Survivor: Philippines Power Rankings
Episode 6
By Ben Willoughby
October 23, 2012

One of these people is the craziest player ever to play on Survivor. The other is Pete.

Matsing’s absorption into the Kalabaw and Tandang means a re-jiggering of the power rankings, as both Denise and Malcolm have found comfortable slots in the majority alliances on both tribes. But it hasn’t shaken things up, as the castaways who were on top remain on top, and those at the bottom are still at the bottom. With the evacuation of Dana and the elimination of Dawson, it seems like this season only one tribe will ever be put under pressure.


The only thing that happened at Tandang last week was Malcolm turning up and Pete bringing him in to the majority alliance. The alliance looks well-positioned at the moment, because there are two expendables outside it and it has exactly as many members as the entire Kalabaw tribe. If Kalabaw loses one or two more immunity challenges, they could get Pagonged out.

Of course, we have seen many seasons of Survivor where an alliance that appears dominant mid-game is annihiliated when the people outside of the alliance flip to another tribe. With a merge coming soon – and the last four merges happened in Episode 7 – the expendables defect over to Kalabaw, with the current majority Pagonged out themselves.

1. Pete

Pete’s still the one making the moves for the group. This week, he was the one who approached Malcolm and brought him into the majority alliance. I was wondering why he is gunning to get rid of Michael because he’ll be dangerous down the road, when Malcolm is just as obviously dangerous long-term, but keep your friends close and your enemies closer, I guess. Plus, why give RC and Michael a chance to build an alliance and maybe sway a fourth vote?

We will see how long Pete maintains his spot at the top of Tandang. First impressions of Pete were that he was a bit of a thickie, and while he’s cleared that low bar, he is still making some elementary mistakes that show over-confidence. There was no need to volunteer to Malcolm that their side had the immunity idol. All he had to do was say “we have the votes to get rid of whoever we want, are you in?” If you see him interview “I’m running this game," you know he’ll be out soon.

2. Abi

Abi was surprisingly quiet this week. Probst calling her out for competing in as few challenges as possible will only encourage Probst to keep calling her out. But she’s secure in her alliance, she has a sub-alliance with Pete that seems stronger than anything else on Tandang and she has the hidden immunity idol.

It’s difficult to get a read on Abi and whether she is playing a very smart game, or a very stupid one. The best Survivor players bide their time to make their big moves. Abi has already made one big move – dumping her alliance with RC and switching to Pete, snatching the idol in the process. With Tandang winning immunity challenges and the majority alliance sitting pretty, if Abi does absolutely nothing for for the next few weeks, I’ll assume she is playing a smart game. If she does anything, stupid!

3. Malcolm

Malcolm is clearly lapping up being the “stud football player." He has a hidden immunity idol, he is in the majority alliance and it doesn’t look like he’ll be going home any time soon.

Looking ahead of the next episode, Malcolm being on the Tandang majority alliance is going to lead to its destruction. Of course, all Survivor alliances eventually crumble because Survivor is like Highlander – there can only be one. But Malcolm’s membership creates fault lines that didn’t exist before. It gives Artis and Lisa an opportunity to break Pete and Abi’s hold on the group, and Malcolm changes the dynamic that only Pete would look good in front of the jury.

Also, everyone else in the majority alliance is pretty much stuck with it, while Malcolm will probably have an opportunity to flip some time in the future – and maintain his “integrity” in the eyes of a jury by saying “I stuck with the original alliance I made with Denise."

4. Lisa

Last week, we saw Lisa solve a puzzle and gush about Malcolm. Enough to make me wonder what would happen if it came to choosing sides between Malcolm and Pete. She ranks higher on Tandang than Artis for the moment because she is playing the “just tell me who to vote for” strategy, and those types are always valuable to have around.

5. Artis

Once again, we didn’t see Artis do anything. Come on Artis, something has to light that fuse. We get an indication that something might happen next episode, but promo editing is always shady.

6. RC

Last episode, RC was reduced to saying that time has to be on her side for time so that she can flirt with Malcolm. Weak, RC. Just weak. Her best chance now is to keep being awesome in immunity challenges, so she can make it to the merge and then flip.

7. Michael

Pete said it – Malcolm being on the tribe means that Michael is even more expendable than he used to be. We don’t have any indication about how he sees the game unfolding, though with Tandang winning all the time, we haven’t needed to yet. If they don’t win one, bye bye Michael.


In just one week, Kalabaw went from being never-lost to losing fast. That’s what one immunity and an unfortunate medevac can do. However, Kalabaw have been down in immunity challenges before and come back. We’ll see if their violent tactics in this week's immunity challenge can help them recover.

1. Jeff Kent

He wasn’t medevac’d, so our “I’m just a normal guy” baseball player retains the top spot at Kalabaw. He’s still making the obvious strategic moves for the alliance, such as bringing in Denise. However, it would be interesting to get the low-down on why Dawson was booted last episode, because the editing suggests that Jonathan planted the seed and Jeff Kent went along with it.

2. Jonathan

I’ll keep Jonathan at #2 because he seems comfortable in the Kalabaw alliance, he has the hidden immunity idol, and for now that alliance has no option but to stick together.

3. Carter

Carter is #3 ahead of Denise because Denise is still a Kalabaw newbie while Carter is involved in the “who to vote out” discussions with Jonathan and Jeff Kent. Even if he’s not really contributing.

4. Denise

Denise is supposedly in the Kalabaw majority alliance, but we haven’t seen her have a single strategic discussion with anyone so she’s probably outside of the decision-making. The three men are going to have to bring Denise in on their talks next episode if they are going to build any sort of trust with her. Of course, if they ever realize that Denise is cursed - cursed! – she is done for.

5. Katie

Katie’s the only one outside that group of four, and she knows it. It’s unfortunate for her that she was so royally screwed last week by Dana’s exit – especially as post-show interviews revealed that Dana, Dawson and Katie did have a three-person alliance and they had brought in Denise.

We will see how these rankings stand up against this week’s episode, in which the producers succeed in creating conflict between the tribes through the traditional “physically aggressive” challenge where someone inevitably goes too far and ruins it for everyone.