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Am I The Only One?

Monday, December 13, 2004

A Buckeye Wins Survivor!

Let me start by apologizing for blogging about a TV show -- and again for blogging about a reality show -- but Chris Daugherty's victory in Survivor Vanuatu last night is notable for a couple reasons:
  • He had a remarkable come-from-behind victory, facing 6-against-him odds at one point.
  • He might be the most likable Survivor champion since Ethan.
  • He's a Buckeye! (For the malinformed, that means he's from good old Ohio USA).
LONG UPDATE: How did Chris do it? Since more than a couple people have asked me this today, here's a summary.

An alliance of six women had control of the game and had proceeded to vote off each of the remaining men until only Chris was left. The women's alliance did a have a pecking order, which turned out be important:

1. Ami & Leann -- The alpha-female and her loyal sidekick.
2. Scout & Twila -- The older and wiser sages of the group.
3. Julie -- Supposed to be allied with Twila before the merge.
4. Eliza -- The usual cute young loudmouth that makes few loyal friends because she won't shut up.

Generally when there are 7 left, it is important for each player to make sure they are in a solid group of 4, and the top two pairs in this list were supposed to be that solid group.

However, two things happened that opened the door for Chris: first, Leann and Julie made a new alliance for the final 4 which they did not do a good job of hiding, leaving Scout and Twila wondering which of them was left 5th in line. Second, the women inexplicably felt there was no hurry to vote off the last man, and decided to vote off Eliza because they were tired of her blathering.

This gave Chris room to work. He told Eliza that she was next -- and he didn't even have to lie. She was furious and agreed to work with him. They next worked on Scout and Twila, pointing out to them that one of them had been bumped to 5th in line by Julie, and they could guarantee a final four spot by voting with Chris and Eliza.

Thus, the new foursome voted off Leann (who was stunned at tribal), Ami, and Julie. Down to 4, Eliza was next when she failed to win immunity and had two votes against her automatically from Scout/Twila, leaving Chris no choice but to vote Eliza or risk a tie. Scout was next, as Chris continued to dominate immunity challenges. To go with him to the final 2, Chris selected Twila, who had made more enemies on the jury than anyone, and coasted to an easy 5-2 win. Bravo, Chris!

Some lessons from this season: at 7, you should have 4 rock solid. I don't know what on earth Ami/Leann were thinking by bringing Julie on -- they had a solid 4 with Scount/Twila, and what good is a "solid" 5 when there's only 7 left? Having a solid 3 means that the bottom 4 have no choice but to organize together to stay alive.

What Ami/Leann should have done was make a secret alliance with Eliza, voted with Scout/Twila until 5, then use Eliza's vote to get rid of Scout/Twila. I'll go one step further and say that any of the top women should have been looking to bring Eliza or Twila to the final 2. Regardless, a woman like Julie is poison to ally with, since she has no enemies on the jury.

Also, players should just forget *any* alliances once the final 4 is reached. All that matters are immunity challenges. There should be no feelings of "betrayal" at that point -- somebody has to be voted off.

As this season comes to a close, I have one not-quite-so-minor gripe that I hope gets fixed. Every season during the jury vote, we are subjected to an onslaught of tears, vented anger, hurt feelings, etc, and it's time for it to stop already. Why are the final 2 expected to apologize to the players they outwitted? The jury should not be allowed to address the players, in my opinion. I'd rather see a format where the jury deliberates on-camera, away from the final 2. I hope some change is made in the new season of Survivor, which has promised several modifications to the game.


  • This was ethologically/anthropologically mind-blowing! I do believe you're better at it than I am! :DDD V nicely done!

    By Blogger The Lioness, at 4:32 PM  

  • I'm humbled by your kind words, and from an anthropologist no less.

    By Blogger Nevermore, at 5:18 PM  

  • I love you, man. I need someone to dissect Survivor with...my hubs thinks I'm a whack for my Survivor love. :)

    By Blogger Ang, at 8:47 PM  

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