Quick Note: Be sure to stick around for the final days of “Survivor: Caramoan” as we’ll have full episode recaps, interviews with the contestants, and more. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.
The Rules: Each week Michael and Gordon’s team 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 Brenda is voted out this week, Michael will receive 5 points and Gordon’s team will receive 3 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 Reynold in eighth place and Andrea in sixth place for fourteen points. I had Reynold in eighth and Andrea in third for eleven points So, the current score is Team Skupin 136, Team Lightning Punch 150.
This Week: In honor of the upcoming family-visit episode of “Survivor,” we’ve invited Michael Skupin Jr. to step in and show his Dad how it’s done.
Before we kick off this week’s rankings, let’s check in with our competitors…
NOTE: You may remember Michael Skupin Jr. from his appearance during the family visit on “Survivor: Philippines.” He was selected by Malcolm, who had won the challenge, to spend the night on the island with his dad after Michael Sr. urged host Jeff Probst to allow another family member. And as you may recall, he bled just as much as his dad did…it definitely runs in the family.
Michael Skupin Jr.: I thought they voted out Malcolm last week, it seems like we saw more of Malcolm at the two Tribal Councils than any other player?
Michael Skupin: “Survivor” definitely gave the viewers what they wanted this week. Not tough challenges, not inclement weather, not iconic rewards, not drama, not blindsides, not big moves but… Malcolm. Even though he was taken out by the power alliance last week I lost count at 15 cameos on the first Tribal Council and an equal amount at the second, so with 30 camera appearances, he may yet be a factor in this game. At times he appeared to be the only member of the jury when I’m sure there are at least four others there.
Skupin Jr.: When I was out there last season, you were in a final-six scenario. Now that the self-proclaimed winner of the rest of the challenges Reynold and the always strategizing Andrea are at Ponderosa, it’s a final six again and a reminder that the family visit is upon us. I remember how many strategic scenarios we tossed around that day. Do you think it’s still anyone’s game?
Skupin: Final seven is one of the biggest votes of the game. Erik had a chance to make a big move and completely change this game while at the same time earning the respect of the jury. All he had to do was tell Andrea about the alliance’s plan to blindside her, secure Eddie, and they get to send home whomever they want because the power alliance split the votes. Then instead of being at the bottom, he’s at the top now. An epic failure if he’s playing to win.
Skupin Jr.: When I was out there in the Philippines, we won the meal after the reward challenge. Malcolm and Miles, Lisa and Justice, and you and I won all that food. Homeless people look better fed than you guys did at that point in the game, I hardly recognized you. The “loved ones” sacrificed our share and went without because we saw how badly you needed it. I noticed they’ve done three immunity challenges in a row without a reward. That has to be taking a toll on them.
Skupin: Traditionally Survivor’s lose a pound a day out there. They appear to be losing weight faster this season and are desperate enough that over 1/3 of them even quit immunity challenges for hot dogs and donuts (Cochran, Eddie, and Erik). I can’t even imagine what’s going through their heads. On Season 25: Philippines, we had food gatherers; myself, Penner and to a lesser degree Malcolm. On this season, I haven’t seen a fish, a clam, a scallop, a stingray, a crab…etc. As bad off as we were, we supplemented with at least a small amount of protein every day. There are no hunters or gatherers this season and I agree it’s showing.
Skupin Jr.: Dad, with our size-13 feet, I was so glad when one of those balancing, small-foothold challenges didn’t show up on your season. As I see it, that virtually took any shot that Reynold or Eddie could have stayed in that game. We’ve talked about this…don’t the smaller people have a significant advantage in those challenges?
Skupin: Definitely…I love the challenge idea but (Challenge Producer) Kirhoffer and Probst have to figure out a better way to even that up for the bigger-footed bros. As I’ve seen it, women have way better balance than men too, so I do like the fact that the females get a bit of an advantage for a change, but just increase the size of the footholds. They go to great lengths to “fair” it up on the weight-holding endurance challenges by changing up the weight you have to hold based on your pre-game body weight. I wonder why they don’t do this here also?
Skupin Jr. So long, Andrea. Those pretty blue eyes and incredibly strategic play couldn’t finish the big move and it backfired. You snatched the idol that Erik found right out of his hand in one of the most brilliant, quick-thinking moves I’ve ever seen on “Survivor.” Probst seemed to drop a lot of hints as he often does at your Tribal Council, but you seemed so sure you were safe. You claimed if you felt a little paranoid, you’d play it, I can’t imagine feeling that safe at final seven. You were also right when you think you have your ducks in a row, that’s when the big wave comes rolling in. Hindsight sure is a witch. If I ever got the chance to play, I’d take a lot from your game and the way you played.
Skupin: Two great players squared off; Andrea and Cochran, and Andrea lost. She played so hard but made the same mistake Corinne did by getting too close to Michael and the same mistake Matt (Beard) did by getting too close to Michael…hmmmm…trend here? It appears you saw a final three with you, Eddie and Erik or you Erik and Sherri and in all those cases, you had a great shot at the big prize. I believe you made the same mistake many have this season and you underestimated how close Dawn and Cochran are. You join the ranks of Malcolm and James by going home with an idol, good thing you like jewelry!
Skupin Jr.: Adios, Reynold. So much for rattling off five consecutive immunity wins. If only that arrogance translated to challenge wins, your bank account would be bursting. After only one win, it appeared to be a lot of bark and not as much bite. Although I must admit, I love the porn-star mustache (not that I would know what that means) and now you and Malcolm “The Mane” (horse’s mane or ethnic “hey man”) can spend your remaining days lounging at Ponderosa, sipping mimosas, and fighting over who has better hair.
Skupin: BroStache…they had no choice but to get rid of you. I’ve been tough on you this season because your strategy never matched your arrogance but 8th place after being on the wrong end of every vote but one is a feat few have accomplished.
Michael’s Current Score: 136
Any advice for Michael? Drop him a line on Twitter: @mikeskupin
Michael Jr.’s Current Score: 150
Any advice for Michael Jr.? Drop him a line on Twitter: @mls07
| 1. Cochran: If you’re a Harvard nerd, you may be a rich one, and I think mom would still be proud of you. You only lasted 15 minutes into an almost 4-hour challenge but as I saw it, you really didn’t need immunity and the protein from the hotdogs may have been the brain food to take you to the end. Your challenge run may be over but final three is way more enviable. You are one big move from the finish line as everyone sees you as a final-three threat. You’ll be thanking Dawn for her loyalty someday.
|| 1. Cochran: Andrea carefully articulated her big move to Cochran to feel him out and get him to turn on the power alliance possibly one Tribal Council too soon. What does he do? Goes and tells everybody on the island of her plan, essentially sealing her fate. The self-proclaimed “challenge monster” who came in last place on the second challenge, chose hot dogs and Coke over immunity. It appears his streak is over, but entertaining while it lasted. It seems like he has everybody under his control without any of them realizing it. Watch your back, Harvard man, someone may catch on.
| 2. Dawn: They keep underestimating you, that’s no accident. Your sweet motherly way is your biggest asset, people trust you.
|| 2. Dawn: Andrea briefly had Dawn in her sights but Cochran wasn’t having any part of that. Good for you to lock up Cochran as an ally so early. This game appears to really take a toll on you emotionally. Keep that in check and you have a shot!
| 3. Sherri: It’s nothing shy of brilliant how you’ve adapted to this game. I believe you’ll not only be the last fan standing but you still have a shot to win this game.
|| 3. Brenda: Totally turned around Andrea’s plan to blindside her (with a lot of help from Cochran). You being a physical threat is gaining more and more notice as a potential winner of the game. It’s like the ostrich that finally took its head outta that hole and sees the prize.
| 4. Erik: Since when is no strategy, good strategy? It may get you deep into this game but don’t they make you swear that you’re there to win? Good news: You found the IDOL!! Bad news : You let Andrea snatch it out of your hands. The Erik Idol curse lives on. No one has any idea how to play you in this game, keep ‘em guessing. Michigan has two final threes under its belt (myself and Keith Famie from Season Two). I’m hoping you make it a trilogy!
||4. Erik: We waited a long time but you totally dominated Immunity for the first time this season making Michigan proud! You may have come into this game a bit too slender as it appears the lack of food is taking the biggest toll on you. Looks like you’re going to go to great lengths to satisfy your hunger, I hope the cost isn’t too high (coconut tree…pun intended). You could have made a big move by aligning with Andrea and shaking up the game, but you earned yourself another easy three days by sticking with the Cochran Crew. Your opportunities to play both sides are dwindling.|
| 5. Brenda: You’ve taken a brilliant game and destroyed it by being a challenge threat. Although, I think you’ll last another week.
|| 5. Sherri: You’re either going to slide into the final three unnoticed and play to get as far as you can but have no chance of winning or you, Eddie ,and Erik team and one of you wins immunity, one finds immunity, and you play to win. Neither option guarantees you more sunrises on the island.
| 6. Eddie: I thought it was policemen that loved donuts, I guess now I can add firemen. You gave up possibly a chance to win the game for a donut? You may have made it farther than the other two amigos but you lost my respect as a player. And I bet you were at the top of the Phillip hater club when he passed on a challenge, you did the same thing. The smart move may likely be to keep you around for one more vote but with your biggest ally (Andrea) gone, there’s no one left to save you. Go plead your case to Cochran and Dawn if you want any chance of pleading your case to the jury at final three.
|| 6. Eddie: He’s at everyone’s mercy out there. A potential swing vote if there’s a faction, he needs to start playing harder if he wants to survive or the only title he’ll end up with is being the last Bromigo.