Well, well, well…how about that flip last week? Just when it looked like the majority alliance of six was going to pick off the other five players one by one for the next few weeks (BORING!), Sarah switched it up with her big move.
Although I’m not convinced Debbie was the right person to target (she was ranked No. 9 last week), it sure was satisfying to see her go home. And now the numbers are six (Cirie, Andrea, Aubry, Michaela, Zeke and maybe Sarah) to four (Brad, Sierra, Tai, Troyzan).
Here’s how the final 10 players stack up entering tonight’s episode (ranked by best chance to win):
1. Sarah (Last week: 2). Playing in the middle at this point in the game is a dangerous gamble, but Sarah is pulling it off so far. Can she keep it up while positioning herself to make the final three? As noted on the Survivor Know It Alls podcast, returning players often play like the winner from their season — and Sarah is playing a lot like Tony, only better. Still, that might catch up to her at some point.
2. Aubry (Last week: 4). Early in the season, there was talk about Aubry being a threat because she was so strategic. Remember, these players just watched her season before they went out to play (Millennials vs. Gen X hadn’t aired yet). But she keeps hanging around, and as long as bigger threats are still in the game, maybe she’s got a shot.
3. Cirie (Last week: 10). Her weak moment in the challenge actually might have helped her cause. It emphasized how little of a threat she is to win a physical contest, so maybe people won’t target her if that’s the case. Plus, thanks to Sarah, she now appears to be firmly in the majority alliance.
4. Andrea (Last week: 6). It seems like Andrea is starting to crack a little bit, but she’s also in the majority (as long as Sarah doesn’t flip again). I doubt we’ve seen the end of her battle with Zeke, though, and I think he could execute his goal if he gets another chance.
5. Sierra (Last week: 5). So much for that. Just when it looked like Sierra was in a power position, she now finds herself in the minority — this after she proposed a final three deal with Sarah and Debbie! Sarah may choose to work with her again, though, which could help Sierra’s chances if she can get over the feeling of betrayal from the Debbie vote.
6. Troyzan (Last week: 1). The Sarah flip was a big turn of events for Troyzan. Even his own alliance (Sierra, Brad, Tai) would probably rather throw him under the bus now to save themselves for another week. However, he does have an idol — which he might need to use sooner than later.
7. Brad (last week: 3). His chances plummet thanks to Sarah’s move, which now puts him in a minority alliance. Even if Sarah reunites with her buddy Sierra, will Brad get spared? He’s a target and will be for the rest of the game.
8. Tai (Last week: 8). I’ve been down on Tai all season, and a lot of the feedback from you Power Rankings readers lately is that I have him too low. After all, he has TWO idols and hasn’t made a bad move yet. But I still feel like the other players don’t take him very seriously, and this jury of veterans is ultimately going to want to reward a real strategist. Tai just isn’t that, and I have to go with my gut here.
9. Zeke (Last week: 11) Well, he’s out of the line of fire for the moment as he temporarily reunited with the Andrea alliance and was able to help Sarah pull off her move. But even though he’s in the majority, there’s still a lot working against him: Namely, people are aware he’s too much of a “player” and also has a compelling “story.” So they probably won’t let him get to the final three.
10. Michaela (Last week: 7). I know a lot of people don’t like Michaela, but oh my gosh, she cracks me up so much with her antics. A couple weeks after sipping from the mug as J.T. got blindsided, she ate coconut like it was popcorn while Debbie got the boot. Hilarious! That said, I doubt other players appreciate her attitude — and I don’t think the jury would give her $1 million in the end.