The Queen doesn’t stay Queen, as it turns out. Sandra, who was ranked at the bottom of the power rankings for most of the season, finally got the boot last week as players wised up to her threat level.
But man, how impressive was Sandra? She played an incredible game right up until the end and seemed to nearly pull off another escape. No wonder she won twice.
Now that she’s gone, though, we have a new name at the bottom. Here’s how I rank the remaining castaways based on best chance to win it all:
1. Zeke (Last week: 2). He essentially made the biggest move of the season, spearheading Sandra’s ouster. That gives him an honorary No. 1 spot this week, but I’m slightly concerned about his future based on the weakness of his new tribe.
2. Troyzan (Last week: 1). Troyzan ended up in a good spot with the tribe swap and still has an idol to play with. He’s in great shape for the merge.
3. Cirie (Last week: 5). Damn! Did you see how fast she, Aubry and Sierra did that puzzle? Cirie is one smart cookie, and she could slip into the Sandra slot as the top social player now, too.
4. Hali (Last week: 6). She’s played a clever game to this point, but seemed to have clashed with Brad at tribal a couple episodes ago. Can they work together? If so, and she makes the merge, I think she’s got a chance.
5. Sierra (Last week: 9). She’s got a great tribe and a solid alliance with Brad and Troyzan. Once she makes the merge, she could have a real shot because she won’t be an obvious threat.
6. Aubry (Last week: 11). The merge can’t get here soon enough for Aubry, because that’s when she can work her magic. In the meantime, she could be viewed as a threat.
7. Brad (last week: 10). He remains a huge target and could go home any week. But for now, his strong new tribe might win enough challenges to keep him safe.
8. Michaela (Last week: 12). If her new tribe loses, she might be a target. To avoid this, she MUST stay below the radar for a couple weeks and not get into any confrontations.
9. Sarah (Last week: 4). Her new tribe’s makeup isn’t very promising. At least if she makes the merge, she seems to have a potential alliance with Troyzan that could help her.
10. Andrea (Last week: 7). As is the case with Zeke and Sarah, she’s now on a weak tribe that could lose immunity for a couple straight weeks. That’s not good for merge chances.
11. Ozzy (Last week: 8). Ozzy’s name got mentioned at tribal council, and though he didn’t get any votes, he’s clearly known as a threat. That doesn’t bode well for the long-term, especially because he’ll be a quick target when they become one tribe.
12. Varner (Last week: 3). He plummets down the rankings this week because he’s clearly in the minority now after the tribe swap — and lost Sandra as a shield. If his group goes to tribal council again, the votes are likely coming for either Varner or Tai.
13. Debbie (Last week: 14). As much as a strategy session with Cochran might have helped other players, I doubt it will do much for Debbie. She might float to the merge because she’s not a target (unless they can’t stand her), but there’s zero chance she wins it all.
14. Tai (Last week: 13). He’s found three idols and still has two of them, but he keeps shooting himself in the foot. It was a sloppy tribal council performance, and it nearly cost him (or appeared that way). No matter how many idols he has, he won’t win if he keeps this up.