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 7
A whole new season is about to begin this Wednesday night as we’ve finally reached the MERGE of Survivor: Winners at War. This season so far has been brutal, but in a way that feels palatable. The old-school winners have been knocked out completely and it’s now a battle of the new-school kids. This week we’ll have the Edge of Extinction challenge as someone leaves behind the most iconic tribe in Survivor history to re-enter a very fluid game.
Last week we lost Yul… only the third winner this season to have their torch snuffed for the first time, following Natalie and Danni. I certainly didn’t see it coming, as you can tell from him being ranked #6 on my rankings. Gavin had him up at #5 and Victoria had him all the way at #2! Yul seemed to be locked in with his two boys and the edit did a great job making it seem like Wendell would be the one on the outs should anyone end up getting turned on. Overall Yul played well, but unfortunately ran into the same issue as Parvati and many of these other old-schoolers… a lack of real life connections.
This week, in addition to ranking our final 11, we will all be ranking the players on EOE based on how likely we think it is they’ll get back in the game. Not much to dissect out of those rankings, so please enjoy a lazy display of pictures that will tell you how we’ve each ranked them!
» EOE rankings «
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Scrolling all the way down for a Quick View of all our rankings side-by-side.
» 11 «
The unthinkable has happened. Tony Vlachos made another merge in his Survivor career. Whatever happens from here is gravy… we’re way past the point anybody would’ve realistically expected Tony to get. Tony heading into the merge has lost a few key allies along the way. Sandra and Yul are both gone which leaves Tony with only Sarah, Sophie, and…. is that it? Kim told us this week she loves Tony, but she sounds like she’ll choose Jeremy and Denise over him.
Adam still is not looking great. He’s really being made to look like a buffoon this season, sorry man. It must be tough to watch back how sure you were about something and seeing how wrong you were. On the outs already, Adam never should have made a spectacle of idol hunting and wondering who had it. He has a deep hole to dig himself out of. I think his saving grace for now is he poses no threat.
» 10 «
I suppose I’ll go all in on a Cop-R-Us bottom two this week. It feels like Sophie, Sarah, and Tony are going to find themselves on the outs here. Sarah has her vote steal and this might be the best time to use it, but will it mean anything if the numbers are stacked against them? Sarah and Sophie will need to try to pull Ben and Adam in as close as possible, otherwise those guys could swing back towards Denise and her side.
Tony felt pretty confident this week after losing Sandra. He thinks he’s tight with Kim and Jeremy and thinks Denise just made herself the biggest target possible. It seems like Tony may be in Tonyland though, because his other “alliance” doesn’t consider him much of an ally. Let’s see what he can do once he gets back with Sarah.
» 9 «
Sophie losing Yul is a huge hit I’m not sure how she’ll fully recover from. Yul was Sophie’s nerd shield and now she’s going to be seen as the strong strategic player that she is, completely exposed. I have a hard time seeing who she links up with outside of her Cops-R-Us buds. An idol in her pocket is certainly helpful, but she needs to work hard on getting some combination of Nick, Wendell, Ben, and Adam to stick with her against Michelle and Jeremy’s crew.
Ben seems safe right now with his two-lady alliance. He thinks Adam may have an idol, and tensions are running high. If he can remain in his alliance and not run his mouth once he finds himself in a large merge tribe, I think Ben is going to be fine for a while. The only reason I can see Ben being in danger is if he puts himself there.
» 8 «
Adam finally finds himself free of the bottom two. Look, this week was just as rough or him as the other weeks have been… but it’s merge time and priority is going to be taking out the big players/targets. Adam has actively become one of the lowest priorities for everyone in the game at this time. He’s almost reminding me of Karishma’s spot in the game from last season and I won’t be surprised if his story plays out very similarly.
Kim seems safe in her trio alliance. She has some options right now when creating her merge plan, and she even had Denise tell her she’s locked in for end-game. We’ll see how true this all is once merge actually hits.
» 7 «
Ben will find himself smack dab in the middle of this merge tribe. He was close with his original tribemates but still seemed a bit on the outs, so he may opt to move forward with his new squad of Sarah and Sophie if they can pull in numbers. This could easily go south for him if he can’t make up his mind on which way to go and his original crew gets frustrated, sacrificing him and taking that swing vote position away as we’ve seen plenty of times before.
Nick has seemed pretty passive thus far this season. He expressed his frustrations with Wendell and seemed to be very sure he wanted to vote him out with Yul’s help. I’m not sure how much of this vote was Nick changing his mind, or Nick realizing he didn’t have the right support to do what he wanted. Either way, I don’t see Nick as much of a target right now, but also not much of a power player.
» 6 «
We’ve seen some trouble in paradise for Wendell and Michele lately, but their bond from real life is clearly strong enough where they know they’re not actually going to take each other out of the game anytime soon. I expect Wendell may hang back a little as the merge rolls around.
Coming off her red hot week in the #1 slot, Denise is looking good. She has an alliance, she’s made a final 3 promise, and she’s owning her Survivor strategy. Tony thinks Denise made a target of herself (which may have some truth to it) but she’s also done everyone a favor by knocking out Sandra and there are still way bigger targets than Denise out there.
» 5 «
My thoughts on Nick remain pretty similar to what I thought about him pre-season. I don’t see him getting to the end of the game, let alone winning. But for the time being, Nick has connections and is another person right in the middle of things. He can go with Michele’s side or he can go with his original Dakal allies. I can’t imagine Sophie and Sarah will be too pleased to see Michele at the merge feast instead of Yul, but they need Nick now more than ever.
Wendell the villain is safe for another week! He had so little prominence in the first several weeks that this blatant bad guy has been pretty shocking. I don’t necessarily know where Wendell goes from here, it’s clear that Michele and Nick don’t really want to work with him long-term. I think a merge does nothing but help Wendell regain some footing in the game.
» 4 «
Assuming Jeremy and Michele can come back together with their new allies in tow, both of them will be set up quite nicely. Being split up at the swap put them in unfavorable positions, but they’ve both survived and are about to reunite both having formed a new group on their swapped tribes. The combined force could be a hell of a troop going into phase 3 of this war.
Sarah seems to be in a good position with her bond with Sophie and Ben. She also knows that Sophie has the idol, and in this game knowledge is definitely power.
» 3 «
Coming into the merge with an idol is already putting Kim at an advantage, but Kim’s also merging right in the middle of the probable two sides. It’s the same position I describe Ben is in, but one of these people is Kim Spradlin and the other is Ben. Kim’s got relationships with the original Dakals (Sarah, Sophie, and Tony) and she’s formed a tight three with Jeremy and Denise which should also offer her protection from anyone those two are aligned with from original Sele. Kim probably also has a friend coming back in the game, since at least 80% of the Edge players are friends of hers.
Jeremy is coasting right now with no Tribal Council, an advantage in his pocket, and his alliance of Denise and Kim. Even though he is a clear physical threat come merge time, he has a great shield in Tony (who is equally powerful and exponentially more manic).
» 2 «
Having formed a new tight three on her swapped tribe and coming into a merge where she’ll reunite with her former tight allies (Ben, Adam, and Michele) Denise seems to have a lot of protection in a lot of different places. It’s easy to see Tony continuing to throw her under the bus, but if Jeremy is on her side and Michele brings Nick and Wendell into the fold, Denise should be in the numbers.
Michele loses a point for giving Wendell a fire token and then keeping him around, in my opinion. He can’t be trusted, he’s made that pretty clear. But Michele is high in my ranking this week due to her high visibility and clearly having a lot of the power when deciding who was going home this week. In a sense, I agree that Yul would win if he made it to the end, but also Yul was an ally right now, whereas Wendell doesn’t seem so. Regardless, kudos Michele for making a choice and executing a blindside.
» 1 «
Michele coming out of this vote having held all the power already puts her at the top of my rankings… but looking ahead it feels like Michele is the most well-connected player at the merge. From her original tribe, Michele has bonds with Jeremy, Denise, Ben, and Adam. From her swapped tribe, she’s locked something in with Nick and Wendell. She’s the connecting piece that could bring together a majority now that we’ve reached the merge.
Despite the awkward idol tension at camp, Sophie still remains on top in my opinion. Even with Adam’s spidey-idley senses tingling, she’s not anyone’s suspect for having an idol. The preview for the merge shows someone throwing out her name, but it also seems like everyone had their name thrown out, so I am confident Soph can survive another week in a power position.
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