Thursday, September 19, 2013

Survivor: Blood vs. Water Episode 1 Power Rankings

(I'm going use a new format for this season's power rankings. It is blatantly stolen from Jonah Keri's The 30 column, so all credit to him.)

20. Rupert
19. Laura B.

I had them in the Least Likely to Win category in my brief preview, and this hasn't changed. Laura was voted out by Tadhana, and was only saved by her husband's incessant need to play the hero. I'm surprised it took Rupert as long as it did for him to jump to take his wife's place at Redemption Island; the two seconds it took was about one second more than I expected.

Let's be clear: Rupert made a huge mistake. Not only did his tribe expect to be playing with him, they weren't expecting to play with his wife. It made Laura an easy target for first boot from Galang: she's the outsider with no experience in the game. As well, it would eliminate one pair immediately. But Rupert values his image of a dedicated, nice guy who stands up for what's right.

That's what makes the edit he's receiving so interesting. You know that he wants to be perceived as the ultimate hero, much like he was after Pearl Islands. However, the producers seem to be dedicated to showing him in the worst light possible, continuing a story that has been happening since All-Stars. It's the story of a man whose actions are increasingly more "evil," though to him the actions are truly virtuous. Rupert is convinced of the righteousness of his actions, and with that we get to see him as the villain he is becoming. Kudos to the producers and editors for keeping this story together for 3 seasons.

16. Gervasce

What a terrible episode for Gervasce. Like almost making him the best goat to bring to the end level performance. He shows that his water performance from the first season did not cause him to improve his swimming skills, plus his cardio level has been hurt after 13 years of Survivor inactivity. And then, once Galang wins the challenge, he acts as though it was the greatest thing ever. His taunting of Tadhana was over the top and definitely on commiserate to his performance in the challenge. And his actions caused his niece to be voted out of the game and into Redemption Island. So in short Gervasce:

  • Showed himself to be weak in challenges,
  • pissed off potential jurors
  • and cause his best ally in the game to be voted out.
Stellar job Gervasce! Will you follow up next week by setting the immunity idol ablaze in some sort of pre challenge ritual a la a bon fire before a big high school football game?

11. Brad

I don't wish to really pick on Brad's intelligence; after Jeff Probst's tweets about him suffering brain damage from playing football it feels too much like piling on. With that said, I don't know that Brad has watched that much Survivor, regardless of his ability to recall recent history.

When trying to get together the all bro alliance, he referenced that Survivor winners are now "weak women, and John Cochran." He made this point many times, which was odd since if you look back on the last few seasons, you don't find that many weak women:

Previous winners (in reverse order):

Survivor 26 - John Cochran
Survivor 25 - Denise Staley
Survivor 24 - Kim Spradlin
Survivor 23 - Sophie Clarke
Survivor 22 - Rob Mariano
Survivor 21 - Fabio

From that list, I guess you could consider Denise a "weak woman" in a literal sense. She wasn't that big of an immunity threat I suppose. But Kim Spradlin? And Sophie Clarke, destroyer of challenge king Ozzie? Not to mention Boston Rob or Fabio (who won because he was able to win immunity into the final tribal.)

And not only that, but Brad made a rookie mistake when he spoke from his heart when the tribes were first put together. What he said wasn't that bad; it essentially said that he would have felt bad about winning an item that he knew his wife Monica could use at her camp. But that could have been interpreted as him saying that he would throw a challenge to his wife's tribe and throwing challenges never goes over well unless there's a maniacal plot behind it (that will ultimately bite you in the ass). So Brad decided that he should make sure that nobody was thinking that he was going to throw a challenge, which was a good idea. Unfortunately his speech came across as insincere and did not involve an actual apology, which lead his tribe to trust him even less. His own alliance mate Caleb was ready to turn on him as soon as possible.

Brad seems like a nice guy, but he's in a whole heap of trouble and might end up being blind sided if he's not careful. But he's confessional gold, so the producers will make sure we see a lot of him up until he is voted out.

The full power ranking list:

20. Rupert
19. Laura B
18. Marissa
17. Candice
16. Colton
15. Laura M.
14. Kat
13. Katie
12. Gervasce
11. Brad
10. Ciera
9.  Monica
8.  Rachel
7.  Caleb
6.  Tyson
5.  Tina
4.  Hayden
3.  John
2.  Aras
1.  Vytas

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