Survivor: Kaoh Rong - Power Rankings
By Ben Willoughby
April 5, 2016
Previously on Survivor, only a couple of days after voting out their only medical professional, half of the Survivor castaways got infections and we had to look at far too many close-ups of inner thigh scabs. There was also a ball-balancing immunity challenge, so Probst told us how balls were "dancing all over the place," "banging into each other" and "dropping." If I were in charge of Survivor challenges, I’d design one where the contestants have to juggle balls in one hand while holding a pole in the other.
There was also a merge, but not a vote-off as Neal was pulled out of the game due to his infections being the grossest. Alliances were talked about but not solidified, and if original tribe loyalties mean anything, Brains and Brawn being three each and the Beauties at four could change the voting calculus.
Here are the power rankings for this week:
Jason is thrilled at the Brawn and Beauty tribes teaming up, comparing it to high school when he was “shoving geeks in lockers.” That’s some big talk coming from someone who has a rose tattoo on his neck and his hair braided into adorable double buns like he’s Kaylee from Firefly.
Scot keeps spilling the beans on other people’s secrets – this week, telling Jason (who he should tell) and Nick (who he probably shouldn’t) about Tai’s idol. I don't think much of Scot's gameplay, but he's definitely in a power position right now.
Also, there was some talk about how people wouldn't vote for Scot because he's already a millionaire, but when you get right down to the pointy end of the game, has anyone ever lost single vote at a final Tribal vote because they already have enough cash? I think it would be a Survivor first.
With Brawn and Brains both wanting Beauty’s votes, Nick was treated like a pretty girl last episode, and according to him, “it feels great!” We saw him umm-ing and ahh-ing over which direction to go – prepping Scot and Jason for a blindside, then saying “going by the seat of my pants is possibly more appealing than going with Debbie,” but he seems to be sided with Brawn.
Michele feels Brawn is too controlling, but decides to take her chances anyway because they’re no more controlling that anyone else in the game. Example - this exchange:
Michele: [paraphrased] “I’d rather go to the end with Brawn because Jason is unlikeable and Scot has NBA money.”
Nick: [verbatim] “This is MY thinking – we’re going with Brawn!”
No alliances have been formalized yet, but I think Michelle and Nick made the wrong call here. Not because Brawn are too controlling, but because Tai and Julia are already with Brawn. You don't want to be the last to join an alliance. But now with Neal gone and Brains down to three, they are less of a swing vote and more of a “we had better vote with the majority or we’ll be next” vote.
Cydney continues to be the intel provider – last week, giving the tip that Neal was carrying an idol around in his pocket. But no one ever values the intel provider, which is why Jason and Scot are telling Nick it will be bros to the end, no matter how many body-building competitions a woman might win.
People continue to treat Tai, the resident chicken sympathizer, with contempt when it comes to actually playing the game.
People like Scot talk about how Julia is with Scot because Scot saved her at the last tribal Council. Obviously, we don’t hear anything from Julia about what she actually thinks.
Debbie’s alliance-building game – going up to Tai with two other people, confronting him with “we want to be in an alliance with you” and then saying “we have him” after the obligatory hand-shake – is about as effective as her flirting game – explaining that she is happily married and then making “rrrrrrrrrrrrr” sounds. Debbie complained that very few people were playing aggressively, but given her previous success in sitting back, laying low and gathering intel, maybe she should return to what she does best. Anyway, everyone on the Brains tribe would love to take her to the end, but I expect the Brawns and Beauties have other plans.
Joe continues to be an afterthought. Last episode, he didn’t even have a grisly infection to show off.
Aubry is stuck with no ally and no idol. Philosophically, she seems okay with this, as she compares Survivor to the Oregon trail and that you have to pave your own path. And as she points out, “sometimes you get dysentery and die.” At this point, Aubry may be the only castaway that I like. At least she got the heroic “pull up your socks and keep going” speech at the end of the episode, which should mean she stays around for more than one episode.
Next time on Survivor, the preview says "the Brains are on the outs" but the episode title is "The Jocks vs. the Pretty People." Also, irritated Cydney threatens to “blow the whole game up.”