The absolute shocker of a tribal council twist resulted in the ouster of the castaway I had ranked 13th for the second straight week.
Here’s what I wrote about Malcolm before he went: “With the loss of two meat shields right away, it’s time to start worrying about Malcolm. He simply won’t have cover for much longer, and they’ll be coming for him soon as a major threat.”
Of course, if Tai hadn’t played the idol for the correct person, then Sierra would have gotten the boot. But the bottom line is if these veteran players have a shot to take out a threat, they’re going to do it.
I’m trying to reflect that in the power rankings. This is how I see the players ranked by their best chances to win headed into Week 4:
1. Troyzan (Last week: 3). Troyzan blew a big lead in the challenge, but that might help him in some weird way because they won’t view him as a threat. If he can use his idol, survive the next couple weeks and find some safety while the tribe takes out bigger threats, he might have a real shot once the merge happens.
2. Zeke (Last week: 2). This is the one player who I’ve been consistent on, so I’m leaving him toward the top for no real reason other than I need to stop flip-flopping on everyone.
3. Cirie (Last week: 6). The more visible Sandra is, the more it helps Cirie in the game. As long as Sandra is around, Cirie has cover and could make the merge that way. After that, who knows?
4. Andrea (Last week: 7). She’s playing the game she needs to play so far. I’m still not sure what her strategy is overall, but she’s putting herself in decent shape for later.
5. Varner (Last week: 4). He seemed a little shaky last episode. I hope he rebounds, but he can’t be too visible or appear sneaky or they’ll turn on him quickly.
6. Hali (Last week: 5). At tribal council, it was tough to tell whose side she was really on. It worked out for her that time, but people need to trust her eventually or she’ll be gone.
7. Aubrey (Last week: 9). She’s done a good job of staying under the radar, but for how much longer?
8. Michaela (Last week: 11). Just waiting until everyone figures out what a threat she is. Or will it be too late by then?
9. Debbie (Last week: 10). Let’s be honest: She’s tried to change this season, but her true colors will come through eventually. That might make people think they can’t work with her.
10. Sarah (Last week: 12). I can’t get a good read on her one way or the other. It doesn’t seem like she’s a very big part of the show for now, though.
11. Ozzy (Last week: 14). He’s trying his best to play a good game. I hope for his sake he can keep it up, but it always seems like the players end up realizing Ozzy is too scary of a player to keep around.
12. Sierra (Last week: 8). She’s lucky Tai played the idol on her. But clearly, she’s viewed as a strong No. 2 on her tribe and thus considered a threat. She’s on too many radars.
13. Brad (last week: 1). I know I’m bipolar on Brad, but his huge moves have me concerned about his long-term chances. He’s had a FANTASTIC two weeks — but he’s also seen Tony, Caleb and Malcolm all leave. When it’s time to go after physical threats, who are they going to look at? Brad.
14. J.T. (Last week: 15). OOPS! He screwed his tribe by leaking the info that got the idol played against them AND failed in his effort to get Sandra out. Hardly a winning formula.
15. Tai (Last week: 17). Great move with the idol play, and he had a good episode. But I still don’t see him as being strategic enough to win Survivor. And I love Tai!
16. Sandra (Last week: 16). She’s in a great spot now that the attempted J.T. coup failed. But how dumb are these players if they don’t flip on Sandra? I can’t fathom these “game changers” letting Sandra get much farther.