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The Rules: Each week Malcolm Freberg and Gordon Holmes 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 Denise is voted out, Malcolm will receive four points and Gordon will receive five. The person with the most points at the end of the season will be declared the “Survivor: Winners at War” champion.
Edge of Extinction Bonus: Both of the players will choose the person they think is most likely to return from the Edge of Extinction. Picking the correct person is worth five points.
Last Week: Malcolm had Yul in spot three, while Gordon had him in spot five. So, the current score is Team Freberg 56, Team Holmes 60.
Quick Note: The Power Rankings place the players in order of how safe they are heading into the next episode, not how likely they are to win the entire game.
|Team Freberg: 56||Team Holmes: 60|
Any Questions? Drop Malcolm a line on Twitter: @MalcolmWHW
Any Questions? Drop Gordon a line on Twitter: @GordonHolmes
|1. Sophie: Fun Fact: ‘Merge’ is an ancient Algonquin term that loosely translates to ‘chaos’. Wednesday night will be madness. The only players truly safe are those with protection, and of that group, Sophie’s quiet savvy keeps her on top of the list.||1. Kim: Break out the shiny new black buffs, because it’s time for a merge feast. There are so many crazy interconnected levels to this mess that the only way to begin is to put the idol-packin’ folks at the top.|
|2. Kim: See above. I worry that the relative comfort she enjoyed post swap is going to disappear because she’s a huge perceived threat, but the idol should save her from being named Mayor of Ponderosa (the title castaways customarily assign to the first member of the jury).||2. Sophie: Sophie is my first-half MVP. And the amazing thing is; I’m not sure people in the game have even noticed it. Add an idol to that and she should be able to wade through what should be a hectic merge.|
|3. Jeremy: Again, it’s all about advantages. If this vote becomes a scramble and Jeremy has a whiff of a doubt, he uses his GTFO card and lives to fight another day.||3. Jeremy: I have no idea where Jeremy’s real allegiances lie. Is he still a Michele guy? Did Denise’s idol win him over? All I do know is he can peace out of Tribal if things start making him nervous.|
|4. Denise: Her deal with Kim and Jeremy had me — and I don’t use this word lightly — giddy. It’s perfect because I love K & J, and those two have advantages that could work in my girl’s favor, but also because it’s an ideal slot for the ‘less threatening’ Denise. I bet two fire tokens we barely hear from my Junglemama for the next couple episodes, which will be for the best.||4. Nick: I’m not sure why you’d choose to partner with a couple instead of a meat shield like Yul. But, I don’t think you’re going to be on top of anyone’s hitlist at this point.|
|5. Michele: Every time I doubt Michele in the rankings, she has a monster, resume-building episode. So I’m not betting against her going into the merge, especially given her proven social savvy.
But… does that mean I should put her on the bottom of the list, so she knocks it out of the park again? This is too much power…
|5. Denise: I’ll admit, I was scared to death for Denise last week. Being on those four-person tribes is terrifying. But now she’ll have a ton of options. Kim and Jeremy, classic Sele, she should be fine.|
|6. Wendell: I won’t pretend to understand his relationship with Michele, but it’s clearly not (entirely) toxic. That means they could act as a solid pair going into the merge. Remember, they have relationships from both original tribes. I think they’re safe for this vote, and, if they stick together, could be a force through the early merge.||6. Sarah: With all of the classic big names gone, Sarah has a significant target on her back. Everyone was gunning for her in pre-game. I think her alliance with Sophie is one of the most solid in the game and should give her room to manuever.|
|7. Sarah: Knocking her down because stealing a vote is less powerful and more difficult to implement in a wildcard merge vote, and because, a million years ago, she horrifically bungled a merge. That said, her strong relationships with Sophie and Tony should carry her forward. If she survives a couple votes, she shoots back to the top of the list.||7. Tony: I’m really nervous putting Tony up here because there’s never a bad time to get rid of him. But, he isn’t a solo challenge threat and he doesn’t seem to have much power in the game. And reuniting with Sarah could keep him safe for a while.|
|8. Adam: In the preseason rankings, I described Parvati as having momentum; the longer she’s around, the more strength and force she’d have behind her. Adam’s in that position for different reasons. Every week he sticks around, he’s going to climb this list, because people will want to sit next to him at the end. I’m not saying he can’t win — he’s clever, can pull off a couple moves, and hell, he’s done it before. But right now, as the castaways fall asleep next to one another, plotting their endgames, every one of them thinks they can beat Adam at final tribal.||8. Michele: I’m calling it here; this Wendell/Michele duo is not nearly as contentious as it seems. The way she touched his face after Tribal? That’s a loving/affectionate touch. I don’t know if they’re romantic, but they’re definitely in cahoots. And people are always wary of power couples.|
|9. Nick: When he agreed to dissolve #YulandtheGang, one word came to my mind: skittish. I know Nick is smart, great at “Survivor,” and there were probably reasons that made sense on the island that we didn’t see on TV. But that alliance’s demise hurts Nick much more than Wendell. I think there’s an outside chance he becomes an easy sacrifice, something all these disparate pairs can agree on to keep themselves safe.||9. Ben: It doesn’t look like the Ben/Adam feud is going to calm down after the merge. And I simply think Ben will have more options than Adam.|
|10. Tony: No advantages. He’s outside the Kim-Denise-Jeremy alliance. His bonkers paranoia is trending the wrong direction. I don’t think Sarah would hesitate to cut him if she needs to. Tony dominating the endgame with a Jack Sparrow blend of absurdity and brilliance is exactly what the world needs right now, but I’m not getting my hopes up yet.||10. Wendell: Like I said before, you’re in a power couple that’s proven they can win individual immunity challenges. Maybe that fire token Michele gave you will end up on Ghost Island.
|11. Ben: Listen, I like Ben and, outside of the day-one jitters, think he’s played well. But I can think of a half dozen reasons a merge boot would go against him. Most damningly, who on that beach is sitting by the fire thinking, “Gosh, can’t wait to play the rest of this game with Ben!” Hope I’m wrong.||11. Adam: Adam has been on two tribes so far and has found himself on the bottom of both of them. The merge is the perfect time for someone like him to slink into the background, but he might have too much heat on him to ever blend in.|
|Edge of Extinction Returnee – Natalie: When betting on horses, a ‘superfecta box’ means you pick the top four finishers of the race in any order. I have Yul, Boston Rob, Tyson and Nat as my top four, and don’t have a strong opinion between them, so I’m choosing with my heart. I want to see the first boot come back with vengeance pumping through her veins.||Edge of Extinction Returnee – “Boston” Rob: If I was reading the edit, I’d expect to see Natalie or Ethan return. But, that’s not my game. I think most challenges come down to the puzzle/test of skill at the end. And I’ll never bet against Rob when it comes to a puzzle or a test of skill.|
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @GordonHolmes