Thursday, March 14, 2013

Leaders always emerge, even on Survivor

Put any group of people together and give them a task and a leader will emerge. On Survivor, this becomes interesting because people who have watched the show believe that leaders put a target on their back. Since every time a tribe loses an immunity challenge, one member is voted off by the tribe, it is often the leader who is voted off. That's the theory anyway and the reason many people have been hesitant to step up to the leadership role on the show. But is this theory even true? I'm going to have to do an analysis on this one day because I have my doubts. I can think of Richard Hatch, Tom Wesson, Yul Kwon, Rob Mariano and Earl Cole as leaders who have gone on to win the show.

It took Rob some time but on his third try he achieved a really weird cult of personality that brought him to the top.

In this season, Phil decided he would be the leader of this group, taking his cue from Rob Mariano. Now Phil appears mentally unstable, delusional in his intelligence and abilities. He is the only survivor whose job is followed by a question mark when he is named on the screen as in: Phil Sheppard, Secret Agent?

Phil took leadership of the tribe because he thought this was the way to win the game. He set up a secret alliance giving everyone strange names like 'Eliminator' and 'Dominatrix'. At that point, tribe members should have brought him back to reality and told him they were not playing his weird game. Instead they played along, encouraging him in his delusions and enlarging his ego.

Finally Brandon called him on the carpet and told him he was talking like a child. He declared that nobody liked the names, or Phil for that matter.
The only problem is that Brandon was the wrong person for the job. He has his own mental problems, that seem to point towards Manic Depression. This led to a fight with Brandon declaring that he is the master of his own destiny. He got himself kicked out by destroying the tribe's food.
What was interesting was that during Brandon's tirade, the 'leader of the tribe' walked off, some might say ran away. That is not leadership.

Things went downhill from there, almost devolving into a fistfight and Brandon got himself kicked off the tribe. The tribe forfeited the immunity challenge and voted him off publically. Very strange!

But this tribe is still without a leader. Someone else needs to tell Phil to knock off the secret agent business and take the reins of this team. They have been lucky so far in winning challenges, in no small part because of the physical strength and comeptitiveness of Brandon. That won't last. It is time for someone else to knock Phil off his perch and return the tribe to sanity.

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