Survivor: Philippines Power Rankings
By Ben Willoughby
December 12, 2012
At last we are down to five castaways. Last week’s tribal council drew a line in the sand for how the rest of the game will be played, and anyone bringing up concepts like “deserve” and... “deserve” should be rightly hooted down from this point. Here are the power rankings for this final week of Survivor:
Malcolm hasn’t moved from the top spot for the last few weeks, and I don’t see any reason to change this now. Everyone likes him, everyone respects his gameplay, he is safe tonight thanks to his “hidden” immunity idol and no one wants to face him at the end. Obviously, Malcolm will have to survive the final (or possibly final two?) immunity challenges to make it any further in the game.
Looking back at Michael when he came into this season, he was all about having a gung-ho crash-or-crash-through strategy. But surprisingly – and probably due to unique Tandang circumstances – he has played a Sandra-like “do what you can to survive” game.
When he was with Tandang, it was “make sure we don’t lose a challenge, because if we do then I’m out”. Then he went under the radar to avoid being voted out early in the merge. And then he became the vote everyone needed – first staying with Tandang to vote out Jeff Kent, then flipping to eliminate Artis and Pete, and then being the vote Jonathan needed (and did not get) to stay in the game. And now, he has a great opportunity to side with Lisa and Abi to get to the final four, and then to the final three if anyone-but-Malcolm wins immunity.
So while I still think he’s a bit of a dope and the things he says often don’t make a lot of sense, he’s been more successful at controlling the direction of the game than anyone else since the merge. But good luck explaining all that to the jury, Michael.
Now that Lisa has had her epiphany of Justice that she shouldn't be so noble and should be taking people she can beat to the end. But will she be able to go against her word? Will yet another emotional crisis make everyone sick of her? And won’t everyone be expecting this next move after her latest Tribal Council confession?
The final four alliance decided that “deserve” wasn’t really one of the voting criteria as soon as they were safe from being voted out, and suddenly Abi’s going further in the game – perhaps all the way to the final three. She doesn’t really have a lot of power – no one believes her bluff about the immunity idol – but she is a useful tool for other, better players to use in getting to where they want to be, and that's better than nothing.
With five castaways and Malcolm safe, Denise is looking vulnerable tonight. Lisa and Michael both have a strong incentive to take Abi to the final three they are all expecting, leaving Denise as the only expendable person. Even Malcolm, her ally throughout the game, will not be sorry to see her go – it means losing his strongest competitor and gaining a definite jury vote, all without getting his hands dirty.
Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for the recap of tonight’s episode, and then again this weekend for Part 1 of the How Well Do You Know Survivor: Philippines quiz.