Each week during Survivor: Winners at War, RHAP blogger Matt Liguori will rank the players to determine who is playing the best and worst games, alongside Survivor: Edge of Extinction contestants Victoria Baamonde and Gavin Whitson.
Survivor: Winners at War Power Rankings – Episode 2
It turns out being an old-school player is as much of a disadvantage is many imagined it would be. First Amber and now Danni are off to the Edge of Extinction having exited early from a game they haven’t played in over 14 years. Watching Danni’s return play out so poorly was a complete surprise. I had Danni going far this season as a non-threat, but I did rank her on the lower end because seeing her walk away as the winner seemed unlikely. Danni wasn’t on anybody’s radar coming into this thing. She should’ve had an easy ride until at least the merge! But paranoia is a killer, and a series of unfortunate events led to an early exit and unanimous vote – another thing I didn’t expect to see this season.
With Danni off to the Edge, we’ll have to see if she can give Natalie a run for her money in the fire token trading game, since Amber didn’t impress too much on that end. The fire token economy on the Edge will probably get way out of hand (if it hasn’t already).
Last week, Gavin, Victoria and I all had Danni ranked around a pretty similar spot. Victoria had her the lowest at #14, while Gavin had her at #12 and for me she landed at #11. I’ll admit part of me was curious to see a Tyson boot after I ranked him #17 last week and Gavin had him up at #1.
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Scrolling all the way down for a Quick View of all our rankings side-by-side.
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17. Ben Driebergen
It’s truly impressive how fast Ben is falling apart while also maintaining a good spot in his tribe. To me, it seems part of the reason Parvati didn’t go home over Danni is because of Ben being such an unstable wildcard. New-schoolers like Jeremy, Adam, and Michele couldn’t possibly feel confident enough in executing such a big plan with blabbermouth Ben on the loose. I’ll give him some credit for allowing Denise freedom to think outside-the-box with the idol he helped her find.. but even still, the person they chose to share the news with (Adam), couldn’t have been more disappointed to hear Ben was involved.
17. Ben Driebergen
There’s a time to blow up the game, and there’s a time to keep your mouth shut. Ben hasn’t figured that out yet and I am definitely not confident that he will. He’s had the opportunity to reposition himself in this game and he’s only dug himself into a shallow grave. I’m also not sure why in the world he thinks teaching people to find idols rather than getting them for himself is a good move. At this point, no one trusts Ben. Being known as the unpredictable wildcard is basically a death sentence unless he somehow gets it together.
17. Nick Wilson
A quiet episode for Nick, but I don’t think he’s in trouble anytime soon. I am curious to see how these alliances will wind up once we hit a tribe swap. I want to see Michele and Nick link up and put that pregame alliance into motion.
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16. Parvati Shallow
This is deeply upsetting, but what choice do I have? Parvati is no stranger to being an early target. Her winning formula has always been finding just two people willing to take a chance on her and surprising nobody, she’s got that: Rob and Ethan. But with the old-schoolers under attack thanks to Danni blowing up their game-plans, Parv seems to be running out of room. Adam wants her out badly and his pull on the new-schoolers plus Denise seems strong.
16. Boston Rob Mariano
From top to bottom in my power rankings, Boston Rob got a little too big for his britches this week. Being referenced as the Godfather, then making everyone empty their bags TSA-style shows Bobby is letting his reputation go to his head. Plus, he sucked at the challenge puzzle. A movement is forming against the old-school trio, and Rob is going to be Public Enemy #1.
16. Michele Fitzgerald
I don’t see Michele being in danger anytime soon either. She needs to continue building relationships with people like Jeremy and Ben. Those guys are some great shields to get her further.
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15. Boston Rob Mariano
There really is no hiding Rob’s threat level. He’s the Robfather and he’s “calling all the shots” – but yet somehow still in the game despite everyone knowing this to be the case. The general sentiment seems to be that nobody wants to take the big shot and miss (or piss of Rob’s friends on the other tribe). But how long can that really go on for? The new-schoolers are like sharks in the water and they all smell blood.
15. Parvati Shallow
So much for not being a target. Things have quickly flipped for Parvati (and Rob). Danni throwing out Parvati’s name wasn’t enough to get her booted, sure, but it has everyone else stirring now. The underlings are not happy knowing Rob and Parv sit untouchable at the top and it looks like things could be heading for a coup next week. The good news for Parvati is that most likely, Rob would be targeted before her.
15. Yul Kwon
Yul is still in good shape, his breadfruit gathering technique just wasn’t dangerous enough. If your life isn’t in danger while gathering breadfruit, you’re doing it wrong.
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14. Tyson Apostol
The only real indication for me this week that Tyson is still on the bottom was Sophie talking about how Kim should’ve given Tyson the other half of the idol, rather than her. I didn’t expect tribe dynamics to change much, but I still have hope Tyson will find a way through.
14. Kim Spradlin Wolfe
Playing from the bottom is hard, but it doesn’t mean you’re out. Kim is holding onto that spirit and found an idol! For some stupid reason, she chooses to give half of it to Sophie! I guess she’s trying to get her on her side, but just liking someone and admiring their game isn’t really a great reason to share something as powerful as an idol. Kim says she doesn’t trust Nick or Tony, but what about Tyson? Sophie herself confirms it, Kim definitely made a bad move here. So, idol or not, I’m keeping Kim near the bottom.
14. Wendell Holland
Several players had quiet episodes this week, but that’ll happen often with Edge being in the mix. I still think Wendell is in it for the long haul. I’m confident his social game will get him far.
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13. Kim Spradlin
Finding an idol is supposed to send you skyrocketing up the rankings, but sadly Kim is only hopping a couple of spots here. Kim’s idol came with instructions that required her to share it and sadly she chose to entrust a woman who has no interest in helping her out. Regardless, the tools are there for Kim to survive another round if she can get Sophie to realize she’s a lot better off knowing where an idol is rather than voting her out just because she’s “the nicest Texan ever.”
13. Tony Vlachos
This week we saw Tony lose his mind just a little bit more. I can only imagine this will continue to escalate, especially seeing the previews where Tony goes shark fishing…with his hands? When Tyson is questioning your sanity, you must really be losing it. But hey, he didn’t die, he got some breadfruit (Yul still put him to shame) and he reignited Cops-R-Us. The thing is.. in order for alliances to offer any protection, you actually have to stick with them.
13. Kim Spradlin Wolfe
Hats off to Kim for not only finding the idol, but also not letting the bloodhound Tony sniff it out when he approached her moments after she found it. I just hope telling Sophie doesn’t come back to bite her. I wish Kim would’ve told Tony! He could have slept more peacefully at night knowing the idol isn’t still out there waiting to be found, and he could’ve kept half. It could’ve been the alliance no one saw coming.
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12. Sarah Lacina
Sarah is back all in on Cops-R-Us. Tony burned her the first time around, but they’ve become good friends over the years and are probably the tightest remaining pair. I’m so curious what the rest of the tribe thinks about the Game Changers at the moment, but specifically Sarah. She’s looking good so far but I can’t get myself to feel confident about her longevity.
12. Tyson Apostol
Not much has changed for Tyson as he doesn’t seem to be in any strong alliance. He is actively not aligned with Tony, which may put him on the outs with Sarah. Kim didn’t give him half of her idol, so how close are they really? He should be able to float for a bit as long as he can keep up the “anybody but me” game, but he’s going to have to get in tight with someone and do it soon.
12. Sandra Diaz-Twine
The Queen took out Amber.. and Rob doesn’t think she had anything to do with it. Sandra is so much fun to watch, and I just hope we get a Rob vs Sandra showdown at some point this season.
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11. Ethan Zohn
Ethan himself did nothing wrong to see such a massive drop in the rankings. It was Danni spilling the beans about the old-school alliance that reassured to Ben what most of them already suspected. Ben wasn’t buying it when Ethan tried to deny deny deny, but Ethan really isn’t the smoothest liar (see: secret scene with Ethan/Parvati). With the new-school trio on the bottom, Ethan needs to cling tight to that Adam connection, assuming it’s still in play.
11. Michele Fitzgerald
We still haven’t had much more than a taste of my Jersey girl, but at this point I think Michele is pretty safe in the middle with Jeremy. An alliance of two isn’t ideal, but their pair can easily become swing votes during the next Tribal, finally giving her a little power. There’s no real reason to go after Michele right now.
11. Ben Driebergen
Ben is the definition of a wildcard right now and I am loving every minute of watching it. I think it’s great Ben is willing to go out of his way to help his competition find idols because it’ll definitely help him build trust, but I want Ben to find those idols for himself. Friendships won’t get you anywhere in Survivor if you eventually find yourself as Public Enemy #1. I loved Rick Devens while we were playing together.. I also still wrote his name down every chance I got trying to get him out of the game.
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10. Tony Vlachos
Now this is what I wanted to see from Tony. Becoming a fun-loving character amongst his tribe is the perfect way to play as someone with such a high threat-level. Tony told us last week that people’s guards are getting lower and lower, and after this week we can see that’s probably true. If the majority alliance can be sure that Tony is ladder-building rather idol-hunting, why poke the bear? Sure the bear might eat you when you’re not looking, but for now it’s cute and cuddly and just wants to be played with.
10. Jeremy Collins
Jeremy is ready to be calling the shots and that can go one of two ways. He needs to take his time and build an army against a powerful target (Rob), striking only when he’s certain the numbers are there. I think his conversations with Michele and their drawing in Adam are all good news for Jeremy. All that in addition to his advantage tells me he deserves to sit safely in the middle for now.
10. Tyson Apostol
Tyson had a quieter episode, but there is no need to fear. His tribe won immunity and Tony had his ladder adventure s0 there simply wasn’t much time to show my winner pick this week. Tyson just needs to find a solid alliance that can help him maneuver his way to the end.
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9. Sandra Diaz-Twine
The Queen still has an idol up her sleeve, but the farther we get into the game the more you start to worry about Sandra. She can only hide for so long. I imagine we’re inching closer to a swap and we really need to see Rob and Sandra land on a tribe together.
9. Sandra Diaz-Twine
The Queen actually participated in a challenge! And she won! She seems to be included in a good amount of conversations, plus she still has her idol. I’m not sure how long this under-the-radar Sandra will last, but for now it’s working.
9. Sarah Lacina
Cops-R-Us is back and thriving. Let’s see if this alliance can finally work! Third time’s a charm.
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8. Denise Stapley
I’m not sure that we’re meant to see Denise as a lesser player, but she sure seems to be the one following the lead so far between her and Adam. Denise’s idea to share the idol with Parvati had good intentions – I get wanting to build a bridge with the new-schoolers, but Adam was probably correct that Parvati wasn’t the right answer (unless they have something going on we don’t know about). Overall, Denise is looking good despite the early hiccup.
8. Ethan Zohn
Though he’s part of the old-school power trio, no one seems to be going after Ethan. I don’t think we’ve heard his name at all. He’s included in lots of conversations, he’s got his head screwed on straight, and he has some pretty great meat shields in Rob and Parv. Ethan just needs to catch a fish and he’ll be playing his ideal Survivor game!
8. Parvati Shallow
Rob, Ethan, and Parvati are a deadly trio and as long as they have each other’s backs, I think they’ll continue to excel.
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7. Adam Klein
Adam and friends made the right call not coming for Parvati just yet. Danni and Ben are too big of wildcards to rely on them both going forward. At least they know what to expect with Parvati. Adam’s forward-thinking with Denise and their shared idol all have Adam’s trajectory pointing upwards, even if his interactions with Rob are nerve-wracking as an observer. Intense environments (especially Tribals) don’t often lead to the best reactions from Adam. Getting defensive and being the only one to question Rob during the bag-emptying ceremony at Tribal could raise some red flags, but for now Adam has the numbers.
7. Sarah Lacina
I was pretty worried for Sarah going into this season, but so far she’s played a very quiet game. She’s not an obvious target and she seems to have something good going with Tony and Cops-R-Us 2.0. She’s smart enough to realize she can’t make that alliance common knowledge, so hopefully Tony doesn’t ruin everything for her.
7. Ethan Zohn
I thought Ethan had another great episode. I still think once the old school players are targeted, Rob and Parv will go before Ethan. I have Rob ranked higher because based off what I’ve seen so far, all Rob has to do is say “vote for _____” and that will happen. Based on that all three should be safe for a while.
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6. Michele Fitzgerald
Michele continues to be robbed of screen-time but that might mean good things for her game at the moment. Not being involved in all the drama back at camp is right where she wants to be. Jeremy is a great shield and ally for her to work with while Adam and Ben also vie for her partnership.
6. Denise Stapley
Let’s go Denise with that idol!! Go off! But why would you want to give it to Parvati?! Is there something we aren’t seeing here? I’m with Adam on this one… that would’ve been a terrible move. I can see leveraging half of an idol as a token of trust, but c’mon. I think we’ve seen that giving Parvati idols even when you’re supposedly aligned with her is a bad idea.
6. Sophie G. Clarke
It speaks magnitudes to Sophie’s social game that someone she wasn’t working with told her about an idol. It seems she plans to use this information against Kim in the future, which could make for a great hashtag blindside.
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5. Nick Wilson
A David in his season and a David in this week’s edit.
5. Nick Wilson
There’s not a ton to say about Nick right now other than he’s in the right alliance, he’s not a target, and he is in a solid position.
5. Tony Vlachos
I love everything about Tony. He’s managing to keep himself preoccupied while keeping his threat level down. I hope the time never comes, but if Tony finds himself on Edge I can’t wait to see what he’ll do with his time when he doesn’t have to worry about being voted out.
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4. Yul Kwon
Yul’s new invention to get breadfruit down from the trees was his highlight of the week. We got very little check in with Yul’s alliance so we’ll just assume not much has changed since their day 3 vote. I guess I’ll knock Yul a couple spots for being out-breadfruited by Tony’s ladder.
4. Wendell Holland
So far Wendell has been non-threatening, useful in challenges, helpful in camp, and in a tight alliance. We haven’t heard his name at all, I think he’s pretty safe for a while.
4. Adam Klein
Adam is slowly but surely becoming Denise’s new Malcolm and hopefully this idol can come in handy and save either of them when the time comes. I know Adam is getting the itch to take out a big-name old-school player, so this idol might come in handy sooner than later. Adam will move up even higher this week if he can find his torch’s hole at the next Tribal.
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3. Wendell Holland
It was terrifying watching Wendell compete in the challenge with the toothpick still in his mouth. To me, that was more dangerous than Tony climbing up the ladder. But Wendell knows what he’s doing.. both with the toothpick and in the game.
3. Yul Kwon
Not a huge week for Yul, other than him once again showcasing his powerhouse brain and getting breadfruit for the tribe. Never a bad thing to be a provider. Being a genius can be a bad thing in this game, but so far so good for Yul and his misfits alliance.
3. Denise Stapley
I am so proud of Denise for finding the idol! With Adam and Ben watching her back, Denise is in a great position now. Also, MVP move hiding the idol during the strip search at Tribal. My only question is what happens when we get a tribe swap if Adam and Denise get split up? Does Denise have to give her idol to someone new?
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2. Sophie G. Clarke
Sophie the Devil is here to play a vicious game and it’s killing me because her game involves targeting Kim and I wish that would stop. Of course I understand why she’s thinking the way she is, but Kim could be such a great side-ally early on and I can’t see why she would want Kim to go before the Game Changers. Sophie has more knowledge and power than anyone in her tribe, so she’ll stay here in my top 3.
2. Adam Klein
Aside from not being able to find his torch hole, Adam had a pretty stand-out week. He seems to have recovered from his initial water-well mishap. He’s hanging onto half of Denise’s idol after talking her out of making a bone-head move. He stood up to Rob and he’s been included in a potential plot with Jeremy and Michele to flip against the old-schoolers. Adam has his options open right now, and if can stay under the radar he’ll be looking solid.
2. Jeremy Collins
I said Jeremy would work his way up the rankings, but he did it a lot faster than I expected. Jeremy is on pace to win this game with Natalie on his side at Edge. He just better give her 10% of his winnings if she keeps sending him advantages.
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1. Jeremy Collins
Rob seemed pretty confident in telling us that Jeremy was on the outs of the tribe, but I find that hard to believe. After seeing this latest Tribal, Jeremy’s position in the game is looking better and better. He’s got an advantage in his pocket and a #1 ally on the island that feeds those advantages into the game. Michele has slotted in nicely as his new in-game #1 ally and if those two can stay in the middle between the Rob side and Adam side, they’re set up pretty well.
1. Sophie G. Clarke
My winner pick had another good week. Easily in the #1 slot right now, Sophie is currently in a solid and low-key alliance, helped win a challenge, and is in such a good position socially (to the point where Kim chose her to split the idol with her!) Knowledge is power and now Sophie has both. Not only has her name not come up at all- her alliance-mates haven’t been targeted either. Being actively sought as an ally by people outside of your alliance is awesome, and having half of the idol from someone you don’t trust at all is even better.
1. Boston Rob Mariano
The Robfather made a group of winners dump their bags at Tribal Council. I am finally starting to see why he has his own statue in Fiji. I am afraid Rob and his fellow old-schoolers will now be on the outs, but nonetheless, he’s number one for this week.
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