Survivor: San Juan Del Sur Power Rankings
By Ben Willoughby
December 2, 2014
Last week, there was a reward challenge involving giving baseball gear to children so disadvantaged that they don’t have access to any sports more fun than baseball. Also, there was chaos at Tribal Council, with two immunity idols being played, and Wes being voted out.
That’s too bad, because with the reveals that he likes donut burgers, once won a chicken nugget-eating competition and is a fan of Two And A Half Men, I had all these Wes jokes lined up. But as Wes said in his final words, “you have to wing it sometimes” - though I’m pretty sure he was talking about chicken wings.
Here are the power rankings for this week:
Natalie has obviously decided that she likes her chances better with the two couples than the four guys, and that is the correct choice. When the numbers get down to five, the four guys would probably agree on voting her out first, while there is a natural fault line between Jon-Jaclyn and Missy-Baylor that Natalie can exploit. Obviously this assumes everything goes predictably to five, which it hasn’t so far.
One thing I respect about Natalie is how she thinks on her feet when everything else is falling apart. Despite being virtually blind-sided last episode, she decided not to take it personally and made a decision based on where her best interests lie. And she correctly called the audible at the last Tribal Council, getting Jon to play his idol and keeping her mid-game alliance intact. It is getting to the point where I ask myself “Is it wrong that of the remaining players, Natalie is the one who I most want to win?” And then she refers to her hidden immunity idol as “twinnie”, and I am reminded that yes, it is indeed very wrong.
The reason Missy is at #2 in the power rankings – because no vote is happening without her say-so – is getting pretty repetitive, so I’m going to spend a little time talking about why I think the other players were stupid not to get rid of her last episode. It’s not because Missy stands any chance of winning. It’s because everyone knows Missy is prepared to turn on a dime and vote out anyone who has an obviously better chance of winning than she does – see the vote for Jeremy when it was too early and she didn’t have solid numbers. Who are the people with an obviously better chance of getting votes? Everyone but Baylor. Which means she is dangerous to nearly everyone else in the game.
By the way, if you’re looking for more evidence that Missy is not as good a player as she thinks she is, she completely bought Reed’s line that he (and Alec) would vote with them. “Less sensible than Jon” is not how to play the game.
Even though she can get Jon to vote with her, Jaclyn isn’t playing a very visible game and is probably going to face a male-dominated jury. At this point, I think that her best path forward is to go to the end with Missy and Baylor, sacrificing Jon along the way as a safe vote on the jury.
I’d like to know what was going through Jon’s head when seven minutes into the immunity challenge he quit at the sight of Probst biting into a log-shaped chocolate bar. On second thought, perhaps not.
Jon partly redeemed himself by being smart enough to suspect that Reed would not be voting with them against his allies Keith and Wes. Then, he went back to square zero by being dumb enough to be convinced by Alec.
Baylor had somehow forgotten there was a hidden immunity idol at camp and that she had read two of the clues for how to find it. Though if I were in her shoes, with no hope of winning and being taken along as human ballast by my own mother, I’d have zoned out of the game too.
I didn’t see Alec change his “don’t know what the hell is going on, so I’ll just breathe through my mouth” face once during last episode’s chaotic Tribal Council.
It seems cruel to pick on someone who doesn’t realize that what someone says at Tribal Council can be very different to how that person votes. We could have seen another great blind-side last week, but Keith blew it for himself and his alliance. He should spend the next episode spitting at a mirror.
Reed is probably the first ever player to be awarded the immunity challenge necklace while doing the splits. As the only threatening player outside the alliance of five, Reed is not long for this game.
Tonight we have a very special two hour episode that you can probably skip because the highlight is Jon and Jaclyn having their first Survivor fight. Will it be about Jon revealing Jaclyn’s medical condition to a national audience? Find out in tomorrow’s recap by David and Kim.