QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.
The Rules: Each week our two combatants will create separate power rankings. The ranking of the person who is voted out of the next episode will determine the number of points the players will earn. For example, if Andrea is voted out this episode, Adam will receive seven points and Gordon will receive eight points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Game Changers” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.
Last Week: Adam Klein had Sierra in spot eight, while Gordon Holmes had her in spot nine. The current score is Team Adam 104, Team Gordon 101.
Quick Note: Rankings are not based on who the player thinks is most likely to win. The smart strategy is to rank the contestants based on who is the most likely to be voted out in the next episode.
Adam’s Score = 104
Any questions for Adam? Drop him a line on Twitter: @AdamScottKlein
Gordon’s Score = 101
Any questions for Gordon? Drop him a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes
|1. Sarah: For the first time in many weeks, Troyzan drops off the top spot, for one reason, and one reason alone: visibility. Two people will go home in one hour this week, and this is the same penultimate episode that sent home Will and Sunday last season, the two people with the least screen time of the final 8. So I am looking towards those who have had season-long narratives to be safe this week.
Sarah has had the most visibility of anyone left in the game and I cannot possibly imagine anyone else playing her new Legacy Advantage, not to mention we still haven’t seen her ‘backup’ (the vote steal) come into play. But beyond that, she is somehow in a great position in the game, with a lot of friends and allies, despite having at some point blindsided every single person on the merge tribe. Sarah continued to display her dominant social game when, despite voting out her friend and ally Sierra, Sierra STILL trusted her enough to give her the Legacy Advantage. WOW.
|1. Troyzan: I can’t think of a single reason to get rid of Troyzan. He doesn’t bother anyone. He isn’t winning immunities. A jury isn’t going to give him the win. Add an idol to that and it might as well be his island…cause he isn’t going anywhere.
Quick Aside: Why aren’t more people talking about how Troyzan could have totally blown up the game last week with his idol?! Dooooo something!
|2. Michaela: Michaela has had pretty solid visibility all season, and is in a good spot in the game. She continues to be in a power position with room to move, and is somehow still under the radar as a physical threat. She is in a strong position to run the numbers, and the challenges, into the endgame.||2. Tai: He’s packing two idols and he’s quickly running out of time to play them. If he feels any heat, he’s going take that quick walk up to Jeff’s podium. And if there’s a way to play them so he can get to the end with Troyzan and Brad, all the better.|
|3. Brad: Brad’s positioning in the game does not look great, but his edit tells a different story. To me, only Sarah, Brad, and Cirie have potential winning season-long storylines, and I just cannot imagine that the editors would want to leave only two in the game before the finale. Brad got what he needed from the family visit, and that should be the extra juice he needs to make it a couple more days to reach the finale. His scene with Michaela about being ‘blackmailed’ doesn’t look great, but you don’t blackmail the person you are sending to jury.||3. Michaela: Have we seen anything to make us think that Michaela isn’t just one of Cirie’s votes? She buddied up with Tai last week, but the end result was her voting with Cirie yet again. Right now she feels like a finalist who isn’t going to get any votes.|
|4. Cirie: I am pretty sure this is the highest I’ve ranked Cirie all season, and with just one episode before the finale it’s a pretty spectacular placement for someone who came into the game as one of the biggest legends of Survivor, ever. If Cirie goes in 8th or 7th, she will already have far surpassed what many (myself included) expected. She has one of the few ‘winnable’ edits, but she still has to survive 5 more votes, all of them without immunity most likely. My best guess is that the others think that she will be easy pickings at final 6 or final 5 because she is a well-known super-threat that is unlikely to win immunity.||4. Aubry: Oh hey, Aubry. I wonder if you’re one of the best players ever to get an invisible edit. We’re just not seeing enough of you to make me think you’re going to make a huge impression on this game.|
|5. Troyzan: Troyzan takes a big dip this week because of visibility, but we also haven’t been given any reasons why he would be targeted. As a member of the shrinking minority, he may be tempted to finally play his idol, but I have a hard time imagining a scenario in which Troyzan gets targeted and blindsided with the idol in his pocket. In a secret scene this week, Troyzan defends his relatively quiet strategic game by saying that his social game could win over a jury, and it almost sounds as if he’s being asked by the producer, “why aren’t you making a move?” Troyzan is playing a deliberate game, but it’s not the kind of game producers love, and they could be punishing him for it with an invisible edit.||5. Cirie: I know it’s unprofessional to have a rooting interest, but I want Cirie to win. But, it’s tricky when you have no challenge skills and everyone else has some kind of weird advantage. I’m really worried that Andrea’s going to win immunity and we’re going to have one of those split-up-the-power-couple votes.|
|6. Tai: Credit to Evan, my brother, for coming up with this possibility: could Tai tell Cirie about his idol(s) in the next episode, ask her to do something she doesn’t feel comfortable doing, and then she uses that info against him to blindside him? It certainly would be a devious move that would have her wondering “could I pull that off?” The reason I think this kind of thing is possible is that Tai isn’t getting the edit of a winner contender, and yet, if he is able to successfully play two more idols, you’d have to put him up there as a frontrunner. So what that tells me is that, somehow, the idol plays don’t go well for Tai. If Tai survives this episode with both idols, he has a guaranteed place in the final 4… but I just don’t see that happening.||6. Brad: I’m so torn about Brad right now. He’s a likable, challenge immunity threat who probably can’t win at the end. But, he did just got some sound advice from one of the best players to ever strap on a buff.|
|7. Andrea: For once, I am not putting Andrea on the bottom! And yet, two people are going home this episode, so I might as well be putting her in last. I feel like a broken record when it comes to Andrea at this point, so I’ll be brief: Physical. Social. Strategic. All around threat. Arrows flying everywhere. One bound to hit eventually.||7. Sarah: “Oh my God, you guys…why did Sierra get voted out? I’m so surprised.” Those facial expressions may have earned Sarah the legacy advantage, but I’m sure her alliance wasn’t crazy about them.|
|8. Aubry: I honestly have no idea how this happens, but somehow, Aubry is going home this week. She is one of the best narrators Survivor has, and yet they have relegated Aubry to reward reaction gifs all season long. If she makes the finale, we should all write and complain about how robbed we were of glorious Aubry snark for 14 episodes. The only explanation I can come up with for this edit is that she goes home unceremoniously in the double boot hour. The Sunday and Will airtime curse strikes again!||8. Andrea: I gambled by keeping you out of the bottom spot last week and it paid off. But, two cycles of voting is just too risky. There are way better people to take to the end and you’re always going to be a challenge threat.|