Survivor: Kaoh Rong - Power Rankings
By Ben Willoughby
May 17, 2016
Previously on Survivor, I skipped watching because I had better things to do than watch an episode focused on Joe’s constipation. And so we had our third medical evacuation of the season, and none of the back-stabbing that usually comes with the move to a final four.
With only the finale to come, are we going to see one elimination, or two? We haven’t had a two-person final Tribal Council since Season 28, the first Brains vs Brawn vs Beauty season, so you could say we're due.
Here are the power rankings going into the season finale:
Aubry hasn’t been a great player of the game (like Sandra, Parvati or Boston Rob), or even a great student (like Cochran), but she has played the most solid game this season and is the one to beat. She’s the go-to person to talk strategy with, she hasn’t offended anyone and she has two final Tribal Council votes – Joe and Neal – in the bag. Her main weaknesses are not coping well with pressure – how many freak-outs has she had this season, and will be have another one in front of the jury? – and the fact that everyone left in the game has to see her as the front-runner.
Cydney has played a canny game by surviving the internal struggles at Brawn, keeping her head down when Scot and Jason wanted to run things, and then flipping on them when it became obvious that they wanted to work with Tai over her. She has always had a good idea of where she stood in the game, and how she could use that in shaping the situation to her best advantage. However, I don’t think her relationships in the game are as strong as they should be for her to win – Jason/Kyle and Scot took her flip very personally at the time, and she doesn’t have any other former allies on the bench.
No one can accuse Tai of not having played the game – he has made it to the final four by betraying every alliance he’s ever been in. Unfortunately for Tai, I don’t see people on the jury seeing Tai’s decisions being particularly strategic or cut-throat, which would be at odds with his “love every living thing” life philosophy. Instead, they see Tai as being indecisive and easily manipulated by others. Tai is this season’s “most likely to be eviscerated at Tribal Council”.
Michele has reached the Final Four by not offending anyone, but it’s hard to point to a single thing she has done to deserve a vote at the final Tribal Council. She has two allies on the jury bench – Nick and Julia – but that may not help her much, because she voted both of them out of the game. It’s going to be very hard for her to talk about why she deserves to be the sole survivor, and I think Michelle’s only path to victory is to hope for a final two and go up against Tai.
Those are the power rankings for the finale of what has been a fairly middling season. On the positive side, we’ve seen a lot of active gameplay from people who are committed to playing the game, which means shifting alliances and unpredictability – exactly what I want from a season of Survivor. However, there were few interesting contestants this season, and the location tried to kill as many of them as possible. The number of medical evacuations not only made for more downer episodes than usual, they also robbed the show of suspense at the crucial post-merge and final five votes. Obviously some of those factors can't be helped but please do better next time, Survivor.
Anyway, you've stuck with the season this long, so you may as well watch the finale and the reunion special tonight and then come back here later for Jim’s recap.