All righty. Survivor guru Ben Willoughby is...well...I'm not sure where he is. What I am sure of is that he's not here...so I get to take a shot at the final Survivor Power Rankings of the season. I'm basing my rankings for the finale on who I think has the best shot to win this game. Not the person I think will win the game, but the person with the best shot to get the votes needed from the jury.
Survivor: Blood vs. Water - Power Rankings
Episode 14 - Finale
By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analysis HOFer
December 15, 2013
Here are the power rankings for the finale:
And people will say, "But Jim...you love Tyson. Are you SURE you're not picking the person you want to win?" Yes, I am. You can see it building in every episode and at every Tribal Council. I'm of the mind that as long as Tyson gets to the end, he wins. And no one has made his case better than Hayden has over the past several days. Hayden has drilled it into everyone's head that Tyson is controlling the game. And like it or not, agree with it or not, when someone like Hayden keeps trumpeting the game Tyson's playing as a reason to vote him out, people will take notice. The jury has heard it in the last three Tribals. After the Caleb boot, Hayden told the remaining players they're playing for second place.
At this point, Tyson needs to hold serve, play his immunity idol wisely and do whatever he can to keep Ciera, Tina and/or Laura from winning that Final Four immunity. If he can do that, he should be cashing an oversized check come Monday morning.
I like what Monica has done this season. She made an alliance and stuck with it no matter what. She's been hammered from all sides this season. She had the extra burden of how her husband played. She has been made out to be wicked paranoid, a mindless lapdog and an idiot. And yet, she has weathered the storm and will be able to sit tall at the final Tribal and tell everyone on the jury that she took all of their best shots and is still standing at the end. Monica has a legitimate claim to the title of Sole Survivor.
That being said, I don't think the jury sees it that way. For a bitter juror that doesn't want to write Tyson's name down, I think Monica will be the beneficiary. Gervase has done an amazing job of making people hate him, which plays into Monica's hands quite well. Again, jurors looking for a non-Tyson option will probably look to Monica.
I'll leave Gervase at #3, because I really think the alliance will be our final three. And frankly, if you can't make the final three, you cannot win. However, I'll be absolutely shocked if Gervase gets a vote in the Final Tribal. He has alienated everyone on the island. He has insulted them, he has belittled them and he has taunted them. He has played a much better game than Season One, but he fell into the Russell Hantz trap of forgetting that he has to give the jury members a reason to give him a million dollars. All he's done is given the just a reason to think "anyone but Gervase".
She's still in the game, so there's still a chance for Ciera. There's a better than average chance that her mom will be back in the game before the next Tribal. But that's still two against three. The only hope for Ciera, at this point, is to give Monica another chance to flip and join the Morett girls in the finals. I'm not totally sure how that works out...but if it happens, I kinda think that results in a Monica win. Ciera's back is definitely against the wall and I'm not sure that there are any more moves for her to make. Essentially, it's checkmate against her. She played a good game and fought hard, but she made the fatal mistake of not flipping sooner.
On Redemption Island:
I can't exactly remember why Ben started putting the question mark by Laura's name...but in his honor, I'll leave it there. I'll say right now that it will be an amazing upset if anyone other than Laura comes back into this game. She has completely dominated Redemption Island and I see no reason she won't dominate 1 more truel.
I don't think it matters much, though, as she'll be down in the numbers and likely the first target upon her return. If she does make it back, she will likely become the first person to be voted out of Survivor four times (remember, Rupert didn't get voted out this time) as well as she'll be the only person voted out of the same season three times. Beat that, Francesca!!!
I'll leave Tina here as the second option coming off Redemption Island, but I think it's a very small chance she comes back. Again, if Tina manages to get back in, I can't imagine she'll last long.
Hayden, I really like you dude, but you're screwed. Redemption Island is not kind to big, strong boys. The truels, at least many of them, seem to be designed with smaller people in mind. I expect some sort of balancing or test of wills as a final truel on Sunday and this does not bode well for someone like Hayden. I fully expect another challenge in Laura's wheelhouse, which means Hayden will be headed to Ponderosa and the jury.
And there you have it, the final Survivor Power Rankings of the season. Don't forget, the Survivor finale will be tonight on CBS and will follow 60 Minutes, whenever it ends. And during the football season, that could be anywhere from on time to an hour after normal, so set your DVRs accordingly. Until Sunday, take care.