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.
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 8 points and Gordon will receive 7 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 Ciera switches places with Laura M., Laura M. will take the 1st spot in Malcolm’s rankings and the 2nd spot in Gordon’s rankings.
Last Week: Malcolm has Laura B. in spot five, I had her in spot nine. We both had Laura M. and John surviving at Redemption. So, the score for this round is Team Glamour and Glitter, Fashion and Fame 7, Team Real American Heroes 11. The current total score is Team Glamour and Glitter, Fashion and Fame 79, Team Real American Heroes 88.
Wager Update: Since Malcolm lost last week’s competition, he’ll have to compare each of the contestants to a song title. Gordon decided to do it too because it sounded like fun. The loser of this week’s rankings will have to compare each of the contestants to a line from their favorite movie.
Team Glamor and Glitter, Fashion and Fame: 79
Any advice for Malcolm? Drop him a line on Twitter: @MalcolmWHW
Team Real American Heroes: 88
Any advice for Gordon? Drop him a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes
| 1. Ciera – “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone - “It’s a new day, it’s a new dawn, it’s a new life.” All of the sudden I look prophetic (though not on a week-to-week basis with Power Rankings; I don’t think I’ve won a round in a month). My pre-game pick is the least threatening person on the beach, which is exactly where you want to be at the merge. She should actually be rooting against her mom at RI: should Laura M. get back in, the ‘pair’ threat can get applied and she becomes an easy boot.
|| 1. Gervase - “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” by The Police - When everyone else wants to talk strategy, Gerv just wants to kick back and relax. He’s letting Tyson make all of the big calls, but he’s high-profile enough that he should be able to dodge any “Coattail Rider” or “Too Under the Radar” labels.
| 2. Caleb - “Silent Night” by Anyone Who’s Ever Released a Christmas Album - Remember when we all went mad for Caleb’s big move to get rid of Brad? I think there must be a secret scene on the editing floor of CBS where Caleb’s tongue gets in the way of a machete – which may just be the best thing at this stage of the game for him. His fading into the background is looking good right about now.
||2. Ciera – “Bring on the Night” by The Police - Actually, I only picked this title because Sting never wrote a song called “Bring on the Merge.” Ciera finds herself in an awesome spot right now. She’s isn’t super tight with anyone, so it’s not a game killer if she looks for a better deal. And, she’s done so poorly in challenges that nobody is threatened by her. Oddly enough, the worst thing that could happen to her is her mother getting back into the game…|
| 3. Katie – “Miss Independent” by Kelly Clarkson - According to her grandbaby-craving mother, she’s not really into the whole ‘flirting’ thing. Plus she seems to have a new fashion statement every time she goes to Tribal, which is disturbingly often. I don’t think she’ll be the first target of the inevitable pair-targeting, but she does seem like an easy boot for a post-merge alliance.
||3. Katie – “Wrapped Around Your Finger” by The Police - This works because of how tied you are to your mother and because of how hard she’s trying to marry you off. At any rate, you’re in a great position now, but you need to do something to stand out a little bit and not just be “Tina’s girl.”|
| 4. Hayden – “Smooth Operator” by Sade - The way he handled Kat was textbook, making her feel involved in the decision not to switch at RI. And he’s completely correct; not being a pair will bolster his strength moving forward. Merge is bad news for the fit charmer, but there are bigger, scarier, Baskauskvaskararas-er fish to be fried first.
||4. Tina – “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” by The Police - The big question coming out of last week’s episode was; why let Vytas and Aras get to the merge together? Well, Tina’s pulling the strings at new Galang and she probably has some kind of secret alliance with the boys. She’s been killing it so far, no reason to think she’d drop the ball on a seemingly easy vote last week.|
| 5. Gervase – “Bitch” by Meredith Brooks - NO I’M NOT CALLING GERVASE A BITCH. I just have no idea if he’s a bitch or a lover or a child or a mother or a sinner or a saint and I do not feel ashamed. My opinion on him changes weekly and I still am not sure how I feel, but he’s similar to Tyson in game position: they’re making other people targets which keeps them from becoming one, at least until everyone wises up to it.
||5. Caleb – “Invisible Sun” by The Police - Maybe this would be more accurate if it was “Invisible Son.” Nobody’s worried about Caleb at this point. He isn’t bothering anyone. He isn’t a challenge threat. He’s got some serious room to maneuver.|
| 6. Tina – Pre-historical Caveman Mating Hymn - Katie needs to start wearing a helmet or she may wake up with a lump on her head and betrothed. Tina has been rock solid thus far, and usually I’d say an older woman at the merge is perfectly safe, but being a past-winner and part of a pair may catch up to her soon.
||6. Monica – “One World (Not Three)” by The Police - OK, maybe I picked this song because it plays into an easy “One World” joke. But, this week Galang, Tadhana, and Redemption Island are all coming together. It’s going to become obvious to Monica quickly that she’s kind of a woman without an alliance. Fortunately, she isn’t an obvious target and will have a chance to get in good with other people.|
| 7. Monica – “The Lady Killer Theme” by Cee Lo Green - In the past two weeks, she’s been a driving force behind knocking out two women who thought they were safe via girl power. Monica could care less about chromosomal matches, and is plowing ahead with making moves to get rid of unstable tribemates. No idea where she’s going to fit in come merge time, but don’t thiiiink she’s a target yet.
|| 7. Tyson – “Demolition Man” by The Police - He will blow up his alliance, he will eat all your food, he totally believes in magic. Tyson is awesome. So, we’re going to have eleven people at this merge and his new alliance has five members. Can they pull over someone else? Probably. Can they pull some voting shenanigans to lead Aras and Vytas to vote in another direction? Probably. A lot of options.
| 8. Tyson – “Amish Paradise” by Weird Al - It’s a hilarious song that’s actually incredibly intelligent. Tyson leading the charge come merge time should keep him safe for a bit, but he’s going to be all over other castaway’s radars after a few votes. His neck is officially exposed, though, so if the boys below catch wind of his schemes, he becomes a target.
||8. Hayden – “Message in a Bottle” by The Police - “Walked out this morning, don’t believe what I saw…a hundred, billion bottles washed up on the shore.” Hayden needs to be really careful. Yeah, he’s in the majority alliance and the Baskauskas Bros. are the obvious first target, but once they’re gone Hayden is next. Tyson has shown he’s willing to break alliances to set himself up the way he wants.|
| 9. Hayden – “Gaston” from the “Beauty and the Beast” Soundtrack - This is actually my favorite Disney song ever; it’s smart and funny, but in reality it’s actually about the evil villain, and Vytas seems to be embracing that role. He could just play off his ability to build trust with women as a positive thing, but instead enjoys telling us every chance he gets about how brilliantly, calculatingly manipulative he is. Don’t get me wrong — it’s great for “Survivor” and seems to be working, but him and his brother are in trouble with the arrival of the merge.
||9. Aras – “Man in a Suitcase” by The Police - Why this song? Because Aras is going to have to pack up and head to Redemption if he doesn’t win immunity. The new Team Tyson can easily pull over Laura B. or Laura M. if they come back from Redemption. And if John comes back and they can’t swing him, they can mislead Aras and Vytas into voting for a red herring.|
| 10. Aras – Gregorian Chant - Screw “Survivor,” all he wants to do is meditate on mountaintops, then throw in a celebration fail for good measure. Aras and his brother, who’s starting to look more and more like a Bizarro Aras, are now all over everyone’s radar. They’re going to have to be doubly crafty and probably need someone else to make a mistake if they’re to survive the next couple votes.
||10. Vytas – “Next to You” by The Police - “He couldn’t stand it for another day. His brother Aras was so far away.” Vytas managed to survive two very trying cycles and now he’s made it to the merge. Smooth sailing, right? Probably not. I’m betting the Baskauskas that doesn’t win immunity is going to Redemption. And, I’m giving Aras the edge because Vytas has no individual immunity experience.|
|Redemption Island Picks: John – “Hold On” by Wilson Phillips - Because the RI challenge is about holding on… GET IT?!? Laura B is probably S.O.L. for this challenge, so no more tie-dye *tear*. It should come down to whether the very muscle-heavy John is able to hold on longer than the older but lighter Laura M. I think it’s a coin-flip, but what is certain is that Tyson –who won this challenge in Tocantins – will make some sort of ridiculous comment in the hours it will take to resolve.|| Redemption Island Picks: Laura M. – “Mother” by The Police – Tough call on this one. But, I went with Laura M. because it’s an endurance challenge and being lightweight seems like it will serve her well. I picked “Mother” because Laura M. returning could seriously mess up Ciera’s game. By herself, Ciera is a well-liked, under-the-radar member of the dominant alliance. With Laura M. back in the game, Ciera is tied to a very prominent challenge force. “Won’t she leave me alone?!”
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