Survivor: Caramoan Power Rankings
Episode 7
By Ben Willoughby
March 26, 2013

May or may not be our prediction for this week's episode.

Last episode the tribes were re-organized, and it worked out that each tribe has four “favorites” and three “fans”. I re-watched the tape several times to make sure there was no Probst funny-business, and things looked pretty legit in terms of castaways choosing from the available eggs and Probst not saying “Try this one!” Of course, I am biased because the outcome certainly makes doing the power rankings a lot easier.

The thing everyone noticed immediately was that all the young and in-shape people ended up on Gota, while the flabby, the elderly and the striplings wound up on Bikal. It was tempting to not bother with learning the tribe names at all, and just refer to them as “Hot” and “Not”. But anyway, Bikal looks to be in no threat of winning a challenge any time soon – though these power rankings will just have to pretend that they do.


1. Cochran

Somehow, Cochran has graduated to the level-headed player that everyone listens to. He has continued to be the guy who coordinates meetings between tribe factions, which also means he knows everything that is going on at camp. He put together the plan to boot out Matt, and was backed up by Corinne and Dawn. Okay, they didn’t need much convincing because of what they had seen for themselves. But Cochran’s in a much better situation than his last-season appearance as “castaway who everyone agrees sucks the most.”

2. Dawn

The Cochran-Dawn alliance still seems pretty solid - even if we haven’t seen that much of Dawn. Certainly not enough to indicate she has a chance of winning this thing.

3. Phillip

Corinne and Phillip have each other at the top of their respective enemies lists, but they aren’t ready to backstab each other just yet. I think if it did come down to it, Cochran and Dawn would back Phillip – getting rid of Corinne means getting rid of a long-term threat, while it is a no-brainer to take Phillip to the end if you have the option. I think the “favorites” on Gota would do the same.

4. Corinne

Corinne seems committed to her strategy of sticking with the fans and making it to the merge. However, if Julia is voted out next and Bikal lose a third immunity challenge in a row, the other three “favorites” on the tribe will find it pretty tempting to vote out Corinne and keep Michael around. Sure, the “favorites” will take a numbers hit, but they are way ahead anyway, and there’s no one on the other tribe who really wants Corinne around either.

5. Michael

Michael’s probably safe enough this week because Corinne wants to keep him around to discuss red carpet fashion and how he won’t leave her for another woman. I hope for Michael’s sake that he’s into both of those things.

6. Julia

Phillip turned on her after the challenge, Corinne wants to keep “her gay” and Cochran and Dawn probably don’t mind so long as it is a “fan” who goes next. Julia is out if Bikal loses the next challenge.


1. Malcolm

We haven’t seen much of the Gota dynamics yet, but I’m putting Malcolm at #1 because his secret idol and his quiet game so far give him the motive and opportunity to shake things up. He hasn’t made a big move, and he has a secret weapon in case things get hairy. Last week’s episode showed the strong incentive for the four “favorites” on both tribes to stick together, but “Next Time On Survivor” suggested that Malcolm decides to switch things up by joining an alliance with Reynold and Eddie.

We’ll see if that turns out, but I think this is ill-advised – and not just because Malcolm is gloating about being in control of the game. That alliance of three doesn’t have the numbers to work, and if it did have the numbers, it would probably alienate the “favorites” who will be sitting on the jury.

Malcolm’s better option, I think, would be to work on building a four-person bloc with Andrea, Erik and Brenda, vote out the fans up to and post-merge, and then either boot Corinne or Phillip, then the rest of the players outside that bloc. This too has its risks – not least at the final four stage – but I think it’s the safer option for him to take.

2. Andrea

I think Andrea’s still locked into a “go to the end with Phillip” strategy, so her path is pretty clear – keep talking with everyone and vote out the “fans” when needed.

3. Brenda

See Andrea, except for the “go to the end with Phillip” part. I think her best way forward is to work her way in with the “favorites” and be the available vote when they begin to fracture.

4. Erik

Erik is actually getting interviews and screen time! I’m not convinced that he’s actually playing yet, but then the last time any “favorite” was put under pressure to play the game was in the first episode.

5. Reynold

The “fans” made a big mistake last game, which was to show how divided they were from the start. Immediately Sherri went off with Brenda and Andrea and said what jerks Eddie and Reynold were. And Eddie and Reynold. This kept the “favorites” together, and focused on keeping the divisions between the “fans”. It would probably have been more effective for Eddie, Reynold and Sherri to stick together despite their mutual dislike, and try and pick away one of the “favorites” to join them. Brandon’s outburst showed them there were divisions among the “favorites” but the “fans” didn’t even bother trying to exploit them. Instead, they started by scrambling. It’s because of this that I’ve put the “favorites” at the bottom.

Anyway, Reynold. Ten seconds after the tribe switch and already everyone on Gota thinks that Reynold is shady. It’s great to have my own prejudices confirmed by the Survivor editors, but Reynold’s not in a terrible position. He has an idol, and he could use that to gain some leverage in the game right now when he needs it, but he also wants to keep it to use when he really really needs it. For now, I think he’s made the right choice to keep quiet because Gota isn’t under threat. But say there’s a challenge based on Survivor fan-dom or Stealth R Us names and Gota actually loses, what would happen?

Reynold would have an opportunity to turn the game around a little by playing his idol. But that would involve an alliance – however temporary – with Sherri, and I don’t think either he or Sherri are particularly interested in that. The more likely outcome is that Reynold will do absolutely nothing with his idol. I don’t see him having much impact on the game before the merge. He’ll still get camera time, though.

6. Sherri

The “favorites” don’t actually need a flipper, but Sherri has flipped anyway. For whatever reason, she has decided it’s not worth trying to work with Eddie and Reynold and her best chance is to work her way in with the “favorites”. Given that the “fans” are in the minority on both tribes, and have already turned on each other in this one, I can see why she thinks bunkering down until the merge is the right call. I wonder if she’ll have more luck convincing her tribe that muscle doesn’t matter now she is on a tribe with more muscle, but far weaker opposition – at least physically. Because that would be ironic.

7. Eddie

If Eddie didn’t do exactly whatever Reynold told him to, he would be casting his vote for whoever he found attractive. That’s how bad a Survivor player Eddie is. Worse than “Alphabet System” Sean.

I assume you won’t be tuning in tonight because last episode was so boring and chances are this one will be too. But you can still read the recap tomorrow.