Each week during this season of Survivor, I’ve been ranking the castaways in terms of best chance to win the game. Last week, Ashley was voted off after being ranked No. 6 of the six remaining players.
Power Rankings heading into season finale:
1. Devon (Last week: 2): The $1 million is likely going to come down to Devon or Chrissy. Both of them believe they can beat the other, and it could be close — but I’m leaning toward Devon because of Chrissy’s potentially weak jury management (see a more in-depth explanation below). People have underestimated Devon all season, but he’s played a very solid game, has been likable and acted on his gut when he needed to (like ditching Ryan to go with Ben after Ryan broke his trust). As far as his resume, he also orchestrated two very smart moves as the final seven approached, then jumped on a potential final three with Chrissy and Ryan. It’s been a subtle game and not outwardly strategic, but he’s had to make a lot of adjustments. He could be overlooked by his surfer bro nature, but I think Devon may be crowned the winner tonight.
2. Chrissy (Last week: 4): I was very pro-Chrissy at the start of the season, but then she made a series of missteps. She was too cocky as the final seven approached (twice whispering in front of other players and then being on cruise control before Ben flipped) and has made statements accusing people of being unsportsmanlike or too personal — which could alienate some players. That said, she’s obviously very smart and is now in a strong position to make the final three. But can she win it? Well, there are going to be eight people on the jury, and I’m not sure she can muster up four votes based on who may be against her from the start (like Lauren and Joe). Plus, if Ashley gets over the bitterness toward Devon, Chrissy might not have that vote, either. That leaves Chrissy needing a sweep of votes from Desi, Cole, JP and the two players she votes off tonight (perhaps Ben and Dr. Mike?). This is a lot of projecting based on unknown events, but I think Devon beats Chrissy head-to-head with Ryan getting no votes in their potential final three. (Side note: Remember, if it’s tied 4-4, then the third person in the final three casts the deciding vote — which is good for Chrissy if that person is Ryan.)
3. Ryan (Last week: 3): I’ve enjoyed Ryan as a character this season, but I expected him to be more of a player. Instead, he got too comfortable with Chrissy and ultimately seemed to take a backseat to her as she led and made the decisions. He seems headed for the final three, but I’m not sure he has a winning resume unless he pulls out some big moves late in the game. His best chance is to go along with others as they eliminate Ben, then take out Chrissy and make the case for himself against Devon and Dr. Mike — which could still be a losing proposition.
4. Mike (Last week: 5): It’s been a fun ride for Dr. Mike, but the end of his journey likely won’t result in the $1 million. I have a feeling he’ll jump on the “Vote Ben Out!” train to save himself in the first vote tonight and then he’ll be a victim of the final cut before the three at the end. Even if he does make it to final tribal, the jury hasn’t respected his game enough to reward him with the Sole Survivor title. To win, he would probably need to team up with Ben for a vote to get Chrissy out, then flip and take Ben out to end up in a final three with Ryan and Devon. Even then, he would probably finish third.
5. Ben (Last week: 1): There’s no way Ben can possibly make it to the final three. Right? Right?!? The players speak openly amongst themselves about how he’s the biggest threat and everyone knows if he makes it to the end, he will win. So these smart players can’t possibly pass up an opportunity to get him out. Right? Right?!?! That means he would have to win the two remaining immunity challenges, which seems like a longshot because he’s not particularly great at those. I guess it’s possible if he keeps pulling out miracles like the last two weeks, but he’ll likely be the first boot tonight.
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)
Week 4: Alan (ranked No. 13 of 15 remaining players)
Week 5: Roark (ranked No. 10 of 14 remaining players)
Week 6: Ali (ranked No. 5 of 13 remaining players)
Week 7: Jessica (ranked No. 9 of 12 remaining players)
Week 8: Desi (ranked No. 8 of 11 remaining players)
Week 9: Cole (ranked No. 10 of 10 remaining players)
Week 10: JP (ranked No. 9 of nine remaining players) and then Joe (ranked No. 7 of nine remaining players going into the double episode)
Week 11: Lauren (ranked No. 2 of seven remaining players)
Week 12: Ashley (ranked No. 6 of six remaining players)