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Worst Decision in Survivor History?


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#121

Hope Estheim

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Posted Jun 22, 2010 @ 3:49 AM

Russell not listening to Parvati and taking out Sandra at F4 in Heroes vs. Villains. Taking Jerri out instead seriously contributed to both him and Parvati losing at the Final Tribal Council.

For that matter, let's add his dumb decision to take out Danielle before taking out Rupert or Colby.

#122

TDI Ashley

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Posted Feb 15, 2012 @ 2:58 PM

Brandon giving up his immunity necklace to Albert in South Pacific, and subsequently getting voted out. I still don't know what he was thinking. What made it a worse decision than Erik doing the same with Natalie in Micronesia was that at least Erik has the excuse (paper-thin though it is) of having been manipulated by the women into giving up his immunity. Brandon did so freely, and with no manipulation at all.

#123

Yogurt Baron

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Posted Feb 15, 2012 @ 10:05 PM

I maintain that the worst move ever was Colby taking Tina, with the second-worst move ever being Lill taking Sandra. I also really think Parvati should've done something to keep Sandra from the final three in HVV---like, say, forcing a tie at F4.

For me, for a move to be a contestant for worst-ever, it has to cost you the game. Brandon giving up immunity was an absolutely ridiculous, batshit crazy thing to do...just like literally everything else he did in the game, and, if the tabloids are to be believed, his life. He wasn't going to win. Even if he'd gone on an immunity run and won every challenge, who on the jury would have voted for him? If they expanded the jury to literally everyone in the universe, who would have voted for him? Brandon was not going to win.

So I think a move that makes you come second instead of first is much worse than a move that makes you come fifth instead of, maybe, if you're lucky, third.

Also, I think this entry is true, but kind of broadens the definition of "decision":

Russell Hantz's refusal to play the social game


By those standards, my least favourite decision ever was when Nicole in Pearl Islands decided not to have a J.T. social game, a Richard Hatch strategic game, and an Ozzy athletic game. Russell was just an idiot.

#124

Afterglows

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Posted Feb 15, 2012 @ 10:29 PM

Russell not listening to Parvati and taking out Sandra at F4 in Heroes vs. Villains. Taking Jerri out instead seriously contributed to both him and Parvati losing at the Final Tribal Council.


This is a huge one. If Parvati convinces him to bounce Sandra then, Parvati wins easily.

It's a hard question to answer because like always there is different criteria. I think Erik giving up his immunity necklace was the most inexplicable game decision because he could have at least gotten SOME votes at an FTC against Parvati. He might get none against Amanda or Cirie, but he could have gotten James/Ozzy against Parvati so deciding to give up the necklace when he had been doing great in challenges up to that point and had a real possibility of winning his way to the end was just senseless. This to me is followed by, in no real order, Brandon siding with Lex instead of with Kelly/Samburu, Cindy not gifting 4 cars in Guatemala, and Cochran's flip. Those are all decisions that are made where the person throws away all chance of winning the game. Caryn being an idiot and not siding with the women at F5 and instead causing an explosion that unified people that were divided and got herself booted, and Tyson voting himself out of the game are also real possibilities. Sash's in-game bribe-talk probably gets an honorary mention here too somewhere.

I maintain that the worst move ever was Colby taking Tina


That's never even entered my mind because despite all the misleading hype around it being a bad move, it really wasn't. He had two sure votes going into the FTC just like she did (maybe even one sure vote because Jerri hated Tina also), with the other three being able to go either way. He has a great chance at 6 out of the 7 votes, the only one that he's surely not getting is Keith's. Colby was clearly capable of beating Tina in the FTC, even though Keith was an easy option in itself. The interesting thing to consider is how Alicia's vote goes for Tina when later she has a little relationship with Colby.

Edited by Afterglows, Feb 15, 2012 @ 10:34 PM.


#125

Yogurt Baron

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Posted Feb 15, 2012 @ 10:45 PM

That's never even entered my mind because despite all the misleading hype around it being a bad move, it really wasn't. He had two sure votes going into the FTC just like she did (maybe even one sure vote because Jerri hated Tina also), with the other three being able to go either way. He has a great chance at 6 out of the 7 votes, the only one that he's surely not getting is Keith's. Colby was clearly capable of beating Tina in the FTC, even though Keith was an easy option in itself. The interesting thing to consider is how Alicia's vote goes for Tina when later she has a little relationship with Colby.


Isn't the point of the game maximizing your chances to win? Does anyone think Colby's chances were better against Tina than they were against Keith? Yes, he could have beat Tina. Chris could have beat Scout. Danni could have beat Rafe. But rather than saying, "I could beat either of these two, so let's take the one I'm less likely to beat and hope my cowboy hat carries the day," they took the person they were likelier to beat.

Thought experiment: could Earl have beat Yau Man? Amongst the viewership, no...but with the Fiji jury? I'd argue that, yes, maybe---that if you're a Horseman, you'd rather get beat by a big Alpha Male than by an adorable little leprechaun, and that you vote accordingly. But we'll never know, because at F4, he went with the people he was surest to beat, not the people he thought he could maybe beat if the swing votes went the right way. As should Colby have done.

Voting out Jolanda Jones on Palau. A 3 time NCAA hepthalon champion, elected official and leader they needed.


This may be the craziest thing I've ever learned from this board - but, wow, Houston city council! Who knew? Ironic that someone best known for being voted out of something eventually got voted into something.

Edited by Yogurt Baron, Feb 15, 2012 @ 10:54 PM.


#126

Afterglows

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Posted Feb 15, 2012 @ 11:45 PM

There is no set "point of the game." An overwhelming majority of people wants to play it to win it and they'll do everything they can to win it, while there are some people that want to win it and refuse to cross a certain line, and there are people that are playing it just to play it, meaning they've got ulterior motives that don't center on simply winning.

He didn't care about taking the person he was likelier to beat. He cared about taking the person he had an actual alliance with, that he thought deserved to go to the FTC, and above-all he took the person that he WANTED to beat. Judging by those criteria I have to say it was great decision as it satisfied all three. As he clarified many times later, a victory against Keith would mean nothing to Colby. For most people it means a million dollars, but he wasn't playing for just that. For him, being able to choose between them at F3 and sending Keith out is probably the best and most-fulfilling decision that he could make in the entire game.

That's why it's not really a bad decision, and why it clearly shouldn't have been in the "worst Survivor move" or "biggest Survivor blunder" or whatever the HvV shame-show competition was, because he knew what he was doing and that decision as well as its outcome made him happy.

It's one of the special events in the history of the show because it involved people, and a season, where it wasn't just cut and dry "I want to win a million dollars and I don't care about anything else." That's why, to me, the Golden Age of "pure" Survivor is so much more interesting than the whitewashed Big-Brother-on-an-island show we have now.

Edited by Afterglows, Feb 15, 2012 @ 11:46 PM.


#127

Yogurt Baron

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Posted Feb 16, 2012 @ 1:18 AM

I like that you listed yours as the most inexplicable moves. I still think Colby and Lill both made the worst imaginable move, but at least I understand why they did what they did. The others you list were bad moves and had no out-of-game significance.

There is no set "point of the game."


I'd agree with you that there's no one "point of going on Survivor", and that everyone has their own motivations, but the Survivor experience and the game are two different things. The point of any game is winning the game. If you're playing chess and your goal is to make sure your bishop lands on as many different spaces as possible over the course of the game, and you get checkmated, but you're happy that your bishop had a wonderful adventure, then you might be happy, but you played a crappy game of chess. Colby may have had fun Survivor, but I believe his move was a bad one from a game perspective. I haven't seen anyone ever disagree with that argument---just argue that Colby preferred not to play the game in the way that would make him likeliest to win, and the game was different back then, so if he chose to play badly, it doesn't really count as playing badly.

As he clarified many times later, a victory against Keith would mean nothing to Colby. For most people it means a million dollars, but he wasn't playing for just that. For him, being able to choose between them at F3 and sending Keith out is probably the best and most-fulfilling decision that he could make in the entire game. ... That's why it's not really a bad decision, and why it clearly shouldn't have been in the "worst Survivor move" or "biggest Survivor blunder" or whatever the HvV shame-show competition was, because he knew what he was doing and that decision as well as its outcome made him happy.


Where do you draw the line on that, though? If Russell Hantz went on TV tomorrow and said, "You know, the whole time, I was just trying to get famous! Crying every time I lost, that was all an act! I wanted to lose all of those times!", then is he suddenly a great player because he accomplished what he said he wanted to accomplish? If his bad play was on purpose, then is it suddenly not bad play anymore? Or if the whole purpose of Cindy going to Guatemala was to keep the other people from getting cars, then does that make her move a good one?

I understand that Colby, the person, did what was best for Colby, the person. But Mario Lanza has argued on the Funny115 that the worst place to be in Survivor is to lose at FTC, because then you can't blame it on luck---you have to blame it on yourself, on your own inability to win over the jury. Similarly, I'd argue that the worst decision you can make in Survivor is to take the wrong person or people with you to FTC. That's the most power you ever have in the game, and using it wrong can cost you the game. In two cases, it has.

The closer it gets to the end of the game, the more weight your decisions have. I mean, take Cochran's flip. There was so much time for him to ingratiate himself with the bottom tier of his new team. He wasn't able to do it, but the move itself didn't single-handedly ruined his chances. Picking the wrong person to take to F2 isn't something you can fix. There's no time, and nowhere to hide.

Anyway, I've had the Colby's-move-was-the-worst-ever argument too many times, and I don't think I'm going to change anyone's mind.

#128

Afterglows

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Posted Feb 16, 2012 @ 4:35 AM

The point of any game is winning the game.


That's definitely debatable. Anyway, the one thing that people should take from that decision is to understand that Colby wanted a satisfying outcome, however it could have come, and he saw a victory against Keith as being worthless and felt that Keith had done so little to contribute to their successes that Keith did not deserve to go to the FTC, and Colby's right about that. He wanted to go up against Tina because he wanted to beat Tina because he saw that as satisfying, and he would have been more satisfied losing to Tina and having the truly most-deserving two people battle it out than to allow Keith to even have the opportunity.

Where do you draw the line on that, though? If Russell Hantz went on TV tomorrow and said, "You know, the whole time, I was just trying to get famous! Crying every time I lost, that was all an act! I wanted to lose all of those times!", then is he suddenly a great player because he accomplished what he said he wanted to accomplish?


I would say that in that situation he would clearly be full of crap, because his entire mantra was "I'm going to show everyone how easy it is to win this game. I'm the best. Everyone else sucks. I'm the best, and everyone else sucks." Him trying to retcon would only serve to show how foolish he is.

The last week or two of the Outback showed how Colby began to care more about the experience (which he did reference throughout as being the main reason he came) than simply just winning the game. It's consistent with his behavior, which is lacking in the Russell example above. Colby said himself that his greatest victory was ensuring that Kieth Famie didn't win a million dollars, and that felt like winning to him.

Colby didn't want a do-over, and he had no interest in blaming anyone or anything for the result. He was happy about the end result. The opportunity to see her win was what he really wanted. If Colby were to have had a Hantzian confessional before the FIC where he declared that it didn't matter who won it or who went home, he was sure he could beat both of them, then his decision might constitute "bad play" but given that it was the goal at the outset I don't think you can really fault him. The progression of the deliberation could best be described as:

Person: You made a terrible decision.
Colby: How so?
Person: Because you allowed Tina to win the game instead of you.
Colby: I'm not upset that Tina won. I would have liked to see her win if I couldn't.
Person: But you're supposed to want to win the game for yourself.
Colby: I wanted more than winning, and I got it.

What do you say after that? There is nothing left to say. There were goals set, goals accomplished, and everyone (maybe even Keith) walked away happy.

#129

BearPaw25

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Posted Feb 18, 2012 @ 10:27 PM

With the second-worst move ever being Lill taking Sandra. I also really think Parvati should've done something to keep Sandra from the final three in HVV---like, say, forcing a tie at F4.

For me, for a move to be a contestant for worst-ever, it has to cost you the game. Brandon giving up immunity was an absolutely ridiculous, batshit crazy thing to do...just like literally everything else he did in the game, and, if the tabloids are to be believed, his life. He wasn't going to win. Even if he'd gone on an immunity run and won every challenge, who on the jury would have voted for him? If they expanded the jury to literally everyone in the universe, who would have voted for him? Brandon was not going to win.

It is up to you to believe this or not judging the source but according to Fairplay, no matter who Lill took to the end, she was going to lose. Therefore, according to him, there was a possibility he could have taken the moolah home. As for Parvati, while I think that was an option she could have looked into, I also understand why she didn't. At the time, Jerri was convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that Parv was the one to beat and she i.e. Parv was going to be voted out. Now Parv could have decided to tell Jerri otherwise but there is no knowing what Jerri would have done with that information whether it be acquiesce to Parv's request or confront Russell about his upcoming betrayal. Then it is entirely possible Russell would finally pull the trigger on Parv for trying to go behind his back and it would put her in a worse position than she was before.

Finally reports have come out post show that Brandon could have won South Pacific and he wasn't as hated or crazy as the edit painted him out to be. In essence his move was pretty bad then because like Erik, he had a chance but threw it away. I think Erik's is worse though.

Cindy not gifting 4 cars in Guatemala

Cindy herself has talked quite a bit on this subject and she basically said that the reason she took the car instead of giving them to everyone else was because first of all she needed it and secondly, there was no way she was going to make the end as she had friends on the jury and those in game with her recognized that. Even if giving them away gained her good will for that vote, it most certainly wouldn't have gained her good will so that people would carry her to the end where it was entirely possible she could have won.

There was so much time for him to ingratiate himself with the bottom tier of his new team. He wasn't able to do it, but the move itself didn't single-handedly ruined his chances.

Yes, it did. By your own words, the point of the game is to win yet when he flipped he in effect pissed off five people who were the majority of the jury.

#130

BK1978

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Posted Mar 23, 2012 @ 1:18 AM

Part of the reason why I never really thought much of Sandra as a player is because while she did win twice, it was due to the ineptness of the people who were playing with her. I am no fan of Parvati but she played a hell of a game during Fans vs. Favorites (Though I think both Cirie and Amanda played games that were on par with her that season. Cirie got screwed because of it being a final two instead of a final three. If it were a final three situation I think Cirie would have pulled out the win. Amanda just did not know how to deal with the jury which cost her twice.) so I respect her game. Sandra did not exactly play a great game on either of her seasons.

To me if Lil would have not taken Sandra to the finals we would have never had Sandra for another season. Yes I know she was offered a spot on the original All-Stars but if she would have finished in third during season seven I am not sure if they would have asked her back.

#131

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Posted Mar 23, 2012 @ 10:20 PM

It's possible, but even if Sandra places third Lil wouldn't have made ASS and I don't think Fairplay would have either. The sequence of moves that Sandra made after Rupert was blindsided remains one of the strongest endgames to a season ever as far as I'm concerned. The conclusion does seem to get overlooked by the sheer absurdity that was Lil's "strategy." One thing that makes it so perplexing is that Lil herself admitted to Burton that she knew she couldn't win the game against anyone that hadn't been voted out already, and then proceeded to get rid of him. From those comments it seems like she understood at least to some degree the position that she was in, and then she goes and makes the absolute worst possible move for herself.