Survivor Worlds Apart: Power Rankings
Week 6
By Ben Willoughby
April 1, 2015

Number one with a bullet.

Last week, the Nagarote misfit tribe turned it around on the Escameca muscle tribe thanks to some good slingshot work and an idiot move to throw the immunity challenge. Still, that worked out better for some Escamecas than others when Joaquin was voted out. Next time, Joaquin, don’t call down the anger of the Survivor gods by saying things will be a “walk in the park” before the merge has even happened.

For a self-described schemer, Joaquin played a really obvious game from the start by lying from the get-go at the “truth or deceit” choice, and then when he was finally able to build another alliance, picked someone that no one likes or trusts. I think Joaquin spent a lot of time thinking about how cool it would be to play Survivor and do exciting stuff like blind-side people, but didn’t actually put a lot of thought into how to win the game.

More buffs will be dropped this week due to the merge, and broadly I see the No Collars allying with the White Collars to vote out the Blue Collars. The Blue Collars are the largest remaining group, but they have not done enough to make bonds with players from the other tribes, with their “Blue Collar all the way” mentality and their dominance of the post-switch Escameca. The Blue Collars have given too many reasons for players like Sierra and Rodney to flip, and no reason for players like Shirin or Tyler to switch over to the Blue Collar side. Meanwhile, the No Collars and White Collars on Nagarote seem to be getting on rather well, and if they reconnect with Joe and Tyler and draw in the disaffected Sierra, they will have numbers to spare.

Here are the power rankings for this week.

1. Jenn

Jenn is still running her alliance like she’s Kim Spradlin. Unfortunately for Jenn, her eventual alliance is going to be full of independent-minded people who aren’t necessarily going to do what they are told. Carolyn, Tyler and Joe in particular have very different ideas about who should win this season of Survivor, so Jenn needs to be ready for a lot of stick-handling.

2. Carolyn

Carolyn would be the lynchpin of a potential White-No Collar alliance. She is in with Jenn and Hali, and she has the old White Collar connection with Tyler that could draw him in and (with Shirin and/or Sierra) confirm a tribe majority. That gives her a lot of power in the game, but also puts her in a similar situation to Jenn. Her sub-alliance will be the minority in her big alliance, and Tyler will want to play his own game.

3. Joe

Joe is back with his No Collar buddies, and he’s sure to re-cement those bonds with some nude body-surfing or tripping on acid to change their whole perspective to the game or something. If he is also able to bring Sierra over to the No Collar side, that puts him in a better position for when his own alliance disintegrates.

Also, I’m going to mention Joe’s solid Tribal Council performance last week. While other players were telegraphing their votes left and right, he was all “it’s us against the Blue Collars” and “I got nobody.” That was well-played.

4. Mike

According to Rodney, Mike isn’t trustworthy because he goes to church and hasn’t had sex in eight years. In other words, Mike’s pretty trustworthy. Also, judging by his tears after losing the reward challenge, Mike is really into turtles.

Mike got some points from me last episode for his excellent mocking of Rodney’s suggestion to throw a challenge in interview, and also going along with it to protect his own partner and control the vote. But I think he’s in a bad position for this week – he’s obviously the leader of the Blue Collar alliance, he’s a huge target and he doesn’t seriously have anything to offer a flipper better than “You’re #6”. If he’s still in the game after the vote, it’s because other players think he has an idol. Which he doesn’t.

5. Tyler

Tyler is the one who could shake up my No Collars + White Collars > Blue Collars scenario. He could team up with the No Collars and Carolyn to Pagong the Blue Collars, or he could flip over to the Blue Collars – most of whom he has spent the last few days with - and run with them. However, he’s in a tough spot either way. If he joins the Blue Collars, he’s certain to be #6 on an alliance of six. And if he joins with the No Collars + Carolyn, he could easily find himself in the same position.

Tyler’s first post-merge job will be to see where he stands with Carolyn. They have been in an alliance since the first episode, when Carolyn showed him her hidden immunity idol, but things could easily have changed since they were on separate tribes and she flipped against Max and Shirin. On balance, I think they’ll stick together. Outnumbered by the No Collars, Carolyn needs an alliance partner as much as Tyler does, and getting rid of Max was probably in Tyler’s game plan as much as it was in Carolyn’s.

6. Hali

Hali is the one who makes nice with Shirin. “They said you did some annoying things, too.” Ha ha, nice use of the word “they.” Hali is really under the radar. If she’s successful at building good relationships behind the scenes, things could work out for her in the end-game, but she would need to be on a jury without any power players.

7. Sierra

Last week, everyone wanted Sierra to vote with them and it makes her sick. Rodney makes her sick. Dan makes her sick. Being used by the Blue Collars makes her sick. I think she has decided that an alliance with Joe is her best move – or at least, I think it is her best move. It would get her in with the No Collars, and later in the game she would be an extra vote against the White Collars in the game – which would probably get her as far as #4. But even if Sierra flips and makes it to the end, she will still have to face a jury with four sad Blue Collars with hurt feelings.

8. Shirin

Last week saw Shirin dealing with the repercussions of the Max blind-side. Essentially, she annoys everyone and no one even wants to play with her. It’s just like when she was growing up in the O.C. and she was always having to fit in with the Mean Girls and make fetch happen! Lucky for her, she is able to use those skills in an above-par Rodney impression.

In theory, Shirin could flip over to the Blue Collars, but I don’t see that happening. She doesn’t know the Blue Collars and is not going to understand them. Shirin is stuck trying to work her way back in with people that she actively irritates.

9. Kelly

Last week we learned that Kelly is not good at memory challenges or listening to informants speaking to her in a hushed voice. You’d think these would be things an undercover cop would be good at!

Kelly will be thrilled to be re-joined with her rah-rah Blue Collar alliance, and her sub-alliance with Mike. She will be less thrilled when they get voted out one by one.

10. Will

Will has long been an outsider within his No Collar group. While they are off talking about rock climbing and braiding shark tooth necklaces, he is left alone at camp to look sad. I think his best play is to lay low and work on an alliance with the remaining White Collars, who he probably has more in common with.

11. Dan

Dan is a terrible player who insists on wearing a terrible hat. Seriously, I’d rather he turn up to Tribal Council in his manties than with that thing on his head. On the subway the other day, I saw a child not yet out of the stroller wearing a hat similar to Dan’s. That’s some bad parenting right there.

Anyway, Dan is basically in the same boat as Mike, except without any ability to influence other people.

12. Rodney

The truth is out – Rodney didn’t come on Survivor to win, just to find “a little bromance, a “homey to chill with.” He’s such a dummy that he can’t relate to others on his tribe because they come from different places than he does. Like Rodney’s from Boston, while Dan’s from Maine! Worlds apart! So he picks his alliance partners based on whether they like girls and are into partying. Rodney has the strategic skills of Fredo Corleone.

Like many dumb people, Rodney believes people think he’s dumb just because he sounds dumb. But really people think Rodney’s dumb because of the dumb things he says and the dumb things he does. That Rodney actually sounds like an idiot is a bonus.

So, what now for Rodney? His choices are limited to (a) worming his way back with Mike and Dan, who don’t trust him but can use his vote, (b) trying his luck with the other group, who don’t need his vote and don’t respect him or (c) full on Brandon Hantz wobbly-throwing camp-burning dummy spit.

There are the power rankings for the week. Tune into Survivor tonight to see just how wrong my post-merge predictions are and then come back tomorrow for Jim’s recap.