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.
Special Guest Star Alert: Pinch hitting for Gordon Holmes this week is three-time “Survivor” star and Power Rankings favorite Benjamin “Coach” Wade!
The Rules: Each week Michael and Gordon (or his designated pinch hitter) 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 Dawn is voted out this week, Michael will receive 8 points and Gordon’s team will receive 6 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 Matt in spot six while Gordon had him in spot eleven. So, the current score is Team Skupin 71, Team Lightning Punch 92.
Before we kick off this week’s rankings, let’s check in with our competitors…
Gordon Holmes: Mr. Wade. Thanks a ton for pinch hitting this week. What’ve you been up to?
Ben “Coach” Wade: I have a new book out that I wrote called “No Turning Back, the South American Expedition of a Dragon Slayer.” Pass the word because if it sells well then I have a deal to publish the Amazon adventure, and I know that’s what everyone wants to hear.
Holmes: Nice, everybody buy this book.
Holmes: Do you guys have any parting words for our buddy Matt the Beard?
Michael Skupin: So long, Matt… the “as long as it’s not me” strategy may work for a few days but will likely never get you to end game. As Cochran put it, your game of likeability got read as a game that reeked of desperation. As one of the most likable characters out there, I’m saddened to see you leave the game. I misjudged you at first and had you going deep into the game; sans the painted-egg twist, you just may have. I could almost hear a groan across the country when your torch was snuffed for the last time.
Wade: He kept it real. I loved his genuine attitude towards the game and life, but the tribe swap mucked him up like it does so many. He was playing a great game until then.
Skupin: Once again, a castaway falls greatly due to the fact that in his naivety of playing the game he found comfort after the swap in hanging out with Michael instead of having any real plan. Although most people get into one or more of them, an alliance is the most threatening position to be in. Maybe the t-shirts Michael and Matt should have been wearing is “I’m with him” with the arrow pointing at the other guy.
Holmes: Neither of you guys really had to deal with major tribe swaps. What strategy would you utilize if faced with that twist?
Holmes: Well played. Skup?
Skupin: On S25 Philippines, we were prepared for a swap or merge any day and we knew exactly what we were going to do in the event that happened.
Holmes: That’s very smart. It never hurts to have a plan to cover any possibility. Especially one that’s been done in the past.
Skupin: The “fans” were down in numbers and were so caught off guard by the swap. Tribal swaps are not new to “Survivor” and seem to be becoming more commonplace as we’ve now seen a trifecta of them on the last three seasons. If I was on the power-side of the swap (Bikal) as it appeared I was on S25 Philippines, it’s critical not to play your hand too early. It was there that I began my stalk of Malcolm but ever so slightly because we were winning; there was no reason to cement anything until the merge. If I was on the losing side (Gota), I’d become the hardest worker around camp, become necessary in challenges, and wouldn’t start any wars.
Holmes: Alright, you gentlemen have both played with some of the current castaways. What are your mid-season grades for them?
Wade: Dawn and Cochran both get a B+. Cochran’s weakness coming into the game was his physical strength and awkward sallies towards other contestants. He seems to have strengthened both. Dawn’s weakness was her emotional discharge every other day. She is stronger and more focused.
Skupin: My mid-season grade for fellow castaway, turned tribemate then alliance Malcolm is also a B+. He is smart and so likable and has done so many things right. I’m just afraid the physical and emotional toll of back-to-back seasons could certainly cloud his judgment.
Holmes: Excellent, a round of B pluses. Sounds like they’re all doing well with some room for improvement.
Skupin: Because the newly swapped Bikal team is at such a disadvantage both physically and mentally (puzzles, strategies, etc.), I’m predicting that Gota will not lose another challenge. So my Power Rankings will reflect all Bikal members at the bottom, not necessarily based on their gameplay or strategy thus far but based on the fact that they will be the only ones to meet Probst at the now infamous torch-snuffing ceremony.
Holmes: Risk taker, I like it. Alright gentlemen, you know the rules…
|Michael’s Current Score: 71
Any advice for Michael? Drop him a line on Twitter: @mikeskupin
|Team Lightning Punch’s Current Score: 92
Any advice for Coach? Drop him a line on Twitter: @the_real_coach
| 1. Brenda: If Brenda was at the Wonka Factory, she’d go down the “good” egg chute. Her mistake-free game continues.
||1. Cochran: A smooth operator who is leading his tribe through meditation and DS rules.|
| 2. Malcolm: Malcolm joins Reynold out there as the man with a bulge and it appears the bulging brothers are forming an alliance that may be the end of the game for both of them. Signs of Malcolm being out in the Philippines for way too long are appearing as he confessed on national TV his expertise at lying to women. As the runner up for fan favorite last season, I’m betting he lost a few female votes with that comment.
|| 2. Reynold: Idol after idol he has found, days in the game for him abound.
|3. Andrea: Andrea drew the right colored egg last week. Her “dream” that Malcolm had the idol may actually have been strategy as I believe she has seen Malcolm’s bulging wrist and she may have been offering him a chance to “fess up.”|| 3. Malcolm: Not taking the lead in the game might decrease his female popularity fame.
| 4. Erik: We are left to guess at what your game is out there while it doesn’t appear you’re doing much. At this point you don’t really have to and your relationship with Brenda and Andrea only gets stronger.
||4. Andrea: Much more aware of the game this time, you are becoming a player in some people’s minds.|
| 5. Sherri: I’m surprised there seemed to be no strategy whatsoever in Sherri “spilling the beans” to what could end up as the “Victoria’s Secret Alliance” of Sherri, Brenda, and Andrea. I still believe she has game left in her and fortunately for her, Reynold and Eddie will likely “used-car salesman” themselves out of what appears to be a second chance for them.
|| 5. Phillip: Much to the audience chagrin, Phillip is here this time to win.
| 6. Eddie: Good thing you’re on the “good-looking tribe,” Eddie! That matters so much out there. I think Eddie needs to make a break from Reynold and form other bonds as well. Putting all your eggs in one basket only works once out there.
|| 6. Dawn: Middle of the road most of the time, once the merge hits I think she will then shine.
| 7. Reynold: Teaming up with Malcolm was a smart move, but be very careful, you may be shocked that he lies to men too! You’ll be a force in individual immunity challenges, so fortunately you’ll have no problem making it to the merge. Drawing an orange egg is eggs-actly what your game needed to give you hope but it seems like you’re forgetting that the “favorites” have played this game before.
||7. Brenda: Quiet and shy her heart must be elsewhere, hang in there though there’s much more to bear.|
| 8. Dawn: She better pay her dues into Stealth-R-Us as her only hope of making the merge now is winning and Phillip not Hantz’ing.*
*Hantz’ing is now an accepted reality-TV term describing extremely erratic behavior.
| 8. Eddie: I think he’ll be first to go once the tribes merge, better scramble fast when you have the urge.
| 9. Cochran: His under-the-radar game may have to shift a bit as it looks like he’s going to become a regular at Tribal Council much sooner than he anticipated. Since winning could be a long shot, he has to adjust his game. Fortunately, he’s smart enough. Funny, Tarzan from S24 One World said the game is afoot, Cochran chose the game is anew…since when did a knowledge of Shakespeare become a prerequisite for island living?
||9. Sherri: Tried to exude too much control, now your power is slipping your ship is near the shoal.|
| 10. Phillip: I’m in the minority but when you’re on the down tribe, making new alliances and securing flippers is critical. A+ Phillip! Your bullies-R-us strategy is great for early and mid-game but will fall on rocky soil come the merge and end game…if you make it that far. Phillip’s name problems continue. It began with “Franchesqua,” continued with “Aun-dreah” and now he refers to Julia as “the girl.”
|| 10. Michael: Once strong and smart the swap has you on the run, but you are astute beyond the game and a ton of fun.
| 11. Michael: His biggest mistake was the same as Matt’s, he was just less believable in regards to the Hidden-Immunity-Idol lie which the answer should always be the same unless your name is Abi, Reynold, Peter, and Penner. You seemed to be the only fan with a strategy! Last week you described camp-life as a “long strand of hell”…you have no idea my brother, things just got worse.
|| 11. Julia: Riding coattails will only get you so far, time to pick things up if you want to rise above par.
| 12. Julia: Julia barely escaped elimination…fortunately for her, she didn’t have an alliance and didn’t seem as much of a threat as Matt did. As odd as it appears, not having an alliance and not really playing hard is an advantage to her now as her torch will stay lit for another three days, and although we haven’t seen it yet, for whatever it’s worth, Phillip thinks you are “extra-ordinary.”
|| 12. Erik: A challenge warrior you may be, your head needs to be more game savvy.
| 13. Corinne: I think you picked a fight with the wrong favorite (Phillip), and it may cost you a spot. Your support of Michael will likely be seen as flipping and a new trust issue has been born.
|| 13. Corinne: Although the B word comes to mind, look for an idol for hope to find.