My original statement that you were responding to when you said this:
I don't however agree that Alicia and Christina are acting in their own best interests.
what these players might think, with faulty logic and faulty understanding of what is going on.
So I agree with you: I don't think Alicia and Christina are playing well. They're not actually acting in their own best interests. My point is, they think
At least twice I can think of (Shane in Panama, Coach last season), we've seen a player almost randomly pick an alliance based on who was nearby, and then consider that alliance basically unshakeable to the end. The kind of mindset that lends one to think "I'm just going to pick the first few people I see to be in an alliance with me, and that'll work, and all these wishy-washy people who change their alliances up over the course of the game are idiots, because I've got my super-random-alliance, GAME OVER!", usually leads to players playing very inflexibly. Shane and Coach certainly did. Once you've got your random-person alliance, why would you change it? You've already said that that's the alliance and that it's game over.
Recall the first episode of this season. Alicia picked her random-people alliance: herself, Kim, Sabrina, Chelsea, with Kat as a fifth. I'd be willing to bet that, in her mind, that's still locked in, and always will be. So Alicia probably thinks she's in a four within a six - not such a bad place to be. If I were me, in her place
, I'd probably try to work out something on the side with Leif and Greg---minimum winning coalitions and all that---but if I were her
, I'd think, jeez, I've got my six, and then I've got my four within my six, and who's going to beat me? They're no match for me, especially
not the horse-faced bridal shop lady, whatshername; I'm Alicia, I'm awesome.
And in terms of Christina---no idea what, if anything, is going on in her head. She may think that once it's F6, the strong players will gun for each other and she'll be able to UTR her way to F3 and win over a jury. Again: it's all about their faulty logic. And a lot of faulty logic on Survivor is predicated on players thinking they're better or more popular than they are.
So, yes, from a game-theory perspective, Alicia and Christina aren't playing well. But I can see why they think they are.