Without a doubt, the antagonists are what make Total Drama. Without them, the show would be way more boring, but they're all far from perfect. In this blog, I'll be analyzing what they do right, and some of the mistakes they've made that cost them big time. (Thanks to TheEpicDestroyer for helping with most of these.)
- Heather's main strategy was manipulation. She managed to manipulate Lindsay into thinking they were friends, as well as manipulating her own team into sparing her whenever they faced elimination.
- Heather was good at exploiting the weaknesses of those she targeted. Gwen's crush on Trent, Owen's love of food, Eva's short temper and a lot more.
- Heather was also consistently good at thinking on her feet. Stealing Eva's MP3 player was probably one of her best plans because she knew Eva's short temper would turn her team against her and lead to them voting off their strongest player. It's also worth mentioning that Heather managed to recognize who the two most gullible people on her team were, and lured them into an alliance all within 3 episodes.
- Heather's biggest flaw is that she's extremely impulsive. Unlike most other antagonists who would try to gain the trust of her fellow competitors by acting nice to them and making them think she was their friend, Heather was awful to everybody from the very start, which is something that could've cost her majorly if not for a lot of luck, and a lot of incompetence from her team.
- She also acts on her personal feelings instead of a good strategy a lot of the time. Reading Gwen's diary in the talent show challenge was a MAJOR risk, as she managed to turn nearly her entire team against her by doing this, and had she not managed to convince enough people to vote for Justin, she would've been eliminated for sure.
- Another major flaw for Heather, which contributed directly to her eventual downfall was her vanity. Heather's ultimate downfall was, of course, the fact that she refused to get her head shaved. Throughout the season, Heather sacrificed her alliance members, the cast's trust in her, and several team members for the sake of winning, but not her hair. Had she swallowed her pride and accepted the dare, she wouldn't have been eliminated and perhaps would've even made the finale.
- Justin knows he's hot. Simple enough. He knew he could use it to his advantage, and he did. Though his charms did eventually wear off, he had Lindsay and Beth wrapped around his fingers for a decent amount of time.
- Justin was also nice to people, and unlike villains who used that strategy, like Alejandro, Justin was, with most people, completely genuine. The only people Justin seemed to be feigning friendship with were Lindsay and Beth, who he didn't seem to really care for. He treated others, especially the boys, as genuine friends, which in turn helped him form a Guys Alliance in the later half of the season.
- Though he knows that his looks can charm most females, Justin becomes very over-reliant on them and finds himself at a loss for allies when his charm starts fading. This is what leads to him being outdone by Courtney after she debuts to the competition, and ultimately costs him the game.
- Courtney is a really calculated thinker. Unlike other villains who would just generally plan out nasty things, Courtney goes by the book when thinking of a plan.
- Courtney also had excellent performance in challenges, winning a whopping FOUR challenges after the merge, three of which being in a row. She was very good at staying focused on the challenge at hand, and stuck to her morale of "sticking to the top".
- Like Heather, Courtney also makes good use of manipulation, which she is very skilled at because of her association with law. Despite most of her fellow competitors hating her, those who did like her, such as Duncan, were easy for Courtney to butter up with no difficulty. Examples of this skill are how she managed to convince Beth to ally with her, or convincing Harold to vote off Leshawna
- Similarly to Heather, Courtney suffered from a poor social game. She was openly rude to contestants whom she considered beneath her and didn't keep quiet about those she found a threat. She had very few allies by the late game, with only Duncan and for a brief time Beth choosing to ally with her, though she treated both horribly. Her attitude eventually cost her her only ally, which led to her being voted off.
- Courtney also had a huge ego. Even before she was a villain, she would constantly annoy her teammates by trying to take control because she considered herself the best person for it, and reminding everyone that she was a CIT. This flaw returns in TDA when Courtney refuses to socialize with most of the others because she considered herself above them, which meant she had very few allies.
- Courtney has a very volatile personality. She gets angry when things don't go her way, and this causes her to lose focus on the task at hand.
- Alejandro does not act rash. He carefully plans out his next move, and this pays off many times. His plans to eliminate characters, like Leshawna, Bridgette, DJ, Owen, and Duncan, usually spanned more than one episode.
- Unlike Heather and Courtney, Alejandro took advantage of his status as a new competitor and hid his villainous ways. This allowed the rest of the cast to feel they could trust him, and lead to most of them letting their guard down around him.
- Alejandro also chose his words very carefully, never arousing suspicion among the others. Only 3 competitors managed to see through this.
- During the later stages of the game, Alejandro started to let his feelings for Heather distract him. This weakness was eventually noted by Heather and ultimately cost him the game in the finale (taking Heather's ending into account).
- His strategy of getting close to the females on the show and eventually getting them eliminated was dangerously repetitive, being used on 3 competitors, and could've been picked up on if he wasn't careful.
- Like Alejandro, Scott hid his true intentions and befriended his team. This led his team to trust him and meant he formed a powerful alliance with the boys.
- Scott didn't get in people's faces unless it came to something significant like voting someone off.
- Scott is also very good at manipulation, though this usually comes down to luck as his teammates were either naive or just stupid.
- Scott's strategy of throwing challenges so that he'd pick off everyone on his team one by one until he was the only one left was both majorly risky and not very clever. If Scott had been discovered, he would've been voted off immediately, and had his plan succeeded, leaving him the only person left before the merge, Scott would be alone against a relatively strong Mutant Maggots, meaning his almost certain defeat.
The idea of Mal is interesting on paper, and myself and a lot of others were excited at the idea of Mike having an "evil" personality. Though, putting it lightly, Mal was a huge disappointment. What strengths he did have, the rest of the characters were dumbed down to accomodate for them, and he was also very far from the usual Reality Show Villain that the last 5 antagonists were based on. (Thanks to Raised By Wolves for help with this)
- Though Mal's original strategy of breaking things is heavily criticized, it was, in fact, quite effective in getting rid of Sierra and Sam, as being without their electronics was what drove them to the point where their team voted them off.
- Mal was also good at manipulating the others, though this really comes from the dumbing down of the other characters. He managed to convince Cameron to kiss Courtney, driving a wedge between her and Scott, as well as making Alejandro look bad to everyone else and getting eliminated.
- When he first emerged, Mal's strategy didn't even seem to involve winning. He just wanted to cause as much harm and chaos as possible, and he didn't even talk about winning until the finale.
- Mal also didn't do a good job keeping himself disguised as Mike throughout the season. Beating up Izzy and laughing at starving interns isn't something Mike would do, and had the rest of the characters not been dumbed down to accomodate this, they would've caught on.
- Mal had no substantial strategy for long-term success
- Most of his victories were either by luck or thanks to Zoey
- He spent more time sabotaging challenges instead of actually doing them
- Mal was painted as the ultimate evil when in truth he only eliminated like 2 people
- His goal was to cause chaos, yet whenever he did so, the effects were over fast