Survivor: Blood vs Water - Power Rankings
By Ben Willoughby
December 9, 2013
Last week’s Tribal Council was a lot of fun and turned my predicted direction of the show on its head. Gervase and Tyson lost face in front of the jury. Monica was left looking relatively sane and balanced. Ciera, who earlier in the episode was saying she didn’t want to work with Hayden and Katie, flipped back to their side. Everyone agreed to draw rocks, even the people who were immune from the draw. And the biggest surprise of all was that Hayden actually did something.
Here are the power rankings for this week:
Monica is in the swing vote position, which at this stage is both a huge opportunity and a terrifying decision. The fault lines between Tyson-Gervase and Ciera-Hayden were made pretty clear at the Tribal Council. In theory, she could go either way.
But obviously Monica’s best option is to “be loyal to my true alliance,” which conveniently means going to the end with the people who masterminded the ouster of everyone on the jury and are possibly toxic. It’s a much better move than flipping on her alliance – again – and going to the end with players the jury is openly rooting for.
Even so, Monica has some clear obstacles in front of a jury where performance in challenges counts for nothing. She is seen as an impulsive, over-strategizer who is prone to paranoid freak-outs. Her flip against the alliance led by Aras and Tina – however justified it was – looks a lot more like opportunistic majority-siding than strategic leadership. If Monica makes it to the end, she will need to be prepared with some convincing, sugar-coated arguments – though I fully expect she’ll say something like “You told me I was #5. Did you expect me to not flip?”
Before the last tribal Council, Tyson was looking to go to the end with Monica and Gervase, or possibly Monica and Ciera, or possibly even Ciera and Gervase. Now his options are looking more limited, as he certainly won’t be able to control the votes from this point.
Looking ahead to the jury, Tyson’s problems are just beginning. Juries on Survivor are sometimes okay with voting for the strategic cut-throat player, provided they respect that person’s game and (this is important) they feel that player respected their game.
Prior to last night, there were lots of examples of Tyson showing respect to others, even if he was sarcastic in interview. He listened to Monica over-strategize, he empathized with Hayden about how it felt to not take your loved one’s place, and he talked through with Ciera how much he appreciated her vote for Laura?
But a lot of that goodwill was lost with his comments to Katie after her torch was snuffed. He didn’t need to say anything, but it was a blatant and personal disrespect to her at the moment she was down and it was right in front of everyone, in a game with loved ones. That is going to come back to bite him.