Survivor: San Juan Del Sur Power Rankings
Week 12
By Ben Willoughby
December 10, 2014

Who is it all about, Baylor?

Last week on Survivor in a very special double episode, we learned that Tribal Council fixes all relationship problems! Also, the transparently insincere Reed and the devotedly clueless Alec were voted out, meaning that instead of having actual antipathy for the eventual winner of Survivor: San Juan del Sur, I will merely dislike them.

Here are the power rankings for this week:

1. Natalie

Natalie is getting the third act winner’s edit, as you can tell because we haven’t even seen her do anything particularly obnoxious even though she’s been sitting on a beach for 30 days with a bunch of idiots. Imagine how much footage the editors have to be leaving on the cutting room floor. This is Natalie Anderson we’re talking about here!

So last episode, instead of lots of swears and inappropriate interviews about her “servants,” we saw Natalie talk about getting “revenge for Jeremy” (whose blind-siding was probably the best thing to happen in the game for Natalie) and successfully connive to be a step ahead of everyone. We understood that Jaclyn would be upset after the reward challenge, so we saw Natalie undermine her with Missy. Everyone else had figured out her game plan to go to the end with Missy and Baylor, so we saw her mixing things up by keeping Keith in the game for one more week. This is not a bad move, because if there’s one person who you want owing you a favor in the game, it’s Keith because he is the only one left who would actually deliver. I'm looking forward to seeing how she handles the blowback, because in an alliance you do not go against “the plan." My money’s on telling Missy “there’s no way Alec would go with us over Jon and Jaclyn."

2. Missy

Remember when Probst got all snippy at the reward challenge because people were more focused on agreeing who would win, and he wanted to fast forward to the point of the challenge - “people getting their feelings hurt?" The person that everyone agreed would win – the person whose feelings they did not want to hurt – was Missy. I expect everyone is saving up their “let’s hurt Missy’s feelings” statements for the Final Tribal Council.

3. Jon

Jon had a major quarterback moment right after the Tribal Council of two weeks ago, when he claimed to be calling the play instead of going where he was told to and catching the ball. But everyone was apparently supposed to shut up about it, because in Jon’s mental Survivor winner speech, he doesn’t want to acknowledge that he won because a bunch of girls told him what to do. That’s not the narrative of a winner!

A couple of other things about Jon fell into place for me in that double episode, and all of it bad news for Jon. Jaclyn observed that Jon has a lot more confidence than he does execution skills, so he always falls short and gets really disappointed afterwards. (Visualization only takes you so far, Tebow.) And this pattern seems to be repeating because everyone – including Jaclyn – thinks that he is coasting. And if you think that’s bad for Jon’s end-game, look at how terribly he handled things when his girlfriend was mad at him – first with the needy over-apologizing, then the standoffishness. I don’t think Jon is going to cope well with the final Tribal Council questioning. And on top of all that, Jon is totally the “boring wine guy."

4. Jaclyn

Jaclyn apparently really, really likes horses and brownies. Last episode was a really good example of how the Survivor editors can skew things with the right material. Remember a few weeks back when we saw Jaclyn get annoyed with Wes, Alec etc not talking to her, and how Jaclyn's decision to flip her (and Jon’s) vote was seen as a strong move of independence and self-respect? Well, we saw pretty much the same thing last episode, except this time Jaclyn was portrayed as petulant and whiny. “Oh boo hoo, my boyfriend sacrificed for his team, and now he’s being sent to Exile Island to find the last hidden immunity idol and I don’t even get to go on a horsey ride! They don't respect me or Jon! We should totally vote with those boys!”

But at the same time there’s a reality behind what Survivor is presenting. Jaclyn felt disrespected by how she was treated by Reed, Alec and Wes, and at the time it seemed like there would be no going back for her with those guys. But as soon as Reed and Alec started talking to her – for transparent game reasons! I mean, "Jon is so loyal," come on, Reed! – she starts considering “hey, maybe Jon and I should flip again!” Jaclyn claims that she doesn’t understand how she and Jon always find themselves in the middle. Maybe it’s because Jaclyn is flighty and insecure and cannot commit?

5. Baylor

Baylor saw a different side of Alec last week, when he decided to lie about his emotions and feelings in order to make it one more day in the game. Baylor can laugh at her mother’s three divorces and how she is “blinded by wanting to help men,” but the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

6. Keith

Let’s say Keith makes it to the end. No matter which way you slice it, Keith is only getting one vote. Probably with the note, “Thanks, Dad, for providing the sperm.”

There are the power rankings for this week. Tune in tonight for the penultimate Survivor and then come back tomorrow for the recap by David and Kim.