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 8
It’s hard to be too surprised by that merge episode, both the merge vote and the re-entry challenge results. Tyson’s peanut butter purchase paid off, as that extra fuel propelled him to a very close victory over Boston Rob and the rest of the Extinction crew.
As for Wendell, it’s fair to say he hasn’t looked like the same Wendell we saw pull out a win only a couple years ago. Wendell came in to play a different game this time around and after making a move on one of his own allies in the last round, Wendell either didn’t realize he needed to or didn’t do well enough at damage control with Sophie. Wendell came in here as one of the winners with the closest jury votes, having had 5 votes not go his way in his winning season; this season has made it a little more clear as to why that may have been the case. (But hey, he’s still a super awesome guy and anyone who’s met him at any event certainly can attest to that.)
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It’s becoming a very common occurrence for players like Tony, Jeremy, and Tyson to throw Nick’s name around. I’m having a hard time seeing where Nick would be able to get his footing from here. Michele is only one ally and clearly none of her other allies care about the new friends she made at the swap. Nick’s time has to be up soon.
Nick lost his #1 ally in Wendell this week and he didn’t see it coming. I’m not sure he has many people left on his side. He’s seen as a hyena and a scavenger, and if the trend continues he could be next. But if he’s smart, he’ll turn the tides against the “big threats.”
I remember in David vs. Goliath, Nick was calm, cool, and collected until something didn’t go his way. I think we’re going to see the same thing this week and I believe this will be what ultimately gets him sent home.
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Denise’s name came up more than I would’ve liked this episode. Going forward, Denise may be outside of that big-threat group but she still has Jeremy and Kim watching out for her and.. Adam if she needs him, right? Ben, Michele, Sarah… all options if Denise needs, but I admit I’m nervous for her.
Adam was a real contender in being voted out this week- he has no strong bonds. Even Denise was willing to take him out. Tony considers him to be a snake. He was constantly showing fear this episode, though he had Sophie looking out for him. I think Adam’s paranoia and difficult position in the tribe will cause him to crack. The only good news here is the same people are hardly ever targeted two weeks in a row.
Jeremy went from the top of the list to the bottom this week and that’s because he lost his hopeful #1, and as much as he tried.. there was no changing it. He still has his advantage in the game, but will he be able to use it? Or will he be blindsided before he gets the chance?
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I thought the outsiders would end up being Sophie, Sarah, and Tony, but Sophie did extremely well this week to turn things around and take out Wendell. The problem is that while the move was impressive, the big threats are now sticking together and Sophie stands out as a smart, strategic, under-the-radar threat who does not fit into this new lions alliance. Sophie does still have her idol, but this group is pretty good at pulling off blindsides.
Michele took a hard fall off a pole and in the rankings this week. She was left in the dark about the Wendell vote, only in the same boat as Nick (the alternate target).
Tyson managed to keep himself safe from the first vote coming back from Edge, but it’s only a matter of time until everyone realizes basically the whole jury is old-schoolers. You don’t want to be sitting next to an old-school winner in the final 3 when all their friends are sitting on the jury.
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Adam this season is becoming more and more entertaining each week. I am so sorry to him that he’s stuck with Ben out there who seems to be treating him like a playtoy. Most people aren’t showing him any respect as a game-player, which is good and bad; good because he may stick around for a while, bad because he needs to have something on his resume if he does go far.
Denise put her foot in her mouth by bragging about her Queen-slaying. Everyone is now aware she has a pretty impressive resume. She also made it known she’s a contender to win individual immunities by taking the first one home. Since she couldn’t be voted out, people wanted to weaken her by targeting Adam. Denise is proving her adaptability (which is an asset for her) but she also may have a bad rep for betraying alliances now.
I’m so happy to live in a world where Tony makes merge. I would be even happier to live in a world where Tony is a two-time winner. If the big threat alliance can stick together, I think that might be Tony’s only shot of making it much further in the game. I just hope Tony’s paranoia can be kept to a minimum in this next stage of the game.
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This merge episode was the story of Jeremy’s game. Jeremy didn’t get his way this week, but voting with the majority and not pushing too hard furthers my belief that Jeremy is one of the best players this game has ever seen, regardless of how he finishes this season. Michele, Kim, Denise, Tony, Ben, and Tyson all seem to be working with Jeremy in one way or another.
Ben considering himself a big target was pretty funny. He’s secured himself an alliance of “big threats” nonetheless. I think he should be able to make it pretty deep, since he isn’t really in the power seat and I don’t know how many people take him seriously. He’s still a bit of a blabbermouth, telling Jeremy the plan is Wendell.
Denise put a target on her back by talking about her big move against Sandra. I mean, I would be proud of that move also… but hopefully bragging about that move at the merge feast wasn’t the move that’ll eventually be her downfall. For now, I believe she’s still in good shape.
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Tyson’s return to the game was very impressive, as he avoided being immediately sent out of the game as the only old-schooler remaining. Aligned with his big-threat group is exactly where he needs to be, but in order for me to have confidence Tyson can go the distance in this merged tribe, I’ll need to see him solidify some kind of tight pair a.s.a.p. Get someone’s full loyalty. Kim would be too obvious. Maybe Tony? Ben seems obvious but it could work.
Sarah didn’t have much spotlight in this episode, but she was included in multiple strategic conversations and hasn’t had her name thrown out. She was willing to go with the flow.
Michele found herself on the wrong side of the numbers this week, but I believe she’ll be able to bounce back. There was a lot of storyline in the Michele/Wendell relationship for it to end the way it did. It reminded me of mine and Eric’s storyline that ended abruptly. But with that said, I think Michele is in it for the long haul.
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Sarah went a little quiet this week while her two closest allies worked to control the vote. I think that actually leaves her in a decent spot. Tony’s group of big-threats may or may not include Sarah, but at the end of the day I’m sure he still has her back for now. Sophie is beginning to stand out as a big threat, but Sarah can survive if Sophie does go out soon.
Tony is all for voting out the low-profile players, and he got his way when Wendell went out. His “big targets” alliance seems to be working for him and he’s steered clear of the target thus far.
Kim still has an idol. I’m putting her above some of the other “big threats” because I think the guys are going to start going after each other sooner than later.
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Michele takes a hit here having been blindsided by this vote. For the second time this season, she was totally on the outs and now heading back to camp down an ally. The good news is that most of Michele’s core allies are still in. She voted for Adam, but deep down I know they can still work together. Jeremy’s still in, Nick’s still in, and the big threats can’t stay together forever.
Kim wasn’t a huge feature in this episode, but I think she’s very safe for a while. She’s not considered a big threat and she wasn’t named as a “sleeper” target either. I don’t think she has much chance to win, but she’s certainly not going home soon.
Adam is the definition of scrappy this season. I think he’s going home every week and somehow he manages to prevail. This might be the first week Adam’s neck isn’t on the chopping block, and even if it is, I don’t think he’ll go out. Keep fighting Adam!!!
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I’m starting to feel like Kim’s ceiling here is something like Cirie’s spot in Game Changers. Both Kim and Cirie were/are huge threats, somehow slipping by votes they really shouldn’t be. For now, Kim has an idol and she’s probably included in the big-threat alliance even though we only saw the guys talking. Outside of that, she’s still got Denise, Tyson, and Sarah as possible allies.
Big props to papa Tyson winning his way back into the game. It is equally as impressive that no one even considered voting him out this week. He seems to have gotten himself into a nice spot, aligning with Tony, Jeremy, and Ben. He said it himself… if he plants his roots in a crack, he’s here to stay.
Ben has found himself in the big threat alliance which is great because he has a few new people to work with. But I’m also putting him this high because I think his connections to Sarah and Sophie will come in handy if the big threat alliance can’t find themselves on the same page.
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Big-threat Ben found some new allies this week, seemingly now working with Tony, Tyson, and Jeremy. Ben seems like the person with the second-most connections now, if not the most. He can turn in any direction and have people willing to vote with him. The possibility of Ben getting to finale night is looking stronger than ever.
Sophie continues to impress every week. She had such a handle on the tribal dynamics after the merge it seemed as though she had watched the episode herself. She spurs the vote for Wendell by telling Tony she wants Wendell out and then lets Tony spread that around himself. She’s a force, for sure, not to mention her idol.
Even though the “big threats” are supposed to be sticking together, similar to Sophie, I think Sarah has played a great game so far and has made connections to keep her in the game even if she isn’t considered a “big threat”.
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I’ve had Tony on the bottom of the rankings long enough and it’s time to change things up. Tony made the merge and survived the first vote without a single person saying his name. I was worried last week that the group of himself, Sophie, and Sarah would become the outsiders, but Tony worked hard to form a new group of lions, and for this vote… it worked. Somehow Tony is now the most well-connected person out there.
Jeremy has secured his place as #1 this week by winning immunity and having a large role in controlling tribal dynamics. He lost a friend this week in Wendell, but had enough social ties to be told that the vote was happening (even though it was an obvious ally he was losing). He still has his advantage in his back pocket that no one knows about.
Sophie is playing such a great game. I still don’t think she’s on many people’s radar and I think she’s slowly but surely becoming one of the most powerful people in the game. Sophie also has an idol, so the top spot goes to her this week.
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