I was laughing my butt off and clapping with glee during last week’s tribal council. Between J.T.’s cockiness, Michaela sipping from the coffee mug and the hilarity of a guy talking trash and then going home with an idol in his pocket (actually still at camp!) was pretty awesome.
J.T. was No. 14 in last week’s power rankings, so that was no surprise. Here’s how I see things stacking up this week (in order of best chance to win):
1. Troyzan (Last week: 1). Keeping Troyzan here for now, particularly since it looks like he struck up an alliance with Sarah that could help keep him safe (even without the idol). Feeling better and better about his chances.
2. Zeke (Last week: 2). Still high on Zeke. What’s the reason someone would vote him out right now? I don’t see it.
3. Varner (Last week: 5). I didn’t realize how tight he is with Sandra until last week. That could help him, because if someone is going to take a shot at his group, they’re aiming at Sandra first (or at least they should).
4. Sarah (Last week: 10). That little scene she had with Troyzan seemed like something that could be important for the future. It’s a smart move on her part, and I like her “Play like a criminal” mentality.
5. Cirie (Last week: 3). Cirie is doing exactly what she needs to do so far, and Sandra’s presence in the game continues to provide her some cover. She just needs to keep her head down.
6. Hali (Last week: 6). I’m definitely liking Hali’s game play more than her first season, but I’m still not sure how far that will take her.
7. Andrea (Last week: 4). It’s still hard to get a feel for Andrea’s strategy this season, which is maybe a good sign. She’s doing what she needs to do overall to stay under the radar — yet still be ready to strike when necessary.
8. Ozzy (Last week: 11). Ozzy is the man, right? But once the tribes merge, he’s going to be too big of a threat to keep around — no matter how much food he provides.
9. Sierra (Last week: 12). As long as she’s Brad’s lieutenant, she could struggle to put her own stamp on big moves. That could be a problem at final tribal.
10. Brad (last week: 13). He moves up this week because others are playing themselves out of contention. As I said before, Brad has a fantastic approach to this season, but he’s going to be a big target at some point and that’s bad for his long-term game.
11. Aubrey (Last week: 7). I’m concerned about Aubrey’s chances after last week. She was completely out of the loop on the decision to vote J.T. out and seemed clueless. As smart as she is, it doesn’t seem like she has many people to work with at the moment.
12. Michaela (Last week: 8). Her J.T. trolling was hilarious, but it also showed her fire and temper once again. Survivor winners tend to have level heads; they don’t let their emotions get the best of them.
13. Tai (Last week: 15). I can’t get past lingering doubts about Tai’s strategic play. He’s always going to be easily manipulated and thus end up in a bad spot at times that don’t serve his own best interests.
14. Debbie (Last week: 9). Debbie, Debbie, Debbie. Screaming at people for no reason and going off about how pissed you are is — spoiler alert — NOT how you win Survivor. I don’t care how far she makes it in the game. She’s not going to win it.
15. Sandra (Last week: 16). OK, look — she’s playing an AWESOME game. Kudos to her. But I’m still leaving her at the bottom, because I just can’t see how these very smart players would let her stick around for a shot at the win.