LAST EDITED ON 01-11-14 AT 02:10 AM (EST)
You know, aside from Tyson himself. "Blame" is the wrong word, implying something bad happened, but you know what I mean.
I was listening to some of the exit interviews on Rob Has a Podcast for this past season, and wondered where it went wrong for everyone else. Obviously a huge amount of the credit goes to Tyson for orchestrating a lot of stuff, but in a lot of ways, it takes a conspiracy of many people making mistakes (without knowing it) for someone to win Survivor. The winner often wins because they force those people to make those mistakes.
If I had to guess on this season, I would say this is either Hayden or Ciera's fault.
So according to Hayden, Ciera, and Laura (in interviews), they originally hatched a plan to eliminate Tyson in the Final 8, right after the Tina boot. Ciera supposedly spear-headed the plan in some way, getting her mom to join up with Hayden/Caleb and Katie to go against Tyson/Monica/Gervase.
But according to their story, Hayden got cold feet at the last second. Hayden was nervous about Laura being in the picture and pushed Ciera to let her mom go instead. And obviously Tyson was pushing that agenda too at that point. According to Hayden, though, the arrangement was pretty open-ended and he and Ciera had a "heart-to-heart" on the beach where Ciera was supposedly OK with it, and said they'd get Tyson at Final 7.
But when they got to Final 7, Ciera got spooked. Hayden approached her to confirm they were doing the Tyson plan. But she had observed him going off with Tyson and Gervase on occasion as well, and she didn't feel like she could fully trust Hayden and Caleb. So, as well all know, she spilled the beans to Tyson, Hayden countered against Ciera, and the whole situation got messed up for them.
After that point, Ciera realized the mistake she made (which is where I give her credit) and they basically tried everything they could to fix it. Unsuccessfully, but they at least tried.
There is the argument that Monica and Gervase are the primary people you could blame, but I feel like their stock with the jury fell so low that jumping ship wouldn't have benefited them anyway. So they didn't really break the game in some way, other than by just being bad at jury management.
Aras and Vytas and Tina are more a product of mishandled alliance management, but I wouldn't say their mistakes are how Tyson specifically locked down the game. Caleb and Katie were kind of non-factors in the actual bartering and jockeying, so I'm apt to assign them less of the blame.
We could do this for every season, but we all know that Dr. Sean is the one who "messed up" Borneo for everyone. Even if he did do it purposefully.