Survivor: Caramoan Power Rankings

Week 9

By Ben Willoughby

April 9, 2013

Since we refuse to show images of many favorites, we're running out of choices. Blame Cochran.

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Last week we saw Corinne and Malcolm make a big move, only to be hit with a bigger blind-side than they were planning to serve up. It was easily the best episode of what has been a weak season so far, but will it turn out to be a high point or a taste of things to come? Because if last week’s rebellion leads to a fluid, anything-goes game with shifting alliances and repeated blind-sides, this season might be rescued after all.

However, the smart move for the majority alliance to whittle down their opponents one by one – first by targeting outsiders like Michael to give them overwhelming numbers, and then to use those numbers to split votes and flush any hidden immunity idols. If that’s how things go, we should probably all check out until it gets down to six.

Here are the power rankings for this week.

1. Malcolm

So the vote didn’t go Malcolm’s way last week. He lost two members of his alliance, Corinne who was voted out, and Erik, who he thought was in his pocket, and who he never really expressed any doubts about. Even though the numbers are now 6-4 against him, it’s not all bad for Malcolm – he has a hidden immunity idol, and knows where the other one is. No one sees him as the leader of the breakaway alliance, so maybe he won’t be targeted before the “fans”. And if he is able to convince someone on the bottom of the majority alliance – like Erik or Brenda – to flip, and combine it with some crafty idol play, he could easily make it 5-4 in his favor next week. Unfortunately for Malcolm, it looks like he approaches Dawn.

Anyway, I’m leaving Malcolm at #1 for this week. He’s the brains behind his alliance, which has two hidden immunity idols. And he’s the player everyone not in his alliance should be fixing to get rid of.


2. Andrea

Andrea had a great week last week. At a moment of crisis, she came up with the plan to blind-side Corinne, told Phillip of the plan while making him think it was his idea and then convinced Erik to vote with them. If she can keep doing this she’ll go far. And if she’s able to get any credit for it, she could win.

3. Cochran

Cochran’s playing well enough, but he still hasn’t been challenged to fight for his place in the game. Looking inside his alliance, I think his biggest long-term threat is Andrea, who is also looking to win by being seen as the strategic player. As we saw last week, they are comfortable working with each other to keep their alliance on top, but if they’re not figuring out how to get rid of each other medium-term, they should be.

4. Dawn

Obviously Dawn had a huge impact on the game last week. Obviously she made the right call to tell her alliance rather than flip to #7 on a male-dominated side. But while the majority alliance was flexible enough to regroup and execute a perfect blind-side, I worry about her game over the longer-term. Dawn’s first move was to tell Cochran, but we didn’t see her involved in the next round of decisions. Cochran told Andrea, Andrea said she was ready for a blindside, and then they put together the numbers.

So Dawn is a great channel for information, but the editing suggests she is not part of the decision-making. I don’t think this is a one-off – it’s more or less what we saw the previous week when Dawn told Phillip what Julia told her, and Phillip’s immediate response was “she’s gone,” no discussion. In Dawn’s words, to win Survivor you “need to be a decision-maker. You can’t let the game happen to you”. I’m not convinced that Dawn is a decision-maker.

Looking further ahead, I also worry that Corinne will blame Dawn for her game falling apart, and choosing to appease Phillip rather than side with someone she likes. That won’t matter much in-game, but it could be a BFD at final Tribal Council. Dawn should be thinking hard about who she goes to the end with.

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