Survivor: Cambodia - Second Chance Power Rankings
Week 7
By Ben Willoughby
November 4, 2015

Yes! More challenges!

Previously on Survivor, Deitz had to leave the game due to a family emergency back home – but don’t worry, his son is doing fine and Deitz won’t be getting sympathy votes that could win him the game, so Abi isn’t going to kill either of them. There was a tribe switch where Angkor became “no more” and a gross food immunity challenge. Woo ended up being the guy with multiple confessionals that went “everything is going great,” “if everything goes to plan, we’re all going to vote for Spencer,” and “I’m finally in tune with this game and I get to play.” So long, Woo. Have a most triumphant time at Ponderosa and be excellent to others!

Ta Keo III

Who can keep track of all these tribe switches and who has been on what tribe? At this point, I think Jeremy, Keith and Kimmi have played with everyone except Abi and Wiglesworth, Spencer and Wiglesworth have played against everyone else except Joe and Tasha. Some players, like Kass and Ciera, have played with everyone. Anyway, for one week only, I present the power rankings for Ta Keo III.

1. Jeremy

From the way he is low-fiving with Savage and commiserating with Ciera at the gross-food challenge despite them being on opposing tribes (for now), Jeremy is going for the “good sport” vote at the end of the game. It’s the route Captain America would take, but being Mr. Congeniality does not make you Survivor popular.

2. Joe

“Oil up, Joe,” said an unidentified yet appreciative female voice before the reward challenge. Ha! I'm just surprised it wasn't Probst. Joe’s strategy so far has been to make sure everyone is relaxed and comfortable, so it was a bit jarring to see him suggest he would prefer to keep Kelley over Kimmi before the immunity challenge had even been held. That’s not the way to keep everyone cool with things, Joe! It’s fortunate for him that Jeremy wants to keep big targets like Joe around a while.

3. Fishbach

Fishbach is still terrified of all those alpha males on his tribe, but he is trying to overcome his abject fear through being Jeremy’s informant. However, the stress of the game gets to him in interview, when he breaks down about missing his second chance by not getting his alliance to turn on Joe. This is a bad sign to me – in addition to showing his level of mental fatigue, it says that Fishbach is essentially focusing on his last battle (not getting rid of the “golden boy” sooner) and not his next one.

4. Kimmi

Kimmi may not be able to eat pig brains, but that just shows she’s comfortable. For now.

5. Tasha

Tasha was Miss Not Appearing On-Screen last week, but she probably just needed a break away from Abi.

6. Keith

Keith was so thrilled to be in an alliance two weeks ago that I can’t see him changing his game.

7. Kelley

It’s now known that Joe wants Kelley around – and since certain people want to keep Joe around, that could be bad news for Kelley. Fortunately for her, she has that idol no one knows about.

Bayon III

With Joe and Jeremy on the opposing side, Woo and Dietz gone and the tribe in a mess alliance-wise, Bayon III have to be thrilled with the news of a merge next episode.

1. Kass

Kass notes that there’s “no love connection” with Spencer, but when Kass leaks Savage’s plan, Spencer (from what we see) is taking it on board and not really wondering if Kass is messing with him. So the two at least seem to have a level of understanding that they can play together. Even though Kass brought in Spencer to be the fourth vote, she turned out to be the swing vote with the obligatory “I don’t know what’s going to happen” interview. There’s been a lot of talk (mostly from Probst) about Chaos Kass and Calm Cass, and Calm Kass seems to be in control for now. I mean, working with your sworn nemesis is chaotic, but not nearly as chaotic as setting up a blindside and then reneging on it.

2. Ciera

Ciera was put off by Savage nominating her as the fake vote and undermined him by pointing out that Savage was all “Bayon-strong” but is not nominating Woo to be the boot-ee or even the fake boot-ee. There are obvious issues with going against your alliance, but at the same time I understand why Ciera would not want her name to be out there as the vote. Even if it’s fake, people who have been voted for keep getting voted for, especially people who are female, not physical, and underestimated. I think making a power-play over the issue was the right move for her. Better to do it now and shut it down rather than go along with it and have to go through being the goat at every future vote.

3. Spencer

Spencer gave the editors yet another gift in an episode filled with mistaken perceptions when he interviewed that “Savage is a really good guy and someone I can trust,” unaware that Savage is preparing him for “one of the most devastating, unexpected blind sides in the history of Survivor.” Life is full of lessons for Spencer these days.

4. Abi

Having finally gotten rid of Woo, I’m looking forward to seeing what new Survivor purpose she will find. Will she hear Ciera and Kass talking about her and decide to split them up? Will she decide that Savage is too bossy and has to go? Will she be offended by Tasha listening to her? Only the gods know for sure.

5. Savage

Savage’s plan was for the three Angkors to loop in with Kass and Ciera, and this five could run the tribe. Poor naïve Savage. His plan probably would have worked if he had said the vote would be between Spencer and Wiglesworth, but instead he announced that Ciera would be the goat and relied on the “solid bond” between Abi and Woo. If the only connection between two players is that one voted for another twice and the other openly resents it, that’s less a bond than a geological fault-line.

What Savage really needed was a Tasha who is willing to make the relationships, sell the strategy to the people who are going along with it and keep everything steady. Instead, he alienated Ciera, which put off Kass, which meant that Abi had an opportunity to get rid of Woo. Savage is one of those bosses who thinks that everything good that happens is due to his inspiring leadership, when it’s really down to people who are willing to do the grunt work and the boss staying out of their way. It’s only when the boss does get involved that problems happen.

In other evidence of Savage’s inferior judgment, he claimed that if he had a son, he “would want him to be like Spencer.”

So, what next for Savage? He’ll have to adapt, but his options are with another alliance that doesn’t seem to need him or to make amends with his former alliance, take less of a leadership role and hope that their “not voting for Spencer” was just a one-time thing.

6. Wiglesworth

Once again, Wiglesworth is out in the cold. Back on Bayon II, there was a lot of talk about how Wiglesworth had a lot of friends on Ta Keo with the implication that she was never going to join with Jeremy’s group. However, after six weeks, six of those Ta Keo friends are gone and the other three are in an alliance of five that does not include Wiglesworth. Lucky for her they will need a vote or two.

Next time on Survivor, there will be a merge, so what was the point of those power rankings you just read? Nothing, that’s what. Literally dozens of you have wasted your time. But at least you didn’t have to write them. Anyway, looking ahead, we seem to have an alliance of five – Joe, Keith, Kelley, Kass and Ciera, all original Bayon except for Kelley –another alliance of three – Jeremy, Fishbach and Kimmi, who were also all Bayon, and a bunch of floaters – Abi and Spencer, Tasha and Savage, and Wiglesworth on her own.

Savage and Tasha are the tightest pair, and it would be an easy play for them to link up with the alliance of five and form a majority. However, neither Tasha nor Savage seems to be the type of player who will settle for sixth and seventh. It may be a better option for them to link back up with any two of Abi (assuming she isn't all pals now with Kass and Ciera), Spencer (who has ties with Jeremy) and Wiglesworth (assuming she is even willing to talk strategy). Then they'd have their majority, and a better chance of staying in the game when their alliance starts to eat itself.

Also with the merge comes Chaos Kass! I am Jim’s unadulterated delight.

Those are the power rankings for this week. Tune in tonight to see how the merge goes, and then come back later in the week for Jim's recap. (Oil up, Jim!)