I can’t believe we are six Tribal Councils and one quit into the game, yet there are still 14 people that I have to write about. Time for a double elimination, Probst! Here are the first power rankings of the season.
Survivor: Blood vs. Water - Power Rankings
By Ben Willoughby
October 29, 2013
Tadhana is a problematic tribe to assess, let alone predict, because there isn’t a completely clueless one in the bunch. I’m not saying “what a tribe of geniuses”, but even though there have been some bone-headed mistakes (“sure, I’ll share the hidden immunity idol clues with you new people to the tribe”) everyone on it has at least passed Survivor 101 and is well into an intermediate course. That’s highly unusual in Survivor. Possibly even unprecedented.
Tadhana is also evenly divided between three original Tadhana players and three Galang players, which should make for an interesting dynamic. “Three against three! But will someone flip? Or will they go to rocks?” However, Tadhana is by far the stronger physical team and is no slouch in the puzzle-solving department either, so “which Tadhana will be voted out at Tribal Council?” is probably a theoretical question.
Aras is the person everyone is talking about getting rid of, and they all want to get rid of him because they see him as their biggest threat. He is an easy #1 for this tribe. Cue Vytas complaining about “the golden child.”
Tyson is the one pushing most enthusiastically to get rid of Aras. Personally though, I think his timing is off. First, come the merge everyone is going to want to get rid of Aras anyway. Secondly, by getting rid of Aras, Tyson is setting himself up as *the* person to beat, and there’s a lot of game left. Thirdly, I think Hayden and Caleb in particular already see Tyson as a big threat, and they may like their chances better with Aras. Fourthly, I have to believe the coconut-stealing plot thread is a Chekhov’s gun that will go off some day.
Gervase is playing a quiet strategy, making it ahead one day at a time, keeping an eye on the distant future and staying out of the target sights. I think he actually has spent the last 13 years watching and studying the game. We’ll see eventually if it has made him any good at it.
I feel the same way about Ciera as Vytas does. Her experiences on the original Tadhana tribe have helped her to grow from the Survivor equivalent of Downton Abbey’s Daisy into someone who is confident at playing the game, even if she sucks at every challenge there is. As the only woman on her tribe, Ciera is an obvious outsider, but she is not an obvious threat to be targeted.
Hayden’s a potential threat in the future, but for the moment people are looking at other targets. Hayden needs to lay low, be nice to everyone and help his tribe win challenges.
Caleb’s power on the original tribe disintegrated with the tribe switch. Assuming everyone knows about how Brad was voted out, everyone knows that Caleb is unpredictable and that’s not a good way to be perceived on Survivor. Sure, Caleb can make his way in the game by saying he’s an “available vote,” but he is not going to be let into the swing vote chair again.
Now the tribes have switched, Galang has become the hopeless loser tribe. All right, so they have only blown one challenge so far, but they still have that whiff of perpetual defeat about them. Soon Probst will be urging them to choose a leader.
Tina is the one making the calls on Galang. I’m not 100% sure why she decided to get rid of Kat last week – remember, it was her decision to tell Monica that Kat was gunning for her, and then it was her decision to eliminate Kat over Vytas. If Tina really wanted to get rid of Vytas, all she had to do was tell Kat to play it cool, tell Monica nothing and let her annoy a few more people for a few more days and proceed with the “vote for Vytas” plan at Tribal Council. My own theory is that, regardless of what she says to camera about the Vytas-Kat vote being a coin-toss, Tina and Aras’s alliance includes a “you look after my loved one, and I’ll look after yours” clause, and Tina is delivering on her side of the deal.
Katie is Tina’s daughter. No one tells the queen “let’s vote out the princess.” I don’t see Katie having much of a decision-making role on her tribe, but her position seems pretty secure.
Vytas put in a great performance last week. In a game where people are looking for any excuse to vote you out, he didn’t give them one – either in the game or at Tribal Council. Still, I do wonder how many people on his tribe really feel a close connection with someone who talks a yoga-infused used-car salesman spiel.
I think Monica made a big mistake last week by immediately turning on Kat as soon as she heard Kat was scheming against her. It proved that Monica is impulsive and can be manipulated into actions that are against her best interests. Sure, Kat was gunning for Monica, but Monica has bigger threats in the game, such as Vytas and Katie. When Monica’s alliance of five turns into an alliance of seven, Monica becomes expendable, but Monica was too focused on voting out Kat to realize that.
5. Rupert’s Laura
It’s at least Day 16, and I’m not sure that Rupert’s Laura is in an alliance with anyone. I mean, a real alliance. If Galang loses again (and my Magic 8-Ball says “most likely”), I think she’ll be voted out (“it is decidedly so”), and going home soon after (“outlook good”).
She was put on Redemption Island because she is good at challenges, but she is going to need to finish first in the crucial pre-merge challenge to stay in the game. If she does win, it looks like she will join whatever alliance Ciera happens to be in, because “screw those guys, that’s why.”
John has proven to be pretty competent at the Redemption Island duels so far, finishing second, first and second so far. However, he’s not trusted by members of his former tribe and not known by members of the other tribe, which doesn’t bode well for his prospects if he makes it back into the game.
I don’t give Kat any chance on Redemption against Candace-trained John and Laura?, who was sent to Redemption Island because she is good at challenges. See you at the reunion, Kat.