Survivor Game Changers Power Rankings: Week 7

I’m still trying to digest what happened last week with Zeke and Varner (I wrote more about that here), and it will definitely be hard to just move on with the game like nothing happened.

That said, Zeke was already No. 1 in my power rankings heading into last week, and I’m going to keep him there for now. While I think his story could eventually make him more of a target (“We can’t let him get to the end or he’ll win”), I think his fellow castaways will rally around him for awhile and he won’t be voted off anytime soon.

From the previews, we also know THE MERGE IS HERE — so that will shake things up dramatically.

Here’s how I see the castaways ranked (by best chance of winning) heading into tonight’s episode:

1. Zeke (Last week: 1). The biggest challenge for Zeke will be to shake off what was a traumatic personal moment and refocus on the game. Given his love for Survivor, I think he can do it.

2. Troyzan (Last week: 2). I like the spot Troyzan is in. He has an idol, but he’s also not a target at all right now (why would they vote Troyzan off when they could go after bigger threats like Ozzy or Brad?).

3. Sarah (Last week: 9). She’s good with her old tribe — Zeke, Andrea and Ozzy, at least — AND had that short-lived alliance with Troyzan before the swap (remember that scene?). Having connections on both sides could be a very good thing. Time for the cop to play like a criminal.

4. Hali (Last week: 4). This first merge vote is going to say a lot about where Hali is and reveal much about her chances going forward. I don’t have a great read on it. But for now, I’m leaving her up high because she’s not an obvious threat.

5. Andrea (Last week: 10). Before Varner outed Zeke, he also outed a supposed alliance between Andrea, Zeke and Ozzy. If that’s really the case, those three could do some damage if they can pull in a few others.

6. Cirie (Last week: 3). I’m a little shaky on Cirie now that the merge is here and Sandra is gone. No one looks at Cirie and goes, “Oh, she’s not a threat.” They all know it, and she’s too dangerous to keep around for much longer.

7. Sierra (Last week: 5). It feels like her chances are still too closely tied to Brad’s. She either needs to make her own big moves or she’ll end up without a good enough resume — even if she survives until the end.

8. Aubry (Last week: 6). Who does she have to work with? Brad, yes. Tai, maybe. But she’s seemed to be on the outs of various tribes through the whole game, and people also view her as a threat socially.

9. Brad (last week: 7). I don’t like his chances with the merge because he’ll become too big of a target — although his alliance with Aubry could prove helpful. The only huge physical threats remaining are Brad, Ozzy and maybe Michaela — which means any of them could be a classic “merge boot.”

10. Michaela (Last week: 8). She’s strong in immunity challenges, but she’s not really the type that’s going to keep her head and stay calm for the rest of the game. That’s going to get her in trouble at some point.

11. Tai (Last week: 14). His two idols will keep him safe for awhile, along with people going after bigger targets. But like Debbie, he’s more of a “Let’s bring him to the end” type for the eventual winning player.

12. Ozzy (Last week: 11). Ozzy is in trouble now that the merge is here. His name is going to be brought up frequently as a target, and unless he goes on an individual immunity run, he might be out soon.

13. Debbie (Last week: 13). She’s too volatile and the other players aren’t going to respect her game enough in the end (although I can see someone taking her to the final three). I can’t even see her using her extra vote in a situation where it would help her.

Survivor Game Changers Power Rankings: Week 6

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.