Matt Liguori ranks the players each week with his own guest in RHAP’s Survivor Power Rankings. This week Matt is joined by Survivor: Philippines jury member, Pete Yurkowski!
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RHAP Survivor Power Rankings Week 11 with Pete Yurkowski
What a devastating loss. While I didn’t have Lauren pegged as our winner, I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. It’s clear what mistakes Lauren made throughout her Survivor journey (specifically at the end), but I thought she had a shot to at least reach final 3. She seemed to be off the radar, even after crushing two challenges. Once word spread about her accumulating advantages, she became the most powerful player and Ben was justified in taking the shot he took. All the best second chance stories come from a blunder of a first go-round, so I’ll echo the opinion of many others that say we will see Lauren back on Survivor someday… hopefully on the next Blood vs. Water with her Probst-loving sister, Sunny.
So with Lauren off to the jury, we’ve got our final 6. One more will fall before the big finale night. This is one unpredictable group of players, and given the way things tend to shake out with idols and advantages, it’s impossible to predict what’ll happen next. We still have Ben out there. We still have Dr. Mike out there. There are the two duos, Devon and Ashley, and Chrissy and Ryan. Last week, everyone came together to try to eliminate Ben. Maybe that’ll happen again, but an immunity win or an idol finding could send the game in any different direction.
It seems like most of us have resigned to Ben or Devon as to who our winner will ultimately be, with a few people left in Chrissy’s corner and one or two Dr. Mike/Ashley truthers in the mix. The only guarantee is that this should be an exciting race to the finish line.
I’ve got another great guest on board this week. I tried thinking out of the box to find somebody who we don’t hear from much but really should, and I found the perfect guy… from Survivor: Philippines, Pete Yurkowski! Pete has kept up with Survivor since his time on the island and I always like to hear his takes whenever we can. Shoutout to anyone else who kept up with the Coffee Chats a few seasons back. (Pete, bring those back!) If you want to keep up with Pete and what he’s up to, you’ll want to follow him on Instagram @peteryurkowski (or on Twitter @PeteYurkowski). I’m @mattliguori on Twitter, tweet us your thoughts and/or leave a comment below!
Pete! I’m very excited to have you dropping by this week. Can you give us the quick catch-up on life and what you’re up to these days?
It’s my pleasure. What have I been up to? Hiding mostly. In a hole. Away from the world of reality TV. But seriously, I just did a whole bunch of growing up. I’ve been working on cinematography and photography to flex that creative muscle. I have been mostly quiet about it and will be releasing a bunch of stuff soon. Did the mactor thing (OMG NOT ANOTHER MACTOR!!!? AHHHHH!?) for a bit. Was a lead in a Gillette commercial, filmed it, they didn’t end up using it– apparently this happens all the time– got an invite to SAG, and I’m keeping that invitation ‘pending’. Exciting stuff, right? Other than that, I was on the crypto train early. That’s bitcoin for the normies out there. I have an online crypto personality that’s gaining a lot of traction recently but haven’t tainted it with PETE FROM SURVIVOR. Keeps it pure and separate. I live the ‘some hustle to be seen, I’m grinding to disappear.’ Hey, I’m shy. I still think it’s crazy some people think I’m relevant. Thanks, Survivor fans! It’s been how long? Too long! >:)
How have you been enjoying this Survivor season? Are there any players that have stood out to you in terms of rooting interests, whether it be for entertainment or their gameplay?
The first few episodes put me to sleep. We had a few good moments but it was a snooze fest. Twists, idols, and advantages are overdone but we’ll address that in a later question. Moving on, that last Tribal was A+. Ben with the real/fake idol combination to make at least one more Tribal Council was excellent. This is what Survivor dreams are made of. It’s always fun when a majority alliance gets crushed near the final 7. Shuffling the deck keeps it interesting since power struggles mix with finding your ideal final 3. True chaos.
Dr Mike. Do I need a reason? Watching him navigate through this game has been fun to watch. It’s not even a meme choice. I genuinely like watching him play.
You made it 27 days, about a month, on your season. We recently passed the one-month mark in this season. Can you speak to how drained you were by the time you were voted out, mentally and physically? I imagine it has to bring back those memories when you watch the show and see players like Devon or Ashley around the merge talk about being starved and exhausted.
After 27 days of living in what most would consider a zero star resort on Trip Advisor… you’re tired. Physically weak is more or less confusing at this point. The weakness isn’t really gradual. It pops out of nowhere like a flat tire. You’re just innocently trucking along like you normally would and then BAM! It hurts to even stand up. That’s why you see everyone laying down all the time. Gravity wins, instant FATALITY. The mental exhaustion I can best compare to when someone wakes you up in the morning after a late night out. It takes exponentially longer to grasp what is happening. Why is this happening? How is this happening? Oh god, it’s me? Someone said my name? Instant paranoia. They are pretty feral moments when you look back. You enter a shell of yourself autopilot. Autopilot is great… but autopilot won’t land you a victory in this game Patrick Star.
What do you make of this season’s overload of idols, advantages, and twists? Are we getting to a point where it’s all too much, or is it simply a part of this crazy evolved game and there’s no going back?
NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! Stop this… can I curse?…. BULLSHIT. This was supposed to be a game that is mostly luck, but has a large component of skill. Social finesse. You can make the argument that constant adaptation is skill. You can say that the game has to change right Peter? No. It doesn’t. At all. Ever. Why? Good question… glad you asked… Jeff Probst constantly says, “You can put the same players back in the game and it’ll be a different outcome every time.” Okay, that’s great so why are we throwing anvils on people? These sort of things would make more sense if there was some sort of indication that they would happen. But that doesn’t happen. They get blindsided by the game. The game used to be played by the players. The game is now a player in the game. This isn’t Big Brother. This is Survivor. Stop ruining it and stop creating situations where players get dealt a 2-7 off-suit and you expect them to somehow bluff their way to victory. These additions are effectively a zero sum game. They create imbalances for the sake of imbalance. Someone randomly gets the higher seat on the proverbial seesaw. It’s dumb. STOP!
Bouncing off of that, how did you feel during Game Changers about seeing your fellow Philippines cast-member Malcolm go out on such an insane twist of a Tribal Council? Having two tribes come together to vote out one player isn’t something anyone could’ve seen coming.
I’m pissed. [pause] He was robbed. [pause] I feel bad for him. See my previous answer on why, but don’t bring him back. He’s been on too many times. We’re bored of him. Just kidding. Love you, bro! Call me when/if you see this so I can verbally apologize. <3
The winner of your season was of course Denise Stapley, a 41-year-old (at the time of filming) mother. This season, we have Chrissy in that similar intelligent older-woman/mother archetype. We often hear how that archetype is arguably the hardest to play Survivor as. Denise came out on top, but a lot has been made about how Chrissy’s made missteps throughout the game that could cost her if she reaches the final 3. Do you see anything specifically about Chrissy that could lose her the million, compared to Denise who was able to win it all?
I can be long winded with no direction but this one’s easy to answer. Denise knows how to get people to talk and she forms bonds this way. Chrissy has a hard time doing this. Denise also had a better approach to speaking her mind. It took a lot to make Denise confrontational and emotional. Chrissy doesn’t exhibit that same control. We want to love you, Chrissy… LET US.
How weird is it for you that we’re about to wrap up season 35, which means that Survivor: Philippines (season 25) was now 10 seasons ago? Does it feel like just yesterday?
Yes. It’s crazy how fast time goes by. I’m turning 30 in March. That alone makes me feel like time is somehow in hyper speed. I also feel old.
You’re ready to get back out there, right? I mean, a couple times now we’ve been teased with hearing rumors you were in the mix but things didn’t ultimately work out. If Survivor calls you up to come back, please tell me you’re saying yes…
I’ve been called twice I think. When they do I don’t take it seriously until I’m told to pack and don’t feel heartbroken when I find out I didn’t make a cut. I may disagree with how they changed the game a bit but they are undeniably good at putting together casts. Sometimes you just don’t fit. Sometimes you just hate Peter Yurkowski and wonder why/how the hell he was thrown into this season’s pool of potentials. 🙁
With the ass-kissing and self-depreciating out of the way, I would of course come back. How can you say no? I find it hard pressed that anyone would unless their life couldn’t make it fit. I will say that you’d see a different me. I wouldn’t go in like former castaways trying to clean up their image. I’m not sorry about how I played the first time despite a few obvious tweaks. RC (hope you’re well) idol clue explosion isn’t one of them. I was a shy introvert but a lot’s changed. I’m still weird, though, and I embrace that now more than I should. People also need to understand dry humor and I’m rarely serious. Moving to California taught me that it’s a regional thing. Don’t worry, I’ve got you wet humor people covered. Buh-bye now. <3
Last week didn’t go as planned. His biggest obstacle in this race to the finish line is Ben, and his attempt to finally take Ben out was blocked by an idol. Devon and Ashley remain a tight two, and the bridge with Ryan hasn’t been completely burned just yet. There’s a possibility that Chrissy, Ben, Mike, and Ryan team up to make sure the “25-year-old surfers” don’t get the best of them, but that would require Chrissy to work with Ben… and yeah, not so sure about that.
1. Dr. Mike
YES! He’s finally near/at the top. He’s found a home. It’s a relatively new alliance and it’ll be tested, but he’s no longer a lone ranger. Despite being edged to vote Lauren by Chrissy, he voted Ben. Who’s in charge here? Dr. Mike is…for now. If this man makes the finals, how can you not vote for him? He has a serious chance to fumble this position but he helped orchestrate that entire last Tribal. If Plan B was cause mayhem *applause*… if it wasn’t then Dr. Mike’s in for a world of hurt.
Once again, every time I count Ben out he finds a way to pull through. Even if he were to go home this week, I can’t justify ranking him any lower. The other players have left Ben in the game far too long. He does seem to be out of options; however, he’s burned all of his bridges… first with Dr. Mike, then with Chrissy and Ryan, and now with Devon and Ashley. I don’t know what magical advantage it’s going to take him to get to the finale, but I’ve got a feeling Ben will find a way yet again.
Another bottom to the top sensation. She isn’t in Dr. Mike’s pocket, but she did vote his way this last Tribal. Chrissy hasn’t made any loving impressions on the jury that’ll ensure her votes if she makes it to the finals. Time to make friends or make some big moves. She’s going to need to bolster the resume.
I can’t say I’ve exactly enjoyed watching Chrissy’s game lately, but I also understand we may not be seeing the full picture. There’s some who think Chrissy is dead in the water and some who think she can still win. Personally, I can’t see the scenario where she wins. She’s lucky to have Ben and Dr. Mike still in the game because both are considered bigger threats than her for a jury vote by a mile.
Mike’s time is coming. It’s getting too late to risk keeping him around while the jury is filled with his friends. I still think he’ll leave in either 5th or 4th place. His move with the idol and the fire last week was awesome. Mike has spent so much time this season being tricked and lied to, so when he had an opportunity to take away a tool that would’ve likely been used against him, he did. Pretty ironic how Lauren asked Mike a few weeks ago if he wanted to keep digging his own grave… flash forward to this week… Mike throws Lauren’s last lifeline into the fire and uses that same shovel to bury her game.
If watching “next time on Survivor” is a spoiler, then I’m guilty as charged. Throwing around the name Ashley in the next episode promo nearly guarantees that she’ll survive another Tribal. Devon let everyone know these two have been in cahoots and are in a tight two. Bad News Bears. After losing the majority alliance, targeting Ashley and Devon will be an easy choice.
Ashley’s partnership with Devon is solid, and going into the final 6, that will either make them or break them. Ashley has proved her abilities in challenges and is by no means as big of a jury goat as Joe suggested. If the other four do decide to target them based on how tight they’ve become, I can see Ashley being the unlucky vote-receiver more than I see it being Devon.
He single-handedly turned that last Tribal on its head. Fake idols, real idols, but not anyone’s idol. Ben has become a target for everyone, but at this stage in the game, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. While his strength and fortitude could be troublesome in challenges, he’s an easy target later in the game and becoming less of a threat if he somehow powers his way into the finals.
For a guy who has been such a big part of the game this season, it feels like the story has really shifted away from him. I have no idea where Ryan stands. While there are ways for Chrissy to maneuver herself into the final 3, I can’t see that happening for Ryan as easily. If it does, I think he’ll end his story similar to Spencer Bledsoe… receiving zero votes. Where does Ryan fit in here? Maybe he doesn’t fit in at all, and we’ll lose him just before the finale’s final showdown.
Matt’s Power Rankings By Week