Amazon Strategy #10: The Deaf Girl Took my Letter!
Written by Mario Lanza
"A law of the jungle has been broken -- it will set back more than your token."
-Kirsten Dunst, Jumanji
Well, it looks like Rob's true character has finally been revealed.
was only a matter of time, but it appears that my twin brother has
finally been "outed," and now he is going to have to face the fallout.
And as fun as last night's episode was, next week is going to be the
big firestorm. Rob is going to face a pair of very angry twigs and
sticks, and I'm not sure how well he will be able to handle it.
He is going to be drawing some big time heat next episode.
thing about Rob is that he is a fun guy. He is a funny guy. He is good
to be around. But he is not all that particularly nice. And I have
written about this before, Rob even admitted it in his pre-game
interviews. He said that a lot of people in real life consider
him to be an asshole. But (like many comedians in real life, Jerry
Seinfeld is a good example) he can disguise it by the fact that he is
funny. So this game was really sort of made for a person like Rob. I
have said it before, and I will say it again. Survivor is a license for
sociopathy for certain types people. It is a legalized chance to behave
like a sociopath (ie, you can hurt others and be antisocial and not
really care about the fallout.) And I'm not saying there is anything
wrong with Rob's strategy, since I would play the EXACT same way that
he is playing. I am just saying that the guy is finally starting to
Watch Rob carefully from this point on. The
good natured comments are dwindling away. You can see more and more of
the strain in his voice. Most of his comments this week were not funny.
During his discussion with Matthew (aka "the most important
conversation in the history of the universe"), Rob was
clearly stressed out over what was happening at camp. Simply put,
when Rob is scared in this game, he is really scared. He does NOT want
to lose. He has way too much invested in the fact that he is the best
player out there, and that he cannot show himself as being anything
less than the best player on TV. There is a lot of pride running
through Rob Cesternino right now, and he actually phrased it best
himself. Over his dead body will he roll over and let ANYONE walk past
him to the title right now.
So Rob has now made the
big power play. He has backstabbed probably the fourth or fifth person
in this game. And yes, he has a clear shot to the final two now, if he
plays it smart. But as much as I like the guy, as much as I respect
him, as much as I WANT him to win, it's not going to happen. Rob is not
going to win.
People thought that Richard Hatch could
never win a jury vote. But nope, they forgot that Richard was actually
fairly well respected around camp. He brought in food, he planned his
moves out well ahead of time, and as he himself stated many times,
he played the game as ethically as was humanly possible. Richard played
Survivor perfectly, and at the end he was rewarded accordingly. You
might not have liked the guy, the other players might not have always
liked the guy, but he got stuff done around camp and he treated people
as human beings. And you had to respect him.
also said that Brian could never win a jury vote. Too cocky, too
backstabbing, too insincere. But sure enough, the exact same thing
happened. The jurors respected him (or they respected the image he
presented to them, anyway.) Brian could get away with all the
stuff he did at the end because he was a hard worker and because he
appeared to be sincere. The work ethic alone was all it took to get
But Rob is really nothing like Richard or
Brian. I hate to say that, since I like him so much, but it is the
truth. He is not particularly respected. He doesn't do jack
around camp. No one trusts him, and they never really have. He isn't
ethical in the slightest, he doesn't even try to be ethical, and this
is something the other players have all laughed off up until now. But
this insincerity is a trait that will bite any Survivor player in
the butt at some point or another, whether they are Rob Cesternino or
not, and the jurors all know who he is and what he is about now. Simply
put, Rob is one of my Survivor heroes. Even Jeff Probst said recently
that Rob "is a guy who plays the game the way it was designed to be
played." But he won't win a jury vote. I can say that with
absolute, complete confidence. Jenna and Heidi are just as worthless as
Rob is when it comes to having survival skills, but at least they are
both more respected. They both have friends on the
jury. They are what they are, and they don't try to hide it.
Rob can't win against any of them.
The lesson here
is simple. Jurors can overlook cockiness. They can overlook the fact
that they don't like you. But they will NOT vote for a person who
they don't respect. The weasel never wins. Rob is second
place at best.
The other big thing that showed up this
week was all the "letter from home" drama. Sweet sassy molassey, you
talk about your good old-fashioned Survivor melodrama. Jenna wanted her
letter from home, and she was upset that Christy got one instead. And
I'll just let Matthew's words speak for me here, about how selfish she
was being. Apparently Jenna didn't notice that Christy got NO FOOD
prior to that. And I'm not one of those people who like to deify
Christy, like so many other people do online. Christy is not a flawless
player, nor do I think she is always even all that likeable. But she
was completely blameless in this particular case, and I was glad to see
the scene of her getting a letter from her friend. Jenna is not the
only one out there with loved ones, get over it.
course, it could have been worse. We could have heard these dread words
come up once again: "Jenna, we never received a letter from home.
I'm sorry." Hey, it has happened before!
Jenna situation was odd because, as a Survivor character, this was her
big moment. She has taken a lot of flak on the message boards this
season, and she is exceedingly unpopular among fans. People just
don't seem to like her, despite the fact that she really hasn't done
much of anything, either good or bad. So this was her big shining
moment. It was the moment when people would finally realize what
her life is like back home. It was her chance to become a sympathetic
figure, to transform from a Jerri into an Amber. And then she just blew
it. She just played the whole thing so badly, it completely
ruined any chance of Jenna ever winning over the audience. Including,
as a reader named Richard pointed out, a "ha ha, I got my way"
look on her face right before they cut to commercial. The whole
scene was just weird-- It was a very touching, poignant, real-life
moment that came off completely wrong on TV. It just seems impossible
that Jenna could ever be the good guy after that.
Heidi even tried to outbid Jenna for that second letter. Did you catch
that? One quick bid, and then Heidi realized "oops!" and she
stopped. That would have made for a great TV moment. Heidi
outbidding her friend for a letter from her sick mom would have been a
particularly nice lowlight in Survivor history.
Rob's conversation with Christy was my favorite part of the episode. He
came up to her with that big goofy grin on his face, and he just
started giggling. You just know this was the biggest moment of the
episode for him-- his big chance to pull off some more of his
"shenanigans." Actually, I take that back. Rob's favorite moment
this episode was a toss-up between this and the moment that Jeff
put the immunity carrots around his neck.
started his conversation with Christy RIGHT IN FRONT of Heidi and
Jenna. A few people have questioned the logic of this, asking why would
he do it right there in front of them. But you have to remember that
Rob does this all the time. He makes up stories to tell people, and
then he brags it to the others. Go back and watch how excited he was
about all the lies he was telling to Matt. So I have to
guess he probably told Heidi and Jenna beforehand, "Watch, I'm gonna
make up some story to Christy and send her on a wild goose chase," and
they bought it. They probably thought it was hilarious at the time, and
so did Rob. Everyone had a good time that day.
Wait a minute... Matt voted for himself as "Most honest" and he was the
only person to get it correct?? If so many other people named him most
honest, you would think that at least ONE of them would have also
gotten it right. Have some faith in your answers, people!
My wife loved how Jeff didn't even ask Rob if he wanted to give up
immunity. "Well, Rob, I know you don't want to give it up, so let's
vote." I think a better paraphrase of that statement would be "Rob, I
don't want to lob you a softball question, and set you up for a
big long rambling joke that you had all planned out, so we will just
skip you and move on." I wonder if Jeff is sick of Rob's jokes at
* The funniest moment of the episode was
when Matthew voted for himself as the person everyone else would have a
crush on, but no one else mentioned him. It just seemed like such a
strange answer. Of course, I guess you would expect something like
that from the guy who is also the most in need of therapy...
AFTER WEEK TEN
We head into the home stretch now, and things are just about as
muddled as ever. I think three people have a good chance to win this
game (Christy, Butch, Matthew), one has an outside shot to win (Jenna),
and Rob and Heidi may as well just play to have fun at this point.
1. Butch Lockley
Laying lower than low, the crafty principal is guaranteed to make the final four. I think he or Matthew is our winner now.
2. Matthew von Ertfelda
and neck with Butch for the #1 spot. Matthew is BY FAR the best athlete
left, and he is maybe even also the smartest. Who knows? His
overwhelming athletic advantage is what drops him down to #2 though.
They better get rid of him soon if they are ever going to.
3. Christy Smith
of a sudden, Christy has a solid shot to win, maybe just as much as the
top two. She is in a great spot at the moment, and she would actually
be a pretty tough jury threat. I bet a lot of people feel bad about the
way she has been treated out here.
4. Jenna Morasca
not as high as the top three, maybe even out of it altogether. But I
think she is sharper than Heidi, so she will stick around longer.
5. Rob Cesternino
Rob is a likely final two guy, but that's as far as he gets. Case closed.
6. Heidi Strobel
think Heidi is gone next week. I think Jenna has the "people feel sorry
about her sick mom" thing going on right now, and Heidi might pay the
price for it. One of the two is going home, flip a coin.
All hell breaks loose. Rob takes unbelievable heat. Heidi and Jenna are
livid, and one of them goes home (I guess Heidi.) And Butch just sits
back, smiling and watching. It should be a great episode.
is a programmer from Los Angeles who writes Survivor stuff when he is
bored at work. Shhhh, don't tell. And no, it is not a pseudonym. Mario
is actually his real name.