SURVIVOR INSIDERMarch 7, 2003

Published on: March 7, 2003

IT'S A JUNGLE OUT THERE! And nobody knows it better than Brian Heidik -- "Survivor: Thailand's" million-dollar man. Now, just for ENQUIRER readers, he brings you a no-holds-barred look at the new "Survivor: The Amazon" -- warts and all! You want REALITY? You GOT IT! Don't miss it! This week -- and every week!

Stress is a killer – even when you’re in the Amazon.

Joanna was a strong competitor and could’ve helped them beat the men in the upcoming challenges, but the stress she created in the women’s camp killed her chances at $1 million. Joanna could have been good for the tribe for quite a while but she was overbearing and stubborn, so ultimately she had to go. I was amazed at the way she spoke to the other women. She was very stern and glared at people if they slept longer than she thought they should have. You have to remember everyone has a vote and you cannot bark orders at them and expect to stay around long.

Sometimes stress can cause more damage than losing any challenge, and if a tribe is mentally strong, that’ll be enough to win – it’s not always about the muscle, but the willpower. Joanna was her own worst enemy. So bye-bye!

Joanna also turned some people off with her constant preaching. If you remember, Reverend John was the first to get booted from "Survivor: Thailand" because he basically did the same thing as Joanna. It’s not because people don’t believe in God or don’t want to hear anything about the Bible, but you can’t preach to people day and night and expect them to be receptive. Everything is cool in moderation as we saw with Vecepia, who was very spiritual and won "Survivor: Marquesas." The difference is that Vecepia didn’t have an in-your-face attitude with her beliefs. If you wanted to discuss religion she was open to it, but she lived and let live. She rode the waves silently and watched everyone getting kicked off for one reason or another ended up as the surprise winner. So, it CAN be done without making other people feel uncomfortable.

While kicking out Joanna made sense from the standpoint of eliminating a very strong competitor, Shawna really should have been the one to go because she was so sick and pitiful. But the new four-member alliance (the "Barbie" trio of Heidi, Shawna and Jenna, plus Deena) along with Christy, was able to control her vote -- which is vitally important now. But it may come back to haunt them in future Immunity Challenges against the men: They lost their strongest member in Joanna, and Shawna is essentially worthless as long as she’s physically depleted.

As the game goes along, Shawna, Heidi and Jenna shouldn’t underestimate Deena even though she’s not technically one of the "Barbies" – she’s playing the game very shrewdly. Just consider how Deena quickly brought along Christy. Christy is to Deena what Janet was to me – an ace in the hole. Christy is the swing vote and would go along with the group just to stay there as long as possible. Christy knew it was a mistake to send someone like Joanna home right now because she was such a physical asset to their tribe. Christy thought it would’ve been more beneficial to send Shawna home because she was sick. (Then again, Christy couldn’t hear Joanna’s tirades because of her deafness. Christy could just look away when Joanna was getting on her nerves!) Because of how she was feeling like an outsider early in the game Christy was just happy to be included in anything, so when Deena approached her to vote with the alliance she immediately went along.

Smart, Deena -- very smart. Keep playing that way, and you’ll be $1 million richer when the game finally ends.