Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Michael Skupin. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.
The Rules: Each week Michael and Gordon will create separate Power Rankings. The ranking of the person who is voted out of the next episode will determine the number of points the two players will earn. For example, if Cochran is voted out this week, Michael will receive 5 points and Gordon will receive 2 points. The person with the most points at the end of the season will be crowned the ‘Survivor: Caramoan’ Power Rankings champion!
Last Week: Michael had Hope in spot thirteen, Gordon had her in spot seventeen. That brings our current score to Team Skupin: 21, Team Lighting Punch: 36
Before we kick off this week’s rankings, let’s check in with our competitors…
Gordon Holmes: We were definitely treated to “The Gota Show” last week.
Michael Skupin: Back to one challenge for the second week in a row, how Season 25 of them :(. We were spared Phillip’s nickname game, we were “treated” to his new island workout routine. I’m not confident we’ll begin seeing “buns of steel” developing out there as energy conservation will become a necessity shortly.
Holmes: Any parting words of advice for lovely Hope?
Skupin: Goodbye, Hope. Is it fair to say now that the CKLTA (Cool Kids Lunch Table Alliance) is now as extinct as minty fresh breath out there? Shamar served you up your seven-figure safety net but you said you wanted to play the game with integrity…yet you participated in trying to blindside Shamar in week one. Note to fans: there’s no honor in honor on “Survivor,” especially when on day one, you’ve already dishonored your honor. I applaud your attempt to stay in the game by throwing Shamar under the bus…you went out fighting!
Skupin: Why are so many so afraid to make big moves in this game? Fear is an amazing motivator.
Holmes: It’s that. Some people aren’t that strategic. Some people can’t see past the next few rounds.
Holmes: We can’t talk about last week’s episode without talking about Shamar.
Skupin: I realize there’s a “get rid of Shamar” fan club out there but remember the game he’s playing. Weakening your tribe this early is strategically questionable and keeping Shamar keeps the heat off some other type As out there (Sherri). If Reynold could only see what an easy path he could have to the merge, but like our famous returning player hater Jeff Kent, he’s forgetting that while he’s busy sparring with Shamar, there’s a game going on that he’s missing out on.
Holmes: Looks like this next episode is going to be a wild one.
Skupin: In scenes from our next show, they showed everyone freaking out when the rats arrived in the shelter, and all I can think about is they’re getting served breakfast in bed. What a treat!
|Michael’s Current Score: 21
Any advice for Michael? Drop him a line on Twitter: @mikeskupin
| Gordon’s Current Score: 36
Any advice for Gordon? Drop him a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes
| 1. Brenda: Can’t say enough about how impressed I am with her evolved game. She knew how she would be perceived and she’s so far under the radar, she’s in submarine territory. She definitely is here to win this game. In the challenges, she’s an asset and still found the energy to work out on the beach. Her ability to avoid the drama is extraordinary. Don’t be fooled, she’s playing really hard!
|| 1. Malcolm: Hidden immunity idols are attracted to Malcolm like lovely ladies are attracted to Malcolm. Now, some people may think that finding it with Corinne wasn’t his ideal situation, but Corinne has proven to be very loyal in the past.
| 2. Malcolm: In Russell Hantz-like fashion, Mr. Hidden Immunity Idol finder has success two seasons in a row without a clue (but Malcolm really does have one). Although he was beat by Reynold again in the carnival game portion of the challenge, he’s still a positive factor in the challenges. I’m worried that he said “game-set-match” when he found the idol, isn’t that what he said last time? I hope he realizes it can help you but it certainly guarantees nothing. Spending too much time with his favorite female out there (Corinne) has the other favorites worried now. I’m smelling a blindside at Corrine’s expense if the Favorites lose and Malcolm goes along with it.
|| 2. Cochran: Andrea hatches a plan to do some restructuring within Stealth R Us Too and who does she go to? Our good buddy Cochran. Cochran’s everyone’s BFF. Nobody’s worried about good ol’ Cochran. Which is exactly what he wants. Nothing to see here...
|3. Dawn: We saw a quiet week from Dawn but a strong underwater performance from the 42-year-old mom. No tribe will get rid of her as a challenge weakness. “Survivor’s” favorite mom is in a good place once again.||3. Michael: Man, the Fans are just a mess. Everybody has a reason that someone could target them. Eddie and Reynold are the remnants of the non-dominant alliance. It’s obvious that Sherri is protecting Shamar. Julia has health issues, Laura is a challenge liability, Matt hasn’t been able to stay out of fights. And Shamar is…well…Shamar. Everyone has a target except for Michael. Well played, sir.|
| 4. Sherri: Dropped four spots only because we saw Eddie finally get to her in the scenes from episode four. Her brilliant strategy saw a crack as her type A+ personality is finally let out. Also, Hope was one strategic move away from disrupting all her plans. I love your looks at Tribal Council each week as your plans unfold perfectly and talking Shamar off the “quit” ledge shows you really understand the game.
|| 4. Erik: Brandon, you could learn a lesson from your new buddy Erik. The reason you don’t burn down the shelter when things aren’t going your way is because you never know when things are going to be shaken up. You never know when there’s going to be a tribe swap or when an alliance is going to turn on itself. Sometimes it’s best to wait for some cracks to appear and then make a move. And if all else fails, then you urinate in the rice.
| 5. Cochran: Living his Wednesday night at 8pm may be a first ever reference to CBS by a castaway and this actually being a show. I’m not sure how him being around beautiful girls is a Freudian picnic (I even Googled it) but it was funny nonetheless. He’s still positioned perfectly strategically.
|| 5. Dawn: Alright, Dawn. From here on out you’re like a bottle of baby shampoo…no more tears. Cracks are forming in Stealth R Us Too, but Dawchran seems like they’ll be fine no matter which way the pieces fall. Slow and steady, guys. Slow and steady.
| 6. Michael: They haven’t shown any real relationship or alliance with Sherri but I see one brewing here. He moved up two spots because it appears he’s beginning to follow the power in his tribe.
|| 6. Matt: I’ve got to hand it to the Bearded Wonder, he has a lot more strategic fire than I had anticipated. My only question is; how good is he at hiding it? Eddie and Reynold already know that he can be shifty. It might have been best just to side with Team Sherri without pretending to be with the Cool Kids. However, this is all just nit picking at this point. Matt’s in good shape with his current alliance.
| 7. Andrea: Many have questioned the strategic logic of her going to Brandon with her plan but it’s a proven “Survivor” method; go the person on the bottom of another alliance to gain traction. She’s also made sure that the budding showmance of Malcolm/Corinne has been noted by all. She’s playing this game as hard as anyone strategically. The reason she’s not ranked higher is too many people know how hard she’s playing and I haven’t forgotten all those votes in episode one.
||7. Sherri: A lot of people think Sherri is playing a perfect game over on Gota beach, but the world’s hottest Cardinals fan Hope said that everyone knows that Sherri is protecting Shamar. That’s not good. In the same way showmance couples are quickly disposed of, the new trend could be to get rid of any Boston Rob/Phillip dynamics.|
| 8. Corinne: She dropped a few spots because she’s broadcasting her alliance with Malcolm in front of very strategic players, yet has the distinct disadvantage in that pair of having her game seen before. If one of them has to go, it’ll be her first. She believes Malcolm would share the idol if she was in trouble but we all saw that Malcolm had two idols last season and wouldn’t give one to Denise, which cost him the seven-figure payout. I’m not sure a two-person alliance with the newbie on the Favorite’s team is her best game play.
|| 8. Phillip: I’m interested to see how he feels about Andrea going into business for herself with that little recruiting mission. Phillip has made it clear that Brandon isn’t worthy of a slick nickname and a stylin’ red Power Rankings graphic just yet.
| 9. Matt: Matt dropped three spots as he again decided to pick a fight after Tribal Council with Shamar. Aside from his verbal head-butting with Shamar, he’s playing a pretty solid game. Picking a fight with Shamar is a strategic blunder. Shamar may not understand the game the best, but he’s smart enough to expose parts of your game the others may not see.
||9. Andrea: Is Andrea playing the game too hard, too early? Time will tell. I’ll give her this though; there isn’t a duo I’d rather take to the final three than Phillip and Brandon. However, keeping those two in line is probably harder than pushing smoke into a Coke bottle with a baseball bat. (Special thanks to Dr. Peter Venkman for that analogy.)|
|10. Erik: The only thing we saw on Erik was his rear end during the challenge and there was only one of them. It appears his alliance with Brandon and Brenda won’t stay a threesome in the long haul. His best bet is to stay buddied up with Brenda and let Phillip continue to think he’s the CEO of coconut land.|| 10. Corinne: Buh. I hate to see a target on your back for something as innocent as buddying up with Malcolm. But, that’s the game we’re playing these days. Anything that looks like a showmance or an over-aggressive strategy is going to raise eyebrows. That, or maybe Andrea doesn’t like that you’re not acting like a pain-in-the-ass like everyone was probably expecting.
| 11. Phillip: I doubt Phillip’s coconut bench-pressing work-out will ever make it to retail and if getting “all-air” (which means missing the basket completely) is now a good thing in basketball…I’m watching the wrong channels (or was the all-air comment about his nicknames and corporation?) …And this has what to do with “Survivor”? Unfortunately, this is what we’re subjected to when there’s only one challenge. Don’t get me wrong, I find Phillip entertaining; I just want my Wednesday nights at 8pm to be filled with “Survivor.”
|| 11. Eddie: I’m pretty sure you and Reynold are safe. At this point there is no way Gota can afford to lose any challenge strength.
| 12. Laura: I’m still trying to decide if she’s playing a good game or not but I do like the fact that she is playing. After threatening to defect with the Reynold-Eddie-Hope group, she stuck with her original alliance. That would have put her on the bottom of a five-person alliance instead of near the top of a six-person alliance. When she said there was a fun part to Shamar, it leads me to believe there is a fun side to Shamar that we’re not seeing. Her swimming weakness was exposed as a factor and made her a potential liability, but I did chuckle when I saw a person who can’t swim try an advanced stroke like the back-stroke…butterfly would have been a much better option.
|| 12. Reynold: It’s time for you and Eddie to wheel and deal. Promise to play nice with Shamar. Remind them that they’re dead in the water if they go against the Favorites down in the numbers. Then do your best to get to the merge or the tribe shuffle. (C’mon, we all know a tribe shuffle is coming, right?)
| 13. Brandon: Although it sounds like an oxymoron, we actually saw a calm Brandon for an entire episode. Watch out when they lose a challenge and Phillip goes on a rant, I bet we see the Mad Urinator resurface. Although he’s a beast physically in every challenge, his torch will only remain hot if his temper doesn’t.
|| 13. Laura: Laura is playing a very smart game. However, she is a challenge liability on a team that is being beaten badly. The Fans have lost three out of the four challenges and the one they did win was extremely close. If they lose again, loyalty is going to take a backseat to challenge strength.
|14. Eddie: Eddie finally ruffled the feathers of the kingpin or queenpin (Sherri) during the scenes from episode four. His cocky has turned to funny and he’s now less of a threat than his bro-mance (Reynold). We’re potentially seeing a strategic side to him and if he can turn on Reynold quickly, he can make it to the merge and create an entirely new game.|| 14. Brandon: “Survivor” is a funny game. Just when you’re about to unleash a yellow flood of vengeance on those who have wronged you, a blonde angel from America’s Dairyland descends from the heavens on a winged unicorn and offers you a lifeline. Even if that doesn’t pan out, the very fact that Andrea approached you with a deal could be enough to break Stealth R Us Too wide open.
|15. Julia: The burns are healed and we’re seeing the Julia that casting saw emerge slightly… Although strategically, she’s not in a good place, if she can just get to the merge, she may make it to at least mid-game. Fear of a big move may hold her back.|| 15. Julia: Julia is in the same boat as Laura. Julia is probably better at challenges, but she’s had some health issues with her severe sunburn. While she may be over it now, things like that can linger with people who are scrambling and looking for a reason for someone else to go home.
| 16. Eddie: It’s been since season two (“The Australian Outback”) that we saw someone go back for a contestant with sub-par swimming skills (Rodger Bingham and he made it to 5th place.) But, Reynold’s temperament and Shamar-bashing is getting him in hot water. Even the idol isn’t going to save this guy. “Survivor” is a social game and making friends is paramount.
||16. Brenda: Brenda is still this low in the rankings because I’m not convinced that Andrea’s plan to get rid of Corinne was set in stone. If Bikal loses and Brandon hasn’t had his Hantz-brand meltdown, Brenda will stick out as the most strategically threatening member of Stealth Rn’t Us.|
|17. Shamar: I believe the entertainment we’ve enjoyed from Shamar may end soon. It seems no-one but Sherri understands him so it’s gotta be pretty lonely out there. His demands for calories and water have to be 3-4 times that of the rest of his tribe and it’s going to take a toll on him physically and emotionally. Sans fishing kit, the fans are weakening by the minute and when they lose Shamar a Pagonging is in their future. The “no-talk” list will be talked about for seasons to come.|| 17. Shamar: Alright, Shamar. If all of this is an act, if you’re just trying to upset everyone so they’ll quit, then you need to clue us in during a confessional because America is hating you. As far as the game goes, you’re getting to be too much of a liability for Sherri to keep around. Eventually they’re going to have to pull together as a tribe and start winning challenges.