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 Michaela 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 JT in spot fifteen. Gordon Holmes had him in spot sixteen. The current score is now Team Adam 38, Team Gordon 36.
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 = 38
Any questions for Adam? Drop him a line on Twitter: @AdamScottKlein
Gordon’s Score = 36
Any questions for Gordon? Drop him a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes
|1. Troyzan: The game seems to be playing out along mostly original tribal lines, so without knowing the new tribes, the question for me becomes: which side will win out? In order to figure that out, here is what I believe to be roughly the way the sides would figure, given who is tight with their original group and who might be looking to make a switch:
Original Nuku + Likely to Flip (LTF): Brad, Sierra, Tai, Ozzy, Zeke, Andrea, Aubry (LTF)
Original Mana + LTF: Sandra, Michaela, Varner, Hali, Troyzan, Sarah (LTF), Cirie (LTF)
In conclusion, I have the sides completely even and have no idea what is going to happen. Praying for a power rankings miracle this week. Troyzan gets the top spot because his idol, an alliance with Sarah, and a fresh start on a tribe with more familiar faces will only help.
|1. Troyzan: Another tribe swap?! Seriously?! I have to update these graphics again?! Curse you, Jeff Probst! Anywho, another tribe swap is on its way and a former player is being boated in for some reason. Who knows what’s going to happen during this nutty “Calvinball” season. All I know is one dude is truly safe and he’s the one packing an idol.|
|2. Tai: The question now becomes: if each side loses out, who is the least likely to have the arrows of the other side pointed at them? Those who stand out as leaders or traitors are likely to be the first targets.
Tai keeps jumping up in the rankings. After a brilliant idol play, he is now poised to hopefully find another right before a swap. He has a shield in Brad and has proven his loyalty over and over again. If his side loses out, I can’t imagine that he would become the target, as they might suspect he has another idol.
|2. Zeke: I think Zeke would be a bigger target if this cast had seen “Millennials vs. Gen-X.” But, since they didn’t, right now he’s just the lovable guy who’s super good at puzzles and knows his “Survivor” trivia.|
|3. Sierra: Next least likely target is Sierra. Shielded by Brad as well, and loyal to original Nuku, Sierra seems like she’ll survive long enough to keep the legacy advantage until the first time it can be used, at least. Didn’t go so hot for Mana last time they targeted her.||3. Tai: Oh Tai…I hope you don’t delay that idol hunt for too long. But even if you do, I think you’ll be OK. Tai has that cool thing going where he makes big moves, but most people probably view him as a pawn.|
|4. Jeff: Varner is laying low and is shielded by Sandra and Michaela. This could finally be the year Varner makes the jury!||4. Sarah: Sarah’s keeping all avenues open and she’s doing a good job of not advertising it. And, apparently she’s close with Brad and his crew. My only concern with her is her itch to make big moves. With all of the twists and turns we’ve seen this season, I would wait.|
|5. Zeke: Zeke is doing well on puzzles, lying low, and seems to have good relationships. Can’t see him becoming a target next.||5. Sierra: This tribe swap seems like the motivation to send a big player home. Sierra’s playing a good game thus far, but nobody is viewing her as a big player.|
|6. Sarah: The Big Move™ has been teased… will Sarah be the one to join forces with Troyzan and the rest of original Mana and shake up the game? Seems likely. Far less likely but also possible is that she’s found out by original Nuku as a potential flipper and is Matt Elrod’d.||6. Hali: Is Brad sucking up to Hali? Wouldn’t we have seen it? Hali does seem to be on the outs with classic Mana and getting in good with classic Nuku, so maybe she’s in the best position with a swap.|
|7. Michaela: This is where it starts getting tough. From here on down, I think everyone is a big target that could take a hit, and it just depends on how the tribes shake up. Michaela is still really useful in challenges and somewhat shielded by Sandra, so likely the safest of the unsafe.||7. Jeff: Being Sandra’s right hand isn’t exactly the safest role. But, if Sandra and Jeff end up on opposite tribes, I think most people will view Varner as harmless.|
|8. Cirie: Cirie will have options. She can stick with original Nuku, but I think it’s more likely that she flips. The show has made it a point to show her as not feeling like she ever felt very solid with that group, and she also says in her secret scene this week that “I don’t want the old Nuku to stay together.” Nevertheless, Cirie still is a massive threat and will never be completely safe.||8. Michaela: I don’t think Michaela gets enough credit for keeping her cool and going with Sandra’s plan last week. If Michaela had done anything to tip JT off, he could’ve played that idol (well, if he had it with him) and the game would be completely different.|
|9. Ozzy: Ozzy is playing well socially and seemingly strategically, but JT’s elimination is a big loss for him. He loses one of his only shields and a loyal ally, and with the merge nearing, has the potential to be sniped before he gets a shot at individual immunity.||9. Ozzy: I know I said this would be a week to get rid of a big player, but I don’t think anyone is actually afraid of Ozzy’s strategic and social game. I think whichever group ends up with the Hall of Famer will like the idea of his challenge prowess keeping them away from Tribal for a while.|
|10. Aubry: This swap could not come at a better time for Aubry. She knows she is on the bottom of original Mana, and seems likely to join back up with her pal Tai and his original Nuku friends. She would have much more room to maneuver on that side compared to where she’s sitting now.||10. Andrea: The original Nuku never went to Tribal, so we didn’t know what the social dynamics were until JT was voted out. I was surprised to hear that Andrea is not trusted by the classic Nuku majority. The question is; does she know that fact?|
|11. Brad: Here’s who I still have left from each group:
Nuku: Brad, Andrea
Mana: Sandra, Hali
Of these 5, I think Brad’s strategic control should allow him to get the majority moving forward, and even if not, he could be spared as someone that is still probably underestimated.
|11. Aubry: How does Aubry always find herself on the bottom? Is it because she doesn’t get along with Sandra and they always end up on the same tribe? If anyone is due for some good luck on “Survivor,” it’s Aubry.|
|12. Sandra: It’s Brad’s group vs. Sandra’s group, and Sandra would have to pull out all the stops to win out here. She’s the biggest threat of her group, so if she’s in the minority, seems like it would be a rare chance to vote her out. What could save her from the target would be the fear that she has an idol or would have someone play one for her. No matter what happens from here on out, Sandra has already proven to her doubters that she is undoubtedly the Queen of “Survivor.”||12. Brad: Oh Brad…Debbie’s meltdown was tough to watch. I’m all for aligning with people who will be easy to beat in the end, but you have to be able to predict that person’s actions. Debbie may be too much of a wildcard to keep around. Unless…|
|13. Hali: A swap is great news for Hali, but the editors haven’t given us much of Hali, even when she would have been in a prime position for the ‘rootable underdog’ edit. The lack of meaningful focus doesn’t suggest longevity in the game, and she could easily be targeted as someone Nuku knows does not have an idol.||13. Debbie: I have a theory…stick with me on this; Debbie and Brad have wanted to work together since before the game begin. They were passing notes during the pre-game Ponderosa. Is it possible that this blow-up is a ruse and they’re hoping to work both sides after a merge? It’s that or Debbie lost it. I’m not sure which is more likely.|
|14. Andrea: I’ve had Andrea low ever since Troyzan called her out on Tavua. Why would the editors include that unless it paid off somehow? Seeing as Tavua never went to Tribal Council, could now be the time that Troyzan pulls off the Andrea blindside?||14. Cirie: Sandra and Cirie have had it out for each other since “Heroes vs. Villains.” If they end up on the same tribe together, one of them is going home. And Cirie is more likely to have numbers.|
|15. Debbie: To me, Debbie is the biggest question mark moving forward. Is she out on original Nuku because of her crazy blowup at Brad? Or will she fall back into line? She’s also had an interesting secret scene in the past where she claimed Sarah was her closest ally. If Sarah flips to go with Troyzan and Mana, will Debbie follow? She seems like an easy target for both sides as a potentially unreliable ally and someone that most people wouldn’t mind seeing go.||15. Sandra: If Wednesday night is Sandra’s night to finally have her torch snuffed, she’ll still be the queen to me.|
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes