Much like Survivor, Paradise Hotel has a Lord of the Flies type quality. These individuals are all pulled from society, secluded,forced to interact with each other, and the only real defining rule is that there aren't any rules-in the context of conduct anyway. Its strange how typically things evvolve from this formula. There is always a struggle for power, and a leader always emerges quickly. It always ends up being someone powerful, arguably the most powerful. This varies slightly. Power will depend on which individual posesses the characteristics specific to ensuring survival in the given situation-in this case winning the game. There are varying levels of power broken down after that, but every true leader must have loyal followers. And there is always a villain as well. Someone selfish, who abuses his strengths to gain control, with no regard for others. It always backfires, but causes continuous conflict up until then-much the way Zacks role in the game has. Dave is not the leader. Many people may view this as incorrect. I would argue that it is not Dave, but CHARLA who is the strongest member of the group, precisely because she doesn't know it. The biggest glitch in a leaders strategy is a sense of pride and infalliability-which I think Dave has. Charla, while never as vulnerable as she thinks she is(from day one, as the outsider which solidified her spot from that point on) has all the cards in her hands. She has much more power than Dave. She played the unassuming, timid female, letting Dave be the one to demostrate all of the control, strategy and power. She sat back and pulled the strings, hiding behind the curtain without even knowing it! Dave is her soldier. Keith is also very powerful, but came in the game too late. His only chance for survival was to accept his rank (still good enough to keep him safe) and provide his insight and assistance. When it came time to make a power move, Dave always did the footwork. This is why every one was so shocked by Charla when they went home and saw the episodes, because Dave was so overtly strategic and controlling-and yet it was Charla inadvertantly controlling things. How did this happen?Dave is smart. Dave is diplomatic. Dave is focused and genuine. He was
the only candidate feasably able to outwit Charla. Maybe even EASILY outwit Charla. But, Dave relinquished that power to have an ally. A safe bet, as long as that ally is NOT someone you have any serious emotional attachment to. The last ally will become the last threat if seen through until the end. You have to be ready to let them go when your own survival is at risk. They are there to carry you through, but must inevitably become disposable. Dave has openly admitted his feelings for Charla. How often have they gotten in the way of strategy("survival" essentially)? Often. This is Dave's only weakness (that is, his need for acceptance) but it is a crucial one. Charla is apathetic towards the entire process, and the individuals involved in it. She has nothing to lose by losing-and that gives her all the self control and power possible. Of the individuals voted out, (some of them twice), most had no chance of winning anyway. There was an almost immediate split in the group, even when new guests arrived. This was catagorized as Original versus New- but the editors spin was really Good versus Evil-because its classic, it hooks you and its easy to understand. Really, it was a split based on those playing the game, as opposed to those playing around. Those who had come on the show with the priorty of building relationships (Toni, Amy, Holly, Beau, Kristin, etc.) automatically focused on that element, often making strategically suicidal moves in order to help their "friends". Again, the one with the power-Charla-didn't care to be distracted by the social element- she had no friends, almost as a deliberate decision. She was ostracized from the group for it, but stuck to her goal. This was a game, and she was there to play it. She was immediately rewarded with power (the only guest unable to be voted off week one) for her desicion to be withdrawn from the gleeful, unfocused group. Zack and Alex, on some level, wanted to try and play the game. They made attempts to forward there positions. Sadly (or not so sadly) they made some major errors in judgement (Alex and casino night) which ended up backfiring. The trick to obtaining power is: Do not demostrate a desire or attempt for power.
Especially in a group where the majority value loyalty and solidarity above anything else. Zack and Alex were both arrogant in there attempts to get ahead, as a result were careless. They also stood no chance.
By rights, those playing the game well, should win the game well. And, if left to fend for themselves they would. But in order to create drama and suspense ( what would the show be really, without the twists and turns they boast?) there have to be variables. Vote on's, restricted or non restricted pairings, day trips, pandoras box. Some of these aspects of the game could hinder th efforts of those who worked to maintain their positions of power. They would in fact, make it quite plausable for Scott and Amy to waltz away with someone elses hard earned reward. So why are we watching, if all of the strategy and effort may not matter--probably will not matter? Because its in our DNA to be interested. Its carnilvalesque-and freakshows are not in circuit anymore. So we watch and judge,from the safety of our living rooms. It gives us a reference point. A basis from which to gauge our lives, our personalities, our accomplishments-and declare in disdain that somehow, somewhere, someone-is much much worse off than us. Perspective, folks. That's what its all about.