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Survivor: China, Ranking the Survivors – The Top 4by Asher Streets -- 12/14/2007
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1. Amanda (1): Amanda is still my top pick. She’s lived in the top few spots this entire season, only dipping down to second or third when Todd or Aaron seemed to show more potential. Amanda is playing a near-perfect game. She’s at a bit of a risk in this next vote, but I believe she can convince Todd and Courtney that she’s offended more people than Denise has. In fact, she must really push that angle or win immunity. I think she’s capable.
Over the season, Amanda has proven that she knows how to scheme without doing it openly or too much. She made alliances in a way that allowed for wiggle room. Phrases like “I have your back, and I know you have mine” are much easier to explain your way out of than the “we’re going all the way to the final two” language Todd has used. Amanda was wise to partner with Todd, because he will take all the brunt of the jury’s anger for back-stabbing, and Courtney will earn the ire for her attitude and lack of any skills.
Amanda has a good number of jury members in her pocket now, especially after her day with Peih-Gee. Although Amanda wrote Peih-Gee’s name down like everyone else, Amanda gave Peih-Gee what she wanted most… respect. Also, it won’t go unnoticed that Amanda was the only one to play in the immunity challenge a few weeks ago, when all of her other alliance members ate gluttonously. These key moments will lock in the votes of probably all the Zhan Hu, and probably James and Jean-Robert, too. I mean, jury members are allowed to talk, so you can bet Peih-Gee is rallying for Amanda now. Erik seemed to hit it off with her, too, so right there are three (Jaime goes where Erik goes).
One of the biggest reasons that Amanda stays on top despite her somewhat precarious position is that she used extreme restraint to not show any negative emotion to Todd after he offended her. She has the best poker face in the group, and the emotions she does allow to the surface are ones that make her stronger or play well to the jury. Amanda is a worthy winner, and I’ll be ticked if she doesn’t walk away with the million. (Just don’t win the car, Amanda!)
2. Todd (2): Todd, Todd. You’ve so adopted the evil schemer role that you now have no hope of winning. You lose to either Denise or Amanda… whoever makes it past this next vote. But thank you for your hilarious quips throughout the season; you were a hoot in your interviews.
Todd started the season off extremely well. His first big mistake came in blabbing to everyone about the immunity idols when he chastised Leslie for the very same thing. Only she selected one person to tell, and Todd told everyone except Jean-Robert. The next huge mistake was freely giving away the immunity idol to James. Yes, his vote was important, but he should’ve gotten his own idol. One is enough. Perhaps with the comfort of an idol, he could have wielded more coy power moves rather than overt ones that surpassed the scheming nature of even Jean-Robert.
I still keep Todd at number two because he will likely get that spot. There’s no way he won’t face the jury; it’s clear Courtney will be there, too, it’s just not 100% that Amanda will get the spot she deserves. Todd has become closer to Courtney than Amanda lately, to the point of giving kisses and holding hands. This is wise on his part, because Courtney seemed to fluctuate earlier. Todd wisely got Courtney to vote against Frosti. Todd must have noticed that she needed physical affection, because he took over as the new (but gay) munchkin.
Todd had such great game play for a while there, but his choices lately have alienated him from even his closest ally. Todd’s ignorance of Amanda’s feelings were noticed by everyone except Courtney. Todd’s choice of Amanda as an early ally was smart, but he should have made her do more dirty work and kept his emotions in check. He has essentially handed her the title, and realizing this now may be too late. I think he’ll try to make a move against her, but Denise is also likeable and can’t be let into the finals either. Overall, Todd has locked himself into second place. But hey, $100,000 isn’t that bad for a month in China, is it?
3. Courtney (3): Courtney has become strangely more likeable to me as this season has progressed. Maybe I’m getting used to her sarcasm and jaded speech. Regardless, she has zero shot at winning. Always has, always will. Like the rest of the top four, she has stayed in her spot longer than I can remember now. Initially people wrote to me about how she didn’t deserve it, but here she is, deserving or not. (NOT!)
I was impressed with Courtney’s performance in the last immunity challenge, though. She even has a shot at this last challenge, which usually has to do with motionlessness for hours upon end. Courtney has no muscles to cramp, so as long as it’s not windy, she should do well. Perhaps this final performance will help her cause, but what else can I say about her? She’s caustic and has offended a lot of the jury. She’s been Todd’s tool all along and in third place she will stay.
4. Denise (4): Denise also retains the rank she got early in the season. I moved her down a few times when it looked as though the tide could turn against her, but she’s back to fourth place. Like in Courtney’s ranking, some people wrote to protest Denise’s high position in weeks past. Survivor is a strange game… ranking is based on potential to finish rather than merit. Like Jeff Probst proposed at Tribal Council, is it who deserves to win, or who people drag along to win against in front of the jury? Denise was dragged along by the tail of her mullet, but will be dropped off just before the parade of torches.
Denise had a few opportunities to change the game in her favor, but decided to play it safe. The last jury seat is a safe place to sit, all right. Her only hope was to make more people mad than Amanda and cause Todd and Courtney to pull her along a bit further. Although Peih-Gee seemed to be pissed, I doubt she really harbors ill-will toward Denise. Everyone views her as likeable, especially after meeting her husband. I hope she wins the car.
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: email@example.com.
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