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Survivor: One World – Ranking the Final 12 Survivors (or The Filler Episode)by Brian Towers -- 03/27/2011
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For those of you joining the ride for the first time, here’s how this series of articles works. Using just the episodes themselves and other authentic web-posted material (including Reality News Online’s own exit interviews with dismissed players), I prognosticate each competitor’s chances for success in this game and rank them accordingly.
Now that the merge has come the focus of these rankings shifts toward making the endgame. One thing that does not change: Never to be ignored is the Golden Rule – NO SPOILERS!!
This was not the most exciting episode ever, hence my article subtitle, “The Filler Episode.” We saw a predictable result in the reward challenge, a faux Tribal Council, and one troll was medevac’d. Oh, Kat showed us how smart she isn’t, and Christina got picked on again, but don’t those things come up almost every week?
Mind you, it wasn’t a total loss. The reward challenge was entertaining at least, and had there been a vote, Jonas and Leif were set to make a move on Alicia. But all things considered, there wasn’t a lot of content this week.
Even the Insider clips (fully recapped here and here) were essentially useless – fully 17 of them concerned Colton and/or Alicia being mean to Christina, Colton (and the idol’s) sudden departure from the game, how eating ice cream is fun, or speculation about the tree mail that called everyone to Tribal Council. There were two silly ones from Kat – one about her Alicia dream and one about her alleged challenge prowess. Add the final clip (Colton enjoys lying), and there’s nary a useable scrap to help me in these rankings in the whole 20 clips! Alas, we push on.
The next episode should go a long way in clearing up the miasma of possibilities that lie ahead. Here is what I expect we’ll see – and the scenario upon which I’ve based my rankings.
My money is on the players initially returning to their gender-based alignments without any defections. Whichever group loses the first tiebreaker (possibly, a purple-rock draw?) will supply the next several boots as well.
It was a wonderful teaser that Kim-Chelsea and Jay-Troyzan made an alliance of four, but with the tribes even at six, gender-wise, I don’t expect either side’s duo to abandon favourable positions in their old alliances to start out down this path. First of all, they need at least two – and better yet, three – more allies. It could be, say, Jonas, and dumb but loyal Kat for two slots, but which gender would cede the numerical advantage to secure that seventh vote? No, I must “back burner” those thoughts for now.
Conversely, it is interesting to note that neither tribe is truly six-solid. On the women, Christina has always been viewed as a pariah, and both Kat and Alicia have often come across as more trouble than help. For the men, the Tarzan-Jonas split seems real, Leif has yet to regain the full trust of his tribemates, and Big Mike has been partially disowned as well.
Like Cochran, Shambo, and countless others before, Christina especially has been afforded every reason to turn her back on her original tribe. But in a season where gender defined the tribes so completely, with only six days of swapped tribes to counterbalance it, and with all the potential flippers not overly loved by the other side, expecting someone to flop sides at this point seems unlikely.
I expect the foursome of Kim-Chelsea-Jay-Troyzan to protect each other and steer initial boot targets elsewhere. They won’t be able to shield each other forever, but these four should be safe for at least the first couple of votes.
I wish I could predict a “One World” ending with tribes equally represented at the final Tribal Council, but I don’t see it coming. It could happen, but I don’t think it will. (I should probably just eat those words now, and save time later.)
So, now that you know what premise I’m largely basing my ratings on this week – let’s get to them!
Merged Tribe (Black Buffs)
As the reward challenge unfolded did anyone else wonder if there was a Manono member with enough strength to get a coconut all the way to the back targets? Tarzan came close, but he couldn’t quite do it. No one else was even remotely close.
1: Kim (was 1 on Salani)
Kim has an idol in hand and either friendships or alliances with members of both original tribes – still Number One, no doubt.
2: Chelsea (was 2 on Salani)
Chelsea is still Number One’s best buddy, so she stays near the top.
3: Troyzan (was 4 on Salani )
Also with friends in multiple places, Troy is well positioned for the chaos ahead. No matter which faction comes out on top, he will probably have an “in” with somebody in power.
4: Jay (was 5 on Salani )
Jay’s situation pretty much parallels Troy’s, with two minor differences. One, Troy was a reluctant draftee into the original Misfits group, while Troy was a core member. Two, Jay is a greater threat in physical challenges; thus, he is a slightly bigger target. But that problem is weeks away, and Jay should stay safe for now.
If my suspicions are correct and one gender prevails, either my 1-2 or 3-4 ranked players will drop several positions. But, for now, the folks with the best contacts on the opposite side find the most favour on this list.
5: Jonas (was 3 on Manono)
We got to see Jonas hunt the wild breadfruit in this episode. But did you see what the cameraman saw (and heard) right nearby? Wild chickens! And Jonas came back with breadfruit? No wonder the others weren’t overwhelmed by his good fortune!
Jonas almost played the game this week. With Colton gone and with support from Leif, Jonas was ready to seize control of the disaster known as Manono.
Post-merge, Jonas has some work ahead of him. He might do okay returning to his role as a supporting member of a male alliance, but Sabrina had previously expressed a disinclination to work with him, Troy has looked to greener pastures, and an argument with Tarzan looms. Jonas doesn’t really have the numbers at this point to control much of anything, and there is a potential for things to work out badly for him. But, initially, there are bigger targets than Jonas.
6: Kat (was 6 on Salani)
Having made the merge, Kat will initially be safe. Should the women take control of the game, Kat’s loyalty ought to get her further than a couple of others. And if the men take over, her status as a non-threat should keep her safe for a while too.
Now, Kat still can’t win. We’ve seen no indication that she’s made moves to build relationships that could translate to votes (possible exception: spending swimming time with Michael). But, for the most part, Kat isn’t playing the game. For example, while her tribemates were trying to discern whether Colton’s idol was still in play or not at Tribal Council, Kat could only focus on not breaking her appendix.
Despite the fact Kat had one successful turn in the reward challenge (which she trumpeted on the rambling Insider clip, “I’m a Good Competitor”), I think she’s fooling herself if she thinks the others fear her challenge performances.
In Kat’s other Insider clip (“I Had A Dream”), Kat revealed the current sleeping arrangements had her, Sabrina, and Michael sleeping together in one tent while the four aligned individuals shared the other. These three are outsiders, and as the numbers dwindle, they could be targeted.1 2 Next-->
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