Survivor: Cambodia - Second Chance Power Rankings
Week 10
By Ben Willoughby
November 24, 2015

Something something voting blocs something charge of the light brigade something.

Previously on Survivor, Joe continued to win and the hunt for a hidden immunity idol meant that “I have to go to the bathroom” excuse was used in both finding an idol and preventing the finding of one. There was rain at the immunity challenge and even more rain at Tribal Council, through which even Probst had to suffer. And in a blindside, the bloc of Fishbach, Jeremy and Spencer aligned with the Witches Coven of Ciera, Kelly and Abi-Maria to vote out Wiglesworth. Sorry Wiglesworth – the tribe has spoken, even if you barely did.

1. Fishbach

With Varner, Deitz, Savage, and now Wiglesworth gone, Fishbach is now “last surname standing.” Fishbach talked about Joe and Kelly’s “shared arrogance about how awesome they are” but also managed to name-drop King Duncan as the target of assassination in Macbeth. He also spent a good chunk of Tribal Council talking about his “voting blocs” theory and how it is an evolution of the game. It sounds like Fishbach can talk about the things he is good at and dismiss other play as “dumb,” but when other people have a bond based on something they are both good at and he is not, it is “shared arrogance.” Oh well.

But it was a big week for Fishbach. First, he won a challenge with a physical component. Even if he was only competing against Spencer, Fishbach still won the right to replace another player’s Tribal Council vote with his own, so it counts. And then he managed to convince Jeremy and Spencer to go along with his big move to get rid of Wiglesworth. These are two independent-minded players who had other (probably better) options for that next vote. So Fishbach is sitting pretty at #1.

2. Jeremy

Jeremy was sad to see Savage go – mostly because it was great to have another physical threat “that people didn’t like” – so he went into over-drive looking for a back-up idol. After finding the idol and then the clue, Jeremy got the episode’s hero edit where he breaks up talking about his wife Val and how he wants to make her life easier, and his two kids’ lives easier and his unborn, gender-unknown child’s life easier too.

It’s unclear exactly why Jeremy made the decision to flip on half his alliance, but I wonder if he saw a sub-alliance coalescing around Joe. We saw Wiglesworth saying that she trusted Joe, Keith and Kimmi, which would mean that once the Witches Coven was voted out, things would be very difficult for Jeremy. But even so, he is right to be worried about the four people coming back from Tribal who were also blind-sided.

3. Joe

Two allies gone in two weeks and most everyone else wants him to go next. Joe is just going to have to keep winning challenges.

4. Tasha

After the reward challenge, we saw Tasha deflect attention from Jeremy by casting the “what about Wigles?” hook and getting bites from everyone, because apparently everyone likes Wiglesworth and thinks she has a great social game. First, not that we saw, and second, I don’t think Tasha will appreciate being left floundering by Jeremy. With three each in the Fishbach bloc and the Witches Coven, and Joe, Kimmi and Keith seemingly aligned, Tasha may be the only available vote in the game.

5. Spencer

Spencer was desperate enough to quit immunity for the advantage in the game, and physically poor enough to lose to Fishbach. And yet when Fishbach said that the two of them plus Jeremy were on the bottom, he seemed surprised. Huh.

6. Kelley

Kelley is working on “building her resumé”. She is still the member of the Witches Coven alliance that everyone else wants gone.

7. Kimmi

Kimmi got her soundbite for the season with “Witches Coven”, which seems to have caught on among the broader tribe. One catchphrase should be enough from Kimmi this season.

8. Keith

Keith had a spit count last episode of two, and those were just the ones I noticed.

9. Ciera

Ciera calls herself “the queen of just saying things”, so naturally she proceeded to tell everyone that they had no chance of winning if they go to the end with Jeremy. Plenty of people seem to agree that it’s “got or get got,” but I don’t think they like Ciera driving it.

10. Abi-Maria

Abi-Maria was not selected to participate in the reward challenge and therefore no chance to win a great reward. Abi's future, encapsulated..

Before signing off, I have a couple of thoughts about voting blocs. Fishbach is saying that this is an evolution in the game, but I am less convinced. In past seasons, we’ve seen plenty of alliances that were too large, and the bottom of the alliance aligned with the outsiders to vote off the former alliance leaders, and this doesn’t look very different so far. And we’ve also seen crazy seasons where there have been shifting alliances each episode – the sixth series, Survivor: Amazon, being a great example. So voting blocs aren't new.

But Fishbach wants to talk about voting blocs, and the reason is because he wants a free-wheeling, anything goes alliance-wise season of Survivor – one that won’t be dominated by loyalty, that encourages eliminating the biggest threats each week and gives Fishbach an environment in which he can thrive. By talking about it so much, he’s making it happen. Probst is lapping up “voting blocs,” just like he did “old school vs. new school,” and it's now a theme of the season.

And Fishbach's end-game is to reach the final Tribal Council with a jury-winning story to tell. In a season where alliances were fluid and everyone flipped on everyone else, he can argue that he made the right strategic decisions to make it to the end. What Fishbach is doing is setting up the season narrative in a way that plays to his strength and enhances his chances of winning.

However, the implication of the voting bloc theory is that the largest voting bloc will inevitably be teamed up on by the two smaller ones. So once Joe’s voting bloc is pared away to three or two people, they suddenly switch from targets to partners, and the new largest voting bloc becomes the target. So we’re certainly going to see more turns this season.

Next time on Survivor, there’s a double episode with more rain and something involving balls. Black and white ones this time. So tune in to listen to more ball commentary from Probst and then come back here for Jim’s sniggering recap.