Thursday, 28 February 2013

Survivor Caramoan: Week 3 Power Rankings

Though it was another interesting episode, I think it didn't reveal a great deal of new information about either tribe. Rather, I feel it reassured things we sort of already knew, such as, Shamar doesn't get along with anybody, Malcolm and Corinne are tight, and Reynold is a vain douche. Some of the highlights and new developments would be Malcolm finding the idol and Andrea trying to replace Corinne with Brandon in their alliance, but other than this, not too much has changed.

GIF of the week:

Line of the week: "It's not normal for me to be surrounded by all these beautiful women who half the time are just wearing their underwear. That's some sort of Freudian picnic I think", John Cochran.

Player of the week: No one really. I suppose I could give it Malcolm for finding the idol.

High Jumps of the week: Brandon Hantz (+3), Dawn Meehan (+2)

Free Falls of the week: Matt Bischoff (-2), Corrinne Kaplan (-2)

18. Hope Driskill (Last Week: 17th)

As soon as the fans lost that immunity challenge, you had to know things weren't looking good for Hope after the last vote. The only things that could truly save her was Shamar proving to be completely unbearable. While Shamar did his absolute best to make that dream a reality, it just wasn't enough for anyone to want to join the cool kids.

17. Shamar Thomas (Last Week: 16th)

I think you could argue Shamar is the worst social player this show’s ever seen. I've never seen someone on this show so aggressive, antagonistic, impatient, and just plain rude. I suspect a tribe switch or a twist of some sort is coming soon, but if this particular group of fans loses immunity again, it’ll be very hard for Sherri to keep Shamar in the game, because of Reynold and Eddie’s challenge prowess. I think the only way Sherri could keep Shamar around would be to target Laura, but I still don’t see it working. I can’t help but feel that Survivor’s psychologists must be getting more lenient. Shamar touched on some issues he’d been struggling with when he returned from Iraq, but I think it’s very clear he’s still dealing with them. He simply doesn't know how to communicate with people or how to control his temper. And personally, I don’t think Brandon should ever have been brought back, considering how he responded to the game the first time. Brandon was a complete roller coaster the first time and he really struggled with the game, despite spending his entire time in a rather cushy alliance. If he struggled mentally and emotionally as much as he did in South Pacific, how do you think he’s going to respond when you bring him back with a whole bunch of returnees who are ready to play hard?

16. Brenda Lowe (Last Week: 15th)

I have no idea where Brenda’s head is at. Since voting on the wrong side of the numbers the first time round, we’ve practically heard nothing from her. Weave certainly seen her plenty but we haven’t heard a peep out her. Zero confessionals in these last two episodes, I believe. I predicted in my pre-season analysis that no one would want to work with Brenda because of her reputation as a schemer, and I believe this has turned out to be the case. However, I absolutely could be completely wrong since she’s been a complete enigma these past two episodes.

15. Brandon Hantz (Last Week: 18th)

Brandon’s stock has definitely gone up this week. Firstly, he had a strong performance in this week’s immunity challenge, Secondly, Andrea and Cochran decided to bring him a little more into the fold and have begun trying to induct him into Stealth R US. If he can keep quiet and not make waves for a while, Brandon may stay around for quite a while.

14. Eddie Fox (Last Week: 13th)

The clock’s ticking for Eddie. He has to hope Shamar stays volatile and unbearable, because if they don’t get rid of him, Eddie is the most likely player to go next for two reasons. Firstly, because he’s slightly less useful in challenges that Reynold and secondly, he doesn’t have an idol.

13. Erik Reichenbach (Last Week: 14th)

Erik is very much in the same boat as Brenda. Received no edit and was in the wrong side of the numbers. The reason I have him above her on my rankings is because of his strength in challenges and his more appealing reputation.

12. Reynold Toepfer (Last Week: 12th)

A man with an idol in his pocket should not be this low in my power rankings, but I feel Reynold has made a number of questionable decisions, most of which seem to come from a lack of patience and his outspoken personality. After Reynold returned from tribal council, he gave his tribe a speech reminiscent of Ozzy, where he told the majority alliance he’s not their friend but they better not get rid of him because he’s so valuable. It was completely unnecessary to tell anyone they better not get rid of him because he's good in challenges, they clearly already know this. When the tribe lost the immunity challenge, he again felt the need to approach Shamar. He’s clearly not going to get along with Shamar, and bickering with him in front of the entire tribe is not an effective way to target someone. He should be approaching people individually and employing a little bit of subtlety. However, Reynold really doesn't seem to be a very subtle guy.

11. Andrea Bhoelke (Last Week: 10th)

I think Andrea made a big mistake in targeting Corinne this early. She at least should have waited a while longer. The favorites weren't going to tribal council, there was no reason for her to be in such a hurry to rock the boat. And then she went ahead and told Brandon about her plan which I thought was just terrible. You never trust Brandon with information, the man has no filter. When Andrea first played in Redemption, she was viewed as another one of Boston Rob’s “Sheep” and it appears this is affecting her game this time. She’s trying too hard to shake that reputation and all it’s doing is putting her at risk. She nearly got voted out first after playing a little too hard right out the gates, and she clearly didn't learn from that mistake. This was not the time for Andrea to try make a move.

10. Julia Landauer (Last Week: 11th)

We saw very little from Julia this week, but still more than the past two episodes. I think we can expect Julia to be getting the Purple Kelly/Rick/Whitney/Carter edit this season. The only thing we've learnt about Julia is that she isn't exactly best friends with Shamar, she’s in the majority, and Laura believes they’re tight.

9. Phillip Shepard (Last Week: 9th)

We didn’t learn much about Phillip this week, other than that he has moves like Magic and Bird. He’s still just being the same goof ball out there.

8. Laura Alexander (Last Week: 9th)

Laura seems to be one of those people who never has her head out of the game. For many players, this can be a bad thing because it leaves them short sighted and disconnected from their tribemates. Some notable examples would be Eliza Orlins, from Vanuatu and Micronesia, Jamie Newton from Guatemala, Terry Deitz from Exile Island, and Peih-Gee Law from China. Laura however doesn't seem to suffer from this because she’s very perceptive and observant. Also after the majority alliance found out Shamar blabbed to Hope, there was a fear she would vote for Eddie and ruin their plan. I believe Laura was misleading Reynold into aiming their three votes for Shamar so Hope wouldn't save herself and vote Eddie. I believe this because we never saw Laura discussing this possibility with Julia and this would be a logical scene to use as it would help make the vote less predictable. Furthermore, in Rob Cesternino's exit interview with Hope, she says she believes this was Laura's intention. (Interview can be found here)
7. Sherri Beithman (Last Week: 7th)

If the fans have to go to tribal council again, things are going to get interesting for Sherri, because it will be the first time she’ll have to vigorously campaign for Shamar. Personally, I think it would be in her best interest to get rid of him and try rebuild tribe unity with Reynold and Eddie. In the last Fans versus Favorites  we saw the fans floundering, scrambling, and then ultimately turning on one another. This is why the favorites dominated in Micronesia. Sherri and the other leaders of this tribe need to be encouraging an “us versus them” mentality in the hope of creating greater unity among the fans. Rule 1 of Survivor, There's strength in numbers. The fans simply have to have all their numbers unified going into the merge if any of them want a chance at winning.

6. Matt Bischoff (Last Week: 4th)

We didn't see much of Matt this week, other than a couple fights with Shamar but that certainly isn't rare. Matt hasn't really done anything wrong for me to put him down two spots, it’s more that after reassessing, I've changed my opinion on the relationship of Michael and Matt. Matt was coming across as the leader of their relationship, but I now think this is more just a result of him being a little more vocal and outspoken.

5. Michael Snow (Last Week: 6th)

Michael seems to be the only person other than Sherri that’s not getting the Shamar smackdown. This can be attributed to his ability to take a step back and absorb the situation, rather than dominate it like Reynold or Shamar. Many people don’t realise how well versed Michael is to play this game. He’s a real fan with knowledge of the show, He’s physically strong enough to keep around but not too strong that he presents as a threat, he has a career in Public Relations in New York, the most social city in the world, and he grew up on a farm, increasing his value around camp. Some people may disagree with me, but I think being a gay man can really help you in this game. Yes, it can alienate you from the other men, in some scenarios but it almost always brings you closer with the women. The women are almost always more trusting of a gay man, for no good reason. Look at how Todd Herzog used it to his advantage. In the early stage of the game, all the women were very trusting of him very quickly, even though he gave them no reason to trust him.

4. Corinne Kaplan (Last Week: 2nd)

Things are suddenly looking a lot worse for Corinne, thanks to Andrea. I really don’t know why Andrea feels threatened by Corinne. In Gabon, Corinne proved to be incredibly loyal and in the end was far too willing to go down on a sinking ship. You could see her being close to Malcolm as being an advantage since he has the idol, but I really don’t see him giving it to her, and frankly, he probably shouldn't.

3. Dawn Meehan (Last Week: 5th)

This possible shake up of Stealth R US would be in Dawn’s favour I believe because she obviously has a better read and a better relationship with Brandon, the person she’s played with before, than with Corinne. As long as Dawn can hold strong, there’s no apparent reason for her to go home for a long time.

2. Malcolm Freberg (Last Week: 3rd)

It was a very mixed week for Malcolm. Finding the idol is absolutely huge for Malcolm because he proved last time how good he is with it. In Philippines he used this constant threat of his idol so well that in the end, he never even had to use it. On the flip side, His closest ally in Corinne got targeted, and may see a premature elimination. I doubt we’ll see her go any time soon, but nonetheless, it’s never good to be targeted.

1. John Cochran (Last Week: 1st)

I think replacing Corinne with Brandon in the Stealth R US alliance would hugely benefit Cochran. Both Dawn and Brandon are very close with Cochran yet they are not particularly close with each other, thus putting Cochran in a great position of power. Phillip, Andrea, and Corinne all also seem to be very close with Cochran and ultimately trust him for some bizarre reason. Cochran is one of the most memorable flippers in Survivor history, yet Malcolm seems to be the only person who remembers this. If Cochran can continue to ostensibly be a goofy self-deprecating clown on the surface while quietly analyzing from his brilliant rock throne, he should be able to go very far.

Written by Robert Milner

Credit: CBS

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