Last week’s merge and double elimination took out both Hali (who was ranked No. 4) and Ozzy (who was ranked No. 12) — and it nearly took out top-ranked Zeke after he seemed to ruin his own game by going to Debbie and Sierra to try and organize a coup against Cirie and Andrea.
With Zeke hurting his chances, there’s a new No. 1 this week. Here’s how the 11 remaining castaways stack up, ranked by best chance to win:
1. Troyzan (Last week: 2). Here’s why I continue to be so high on Troyzan: He’s the No. 3 in his alliance, meaning Brad and Sierra might be targets first; he doesn’t seem to be on many radars; and he has an idol. That’s sort of the Adam formula from last season.
2. Sarah (Last week: 3). I’m not sure where Sarah sits right now, and that’s a good thing. She’s certainly not a target, and she could also have some influence over the direction of the game by playing in the middle for a couple more votes. She voted with the majority to boot Ozzy, but that doesn’t mean she’s committed to them.
3. Brad (last week: 9). I’m finally starting to get on the Brad bandwagon as far as his chances. I was so skeptical for the first few weeks, but he really seems to have changed as both a person and a player from his other Survivor appearance. He’s making bonds with people like Aubry and, even though guys like Zeke can see through him, what he’s doing is working so far.
4. Aubry (Last week: 8). Although she’s with the minority alliance, she’s not one of the top targets there (Cirie and Andrea are). So perhaps that will help her stay safe as others continue to go after big threats — and remember, it also looked like she bonded with Brad (which could help keep her off the chopping block).
5. Sierra (Last week: 7). Surprisingly, Sierra is actually the leader of the majority alliance. She is running the game in some aspects. However, I’m not sure that’s a good thing for her at this point — because people might recognize that and come after her.
6. Andrea (Last week: 5). She’s either the leader or No. 2 in the minority alliance (along with Cirie), and I don’t think that bodes well if the majority group (Sierra, Brad, Troyzan, Debbie and Tai) are able to stick together.
7. Michaela (Last week: 10). There was a nice moment where Michaela and Cirie bonded, and you could tell Michaela really listened. But listening is one thing; acting on the advice is another. Let’s see if that was a turning point.
8. Tai (Last week: 11). I still don’t think Tai can win, but with every week that goes by and those two immunity idols remain in his pocket, his chances improve.
9. Debbie (Last week: 13). OK, Debbie — nice move. Nice, niiiiiice move. Debbie, if you recall, was the one behind booting Ozzy; not only was it her idea, but her extra vote came into play. I’m still not high on her game and overall chances, but she now has a big move to claim on her resume.
10. Cirie (Last week: 6). She’s the leader of the smaller alliance and a threat, so she’ll be an easy target sometime in the new few weeks if the majority alliance stays together. I think she’s playing great, but she doesn’t have much protection.
11. Zeke (Last week: 1) Dammit, Zeke. My favorite player of the season goes from first to worst after nearly blowing up his own game last week. Now he’s not only broken the trust with his former alliance, but he doesn’t appear to have anyone to work with (despite what the previews hinted). I hope he can salvage his game, but he’s also being talked about as having too compelling of a story for people to let him reach the end.