Survivor: Caramoan Power Rankings
By Ben Willoughby
April 3, 2013
If “Next Time on Survivor” isn’t lying to us for once, there will be a merge this coming episode so we can forget those stupid tribe names nobody bothered to remember. It also means we can forget all about making wild guesses about where things stand within the tribes, and instead focus on making wild guesses of where players stand within the game. All based on self-justifying interviews from the castaways and what is left after the show’s editing process, of course. Here are the power rankings for this week:
I’ve put Malcolm at #1 for two reasons – he is the person most likely to change the direction of this game, and he is also the person most likely to get voted off because of it. At the moment, his plan is to break out of the “favorites” with a bromance alliance of four – him, Reynold, Eddie and Erik. We know Reynold is on board, presumably Eddie will join him, but we don’t know what Erik is thinking.
This bromance alliance faces two big challenges come the merge. How can it grow beyond four votes, and how does it ensure that none of its members are targeted in the first vote?
Assuming Malcolm can bring in Erik, I can see a path forward to six votes – as he could also connect with Corinne, who would then bring in Michael. I don’t see a path to seven – Phillip would not obviously be on board, Andrea, Dawn, and Cochran seem locked in with Phillip and wouldn’t have much to gain from joining a muscle alliance on an immunity tear. Brenda too, I guess. Sherri does not want to work with Eddie or Reynold (or vice versa).
So even if everything goes according to Malcolm’s plan, that’s six votes out of 12, which means to Probst’s ultimate disappointment the bromance alliance won’t have a clear majority at Tribal Council. This means that they either have to engineer the vote to eliminate Sherri, the only “fan” outside their alliance, which would give them six against five at the next vote, or they engineer a blindside where Malcolm, Erik and Corinne say they are on board with voting off whoever Phillip wants to vote off, vote for whoever they want instead, and use a hidden immunity idol so that instead of the expected 6-6 tie, it’s a 6-0 walkover.
So there’s definitely a way for Malcolm to form a new alliance, with him at the center. And there are a lot of ways for his plans to fail completely.
Game of Thrones – or more correctly, HWDYK’s series of Game of Thrones quizzes – reminded me over the weekend of two things. “Power is power” and “Power resides where men believe it resides. It's a trick, a shadow on the wall.” We all know that everyone on Phillip’s tribe – even those he’s been prepared to vote off – have been focused on keeping Phillip happy. As examples, we’ve had Cochran submitting to arm-wrestling challenges and Dawn immediately running to Phillip to tattle-tale on Julia. Even poor gameplay – like Phillip’s exclusion of Corinne from his conversation with Dawn and Cochran – led only to Corinne talking a silent walk down to the beach to calm down.
So while Phillip’s power is just a shadow on the wall that will disappear the moment someone shines a light at it, for now, his power is power. Everyone who wants to work with him will keep “making sure Phillip’s happy” a priority.