Survivor: Philippines Power Rankings

Episode 8

By Ben Willoughby

November 6, 2012

The man Barry Bonds is choking is doing quite well on Survivor.

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At last we’ve reached the merge stage of the game, with ten castaways. This season features three very solid-looking alliances – Pete / Abi /Artis, Jeff Kent / Carter and Malcolm / Denise. And there are three wild cards – Lisa, who is not quite committed to the Malcolm / Denise team yet and the two returnees Michael and Jonathan, who don’t have any alliance with anyone.

This looks great for the rest of the season, because there are so many shifting parts – a situation that we haven’t had for several seasons at least. Normally we have the castaways from one tribe (maybe plus a flipper or two) eliminate the castaways from the other tribe, before turning on each other. This is much more interesting, but it makes power rankings very tough. I’ve rated the contestants by how much power they have in-game at the moment, and how many choices they have available to them. Some castaways have options, and others are pretty much locked in to a single strategy.

As Probst proclaimed last week, each of the remaining castaways has a one in ten shot at winning a million dollars and the title of Sole Survivor. We all know this is more of Probst’s lies, as some contestants obviously have much better chances than others. It’s not like the winner of Survivor is determined by rolling a D10.

So this week I’ve also included my estimate of their chances of winning, based on what we have seen so far. This is different from the power ranking, though there is obviously overlap.

Also, since we are now at the halfway point of the game, I thought we could look back at the initial “meet the cast” column I did before the beginning of the season to see how my predictions back then went.


1 Jeff Kent

Post-merge prediction: 20 in 100

(original prediction: 1 in 12)

The last two weeks, Jeff Kent has been successful at putting his alliance in the swing vote position. If the plan to get rid of the returnees succeeds, he should be able to position himself as the swing vote next time things get crazy. This is gives him more power than anyone in the game - you pick who gets voted off, everyone wants to be your friend and so long as you unequivocally state, “I’m voting with you guys,” no one is thinking of voting you out.

Pre-game, Jeff Kent said that his biggest challenge would be competing socially and dealing with the younger people he doesn’t like. His solution to this was a temporary alliance with Jonathan – who he thought was the only other person on Kalabaw who could carry on a conversation – that got rid of the younger players on the tribe. We’ll see how he goes about getting rid of younger people who are less likable, but more ruthless.

2 Malcolm

Post-merge prediction: 16 in 100

(original prediction: 1 in 12)

Malcolm has more options open to him than any other player. He has a secret immunity idol that no one outside his alliance knows about. He is well in with the Tandang tribe and is involved in the “who to vote out” discussions. He has a “secret” alliance with Denise and a secret “alliance” with Lisa. His success will come down to making the right decisions at the right time.

Continued:       1       2       3       4



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