Survivor: Cambodia - Second Chance Power Rankings
Week 2
By Ben Willoughby
October 7, 2015

Pouting as an art form.

Week 2 of Survivor has passed and once again there’s no real point in Power Rankings because everyone is being split into three tribes in tonight's episode. So prepare for more general impressions of castaways in loose power ranking order.

Last week, we saw Shirin get voted out, despite her pleading for a “once in a lifetime” third chance. Of course, second chance to go on Survivor is also a once in a lifetime opportunity, and so is “going on Survivor in the first place.” How many “once in a lifetime” Survivor opportunities does Shirin need? More than Tyson Apostol. Anyway, Shirin acknowledges her weakness as a player and admits that it was her own gameplay that “blew up her game.” So that’s nice.

Ta Keo

Two challenge losses in two episodes would normally make Ta Keo the designated “loser tribe” that can’t do anything right, but the last challenge was pretty tight. We’ll give them the benefit of the doubt for now.


Varner is still wearing his necktie in confessionals! While wearing his dress shirt with the torn off sleeves! He looks like he raided Fred Flintstone's wardrobe.

Varner successfully explained his first episode vote to Dietz as “trying to light a fire under old school’s ass” and has put together a new alliance. Playing both sides in the first two episodes – the other tribe members have to be thinking that Varner is shady by now. But he’s the one leading the way, and why not let him do so?


Whatever I’ve said about Dietz in the past, at least he has consciously learned from his last Survivor experience and put the basics of his social game in order. Even more surprising - that he genuinely seems to feel that he has made a connection. With Abi Maria!

Abi Maria

Spencer refers to Abi Maria as a “permanent liability” that always has to be lugged around. While that’s true, it also shows that Spencer is not a good fit to win the game. I’m sure Rob Mariano saw Phillip Shepherd as a “permanent liability,” but he always kept at the front of his mind that Phillip was what he needed to win the game and didn’t let it wear him down. Same with Natalie and Missy and Baylor, Tyson and Monica Culpepper and Parvati and ELR (though it ultimately cost her). You have to put in the work, Spencer – you can’t complain about your “permanent liability” with 33 days to go.

But we are supposed to be talking about Abi, who is clueless enough to believe that people actually find her a “joy” when they tell her so, and commits the ultimate Survivor sin of telling Shirin that she has a new alliance with Terry, that everyone has turned on Shirin and Spencer and that one of them will be going next. There’s something to be said for the honesty in stabbing someone from the front, but at the same time, this is Survivor. Spilling the beans to the person who is leaving undermines your own allies. If she can’t act like a rational Survivor player, she is not going to last.


Kelley has an idol, but she had no say in the flip from voting for the “old school” to “voting for Spencer and Shirin. Right now, Kelley is getting strung along by Varner’s game.


Woo apparently showed a stronger spine than the last time he played – turning down the overture from Spencer and Shirin by pointing out this was their first conversation. Consensus opinion: “Good for Woo.”


Peih-Gee will be more thrilled than anyone about the tribe switch and the opportunity to be on a different tribe to Abi. But just in case, she should start preparing her arguments about how she would be better to keep around than Abi.


When Varner asked her who she would prefer to vote out, Wiglesworth replied that she was “just going to go where the numbers are.” But Varner just told her – the numbers are for Shirin and Spencer. This is her cue to talk with her (admittedly, new-found) ally about the pros and cons of voting either one off. I hesitate to say that anyone really “rides coat-tails” on Survivor, but I think Wiglesworth is riding coat-tails. This is a no-risk situation because saying bad stuff about Spencer or Shirin is not going to blow back on you. The only wrong answer you can give is no answer – because if you don’t have an answer to that question, how are you talking strategy with anyone? How do you expect the other players, whose votes you want at the end of the game, to respect your gameplay? Wiglesworth is easily the most boring person on her tribe.


I wonder how much of a toss-up it was to keep Spencer and get rid of Shirin. Keeping Spencer was probably the right move because, as Varner pointed out, Shirin is more emotional and convincing, while no one is convinced by Spencer – not even Probst, who called Spencer out on recycling his “Baby, I can change, I swear it!” Tribal Council speech from his first season.

Anyway, Spencer’s big moment came when he got all blubbery at the thought of having to vote for Shirin. His small heart grew by three sizes that day.


What can be said about Bayon? Not a lot, because they haven’t been to Tribal and we don’t get to see any of the intrigue beyond “everyone thinks Fishbach sucks except Fishbach.”


Joe is playing up his role as “tribe provider” by adapting the fishing nets into hammocks. Everyone likes hammocks!


Savage claims that his wife was a top model from South Africa, and they met when she won a beauty contest where first prize was a trip around the world. The “Canadian girlfriend” story is obviously not elaborate enough for Savage, but he is a handsome lawyer so everyone buys it.

Which leads me into my “rant of the week” about Savage, and his treatment of Fishbach. According to Savage, Fishbach is “playing the game 24-7,” “is all about the game,” “[has] no emotion,” “show[ing] you where his head is at”. Savage claims this means that Fishbach is “lacking in... morals, values, loyalty, dignity, courage,” which is all a complete load. Really, Fishbach is a weedy nerd who is not Alpha Male Savage’s type of guy. And that’s fine – Savage doesn’t have to like everyone on his tribe. But Savage is saying that because Fishbach is playing Survivor, that he is an immoral person. This is exactly what Savage did in his first season – ostracize the tribe wimps who don’t fit into Savage’s Survivor country club (like Little Ryan), call them names (like "Little Ryan"), and then tell them it is all their fault when he votes them out.

And as much as this bothers me about Savage, what annoys me even more is his pious, self-gratifying justification that Fishbach is a bad person while he is a good person, when they are both just playing Survivor. For example, immediately after bonding with Jeremy over the fact that they are both married and missing their wives, Savage casually mentioned that “Fishbach asked if you were looking for an idol.” That right there is taking advantage of an emotional moment to further your game in Survivor. That is “playing the game 24-7,” “no emotion”, “lacking in morals, values… dignity…” Shows you where his head is at.


Val is pregnant! Congratulations, Jeremy!


Kass gets a confessional where her big confession is that she actually likes the people on her tribe this season, so she won’t be able to justify manipulating them as easily as she did in Cagayan.


Madam Not Appearing in This Episode.


Aside from hammock-lounging, she is Madam Also Not Appearing in This Episode.


Sir Not Appearing in This Episode


Madam Is She Even in This Season?


Ciera didn’t feel good last episode and stood out of the challenge. That's worse than not being in the episode.


Fishbach is still the tribe outsider, and the one most in need of the upcoming tribe switcheroo. I offer a small sacrifice to the Survivor gods, that he may and Spencer end up on the same tribe. It would be nice for Fishbach to have someone to talk with.

There are the “power rankings” for this week. Tune in tonight to see a switch to three tribes with the added thrills of “less tension in immunity challenges” and “more people safe from being voted out.” Then come back later in the week for Jim’s recap.