Matt Liguori ranks the players each week with his own guest in RHAP’s Survivor Power Rankings. This week Matt is joined by Survivor podcaster Colin Stone, of The Dom and Colin Podcast!
- Note: If reading on a cell phone, rotate your device horizontally to read the rankings side-by-side. However, this may not work for some devices with smaller screens.
RHAP Survivor Power Rankings Week 10 with Colin Stone
I really appreciate the majority of the players who made the merge this season. In one way or another, it’s felt like almost everybody wants their spot at the end of the game badly and are willing to do whatever it takes to get there.
A double episode is usually good for two things. First of all, it’s two hours of the best reality show on television. Duh. And secondly, it keeps the season moving swiftly over the hump by knocking out two players, often including one (or two) of the season’s under-edited and thus less-compelling players. JP was overwhelmingly invisible this season (historic levels of purple-ness), which made his elimination at the end of a crazy episode feel flat. The end of the first episode was like running a race in first place with everybody excited and cheering for you the whole way through, only to trip and fall on your face a foot away from the finish line. Ryan Ulrich approved analogy… hopefully.
We also lost Joe, one of the season’s most controversial players both on the island and online. You probably love him or you hate him, but that exact sentiment is what makes somebody good TV. I found Joe entertaining all season long and would love to see him get another shot someday.
Moving forward, I expect the season will only get even better. We seemingly have a new mini-power alliance of Devon, Lauren, and Ashley. On the other side, we have Ryan and Chrissy. In the middle, Dr. Mike stands alone, although he appears to be a little closer to the Lauren side. And then there’s Ben, the double agent who seems to be a part of the new power alliance, but with talks of blindsiding the guy, it’s hard to say he’s with them. Regardless of who comes out on top, it should be a fun ride.
This week, I brought in the less British half of The Dom and Colin Podcast, Colin Stone! Dom joined me earlier in the season, dropping his infamous “healer atcha girl”. Dom and Colin have been up to their usual Survivor coverage this season, including a handful of special guest co-hosted podcasts for the mid-season when they got sick of talking to each other every week. For anyone unfamiliar with their podcast, I highly recommend giving it a listen, especially if you’re into deep dives into Survivor strategy each week, Big Brother, The Genius, and much more. Follow Colin (@colinstone) and I (@mattliguori) on Twitter, tweet us your thoughts and/or leave a comment below!
Do you ever get jealous that it’s the “Dom and Colin” podcast rather than the “Colin and Dom” podcast? Your name comes first alphabetically. You’re older than Dom. You’re taller than Dom. How did he get away with putting his name first?
There’s a lot of injustice in the world these days, the most egregious of which is the disenfranchised heroes with two-syllable names who never get to be listed first. Much like how “Jerry & Ben’s” doesn’t roll off the tongue as well as “Ben & Jerry’s”, Dom is the latest one-syllable beneficiary of the natural laws of language. Never forget that Jerry is the one doing the heavy lifting though.
So now that anybody who was going to read this has run off because of the ridiculous first question: Two hours of Survivor this week… thumbs up on the episodes? What’s your take on the season as a whole thus far?
Regardless of how the season plays out, I think it’s past the point where it can salvage any status beyond “decent,” but they’ve done exceptional work to get me amped for the endgame. JP and Joe both seemed like inevitable pre-finale boots but I think the editors did a great job turning a foregone conclusion into essentially a two-hour heist movie, and while it wasn’t the most exciting double-episode we’ve ever had, it accomplished a lot in keeping me invested in how things will go from here.
Devon and Lauren have both been involved in the action this season, but never seemed to be calling the shots. This week, we saw they have a lot more power over the game than we may have originally suspected. What do you make of their recent emergence? Are they just now waking up and taking control, or have a lot of people been sleeping on them?
I think Devon defaulted during the early game to simply laying low (which is totally fine), but now that he’s gotten more experience plotting and lying and blindsiding, it’s easier for him to see the full spectrum of play-style options. Basically, I think Devon eventually realized how badly a lot of people around him have been playing, and with the endgame in sight, he understood that he had the opportunity to take matters in his own hands and was eager to do so.
On the other hand, Lauren has been a legitimate boss since Day 1. Even back at the Hustlers beach with Simone and Patrick, Lauren seemed to not only want to keep herself safe, but also seemed set on being a key role-player in determining who was leaving. I think it took the fan community a while to catch on but I don’t think Lauren being a shot-caller is anything new.
We’ve seen plenty of invisible edits over the years and JP’s is up there with the worst of them. What’s your take on these players who go completely invisible, even through their elimination? I ask because I imagine casual viewers were thrown for a loop when a guy was voted off that they probably had no idea was even there.
I’ve definitely been guilty myself of forgetting that JP was in the game. Unfortunately, I think this is just a tried-and-true reality of how any season’s story gets told: Several people will inevitably end up having their fates sealed unceremoniously and the less camera-savvy among them will more or less be set aside. I’m sure it surprised casuals to see JP leave out of nowhere and I’m sure they’ll be surprised all over again when he gets up for his jury question and they don’t remember him being on the show, but I think casuals, superfans, and editors alike can all get over the underrepresentation of JP pretty quickly.
We’ve seen a lot of talk lately about taking Ben out because he’s such a threat, but it has to be the right time. The thing is, they’re running out of time. Can you see a path still open for Ben to land a seat in the final 3?
I actually still think Ben is a pretty big favorite to wind up in the finals despite all we’ve been hearing about what a threat he is. Yes, he’s an overtly formidable opponent, but it seems like his foursome with Devon, Lauren, and Ashley is tight, and out of that group, he’s the one holding a secret idol. With other threats in the game as untrustworthy as Chrissy/Ryan or as popular with the jurors as Dr. Mike, I think these four might all be agreeable to roll to the end together, at which point Ben just needs to win the immunity challenge OR the new Final Four fire challenge to lock in a spot on Day 39.
I really feel like this season is full of potential returnees. Out of all 18 players from this season, who would you like to see back? (Whether it’s because they’re a great character, a player with potential, or any other criteria you have.)
I agree! In no particular order I think Ben, Chrissy, Lauren, and Ryan are all people I could see them actively trying to bring back ASAP. Beyond that, it wouldn’t shock me to see any of Devon, Mike, Joe, Jessica, Ali, or Alan back. The players I’d be most excited to see an evolved version of would be Chrissy, Lauren, Ali, and Alan.
Blogger’s note: You can’t talk to Colin Stone and not bring up edit-talk. So, I’ve placed these questions at the bottom and anybody not interested is free to skip ahead past them. However, if you are interested in hearing Colin talk about the edit and #thingslikethat, I strongly encourage you to check out “The Edit Zone” segment at the end of every ‘Dom and Colin’ podcast where the guys dive into the edit each week.
This past week has me feeling like Ashley is headed straight towards zero-vote finalist. Joe warned us last week that Ashley is a goat waiting to be dragged to the end. All season, we’ve heard from Ashley and checked in with her in places that I didn’t think we necessarily needed to hear from her. I’m curious what your thoughts are on Ashley and her edit.
I totally agree that she’s looking like the third-place finalist, although it wouldn’t surprise me if she actually gets a vote or two. I don’t think Joe is necessarily meant to be the mouthpiece of realistic game dynamics, so the fact that they included him calling her a goat makes me think she’ll get at least one vote to prove him wrong (maybe even his!).
How are you seeing things as we enter the homestretch of this season, based solely on the edit? The past few seasons, you and Dom have successfully pinned down the winner, usually as one of two people. “It’s either Adam or Ken.” “It’s either Sarah or Brad.” So have we gotten to that point where you have your two choices, or even one, if you’re feeling confident enough?
After the disaster that was Worlds Apart, the last four seasons replaced the One Obvious Winner edit with the two-person Winner/Compelling Losing Finalist combo where they’re both mega-visible all season and the winner looks slightly better most of the way (Jeremy/Spencer, Michele/Aubry, Adam/Ken, Sarah/Brad). During the pre-merge, I thought it was Ben/Chrissy, but at this point, it seems like it’s Ben/Devon, and I’ve actually gone back and forth three times in the last three weeks about how that will turn out. As of this week, I’m back on Ben winning but I think Devon still has a solid shot. The only other person I’d give any equity at all is Lauren and that may just be wishful thinking.
In an episode where Ben and Devon were in cahoots on the same devious plan, Ben’s story was presented as a military mission throughout both hours and culminated in #missioncomplete when Joe was booted. He also got a great scene where he channeled positive vibes from his loved ones into the motivation he needed to find a new idol, which is the exact story we got for idol-finds by Jeremy Collins and Adam Klein. There’s still a compelling case for Devon being a major contender, but after the disparity in how the two were presented during this week’s heist, Ben is my easy #1.
Job very well done by Lauren. As many have pointed out, Lauren called her shot with the reward selections and formed a new alliance to march on past the break-up of the almighty seven. While she’s killing it with her physical and strategic game, her social game may still need work. You don’t have to work with Chrissy, but you don’t want to cold-shoulder a potential jury member.
Unlike Ben, Devon seemed to spend this double episode revelling in the knowledge that he was a mastermind, often bordering on outright arrogance. His emergence this season has been a big surprise to me and I was one of the people sleeping on Devon as a major player for way too long, but he still feels like the next Ken/Culpepper getting his faults totally whitewashed because he happens to make it to the end and they want to make it suspenseful before burying him in the finale as Ben hits all the right notes.
We were finally able to hear from Ashley this week about where she feels her game is at, rather than solely going to her to talk about the game itself or talk about the other players. She finally told us about her own game. I don’t understand how fast she flipped from being anti-Ben to all on board a four-person alliance including him. She may not be a top candidate to win the whole thing, but she seems on the right track to final 3. You can’t win the game if you don’t make final 3.
Have we seen literally anything bad from Lauren? She’s in the majority alliance, people seem to truly like her, she still has a “secret” advantage, and she’s crushing all the challenges. The biggest concern for Lauren would be jury votes, although in her defense, we’ve seen bluntness win several people a million dollars in the past (sometimes two million!). While I don’t think it’s particularly likely, it’s certainly within the realm of possibility for me that Queen Lauren is snowing edgic just as hard as she snowed the competition and we’re all in for a happy surprise come finale night.
Joe’s going home was the best outcome for Mike. With Joe gone, Mike can promise his vote to either side and sneak through a little further. I’m looking at Mike going out in fourth or fifth place, following the trajectory of a Keith Nale or Bret LaBelle (fan favorites who fall just short at the finale).
An interesting candidate if she makes it to the end, but I just don’t see how we can have faith in her to get the jury votes as things stand now. If this season does in fact end in a tie I think she’s the one being set up to break it and I think she’s a somewhat likely zero-vote finalist either way, but I could also see her leaving as soon as this week and just can’t come up with a timeline where she’s in the finals with a good chance at winning.
Every week I find myself thinking Ben is Ponderosa-bound, and yet he’s still there. Ben has been needed as a vote, but numbers continue to dwindle and with each passing vote, he becomes more expendable. His time is coming. The others are aware they cannot bring him to the end. However, having an idol with seven players remaining is a game-changer. You’d hope he can find a smart time to play it, rather than the others convincing him he’s safe, sending him home with a souvenir.
There’s just no way for a Survivor-literate viewer to ignore that we’d be seeing a much different side of Ashley if she were the winner. The editors’ unwillingness to ever develop the Ashley-type in a given season is precisely how people knew right away that Michele couldn’t be anything short of the winner of Kaoh Rong. It’s annoying, but at this point, it’s a law of nature. I don’t see how Ashley is getting voted out anytime soon but if she were a winner candidate we would have known a loooong time ago.
Seems like there’s a lot less going on in Ryan’s pants after last week. Having played his idol, he’s now totally vulnerable. It isn’t guaranteed game over just yet, given “his boy” Devon is still around and could find use out of Ryan’s vote. If Ryan wants the captain of the Survivor football team (a.k.a. Devon) to ask him to prom, he’ll need to be willing to cut his ties with Chrissy.
6. Dr. Mike
Congrats to Dr. Mike for being the last Healer standing, but it seems like that’s ironically becoming a problem for him now that the jury is entirely made up of his friends. No one on the island seems interested in turning Dr. Mike into a close ally, and unlike Mike Holloway before him, this Mike doesn’t exactly strike me as the type to run the table in challenges. I think he’ll get to watch as Ryan and maybe Chrissy are voted out before him but I have a hard time seeing him ever making the finals.
I’ve been so focused on the idea of Chrissy as a losing finalist that I haven’t really considered the idea of her allies flipping on her, causing her to not even make final 3. We’ve heard plenty about Chrissy’s lackluster social game. The players she’s voted out don’t love her and the players still in the game have moved on from working with her. It’s time to start building excitement for Chrissy’s jury speech.
Ryan got off to a great start but it’s felt lately like he’s due for some serious comeuppance. Within the game, he’s in the obvious minority and also just burned his idol. Outside the game, the editors probably want to set up an exciting boot for the week before the finale, so Ryan’s saga coming to a bitter end would be my frontrunning story arc prediction.
Matt’s Power Rankings By Week