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 Dawn is voted out this week, Michael will receive 2 points and Gordon will receive 5 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 had Phillip in spot eight, Gordon had him in spot five. So, the current score is Team Skupin 113, Team Lightning Punch 130.
Before we kick off this week’s rankings, let’s check in with our competitors…
Michael Skupin: Let’s take a deep look at Malcolm’s big move at tribal last week. Brilliant TV!
Gordon Holmes: Agreed!
Skupin: Maybe not-so-brilliant “Survivor” strategy.
Holmes: Also agreed.
Skupin: At first glance it seemed like the perfect move but let’s consider all possibilities. It’s obvious Malcolm had guessed wrong the last two Tribal Councils and is sitting in a very precarious position…much different than the last game he played where he only scrambled once. The big question is; should he have played the hidden immunity idol when he did at the beginning of Tribal Council and grandstanded it like he did or would it have been better strategy to wait until after the votes were cast and used the shock or blindside moment to his advantage? This strategy may have also enabled him to keep one of the idols which he’ll desperately need in the future.
Holmes: I liked the mid-Tribal play because I can’t imagine Andrea loved hearing her name tossed around by her buddies. However, I agree that keeping one of those idols would’ve been ideal.
Skupin: Lastly, consider that he outwardly took credit for both hidden immunity idols. This tells the remaining contestants that he’s had one all along and hid it from everyone and also draws a very deep line in the sand that he’s no longer willing to play ball with the favorites. A thought occurred to me that he could have let Eddie bring it to Tribal Council as if he’s had it all along, putting the bull’s-eye on Eddie thus leaving a crack that Malcolm could still possibly edge his way back in the favorites alliance until numbers thin out a bit. He may also have planted the other idol and literally steered Eddie into finding it, then he could never have been accused of hiding it all along.
Holmes: Oh, I like that. It also keeps Reynold from knowing that Malcolm was keeping an idol a secret two weeks ago.
Skupin: Understand, there is never a right or a wrong way to play this game…these are thoughts from my Barco lounger as I watch.
Holmes: Words of farewell for the Specialist?
Skupin: Goodbye, Phillip…you had a very unique way of playing this game, a way we won’t soon forget. I have a suspicion we’ll be making up nicknames and referring back to Stealth-R (or aren’t)-Us for many seasons to come at least in jest if nothing else. By choice, you sat out your final immunity challenge as if to throw the towel in. I’m not here to judge you but final three and winning were within your grasp. You’ve overcome a lot bigger hurdles than that in your storied career on and off “Survivor.” There is no doubt that you understand this game and know there is no right or wrong way to play. I commend you for playing (so many never do). I commend you on having a plan and going with it. I commend you on being in the “over 50 club” and kicking butt in challenges…at least until the merge. Lastly, I won’t swim in your toilet so please don’t pee in my pool!
Michael’s Current Score: 113
Any advice for Michael? Drop him a line on Twitter: @mikeskupin
Gordon’s Current Score: 130
Any advice for Gordon? Drop him a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes
| 1. Cochran: Close call! Even the best laid plans can change with the twists the game and the island bring. You’re rolling well.
||1. Cochran: It’s tough to know exactly whose names were bounced about after Malcolm’s Tribal Council bombshell, but I don’t remember hearing anyone say, “Cochran.” They probably should’ve, because he’s in a fantastic position to take the rest of this game. Especially if all of the immunity challenges going forward involve Beatles trivia.|
| 2. Dawn: You gotta really sink your teeth into these challenges to win…oops, bad joke. How can you sink your teeth into a challenge when they’re at the bottom of the lagoon? Lisa…I mean Dawn…I mean Lisa…I mean Dawn…you cried, you recovered…didn’t I say that last week? Teeth or no teeth, you’re in this to win.
|| 2. Sherri: First you lost your fake Phillip, then you lost your real Phillip! It’s cool though, nobody sees you as a threat. You’re not going anywhere anytime soon. The Amigos will probably try to bring you on board, but that’d be a mistake. By making a jump, you’ll have stabbed a majority of the jury in the back. It’s best to let this play out.
| 3. Brenda: You made a friend in Dawn last week and she’s likely to honor that favor as close to the end game as she possibly can. Chick bonds can be very tight (One World). I’m still wondering if you’re playing to win or not and I’m enjoying trying to figure you out.
|| 3. Brenda: Nice Brenda selflessly dives in the water to retrieve Dawn’s missing retainer. Evil Brenda would’ve retrieved the retainer and held it for ransom. I kid, Brenda’s less aggressive tactics have worked wonderfully in this hyper-aggressive season. And unless the Amigos pull off a miracle, she’s set for the final six. The question now is, how does he go further than that? Can she call out that Dawn and Cochran are the only power couple remaining and try to break them up?
| 4. Sherri: You were quiet again, but I feel a storm is brewing. You’ve successfully removed yourself from the crossfire and now all you have to do is earn it to get the votes at the end.
|| 4. Erik: I assume the greatest in-game joy is winning an individual immunity challenge when you know your head is on the chopping block. A close second has to be seeing someone who drives you crazy make that long, lonely walk away from Tribal Council. So for that, congrats Erik. The question now is, do you stay with the remnants of Stealth R Us, or do you become the fourth Amigo? I’m leaning toward staying put. Erik can dominate challenges once they’re down to a final six without Malcolm and Co.
| 5. Erik: In spite of Phillip losing all his pool etiquette, you kept yours and then some. “Forgive us, we’re starving” were Erik’s humble words before he consumed food like a POW. Wouldn’t you want to take him home to your mom? Erik actually had a brilliant add to his alliance during Tribal Council. He reminded his forgetful tribe that just because Malcolm flashed three idols in his alliance at the start of Tribal Council, didn’t mean he had to play them that night thus assuring if Malcolm had any intention of keeping one of the idols in his pocket he’d definitely not now. And he even politely asked Probst for permission first!
|| 5. Dawn: Last week was tough to watch. It was heartbreaking to see one of the most positive people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing have a complete meltdown. I get it, too. I’m not sure I’d be much better with weeks and weeks of non-stop deception and paranoia. Hopefully the worst is behind her and she can appreciate that she is in a prime position to get to the end of this game. Even better, with Phillip gone it’ll be easy to pull Andrea over as your third person.
| 6. Andrea: I’m afraid show-mances may be your Achilles heel out here. Is Eddie or Malcolm your new Matt? Listen, I certainly can’t blame a girl for falling for bearded coconut choppers but you’re soooo close to the end here. You can still win this game.
||6. Andrea: Because of last week’s preview, everyone seems to think Sherri is the obvious choice to make the jump to the Amigos, but what about Andrea? Sherri has a bad past with Reynold and Eddie. Andrea seems to get along with them quite well. The important point for Andrea is; she needs to make her choice clearly and quickly. If she’s staying Stealth, she needs to cut off all communications with the Bro-Squad to keep her alliance from whispering.|
| 7. Eddie: Remember the movie ‘No Way Out’? You may be there. You’re quickly running out of options.
|| 7. Eddie: Eddie had quite a Tribal last week. He went from being the obvious boot to being third most threatening on the Amigos depth chart. Reynold wins the challenges, Malcolm pulls idols out of thin air, but you’re just a harmless bro going about his business.
| 8. Reynold: Denise went to every single Tribal Council. Your record, while not as impressive, is you’ve been surprised at every Tribal Council. Not once has the name you’ve written been the person that left the game, yet you still stand. You’re definitely one of the best challenge beasts this game has ever seen but man cannot live on that alone.
|| 8. Reynold: I just finished up a rewatch of “Survivor: Exile Island” and it got me thinking that Reynold could totally Dietz his way to the end. He’s got that kind of challenge prowess. That, and the fact that Malcolm seems like a much bigger threat to win right now could buy him some wiggle room.
| 9. Malcolm: You did that reward challenge in Season 25. On Carter’s idea, Penner neatly laid out all the bags for the rest of your team. You were on that team. You creamed us. You ran out of gas this time. I watched you licking your chops as you could almost taste that reward and the nutrition would have definitely helped come immunity challenge time. As the newest returning player with your game a big question mark, you got close to the wrong people and they stayed tight.
|| 9. Malcolm: Legendary, buddy. I haven’t had a chance to do the math yet, but that might be on my list of the Top 5 Best Tribal Councils of All Time. Would it have been a better move to save yourself and keep a secret idol? Maybe, probably, who knows? I’m reminded of when Russell Hantz was able to use a three-person alliance to turn the Villains alliance on its head. The question is, can you find your Coach and Jerri? If not, I’m afraid you and your gorgeous hair will be sent packing.