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Survivor: China, Ranking the Survivors – The Top 12by Asher Streets -- 10/16/2007
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Couples have rarely succeeded in Survivor, mainly because it’s an obvious alliance that signals the rest of the players to break it up. Romber is the classic exception to the rule, but then Survivor: All Stars was exceptional in many ways. Over the next few weeks, we’ll have to ascertain just how well Jaime/Erik and Amanda/Aaron can handle the pressures of love in the midst of mindgames and backstabbing.
1. Amanda (2): Amanda is the background member of two power duos. That’s an awesome place to be! She’s playing with a level head and doing everything right to win this season. Yes, forming a couple puts a target on each person’s back, but I think Amanda can pull off an Amber. If needed to advance her own game, I hope for her sake she’s got the focus to sacrifice Aaron despite whatever emotions are brewing.
2. Aaron (1): Aaron still seems to command the respect of his tribe. It was smart to go out with the Chinese fishing family so that he can become more of a provider for his tribe. It was also smart to bring Denise instead of Jean-Robert, despite the fact he could have acted as a translator. It kept his alpha-male status strong. His alliance with Amanda is critical. While Aaron hasn’t talked strategy as much as Todmanda, his decision to evict Leslie proves he has his head in the game. Aaron is in a great place to finish. He needs to make sure he’s seeding the jury and does not fall victim to Todmanda’s plan of using him as their shield.
3. Todd (3): With three immunity clues, Todd still doesn’t seem to know what to do. Leslie mentioned they already thought of the archway symbols, but that there are four of them. I personally have no idea what the third clue is supposed to mean, but I’m not sure why he just doesn’t take down all of the symbols. We don’t really know how the idol is supposed to be played. Jeff hasn’t even asked the tribes if someone has the idol during a tribal council yet. I don’t think Todd has enough clues to find it, but he’s trusted by a lot of people. Todd’s alliance with Amanda and Aaron seems solid, and he’s playing a great game. At five, he’ll need to make a decision to turn on the power couple, so he needs to line up his other duo quickly and not rely just on Courtney.
4. Courtney (4): Although Courntey appears to be in danger, I just don’t believe it. I think she’ll outlast Jean-Robert and sail smoothly to a high finish. There aren’t many challenges left before the time the merge traditionally ocurrs, and Fei Long is back on their winning streak. We haven’t seen her scheming yet, so I think she’ll be carried along by stronger strategists until her vote is no longer useful.
5. Jaime (5): Is anyone else getting a Gregg and Jennifer vibe (Survivor: Palau) from Jaime and Erik? It would be interesting to see how rival couples from opposing tribes handle each other, but I think Jaime will be the last Zhan Hu standing. Jaime needs to form a tight alliance with Erik, but be sure to keep it secret. From what Leslie said, their relationship was apparent, so I don’t expect her to succeed at this any more than Amanda and Aaron will. It seems Jaime has her head in the game, but will she be able to backstab Erik if needed?
6. Denise (10): Hey! The woman actually talks. I’m glad she admitted that lunch ladies really know nothing about food. I work for a major food company in research and development, and I know that some of my co-workers are chemical engineers and don’t know anything about food either. Denise seems well-linked to her tribe, and it’s a show of trust that she went with Aaron to learn about fishing. It looks like she’ll make the merge, but she could be sacrificed after Jean-Robert leaves. Denise is a non-player in terms of strategy though, and there’s no way she can win this thing.
7. Erik (6): I like Erik a lot. He seems like somebody I’d want to know. (I’m a Christian and a musician myself.) It’s pretty brave to announce to the world that you’re a virgin, and risky to initiate a romance on Survivor. I don’t think Erik is focused on the game, but on the girl. Going into the season, he mentioned he would be open for a relationship. I think the producers set him up, and maybe prodded him in ways. Regardless, he’s strong in challenges and has a solid ally. I believe he’ll make the merge and be picked off with the rest of the strong guys after James & Frosti are gone unless he can do the math and counter the Fei Long steamroller.
8. James (7): I think James is along for the ride in this game. He doesn’t seem to connect with the right people or know how to advance. He is a huge threat to win individual immunities after the merge, and he’ll be picked off as soon as Frosti is gone unless he can protect himself with strong allies. He’s someone who should think about jumping ship to the Zhan Hu remnant, but I don’t believe he will do that.
9. Peih-Gee (11): Peih-Gee continues to improve her standing. She seems to have abandoned her bossiness, but it may return after Dave is dethroned. Peih-Gee did very well at the challenges, but if they lose again after Dave is gone, I can’t imagine the vote going any other way.
10. Frosti (9): Frosti was very diplomatic with Dave and did a good job of keeping his scheming secret this week before voting him off. All of Zhan Hu is at a serious disadvantage now, but Frosti may be able to lead them to victory if another racing challenge comes up. He’s showing signs of strategy, but it won’t be enough unless he can coalesce with the right individuals.
11. Sherea (8): I have no idea how Sherea could overhear her tribe’s conversation and not change her behavior. In the first few episodes, it seemed that she was in a solid alliance with Erik and Jaime, but neither seemed to be on Sherea’s side when discussing her work ethic. Sherea was lucky that the tribe couldn’t stand Dave’s tyranny and idiocy any longer, because I believe the others were really torn about their decision. Sherea needs to suck it up and turn around her camp life, repairing damaged bonds with Erik and Jaime. If Zhan Hu loses again, Sherea is outta here.
12. Jean-Robert (12): Despite his knowledge of Mandarin and the accolades he got from Aaron about working more, his previous behavior has done irreparable damage and Jean-Robert will be kicked out at the earliest opportunity. More than ever, Fei Long can afford to lose a strong guy, and knowledge of Mandarin is unlikely to come in handy again. Jean-Robert is still offensive to both Amanda and Courtney for his nighttime feelies, and they will not let this slide. He’s also made enemies with Todd and Aaron, and that’s all that’s needed for the vote, my friends. Buh-bye!
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Survivor: China articles here on RealityNewsOnline:
Asher Streets is a food engineer and musician who lives in Madison, WI. He has a love for all things Italian, most especially gelato, wine, espresso, and cheese. Asher appreciates your opinions too and can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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