At this point in the season, we’re comfortable introducing the Survivor Power Rankings. Up to now, it’s been a little tough to determine where alliances are set, but the picture is becoming clearer.
Survivor: One World Recap
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
April 16, 2012
1) Kim – In a season where true strategic gameplay has been practically nonexistent, Kim has been the only person who has put real thought into how best to move forward in the game and who she wants to be sitting with if she does make it to the final. Right now, she is fully aware that she has a variety of directions she can go with her alliances, which is an excellent position to be in when you’re playing the game of Survivor. She and some of her more solid allies (Sabrina, Chelsea, Kat) tipped their hand some last Tribal Council as they voted out a supposed ally in Mike. Sometimes, people who get in a power position can get overconfident to the point that other Survivors become annoyed and vote them out quickly. We don’t foresee that being an issue for Kim, but she does need to proceed carefully here.
2) Sabrina/Chelsea – These two ladies are just below Kim in terms of rank, mainly because it seems so far that Kim is leading the way when it comes to voting strategy and they are willingly following. Chelsea and Kim are very close knit, and the two of them do have an Immunity Idol the rest of the group has no idea exists. We suspect that Sabrina might be contributing a lot more to the discussion than what we’re shown on TV, because the past couple of seasons of Survivor have been pretty consistent in their attempts to hide the true power players until later in the game. Under any circumstance, these three are a solid power trio until they get to a point where they realize that they really need to be voting for each other at some point in the near future.
3) Kat – She’s not good at the game. She’s kind of annoying. But she’s also still a member of the women’s alliance, and although she’s not one of the big three, she’s also the kind of person that they may want to take to the end because she’s a hanger on. No one’s going to really want to give her the prize money, and we guarantee she’s not going to “outwit” anyone. The one danger she faces is the fact that she is a good compromise choice if there’s a chance of being divided in a vote, especially since Immunity Idols could come into play.
4) Troyzan – He’s in a surprisingly good position in the game because for some reason, he hasn't been perceived as powerful until now. Even so, he’s been able to maintain good relationships with pretty much everyone in the game. If he does catch wind that he might be on the block, he has an Immunity Idol in his pocket. Troyzan doesn’t really have a lot going for him with regard to planning and thinking things through, but he does have potential to make an Immunity run.
5) Jay – We actually think Jay has played a really excellent game so far. Unfortunately, he’s been in the consistently terrible position of always being in the worst possible alliance. He started out by finding himself having to go along with Colton and the Misfits squad even though he despised everyone in that group. He was rejuvenated with the realignment of tribes and has done his best to hold to that new alliance, but he found himself overruled last week when Mike was voted out. He’s smart and he may be able to think himself out of the mess he’s currently in, but ultimately, he’s a strong player in a game where strong players are eliminated and annoying players get to hang around because they’re easy to beat in a final. We’re only ranking him higher than the rest of the group because he’s actually, you know, done some strategizing and playing of the game and stuff. If we were betting Vegas odds, the only two players with a worse chance of winning are Tarzan and Kat.
6) Tarzan – We’ll just go ahead and say it right now. Tarzan is probably going to the final. He’s exactly the kind of person that people want to keep around because they know they can beat them when it comes to the jury vote. This has become an all-too-predictable aspect of Survivor in the past few seasons thanks to Evil Loser Russell. People have come to realize that if they keep the worst, least deserving players in the game, they look far better by comparison. We’re not willing to put him up higher in the ratings because he’s not doing anything at all. He’s basically a rerun of Special Agent Philip.
7) Alicia – The only thing she has going for her is the fact that she is female, and the women’s alliance seems to be taking control of the game. With that said, she’s a horrible human being who is useless at camp and unpleasant to be around, too. She’s also proven that she can be treacherous, and we have to think that Kim, Chelsea and Sabrina are smart enough to suss out if she tries to make a move against them.
8) Leif – We think under different, non-Survivor circumstances, we would really like Leif. Unfortunately, in Survivor, you have to do more than be a decent guy who’s pleasant to be around. He goes with the flow, which isn’t really helping or hurting him, but he’s an easy target.
9) Christina – She’s just there for the ride. She’s not any good in challenges (in fact, she gives up pretty easily), so Immunity is probably not an option for her. Honestly, it’s too late for the social game, too. Christina seems like a decent person, but she was always on the outside looking in no matter what the tribal configurations were. Not only is it virtually impossible for her to win this game, it’s also mostly inconceivable that she can make the final.
Previously on Survivor, people drank 7Up. Also, the women solidified their alliance and their position in the game by voting out another alpha male in Michael. The other alpha male, Jay, became alarmed by this turn of events and tried to figure a way to change his circumstances, but ultimately, he’s the last of two strong male players in a group that values weak players to take to the final.
Thus, It’s time to play “It’s Anyone But Jay.” Too soon? Check back with us in a couple hundred words.
Perhaps it’s appropriate that the episode begins with Jay talking about how he dreamed he was shot. Then, Tarzan approaches Troyzan to discuss the fact that they’re outnumbered severely by the women. Troyzan is still certain that Mike was the right choice, and confides that there is a hidden Immunity Idol out there somewhere. If they can get rid of Kim, Chelsea or Sabrina, they could change the course of the game.
Tarzan insightfully (?!) points out that Troyzan is going to need to win every immunity challenge from now until the end of the game. Troyzan’s blithe disregard of the seriousness of the situation echo’s Michael’s right before he was eliminated.
No Probst sighting in advance of the Reward Challenge. He must be busy buying new cargo shorts and stuff. Instead, the contestants will run their own challenge. There are two teams, Troy, Jay, Tarzan, Cat and Alicia vs. Sabrina, Kim, Chelsea, Leif and Christina. The challenge involves throwing some weighted ropes at a pole. The pole has various positions that are worth increasing numbers of points.
Troyzan takes it upon himself to be really annoying, meaning that he will serve as the Probst-style commentator for this game. The red team gets out to a good lead, mostly thanks to a great throw from Tarzan (?!). It proves to be insurmountable, and Tarzan has won his first Reward Challenge.
The winners take a boat full of rum, beer and coconuts to their destination, where they’re served up fish, chicken and crab. Of course, there’s some strategy, too. Jay confides to Kat that he was upset that Michael was voted out and is worried that his alliance with the Salani girls is no longer intact. He’s trying to hold strong to that alliance, but Kat seems noncommittal.
“There’s definitely going to be some blindsides coming up. I just hope it’s not me.” –Jay
(Jay, it’s you. This is like when you suspect your significant other is cheating. They are.)
Back at camp, Chelsea is feeling some remorse about the way things have gone down. She just doesn’t like being deceitful (and she’s also not very good at it). Kim tries to settle her down, stating that they really need to focus on Jay and Troyzan for the next votes. Alicia loudly agrees, which is probably enough reason for Chelsea to feel wrong about it in the first place.
Of course, Chelsea’s caring about being honest just doesn’t sit well with her allies. Alicia says, “It pissed me off,” while Sabrina states that “She needs to put on her big girl panties.” Honestly, though, we can see Chelsea’s side here. If she makes it to the final, she’s going to be the person who is hurt most by bitter feelings because she has forged the closest alliances with the guys.
Jay talks about thinking Alicia should be the target at Tribal Council. It doesn’t matter. If Jay doesn’t win immunity, he’s going home.
He goes to discuss his plan with Kat, and Kat remains as noncommittal as she had been before. She gathers the girls around to reassure him that Alicia can be the vote. She won’t be.
Chelsea lets the other girls do the lying this time. That’s probably for the best.
Meanwhile, Kim tells Alicia that they’re pretending she is the target for tonight’s Tribal Council. Kim is ready to pull off the mask and reveal her true identity to the men. It’s time for them to know the women are solid and the men are going to be picked off one by one.
What better place for her to do this than at the Immunity Challenge? Probst informs the contestants that they will be participating in a classic challenge. They have to balance on a block of wood while holding their arm up in the air. Their arm is chained to a bucket full of colored water. The last person standing wins immunity. Of course, Probst offers some delicious treats to tempt them off their perches.
Before the game even starts, Tarzan steps down. Jeff is walking across the playing field with a tray of food, and Christina can’t even stay balanced long enough for Jeff to reveal and offer the snacks. Thus, Sabrina gets two cookies and milk all to herself.
Then, Jeff offers up some cupcakes. Kim and Kat step down, and Jay looks like he’s pondering his potential situation.
“Take that food, and I’m going to vote you out,” Jay says, thinking he means it.
Alicia then says that she’s going to go ahead and step down for the next food no matter what it is. She’s “doing it as a favor to Chelsea,” so that Chelsea can win it for the girls. Chelsea is super appreciative of that generosity. If she could stab Alicia in the throat, we think she would.
Chelsea almost falls off her perch, but holds steady. Her movement seems to be problematic for Troyzan, though, and he falls off.
We notice Leif’s nipples are pierced. Gross.
Next comes the moment when Jay loses his damn mind. When Probst reveals the next snack as chicken wings and beer, he steps down. No, really. That’s not a joke. He gives up immunity and a million dollars for chicken wings. We hope those wings were delicious, because as Chelsea says, “He don’t even drink beer!”
We’re down to Leif and Chelsea. She tells him if he steps down, it makes him less of a threat. This comment gets under his skin a little bit. She’s surprised it works. She tells him to look her in the eyes – he’s not a threat if he steps down. He does, and gets a delicious burger. Chelsea wins immunity, meaning that Jay will go home tonight.
It’s officially time to play “It’s Anyone But Jay.” And the girls tell us so. Chelsea says that she loves Jay and Troy, but she’s realizing that the best move is to eliminate them. “I hate to be that person, but…I love money, so…” That may be the most honest statement in the history of Survivor.
On a side note, Tarzan is brushing his hair with some sort of makeshift Swiss Army Knife. Last week, he used this device to brush his teeth. This is actually much grosser than Leif’s nipple piercings.
For a moment, the producers throw together some votes that tease the possibility that Troyzan could be the vote. Kim has decided to split the vote, and gets half of the people not named Jay or Troyzan to vote for Jay, while the other half will vote for Troyzan.
To his credit, Troyzan’s spidey senses go up. So, he decides to go ahead and dig up his Immunity Idol. Then, he tells Jay about it. Jay tells him that he’s overreacting. Troyzan wants to put together a block vote for Kim, pulling in Tarzan, Christina and Jay, but it seems to be too little, too late.
Jay goes to Kim and tells her he knows that they’re planning to vote off Troyzan, and reveals that he has an Immunity Idol that he’s planning on playing. Jay has just sealed his own fate.
So, to recap, Troy has exactly the right read on the situation. He has chosen the correct person to target. He goes to exactly the right people in Christina and Tarzan to pull them in along with Jay and himself. They can completely change the power structure in the game…if Jay just sits back and says nothing. This was a crippling mistake. It’s not quite as bad as JT’s letter, but it’s really, really tough to swallow from someone we have respected up to this point. All Kim has to do now is make sure that Sabrina, Alicia, Chelsea and Kat vote with her, because she knows Jay’s vote is going to Alicia and three, maybe four votes at most come her way.
What is it with the stupid gameplay this season?
At Tribal Council, Probst once again polls the group as to which Survivors think they might be in trouble. The number is up to three from zero last week, which at least shows they’re learning. Jay, Kim and Troyzan all raise their hands.
After the vote, when Jeff asks if anyone has an Immunity Idol to play, Troyzan pulls his out. He looks menacingly at Kim, but what he should be noticing is that Chelsea is cracking up.
Two votes are revealed for Troy, and Troy looks over at his friends on the jury like he’s proud of his brilliant plan. Just wait a second, buddy. Then one vote for Kim is revealed. Then we see a couple for Alicia, but of course, Jay is the person going home tonight. He basically designed his own vote, just like Tyson did several seasons ago. To his credit, he’s pretty classy in his closing comments. “Congrats, girls. You got me.”