Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Michael Skupin. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.
The Rules: Each week Michael and Gordon 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 two players will earn. For example, if Cochran is voted out this week, Michael will receive 4 points and Gordon will receive 7 points. The person with the most points at the end of the season will be crowned the ‘Survivor: Caramoan’ Power Rankings champion!
Last Week: Michael Skupin’s first attempt at the Power Rankings didn’t go well. But at least nobody got hurt. He had Allie in spot eight while I had her in spot nineteen. The current score is now Team Skupin 8, Team Holmes 19.
Before we kick off this week’s rankings, let’s check in with our competitors…
Gordon Holmes: So, the fans had a rough run of it last week.
Michael Skupin: Fans, fans, fans…haven’t you been watching the show? Didn’t you develop a pre-game strategy? You tried to vote off your strongest player (Shamar) but ended up voting off potentially your strongest female and maybe the only strong swimmer (Allie, high school nationals) in a water challenge season. You have to “win” challenges to keep your torch lit, but you knew that…right?
Holmes: You guys pulled off that “Put the swimmer in the water” strategy nicely with RC last season.
Skupin: If you have a swimmer that went to nationals in high school and it’s a water challenge, please consider putting her in the water…wait, too late. They severely weakened their tribe last Tribal Council.
Holmes: Alright, how are you feeling about the favorites?
Skupin: There’s a pink elephant in the room; where is the hidden immunity idol? There are only a few trees on that island. Did they learn nothing at Russell Hantz’s idol finding school?
Holmes: Idol finding seems to be taking a backseat to nickname assigning.
Skupin: Well in case you’re wondering, I refuse to use any of Phillip’s nicknames in any of my Power Rankings.
Michael’s Current Score: 8
Any advice for Michael? Drop him a line on Twitter: @mikeskupin
Gordon’s Current Score: 19
Any advice for Gordon? Drop him a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes
| 1. Sherri: I flat out love her game. She’s there to play and she’s there to win. Her returning-player-like strategies and view of this game shot her right to the top of my Power Rankings. In Boston Rob-type fashion, she’s not only leading the fans’ alliance, she’s built a powerful sub-alliance with Shamar (note that she was the only one smiling as Shamar tried to “shut-up” the camp). Other than Allie, she seems to be the only fan that truly understands this game. If the fans can somehow get it together in challenges, she will be a serious factor in the outcome of this game.
||1. Malcolm: I would trade all of the San Miguel beer in the Caramoan Islands to know exactly what was going through Malcolm’s mind when Phillip was introducing his Stealth R Us Too codename to the camera. It had to be some mix of “Yes! Phillip’s the leader and that’ll take heat off of me,” and “Oh crap, America’s going to see this.” Anywho, my boy is super safe this week.|
| 2. Brenda: She’s quietly playing as everyone’s friend. She did not forget how to play this game, but this 2.0 version of hers is very, very impressive so far.
|| 2. Andrea: So, Andrea got the second most votes at Tribal Council, yet Dawn immediately took the heat off of her back at camp. Was that intentional? Probably not. But, I’m sure Andrea appreciated it. Now she just has to sit back and let Phillip draw all of the attention for Stealth R Us Too’s moves. Best of all, after her moves in the first week, she’s probably the person Phillip trusts the most.
|3. Malcolm: He’s carrying a lot of firewood and has the respect of his tribe. They keep putting him into the “go to” spot in challenges which is a double-edged sword. We know his game, they don’t. I still can’t help but wonder how the short break in games will take a toll on him physically and emotionally.||3. Corinne: What I said about reading Malcolm’s mind? Make that double for Corinne. There had to be a few choice four-letter words buzzing around her brain. But, kudos to her for keeping those words to herself and playing along. Stealth R Us Too is ruling the roost at Bikal beach and there’s no reason to rock the boat.|
| 4. Corinne: More brilliance from the queen of curls. No reason to start playing too early and she understands that. She’s wanted to come back for a long time and appears focused on end game as much as anyone out there.
||4. Cochran: There really isn’t much of a reason to swap around the top seven people in my rankings. They aren’t going anywhere. But, Cochran gets a bump this week because he seems to be the best bet to keep Brandon in check. Even though Brandon’s days are numbered, he can make life difficult for them in immunity challenges if he wants to.|
| 5. Dawn: Dawn fell from the top spot because I was surprised that she allowed Brandon to drive her to tears. As a veteran she’s well aware that emotions run high, keeping them in check is a necessity (unless you’re Lisa Whelchel). I still have a ton of faith in the mother of six and believe her resolve will toughen like rhino skin before it’s too late.
|| 5. Erik: Erik’s in a weird place right now, but he was smart to try to stay neutral during Brandon’s meltdown. Even when it was just the two of them he was going out of his way to not encourage or discourage him. If he can find a way to stick around until the merge or the tribe swap (which we all know is coming) he could get a new lease on life.
| 6. Matt: I totally underestimated his game. It may have been his looks, maybe the edit, maybe the outburst against Shamar on day one but it appears he has an excellent handle on things. He’s smarter than the average bear (not that I’m comparing him to a bear, but he does have a lot of hair). As the only fan that appears to have alliances on both sides, if he can keep his game in stealth mode, he may be able to avoid hanging out with Franny and Allie.
|| 6. Phillip: OK, if you don’t want people to think you’re in charge, don’t call yourself the CEO. And send me an application for the company that brings entry level people in at middle management. And, just so you think I’m not picking on Phillip, he’s to be commended for nailing that clutch shot at the immunity challenge.
| 7. Cochran: After realizing he can’t take the burn title away from me, he started to get smart and stay out of the sun. There are so many disruptive personalities out there on the favorites tribe, all he has to do is sit back in the most famous sweater-vest since David Cassidy and continue to strengthen his alliance with Dawn.
||7. Dawn: I’m thinking there was a lot more to the Brandon/Dawn discussion last week, because what we saw didn’t seem to warrant her reaction. Either way, it really doesn’t matter. Dawn’s safe and sound for the time being and the proud owner of a sweet new nickname.|
| 8. Michael: If watching people implode or eat each other alive is a good strategy, then Michael gets the gold star this week. Up from 13 last week, he’s showing a strategic side that I didn’t see before. It’s still hard to determine if he’s Matt’s Phillip or Matt is his Phillip.
|| 8. Sherri: Sherri is hands down the fan who’s showing the most fire. She’s also playing a very dangerous game. But fortunately for her, it’s one with a very easy-to-use escape hatch. She can try to keep Shamar along as her Phillip, but if the heat of being his defender gets to be too much, she can always send him packing.
| 9. Erik: Soooooo good in challenges that they have to keep him. If he can hold his trump cards and stops verbalizing his disdain for Phillip we’ll get to see him compete many more times.
||9. Michael: In the tribe where the fans are being loud and making rash moves, Michael stands out for his quiet strategy. Solidifying his alliance with Matt is super smart. They have a ton of options and will be the most fluid if they end up together if there’s a tribe swap.|
|10. Andrea: As I said last week, a non-stop strategist. I believe she understands this game as well as any of them. If the favorites lose a challenge and her name doesn’t come up again, she’ll have adjusted beautifully.|| 10. Matt: So, from what I understand, you were almost a part of the cool kids alliance. That’s interesting. My only worry for you is that if you’re targeting Shamar, Sherri might start targeting you. Your best strategy is to just stand back and let the people that are in trouble continue to make bad moves.
| 11. Phillip: Dropped a few spots this week because although entertaining and an attempt to stay necessary…it’s already raising eyebrows. Sadly, over-the-top attempts at humor, strategy, idol-hunting and gameplay usually end with a parting gift – your favorite meal on the south end of Tribal Council.
|| 11. Julia: Whaaaaaat happened out on the platform? Usually “Survivor” does a good job of assigning blame when someone isn’t doing well in a challenge, but I’m still in the dark as to what happened last week. Other than that, there isn’t much to say about Julia except I’m hoping her sunburned face doesn’t cause her too much trouble.
| 12. Laura: Although it appears it was more than Laura who spotted the bulge (Sherri), and although it appears Probst had to literally beat it out of her at Tribal Council, she did glance in his direction. And even though she was unwilling to “out” rump-loving Reynold, Probst seized the moment to call out her glance at him and she is now credited with “brilliant” gameplay. She’s this far down in the rankings because I’m thinking a one-on-one with Reynold could have put her in the driver’s seat where even the racecar driver Julie can’t seem to get into. Also, as you stated…how would Reynold playing the idol have messed up your plan to get rid of Allie? Anyway, we all loved your tweet “I always notice a bulge,” take note, guys.
|| 12. Laura: I’m really torn on Laura at this point. She brings up Reynold’s idol at Tribal but doesn’t go the whole nine yards and call him out specifically. I don’t understand that move. If Probst doesn’t connect the dots, is it still a secret?
| 13. Hope: Her good looks as a strategy might be fading as fast as hairless armpits out there. She’s still in an obvious two-person alliance (coined “showmance” on reality TV) and not a physical threat. I sure “hope” (pun-intended) that she can do puzzles.
|| 13. Reynold: Normally I wouldn’t have all of Gota’s challenge stars this far down, but something has to give in this tribe. You can’t have people screaming at each other on a day-to-day basis. Shamar and the cool kids are all on the chopping block this week.
|14. Reynold: Awesome!!! You found an idol without a clue! I don’t mean you don’t have a clue, I mean there wasn’t a clue to the missing idol…or maybe I did mean it. :) You must understand it’s power, my friend. We can tell there was no surprise in your alliance at Tribal Council when you Abi-esquely flashed the idol. That means you told your alliance that you had it. Maybe you should have taken a lesson from Malcolm in saving that moment for when you needed it. As if you weren’t a threat before, potentially being the ringleader in a three-person alliance with Hope and Eddie, now you’re a bigger target. Pulling it together during challenges may be your only hope from elimination.||14. Eddie: In a season where it seems like the faves tribe has a definitive strength advantage, you’d think Eddie would be super safe until the merge. But, Hurricane Shamar is shaking everything up.|
|15. Shamar: The largest human to ever play “Survivor” is struggling. The calories are just not available (I was there) and although I’m 6’3”, 220, I’m a whole teenager smaller than him. We’ve seen the “game” affect many players throughout the years…self-coined “boo-boo the fool” may be affected the most. He’s definitely playing the villain (too bad Abi’s not there to hit him in the head with a coconut). Maybe he is playing a better Phillip than Phillip did. Being Sherri’s “Phillip” is not an awful position to be in. If you want to win brother, pull in the reins just a bit.|| 15. Brenda: She’s trying. She’s trying so hard. Go back and watch last week’s episode and you’ll see her dancing with Phillip. You only dance with Phillip if you’re trying out for a junior internship with Stealth R Us Too. I think her best bet right now is a Bikal winning streak or a complete Brandon meltdown. Speaking of which…
|16. Eddie: Claims Shamar spent 19 of 24 hours in the shelter…and I thought Lisa slept a lot. :) I also was wondering if he’s that good with a sun-dial. I wonder if he has the game smarts to possibly join the “other” alliance and stay alive until the merge where he can breathe new life or will he stay committed to the now underdogs at the CKLTA. In any case, he needs to make a move.||16. Brandon: Part of me wants to see Brandon flip out on Bikal. If only because “The Urinator” is a solid Stealth R Us Too nickname.|
|17. Julia: Making a run for most-sunburned out there, I can see a game inside of her but she doesn’t appear to be playing it. As a race-car driver, she would have never made it through casting if they didn’t see that fire also. This game can sneak up on you and you could be at the wrong end of Probst’s torch snuffer if you don’t make a move pretty soon.|| 17. Hope: Here’s what I see playing out if the attack on the cool kids continues. Option one has Reynold playing his idol and the others splitting their votes. That leaves us with a three-three-three tie and Hope going home in a re-vote because Eddie and Reynold are too valuable. Option two is pretty much the same, except Reynold holds on to his idol.
| 18. Brandon: Brandon sees “Survivor” as a game, not a life-changing seven-figure opportunity. As one of the youngest to ever play, Probst said he changed…I’m not seeing it. In Pete Yurkowski fashion (and Pete should get another shot), he’s pushing hard in a game when the enemy hasn’t arrived yet. I’ve enjoyed the entertainment he’s always brought.
||18. Shamar: Before the season started, Shamar said his goal was to get people to quit the game. This plan is flawed. People aren’t going to quit because you’re annoying them, they’re just going to vote you out. And Sherri is obviously super sharp, but even she has to realize that keeping her Phillip around is a risky strategy when your Phillip is picking fights every five minutes. At least the actual Phillip was doing stuff.|