Survivor Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers Power Rankings: Week 4

Each week during this season of Survivor, I’ll be ranking the castaways in terms of best chance to win the game. Last week, Patrick was voted off after being ranked No. 16 of the 16 remaining players.

Week 4 Power Rankings: 

1. Ben (Last week: 1): I really hope he ends up with Chrissy on his new tribe, because I liked that pairing a lot. No reason to drop him in the rankings.

2. Ali (Last week: 5): She’s playing a great game. It’s too bad former ally Patrick couldn’t be smart enough to help her advance, but she’s good at forming relationships with many different kinds of people.

3. Ryan (Last week: 2): I’m still liking the game Ryan is playing, but I worry he could be targeted as a weak player in challenges on his new tribe.

4. Chrissy (Last week: 3): With a tribe swap approaching, Chrissy will need to get herself off the bottom quickly in order to avoid a similar “Mom Squad” scenario she experienced in Week 1. I hope she can find some people to work with.

5. Mike (Last week: 6): It’s more likely a tribe swap could help him than hurt him. He shouldn’t be a target right away, especially if he’s not on the same tribe as Joe (since Joe had been telling everyone Mike had an idol). On the other hand, he sits out of challenges and could be viewed as an easy target if people want to get rid of a weak competitor.

6. Devon (Last week: 7): I want to see more out of Devon before I can start to think he’s a major player in this game.

7. Ashley (Last week: 9): It’s hard to see her winning the whole game right now, but she’s not playing herself out of it as long as she avoids the JP relationship distraction.

8. Lauren (Last week: 11): Now that Patrick is gone and a tribe swap is approaching, could better days be ahead for Lauren?

9. Roark (Last week: 12): We still don’t know much about Roark, but she keeps moving up the power rankings because of people playing actively worse games than she is.

10. JP (Last week: 8): Despite his skills as a provider, he doesn’t seem to have much of a social game. We got some insight into his future when Chrissy and Ben were considering getting rid of him.

11. Jessica (Last week: 13): She seems like a sweet person (with rare kisses!) but not the kind of cutthroat strategist who would win Survivor.

12. Desi (Last week: 14): We don’t see much of Desi, except she and Roark were both offended last week by Joe throwing food away.

13. Alan (Last week: 15): He had a quiet week, so maybe he can establish himself on his new tribe. That said, I’m still not very high on his long-term prospects.

14. Joe (Last week: 4): This guy has been on a roller coaster in the power rankings. One week I’ll like his gameplay — because I want to like his style — and the next week I’ll be down on him. This week? Bleh. Throwing food into the woods because he’s too picky about it? Not a good sign at all.

15. Cole (Last week: 10): From my notes while watching last week’s episode, I wrote down, “Cole is dumb.” Maybe it’s because he’s going around telling everyone about Joe’s idol. Maybe it’s because of his showmance with Jessica. Maybe both. Either way, he’s not going to win Survivor.


Week 1: Katrina (ranked No. 6 of 18 remaining players)

Week 2: Simone (ranked No. 17 of 17 remaining players)

Week 3: Patrick (ranked No. 16 of 16 remaining players)

Survivor Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers Power Rankings: Week 3

Each week during this season of Survivor, I’ll be ranking the castaways in terms of best chance to win the game. Last week, Simone was voted off after being ranked No. 17 of the 17 remaining players.

Week 3 Power Rankings: 

1. Ben (Last week: 1): He seems open to working with whoever he needs to in order to advance, as evidenced by his potential new partnership with Chrissy. He’s playing a smart game so far.

2. Ryan (Last week: 2): Nothing so far leads me to believe he won’t make a deep run, so no reason to drop him down the list.

3. Chrissy (Last week: 4): The former Mom Squad member looks like she removed herself from the bottom of the Heroes tribe last week and I’m more optimistic about her prospects now that she has Ben’s ear. She seems to be very smart and thinks several steps ahead.

4. Joe (Last week: 15): I originally had Joe at No. 2 to start the season and dropped him all the way to 15th last week after he was over aggressive in the first episode. Now that he seems to have calmed down — and found an idol with the help of Cole — I feel a bit better about his chances of making a run.

5. Ali (Last week: 8): She continues to be the most pleasant surprise of the season for me and is obviously a smart player. For example: When Simone was on the outs, she saw it as a potential opportunity. That’s just good gameplay (although Simone was ultimately given the boot).

6. Mike (Last week: 5): I’m worried he will be targeted by Joe before the tribes swap, which could lead to an early exit. But if he survives that far, he should be a key player because no one will look at him as a target.

7. Devon (Last week: 3): I still really like his partnership with Ryan, but Devon himself doesn’t seem like the kind of strategic player who could ultimately win it all. If he makes the merge, he’ll have to win a lot of immunity challenges to take the whole game.

8. JP (Last week: 6): His ability to stay calm and try to be a provider by catching fish is very wise at this point in the game. Ozzy has made several decent runs that way, so that model could work for awhile.

9. Ashley (Last week: 7): She’s still plugging away. For now, she just needs to keep her head down and let Alan be a bigger target on the Heroes tribe.

10. Cole (Last week: 11): He helped Joe find the idol, but then Joe seemed to hint at wanting to get him out at some point soon after. Plus, it’s hard to tell whether his potential showmance with Jessica will hurt his game.

11. Lauren (Last week: 9): It looked like she could have a potential alliance with Ali, which isn’t a bad thing since she professes not to be much of a people person.

12. Roark (Last week: 12): It’s still hard to get a feel for her game, as she hasn’t been featured much on the show so far. That said, she’s not an obvious target in the next couple weeks.

13. Jessica (Last week: 13): Her relationship with Cole is still concerning, and I don’t know how much that will affect her game.

14. Desi (Last week: 14): She seems like mostly a non-factor so far.

15. Alan (Last week: 16): The former football player was happy he created suspicion at camp by targeting JP and Ashley. That kind of game play might work at times, but it’s not the recipe for a $1 million win.

16. Patrick (Last week: 10): He’s starting to run wild, annoy people and wear on everyone’s nerves at camp. Not exactly a recipe for the ultimate winner of Survivor.



Week 1: Katrina (ranked No. 6 of 18 remaining players)

Week 2: Simone (ranked No. 17 of 17 remaining players)

Survivor Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers Power Rankings: Week 2

Each week during this season of Survivor, I’ll be ranking the castaways in terms of best chance to win the game. Last week, Katrina was voted off after being ranked No. 6 of 18 in the preseason rankings.

Week 2 Power Rankings: 

1. Ben (Last week: 1): I liked how he played in Week 1 and he has potential to go pretty far, but his alliance with unpredictable Alan seems like it could be a concern.

2. Ryan (Last week: 9): I really liked this dude! Yeah, he’s quirky — but he obviously pays attention to details (found the Super Idol) and knows the game very well. He could make a Cochran-like run by relying on his social game if things fall his way.

3. Devon (Last week: 15): The surfer dude linking up in an alliance with Ryan was really cool (“We’re going to cause chaos together”). It made me feel positive about his prospects going forward, though he doesn’t seem like a strategic mastermind in the long run.

4. Chrissy (Last week: 7): She made a surprising — but correct — move in not using the Super Idol to save Katrina, which would have alienated her from her remaining tribemates and still left her in the minority. Hopefully she can make inroads with someone on the tribe before the next visit to tribal council.

5. Mike (Last week: 3): He was a bit geekier than I expected, leaving me a bit uncertain about the long-term prospects of his social game. Still, he’s obviously a very smart player and I think he’ll make good moves if given the chance.

6. JP (Last week: 10): Alan blew up whatever budding connection he had with Ashley, resulting in an awkward strip search for the idol. But JP stayed pretty calm about it, so maybe he can get past this if he can target Alan first.

7. Ashley (Last week: 11): She got caught up in being targeted by Alan, so I don’t know where that leaves her long term. But she handled it well, considering the circumstances.

8. Ali (Last week: 16): I was pleasantly surprised by her. She seems to be a better player than I thought after reading her preseason bio.

9. Lauren (Last week: 17): The fisherman seemed to be leading the way at the Hustlers camp. That could either keep her safe or turn her into an early target, and I’m not sure which.

10. Patrick (Last week: 4): The redhead linking up with Ali seemed promising, though there’s something about Patrick’s game I don’t totally trust.

11. Cole (Last week: 5): It was hard to get much of a feel for his game in the first episode. We need to see more, but a budding showmance with Jessica could be worrisome.

12. Roark (Last week: 8): She had one confessional, but overall that didn’t leave us with many clues about how she’ll play. Hard to say.

13. Jessica (Last week: 13): Showmances never work on Survivor — you don’t want to be looked at as a duo of any kind — so her potential relationship with Cole is trouble.

14. Desi (Last week: 14): I strongly disliked her preseason bio, so I’m not going to suddenly get on the bandwagon just because she had a quiet episode.

15. Joe (Last week: 2): Whoa. Way too aggressive, dude! Seeing him bully Mike into admitting the idol search was not a good way to start the game. That style won’t serve him well in the long run if he keeps it up.

16. Alan (Last week: 12): Dude! Just no. Freaking out in Week 1 and trying to blow up someone else’s game is playing wayyyyy too aggressively at the start. And that never works. Alan needs to be careful or he’ll get booted in the next few weeks.

17. Simone (Last week: 18): I don’t remember seeing her much in the first episode, so my opinion hasn’t changed.



Week 1: Katrina (ranked No. 6 of 18)

Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers Preseason Power Rankings

Each week during this season of Survivor, I’ll be ranking the castaways in terms of best chance to win the game. The power rankings for Season 35 will be much more difficult at the start since there are no returning players. I don’t know anything about these people, so I’ve gone through all the bios on to try and figure out who might have a good chance and who doesn’t.

Preseason Power Rankings: 

1. Ben (Heroes Tribe): I really like this guy’s potential. A former Marine who has dealt with all sorts of people and describes his game as a combination of Russell Hantz, Boston Rob and Joe. He describes himself as “hilarious” with a good social game. Maybe all of that will make him a threat, but it also might help him win.

2. Joe (Healers Tribe): He’s a probation officer but is on the Healers tribe instead of the Heroes. OK then. But anyway, cops have done well recently — Tony, Sarah Lacina, Bret — because they can relate to so many different kinds of people and also understand when others are lying. Joe has a fantastic chance of going very far in this game, based on what I see in his profile.

3. Mike (Healers Tribe): A superfan who has studied the game, Mike doesn’t appear to be much of a physical threat but calls himself “smart, strategic and social.” Those are traits of a Survivor winner, and if he can deliver, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mike play a major role in this game.

4. Patrick (Hustlers Tribe): I really like what he is planning to do for his game. Patrick says he has endurance and outdoors skills to go along with being good at bonding with others and making friendships — but won’t look like enough of a physical threat to get voted off early. That could be a very good formula if it works.

5. Cole (Healers Tribe): He’s an outdoorsman who also describes himself as somewhat of a nerd like Spencer. However, this could be a boom or bust pick, because there’s a chance his personality could get annoying based on how he presents himself. If he’s able to get along with people and build an alliance, he could make it to the end.

6. Katrina (Heroes Tribe): The former Olympic swimmer says she’s great at convincing others to support her. She’ll need that skill if she’s going to become a winner based on being a “more outgoing, adventurous Denise.” If she’s able to bond with the physical threats, she’ll have a great shot to go far.

7. Chrissy (Heroes Tribe): It’s tough to tell why this 46-year-old actuary is on the Heroes tribe, but it might work in her favor. She’s traveled to every continent, has degrees from Penn and MIT and describes herself as similar to Tai — except a super competitive overachiever. If she’s as likable as she sounds, she might be able to bond with the other Heroes and make it far in the game or become the first boot from her group.

8. Roark (Healers Tribe): Her bio is pretty quirky and funny, and she seems like the type of person a lot of people would like and get along with. If that’s the case, I could see her playing a big role in a majority alliance. I’m not sure she can win the whole game, though.

9. Ryan (Hustlers Tribe): Most of this guy’s tribe seems to be sort of clueless — at least in their profiles — so I’ll give the benefit of the doubt to this superfan, who says he’s been wanting to play Survivor his entire life. He obviously knows strategy and social game, but he’ll need both of those to make it far since he doesn’t appear to be a physical threat. Also, he compares himself to Todd from Survivor: China — and I don’t even think I remember Todd.

10. JP (Heroes Tribe): This firefighter from Los Angeles compares his game to Jay (from two seasons ago). I don’t see a lot of strategy talk in his bio, and combined with being a physical threat, he might be a candidate to make the merge and then get booted.

11. Ashley (Heroes Tribe): Maybe I’m reaching here, but this lifeguard’s bio comes across as sort of cocky. She describes herself as “impressive,” claims her body can endure more than the average human and says “I am a winner” when comparing herself to Richard Hatch. If she’s going to make it far, she’ll have to tone down that attitude and show some humility on the island.

12. Alan (Heroes Tribe): In his bio, the former NFL player says his gameplay won’t resemble anyone who has come before him. That’s not a good thing, since it’s actually pretty smart to model yourself after those who have been successful before. That statement, in addition to his obvious presence as a physical threat, leads me to believe he can stick around for awhile but won’t come close to making it to the end.

13. Jessica (Healers Tribe): She says she could win a Miss Congeniality award on Survivor if there was such a thing, which is good. But her bio sounds like she’ll be likable and not necessarily strategic — which is a good recipe for making the merge but then failing to move further once it really gets down to game time.

14. Desi (Healers Tribe): After boasting about all her attributes, she concludes her profile by saying she’s “nearly unbeatable.” Groan. How often does the eventual winner of Survivor think that highly of themselves? I would guess that’s not a good sign. She also says she has no problem calling people out when necessary. Good luck with that on the island.

15. Devon (Hustlers Tribe): Though he compares himself to Ozzy and Malcom, this surfer dude seems to be planning on relying on his physical nature too much. In his bio, Devon says “every single immunity challenge is mine.” I hope he’s likable, because if not, he’ll be targeted as soon as people feel safe enough to start going after physical threats.

16. Ali (Hustlers Tribe): This celebrity assistant says she will be a “competition beast” but comes off as a very go-getter, Type A personality. I worry that may result in being one of the people who doesn’t make it to the merge, should that prove to be a turnoff to her tribemates.

17. Lauren (Hustlers Tribe): Geez, this Hustlers tribe is a mess. I like that she’s a fisherman, which is obviously a good trait to have on Survivor and might help her stick around for awhile. But her bio gives no sign she’s a fan of the game, which means she might get eaten alive when it comes to strategy. I don’t see her being able to win in the end.

18. Simone (Hustlers Tribe): Unless she’s joking, I don’t really like much of what she has to say in her bio. She compares herself to judging people like Michaela, says one reason she’ll win is because she has “good luck” and says one of her hobbies is “complaining.” Maybe that’s all just part of her sense of humor, but if not? She might be the first one out.

Survivor Game Changers Power Rankings: Season Finale

This season of Survivor has been a blast yet again and it’s been fun to find out how many NASCAR fans watch it. There’s a really good amount of crossover there, so that’s made it really enjoyable to chat with everyone about the season.

Anyway, who wins tonight? Well, there’s no clear favorite despite Sarah playing such a strong season. But I can still guess at the order or who has the best chance.

After the bottom two players in the rankings went home last week, here are the top six — ranked by best chance to win. Also, I included what I initially said about them in the preseason power rankings:

1. Sarah (Last week: 1).

Current comment: This has been Sarah’s season in so many ways. She’s made brilliant moves, controlled the game and lived up to her promise of playing like a criminal instead of a cop. Sarah backed off when needed (she didn’t fight for ally Zeke at the expense of her own game), schemed when necessary (she orchestrated Sierra’s ouster after realizing she could get the legacy advantage) and pulled off winning moves like taking control at tribal council after Cirie tried to use the vote steal (which Sarah had snatched from the challenge when Michaela sat out). However, the big question is still whether Sarah made too many enemies along the way and whether that will be held against her at the final three.

Preseason comment: (Ranked 15th of 20) Why is she a game changer? I’m not sure. I don’t remember much of her game, except for both she and Tony being cops on their season. Maybe that will allow her avoid being targeted (why would they vote her out if she’s not a threat?) and make it far.


2. Brad (last week: 4).

Current comment: These players had better not let Brad get to the final three, because he has a great shot at winning if he does. Look at how many of his former alliance partners are sitting there already — and he hasn’t made enemies along the way. Overall, Brad has played a fantastic game and really changed his image this year (see my original comment below, OOPS!). He’s been a nice guy instead of the jerk people thought he was, but also made it far while being the only physical threat left in the game (something which is hard to do). They would be smart to get rid of him before the final three.

Preseason comment:  (Ranked 20th) He’s going to piss someone off and get himself voted out before the merge. I just don’t think he can make it very far with the style of game he plays.

3. Aubry (Last week: 3).

Current comment: It’s been a rough season for a player who looked so promising in her first season. She’s always seemed to be playing from behind and hasn’t been calling any of the shots. Even when she won immunity, she was crying after that night’s tribal council because she was completely out of the loop and left out of the vote. Her best chance to win is if she sits next to two people the jury loathes.

Preseason comment: (Ranked 2nd) She should have won two seasons ago, and I think her game will be respected (but not feared). She’ll sharpen things up this time and play a calculated, measured game overall.

4. Cirie (Last week: 2).

Current comment: One of the all-time great players made an all-time blunder last week. First of all, she voted ally Andrea out too early (Andrea even said on the Rob Has A Podcast exit interview she wouldn’t have targeted Cirie until the final four). Then Cirie alienated even-closer ally Sarah by trying to get cute with the vote steal and lost protege Michaela in the process! Terrible outcome all around. If she reaches the final three, she can win — but it will be very tough to get there now.

Preseason comment: (Ranked 9th) She’s going to be a threat and the other players will recognize it right away. So that might not work very well long term, unless she’s able to fly under the radar somehow.

5. Tai (Last week: 5).

Current comment: He has two idols heading into the finale, which bodes well for his chances of making the final three. But given his penchant for flip-flopping and indecision, I just can’t see the jury deciding to reward him with $1 million — even if he’s sitting next to someone less likable.

Preseason comment: (Ranked 16th) Everyone loves Tai! Everyone wants to work with Tai! But here’s the thing: Does he play a strategic game? I don’t think so. And so when he’s sitting at final tribal, this group of vets won’t reward him — just like when he lost to Michele.

6. Troyzan (Last week: 6). 

Current comment: Troyzan has played a floater game this season and thus will not be rewarded by a jury of veteran players. He has an idol, which might help him make the final three, but I don’t see him getting any votes even if he gets there. That’s a shame, because his pre-merge game seemed pretty good.

Preseason comment: (Ranked 12th) He had the misfortune of going up against one of the smartest players ever, Kim Spradlin, who got the better of him. Let’s see how he does this go-round).


Survivor Game Changers Power Rankings: Week 11

No big surprise on Sierra going home last week, though that still leaves the game up for grabs with only two episodes remaining.

Now that we’re down to the Elite Eight, it’s starting to get clearer who still has a chance — and who absolutely cannot win.

Here’s how the final eight players stack up, ranked by best chance to win:

1. Sarah (Last week: 1). If she doesn’t win, it’s certainly not for lack of effort. Last week’s move to turn on Sierra after learning about the Legacy Advantage was cutthroat, and it went to the next level after Sarah still was gifted with the advantage anyway! She even looked at Sierra like, “How did you get voted out?” — after SARAH voted for her. Amazing stuff! The biggest question is whether she will leave too many bitter people on the jury.

2. Cirie (Last week: 2). In some ways, this is starting to look like a horror movie for the other players. The killer is outside! Don’t let them in! Oh no! Cirie, master of the social game, is playing SO well and — remarkably — no one seems to be noticing. Her name is never brought up as a target and she’s done well to put the focus on Andrea for people coming after her alliance. If Cirie makes the final three, she wins.

3. Aubry (Last week: 4). There’s a huge gap between the top two players and this spot, and many of you feel I’ve been putting Aubry much too high. But she’s been playing under the radar and is getting to the point where she could be sitting at final tribal — again. Maybe this time, the jury will turn on others instead of her (remember, she was punished in her first season for some strange reason and lost to Michele).

4. Brad (last week: 6). I’m uncomfortable putting Brad this high, especially since tonight could be a perfect time to send him home and decimate the remaining players from the minority alliance. But if he somehow survives these votes, it could be a real boost for his overall chances. Because let’s face it: He’s played a great game and has seemed like a totally different guy than the first time he was on Survivor.

5. Tai (Last week: 8). This is by far the highest Tai has been ranked all season, but I admit it’s starting to look a little better for him. There are eight people left, so he’s getting to the point where he could soon use back-to-back idols to reach the last four. And then he’s only one immunity win away from sitting at final tribal. So…I guess it’s possible.

6. Troyzan (Last week: 6). He’s still got that idol, but what else? Even if he floats to the final three, is the jury really going to reward him with $1 million? I would say no, based on the game he’s played.

7. Andrea (Last week: 3). It doesn’t look good for Andrea. Everyone is now talking about her as a major threat and she’s being targeted regularly, so it’s highly doubtful this group of smart veterans would let her reach the final three.

8. Michaela (Last week: 8). She can’t win. A jury would never go for her argument, because they don’t like her (personally, I think she’s hilarious). So it doesn’t matter if she makes the final three, because she won’t get any votes.

Survivor Game Changers Power Rankings: Week 10

Dang it! I was so bummed to see Zeke go last week, even though it was only a matter of time (I had him ranked No. 9 entering the episode). Unfortunately for Zeke, he was too good at the game AND had a compelling story, which made him a giant target.

So who’s next? Well, with the six-person voting alliance shrinking to five (Cirie, Andrea, Aubry, Michaela and Sarah) and possibly getting shaken up, the game seems wide open.

Here’s how the final nine players stack up, ranked by best chance to win:

1. Sarah (Last week: 1). It certainly seems like the Survivor story is being told from Sarah’s point of view, which means she’s controlling much of the action. Even last week, when her ride-or-die ally Zeke ended up going home, it was based around her decision not to fight it and make waves. So she’s still in a very good spot, and I love how she’s playing this year.

2. Cirie (Last week: 3). For as good as Cirie is, she’s still playing a bit under the radar. Is that even possible? Well, she’s quietly pulling all the strings and people are approaching her to see if they can make moves. And yet she’s not mentioned herself as a huge target! Until someone figures out how dangerous she is, she’ll stay in a power position. They’d be foolish to let her reach the end.

3. Andrea (Last week: 4). You have to hand it to Andrea: She knew Zeke was going to come for her — he said as much — so she got him out first. Well-played, Andrea. I don’t know about her long-term prospects of winning, but she’s in a good spot with the majority alliance for now. However, I think Sarah will turn on her and convince others to do the same.

4. Aubry (Last week: 2). I like Aubry’s game, but it feels like she’s more along for the ride than making moves herself. I’m not sure that will result in a winning strategy unless some of the more prominent players get the boot and she can really start playing. Sarah indicated she doesn’t trust Aubry, so where does that leave her in the big picture?

5. Troyzan (Last week: 6). He was clueless after the majority alliance voted Zeke out. His hope is that the group falls apart and he’s able to grab onto some of the pieces. I want to pull for him, but he doesn’t seem to be in a great spot. At least he’s still got the idol in his pocket.

6. Brad (last week: 7). He really needed that Zeke alliance to work out, and it didn’t. Zeke proposed a final five with Brad, Troyzan, Michaela and Sarah. Maybe Sarah can salvage it and pull something together that involves Brad and Troyzan. Otherwise, Brad might be in trouble.

7. Sierra (Last week: 5). Oof. Sierra told the main alliance she wanted to flip and would do whatever they wanted, and they told her to vote for…Tai! They left her out of the Zeke vote completely. That’s not a good sign, because they didn’t even care about building trust with her. At least she saved herself last week, but she’s a top candidate to get booted tonight.

8. Tai (Last week: 8). His own alliance — Brad, Troyzan and Sierra — all voted for him last week! People will gladly throw Tai under the bus, and he’d better play one of those two idols soon or he’ll go home with both of them. He still has a chance to make the final three, but he wouldn’t win if he got there.

9. Michaela (Last week: 10). Not going to happen. Her best chance is to stick by Cirie and Sarah, both of who want to work with her, and keep voting with the majority. But she’s not making big moves herself and people on the jury don’t seem to like her attitude enough to give her $1 million.