game and know if they are in a strong one or a weak one. The ones in strong positions should always try to keep their positions strong, while players in weak positions should exploit any chance to shake up the status quo. Thatís why I was shocked to see Candice abandon her strong position by declaring mutiny, and even more shocked to see Jonathan following her.
Both of them immediately made four enemies (Yul, Becky, Sundra, and Ozzy) in exchange for uncertain friends. Perhaps they thought it was their chance to get back with Parvati and Adam. If so, it was a risky venture as four votes did not control the vote. The ultimate irony was that good things happened to strategic nitwits. By voting off Brad, Nate, Rebecca, and Jenny ceded the political control of the tribe to the original Raro members.
The early jury duty presents a puzzle to Survivors who can do math. With 11 still in the game, the jury is set for ten jurists. That opens up the possibility for a tie vote. Indeed, even if there is just a final three, it means nine jurists and a possible 3-3-3 jury vote. Iím pretty sure that something will happen to resolve the situation to avoid a tie vote, but it might drive people nuts in the meantime as they ponder how it will play out. My own personal guess is that the final challenge will be for both reward and immunity, with the reward being the ability to nullify a vote of a jury member.
I liked both challenges, as they were new and werenít really repetitive. In particular, I liked the depth charge immunity challenge, as rowing for precision is something new. Overall, I was amused by the way that Aitu won both challenges despite using everybody in both challenges. Raro had twice the number of members and should have been able to pick and choose the right players for the challenges, but went back to camp with nothing.
In any case, despite a new shuffle of players and tribes, 11 players remain in the game. What should each Survivor do to advance in the game? Itís advice for the remaining 11.
Aitu: I agree with Yul; I was shocked to see Candice and Jonathan abandon your tribe to live with Raro. Despite the tighter bonding of your remaining four members, every member of the Aitu tribe lost with the defection. Your tribe no longer can control the votes unless you remain intact and merge at seven or later.
Yul: Be glad you have the hidden immunity talisman, as the odds you are going to need it have improved. While you arenít likely to get voted out soon, youíll be merging short of allies. Be on the lookout for the minority faction in the Raro tribe - you can use them to force a new position in the game.
Becky: Even more so than Yul, you need to figure out the power structure on Raro in order to know which faction to create a new majority with. For now, you should be fine as you have your tightest ally with you, and Sundra and Ozzy should each be willing to sell out the other to save themselves if you return to Tribal Council. Remember that ten left is the traditional merge time, so you might consider getting rid of challenge threat Ozzy if it comes to it.
Sundra: You are in a precarious position, but I think you can work carefully through it into a better one if you play your cards right. The first card is to work to get rid of Ozzy if you return to Tribal Council. Post-merge, heís probably the largest challenge threat in the game. You should also be part of a new majority alliance after the merge, which can help you for a few votes. At that point, Iíll be back for a new way to play out your cards.
Ozzy: While you are still of value to Aitu as long as two tribes remain, your position is going downhill. You need to merge with the rest of Aitu intact and your position then skyrockets. If not, youíre in a lot of trouble, as you are the probable target given the probable end of the two-tribe game and your ability to win challenges in the post-merge game. If it comes to it, be prepared to try to use your ability to get food as a selling point of you against Sundra, and if that doesnít seem to be working, at least suggest the idea that Yul has the hidden immunity talisman, and suggest trying to force it out before the merge.
Raro: Even with two new members, your tribe lost both challenges. In addition, your tribe didnít seem to consider the reasons why Candice and Jonathan chose to defect. The only good reason was to avoid being the next vote victim, or an attempt to take political control of the tribe. It seems if the plan was to take control of the tribe, it worked as the four remaining original Raro members now control the vote. Bad move.
Jonathan: You traded a secure position on Aitu to keep what you think is your closest ally in Candice. I would not have advised you to make that trade, but as it stands, the original Raro members control the vote. That protects you for a vote, but four players donít control a merged tribe of ten or even nine. You have another vote to consider post-merge strategy. Look for stray votes that you can grab.
Candice: You also traded a good position for a less secure one. I promised myself if anybody jumped to be with the cute guy or the cute girl, Iíd chew them out. Here it is: Candice, for a girl who is supposedly smart, you just did something VERY stupid. You were in a position to whittle down each of your tribes independently until the merge, and then try to get rid of enough people to insure control when there were seven left. Instead, youíre facing a bad position if you merge soon, though you probably have a free pass for the next vote.
Adam: Hereís the funny thing about Jonathan: nobody trusts him, but his voting pattern has always shown loyalty. Now that Brad is gone, you can either get rid of Jonathan next or consider that the original Raro tribe has control of the tribe. Iíd advise sacrificing Jonathan. Itís a risky move, but if he goes, the new Raro still has a majority if you merge, and it shows you donít have a hidden agenda. In other words, it could be seen as a bonding move of Raro verses Aitu post-merge.
Parvati: Right now you are going with the flow and should not make an active move as you arenít in a vulnerable position right now. If you go back to Tribal Council, the likely targets are Jonathan and Nate. Getting rid of Nate gets you short-term control of the tribe, but getting rid of Jonathan puts you in a better position after the merge and keeps three original Raro tribe members on the dominant side. With hidden immunity still out there, let somebody else get burned by taking the leadership role. Vote with the majority.
Rebecca: Like most of Raro, Jonathan might be the key to controlling the game after the merge. If you get rid of him, the Raro tribe should be united and be ready to Pagong the Aitu tribe. If the original Raro tribe sticks together, then you should seriously consider defecting to Aitu after the merge. Either way, youíre in a better position than many.
Nate: You have good sense of challenge strategy, but you keep making poor decisions when it comes to Tribal Council. You are obviously a leader as you were behind the eliminations of Stephannie and Brad, though both were not the smartest eliminations ever made. In any case, youíll need to work to convinced the original Raro members to get rid of Jonathan next to prove they arenít trying to seize the game. It will help make Raro a united tribe when it comes to a merge, and you outnumber them. Good luck.
Jenny: You seem to be in a better position, as Jonathanís arrival and Bradís mouth have pushed your elimination on the backburner. Your best bet is to eliminate Jonathan next and start making plans to Pagong most of Aitu, except those you can use to then take on the original Raro members. Duck for a bit and let the next firefight hit somebody else, and proceed from there.
Brad: What went wrong? Well, just because some things are true doesnít mean they should be saved. While itís true that the game really is ďevery man for himself,Ē every Survivor needs allies to protect themselves from the vote. It was too early to proclaim an individual game while the others wanted reassurances that you were on their side.
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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