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 Malcolm Freberg. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.
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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 two players will earn. For example, if Tyson is voted out this week, Malcolm will receive 5 points and Gordon will receive 3 points. Also, each player will pick the players they think will win at Redemption Island. They’ll receive a bonus point for each correct pick. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.
NOTE: If a current player decides to swap places with their loved one at Redemption Island, they’ll also swap places in the rankings. For example, if Gervase swaps places with Marissa, Marissa will take the 12th spot in Malcolm’s rankings and the 10th spot in Gordon’s rankings.
Malcolm’s Current Score: 0
Any advice for Malcolm? Drop him a line on Twitter: @MalcolmWHW
Gordon’s Current Score: 0
Any advice for Gordon? Drop him a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes
| 1. Aras – He wasn’t around much. When he wasn’t dragging Gervase’s limp form through obstacle courses, he was probably balancing on fallen tree trunks doing a yoga tree pose, basking in the restorative, meditative irony of it all. Aras is just doing Aras, and he’s not going anywhere.
|| 1. Aras – Alright, I’m going to apologize in advance for how sexist this Power Rankings is going to look. But, the facts are the tribe that lost the immunity challenge has a dominant all-male alliance and the tribe that won almost got clobbered and we know next to nothing about their alliances. Aras is super safe at this point. But I have to ask; why did he vote for Gervase? My bet is it was to throw people off of their super-secret alliance.
| 2. Hayden – Also quiet, but he’s smack in the middle of the loved ones male clique. From what we were shown, these guys are in the best position in the foreseeable future. Hayden is better than the next two on the list for calling them all “meatheads.”
|| 2. Hayden – He’s likable, he’s a challenge stud, and he’s in the dominant Tadhana alliance. Best of all, if the Super Tadhana Bros. group breaks down, Brad will be the first target. The former “Big Brother” champ is truly the head of the household.
| 3. Caleb – What is a Southern Shake and where can I get one? Same rationale as Hayden: because he has a penis, he got into his tribe’s majority. Though if they let Brad (I’m not using Probst’s pet name ‘Culpepper’) run things for long – which is a big if – the different sexual orientation could become an issue. No worries yet, though.
|| 3. Tyson – With Rupert chillaxing over at Redemption Island, the Galangers are hurting for challenge strength and Tyson might be the best challenge competitor out there. Add to that his ability to start fires with his mind and you have a very valuable tribe member.
| 4. Vytas – Brilliant to come out with his past to everyone. Even more brilliant to be born a boy.
||4. John – Poor, John. He had to see the love of his life fly for a billion hours to get to the Philippines only to be booted after ten minutes. Then, he had to watch Rupert pull his knight-in-shining-armor act and save Laura. Welcome to the new era of “Survivor,” buddy. The good news is; you’ll be fine. You’re in the middle of a strong alliance and I wouldn’t be surprised if your wife hands you an immunity idol clue in the next couple of days.|
| 5. Tyson – The returnees appear to be a bit physically inferior, especially following the suicide of Captain Tie-Dye. This puts a premium on fit boys, thus increasing both Aras’s and Tyson’s value. I also have to admit an odd sense of disappointment we don’t get leopard print this year.
|| 5. Vytas – Don’t get me wrong, Vytas…I love that you’re keeping your options open with the Tadhana women. I just hope you’re keeping it a secret so it doesn’t come back to bite you.
| 6. Tina – The run on boys is over. From what little we saw of the returnees’ camp, Tina seemed to be getting along with everyone fine. Combine that with the niche she carved for herself as a capable puzzle assembler/killer of her child’s ambitions and she’s in great shape.
|| 6. Tina – Just to make sure the following point doesn’t get lost, I’m going to put it in bold and italics; Tina, Laura M., and Monica killed that puzzle. How those three managed to pull victory from the jaws of defeat was inspiring. That being said, I wish I had a better understanding of the Galang alliances. I’m going to assume that Aras is running the show and he’s keeping Tina around as a “Winner” buffer.
| 7. Monica – The scenes with her and Colton were interesting but ambiguous. Wasn’t really sure what to make of it, though if Colton blows his lid like we’ve been led to believe he will, she may lead the charge against him? *shrug* No real strong feelings on Monica yet.
||7. Laura M. – Same deal as Tina, Laura. You guys were awesome. But, you’re in the middle of the pack because I have no idea what’s going on at Galang.|
| 8. Kat – Similar to Monica, the biggest thing she did in ninety minutes was interact with Colton, though admittedly in a much more entertaining fashion. Hard to see where the alliance lines are going to fall in their camp, but Kat seems fun and athletic enough to be safe for now.
|| 8. Monica – See Laura M.
| 9. Ciera – That whole being born a girl thing isn’t looking like the best decision right about now. My pre-game pick seemed to do all the right things, including not take any of the flack for the puzzle in the challenge, and seems safer than the other ladies on her beach.
||9. Brad – The leader of any majority alliance is always in a little danger. In Brad’s case, he’s so big and brash that I could see some people already figuring out ways to send him home. But, it’s probably too soon for Tadhana to get rid of such a strong challenge competitor.|
| 10. Laura M. – I was disappointed we didn’t get anyone’s rationale nor her reaction to being (expletive deleted) on in the pre-game vote. She survived it, and was part of Team Daughter Curb-Stomp at the challenge, but whatever that initial negative reaction was from her tribe mates was, it may not disappear over three nights.
|| 10. Gervase – The only water-related thing worse than Gervase’s challenge performance was the “Dexter” finale. (Tip your waitresses, folks!) Seriously though, I caught the live show and it was way worse than they showed. However, when it comes out that Marissa was voted out because Tadhana is mad at Gervase, wouldn’t that make Gervase the ideal person to align with?
|11. Brad– Give credit where credit is due: the guy spearheaded a surefire alliance by bonding over Y-chromosomes.Now that that’s out of the way, that whole counting thing may be a bit of an issue down the road. He’s also not been coy about wanting to be declared Grand Emperor of Tadhana, and his muscle isn’t nearly as valuable per scarcity as Aras and Tyson’s. I think he’s OK for now, but when the testosterone inevitably boils over the surface, he could be a mutiny victim.|| 11. Caleb – I’ve gone on record saying that Caleb is my favorite person in the known universe (sorry, Malcolm). But, he’s lucky that he’s already in the dominant alliance because he was a part of that puzzle meltdown. It might be smart to lay low and be super useful around camp this week.
| 12. Gervase – I felt a moment of sympathy for him during the challenge: guy’s not an original gangster, he’s an old gangster. But the gloating afterwards was like a third-string, bench-warming kicker mocking the opposing starting quarterback after a loss. After the premiere we know he’s no good in the water, he’s loud and obnoxious when he has no right to be, and the thirteen years off he’s bragging about are a hindrance more than an asset. The only redeeming quality here is that he’s competitive with his niece, and I don’t think he bites the bullet for her on RI.
||12. Rachel – The only reason Rachel is so low on this is because she isn’t a dude bro. She did very well in the challenge and appears to be well liked at Tadhana Beach.|
| 13. Rachel – Girl played in stealth mode for the first episode. No idea what’s going on with Senora Tyson, but she doesn’t appear to be the biggest target of the He Man Woman Hater’s Club yet.
|| 13. Laura B. – I know it seems like Laura B. should have a huge target on her back because of the Boneham’s day-one disaster, but I think Galang has bigger fish to fry. At this point Laura should keep her head down and go into a Sandra Diaz-Twine “anyone but me” defense.
|14. John – I’m sorry, I didn’t hear a word he said the entire time because I was lost in his eyes. I did a fist pump when he didn’t sub in for wifey on RI; it was the correct, rational decision. But then his eyeballs leaked fluid for the next three days and I’m concerned he’s going to do something dumb come duel (truel?) time and break my heart.||14. Ciera – You were part of the puzzle debacle and you have a uterus. That’s going to put a target on your back. Fortunately though, it looks like you, Brad, and Vytas did some bonding while being terrible at starting fires.|
| 15. Colton – I go out on a limb and support the kid, allow myself to believe in Remix Colton, and now it looks like we’re about to get more of that flamboyant fury that hell hath not. And no one’s dumb enough to put up with that again.
|| 15. Kat – Power Rankings veteran Kat was having a quiet episode up until the weird, mid-challenge blow-up with Colton. Without a clear picture of the alliances at Galang, I worry that she could be in trouble if someone’s hoping to take Colton to the end. Although, when he said he was going to hit her with a paddle, he could’ve meant it in a nice way.
|16. Katie – Seems all the post-loss blame fell on her shoulders. It doesn’t matter if she was actually being helpful or not, the perception around camp is that she didn’t pull her weight. Add on that whole femininity thing and she’s in bad shape.|| 16. Katie – A Tadhana tribe that is down numbers and ruled by an all-male alliance is going to be focused on challenge strength if they lose again. That is bad news for you, Katie.
| 17. Laura B. – You poor thing. Out of the pan and into the fire. There’s a chance that someone at the returnees’ camp puts a target on their own back and delays the execution (*cough* Colton *cough*), but getting bailed out of RI was completely misguided.
|| 17. Colton – You’re crying, you’re yelling, you’re crying. So many emotions. The best part was when Monica asked if she could trust you or if you were going to stab her in the back and you responded, “Yes.” Right now, you’d better be hoping that someone powerful wants to Phillip Sheppard you to the end, otherwise you’re going to be bunking at Redemption Island.
|Redemption Island Picks: Candice and Rupert –We got a preview of their challenge for next week, and it’s a throwback to the final immunity in “One World.” It looks like you need to stay calm and have steady hands (I’d be screwed), and I like Candice’s odds the best. She also gets a bonus because if hubby dearest does something strategically stupid and takes her spot, a cool-under-pressure army doctor should be a lock to win this event.Rupert got to play hero and it was oh so sweet and touching and genuine and vomit. Terrible strategy for both him and his lady. So now he has to win challenges to stay in the game, and he’s certainly not bad historically in that regard, but this week’s event plays less to his strengths than some.I think Marissa’s toast. Think of her situation: her first individual challenge ever is against two people now with 7 seasons of experience between them, and the usual pressure to perform is multiplied by do-or-die circumstances AND having an audience of fellow castaways. I truly feel pity for her, and will be rooting for her to pull it off – Rupert goes home and I’m happy on principle, Candice goes home and I get John all to myself. But it’s a challenge that demands patience and calm, and those didn’t seem to be her strong points. I’m not optimistic.||Redemption Island Picks: Candice and Rupert – If it was a straight-up challenge between three newbies or three returnees, I’d think Marissa had a serious shot to advance. But trust me, Redemption Island is stress central. Rupert and Candice’s experience will make the difference. The main question here is; will Candice continue to feed Rupert for the next three days?Fun Fact: I participated (and emerged victorious) in this challenge during my visit to the Philippines. Check out my first-hand account.|
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