SURVIVOR INSIDERMarch 14, 2003

Published on: March 12, 2003

Dave and Jenna won a reward challenge the easiest way possible – by being born in the right year. But instead of being smart and using it to their strategic advantage, they foolishly saw their luxurious Amazon retreat as just a reward for themselves.

They passed up a golden opportunity to smuggle some of the food they got to enjoy back to the camp -- for their tribemates. That was extremely selfish. Remember, these are the people who can either stab you in the back or help you win $1 million. Passing up a chance to create a little goodwill was dumb. None of the tribe members said anything about it, but I’m sure it crossed their minds. With new tribes forming, Dave and Jenna could have started off on the right foot with everyone simply by bringing back a little food.

In general, reward challenges can be very tricky because of the jealousy and resentment factors of your tribemates. If you do win a reward challenge and take off for a day and night of great food and pampering, when you get back to your camp you have to answer the questions of your tribemates very generically – especially if you didn’t bring anything back for them. You want to make it sound like your reward was just so-so, no big deal.

Do NOT brag about the wonderful food, taking a shower, washing your hair and sleeping in a luxurious bed with netting. Remember, I gave up a luxury challenge on purpose when I obviously blew a spelling game on purpose to let Ted win. Ted got a brand new Jeep -- which he never thanked me for – because I decided the potential resentment and jealousy of my tribemates was too great of a risk. Besides, I was after the $1 million, not a stupid Jeep!

But back to Dave and Jenna.

I’m sure the producers were hoping there would be something else to discuss when they got back to camp and were bummed when Dave and Jenna didn’t do anything in bed together. The producers always seem to find a way to give the contestants an opportunity to get hot and heavy, but Dave is smartly focused on winning and knows he can pursue Jenna later, if interested.

Dave’s in a good position right now, but he shouldn’t get too comfortable because Roger is still around, and Roger’s a strong threat. People who felt they had control before have lost it – just look at Deena. She said, “I feel as if I am in control. I am alpha female, top dog at this point.” She thought she was in a good position to win or to at least be there down to the wire, and Roger felt the same way.

But then the surprise switch happened, and the tribes changed from a dynamic of older and wiser to younger and sexier. As a result, Roger and Deena feel very threatened. They’re not the top dogs anymore and Deena even said so on the show – which was a huge mistake!

Deena is usually pretty clever, so for her to verbalize her fears made her even more vulnerable.

It’s a whole new game and alliances have been severely tested but it will be interesting to see who stays loyal. Heidi has already shown her true colors but switching alliances to vote with the men on her tribe, so I know she won’t win. The men AND the women of her tribe now know she’s capable of stabbing someone in the back very easily – and that WILL be remembered.

In the jungle when you have nothing else to focus on, most things are not forgotten – believe me. Everything is exaggerated. Your tribemates won’t say anything at the time, but when you get to Tribal Council they’ll surely say it with their votes – and then it’s too late for you.

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