Survivor 33: The Illusion of Control Strategic and Tactical Analysis by Dr. EJ
September 25, 2016
Grabbed a can of paint and ran around the camp yelling paint a target on my back.
In Survivor, as in life, one likes to think of oneself as in control. Last night, Paul found out how little he controls when his body let him down.
But in a tribe in which, as individuals, one is outnumbered, control is also a big illusion. No one found this out more directly last night than:
Mari: You got a bit careless last night, just blabbing your plans to everyone, including one of the “pretty four,” Michelle.
You also didn’t have your hand on the pulse of other tribe members, like Zeke, who had verbal diarrhea – a sharper player might have done damage control – excuse me, attempted damage management – to ensure as much as possible that he didn’t spill beans about his plans for Micaela.
As you so eloquently put it, Survivor isn’t a video game – it’s a game where the participants are living, emotional people.
It was an expensive lesson for you, but you are young, you can use that lesson in many life arenas – it won’t go wasted.
Of course, you weren’t alone on your tribe in forgetting the choices of other people:
Zeke: Exactly what was to be gained by speaking about Micaela? You had agreed on a first boot – Jessica. But by giving out more information, you gave Michelle the opportunity for a counterattack.
And now you’re reaction is to go off on the others who played the game? That puts a target on your back. But you still have options.
You, Adam, and Will can join the “pretty four,” nothing that you are jumping ship because you can’t trust them.
Or, like Adam, you can congratulate your alliance on good gameplay, and rejoin them, though with the numbers as they are, that will be hard to do. But first, strategically, accept that you were had and work with that reality.
Adam: The same specifics apply to you as with Zeke, but you have an added benefit – you can be flexible because you have acknowledged good gameplay, and you weren’t a poor sport about it. Such acceptance of the “life” of gameplay could take you far in this game.
Jessica and Micaela – Well done burying the hatchet and working together to save yourselves by saving others. Also well done selling your animosity at tribal council. It could work long-term.
Micaela, you may need this more than Jessica, because without her alliance, you are in the minority. Keeping up the façade of animosity may be difficult, and may not be necessary right now.
With Zeke, for instance, making himself a target. But keep up the strategic flexibility and continue to work with people, even if you find them difficult.
Taylor:You are being told what is putting a target on your back – being a “power couple” with Jessica. You have to listen.
You still may be a minority, and it might pay to “make nice” with some of the outsiders of your alliance – and they are aplenty.
You can still have your “power couple alliance” and “pretty four alliance” – but they can be much more secretive.
Jay: You have options because you are not being targeted. You can stay with your “pretty four,” and there are plenty you can pull in. Or you can jump ship to be with the others, and again, the tactics are many.
Just realize, strategically, that your current alliance may be more trouble for you than it is worth, and then you can tactically shore it up or abandon it as you see fit.
Michelle: I thought you did a good job convincing others to do what you wanted last night, without giving in to Hannah at tribal council. Now, mend those fences as best as you can. You seem to be considering everyone in the tribe, and how they will react. That is a good strategy.
I am sure, tactically, you can mend fences with Hannah and Adam – don’t forget about people like Zeke, as well. The actions of last night suggest a long run in this game for you, but you need to consider everyone in the tribe to make it happen.
Hannah: I thought you were put in a tough position last night, and did the right thing – voting with the majority.
You wavered, but you did what was necessary. Emphasize that you ultimately trust Michelle and everyone in your current alliance – to them.
That is tactically necessary to survive as a waverer. But of course, strategically, you are not bound by that decision – you just have to sell it.
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