Matt Liguori ranks the players each week with a new guest in RHAP’s Survivor Power Rankings. This week Matt is joined by Survivor: Millennials vs. GenX‘s Will Wahl!
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Survivor: Ghost Island Week 2 Power Rankings
Well, it took me by surprise this week to see the tribe swap go from two tribes to… two tribes. I think we all expected to see three new tribes, but I don’t hate what happened here. Way to keep us on our toes, Survivor producers. I was so hoping it would turn into a Survivor: All Stars swap where the entire tribes remained together but switched buff colors, with I guess one player swapping on each tribe (rather than when only Amber swapped into the Mogo Mogo group). But then again, Amber made it through that, so there’s not really a curse to reverse on that one.
Last week’s rankings were pretty messy, eh? I had Morgan at #3, as did Paul. She was looking good! I really had a hard time last week because the first two episodes were just a two-hour Jacob Derwin short-film, and truthfully it’s always hard to predict what will happen in a swap. Just goes to show that when I’m feeling good about a player, the Survivor gods rip them away. Maybe start reading the rankings in reverse order if this keeps up.
I’m very excited about my guest this week. It’s a guy I’ve love getting into the power rankings with every season since I’ve started these, from Survivor: Millennials vs. GenX, the OG 18-year-old on Survivor, Will Wahl! I caught up with Will to get his thoughts on this season so far and on the newest young lad to hit the beach, Michael Yerger. Follow Will (@window2wahl) and myself (@mattliguori) on Twitter, tweet us what you think and leave a comment below!
A question that came up on this week’s episode recap with your fellow Millennial, Zeke Smith: can an 18-year-old win Survivor? Zeke said yes, but what do you think?
I definitely believe an 18 year old can win. I would have never gone out there if I thought it was impossible. However, there are a lot of outside factors that come into play. One of which is the other contestants. Unfortunately, on my season there was a lot of age bias out there and many jury members said they would have never voted for me simply because of my age. This is why Michael may have a better chance than other teenage players, because no one knows his real age and he comes across so much older than he really is.
I have to get your thoughts on our friend Michael Yerger. What do you think of the strategy Michael went into the game with of lying about his age, and can you help us get an idea of what may be going through his head out there?
Michael is thinking about the long term game. First impressions matter, and while being an 18-year-old can be a great advantage in the beginning of the game, it creates a lot of challenges in the later stage of the game. In the beginning, being an 18-year-old makes you an easy person with whom to align. People aren’t threatened by you and see you as an easy person to approach and to work with. However, later in the game, age can become a detriment, where people see you just as a kid rather than a real contender for the million dollars. The way I see it, Michael is banking on the fact that he will be there late in the game and is lying about his age because he doesn’t want the negative stigma affecting the jury.
Finally, what are your thoughts about this season so far? What do you think of Ghost Island as a theme, and how are you feeling about this cast? Anybody standing out as a favorite of yours from an entertainment and/or a gameplay perspective?
During the preseason, I honestly didn’t know what to think. I thought the cast had potential, but I did not have any stand out favorites. However, I have been more than pleasantly surprised by the first few episodes. This past episode particularly showed a lot of strong game players and big personalities that are shaping this season into something spectacular. Stephanie is absolutely one of my favorites from both a strategic and entertainment perspective. I am also a big fan of James strategically and Dominick is very entertaining.
Quite the move you pulled off there! James returns to the top spot after making (I would say) the best move he could’ve made. Chris and Angela are now on one side, Dom and Wendell on the other, and the four old Malolos now calling the shots. Well done. Ghost Island could mess things up if those duos find a way to come together while one of the Malolo four is exiled, but it doesn’t seem likely.
Preseason I really wanted to see James do well. After his poor performance in the second immunity challenge, I was really nervous about James’ chances. This episode was the redemption story I was waiting for. James dominated the strategy at new Naviti. As it stands now James seems to be in control, however, it will be very interesting to see the after-Tribal confessionals next episode. Will James shift the blame? Will he be seen as a threat? The answers to these questions will determine whether or not James will remain on top.
I really like the spot Michael is in. Yes I know he is in the minority, yes I know I’m biased as a former 18-year-old player. But Michael not only found an idol but also seems to have a solid social game. If Michael is able to make it to the merge he will become a very dangerous player, lucky for him, there are plenty of other dangerous players to take the target off.
Kinda quiet again this week, but we know Laurel and James are working together… and you guys saw that blindside, right? With her four now at the top, James and Laurel are looking pretty good. I’d like to hear some more from Laurel for her perspective on things, but regardless, if they can stay on course here they’re set up nicely.
Similar to Michael, Stephanie is in the minority on her tribe. However, Stephanie seems to have one of the best social games of anyone on the island. Stephanie is the kind of player you can put in any situation and she will thrive. If she is able to survive to the next swap/merge, then I believe she very well could win the entire game.
Ooooof. That friendship with Morgan was just as short as Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s first engagement! Sticking with the four was the right move, so if Morgan had to be sacrificed, while unfortunate, it’s probably the correct move. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about Libby this season, but after that episode I’m intrigued.
Not the greatest intro to someone’s Survivor season. “Oh, we didn’t introduce you to Bradley? This is Bradley! He complains. A lot!” I’m sure the complaining is annoying some people, but while he’s in the numbers of his new tribe, he’s looking pretty safe. But I’m sure he’ll find a way to complain about that too.
Really seems like you’re having a hard time selling anything out there! On paper, Domenick looks like a solid player. He’s attempting some plays, he has an idol, he has a solid ally. I guess it’s just not coming across very authentic, since Chris (of all people) and now James are picking up that he’s not to be fully trusted. You never want someone to draw a line from you to Russell Hantz.
“Don’t trust the cute blond”. I really like the fact that Libby picked strategy over personal feelings in voting out Morgan. What I didn’t like was how open she was about lying at Tribal Council. When Jeff asks you a question about lying, the only correct answer is to deflect about how important the truth is. All she did was make herself look shady in front of the entire tribe. You may think I’m reading too much into it but trust me, once back at camp, players over-analyze every word said at Tribal Council.
Brendan is in a rough position. He got put on a tribe where he is not only in the minority, but his new tribemates keep talking trash about his camp. I feel for the guy, you work hard to build alliances and camp life, only to have a bunch of people come in and tear you down. Lucky for him, his ally Michael found the idol, so maybe he can utilize that information to his advantage.
Angela seems to be guilty by association. Her close ties with Chris are coming back to bite her and unfortunately her time may be coming soon. One of the worst things about Survivor is how you can end up going home for someone else’s mistakes, and unfortunately, Angela may be the victim of that fate.
Through no real fault of her own, Angela ended up on the bottom. I really like that she wasn’t buying into the crap Chris was trying to sell her. Unfortunately, somehow throughout their time together they’ve been identified as a duo. Angela needs to throw Chris under the bus and throw her lot in with the Malolo four, if they even want her?
Dominick showing Chris that fake idol in episode 2 still confuses me. It leaves too many loose ends, and we saw Dominick try to tie one of those loose ends by showing the tribe his fake idol in an attempt to take the heat off. But it only made James more suspicious. Dominick is great on screen, but his strategic and social games leave much to be desired.
As I said last week, Chris seems destined for this spot to be his permanent power rankings home. Chris is playing so hard, so fast, just like we expected. Giving out orders, trying to turn his numbers against their own, just a whole lot of bad gameplay. It’s hard to say what would’ve happened if he wasn’t on Ghost Island, but you have to think this kind of play will bite him in the ass sooner or later.
Chris doesn’t even realize it, but Ghost Island saved him this week. His abrasiveness is going to get him voted out sooner rather than later. Telling the tribe about Dominick’s idol could have been a great way to build trust with everyone. But the way he went about it by being aggressive and demanding, made him just as big, if not a bigger target than Dominick.