Survivor: San Juan Del Sur Power Rankings

Week 9

By Ben Willoughby

November 26, 2014

The Blue Lagoon rebooted as a reality tv show.

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Last week, we arrived at the traditional Survivor dilemma where the “weaker” players team up to vote out the “best” players. But if the “best” players are voted out, aren’t the “weaker” players really the best players? Jeremy and Josh before him both seemed like they had an idea of how to play the game, and it didn’t hurt that they were nice guys who came off well in interview by talking about strategy and not taking things personally. In Jeremy’s defense, he probably realized that he would be targeted at some stage, but believed that Episode 9 would have been too early to pull the trigger. Poor Jeremy – that’s when they get you!

Anyway, votes to get rid of obvious potential victors have been part of the game since the first season, when a bunch of misfit no-hopers – Sue, Kelly, Rudy and Richard Hatch – formed an alliance to vote out the perceived natural leaders. It’s a rare season – like Yul in the Cook Islands or Kim in One World – where there’s a coronation of the obvious candidate at the final Tribal Council. And those seasons were boring.

The big question for me – which we will see unfold in coming weeks – is whether getting rid of Jeremy was the right move or a strategic error. It’s part of Survivor that all alliances eventually have to eat themselves, but you really have to pick the right moment. Personally, I think Jon, Missy, etc. should have listened to their inner Wilson Phillips, and held on for one more day.

Here are the power rankings for this week:


1. Natalie

I completely understand that this seems a bizarre choice for #1, because at first glance no remaining player lost more at the last Tribal Council than Natalie, who is now alone with no alliances. When Probst asked what has to happen for Natalie at this Tribal Council, Natalie’s response was something like “my alliance has to stick to the plan and its long-term goals.” Post-Tribal Council comment from Natalie: “What the f---, Missy?!”

But Jeremy’s ouster actually puts Natalie in a great position. She doesn’t have any remaining alliances in the game, and the other players are very cleanly divided four against four. No one trusts Missy and Baylor, and Jon and Jaclyn have burned their trustworthiness with everyone else, so there’s no obvious flip to their side. Both alliances need Natalie’s vote to stay in the game. It’s nice to be needed.

2. Missy

Missy orchestrated the Jeremy blindside. Jon was the one who came to her, but Missy had to have been thinking about how to get rid of Jeremy to increase her own chances in the game, so when she saw the opportunity she took it. It was a well-executed blindside as well – she knew that four votes would be all they would need and therefore no one outside that group of four needed to know anything.

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