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 4 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 and I both had Shamar in spot seventeen. Michael had Laura in twelve, while I had her in spot thirteen. So, Michael gets 29 total points, and I get 30. That brings our current score to Team Skupin: 50, Team Lighting Punch: 66.
Before we kick off this week’s rankings, let’s check in with our competitors…
Michael Skupin: Two challenges are back!
Gordon Holmes: Oh, I knew that would make you happy. What’d you think of last week’s episode?
Skupin: The fans are still wearing shoes for every water challenge…what a disadvantage…think competing in soggy, heavy, squishy sneakers. And we got a celebrity appearance from a man named after women’s floatation devices, “TaTa” and he certainly lived up to his name. I was as interested in his shelter building as I was his island chef routine. The fans “sans tarp” sure could have used him. And for the recond, I loved the “local flavor” of this twist!
Holmes: Any parting words for Shamar?
Skupin: There’s so much irony in a man that did two tours in Iraq (90+% sand) and one grain of sand takes him out of this game. I’m sure the pain was intense, but enduring pain on “Survivor” is part of it. As a soldier, you have ALL my respect and admiration forever no questions asked, as a Survivor…you never quite got it. I’ll miss you out there.
Holmes: And for Laura?
Skupin: A gutsy, semi-strategical game we saw out there. You were potentially a couple of sessions through P90X short of making the merge.
Holmes: Do you think Gota can turn this thing around?
Skupin: Although it appears the fans have a decimated tribe (which is partially true), it may have actually been strengthened. Although a beast, what role would Shamar have played in the immunity challenge? They remind me a bit of Matsing (blue tribe from “Survivor: Philippines”) when they were down to three pretty powerful athletes, Malcolm, Denise, and Russell Swan, but ended up one rice pot short of a victory.
Michael’s Current Score: 50
Any advice for Michael? Drop him a line on Twitter: @mikeskupin
Gordon’s Current Score: 66
Any advice for Gordon? Drop him a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes
| 1. Brenda: Stays at number one. We didn’t see much of the favorites…Tata got all their airtime and was certainly more interesting. A challenge beast again, this chica came to play.
||1. Malcolm: Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that this Wednesday’s episode will be forever known as “The One Where Brandon Freaks Out.” I’m assuming it’ll also be a perfect example of why Malcolm is so dangerous in the game of “Survivor.” Namely, the dude knows when to duck into the background and let other people fight. When Russell Swan was losing it, Malcolm was quiet. When Tandang was imploding, Malcolm was quiet. I expect to hear next to nothing from Malcolm this week.|
| 2. Malcolm: After living in Malaysia for 18 months and often catching his own dinner to make ends meet, he likely was the most entertained by Tata. Even with two challenges, nothing happened to make the favorites change any of their positions, although they didn’t put Malcolm in charge of the carnival games for the first time.
|| 2. Cochran: It’s hard to write about any member of Bikal this week without tying it into the impending meltdown. So, instead of going into how I think everyone should fade into the scenery, I’ll give odds on how that person set Brandon off… Odds – 30 to 1: Cochran asks for his “South Pacific” sweater vest back and Brandon is overcome with grief because he left it in Samoa.
|3. Dawn: She may have taken a vacation in this episode…maybe “mom” was out shopping or at the mall.||3. Dawn: Odds – 1000 to 1: Brandon has had it with Dawn’s constant cursing and spitting around camp and finally gives her a piece of his mind.|
| 4. Cochran: Although the red hue in his arms appears painful, understand pain is a part of the game. If Cochran ever says he was going “deer” hunting for food, we now know he’s more than likely “dear” hunting. I’m voting him most likely to be blindsided by Victoria’s Secret (she’s in this season … right?)
||4. Erik: Odds – 50 to 1: Erik proposes starting up a “Guys Who Foolishly Gave Away Their Immunity Idols Right Before Being Voted Out” support group. Brandon doesn’t react well to this idea.|
| 5. Michael: They haven’t shown any real relationship or alliance with Sherri but I see one brewing here. He moved up in the rankings because it appears he’s beginning to follow the power in his tribe. If the Michael/Matt alliance explodes, I’m afraid “The Beard” will be seen as the bigger threat and rightfully so. His “we’re not winning with you guys” rant regarding Reynold and Eddie was spot on.
|| 5. Michael: Michael and Matt are two peas in a pod. They’re running the show over at Gota. However, Michael is doing a slightly better job, because it doesn’t come off like he’s controlling the game as much as Matt is.
| 6. Sherri: The best expression at Tribal Council since Eliza Orlins! She lost a few spots based on her “yes, I said that,” uncharacteristic of her level-headed play thus far. She’s still in a strong position and her name is not coming up during the many Tribal Council conversations swirling around the Gota tribe since they’ve gone three straight times.
|| 6. Matt: Basically what I said about Michael, but a little less subtle. And, the reason I’m pushing this point is it looks like Gota is going to hit the merge down numbers. When that happens, you don’t want to be the guy people are viewing as the leader. He’d be better off letting the remnants of Gota pitch ideas rather than coming up with them by himself.
| 7. Matt: We’re way underestimating this guy I put as 19th in the Power Rankings week one. He steadily moves up the charts. Matt’s methods are working great and I believe he literally has an alliance with everyone on his tribe. He’s underestimated physically and has this calm…“It’s all good” non-threatening way.
||7. Sherri: Alright Sherri, you’ve got some reorganizing to do. You lost your Phillip and your Natalie in a two-day period. That’s no good. I’m not too worried about you though. You should make it to the merge easily, and then have some room to maneuver while the alpha-types battle it out.|
| 8. Phillip: The first seven minutes of the episode were all Phillip and his antics. If corporations and coconuts have anything to do with success, we’re seeing the next Zuckerberg. There’s so much other drama from what should be a drama-free, winning, eating, Tata-loving tribe…he’s beginning to fall under the radar. Although it appears he’s scorning the most strategic player out there, Andrea.
|| 8. Andrea: Odds – 25 to 1: Brandon is mad that Andrea took him down last week with a side headlock takedown. However, Andrea refuses to give him a rematch.
| 9. Andrea: She’s been scrambling it seems since day one out there but there are few more capable. She’s good in challenges and strategically I think she’s safe. She’s a farmer out there as she is constantly planting seeds and watching what blooms.
||9. Corinne: Odds – 2 to 1: Brandon loses his cool when Corinne calls him “An unemployed, uneducated leech on society, and the only thing I’d vote to give you is a handful of anti-depressants so that no one else has to be subjected to your constant crying anymore.”|
| 10. Eddie: He appears to be less of a threat, yet less of a challenge beast than Reynold. He’s been on the wrong side of every vote thus far. If he could start playing both sides, he could possibly save himself if he makes it to the merge and create an entirely new game for himself.
|| 10. Brenda: Odds – 10 to 1: Brenda’s…um…attractive physique…accidentally sparks some kind of Mikayla flashback.
| 11. Julia: Although she was outted at Tribal Council as being the strongest female, and although strategically she doesn’t appear to be playing a strong game or in a good position, I think she’s safe for now. She’s not this low in the ranking based on her safety in the game but based on her “power” in the game to change it. Step on the gas, race-car driver!
|| 11. Phillip: Odds – EVEN: Phillip’s crazy mixes with Brandon’s crazy and they have a bit of a crazy showdown.
| 12. Corinne: I had so much hope for you out there this time. The shift in your game play was awesome until you got over-charmed by Malcolm as so many have. Instead of joining a two-person alliance, and being a three-headed force, you joined the new guy out there who is scrambling to find his place out there.
|| 12. Eddie: You and Reynold are kind of a matched pair at this point, but you might want to distance yourself from him. Reynold seems to be rubbing everyone the wrong way, but people seem to really like you. Maybe you, Julia, Sherri, Matt, and Michael can hold numbers until the merge.
| 13. Reynold: Goodbye, “Not-so Hidden Immunity Idol.” Goodbye, chance of making the merge. The only reason you’ll live to see another day is you finding a way to beat the favorites in the immunity challenge. Sadly, your time left out there may be as short as your shorts. I really wish you understood this game, you’re a heck of a competitor. And one lesson you need to learn…people lie on “Survivor.” Even my day-one alliance and good friend Lisa Whelchel learned that eventually.
|| 13. Julia: If Gota loses again, they’re in deep trouble. As in, Pagonging-on-the-on-deck-circle kind of trouble. (How’s that for a mixed metaphor?!) Anywho, Sherri’s proven that she’s in well enough to avoid the “We need to get rid of challenge liabilities” hammer. And while Julia may be better in challenges, Matt and Michael are the ones calling the shots and they saved Eddie and Reynold last week.
| 14. Erik: He seems a little in over his head this season. He may be the most athletically gifted in challenges but mentally and emotionally I think he’s still playing the “what if” game from his last time out there.
|| 14. Reynold: C’mon, Reynold. You need to win friends and influence people. Instead you’re telling everyone how you don’t trust them. Matt and Michael appreciate that they need you if they’re going to get to merge in decent shape. Play nice and act like you want to align with them even if you don’t.
|15. Brandon: Although I loved his challenge beast-ness, Brandon may have too much pride for this game. Pride may be a softer word than ego in this case. All Hantzs have a lot of fight and a lot of passion in them. Russell strategically channeled his fight. Brandon sadly doesn’t have that skill set yet. He’s definitely entertaining. Team dynamics are as big as alliances this early in the game. Brandon’s doesn’t appear to be playing a “team game.”|| 15. Brandon: Are you shocked that Brandon is going to freak out? I’m not. Other members of the press who interviewed him before the game started aren’t shocked either. The guy just doesn’t respond well to the pressure of “Survivor.”