Survivor Cambodia: Week 7 winners, losers

Survivor Cambodia: Week 7 winners, losers

Game Fail: Why Kass McQuillen Lost Survivor

John Powell –

When you are as infamous as Kassandra “Kass” McQuillen there is just no hiding under the radar for very long. Notorious for playing a tumultuous Cagayan game and more significantly, displaying little or no loyalty to anyone, there was no reason for the Cambodia players to believe things would be any different this time around. Trust is the most valuable asset in Survivor. Without it, you are fated to have your torch snuffed…sooner or later.

In Survivor, there are times to take the reins and times to sit back, let others stick their necks out, wait for your time to strike. You have to have patience. You have to have precision. Kass played with none of those virtues. Her ego smothered them in Cagayan and did so once again in Cambodia. She had to stir the pot. She had to be at the forefront of the charge. While it may make for great television and drama, it is gameplay that is not rewarded, more often than not.

Restraint is an essential and fundamental Survivor trait. Survivor Kass doesn’t seem capable of that. Maybe it is the competition itself. Maybe it is her personality. Maybe she just cannot help herself. Whatever the reason or combination of reasons, like her social blunders, Kass should have learned from her strategic mistakes in Cagayan. As is the prevailing theme this season, making errors and mistakes is part of the learning process but if you ignore the past, you are bound to repeat your missteps like Kass did.


Strategic Gameplay

At the start, she was Clever Kass not Chaos Kass. It was a move that kept her off everyone immediate radar. So much so, we barely knew she was on the island at all. For someone with her dreadful Survivor standing, not being overly aggressive and not shining a spotlight on your ability to stir things up or play the puppet master was the right strategy to employ.

Unfortunately, Chaos Kass couldn’t and wouldn’t remain in the shadows. Letting her ego get the better of her, Kass leapt into the battle when she didn’t need to. Although it was Ciera’s battle to fight last episode, Kass just had to be the one igniting drama, even though she personally wasn’t in any danger at all. Chaos Kass returned, reminding everyone of how cutthroat Kass could be and how her word, her promises haven’t meant much in the past.

After the merger, she continued to make herself a target instead of waiting for others like Ciera to let out the noose and eventually hang themselves. You never interfere when a rival while they are in the process of destroying themselves. Step back, watch the fireworks and pick up the pieces when it is all over.

Rating: 2 / 5


Social Gameplay

There was only one thing to do when Kass discovered she was chosen to participate in Second Chances: rehabilitate her shoddy Survivor image. In order to form any kind of support system and last in the game, she had to prove or at least make it seem to people there was another side to her; human side that cared about other people and didn’t see them as just chess pieces.

Kass admitted she studied self-help books to strengthen her social game. A good move but what some academics fail to realize is that not everything can be learned from a book. There are things that just cannot be taught. Making Kelley a belated birthday gift was one of the better moments this season. Still, people questioned her motivations, as they should, based on how Kass played others in the past.

Whether purely for strategic reasons, to really improve herself or maybe a little bit of both, Kass did make an effort to enrich her social game despite all the doubts her conduct would raise. She did recognize a serious weakness and tried to improve it, unlike many of the other players. Most did have a better impression of her throughout the season which confirms all was not for naught.

Rating : 3 / 5

Entertainment Value

Love her or hate her, Kass was undeniably one of the stars of Survivor: Cagayan. Her ruthless and unpredictable gameplay had viewers glued to their sets and either cheering or jeering her. Possibly due to her under the radar strategy, we didn’t see much of Kass at all this season. When she finally came alive, she was shown the door.

As is the way with reality shows, a boisterous, in-your-face, hard-hitting strategy is entertaining, however, that type of person is not likely to remain around because of the threat they pose to the other players.

Kass was a potential menace who had to be removed from the game as soon as possible. The longer she remained active, the greater the chance she would be able to spread her personal brand of chaos. In a season where so much is on the line, someone like Kass is a burden, a liability. No volume of books or seminars was ever going to change that.

Rating : 3 / 5

Final Castaway Rating: 8 / 15

Powell’s Picks: Episode 7

Who played it cool and who proved themselves to be a fool? Every week John Powell makes his picks for the worst and best players of the week.


Bronze Amateur: The Merge, Joe Anglim
Although it does provide for a lot of chaos, confusion and general bewilderment, the merge just seems far too soon and I wonder if a massive Pagonging will be the resulting outcome. Joe? Winning Immunity when you don’t really need it could make you a bigger threat than you already are.


Silver Amateur: Ciera Eastin
Just like Kass, Ciera didn’t exercise self-discipline. Her outbursts at camp and Tribal Council won’t sit well with the others, especially those who believe she was criticizing their gameplay. Way to make yourself a target.


Gold Amateur: Kassandra “Kass” McQuillen
Like so many Cambodia players, she is another leopard who couldn’t change her spots. For that, she was fed to the sharks.


Bronze MVP: Tasha Fox, Andrew Savage
They weathered the storm and have been able, thus far, to dust over their mistakes. How long will their luck last?


Silver MVP: Spencer Bledsoe, Joe Anglim
Joining forces and maneuvering themselves into the position of being the swing votes was clever. Will the alliance stay strong? Stay tuned.


Gold MVP: The Bayon Alliance
Enlisting Keith, Joe and Spencer helped them control and survive the vote this week.


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