Matt Liguori ranks the players each week with his own guest in RHAP’s Survivor Power Rankings. This week Matt is joined by former RHAP podcaster and Big Brother Canada alumnus, Jordan Parhar
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RHAP Survivor Power Rankings Week 6 with Jordan Parhar
Merge time! While we mourn the loss of Queen Ali, I’ll say I hope she had a great time on the pre-jury trip. Looks like a solid roster to me, even if things may have been a little awkward with Patrick.
Katrina, Simone, Patrick, Alan, Roark, Ali… I personally think they were all solid casting choices. There’s at least two if not three of those names I could see finding their way back onto the island in a future season, and we haven’t even eliminated half of the cast yet. I really do believe the next returnee season will feature at least four players from this season, a la Cagayan (and NO I’m not saying this season has been anywhere near as good as Cagayan, but I do think there are players with potential).
While I’ll really miss Ali and already anxiously await her return on Second Chances 2 somewhere down the road, I’m excited for the rest of this season.
I’m joined this week by a very good friend of mine and a guy RHAP fans should know pretty well, Jordan Parhar! For any brand new fans of RHAP that may not know Jordan very well, he played on season 3 of Big Brother Canada and hosted The RHAPpy Hour over on Reality TV RHAPups up until earlier this year, mainly covering Big Brother with some Survivor talk and much more sprinkled in. Follow Jordan (@jordanparhar) and myself (@mattliguori) on Twitter, tweet us what you think, and leave a comment below!
- First off, how are you doing in this post-Alan world we’re living in?
- I’m still not over it, Matt! I think I could’ve handled him going home under regular circumstances, but seeing him go home at the hands of Joe’s idol play was devastating for me. Every night before going to sleep since then I’ve always prayed for two things: the well being of my family/friends and for Alan Ball to get the opportunity to play Survivor again.
Haha for real though, things are great for me, man! My life is pretty boring these days, but after a few years of reality TV craziness, it’s been nice having a somewhat normal life again. I’m not as locked into Survivor this season as I have been in the past (I’d consider myself to be more of a casual fan now), but that doesn’t mean that I dislike this season. I think the cast as a whole is pretty fantastic, and I think the best is yet to come. I’m excited to see how it all plays out!
- Now that we’ve arrived at the merge, we’ve got six players in the rearview mirror who couldn’t make it through. Which of those six would do well with a second chance?
- I think there is a ton of potential with most of the people that went out before the merge, but if I had to pick one I’d go with Ali. I think she has all of the skills necessary to succeed (strong social skills, challenge prowess and knowledge of the game). I think the main issue with her is that she got dealt a poor hand this time around. Getting put on a tribe with someone she knew before the game started put her in the wrong frame of mind, and she wasn’t able to play her own game from day one.
I also think one of the biggest mistakes that younger people make when playing Survivor or Big Brother is that they are too trusting (I can speak from experience). When you haven’t played before it’s incredibly difficult to recognize when someone you think has your back doesn’t and often by the time you realize that it’s too late. Once you’ve had that experience of being blindsided, it’s a lot easier to read, react and adapt when put in a similar situation.
When Ali does play again (I’d be surprised if she didn’t get an opportunity) I think she’ll end up in a much better spot. People will probably underestimate her, and as a result, she’ll be set up to make a deep run in the game. I don’t think it’s too outlandish to say she could be a future winner.
- Of the remaining players, has anyone surprised you with his or her gameplay (in a positive or negative way)?
- I’d say Devon has surprised me the most. After reading the cast bios before the season I expected Devon to be similar to Drew Christy. For his sake, I’m glad I was completely wrong. I’m not usually the type of person that enjoys watching bros on reality TV, but I’ve found Devon to be really endearing. He isn’t the smartest player out there, but I think he recognizes that. He’s played up his strengths (his social game) and hasn’t tried to do too much which has helped him so far.
- It seems like the Healers are in a tricky spot next week. Assuming the Heroes and Hustlers (Ben, Chrissy, JP, Ashley, Devon, Ryan, Lauren) plan to pick off the 5 remaining healers (Joe, Desi, Jessica, Cole, Dr. Mike) — what would be the Healers best move? Is there anybody they can flip? Personally, I don’t see it.
- Well considering all it took for JP to flip on Roark was the phrase “She wants to start an all-girls alliance,” I don’t think the Healers are drawing dead just yet. They are definitely fighting an uphill battle though.
If JP’s vote doesn’t sway with the wind like it has in the past, I think the Healers best bet would be to flip on one of their own. The first few votes after the merge are always so unpredictable so the goal for each of the Healers should be self-preservation.
That begs the question: which of the Healers would be the most appealing target for everyone else? The two obvious names are Cole and Joe. Cole has clearly been getting on everyone’s nerves at his old tribe, and Joe already has people saying he’s the most dangerous player out there. If the remaining Healers can put the target on one of those two big threats, it should make it easier for them to navigate the next few upcoming votes.
- Who is our winner? Based on edit, gameplay, gut feeling, whatever you want to base it on.. who is going to come out on top?
- I am so terrible at this as you know, but if I had to guess right now I’d have to go with Skinny Ryan. He’s non-threatening, incredibly strategic, and has a fantastic social game, which is key for winning a game like Survivor. For such a young guy, I’ve been very impressed with what he’s done so far. While not telling his pal Ali about the plan to vote out Roark was a mistake, I think he showed his tremendous insight in his decision to vote her out the following episode. Many lesser players would have tried to keep Ali around as an ally, but he recognized that he was never going to be able to win her back and took his shot when it presented itself. Moves like that are what separate winners from the rest of the pack.
Rapid fire… and things like that: (which is like the blog version of a $0.99 store “and more”)
- Who else has it in them to find an idol?
- Who finishes the season with the most individual immunity wins?
- Honestly, how many times did you cry after seeing Alan voted off?
- So far only once, but I haven’t cried that hard when watching a TV show or movie since I saw the ending of Lion. That number could grow though (especially if they bring back Fallen Comrades this season)
- We’ve seen your Big Brother game and we’ve seen your podcasting game, how would your Survivor game turn out?
- Haha if we’re talking about where I’m at now in my life I’d probably fall somewhere in between. I don’t think I’d make the worst move in the history of the show, but I couldn’t see myself bringing home the million-dollar prize or going really far either. I’m far too loyal in nature to win.
- Jumping off that, if you and your former LFC buddies made it to the final 5 on a season of Survivor, who is coming out on top?
- Man, that is tough. If we just looked at the history of who consistently succeeded in our fantasy draft I think I’d have to say Taran would win. Is there anything he can’t do? Melissa would get the fallen angel edit and would get voted out right before the final Tribal Council. Brent wouldn’t get the votes in final Tribal, but he would win the Sprint Fan Favorite Player of the Season award in a landslide.
- Who finishes the season with more points, your Montreal Canadiens or the Vegas Golden Knights?
- The fact that this is a question is so embarrassing as a Habs fan but it’s worth asking. The greatest franchise in the history of professional hockey is off to a poor start, but I think they’ll turn it around. Their MVP Carey Price is injured right now and has looked off since the start of the year but he should steal some wins for them once he’s back to full health. I don’t think they’re going to make the playoffs necessarily, but I do think they’ll finish higher in the standings than the Vegas Golden Knights. There’s no way an expansion team with that many holes on defense can keep winning on this pace.
- Any change of heart lately on Dr. Will vs. Dan?
- I actually haven’t thought about this question in awhile, but for now, I’m sticking with Dr. Will Kirby as the greatest player in Big Brother history. He wrote the book on how to succeed at reality competition shows, and he was truly masterful in both of his appearances. You could say the same thing about Dan, but I think Will’s brilliance in Season 7 against a full cast of All-Stars was just that much more impressive than Dan’s Mist in Big Brother 14.
The guy behind it all is getting the top spot this week. The sole reason for this predicted Heroes/Hustlers vs. Healers post-merge dynamic is because of Ryan’s decision on day three to send an idol to Chrissy. While other bonds have been made between the two tribes (Ben and Lauren, Ashley and Devon), Ryan’s connection with Chrissy is what will really carry the day, as they’re two of the group’s top power players.
Lauren spent weeks on the bottom of a lot of people’s Power Rankings because she stood out as the weakest link in the tribal portion of the game. What was a potential weakness in the early game is one of the biggest advantages in the post-merge game. Lauren isn’t one of the biggest threats, which should mean plenty of others get their numbers called before she does.
Other than Devon, Chrissy has impressed me most this season. She overcame a bit of a rocky start and has been a dominant force since the first episode. Virtually everything she’s wanted to happen has gone her way, even when it appeared the odds might be against her. Now that she’s reunited with Ben she’s got allies everywhere and can maneuver in pretty much any way she’d like for these next few votes. I don’t think she’s going anywhere for the foreseeable future and she has a legitimate shot to take home the million.
I’m still really high on Ashley’s chances. Ashley’s about to reconnect with JP while still having Devon by her side. Devon is connected to Ryan… JP is connected to Chrissy.. and Chrissy and Ryan are obviously a strong pair. This five seems like the tighter five out of the seven, and I think Ashley’s in a really good spot in there.
How can you not like this guy? Ben’s story is incredibly inspiring, and he is the epitome of what a hero should bring to the table. The reason I have Ben outside of my top two spots is that I worry that he is too obviously likeable. Once it gets down to the nitty-gritty, I highly doubt that anybody would be willing to take him to the end.
4. Chrissy 1
Everything’s looking great for Chrissy. She managed to get through the tribe swap with two tight allies by her side (including one who was willing to cut an original tribemate in favor of her). At the merge, she’ll reunite with Ben and Ashley while her best buddy Ryan will bring in the others. What I worry about for Chrissy is she may not succeed in sending all these people home in a way where they still like her. There’s definitely something to the strategic/aggressive game-player Mom having a hard time in this part of the game, but we’ll see if Chrissy can overcome the odds.
4. Dr. Mike
When I grow up, I hope I can be like Dr. Mike. Humble, easy going and hilarious, Mike has all of the tools necessary to win Survivor. Now that he has an idol in his pocket, he can definitely make some things happen during one of these first few post-merge votes in which the Healers will likely be in the minority. Like Ben, my fear with him is that the other players will catch on to how much of an endgame threat he is, and as a result, he’ll be taken out prematurely.
5. Dr. Mike 4
Props to Dr. Mike for at least entertaining Ben and Lauren if he wasn’t actually planning on voting with them. We may never know what Mike would’ve done if they had to vote, but either way, he made connections with those guys that should kick him to the bottom of the Healers’ pecking order. What worries me about Dr. Mike is that he seems easily swayed. He needs to kick his game up a notch and start making decisions that are most beneficial to only him.
Desi has been a little quiet this season, but I don’t think we should underestimate her. She’s been really strong in the challenges and hasn’t seemed to have any trouble fitting in with others (outside of Joe). Despite this, she seems to have snuck under the radar for most people. She hasn’t given me enough of a reason to place her higher on this list so far, but I’ve got a gut feeling that she’s here to stay. I don’t see any reason for voting her out ahead of the other four remaining Healers at this next Tribal Council.
6. Ben 1
Right now, Ben’s alliance should have the numbers to keep him safe. The likelihood of a complete Pagonging, to me, seems low. At least one, if not more, of the Red and Blue alliances will be picked off before all the Yellows are gone. I’m worried that may end up being Ben. He’s a big threat down the home stretch and if you’re Ryan or Chrissy, Ben will eventually become extremely expendable.
As much as I love Devon, I couldn’t justify placing him any higher at this point. Yes, he’s reunited with Ryan and seems to have built a bond with Ashley, but outside of that what else does he have going for him? Ryan seems to be closer to Chrissy at this point, and he’s shown that he’s willing to cut his own allies at any given moment. That being said, I think he should be able to win over some new friends with his surfer boy charm, and people could forget about him as a threat. I wouldn’t be shocked if he went on a bit of an immunity run and made a surprise appearance in the Final Three.
7. Joe 3
Joe’s tribe was right. He IS a big threat to win. Coming into this merge, he has to be one of the biggest targets out there. Having found another idol, I’m not as worried about him as I otherwise would’ve been. Then again, Joe’s main problem is that his closest alliance is with an immunity idol. Without a tight human ally by his side, I’m not sure how Joe will get through this upcoming war.
Another person I’ve been pleasantly surprised by, Lauren is doing a pretty decent job so far. The only people she’s expressed that she’s disliked are Patrick and Cole, and can you really blame her for that? From what I’ve seen it appears that her tribemates enjoy her and trust her as an alliance member. I could see her making it to the end, but if she doesn’t change her game up I’m skeptical of her ability to plead her case as to why she should win.
Devon has been relatively quiet this season. I haven’t counted him out as a possible winner, but it’s hard to confidently say he’s got control of his game. If the Healers correctly play an idol this week, I think Devon has to be toward the top of the list of whom they’d direct their votes to.
Like so many people this season, Jessica is fantastic. I love how she has been able to look past her attraction for Cole to realize that she needs to find more trustworthy and capable alliance members. As long as Cole is around though, I imagine she’s going to have a fairly big target on her back due to the fear of power couples this season. When you also consider that the Healers are in the minority right now, she isn’t the greatest of positions despite what I’ve liked about her so far. If Cole gets voted out pretty quickly here I would probably move her up closer to the Top 5 of my rankings.
Once again, I find it hard to rank JP too high. Besides probably being in the new majority alliance, he still has to be on Ryan (and everyone’s) radar as being a big challenge threat. Add in the Ashley reunion coming up and there’s plenty of reason to take JP out. Alas, I don’t think we’ll lose him until Chrissy feels like she’s completely lost him to Ashley, if and when that time comes.
Ashley seems like a really nice person so I don’t want to criticize her too much here, but she just hasn’t given me any reason to place her higher on this list. What I will say she has going for her is the fact that she’s in the middle of a potential love triangle between Devon and JP (Alan also isn’t around to try to split them up). If she can lay low for the next few votes, her stock could rise pretty nicely.
Desi has been a non-factor all season. The hints that she’d be willing to turn on Joe certainly mean something coming into this merge, but what will turning on Joe at this point do? The Healers need all the numbers they can get. The past few seasons we’ve lost intelligent under-the-radar women at the merge (Michelle, then Hali) and Desi going home in this spot as well is for sure a possibility.
Time and time again on reality TV shows we see contestants try to replicate what others have done before them. Most of the time they fail, but so far Joe has done a decent job at playing a Tony Vlachos type of game. He’s found idols, he’s been crafty and he’s been cutthroat. At the same time, he’s also done a similar thing that Tony did in Cagayan, which is putting a massive target on his back. Multiple players have said he’s the most strategic person out there, and that’s a problem this early on in the game.
Unfortunately for Joe, no Survivor contestant will ever replicate the magic that was Tony Vlachos in Survivor: Cagayan (Tony himself couldn’t even do it). Even though he’s found his second Hidden Immunity Idol, I’d be shocked if he isn’t voted out in the next few episodes.
11. Jessica 3
Hard to bet against the idea that one of Jessica or Cole will go home this week. Cole seems like the obvious pick to get rid of, but it’s also likely that he could win immunity and Jessica would be the next best option. I can see a scenario where Cole wins immunity and Jessica turns to Dr. Mike asking for the idol to save her, but Dr. Mike instead holds onto it, going back on his word that it’s an idol for them both.
Like me, this JP just isn’t built for a playing game like Survivor. He’s a nice enough dude, but the only way I could see him winning would be if he could pull a Mike Holloway immunity run out his butt (and that seems incredibly unlikely). I will give him credit for being so open with Alan’s hidden immunity idol search, though (that was probably my favourite moment in the past two seasons of the show).
Life around camp will be much easier with Cole gone. He doesn’t create an enjoyable living environment for the people around him and when you combine that with being a stereotypical challenge threat, there’s little reason to keep him around. The only argument FOR keeping him would be that his chances of winning a jury vote are slim to none, so why not drag him to the end? I think Cole is way too unpredictable to let him stay in the game though, so I don’t expect his torch to be lit much longer.
Ah, Cole. I have so many things I could say. He means well and seems like he’d be a fantastic nature guide, but Survivor is just not his thing. His one saving grace could be that the majority could realize that he’s already on the outs with most of the Healers. Regardless, I can’t see him sticking around for the long haul.
Matt’s Power Rankings By Week