Thursday, September 20, 2012

Survivor: Philippines Episode 1 Power Rankings

I'm going to take a different approach for this week's rankings - I'm just going to group people into categories. It's difficult to put people ahead of each other after one week, so separating them into the groups based on their chances for winning. The exception is my prediction for who's going to win, which did not change from before the game began.

No Chance:  Lisa, Jeff

I've put the two celebrities here because they have very little chance going in, and after the first episode they are in more trouble than they entered.  Both played down their past, not sharing it with anybody willingly. Skupin confronted Lisa with it and tried to help her use it as a way to integrate herself with rest of the tribe, while Sarah Dawson acknowledged she knew that Jeff Kent was Jeff Kent: Baseball Player and not Jeff Kent: Motorcycle Salesman Who Owns a Ranch.

But their celebrity isn't really the issue; their game is. As mentioned above, Lisa is on the outs of her tribe. She isn't doing a good job of making connections with them, and is choosing to spend more of her time alone.  That's fine if you are a regular introvert, but in Survivor, especially the early days, that is a horrendous game plan. The early going is when you build the connections that can turn into a rock solid alliance. It's also when you can build the connections to not be the easy person to vote out. Realistically, Lisa has an unfair disadvantage in that she is the older woman who is probably the biggest physical liability.  She has to make extra hard to stay in the game. Instead, she seems to be forgetting that Survivor is as much a social game as it is anything else.  Barring her coming up with a better approach, she will be the first one voted out from her tribe.

Jeff is a different situation. He is in with his tribe, and has targetted Penner initially. His tribe is down with that, so that's not a problem. What is the problem is the way he tried to hide his being a baseball player. He didn't want people to think he was rich, so he told them that he had a ranch and sold motorcycles for a living. Now, I'm not that good with math, but if you have enough money to own a ranch and you sell motorcylces for a living, I'm guessing that you own a motorcycle dealership and you have more than enough money. So in trying to avoid the "I have too much money to deserve to win" situation, he...walked into the "I have too much money to deserve to win" situation. As well, he's going to run into a problem should he have to reveal that he did play baseball. That is going to cut into the trust he has built with his tribe. As well, he seems to have hurt his knee, though that didn't necessarily prevent him from doing well at the first challenge.

Not much of a chance to win: Angie, Abi-Maria

Angie is a little too mouthy to others about people she doesn't like, and she doesn't take orders well. I can see her crossing the wrong person or saying the wrong thing and then getting voted out.

Abi-Maria is an interesting case: she doesn't seem to have the awareness of how to play Survivor and she seems like she wants to use her looks to get ahead in the game. That's great and all, but unless you are Parvati, it's not going to be a successful one. We've seen the flirty girl many times, and each time it's gone poorly. Combine that with a lack of understanding of the game itself and you have a recipe of failure.

The returning players: Russell, Penner

Both seem to be the target of their tribes and they have that "returning player" cloud hovering overhead. Unless they can turn things around quickly, they are likely to not have a long life on Survivor.

Okay Chance to Win: Skupin, Dana, RC, Katie, Denise, Roxanne, Artis

These players get lumped here beause they really didn't show too much in their profile and in this episode.  RC did create a quick alliance with Skupin, Abi-Maria and Pete, but that's about it. Otherwise there wasn't too much to go with here.

Skupin doesn't get lumped in with the other returning players because he managed to fall into an alliance, and his tribe doesn't seem to want to get rid of him. He did seem to do a better job in integrating himself and he took on the leadership role with ease. His

Good Chance to Win: Pete, Carter

Admittedly, this is based more on the profiles than anything else, but both seem to be aware of the game, and as importantly both seem to be aware of who they are and their limitations.  They seem personable and athletic, and that is always a good combination for Survivor.

Very Good Chance to Win: Sarah Dawson

Sarah Dawson might be the player that John Cochrane wanted to be - a super fan who makes great gameplay moves to help her along. She doesn't seem as awestruck about the presence of returning players, nor does she seem awestruck by Jeff Kent. She seems to know that you don't have to play right out of the gates; you can let the game come to you a bit. It will be interesting to see what she does with the Jeff Kent information. Will she use it when she is threatened in the game, or will she use it when Jeff is threatened in the game?

(Also, she has determined the best way of getting Jeff Probst to call you by your last name - simply go by your last name.)

The Favourite Malcolm

I don't think that Malcolm is playing a flawless game; he seems to be obsessed with getting rid of Russell Swan, and then possibly taking over the leadership role. But he is also thinking about the long game, and chose to keep Russell over the player that game up, which is a good thing. If he can keep his alliance with Denise in good shape, and if he proves to be a better challenge player than he showed this week, he is the best bet to win the game.

Eliminated: Zane

If you were to write the rules of most reality competitions, one of the big ones would be to never offer yourself up to get eliminated in whatever way that would happen. On some shows, it isn't as bad, as there is some sort of competition to determine who is eliminated. In Survivor, offering yourself to be voted out can be deadly, as Zane proved. It is difficult to play the "keep me if you really want to but I don't think I should be here or can give my all" at the best of times. To do it at the very beginning of the game is the ultimate in stupidity. Your tribe is deflated, and they have to compete together for who know how long. They don't want to carry dead weight with them. They want to keep their strength around so they don't have to go back to tribal council.

Ultimately, Zane was a victim of trying to play the game way too fast. You don't have to make these bizarre plays this early in the game, especially when there is somebody that everybody else wants to get rid of. Just keep it simple, and take the clear path to staying in the game.  Also, don't make an alliance with all of the girls, then go to the guys and say "Wanna be in an alliance? All the girls already think I'm in an alliance with them." That just sows seeds of distrust. The game isn't a sprint; there's no need to be Mr. Big Move on day 2.


Blogger Mike said...

I think Malcolm's relationship with Denise will server both of them well in the game.

Zane was awesome. I loved him explaining his gameplan. This vote was a real loss for all viewers.

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Abby said...

Malcolm is also a favorite of mine! I think he has a good sense of the game in his head. And the alliance with Denise is a strong move right off the bat. If they can start winning challenges, it will help them move forward in this game.

Rooting for him til the end! I mean, it's not more difficult knowing he's easy to the eyes too. xo

2:44 AM  

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