Matt Liguori ranks the players each week with his own guest in RHAP’s Survivor Power Rankings. This week Matt is joined by RHAP’s own, Ali Lasher!
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RHAP Survivor Power Rankings Week 5 with Ali Lasher
Coming off of last week’s insanity, this episode felt a little slow to me. I’m sad to see Roark go because I really think she could’ve brought a lot to the table if she had made the merge. Before the season, I said about Roark “I think she may get in her own head along the way and lose sight of the game she’s playing” and I’d say that’s pretty close to what happened. She was feeling confident and it seems like in her mind, Chrissy was a lock to go home. I’m disappointed in the result but I’m excited to see how things unfold between Ali, Ryan, and Chrissy going forward.
I’m joined this week by Ali Lasher, our resident The Challenge and Are You The One? expert over on Reality TV RHAP-ups. Make sure you check out all of her coverage over there before those seasons come to an end… it’s never too late to jump in! Follow Ali (@lashtweets) and myself (@mattliguori) on Twitter, tweet us what you think, and leave a comment below!
As Ali knows, I’ve been catching up on past seasons of The Challenge and Are You The One. So what I really want to do is talk about that while I have her here, but we can try to stick to Survivor… mostly.
- I know you’re a big Roark fan. How devastating was this episode for you? Is there anything Roark could’ve done to save herself given what we saw of the tribe’s dynamics?
- GUH! It was totally gut-wrenching. The writing was on the wall from the beginning of the episode, and I spent the entire hour mumbling “No…no…no..no…no.” The only thing Roark could have done was tried the Tyson method of selecting her buff last during the swap. Maybe the fates would have leaned more in her favor. Besides that totally nonsensical answer, there was nothing to be done. I’d love to see her play again. I think she has great game sense and could really operate under the radar given her age and appearance.
- It would’ve been a wild episode if Joe, Desi, Devon, and Ashley had returned to Tribal. How did you see that shaking out? (It still could happen– the merge isn’t here just yet!)
- I could see Desi flipping on Joe. I think all of the Healers would turn on Joe if given the opportunity. Heck, I’m spending my days trying to find a way to turn on Joe! I think in that situation, Desi, Devon and Ashley would vote Joe out. Maybe there’s a slight chance Ashley would be the easy target but with the idol flushed, Joe’s my prediction.
- Who was your winner pick? And how are you feeling about their game? (Or how did you feel about their game if they’ve already left?)
- I haven’t made a true winner pick since Colby Donaldson in season 2. I would say reading the edit this week, Ben is a safe bet. You don’t usually get five minutes fully dedicated to your heroism (despite being well deserved) if you are on your way to a pre-jury trip.
- How are you feeling about this season as a whole, so far? Is the cast delivering? Or is there at least enough promise with the players remaining for an exciting post-merge?
- You know, I’m biased but I love this season. I say I’m biased because I love every season of Survivor, despite the quality. I hear what people are saying about the cast not delivering and the show dragging a bit, but I truly love the experience of watching the show and engaging with the audience. Is it the most exciting season so far? Probably not. But I am hopeful that things will pick up come the merge and until then, I have been genuinely entertained each week.
Okay, I can’t fight the urge. I have to ask a couple of Challenge/AYTO related questions, so anybody not interested… you’re free to skip ahead.
- Who from both of those shows’ current seasons would you want to see compete on Survivor? There have been rumors of Bananas joining the cast of Big Brother Celebrity this winter, but which of those crazy people could hack it on the beach? For the record, my picks would be Jordan and Tori from The Challenge and then Zoe and (without a doubt) Ethan from AYTO.
- Hey, what happened to sticking to Survivor?! I’m out on Jordan this season. I agree that he would be well equipped to handle the trials and tribulations of Survivor, but I just can’t seem to find a reason to like the guy. I’d like to see Leroy on the island. Swimming isn’t his strong suit, but I think he’d have a great social game. For the women, I think Cara Maria has the right amount of “wilderness” and athletic prowess in her to survive, but she would have a terrible social game. It would make for an interesting dilemma for her tribe when it comes down to whom to vote out. I would LOVE to know why you think Zoe would be good on Survivor. My vote has to be Jada. She has really grown on me lately, and I think she’d bring some fun drama to her tribe. While I think Ethan is a solid pick for the men, I’d have to go with Tarzan himself, Joe. I think he’s largely unlikeable but has a bold and cutting personality that would make for some fun confessionals.
- I know you’re not the biggest fan of adding in outsiders onto The Challenge, but for the reverse of that first question, is there anybody from Survivor this season or any season that would be good on The Challenge, even if the idea of that possibility makes you cringe? My picks are Nick Maiorano, Malcolm, Desi, and Cydney.
- No one from any other show will EVER be good on MY Challenge. With that being said, I think Malcolm and Cydney are interesting picks. From this season I think Cole and Devon are obvious fits for the cast. I would love to see Ali on The Challenge. We are in need of strong women on the show!
Dr. Mike’s game is on the rise. We’re seeing a real growth in potential. (I know those jokes are played out but I haven’t gotten one up yet so let me live, OK?) It’s essentially been confirmed that Mike is the swing vote. Now having found an idol, it’s hard to find anybody else in a better spot in the game right now. Jessica knowing about the idol isn’t the greatest thing, but the idol’s home is in Mike’s pocket.
Ben has to be the man in the best position right now. I’m no truther but you’d be crazy not to read into the edit this week. I also think he has the cushion of Rimmer likely being the next person voted off of Yawa if they should face Tribal next. He’s likeable, athletic, and will likely be able to link back up with Chrissy and Ryan at the merge.
Another guy in a swing spot. Ryan did the best he could’ve last week. I agree with the strategy of “make the move first, apologize later.” We heard from Ali and Ryan how close the two were, so we know Ali won’t be too happy when they get back to camp. Unfortunately for her, she’s got nowhere else to turn.
Ryan arguably belongs in the top spot but I just can’t see selecting him after his move last week. He will have to face the consequences of not keeping Ali in the loop. It was such an avoidable mistake. Even just telling Ali changes the entire move. If Ali made the decision to go against Ryan, it’s much easier to convince Devon and the others that Ali is untrustworthy later in the game. Ultimately, the Hustlers have mostly been decimated and Devon is unshakably tight with Ryan, so Ryan should have a pretty safe cushion that will take him through the merge. I also have to ding Ryan here for being SO lucky that Chrissy somehow believes she owes Ryan her loyalty. Clearly, she hasn’t listened to the 49 Laws of Survivor.
I strongly overestimated Ryan’s power to bring together two allies. I never would’ve expected Ali and Chrissy to be on complete opposite ends heading into Tribal while both women share an ally. For some reason, Ali and Roark both didn’t vibe well with Chrissy. That doesn’t speak super well for Chrissy’s game, but she’s still in the numbers, so for now I’m not worried.
While personally I’m not a fan of Chrissy, she has really turned her position around from being at the bottom of Levu and the only surviving member of the Mom squad. I think she has done a commendable job of working her way into two tight alliances with Ben and Ryan who offer her different strengths in the game. She has shown an ability to work from the bottom and get her name off the radar, which could take her far in the game.
I’m impressed by how impressed the players seem to be with Joe. In Roark’s exit interviews, it sounded like she was afraid to be against him during their time together. We also saw Ashley and Devon impressed with Joe’s performance at the Alan Tribal. I’ve been expecting a strong game from Joe all along; having that now backed up by the players themselves leaves my confidence in him fully intact.
4. Dr. Mike
I think Dr. Mike has been doing surprisingly well so far. He leveraged the information that Cole leaked the news of Jessica’ s advantage to cast suspicion on Cole and create cracks in the Soko showmance. This may seem a little high for the anxious doctor but with an idol in hand, I think he may have what he needs to survive until the merge.
Very touching stuff from Ben this week. Hard to analyze his game given his content this week was very personal. Ben isn’t going anywhere yet; he’s highly unlikely to be the top pick to get rid of regardless of which way Dr. Mike decides to go. He needs to get back to Chrissy and regain control of his game.
Ali fell a couple of spots in my rankings this week for being on the losing side of the vote. Having known Ryan, Ali was best positioned to make the right read despite having no awareness of the week one advantage bond between Chrissy and Ryan. I still hold out hope that Ali has the ability to play from the bottom and inch her way in through cracks. She made the right move and showed gall in her willingness to cut Patrick when she did. I think she will make nice with Ryan but hopefully won’t put too much trust in the slippery bellhop.
I really don’t think the Red tribe will see Tribal Council before we get to a merge. As I said last week, I think Lauren’s got game. I think she’s already got bonds with her new tribemates and she’ll find her way into a majority if necessary. With a merge approaching, it’s hard to see three people saying “Lauren is somebody we can’t bring to the merge with us.”
Jessica is tight with Cole and Mike. There are still five Healers in the game and I don’t think any of them have made connections with players on their swapped tribes that would trump their loyalties to the original Soko. She is also well-positioned in the majority on the new Yawa and is aware of Mike’s idol. While I don’t think she is a great player, I think she is starting to grow tired of Cole’s big mouth (we have that in common). If Jessica can cut Cole when the time is right, she may have a chance to make a deep run.
On paper, it seems like Ali is now in a pickle. Despite being on the outside of those who voted to send Roark home, Ali and Ryan are still a duo. I don’t anticipate Ryan being willing to cut Ali yet. Will we see a 2 v. 2 situation just like we’re expecting on the Blue tribe at their next Tribal? It’s possible, but I don’t think Ali’s story is done just yet. She’s just temporarily lost her footing. At least I hope that’s all…
I am hoping Cole is on his way out, but I don’t think guys like Cole face normal consequences for their actions on Survivor. He has to have made the most boneheaded moves this season and seems to think that helping advance someone else’s game is his purpose on the show. I doubt that Jessica will cut him (despite my sincerest hope that she will) and that relationship and his physicality will take him further than I’ll be able to stand.
Not only does she now know where the idol is, she’s doing a great job at maintaining her relationship with Dr. Mike, which is crucial given how poor Cole has been looking as an ally. Jessica… don’t tell Cole about the idol and keep Mike as close as possible. Just get to the merge in one piece.
I am struggling to find words to use to talk about Joe. Partially because he has already used every word to talk about himself. As a Tony fan, I should be appreciative of Joe’s presence on the show, but I just don’t find him as charming or likeable as the holder of the original bag of tricks. While Joe shows a great ability to read situations correctly, he has yet to cast his cleanup crew in the form of Trish and his right hand man in the form of Woo. Without these crucial supporting characters, Joe doesn’t have what he needs to stage the revival of Survivor: Cagayan.
Ashley continues to impress me (ever so slightly) with her insight each week. I can’t rank her too high because this Blue tribe is so unpredictable. She’s managed to get close enough to Devon that he’s hitching his wagon to her instead of letting her be the next easy vote-off…. Good for her.
I think Desi has potential but her lack of game sense is starting to show the more screen time she gets. I think she strained her relationship with Joe by demanding he play the idol for her and being “wrong.” Roark’s exit will also be a blow to her game. I think the best-case scenario would be Levu going to tribal and voting out Joe. Otherwise, her days may be numbered. For some reason, weasel Desi doesn’t have the same ring to it.
I have Devon low this week because I worry about what will happen if Levu faces another tribal. I think Devon might be shaken up by receiving the “disadvantage” and may enter another swap with the wrong attitude. If he can make it to a situation where he is back with Ryan, he will bump up a bit in my rankings. But even then, I think Devon is wayyyyy more into Ryan than Ryan is into Devon.
A merge is on the horizon and here we have Cole, a likely individual immunity threat with a big mouth and bad island habits. There’s every reason to take this guy out right now. I was curious if he’s actually this bad or if the editors are somewhat burying him for the story of it all, but Roark has said that Cole might’ve been target #1 if the Healers went to tribal. Hey, not all players can be superstars!
I have never expected that much from Ashley, which is just about the meanest thing you could say about a Survivor contestant. Her early spats with Alan, while mostly not her fault, left a bad taste in my mouth and I don’t know that she can surmount the bad juju on her game. She found herself in yet another unfortunate situation with Alan’s exit. While she did everything right in not letting her personal issues with Alan block their ability to work together, she still came up short. I don’t see a long future for Ashley in the game.
I’ll stick to my thoughts from last week, since Desi’s tribe didn’t end up going to Tribal. We saw Devon and Ashley re-affirm their loyalty to one another this week. While we know Desi and Joe are working together, they don’t seem as unbreakable as the other two. The Blues are a disaster waiting to happen and I still think Desi will unfortunately be their sacrifice.
While I’m on the Rimmer bandwagon, I can’t see a scenario in which she doesn’t go to the house if Yawa goes to tribal next week. She is not the most physical player, and she is starting to show frustrations with more than just Patrick (RIP). I don’t think Rimmer has it in her to go with the flow, which is critical for a player in her minority position on Yawa. When Cole brought her and Ben information, she should have accepted it with enthusiasm rather than openly question why Cole would be telling them. None of us understand that, Rimmer, but don’t look a gift-mactor in the mouth.
Matt’s Power Rankings By Week