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 Sierra is voted out this episode, Adam will receive five point and Gordon will receive six 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 Hali in spot seven, Gordon had her in spot three. They both had Ozzy in spot thirteen. The current score is Team Adam 84, Team Gordon 80.
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 = 84
Any questions for Adam? Drop him a line on Twitter: @AdamScottKlein
Gordon’s Score = 80
Any questions for Gordon? Drop him a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes
|1. Troyzan: Presumably, this week should be the easiest for power rankings of the season so far. There are 11 people left, and 6 of them voted together in the last episode. The episode title is literally “A Line Drawn in Concrete.” Importantly, according to secret scenes, the six mostly seem to think they each have a path to the end. For example, Zeke says, “Nobody knows that they are on the bottom of the alliance.” They need to get out at least two out of the five of Zeke, Cirie, Michaela, Andrea, and Aubry before they can pick off one of their own without losing their majority.
Troyzan is the safest of the bunch as he not only still has an idol, but he is laying super low, and intentionally so, according to a secret scene. He knows that becoming too likable, or telling a moving story, or beasting the challenges is going to prevent you from reaching day 39. So whoever has the inspiring moment at the challenge as teased in the commercial, I’ll put $10 on it not being Troyzan.
|1. Troyzan: Nothing to see here, folks. Just an innocent bikini photographer, enjoying nature, not bothering anyone. Right now he’s got to be crunching the numbers, trying to figure out how he can use his idol to get to the end with the two least liked players on the island. Maybe…Michaela and Debbie? Either way, he’s not going to be a target as long as Sierra, Debbie, and Brad are around.|
|2. Sarah: Sarah has connections to just about everyone on the tribe. Theoretically, people could be pissed that Sarah ‘turned’ on the Andrea/Cirie side in the last vote, but in practice, that side still needs Sarah. Zeke, as well, claims to have “an indestructably tight bond with Sarah,” and that “Sarah and I have absolute trust with each other. I believe that Sarah will be loyal to me to the end.” So my take on the scene shown in the preview with Sarah and Zeke in the hammock is that Sarah is pulling Zeke into the next vote with her side, not that she is going to flip on her alliance.||2. Tai: When it comes to standing still in an immunity challenge, Tai is a champ. Unfortunately for him, it looks like this week’s event has some movement involved. But, there are bigger fish to fry at this point and Tai still has his double-idol security blanket.|
|3. Debbie: Debbie is actually in a fantastic spot right now. She was shown to lead the charge against Ozzy, has solidified a solid alliance that could take her to the finale, and then from there I think a lot of people might want to sit next to Debbie at the end. And even then, if she continues leading the charge, she could have an argument at FTC.||3. Sarah: Oh, Sarah…you are dying to make that big move. And, we all know that it’s best to make your big move during odd-numbered votes. So, do you do it now or wait two weeks? Without a solid resume, you’d be hard pressed to beat higher-profile players like Sierra. But, if you make the move now you’ll have to work with people the jury might like. Tough call.|
|4. Brad: Brad went from looking like he was in charge throughout the premerge to all of a sudden being talked about in the edit as if he is dumb and just going along with Sierra. It’s an abrupt shift in tone to be sure, but I know what it’s like for the edit to trash you at the merge, and this wasn’t all that bad. Even so, if there is some perception that Brad isn’t calling the shots right now, that’s a perfect position for Brad to be in. If he can sit tight with this group, he could be sitting at the end with people he can beat.||4. Debbie: Extra votes are so tricky. You played yours last week and can probably claim credit for kicking a Hall of Famer out of the game. Buuuuut…by playing that vote the Hall of Famer knows exactly who to blame.|
|5. Sierra: I called her side Team Sierra in last week’s power ranking, and sure enough, that is how the show began to present it as well. As the figurehead for her side, Sierra is going to be reaping the credit for the next few boots if they stay solid, but that will also continue to heighten her threat level within her group. Immunity with the Legacy Advantage at final six may just be perfect timing for Sierra.||5. Brad: Back when the season started, if I had told you that a cunning Sierra and a charming Brad would be running the show, would you have believed me? Game changer!|
|6. Tai: HOT TAKE ALERT: Despite what I think is a very unfair edit, I think you can make the argument that Tai is playing the best game of the season so far. It came out in Ozzy’s exit interviews that the whole deal with Tai trying to vote out Ozzy when Sandra went home was staged in advance, and Tai pulled it off so well that it convinced the viewers at home! Zeke recognizes this in a secret scene, saying, “Tai is a linchpin in the Nuku alliance to make everyone feel like they are not on the bottom.” Tai has played an idol successfully, beat out Ozzy for individual immunity, been on the right side of every vote, is in a strong majority alliance, and still has two idols!
Even so, I think he is the most likely of ‘The Six’ to be targeted. After very impressively winning the last immunity challenge and having already successfully played an idol, his threat level is rising. Once he plays two more, it will shoot through the roof. Tai needs to lay low, allow others to underestimate him, and then strike quickly and forcefully right near the end to snag the win and prove all the haters wrong.
|6. Sierra: Sheriff Sierra has clearly learned from her past mistakes and seems to be in a great position this week. The only downside to the game she’s playing is if Sarah decides it’s time to make her Big Move(TM), Sierra is an obvious target.|
|7. Zeke: Despite becoming wholly untrustworthy to his (former) alliance with Andrea and Cirie, Zeke did still manage to vote with the majority, in the sense that he did what they asked him to do in voting for Aubry. As a result of that, I think he is the closest to the periphery of The Six, and likely to be brought in for a vote or two, especially by Sarah. Even if that happens, Zeke doesn’t seem to have a path to the end. Almost no one seems to want to work with him, despite his best efforts to make a big move happen. Zeke’s best bet is to sit quiet and let Sarah take him farther, but it’s really not in Zeke’s nature to do that.||7. Aubry: For being so unlucky, Aubry doesn’t find herself in a terrible position this week. Of all the people on the outside of majority alliance, she’s the one that seems the least threatening. If she can hang on until final seven, she might have a lot of options.|
|8. Michaela: Despite being a major challenge champion in the tribal portion of the game, Michaela has not stuck out so far as an individual immunity threat. I’m not sure this group knows how physically strong Michaela is as much as we recognized it on “Millennials vs. Gen X.” This is GREAT news for Michaela, because her side is lining up for the firing squad, and any reason that you might be a threat is going to get you shot down. Honestly, at this point, I would recommend that Michaela look as weak as possible and even throw immunity challenges. But… it’s really not in Michaela’s nature to do that.||8. Zeke: Oh, Zeke. Zeke, Zeke, Zeke, Zeke, Zeke. Ya gotta read the room, dude. This isn’t “Millennials vs. Gen-X” where everyone was best buddies and will overlook an attempted blindside. Andrea is a third-time player who is not yet on that Ozzy/Cirie/Boston Rob level that is probably going to get a fourth. If she can survive this week, she’s going to come for you.|
|9. Aubry: Aubry truly cannot catch any breaks on this season. She was on the outs on original Mana. She was on the outs on Nuku. She was on the outs again back at Mana, but gradually built up a relationship with Brad. Now, Brad is on the other side of the ‘Concrete Line’ staring down the barrel of a gun pointed in her direction. Ironically, her greatest strength in the game now is her lack of connections. When considering who on the other side is the biggest threat, is it really going to be the girl with literally no one left from her original tribe that she has ever worked with?||9. Michaela: So, everyone hates Michaela except for Cirie. (But, we haven’t been shown Michaela doing anything particularly annoying.) So, how long until that hatred makes Michaela a good person to consider taking to the end? I’ll put her in the same boat as Aubry as someone who has a real shot if she can survive the next few votes.|
|10. Cirie: Cirie has been shown to be connected to Brad, which may be the lifeline that she needs to stay alive another vote. She still is a massive threat in the game, and her chances of reaching the end have all but evaporated with Ozzy out of the game. If Cirie is seen as leading the resistance, she could easily be the next to go.||10. Andrea: I’m thinking this week’s vote will come down to Andrea’s A- strategy and A challenge prowess vs. Cirie’s A+ strategy and C- challenge prowess. Fortunately for Andrea, I don’t think they’ll take a straight average. I think with Ozzy gone, Cirie is the scariest player left in the game.|
|11. Andrea: First, I will let Andrea speak for herself: “By winning this immunity, it actually kind of maybe dooms me for the rest of the game. People won’t forget that I won the first individual immunity challenge.”
To back her up, enter Sarah: “When you win individual immunity and beat out 12 other people, it puts a huge target on your back that hey, boom, Andrea is an immunity threat.”
Now, let’s consider that Sarah approaches Zeke in the preview and says: “We can make a move.” Zeke then excitedly announces to the camera: “Hell yeah I want to make a move!” Who would Zeke be excited about making a move on? Probably the person raking him over the coals back at camp after the last tribal council, who happens to be the same person he talks about in a secret scene, saying: “Andrea will turn on me in a heartbeat.” Andrea has fallen on the wrong side of the numbers, is a strategic threat, a challenge threat, and a social threat. And there’s still that random scene about Troyzan not trusting Andrea. If I had to bet on Andrea going vs. The Field, I would bet on Andrea.
|11. Cirie: I loved watching Cirie mentoring Michaela last week. Talk about someone I’d place on the top of the list to teach a master class in “Survivor.” It hurts my heart to type this, but I think Cirie’s time has finally come. However, I will take solace in the fact that this season has really shown a new generation of fans why Cirie and Sandra are so special.|
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes